I told my girls a few weeks ago that during our “summer break” we were going to do three things and three things only. First we were going to work on our Summer Reading Lists, secondly we were going to continue with Bigger’s math by actually finishing the last 9 lessons in the RS Level B book and playing RS math games. And finally we would be working with Brother on his letter sounds.
Seeing as we only have 7 weeks for our break I’m not sure that we will get through all of the letter sounds but I figured that we would at least work on the letters in his name.
Yes, I know that my son is almost 5 and I also know that for most it may seem like we are getting a late start but through personal experience I have learned that for our family doing “academics” later is MUCH better than doing things early.
I don’t plan on doing anything major or fancy with our summer work but since he asked so many times during the course of the school year to “do school too” I figured that doing something with him this summer might be a great thing for him.
Let me say that he has been so excited about what we have been doing! We keep our “lessons” quick and to the point and for my boy that has been utterly successful.
Here is what we have done so far.
Introduce this week’s letter by showing him the letter card.
For this I just dug out some sticky craft foam letters, stuck them to an index card and viola, textile letter card. I say textile because our foam letters are rough and not smooth, similar to sand paper but nicer to look at.
I told him what sound the letter made (emphasizing the sound more than the letter name) and had him repeat it to me a few times. Then I quickly explained how we form the letters by tracing the letter shape with my finger. I then had him do the same.
Introduce main book for the week.
A few years ago I purchased a set of books called My First Steps to Reading off of ebay. I tried to use them every now and then but plan on using them more consistently with Brother. These are great books-albeit a bit on the twaddly side of things.
Anyway, we read through the book and Brother makes the letter sound every time we come to the little boy or girl who is suppose to represent that letter.
We began with ‘S’ and in the book the ‘SH’ sound is also used so I went ahead and decided to teach Brother that anytime ‘S’ is buddies with an ‘H’ we make the ‘shhh’ sound. I wondered if he would have a hard time understanding that but he did great!
In the book Little ‘s’ goes around finding things that begin with his letter sound and puts them in his sound box. At the end of the story there is a review of all items in the box plus other words that begin with the letter sound.
Activity Time/ Phonics Review.
After reading the book and talking about some of the items in the sound box I decided that this would be a fun active activity for him. So, I pulled out an old shoe box an we went ahead and found stuff that made the ‘s’ or ‘sh’ sound in our home. This was great fun for him and I wish I would’ve taken pictures but I did not. I will for future lessons though!
After that we gathered our items together on the floor and brother grouped them into items that made the ‘s’ sound and items that made the ‘sh’ sound. He did this all on his own and did great!
I printed out some handwriting practice sheets so that we could do one every day. I just printed out the week one sheets from the Writing Readiness category. One thing this boy has never been fond of is sitting down with a writing instrument for any amount of time but he did enjoy these little sheets. He did want me to help him trace the lines. I will help for now but will try to have him do a few on his own as well.
That was our short Ruby Slippers style Preschool for Monday.
Review letter sound/Activity Time.
We reviewed our letter sound by having Brother do another active activity. I said a word of an object-from our First Steps to Reading book-and Brother would jump forward once if it started with the ‘s’ sound or twice if it started with the ‘sh’ sound. He LOVED that activity!
I introduced the Bible verse on this day since I failed to do it Monday. For Bible I am using a beautiful book that I purchased from Vision Forum a couple of years ago. It is entitled Teach Them to Your Children. It is on sale right now for only $6.80 which is sooo worth it!! It is like a devotional in that it begins with a rhyme that reflects the theme of the character building story that you will read to your child and then ends with a Bible verse. I must say that I cannot talk about this book without expressing how absolutely beautiful it is! The pages are wonderful and glossy and the page sized drawings are gorgeous! A must see for sure!
Our Bible verse for the letter ‘s’ is Psalm 141:3 and the lesson was about guarding our mouths. Such an important lesson for our little ones don’t you think?
To help Brother with the Bible memory I typed up the Bible verse on a chart. I had the verse in full up top with the verse again below but replaced the key words with clipart since Brother cannot yet read. This will help him (I’m hoping) to be able to review on his own and to paint pictures in his mind to help him understand the verse a little more.
That was our Tuesday.
Today We reviewed the letter sound again and he also wanted me to read the book again so I did.
Activity Time/Art/Phonics Review.
We made his first Letter sound poster. We cut out some pictures that started with our sound from an old magazine and then glued them on a piece of construction paper. I plan on turning these weekly sound posters into a book for him when we are done.
We also did another (actually two because he wanted to) handwriting sheet.
So far that is it but like I said earlier he has loved every minute of it!!
Now typically I would throw in some books about things that begin with ‘s’ or ‘sh’ but haven’t been able to sit down with my non-twaddle book list and find some that would be good for him :). We do read so much though so I don’t really think that he is missing anything! We are currently going through Ginger Pye and for his age I think that is wonderful!
And yes, once we “officially” begin schooling him I think that I will have to think of a new name for our school at home. Any ideas?