One of the most fun themes we've had in school so far is definitely the "O" is for octopus. Probably because the teacher learned as much as the student. I knew the basics...an octopus lives in water, it has 8 arms and no bones. But I guess I missed out on the marine biology lesson that taught about all the super cool other things that an octopus can do. So needless to say we watched A LOT of youtube videos about octopus camoflage! (They were just so cool I couldn't stop!)
You must forgive my horrible photography skills here. I have a point and shoot camera and kids who are trying to "help" me take pictures so I'm basically looking at them and aiming the camera somewhere at the table. That being said even if they weren't there it probably wouldn't look any better. But alas, I digress...I'll get back to the point. This is a picture of a few of the things we did to help us learn more about the octopus as well as the letter "O". Since you really can't see any of them up close I will try and explain them a bit. Next time I will try and plan better and get some individual pictures up close to really show what he's learning.
We traced those cute little four year old hands to make an octopus and then found pictures of other sea creatures to make a collage.
The sheet with the letter O and picture of an octopus in the left corner is a sound discrimination worksheet. Several pictures are given, some beginning with the "o" sound and some that don't. Circle the ones that do, x out the ones that don't. I think this is incredibly boring, but this is always one of his favorite things to do each week. He says the name of the picture and then "YES! it does!" and cirlces it. Or, "NOOOOOO, it sure doesn't!" and x's it out with a big flourish!
One page is a math sheet where he chooses a number from a cup, writes it and then draws an object of his choosing that many times. For example he picks the number 4: He writes a 4 in the space provided and then draws 4 balloons. During math we also do story problems. I tell him a story and each time he hears a number he writes it down. Then he solves the problem by drawing a picture. (Seriously need pictures here instead of all these words!!)
The little yellow book you see there is the first book he read all by himself. It's called "Pam", and has a total of five words. He was SO proud! (And so was mom!)
We also made an octopus out of a paper plate and put an octopus fact on each arm, and did an octopus quiz. I know I know, quizzes at only four years old?! I'm quite the task master! He loves it though. He gets excited when I can't "trick" him. If he gets an answer right I didn't trick him, he was too smart for me. By the way the quiz was just YES/NO questions like: An octopus lives on land. YES NO Then he circles the right answer.
I did get one photo up close, and yes another horrible picture. Professional photography is not in my future! Anyway...this worksheet is one of the begining reading activities in our curriculum. He reads the words aloud without my help. Each one he gets right on the first try he gets a sticker or a star. (This week he couldn't decide if he wanted stickers or stars so we did both!) He's doing so well with his reading. He only missed one word, and that's because he read it doll-l-l (with the 2 "l" sounds separately at the end). Then as soon as he finished he looked at me and said "That's not a word." I told him the way he said it wasn't and that when two letters are together in a word you only say the sound once. (We had never talked about double letters before that day.) So he looked at it again and said "doll". I should've given him a star, but since the rules of the game (we call it a game...pretty fun games we play at our house huh??) are you have to get it on the first try he didn't get the star this time.
That's just a small look at our how school has been going so far this year. It's been so much fun, and little brother likes to join in too. He's learning a lot of his letters and numbers and likes to be a part of things as much as he can be. As much as I loved (and sometimes didn't love so much) teaching as a career before I had my first son it can't even compare to teaching my own children. I love watching them grow and learn. I'm so thankful I have this opportunity to stay home with them so I don't miss a thing!