It was our second week with grandparents, and we are flying home to California today. This week Anna adjusted to changes, was less anxious and more willing to play and learn. She spent a lot of time with grandparents at the pool, but it was opening at 10 am, and we still had an hour before for school and crafts. In the afternoons she mostly played with her new toys on the patio outside and watched an episode of her favorite Diego every day. Overall she had a great time, and I am sure she will miss her Babushka and Dedushka. Since my parents have a cat, I decided to have a mini-cat theme for this second week:
We read several books about cats. I tried to offer Anna several activities based on Cookie’s Week book that we brought from the library – Making Learning Fun has a mini-unit based on this story, but Anna was not very interested in the books or activities that I suggested. As I mentioned before, she doesn’t like coloring, so she didn’t want to do anything that required coloring. But she traced a little and stamped magnet pages with her new Crayola stampers, so we still had some fun with this mini-unit.
We continued with Progressive Phonics and ploughed through short-U sound. Anna is doing quite well, especially when she is rested. She also continues her attempts to read independently – usually signs, words on the food containers, and yesterday I spied her sounding out a pretty long word – bookmark. We will start blending next week, and I am wondering how this will go – it’s harder than just individual sounds, and she still has to remember all the rules that she learned already. I am quite prepared to stop and give her a break if she balks at it, but we will see.
Yet again, we didn’t do much on math, but math learning seems to be happening spontaneously. Anna likes to count when she is in the mood, and she likes activities that require some logical thinking – like finding “what’s wrong with this picture” or simply finding objects that don’t belong to the group. One of the presents that she received here was Lacing Beads by Melissa and Doug. She put together a necklace with numbered blocks without any prompting from me. 6 and 9 stumped her a little, but she figured it out herself by counting dots on the blocks. We also read another book from MathStart series (also a good book about sharing) – Let’s Fly a Kite
I was encouraged to see Anna play independently a lot this week. Another of her presents was this activity book about farm animals. She kept returning to it and drawing with a dry eraser that came with a book. She also practiced drawing a lot – she added “mountains” to the list of things that she likes to draw, and she kept taking her scissors and cutting paper to strips. To her credit, she never attempted to cut anything else and only used scrap paper or construction paper for her independent cutting practice. She also kept playing out different situations – mostly based on travel bear stories from Germany that she kept receiving every day. I think papa was really missing his daughter, and she missed him too.
Of course, we also did arts and crafts. I loved most when those projects were initiated by her even though they were not as picture-perfect as directional art. Anna especially enjoyed playing with her new playdoh set. I finally found exactly the one I wanted – it had the most useful items – playdoh roller, spaghetti maker and a few shapes. The time I spent reading while she played contentedly by my side was the most relaxing times of this vacation. I will miss my parents too, and I will miss life without conference calls and work-related emails. Hey, I am already dreaming of my next vacations :)
Here is my favorite picture of Anna from this week:
To see what others are doing, visit a Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations.