Friday, September 18, 2009


It’s been not an easy week as far as school is concerned. Anna was simply not cooperating with my well laid plans. At best she simply wanted to play and be left alone. At worst, she was grumpy, whiny and demanded to be entertained. Her only response to What would you like to do? question was invariably Watch a movie. Now, we limit TV at home to 30 min a day, so we had quite a few fights about it. She didn’t want to do anything that she perceived as “work” and generally was getting on our nerves quite a bit. Well, I am used to this ups and downs of parenting a toddler, but I do hope that she gets into more cheerful frame of mind again soon.


We continued our Phonics program from Progressive Phonics. Anna is doing well there… when I can convince her to actually sit down with me and do “reading words”. Sadly, she has been avoiding it as well this week, because this is, after all, work, where she has to apply herself. We are studying s-blends, and there are gazillions of them. She puts a foam sticker on every page we finished, so an unfortunate book is getting fatter and fatter. I also made a fishing game for her with simple sight words. She enjoyed it quite a bit, especially when she managed to get several words at once. I think I will continue to change words from time to time, so novelty of it doesn’t wear off too quickly.


We had some fun with Math this week. I bought for Anna a set of counting erasers and some magnetic numbers some time ago, but yesterday I pulled it out and put it into her box in the kitchen. She was very excited – it’s amazing how much fun a child can have for $1. It didn’t take her any time at all to figure out initial function (erasers), to try them out on markers and pencils, and decide that they stink as erasers, but will work great as play money. I remembered that she got a small purse from her uncle and aunt last Christmas and fished it out from “rejects”. She spent a good hour shopping – all I needed to do was to put out some “food” for her to buy with “prices”. She was counting her money and putting the right amount into the "piggy bank” (container from erasers) without any difficulty at all. I am sure we will be now playing “shopping” for a while.


Prewriting. Anna really enjoys “connect-the-dots” activities. This is the first time we tried an ABC connect-the-dot. She did rather well both in figuring out which letter should be next and drawing straight lines. I tried to engage her in card making activity too, but she was not interested – she just wanted to get some blank cards and pretend to mail them.

Weather Science and Social Studies. Somehow our theme of apples didn’t materialize this week. Instead we read the book about the weather as an extension of our Seasons theme and talked about differences between seasons. It’s a little hard to stay focused on fall, when after a couple of cool days the thermometer returned to upper 80s. We also tried to read Bible stories – read more about that here.


Sports and Music. We were going to Gymboree Music class since Anna was about 15 months old, and it was a very good early experience for Anna. However, the class seems to fall into her window of minimal energy – it starts at 5:30 pm. She is restless, doesn’t listen and keep saying that she wants to go and play in the main Gymboree gym. I told my husband that I want to cancel the class, since it also involved 30 min drive one way. He went with Anna on Monday and came back home convinced that this is the right decision. We might look into another organized activity closer to home or just give her more unscheduled time. She gets enough exercise just running around the table pretending to be a butterfly :)

To see what others are doing this week, please visit Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations.


Christy said...

You probably know this, but all of this behavior is very normal for her age. I am actually surprised at how much structured learning she is willing to do. C was like Anna and still loves learning, but R has a very limited attention span.

Ticia said...

I love Go Fish games like that. I really need to make some for my kids. I have the fishing poles, just need to use them constructively.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I love reading your blog because it's a window into what I can expect from my son in another year or two. I agree it sounds like you can save the money from Little Gym.

The Harris Family said...

Aubrey has weeks like this. I am not sure why. It sounds like you did the best thing and just went with it. There is not point in forcing them. Also cute fishing idea. I should get out our little fishing pole.

Jolanthe said...

Go with the flow, girl! :) You still got some great activities in!!


Mrs Adept said...

We recently got rid of the TV ( again ). At first it was difficult for the children but they've gotten used to it pretty good rather quickly. The laptop is getting a good workout. LOL. There's no way I could get my children to an activity at 5.30pm. Hope you can find something at a better time closer to home. :)

Virginia Lee said...

How wonderful that she will do dot to dot. My son wants nothing to do with them. But he loves mazes. They all just have their own little personalities.

Love the picture of her being a butterfly. Too cute.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

She has such a wonderful imagination, sounds like she wanted to give that a little work out this week instead of Mama's plans. :) They have strong little wills of their own, don't they?! How is she doing with her new preschool? Is she getting her naps in? Matthew could NEVER do an activity at 5:30 - we are all too pooped at that time of day to do anything except hope bedtime gets here soon! You had a really great week despite your struggles!

Infant Bibliophile said...

I just left an "award" for you on our blog.

Susana said...

Don't be discouraged Natalie!! Seriously--Anna is leaps and bounds ahead for her age, and you should pat yourself on the back!!

She may just be having an off week, or wanting a little "break" of some sort after starting school? Just keep offering learning activities as you've been doing and take her lead, doing them when she's willing and maybe taking a break/coming up with new things (as you did with the fun shopping game) when she isn't willing.

I had the same problem with Joe in the beginning too with Gymboree classes. I did stick with it and I just made him sit still in the circle times a bit longer each week. It finally worked. It did take an entire session (12 weeks) to "train him", but it happened. He loved it and we ended up doing if for almost 3 years:-).

I know this is a long comment--I hope something I've written is helpful or encouraging in some way!!

Don't be discouraged--you are doing super and we all have these weeks!!

MaryAnne said...

I love the photo of Anna pretending to be a butterfly!

Orange Juice said...

I love that first photo!!!
She is doing a great job and I am so impressed with how much you are doing with her!