Friday, December 18, 2009


Anna is 3 years 1 month old.

Anna’s school is busy celebrating winter holidays. Her favorite school project was a bracelet with jingle bells. She is playing with it at home a lot singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs. Our art board at home is full of artwork – some made in school, some made at home. I’d say that at the moment we are all “crafted out” – Anna practically threw a fit today at my suggestion to make something. It’s a busy time of the year with other obligations as well – this week it was a birthday party for her classmate, and a cookie decoration party, but she has fun and takes it in stride. We still had time for a little bit of academics this week:The three bears

Reading. We continue our Progressive Phonics program, and Anna is breezing through Intermediate books. We are now in book 10 of Intermediate series, and she actually asks to do it every day. I am starting to introduce some early readers here. Anna liked Margaret Hillert stories on Starfall, and she was able to read this version of The Three Bears by herself. I was somewhat surprised, because Hillert books based on high frequency words, not on phonic words, and still she only had difficulty with the word something. I am very proud of her progress.

Reading Writing and Math

Math & Logic. I want to be honest – from what I can tell, Anna is above average as far as math is concerned. Probably genetics is somewhat at play here –  both myself and my husband always did very well in math and logic. That’s why I introduced this workbook for Gifted and Talented to Anna – to find something that will challenge her without going a couple of grades higher in math. We are not doing Writing Part of this book, since she is not ready with her writing skills yet, and any kind of writing/drawing assignment frustrates her. But logical tasks entertain her. It’s interesting that she easily does the pages that I thought would be challenging for her and sometimes stumped on easier pages, for example on identifying what is missing from the previous page. It’s strange, because she has very strong observation skills in real life and notices minor changes in her environment right away. I can see us playing more memory games to reinforce these skills.


Prewriting. Prewriting was mostly crafts with some worksheets that she chose to do on her own. We are not really focusing on it the way we focus on reading – my three year old is not really interested in coloring or drawing except when we eat out on Sunday morning. It’s a family restaurant, so she gets those coloring sheets and crayons. Lately she is more interested in drawing or coloring herself rather than asking one of us to draw something for her.


Arts and Crafts. As I mentioned, between her preschool and home, we had a lot of arts and crafts happening lately. Our favorite project of the week was decorating our Christmas tree, but we did other things that involved paint, playdoh, stickers, markers, etc. We also baked and decorated cookies twice – once at home and once at cookie decoration party.

Social Studies/History. We read a lot of Christmas books. Some of them were about first Christmas and we talked about Jesus Christ and Christian religion. I think that Anna is still utterly confused as to why His birth is celebrated as such a big deal. The notion that God sent His Son to Mary, and then Mary gave birth to a child who was human, but very special brought forth a lot of why and how questions. We also discussed that people celebrate Christmas for other reasons as well – for example to mark the time of the longest night and celebrate the nature cycles or just to focus on family and on giving to others like we do.

To see what others did this week, see Preschool Corner.


Ticia said...

My boys just recently started being willing to draw, so she may enjoy it someday. For them the break through was my showing them step by step how to draw a person.
I think I'm going to try the Progressive Phonics after Christmas. You and Debbie keep raving about it, and I think they're ready for something like that, and if not we put it on hold.

Susana said...

I'm not surprised at all that Anna is above average in Math, she is such a smart girl with parents who are so enthusiastic about teaching her.

I think she is doing great in all that she does! Joe just took off with his drawing the last 6 months, and it was at a much later age for Hanna.

So, what do you think of the Melissa and Doug blocks she is using? I've had my eye on them for years.

Deborah J. Stewart said...

I love how you seek to provide all the content areas - It is funny how after just so much, arts and crafts can become a chore to young children. Great to break things up a bit so it stays fresh and fun!

Debbie said...

You always do so great with Anna! She is one lucky girl!

Kim said...

Great week, as always. Crumpet is really confused about religion too. He thinks Jesus and God are superheroes, and he wants to know if they have capes to fly! These are difficult concepts for a 3 year old. We haven't even begun to talk about other religions. I definitely want him to know that there are many different beliefs out there, but I'm afraid to confuse him too much.

manda said...

It's amazing what kids excel in. My Ada 3.5 has been drawing finely detailed pictures since she was 2.5. However, her math skills are really lacking. I'm glad to see you post about Progressive Phonics. I've been looking into using it.

The girl who painted trees said...

I can't wait to be in the States to get my new printer so I can print out the Progressive phonics. Anna is so smart. You do great things with her. plemi

Mrs Adept said...

Loved reading and catching up with what Anna is doing. She is doing great for her age. You put a lot of work into her, and it shows with her response and work level.