On one hand, Christmas week was very busy with Christmas preparations. On the other hand, I was home, so we had more time. Since we had Anna, we always celebrate Christmas at home with our three closest friends who also don’t have any immediate family nearby. I wish the whole time leading to Christmas stopped being so stressful. The stress definitely rubbed off on our daughter who was excited and nervous at the same time. We arrived to this “wonderful” phase of “terrific three” when she breaks into tears every time things are not “just so”. It makes any activity more challenging since she gets very upset when her projects don’t match her self-imposed standards. However, there are things that are going well, and I will write about them today.
Reading and Phonics. I started to add early readers to our phonics exercises every evening. Now we do one blend from Progressive Phonics each evening (we finished book 10 from Intermediate series this week) and then she reads me (rather fluently) about 10 pages from Margaret Hillert early readers. They are rather ancient, but they are beautifully illustrated and not as mind-numbingly boring as Bob books or Dick and Jane. I am really looking for advice on other good early readers, because Hillert sight vocabulary is very controlled and eventually reading more books might become not so interesting for my daughter.
Prewriting. Anna’s writing box that I put together got some love this week. She was more interested in it when I put some cards and envelopes in it. She came with an idea of drawing a card for her friend and decorated the envelope. As with almost everything else, she is more interested in the activity if she is not presented with a blank page. For example, if I draw a circle on the page, she will draw a stick figure, but she won’t attempt it on her own.
Social studies. History, geography and other subjects revolved heavily around Christmas and its history. I wrote about this book in the book reviews, and we both enjoyed reading it. By the end of the season Anna was saying confidently that Christmas is about love, giving and babies. Good enough for a three year old. We also watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town from her Christmas Classics DVD, and she hated it. She found it very scary and wanted the DVD donated at once “to children without parents”.
Fine Motor Skills. Following our recommendations, Oma and Opa gave their granddaughter Baufix Starter Set for Christmas. I just love this building set, because it’s great both for logical skills and for fine motor skills. Anna and papa spent a lot of time playing with it already, and she gets to practice a lot of new fine motor movements – screwing with a screwdriver, tightening with a wrench, selecting things of the right size, etc. I will definitely be reviewing this toy in more detail in my future posts.