Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shapes Lapbook

Evan's Shapes Book

Evan knows most of the shapes but I still want to reinforce his knowledge about shapes. I let him match the shapes to the pre-drew shapes on a folder. He matches all the shapes right and named them when do the matching game.

Then, I let him pick as many shapes as he likes and design something on another page of the file folder.

I think this is a good way to train his eye and hand coordination too. He has to glue the shape and find the right shapes to match it.

Concentrating in gluing the shapes.

The inner page of the file folder.
He made a people out of those shapes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Green" Robot

These are the materials we used to make the robot.

Last Friday after school, Bruno( Ethan's friend) was with us and I let the boys make a robot out of the used toilet paper roll, old CD, bottle caps and some other used household items. I tried to explain to them that we can make craft and other things out of the trash that people normally will throw into the trash can.

They were busy designing their own robot.

Painting time

Finished products.
Left: Bruno's robot. He made a good one.
Middle: Ethan's robot. He does not have patience to make his robot. He was rushing to finish it.
Right: Evan's robot. I helped him out most of the time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Turn a baby gate into a display corner

I have a baby gate that we did not use for long time. It was sitting at the corner of the house for such a long time. I decided to turn it into a display corner where I can put my sons' artworks there.

For the bottom part, I hang two little pencil holder along with some string to put their projects or lapbooks into it. This works just fine and I am great to turn something in a good way.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Week 2 Jungle Theme

This week Evan learned about jungle and some animals.We have a great book given as a gift from our friend about Amazon Rainforest and the animal models that we can make. Evan is having fun helping me to setting up the forest. I used the curriculum outline from www.letteroftheweek.com to guide me how to prepare the lesson for the whole week.

This is the book I used for this week theme. The field Guide to Rainforest Animals.

First, we set the jungle model up with those animals plus some toy animals that I bought from Dollar store. I tell him that jungle is the place where lots of animals lives and we can find different kinds of plants in there.

This week color is GREEN. I asked to go around the house to look for everything that is in green color. Those are the things that he found except the white cup that I put on the table.

We go outside to look for different kinds of leaves. I let him pair them up and he did make a good match. He touched the leaves and smelled them. He told me which one is big and which one is small. He is learning about same and different concept too.

Then, I put some leaves under the white paper and let him traced over them. He felt amazed to see the result of the leaves prints on the paper.

The letter of the week is letter B. I had a good learning toy for him to put the beads based on the letter I prewrote on a white paper. He just followed the line and put the beads onto the board. He is learning and having fun at the same time.

We make two animals that live in the jungle. We did this after Ethan got back from school. I actually provided them the tiger craft layout only. But Ethan had a crazy idea that he wanted to make a purple elephant. I have to draw out a elephant layout for him to cut and paste. It turned out good and cute.

He likes his tiger mask.

Workbox System

I came across about this Workbox System from one of the homeschool mom blog (1+1+1=1 Blog) and I think it is a good idea to incorporate independence and efficiency in completing daily task everyday. I remodify a bit from the original workbox system idea and try not to spend too much money on it.

First, I went to the Dollar store to buy 10 clear boxes and put on the shelf given by my neighbor. Then, I labeled each one of them by using the baby food jar lids donated by my friend. I attached those lids on the boxes by using the Velcro tape. Once Ethan completes each worksheet or task on the box, he has to take the lid out until finishing box number ten.

10 boxes with different subjects or topics:
1. Math
9.Reading Comprehension/Library Book
10.Social Studies/Science

I have not start the system yet. Since Ethan still go to Kinder everyday, it is hard for me to expect him to finish 10 boxes of works after school. So far, I let him do Math, Spelling, Chinese and sometimes craft after he comes back from school. I like this system because it let me to be more control in deciding what to do in planning and organizing. He knows where to get his worksheets and completes in time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Learning and writing Chinese

It has being two years now I taught Ethan how to write and learn Chinese words. I try to use many ways to inspire him. One of the ways is I wrote all the words he has learnt so far on the small cards and test him. Of course, I do not expect he knows all the words. I picked the cards randomly and asked him what is that words. If he knew it, I will put inside an envelope. If he has a hard time to recall that particular words, I will act that words out by doing some funny actions to let him guess. Most of the time, he is right. This is one of the fun way to see his mom acting funny and learns the words quick.

I then will ask him to write those words down and draw a pictures to depict its meaning.

This is the funny one. One of the word is underwear (内裤). He went to get his own underpant and drew a picture about it. LOL!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Week 1 Cow Theme

One of the homeschool is kind enough to share her experience and works online through her website www.letteroftheweek.com and I download a weekly preparatory curriculum to teach Evan different kinds of theme each week.

This week is all about cow. I introduce him a new word, calf, and keep asking him what is the name for baby cow. Surprisingly, he will tell me calf after many time being asked by me.

I borrowed some books about cow from local library such as
1. And the cow said Moo! by Mildred Phillips
2.Old MacDonald had a cow by Rick Brown
3.The cow who clucked by Denise Fleming
4.Everywhere the cow say "Moo!" by Ellen Slusky

I make a learning poster as suggested by the mom who created www.letteroftheweek.com website.
I found out that it is a good learning tool to help him to remember what he had learn so far throughout the week.

This week we learn about cow, shape which is square, number is 1, vocabulary is calf, letter is Aa and the nursery rhyme is Hey Diddle Diddle.

He knows his letter Aa and number 1. So, I do not let him do much about it. Just let him trace the letter and number on the paper.

He found different kinds of things around the house which are square shape.

I want him to learn cow in chinese too. So, I created this document to introduce him the chinese word for cow, 牛

COW 牛 COW 牛 HuiFun

For the craft, I let him use two different size of square to make a cow. The small square for the head, and the big one for the body. He drew the funny eyes for the cow. That is cute.


A decision to make

Most of my friends in Houston know that we are going to homeschool our kids this coming fall. I got objection as well as support from friends and family. But after all, it is our decision to do the best for our boys.

I almost finish preparing the curriculum for Ethan to start his first grade from many homeschooling resources. But just this week, we got a letter from school saying that Ethan is selected for the Gifted Talent Program based on his Stanford test few months ago. He met the criteria and requirements according to the school system. I supposed to be happy to got the news since the school recognized his ability to perform well academically. In contrary, I am not sure whether continue my home school plan for him or putting him into the GT program.

Part of the reason I want to homeschool him is because to get him away from the bad influence from his peers. He learned so many bad things and words in school. I cannot control who he met with in his class and who he mingled around. One time, I found a paper written with SEX in his bagpack. I asked him who wrote that word, he said is another girl from class. I told him I will talk to his teacher, he then admitted that he wrote those words but is a girl told him to do that. He did not know what is that means and I explained to him in a simple way.

Well, long story short, Eric think that we better let him try out the GT program first and see how everything works out. It is hard to be a parents nowadays.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

About the farm lapbook

The cover of the lapbook.

We read a lot of books about farm and Evan knows all the animal from the farm and the sound they make. This is his first lapbook about farm. We got the material from the Brighter Vision Learning Adventure pack which is on farm theme.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Homemade alphabets puzzles

I reuse some food styrofoam tray to make the alphabet puzzles for Evan to match up the big and small letters. He is learning to recognize the letters and this is one of the way to get him interest in learning.

First, I write the letters in big an small letter in one tray. Then, I cut the tray into two pieces in zig-zag way. He has to match up the letters with correct pieces.

Chalk Art by Ethan

Ethan drew a turtle and a snail.

The boys like to draw with chalks. This is one of the way to let them get interested in drawing. Ethan likes to draw different kinds of animals or other cartoon features. Evan just like to scribble. He will draw a line and tell me that is number one.

They like to play with the water while cleaning up their drawings too.