Tapestry of Grace

Thanks to Spunky for this curriculum place to check out further.

The curriculum is called Tapestry of Grace.

A brief overview looks interesting. We'll have to keep this and check it out at later date.

Learning for Pre-schoolers

credit goes to Home-Steeped Hope.

And in my opinion, the preschool years are the best for sparking that love of learning. Here are some of the ways I prepared my 3, 4’s and 5’s for Kindergarten.

Use that time in the car for word games and story problems:

* Play the syllable game. Give them words and have them break them into syllables, telling you how many syllables each one has. My girls loved this game, and being able to distinguish syllables is one of the first steps in being able to read and spell. If it helps, have your child “clap” the syllables out as they repeat the word. They’ll catch on in no time.
* Make up short poems; kids love to rhyme and this game will be full of hilarity. Everyone gets a turn thinking up a line.
* Glue and unglue three letter words. This is great exposure to the sounds that letters make. Say the word “cat” and then help your child sound it out (ungluing it) /c/-/a/-/t/.
* Explore homonyms. My middle child couldn’t get enough of this activity for some reason. (strange child!) She still likes to “collect homonyms”. (words that sound the same but are spelled different: reign, rain, rein)
* Play the “Minister’s Cat” (”the minister’s cat is an adorable, bratty, calico cat…and so on taking turns and repeating each adjective all the way through the alphabet) or the “ABC” game (take turns naming and claiming in order the alphabet letters seen on road signs, billboards and license plates)
* Use nature to come up with math story problems. This is great for the contextual learner. If there are 5 horses in that pasture, and 4 in the next, how many all together? What if 3 wandered off and got lost? How many then? (We used to count antelope on family vacations to Wyoming…hundreds and hundreds of antelope…)
* Quiz them about what numbers they should call in an emergency (Grandma, daddy’s cell, 911) (my girls at three years old could recite our bank account number!)
* Quiz them on their phone number and address.
* Give them paper and pencil and see how many times they can write their name in one minute.

At home:

* Dot to dots are really fun for three and four year olds, and it’s a great way for them to learn the coordination needed for writing. Most dot to dots are numbered or alphabetized which gives that added exposure/practice.
* Anything math is made more fun with small candies such as m&m’s. We’ve woven elaborate stories, illustrated even, of a bag of m&m’s and its trip around the neighborhood as it’s divvied up with all the children on the block. These candies are great for sorting and charting, and your preschoolers won’t even know they’re learning math! Until you proudly tell them and watch them beam from ear to ear!
* Teach them games like tic-tac-toe, and rock-paper- scissors. Talk about “critical thinking”. Especially when they ask questions with obvious answers.
* Put shaving cream on a cookie sheet and have fun “drawing” numbers and letters in it. (chocolate pudding works good for this too, but my dh forbids us from playing with food…yeah, no edible play-dough for our family)
* Give them a bucket of water and a paintbrush and have them paint their abc’s on the driveway or sidewalks.
* Use sidewalk chalk to draw a numbered clock face on the driveway and practice running “clockwise” and “counter clockwise”, telling them to stop on certain “times”
* All the science you need for this age is outdoors. Make bark rubbings, wormeries, collect two or three caterpillars and put them in a glass jar with a hole punched lid and a twig with leaves on it…a few months later you’ll have a moth or butterfly! Make sure you take advantage of the time nature-walking to talk about all that was created for our enjoyment.
* If you want to play science while indoors, experiment with the 5 senses. Blindfold your children, and have them guess what certain smells are (vinegar, lemon, banana, mom’s perfume), distinguish between the sours/sweets/salts of various foods (still blindfolded!), have them feel around in a bag of items and tell you what they’re touching.
* Sing. A lot.
* And don’t forget reading. Of all the above, reading is my favorite way to “teach”. Good books are good friends, and a great way to engage the mind. As are magazines like Your Big Backyard, Clubhouse Junior, and Highlights.

I wanted to stress that in addition to Biblical training, children need play time. Time to expand their imaginations, to pretend, to draw, to play outside and explore nature. Not time in front of the tv or computer, if that’s what they’re going to be doing, then by all means, enroll them in gymnastics or tee-ball or piano lessons. Yet, I think children come to depend upon being entertained, and they forget how to exist by themselves happily. Many adults cannot stand to be alone. They’ll leave the tv on, or music, anything to avoid a quiet house. So be alert and try to instill a sense of quiet into your child’s life.

The preschool years are magical. They shape your child’s personality, character, and interests. Don’t take them for granted.

Another Math Game

Found here.

Deck of cards : remove jacks, queens, kings, jokers.

Each player gets 10 cards.

Each player removes the cards that add up to 10.
I.e. has a 2 3 5 7 9 1 2 6 6 8 would remove 2 8, 3 7, 9 1 (puts them in pile in front), and be left with 2 6 5 6

This player would then ask the player on the left if they have a card. For instance in this case.. a 4 (because 6 + 4 = 10)

If player on left does not have card, the person asking picks up from the middle one card.

The aim of the game is to get rid of all 10 cards held in the hand.

Good way to reinforce adding to 10, and can easily to changed to doing 8's or 11's or whatever. Do addition, subtraction etc.

Playing "war" helps with math skills

The concept is found here.

The basic concept is simple.

Deck of cards.. remove all jacks, queens and kings.

One deck per player.

Simple number knowing: Play war : high card wins

Play addition/multiplication war: turn up two cards, multiply, high answer wins

Can also do for subtraction.. and make it so low card wins or whatever desired.

Quick way to reinforce math skills in a fun way.

Craft Ideas

copied over from: 7ValleysHomeschool

1. Paper towel leaf painting- Cut a white paper towel into the shape of a leaf. Put the towel onto wax paper. Then drop food coloring on with a dropper. They turn out beautiful and look amazing stuck to the window. I have also used a paintbrush to drop the paint but watch out for the little ones . They try to rub it around and then tear the paper towel.

2. Nature walk- It wouldnt be fall if we didnt go on a nature walk. Bringing those nature journals along and taking the afternoon to explore all the changes. We also collect things that we see that have fallen. My children are only allowed to collect things that have fallen. If its still attached they aren't to pick it - they are to draw it. Then we go back and look up the different flowers, leaves, and nuts we found. So we can have fun and learn a little about them too.

3. Leaf pictures and book markers- This craft I did with my kids long ago. So I don't think the little ones have had a chance yet to try it. So this year we are going to do it again. I cut paper grocery bags into bookmark shape or the size of a picture frame. You could make fall cards too. Then we used Clear contact paper like you use in your kitchen cabinets. This is an easy way to laminate. These bookmarkers lasted us a long time before they began to turn brown. I am not sure I didnt even throw them away and they still werent brown after a year. You want to contact the leaf inside with the paper and cover it solid trimming the edges. You could also use some leaf punches if you are into scrapbooking or stamps.

4. Math Acorns- I take advantage of all those acorns the kids bring in. We use them for math practices. Also for my little one I cut out a squirrel shape. Wrote a number on each squirrel then had the little ones feed that many to the squirrel. We have also used Cheerios since acorns can get wormy.

5. Pumpkin seeds- We will probably also make a fall decoration for our table. Cutting a pumpkin and scrapping out the inside. There is also a bible lesson in there about how something appears to be on the outside or a person appears to be and how it really is. We will roast the seeds . Some we will dry for a pumpkin counting books (since I mentioned them I will tell you about them at the bottom) or for math practices for the younger again. We will add a mum to the inside and some leaves we found.

6. Pumpkin seed books- I cut out the shape of a pumpkin (11) We write the numbers 1-10 . Add that many seeds to the page and white yarn strips about an in long. The yarn represents the stringy stuff in the pumpkin. Continue to do this on all the pages.

A book to consider

The Edison Trait: Saving the Spirit of Your Free-Thinking Child in a Conforming World

Reviews can be found here.

Quick Study labs

This is an online distance class also labeled as a “teacher assisted Internet class” for homeschooled children in the field of electronics. The teacher is a college professor of engineering and his children are homeschooled.

referenced by: The Thinking Mother.

Quick Study Labs can be found here.

Might be something to look into further if Justin has an interest in electronics.

This lady goes on in the article to explain the value in referencing people who are experienced in a certain line of work and how they can help homeschoolers by sharing that information with them.

Questions to ask when looking at paintings

Three questions that can be asked of any painting:
1. What is it a picture of?
2. What does the picture mean?
3. What meaning might this picture have for the viewer's life?

You might faciliate a discussion within which students consider these questions.

Ask students to imagine that they are inside of this painting.
  • What would it feel like to exist within the painting.
  • What feelings would they have?
  • What thoughts would they have?
(You could also ask students to develop dramatic presentations in which they answered these questions.)

I want to check these out more

I want to check these sites out more.

They are recommendations from: Musing of a Prairie Girl.

HomeSchool This is a site of unit studies that homeschool teachers submit for others to use as well. Divided into primary, elementary and so forth. Should be a useful site to have.

and a site called Five in a Row. Five in a row talks about reading the same book five days in a row and learning different things from it each day. Not a bad approach, teaches children to read critically and observantally.

Then there's is book called "a trip around the world" which is supposed to help with teaching geography.

This lady has LOTS of useful ideas on her site. I look forward to going back and checking things out.