Monday, September 24, 2012

Calendar Update

This week I have added several new things to our calendar. We now do English in the morning and Russian in the afternoon, because there is too much to do at once! We now have a weekly memory verse in English and Russian, and a letter, number and note of the day, as well as a solfege song, which we do in both languages. Nikki loves singing songs in solfege.

The dinosaur pockets have been eagerly awaiting a purpose and make a perfect calendar-storage unit.

Nikki likes to get involved, so I have made sure there are plenty of activities, other than sticking everything on the board, such as circling numbers on the 100 square and writing the number on his book, finding it on his die and clipping on the right number of pegs to the number card. He also rings the bell for our note of the day and wishes he were big enough to point to all the notes on our song.

The space on the board is for when I finally finish our Russian exercise cards. I found a poem with gymnastics-style actions here and loved the idea, so I have made it into flashcards. The pictures will help Nicholas build his vocabulary (and make it more fun!) and individual cards let us pick a couple of exercises at a time - great for those moments when little boys just need to move!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First Prayer

Nikki made up his first prayer yesterday afternoon:

Thank you Mummy, go to bed. Amen.

I'm not entirely sure what he meant to say... at least he is no longer adamant that you can only say 'amen' at playgroup!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Singing in Solfege

This is two of the ten parts of today's Little Musician lesson - yes, they are that short!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Calendar Time

I've have been introducing Calendar Time into our morning routine this last couple of weeks. Nikki has got to the stage where he understands past and future in a vague sense (everything in the past was 'last day') and I wanted to help him understand the passing of time.

We started simply. I laminated the calendar, month titles and numbers, and made a week chart and some 'today', 'yesterday' and 'tomorrow' cards to stick on it. First Nikki sticks today's number on the calendar, and we count all the days of the month that have passed.

Then we talk about what today is called and stick the card in the right place on the week, then do the same for yesterday and tomorrow. We sing a song that I know from when I worked in a nursery (to the tune of the nursery rhyme I Hear Thunder' )

Today is Monday, Today is Monday,
Yesterday was Sunday, Yesterday was Sunday,
Tomorrow will be Tuesday, Tomorrow will be Tuesday,
Today is Monday.

Then we read today's story in our book One Year Devotions for Preschoolers. This is an adorable book, with a very short story for each day, as well as an accompanying Bible verse and prayer. The stories are short, sweet and are just complex enough to give Nikki something to think about (being a good friend, not hurting people, saying sorry) without going over his head.

 I then saw this amazing set of books and once they arrived, I started reading the September book. The format is great - a short text on each page talking about what animals are doing in different parts of the world. Today we read about badgers in Europe, preparing their setts for winter. I do need to simplify the wording a lot to make it pre-school level, though.

This week, now that we're in the swing of things, I've added three new activities: counting our 'school' days with the 100 square and a hundreds-tens-ones board, the weather and moon phases. I'm interested to see how long it takes Nicholas to realise that the moon changes the same way every time... I found the 100 square online (can't remember where, but there are loads out there) and made the others using images I found on google. They are also printed and laminated so that Nikki gets to play with blue tack on a daily basis.

As you can see, I have made the calendar activities bilingual. I am still trying to decide whether it is better to repeat each activity in both languages, or have a separate Russian calendar time. At the moment, I am doing it all together, but I have more activities that I want to add eventually (letters, colours, shapes, musical notes, poems etc.) and I expect that it will take too long to do it all in both languages in one sitting.

So far, Nikki is loving his calendar. I have used less than half the space on his notice board at the moment, but I don't want to intimidate him by filling it up too quickly.

Linking to Montessori Mondays