Saturday, January 12, 2013

Itsy Bitsy Spider {Letter I}

September to December, homeschooling went exceptionally well.
Our days went smoothly.
( smoothly as can be expected with 3 littles in the mix...)
But overall, I am happy with the routine we have established and the curriculum we are using.

However, I felt like Taitum was missing out.
Don't get me wrong - by choice, she is there for nearly every second of our school time.
The problem was that it was frustrating for her.
She often couldn't do the activities at the same level Piper was doing them.
So even though I was including her in everything she was getting discouraged by the fact that her coloring or drawings or whatever did not look like Piper's.
I attempted to provide her with more age appropriate activities that corresponded to what Piper was doing but the bottom line was she was not developmentally ready to sit and work on a worksheet or attempt to cut something out unaided.

I knew what she needed - more hands on, movement and sensory based learning activities.
So over Christmas break I prepared a mini curriculum for Taitum that is all her own.
Considering how well Piper's school work is going, I felt comfortable adding a little extra to my planning and to our day.
Additionally, this provides Piper with a new challenge that I wasn't sure she could handle yet - individual work.
Long story short - she has blown me out of the water with her ability to listen to my instructions and sit and work on something all by herself!

Anyhow, back to Tait.
She loves to sing and is really good at memorizing rhymes so I've planned a different nursery rhyme for each week that corresponds with the letter we are learning.
We only spend 20 - 30 minutes each day learning one on one together but it has proven to be the perfect amount of time and such a confidence builder for her.
Taitum is so thrilled every day to have this time together with me.
And I can't explain to you how happy it makes me to make special time just for her!

This past week we learned the Itsy Bitsy Spider to go along with learning the letter 'I'.
Here's what we did:

Day 1:
We made the spider with construction paper and googly eyes.
The water spout was a leftover wrapping paper roll that we painted.
We used these props the rest of the week to re-enact the song.

Day 2:
We had some contact paper fun!
I taped it to the table, added some spider bodies and numbered them 1 -5.
Taitum then added the correct number of legs to each spider by sticking pipe cleaners onto the contact paper.

I figured she would want to do some more 'sticking' once the legs were added so I simply cut up some construction paper into squares.
We then had a chance to learn about squares while 'feeding' them to the spiders!

Day 3:
Taitum practiced her colors with this little spider game.
She would roll the dice, name the color it rolled to and add that color clothespin to the spider!
This was such a fun game for her and she was delighted to teach it to her sister later in the day.

Day 4:
For our letter wall she made a letter 'I' itsy bitsy craft.
She glued a cut out letter 'I' to her paper, used her thumbprint to make the spider's body and added legs with a marker.
She then glued a cut out sun in the sky and used the eraser of a pencil to dab blue paint on for the rain.

Day 5:
Finally, Taitum used plastic spiders and paint to make spider prints all over the letter 'I'!
Piper joined us for this activity and both girls had a blast shrieking and giggling over the 'yucky' spiders in the paint!

Next week we plan on learning Jack and Jill to go along with letter 'J'.
I'm hoping that things continue to work out so well as they did this past week!
Taitum is also continuing with her All About Reading Pre Reading curriculum (which I've simply incorporated into this time together) and still joins us for much of Piper's schoolwork.
She is so quick to learn things and such a joy to spend time with!
And hearing her sing the song we're learning while off playing at other times during the day is just the icing on the cake!
In fact, we sang the "Itsy Bitsy Spider all through the grocery store today! 

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