Preschool Update

In case you haven’t met us in the past….and you are just now visiting our website.
My new name is mommy-pommy. I like to sew and really wish I had more time for it.
This is daddy-paddy. He likes to fish and never has time for it. And spends all his spare time on writing his dissertation.
(Speaking of fishing when Jasper woke up last weekend he told me immediately that he wanted to go to the woods and go fishing. So it seems that our little boy has an interest in it and has probably been dreaming of it. It’s not normally something you would hear first thing in the morning, certainly not the first words from his mouth.)
Back to topic. Our new names should give you somewhat of an indication of how much rhyming is going on in our home these days. Petra calls us this continually through the day…and sometimes she calls us Ms. Sherri or Thomas, because this is what she hears other children call us, but this is not an approved form of communication. So usually she sticks to the rhymes.
But she is not the only one rhyming. Jasper has picked up on it too. He is rhyming on a daily basis –so he is picking up on some skills very early. He rhymes on a daily basis. For instance I was saying something “stinks” and he quickly informed me that “pink and stink rhyme mommy.”  And he threw in a few more words while he was at it.
Jasper is picking up on a lot. I’ve been very happy to see how much he doing and understanding over the last three weeks. I’ve been wondering how much of Petra’s reading lessons he has been absorbing, and I would say it’s quite a bit. He will hear me or her sounding out a word, and he will blend the sounds together into a word before one of us does. For instance Petra will say “th” and “ing” and Jasper, who’s working on a puzzle 3 feet away, voices “thing” before Petra even has a chance. He’s also been working on the Bob Books app on my iphone and does pretty well on it. Oftentimes I give him this to play with while I teach Petra her lessons. That way they both are doing a “reading” lesson at the same time. This app is very useful and has several different levels of difficulty. Other times I quickly go through letters and sounds with Jasper – but this is the extent of his reading lessons at this time.
I picked up this really cute Noah’s ark puzzle from the dollar store. The only problem is the pieces are so low quality that they move and shift all over the place. It’s very hard for me to keep them together, not to mention a 2 year old. So I would not recommend it.
Over the last month, Jasper also hit a new level with puzzles. I’ve really been shocked at how quickly he is advancing. Last week he did a 36-piece puzzle by himself. This is something Petra does not do…she really doesn’t care for puzzles.  Petra usually doesn’t enjoy puzzles, but sit down this week and also did a 36-piece puzzle by herself. Which was quite shocking because I’ve never even seen her do a 12-piece puzzle by herself. But she set her mind to it and wouldn’t let us help. Buts it is funny to see them working together on a puzzle because Jasper will quickly know where a piece goes and she will struggle with it…and he will say to her “right there” and she may still be clueless. But to be fair to Petra, she really doesn’t like puzzles. Jasper on the other hand likes the challenge and will insist on doing it alone.
Petra is this way at reading. If I try to help her with a word too much – she will say “No, let me do it by myself;” she gets upset and tells me to be quiet. I’ve moved her reading lesson book down to a shelf she can reach. She pulled in out at least 5 times over the weekend and asked to have a reading lesson. I’ve started writing several sentences (with new words/sounds) on the easel each day and she practices reading those throughout the day – that way I know she is reading some while I’m at work and getting practice on words from recent lessons. So she does this on top of the work that is in her workboxes – which usually includes some copywork, spelling, math, mazes, and puzzles. The nanny knows to go through the sentences with her once or twice during the day. And sometimes Petra reads them off before I head out the door in the morning. The sentences usually aren’t the most exciting or interesting, and sometimes sound funny so she can practice new words – and Petra always wants to know “why.” We were sitting around the table last night and I wrote a few words (shelf, sink, sank, this, chip, costs, quack, sing, shell, etc) for her to read. She wanted more. So I wrote: “Jasper will jump and trip” – which she read with ease. And then she always asks “why” and I tried to explain I was just writing a sentence for her to read and it didn’t mean Jasper would actually jump and trip….but I think she wonders why I write sentences and words that don’t carry much meaning.
Petra has started reading “fun” books in the evenings. She gets a sticker to put on a chart after each book she completes. She wanted to transcribe the titles to the bottom of the chart to record each book she read.
I’m also trying to focus more on math work. Both of the children know same, different, bigger, smaller. I went through a few preschool pages with them over the weekend just to see how they did on these – they had no problems. And Petra can identify many of her numbers 0-10 and write them on her own.  Petra is starting a kindergarten math workbook which has same and different at the beginning – but the pictures are a little bit more complex and make it harder to tell which thing is different. Jasper is also doing well at math concepts.
In fact, I jumped in the car last week and blurted out what is 1+1 – Jasper shouts out 2. I haven’t really taught them addition. I’ve shown them an addition formula a few times. We have talked about it some. And we spend time counting up sets in books, and then counting the sets together to see the total – but nothing really formal. I was a little shocked. I don’t think Thomas would have believed me if he had not been there for himself. We just looked at each other dumbfounded.
I wish I had more time to teach them each day. Jasper is most definitely ready for more math from a concept level – but not ready for the writing that accompanies it.  Because of their age, they really need to learn through more hands on activities, and less workbook pages. However, it’s a lot easier to leave workbooks and puzzles while I’m away at work, than hands-on math ideas. But there are simple ideas I can leave – it’s just not as much as I would like. Today I left different color beads for them to make a pattern. For instance ABABABAB. I need some simple ideas for teaching them math, especially Jasper, that doesn’t involve writing skills. Petra’s new math workbook has an activity suggestion to go along with each page – so at the moment I’m going to be using this to as the hands on activity to do with both of the children.
And while school hasn’t officially started, and it sounds like we are doing a lot, we really aren’t. Their workboxes are usually done in half an hour. And Petra may get a total of 30 minutes of reading time throughout the day – so its not a lot. Everything I mentioned can be done very quickly.
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2 thoughts on “Preschool Update

  1. Sounds like they are learning by leaps and bounds. They are definitely growing up too fast (like my own.) What is the name of that app? Might need to go look that up.

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