Sunday, June 12, 2011

A New Adventure for Mama!!!

I know I have disappeared from the blogging scene lately.   There's been lots going on.   Along with their weekly lessons, we have had many visitors and have done our fair share of visiting friends and family.   Now, back from a lengthy visit to Illinois, I am refreshed and full of new ideas.  We will soon resume the twin's at home preschool regiment this coming week as we move onto the Letter N.  However, in addition to that I have a new adventure on the horizon.

I have decided to take on a new and exciting hobby just for Mama.  It has been both relaxing and exciting at the same time!  I have opened up my own business making and selling Handmade Hair Accessories.   After hours of help from my husband, the internet wizard, I am happy to announce that MY WEBSITE,  www.handmandehairaccessories.com is LIVE!!!!   That's right, TODAY  IS THE GRAND OPENING of HANDMADE HAIR ACCESSORIES by Amanda.   I am very excited about this!  The making of the items has been a relaxing, creative adventure for me.  I am now certain that everyone needs a little art or arts and crafts in their life.  It is therapeutic activity  after a hectic day.   Anyway, please check out my website and see my Creations.  And if you like my work, please pass the link on to anyone who has an interest in this type of fashion or who is looking for something super cute for the little girl/s in their life.     Please let me know how you like my site and any suggestions or ideas you may have for me.  

Here are a few of my creations:


















Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way

The past few months we have had lots of Doctors and Dentist appointments.  These used to go HORRIBLY!!!  Screaming, crying, flailing.....just plain hysterics!  Something has changed now and they really look forward to going to see the Doctor and dentist.  I used to never tell the kids we were going so as not to upset them in advance and then they would just be surprised when we get there.  Well, I started taking a new approach.  Now, I tell them what we are doing and what is going to happen and why.   I took the twins in for their first official dentist appointment and teeth cleaning.  They had been in before to haves some things checked out that we wanted to know about, and it had been horrible.(prying their mouths open while they are twisting, screaming, and crying.)  However, it was time to start establishing a routine with our dentist.  So, I prepped them ahead of time.  I told them that we were going to the dentist, and she will ask you to open your mouth so she can make sure your teeth all look good. If you open your mouth every time and you do a really good job, you will be able to get a toy from the toy jar.  I also told them that Dr Yuri was our friend and that she misses them and really wanted to see them.  I don't know which of these things stuck or if it was just their age, but they climbed into the chair and opened their mouths and did great!  I was in shock!  Then, we had to go back the next week because Jaelyn had two cavities that needed filling.  I told her what was going to happen again, "Dr. Yuri is going to ask you to open your mouth and she will wear her silly glasses to look inside and it will be so much fun!!!  Then, you can get another toy from the jar."  They were both pumped about it!  Everything went smoothly and Jae's cavities were filled in 15 minutes.  She was so excited about it too!





  Same thing at the Dr.'s offices!  We go over what will happen using the little play Dr.'s kit and they are okay once we get there.  They now let the Dr. look in their ears, their nose, their mouth.  These things NEVER happened before!  Once, I forgot to go over it at home and we just talked about it on the way there.
  Now I do I prep them for everything.  It has been embarrassing a few times when we have had people over for play dates and my kids throw a fit about sharing their toys.  So, now we talk about this ahead of time.  Play dates go more smoothly now too!  I think that sometimes we don't give these little people enough credit.  They can handle things if they are prepared and now what to expect.  It is when something happens that is out of whack with their perception of the world or with what their expectations are, that they freak out and melt down.

Friday, March 4, 2011

More G Action on Thursday and Friday

On Thursday and Friday, we practiced writing the letter G, colored some G things, and made another G book (this time focusing on the hard G sound).   This time our G song was the same except we sang about the "ga" sound instead of "ja."  So we included things like, grapes, goose, groundhog, gorilla, goat, grasshopper, and girl.  Kaden is really liking the songs and today he was signing our G song with me at lunch.  He is really getting into it as well as signing Twinkle Twinkle little star.  Jae still won't sing for me.

 Write now we are working on him keeping his hand down while writing and, you can see his is improving.  Here he is writing with his right hand.  He writes with his left as well, but I think he does better with his right.  We can't tell 100% if he is a lefty or a righty. 
 Here they are coloring in their gorillas.  They are definitely getting better at coloring in the lines.

Here is the Hard G book.  It featured the words: grapes, gorilla, goose, goat, and groundhog.  When they did this, I had them match the words that were the same so they could tell which picture goes on each page.  This took a lot of scrutiny and was quite a challenge, but they were able to do it with some accuracy by the time we finished this activity. 


We also did a Grasshopper page that also had them practice tracing a capital and lower case G.



Here are the links for the book and Printables:

Hard G book: http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp2.htm#g

Goose/G writing page: http://www.first-school.ws/theme/animals/birds/goose.htm

Grasshopper/G writing page: http://www.first-school.ws/activities/alpha/g/grasshopper.htm

Gorilla Coloring Page: http://www.first-school.ws/t/cp_animals/ape.htm

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

G - ing it up on a Wednesday!

Yesterday, we started getting into the letter G.  We talked about giraffe facts from that links I posted on yesterday's blog.  They we made our Toilet Paper Giraffes http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mgiraffe.html.  Sure enough Kaden wanted to squeeze into his giraffe Halloween costume from 2 Halloweens ago.  We went on a Giraffe hunt around the house and sure enough we spotted 27 giraffe just in the upstairs portion of our home.  Kaden is obsessed with Giraffes!!!  Here are some pictures of last afternoons intro to G lesson.




 Kaden dressed in his costume that he wore when he was 1.5 yrs old pointing to the giraffe on the alphabet wall and holding his TP roll giraffe that he just made.
 Here are a 2/27of the giraffes we found on our Giraffe hunt upstairs.

Today, we talked more about the letter G.  We sang the G song.....what is this you may ask.....well ifpart of your day consists of watching Sesame street in the morning....ya know when the animated Cookie monster does the little dance and sings the letter of the day.   Here is how it went when we sang it...."ja ja ja ja ja ja ja Geee eeee, ja ja ja ja ja ja ja Geee eeee.  Giraffe is a word that starts with G."
    We were doing the soft G sounds this morning....tomorrow will be the hardg.  So, the soft G words we did in the G book we made were: Giraffe, Gerbil, Gymnist, Gingerbread.  The kids worked on tracing the letter G as they made this book.  http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp2.htm#g Then after they colored the mini pictures of these 4 words.  I had them match the mini pictures with the words to see if they could match strings of letters like that....they could!  Here are some pictures





 Kaden is reading his G book to me. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Week 7 of Teaching at home: Tuesday

To go further on the star theme, I selected a Dora Star catching story book they could color.  It was one of those storybooks that you could print off of the nickelodeon website that has a story that you can read afterwards. Here is the link:  http://www.nickjr.com/printables/star-catching-storybook.jhtml .   They liked the activity and were excited to do it, but they kinda ran out of steam on the last 2 pages of the 6 page book.  So it may have been a little bit too long of an activity for them.  If I had it to do again, I think I would have split it up over a few lessons and had them just do a few pages per lesson. 




We also practiced the "Twinkle, Twinkle" Star again today.  At lunch time we ate Star Shaped grilled cheese sandwiches.  I love cookie cutters!!!!




This afternoon when they wake up from nap, we are going to star hitting the letter G stuff.  We will practice writing the letter G on the traceable worksheets and make a giraffe Toilet Paper roll project.  Giraffe TP Roll Project We will discuss Giraffes a bit and talk about how fast they run, how tall they are and how they eat. Here is where I found all the info.  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/giraffe/?vgnextfmt=printable.  Kaden is obsessed with Giraffes so this should go well.We will probably go on a Giraffe walk around the house, because I really think we could count over 10 giraffes in this house.    We will see if he will try to squeeze into his Giraffe costume from two Halloween's ago. 

Week 7 of Teaching at home: Monday

This week we started the week 7 lessons from http://www.letteroftheweek.com/preparatory_lesson_7.html.
  I liked the theme this week, Stars!  I found some cool projects and a couple of books around the house to use. 

Here is what we did on Monday!

We talked about stars and learned the vocab word Twinkle.  We talked about how we see stars at night  and how that means it is bed time (This actually helped me get them to bed last night without an arguement).  We talked about how the sun is a star and read a short Elmo book about the sun.  Then, we took a break and did our first project, making a star necklace. Here is the link to the template http://www.first-school.ws/activities/crafts/animals/ocean/starfish-necklace.htm.   I wanted to do this one early on so they could wear their twinkling stars all week when we do school time.  We added glitter to the project to make it "twinkle."






While the glitter on their star necklaces dried, we practiced singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  We listened to it on CD a few times and then tried to sing it.  Kaden was totally into it and wanted to keep singing.  Jaelyn did not want to.  Kaden gets really into singing and I don't know why Jaelyn doesn't, but something tells me it might be that she doesn't want to try to compete with him because he is more confident about it.  She really likes listening and moving to the music more.   Anyway, we moved on to the next star project that used shapes to make a star.  Here is the template: http://www.first-school.ws/t/star1bw.htm .  They glued the points of the star on a little differently but they got the point that there were 5 points and they were able to name their shapes. 

To finish up we counted the 7 star stickers, since 7 was the number of the week this week, then we drew different G things up on the board.  After dinner and before bed, we looked out the window at the stars and how they twinkled.  We sang the song again and then we said the "Star light, Star Bright, First star I see tonight" rhyme in reference to the the picture we saw in the nursery rhymes book of a little girl wishing on a star before bedtime.    

Friday, February 25, 2011

How did I choose my "F" words? - Making the Lessons for Twin Preschool

To piggyback on yesterday's blog,  I am going to write about what I do to make the twin's preschool lessons for the week.  Usually we have 3-4 days per week where we can do nice lengthy lessons in the morning afer breakfast.  It really depends on what we have set up in the way of outings, classes, and playdates.  Some weeks they only get 3 days, other weeks they will get 5.  The lessons usually last anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on if we are going around the neighborhood to inspect something, or have a craft that is more elaborate.

To get started planning for the week, I look at the preschool lessons on the website below.

http://www.letteroftheweek.com/Preparatory.html

So this week, this was our lesson plan: http://www.letteroftheweek.com/Preparatory.html

I decided I didn't want to do the Rainbow theme with the vocab word prism.  First of all, it doesn't rain much in So. CA, so are chances of seeing a rainbow are slim.  Also, I do not have a prism to show them.  So, when I decide not to do a theme, my alternate route is to pick some things that start with whatever the letter of the week is and then focus on doing lessons on them.  So, this week the letter of the week was F.  How did I choose what "F" words to use?  :-)  ( I promise I won't drop "THE F WORD" into this weeks vocab.)

To choose my "F" words, I visit this next website

http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp2.htm#f

Here I check out the mini book that the kids will make at the end of the week.  The always feature about 5 different words.  I pick a few of them.  Not only have I found that the kids are usually interested in these subjects, but I have also found that it is always easy to find resources, projects, and books around the house about these objects that are featured in the mini books.  
So in the F Book for this week was: fish, frog, farmer, firefighter, and fruits.   I added flowers in because that is something that my kids always notice and are interested in.  (Plus it was easy since we were doing this right after Valentine's Day and there was a bouquet sitting on the table.)  So my 3 big days that I choose were Frogs, Fish, and Flowers.  The fourth day would be the day we would make the mini book and review.

Each Lesson has 4 componets
  1. Sitting at the learning poster and practicing the Letter sound and talking about simple facts about what we are learning about today.  (We talk about what they already know and then I hit with a few simple things to remember.)
  2. Then, we read a book about it, if possible.
  3. Then, we practice writing the letter and they get to color a picture of the thing we are learning about for the day.
  4. We do the project or "field trip" related to the topic

On the first-school website I found F writing pages that had frogs and fish on them.  I used them to help them practice writing the letters.  When I do this activity, I am more focused on fine motor skill development than their ability to recall how to write it, but sometimes they can do that too. 







To find craft projects to go along with our theme.   I visit another website. 

http://www.dltk-kids.com/

On this site, I find simple projects that I can do with simple objects from around the home (ie: tp rolls, coffee filters, paper plates, lunch sacks, coffee cans)  So, on this site for this week, I found  2 different frog projects that I liked the frog puppet made from a paper plat and a frog/fly toilet paper roll project.  For, fish, I found the rainbow fish coffee filter project, and for flowers, I found the hand tulips project.

 Here are our Rainbow fish!  We decided to put 6 shiny scales (The rainbow fish has beautiful shiny scales in the book) on  because our number of the week was 6.


 Frog puppets!

 Frog/Fly TP Project

 Kaden mixing the blue and yellow together to make his green stem.  They used their hands with fingers closed to make the tulip.




So, basically, I take about 30 minutes to an hour at the beginning of the week to find and print stuff for the lessons and to make the learning poster.

To recap the resources.
  1. http://www.letteroftheweek.com/Preparatory.html is used for the learning poster.
  2. http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphaletter/f.htm  is used to find the mini books, letter pages, on other worksheets that go with the theme if I am actually doing the theme that week.
  3. http://www.dltk-kids.com/ is used to find crafts related to the letter of the week mini book and crafts relating to the theme of the week.
After I have all my resources printed out I gather up all of the books, toys, stuffed animals, and play things that have to do with our themes that week and put them under the learning poster so everything is easily accessible when it is time to move into the lesson. 

The last thing I do is to think of where we could go and what we could see to help go along with the lesson.  This week we went to feed the fish at the Koi Pond at our shopping center and then walked through Petco to see the different kind of fish.  They wanted to find blue and purple fish....it was a challenge but we found them.  For flowers, we walked the neighborhood and talked about and examined all the different flowers.  When we got back I took my droopy roses from V-day into the back yard and we pulled off all the petals and looked at the pollen below. (Jaelyn smelled each petal she pulled off.) Later, when we were out and about that day, we picked up some flowers to plant for $1.99 over at Lowes and planted them in a pot and watered them (way to much) later that evening. 


 Checkin' out the pollen situtation.
 Plucking each petal and smelling it.
 Smelling the rose.
 Offering it up to me so I could smell it.  I really think the yellow ones do smell the best....and pink too.

 Time to plant our flowers from Lowes.
 Kaden did not like sqishing the dirt around his hands to loosen the roots.  Jae loved it.  Kaden doesn't like the mess.

 They each dumped their entire watering can into it.  My fault for filling it up all the way.  Whoops!
 Found some flowers we had talked about on the way to go feed the Koi.
 Feeding the  Koi.

"Finding Nemo" at Petco.  They were so star struck!


I think I will try to post what we do each day.  If anyone has done similar things or is going to try this out for themselves, I would love to hear your ideas, suggestions, or cool projects you have heard about.