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O is for Ocean and October

There are not many words that begin with O in both English and Spanish.  Isaac already recognizes and can draw O pretty well anyway so we didn’t spend much time on it.  We read books about October (and otoño) and the ocean.

My favorite was Somewhere in the Ocean because I grew up loving the poem Over in the Meadow.  Isaac’s favorite was Richard Scarry’s Oceans and Other Fun Things which actually only has about two pages about oceans.  He also liked Octavia and Her Purple Ink Cloud.  That one was good for color practice too.

We also bought some Oreos which may or may not have been my guilty pleasure rather than education for the boys… We ate Cheerios for breakfast.  We ate oranges too.  (Not all was unhealthy.)  We talked about the color orange.  That’s pretty much it.  I didn’t even take any pictures.  Boring.

On the other hand, there are tons of words that start with the letter P!  So excited!

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N is for Nest and Numbers

I sat the boys down with their N coloring pages Monday morning and when I checked on them a couple of minutes later Isaac had traced the letter N!  It took me by surprise.  I sometimes help him trace but he never had enough control/desire to do it on his own.  I credit the Writing App I talked about awhile ago.  It has obviously been helping his fine motor skills but I think he also finally made the connection that’s he’s writing letters and not just playing the game.  We started using it for writing numbers this week too.

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I know it seems like a little thing but it’s so fun for me to see the tiny steps of progression that they are making!!

The next day was Spanish day and the day that the boys go to my friend’s house for a couple of hours.  Her little girl is right between Isaac and the twins and they love to play.  She comes to our house once a week too.  They went outside and looked at the nido in the tree and talked about Noe and his ark.

We read lots of books about nests.  Isaac’s favorite by far was The Perfect Nest.  It’s pretty cute.  We read it approximately 9,845 times in the week we had it.

The twins have started showing me the letter Mmmmmm in every book now too.

The next Spanish day our little friend came over and we talked about los números, especially uno, dos y trés.  We played with the number magnets and counted and shouted and sang and read several counting books.  Carter was especially good at the shouting part.

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We also colored the Ñ page but didn’t really talk about that yet…

Isaac has been wanting to play all kinds of games lately…. but we don’t have any kid games.  So I created one using our Mancala game.  My inspiration was from this mommy blogger/tot schooler.  It’s a good challenge for him.  I think we’ll play it a lot in the future.

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On to letter O!

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M is for Monster, Momma and Monkey

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We finally started back up our “pre-school” this last week after a summer off.  It’s amazing what a couple of months can do for little guys’ attention/interest/ability.  It was so fun to do the letter M.

We got a bunch of monster and mama books from the library.

My Monster Mama Loves Me So, Mi Mamá, The Hungry Monster ABCs, The Monster Book of ABC Sounds, My Mom is Excellent and The Hungry Monster (these last two are both easy to translate to Spanish).

The first morning all we did was sing the alphabet song in Spanish and talked about the letter M for like 30 seconds.  I wasn’t feeling too creative that day.  But it took!  Isaac spent the next 30 minutes finding all of the letter Ms (big and small) in the library books.  Then all week whenever we read books he was on the look out for the letter M.  So cool!

Even the twins were more into things this week.  We learned about how every letter “talks” and they loved repeating the sounds with me.  Mmmmmm was fun for them.

Some more M activities:

Mariposa sandwiches (totally Pinterest worthy, I know…) 😉

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Muffins for breakfast.

Daddy did this next one while I was at choir practice.  One of the library books was The M&M’s Brand Color Pattern Book.  It was pretty much Isaac’s favorite book ever.  So we bought a big bag of M&M’s and Daddy helped the boys copy the patterns in the book.  Anything which includes sugar is always a big hit…

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Color Sorting

Color Sorting

If you ask Isaac what color something is, he has a hard time coming up with the name. Unless it’s purple. Purple’s his favorite.

BUT he loves sorting.  He will do this until he runs out of toys…or until his brothers destroy the piles…whichever comes first.  AND he actually says the right colors as he’s matching.  Go figure.

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L is for Lion

Two weeks of the letter L:

Annual Lagoon day with Great-Grandpa Hitchcock and the WHOLE family!

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Lasagna at grandma’s for Sunday dinner.

Lots of books about lions and lizards and lunas: Eli, Randy’s Dandy Lions, Latki and the Lightning Lizard (lots of L’s in the title but it’s kinda weird), The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol, La primera luna llena de gatita (my favorite of the week and Isaac’s too), Ay, Luna, luna, lunita.

Letter L and Luna shaped sugar cookies.

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Letter L week also coincided with the “super moon” so it would have been super duper to have the kids go look at la luna.  I considered it for about 15 seconds until I realized how far past their bedtime I’d have to keep them up.

Other non-L related summer activities: squishy bike rides in the trailer only meant for two, family bbqs and backyard swimming parties.

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Letter M is for Makeover…as in living room makeover!  I spent nap time tearing the wallpaper down in the entryway.  Hopefully by the end of the month we’ll have everything put back together again.

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K is for Koala

There are no good K words that mean the same thing in English and Spanish.  In case you were wondering.  Probably because K is not a real letter in Spanish.

Anyway, here is what we did for the letter of the week (or three weeks since we got home from Chicago….).

We ate kiwis.

And jumped like kangaroos.

We painted koalas (on Spanish day!)

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And flew kites….for about 15 minutes until the wind (which had been perfect all day) became too blustery… even for the Winnie the Pooh kite.

We also got to go watch uncle K-K-Kade in his skateboarding competition.  2013-06-04 16.30.232013-06-04 16.33.48

Mostly we played on the playground…

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We read lots of books about kangaroos and koalas, mostly from the non-fiction section.  They were nice but kind of boring, I thought.  My favorite picture book we got was Katy No-Pockets.  It was cute.

I’m excited for Letter L week– which happens to coincide with our family Lagoon Day!

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J is for Jump

I have a confession.

I don’t like to play with my kids.

Well, at least not ALL of the time. My patience doesn’t last long enough to read the same book 9,000 times and kick the soccer ball in the kitchen for hours at a time.  So, my solution to this momma failure is “preschool.”

I kind of hate to call it preschool because it’s not super formal or consistent. I just choose a letter to focus on for a week(ish) and then center our playtime, snacks and meals around the letter of the week.  It’s helping me spend more quality momma time with the boys and making our meal/snack times a little more creative.  I’ve found that having a theme for things that I don’t like doing (like cooking!!) suddenly makes the tasks so much easier.  Maybe it’s my obsession with having to organize everything that makes themes so motivating for me. I don’t know. But it’s working. So I thought I’d share what we’re doing.

At the beginning of the week I like to let Isaac watch the letter of the day playlists on Sesame Street while I get ready. Besides the videos, the playlists have little games to test the kids’ recognition of the letter and words that start with the letter. The games are a little advanced for Isaac so it makes me interact with him whenever he needs help (which I never do if I just sit him down in front of a whole episode).

I also found an app for the iPad called Little Writers that helps kids learn to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers, words and draw shapes. You can turn “on/off” each letter/number/word so that it tests the kids on just a couple of or all of them.  I am really excited that Isaac is starting to figure it out.  He gets so excited after he does every letter. Another plus is I can add in additional letters like ñ for Spanish days and I can even record my own voice saying the letters. So this week I had him practice writing letters H, I and J.  He had gotten really good at the straight lines of H and I and had a hard time with the J at first but he’s caught on!

One note about the iPad: I am taking a class (Teaching and Learning using the iPad) from UEN right now and found out something so amazing! If you open the settings app and go down to accessibility, you can turn on “guided access.”  This means that once you are in any given app, you can control what your kid does in that app.  They won’t even be able to exit it and get into other things! So awesome.  Why did I not know this before now?  All you have to do is turn it on in settings (don’t forget to set a passcode here too) and then open an app for your kid.  Once inside the app, triple click the home button and a guided access menu screen pops up.  Then you can choose the amount of control your child has as he’s using it. Brilliant.

This week we are learning about the letter J.  The twins are really into jumping with both feet right now so the first thing we did this week was jump, jump, jump in the kitchen. Carter likes to jump as many times in a row as he can until he falls on his bum.  Cooper concentrates really hard on not falling down. He’s getting pretty good!

We had J shaped pancakes on Spanish day with JUGO de naranja.

We made J shaped JELLO JIGGLERS (yes with green jello…we are Mormon after all) inspired by this mommy blogger.  Only Carter liked to eat them.  Cooper wouldn’t even touch his. Isaac was pretty hesitant but held his long enough for me to get a picture. So Carter ate all three letter Js…plus an extra.

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