Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cats, Cupcakes and the Letter C!

After a two week break we are back! This has been the month of birthday parties and celebrations. March is a busy, crazy month! 

Today's preschool lesson was done in stages throughout the whole day. That wouldn't be how I would normally choose to do school but with a teething baby and everybody fighting colds it was the best we could do. Ethan didn't seem to mind though and it kept him busy off and on. 

 We always begin our morning with prayer, a devotional (today's was from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers), and Sunday School songs.

I wanted to teach Ethan about the letter C and he loves the book, If You Give A Cat A Cupcake, so that was the theme of the day. 

Ethan with his name tag that says "Ethan is ready for fun with Cat!"
Earlier this morning I went out to our sandbox and hid a bunch of seashells and random items (like a shoe, comb, hat, book, etc.). After we read the story I told Ethan we were going to a pretend beach in our backyard to look for seashells and a few other things as well. He was completely confused and looked at me like I was crazy. So I proceeded to dig in the sand and before long I found a seashell! Ethan looked at me with wonder in his eyes and I'm sure he was thinking how in the world did that get there?? He was hooked after that and had so much fun finding items in the sand. He especially loved the seashells and every time he found a random item like a shoe, he'd say "that's silly!" 

 After we came inside Ethan got to decorate his own cupcake with markers, crayons and stickers. 

 We also worked on a connect the dots worksheet and a match the items worksheet relating to the story. These worksheets came from an activity booklet found on the website. 

Remember the teething baby I mentioned earlier?? Well, here he is in all his glory. :) 

He sure is cute though and I can't wait till he's old enough to join in on the preschool fun!

Later in the day we learned about the letter C on This is a great website and I highly recommend it!!

After dinner we got the chance to decorate our own cupcakes. I of course had no sprinkles on hand!! And you can't read If You Give A Cat A Cupcake and then decorate your own cupcake and not have sprinkles!! So I quickly found some packs of Smarties and crushed them up, and we had sprinkles! I'm pretty sure this activity was Ethan's favorite part of the day! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

M is for Monkey

Exhausted is the word that comes to mind as I write this post. I had no idea how much time and energy goes into parenting! I love my boys to pieces, they are my delight and joy, but they are wearing me out! :) I have so much respect for my own mother, she was and is truly Super Mom! All this to say that I've decided for now, while Ethan is still 2, we're only going to do preschool one day a week. Thursday will be that special day. Today highlighted the letter M and the focus was on monkeys of course!

Here are my monkeys ready to learn!

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read today’s devotional (from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers)
  • Sing Sunday School songs

Story and Music Time:
  • Read Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed (by Eileen Christelow)
Ethan had a blast singing Five Little Monkeys with the puppets and bed. I made the bed out of a cereal box and construction paper. The puppets were made by printing out monkey clip-art from Microsoft Word and then pasting onto craft sticks.

  • Bananas of course!

Online Learning:


After our structured preschool time I always have the special book basket available with books containing titles or themes with the letter of the week. Ethan loves to read the stories to himself. I love that he has a love of reading! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's potty training time!

This week has been interesting to say the least. Ethan just turned 2 1/2 and he started waking us up in the mornings asking to go potty. For three mornings straight he had already done his business by the time he came to tell us...and we're not talking "number 1" if you know what I mean. On the fourth morning he woke me up the same way but I found he hadn't quite finished his business. He insisted on sitting on the potty so I quickly took him to the bathroom. He grabbed a story and lo and behold "number 2" made its way into the potty! I almost broke out into the Hallelujah Chorus!! I figured we'd take the rest of the week and work on potty training. 

One thing I'm learning for sure about potty training, it requires incredible amounts of patience!! We started the first few days going commando, implementing rewards, etc. Ethan has done really well. I think mentally he totally gets it but physically he's not quite ready and that's okay. I've backed off the "boot camp" method and I'm going to just let him lead. I know when he's ready he'll do what he needs to do. However, I figured it wouldn't hurt to spend a day of preschool learning more about potty training!

Yummy gummy bears from Trader Joe's are good motivation!

Ethan with his potty chart. He gets to add a sticker for each successful potty time. Once the chart is full he'll get something extra special.

Bible lesson: 
  • Open in prayer
  • Read today’s devotional (from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers)
  • Sing Sunday School songs

Story Time:
  • Read The New Potty (by Gina and Mercer Mayer)
  • Read I Want to Potty (by Izzy Neis)

Music Time:

Online Learning:

Coloring Activity:

Learning Activity:                                       
  • Wet and Dry activity:
    • Let Ethan feel wet and dry first-hand with a pair of mittens. Keep one mitten dry, then dunk the other mitten in a tub of water. Let Ethan try both of them on and see what each one feels like. Talk about the difference. Which feels better? (from
I didn't have mittens to fit Ethan's hands so I used two of his socks.

Ethan loved this experiment. He absolutely couldn't stand the feeling of the wet mitten and couldn't wait to get it off! We talked about how when you go potty in your big boy pants they feel like that wet mitten, yuck!

Puppet Play:

The puppet theater was Ethan's favorite part!! He loved acting out the steps of potty training, over and over again. :) 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A quick review

Thursday was spent reviewing the letters we've learned so far: F, P, T and A. This class was very simple and fairly short. Sometimes less is more and Ethan really enjoyed the morning.

I will confess that I'm finding it difficult to plan lessons and maintain all my other family and household responsibilities. I know this will only become more difficult as our family grows. Organization and time management are areas I need to improve. I'm praying for God's guidance and strength as I learn how to balance everything. Only He can help me accomplish what I see as impossible!!

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read the story of God’s special promise to Abraham (the Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 56)
  • Sing Father Abraham song

After singing through the Father Abraham song with Ethan while doing all the motions, I had to stop for a second and wait for the room to stop spinning. Talk about being dizzy and nauseous! Is that a sign I'm getting old? That I can't nod my head up and down while turning around and around? I don't remember that from when I was a child and Ethan certainly wasn't affected by it. He just stared at me like I was crazy when I told him mommy needed a minute. :)

Review and Assessment:
  • Review letters F, P, T and A while reciting “What Do I See?” chant (look at pictures in PowerPoint presentation)
    • What Do I See? (Letters and Sounds pre-K book, p.67)
Teacher:              [F], [F]; what do you see?!
What do you see that begins with [F]?
                                Children:             I see a [fish]; that’s what I see,
                                                                That’s what I see that begins with [F]!

This chant made reviewing so much fun!! Ethan loved shouting out the letters and words while I showed him the different pictures. We will definitely use this chant again!

Guided Instruction:                                   
  • Sticker activity (Complete the tomato, carrot, eggplant, and cucumber from the Let’s Sticker and Paste workbook)
  • Learning to trace lines activity (Preschool Skills book, p. 11)

Activity Center:
  • Shopping for letters:
    • Collect empty food containers
    • Label with letters (use letters already learned like F, P, T and A and a few new letters like C, N and W)
    • Give Ethan a shopping list and have him go shopping for the matching letter

This shopping activity was so much fun for Ethan and we will be using this again in the near future. When we first started I didn't think he was understanding what he was supposed to do. But he figured it out pretty quick and he loved it! It was fun watching him get so excited about finding the matching letter! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rainy days and baby food

Because of the rain today Ethan was bored out of his gourd and needed something to do! So he got his first lesson in baby food making.

I've made different kinds of baby food before but this was my first time making peaches. I get all of my ideas and recipes from

  1. Wash the peaches, cut in half and place face down in a pan of water 1 inch high.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until soft. It took me about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the skins and pit.
  4. Puree and blend in a food processor until smooth (use the reserve water from the baking pan if needed for thinning out).
  5. Pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
Once the food freezes I remove from the tray and place in a freezer bag. I label the bag with the type of food and date stored. 

For this project I only had two peaches left and those two peaches ended up filling 7 ice cubes. Each ice cube is about 1 ounce, so I have seven ounces of peaches. Next week I'll be buying a whole bag of peaches and making a whole lot more baby food. 

After the peaches were finished baking, I had Ethan stand on a chair next to me to assist in removing the skins. He didn't like the texture at all and giggled while saying "ooh, yuck." So I removed the skins while he laughed at me. Then we placed the peaches in the food processor. I showed him how to turn it on and off. He did a great job of remembering which button did what and would turn it on and off when I asked. 

As I filled up the ice tray I had him practice his counting. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!!"

When we were all finished I let him sample the peaches and he got to clean off the spoon, his favorite part!! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The ants are still marching...

 Today was a fun preschool day. I truly enjoyed the time with Ethan. Keeping my expectations realistic and trying to be more relaxed made a difference in the way he responded to learning today. 

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read today’s devotional from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers
  • Read On Noah’s Ark (by Jan Brett)
  • Sing Arky, Arky Song and Noah’s Ark Song

Online learning and Music Time:
  • Watch animated videos about the letter A and the sound /a/ (
  • Sing Hooray for A! (Letter & Sounds pre-K book)
(sung to “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you see the letter A, shout, “Hooray!”
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”
A for animal and ant; A for apple trees we plant.
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”

Snack Time:
  • Create Ants on a Log snack (using pretzels, peanut butter, raisins)

Guided Instruction:

  • Complete the Animals Two by Two Craft (Christian Craft book, p.9)
  • Highlighting activity (Highlight the letter A from a magazine ad)

Free Play:
  • Create ants using play-dough
  • Recreate Noah’s ark scene using play-dough and animal shape cutters
The only thing we didn't get to do today was free play with play-dough. We decided to meet some friends at the park instead. That's okay though because it gives us something to do tomorrow! :)