I am hopelessly late in writing this post for last week. Sorry to keep you waiting! The holiday season has kept me running faster than I can keep up.
I started DJ on a modified version of Phonetic Object boxes. This is an early reading activity where a set of objects and written labels are matched. Typically the labels would be written on slips of paper and I may eventually get there but without the time to prepare the materials in advance, I punted and wrote the words out with the movable alphabet and then had DJ match the objects.
Although he finds this activity to be easy, when I tell him that he is reading he says "nuh-uh, it's not like I could read a book or anything." I am constantly shown over and over that DJ's struggles will not be about lack of understanding but rather lack of confidence in his own abilities.
I taught DJ his first "sight word" this week. Since the word "I" is such a useful word, I printed several copies of it, laminated the page and cut them out in the same size as our movable alphabet letters. DJ is able to read action words like sit, run, dig, cut - so now with the word "I" he can make full sentences.
I also set out the newest continent box for DJ this week, to go with the Asia continent puzzle map. You can see it there on the shelf, the yellow box with the brown lid. I snapped this picture because DJ was playing with his train right there but didn't notice the box until the next day!
Once he did discover the box he couldn't wait to dig right in. I'll need to write a post about what's in the box as soon as I have the time to take pictures of it all.
He particularly liked the paper doll books this time. I have at least one of these books in each continent box, but for Asia I have 4! Japan, Singapore, Russia & China. In this photo you can see him putting warm pants on a girl from Russia.
I didn't get a picture of it, but he also dressed the girl from China. You can see the cover of the China book in the photo above that shows a little girl wearing a red pants suit with black trim and a yellow pattern.
As DJ was dressing the girl in her red pants suit, it triggered a memory for me of one of DJ's best friends, shown in this picture celebrating Chinese New Year last year with her little sister. I showed DJ this picture saying she was dressed just like the girl in his book. But he insisted his friend's clothing wasn't at all like the book because she didn't have black trim. Hah!
After exploring the contents of the box for a bit, DJ turned to Asia puzzle map. I am SO grateful for the labeled control maps. There are only about 3-4 countries on this map that I could have accurately named without it. DJ loves the tiny puzzle piece for the island of Sri Lanka. He declared "it's so little only one person could live there!"
Once he had successfully placed all the puzzle pieces on the control and then returned them to the frame, DJ begged to do the flags. And that's when I realized I was not at all prepared for that activity! For the other continents we have done, I had prepared photos of each capital city with their country name & flag labeled on the back. I had then used those to help me direct DJ on placing the toothpick flag onto a printed map. But in my excitement to set out the Asia box, I had completely forgotten! And of course this is one of DJ's very favorite things to do! So I quickly printed an outline of Asia and then spent a grueling time googling country flags as DJ pinned them to the map. I am very grateful to live in an age where I can type "green flag white moon star" into my iPhone and instantly learn that is the flag of Pakistan! I honestly don't know how you could be a homeschool parent without Google! Lol.
Although it is not directly homeschool related, this blog would not be complete without describing DJ's absolute love for Christmas. He first fell in love with this season last year and has waited with anticipation all year for it to come again. On Dec 1st, we started the advent calendar again, using the quilted version DJ's grandma made for his last year. It has 24 pockets each labeled with a number. Each day I put a piece of chocolate and sometimes a candy cane in that day's pocket. To help DJ see the progression of the month, we label the current day with a piece of green construction paper and all previous days have a piece of red paper in the pockets. We're only a few days into the month and I can already tell what a difference it makes for DJ to understand the numbers 1 to 24. Being able to count allows him to conceptualize how much time is left between now and Christmas in a way he just didn't get last year. But of course that doesn't stop him from asking me nearly every hour of every day "is it Christmas yet?"
Another part of the advent calendar this year is that DJ is getting a "new" Christmas book each day. I found a great list of Christmas books online and then went on Half.com to buy them. I technically paid $0.75 for each book but S&H was about $2.50 each but still a great price for gently used books! I just read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to DJ the other night and the poor boy was HORRIFIED! Having all of Christmas stolen is about the worst thing DJ could imagine.
This is what DJ did for fun on Saturday. He rolled the dice and built the number with number cards and Golden Beads. Then he let his dad roll the dice to see how many beads he'd be allowed to steal from DJ. Then DJ counted how many beads he had left after the theft. As you can see, math is still not possible without the help of a truck or two.
Happy "almost" Christmas!!