Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quickie Update Post

What we're working on and what's working for us (or not) right now:
  • Preschool Prep Meet the Sight Words: He doesn't voluntarily ask for these videos, but he does now point out these words in print and on placemats and stuff. "Mom, look, 'of!' That's a sight word."
  • Jacqui and Colin Hawkins phonics books: These are basically flip books, but they have cute stories to go with the rhymes and they make a nice break when J won't look at the next BOB Book.
  • Kumon Workbooks: We love these but J's writing skills need a great deal of, uh, development, so we'll probably slow down and practice writing letters and numbers with other materials before continuing too far.
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder: We've started doing one longer read-aloud in addition to shorter picture books. After Googling just enough to find this paper "Kansas Settlers on the Osage Diminished Reserve: A Study of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie," I have chosen to censor out all mention of Native Americans from this particular book. (For the record, there was one branch of my family that were very much "pioneers," always the first settlers in a newly opened land, and after while I realized, oh, they were just always early to capitalize on the federal government's regular displacement of Indians. Sigh.) The first Little House book was a better read-aloud match for us than this one, which has so far included a great deal of somewhat technical construction descriptions. I think we'll pause this series after Prairie and work on something else. Possible next titles: Mr. Popper's Penguins or Finn Family Moomintroll (Common Core selections), or James Herriot's Treasury for Children.
  • Montessori school seems to be a big hit. It's been about 10 weeks since the transition and J likes everything but nap. He has a little gang of guy friends, but he seems to get along OK with everyone, despite having become very sexist at the ripe old age of three. ("I only play with boys. I'm only friends with boys.") There's endless preschool psychology I could share with you (both peer relations and academic), but for now I'll just report that he seems to be a very proper Montessorian. Every morning, he gives us a perfunctory kiss and then walks off to his "work" without a backward glance; handshake with eye contact for teacher, and then busy for hours, including a near-daily bracelet-beading exercise. (We have quite a collection by now!)

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