Fishing, Fairs and Fairy Tales: Letter F Preschool Activities and Printable!

F

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My son’s favorite letter up to now has been B because it is the beginning of his name and the first letter he learned to recognize, but this week’s letter might become his new favorite. What is so special about the letter F? It is the first letter of his favorite activity: fishing! And to make it even better it is the first letter of our field trip for this week: the fair!

banjaminfish

We will be attending our State Fair this week and we are excited to be able to include that in our letter study! In addition to talking about the fair and how it starts with F, I created a scavenger hunt at the fair for things that begin with the letter F. You can download your copy of the scavenger hunt below. There are also some yummy treats at the fair that start with F. We always enjoy splitting a funnel cake and French fries are one of my son’s favorites.

Our nature study is going to focus on fish. While we may not be able to study those up close this week due to the weather we are going to look at his fish books, color pictures of fish, and hopefully find a few fish at the Marine Fisheries exhibit at the fair.

We will also cover the season of fall in our nature study. While fall officially started several weeks ago, this is the first week that we are slated to have fall weather! With the cooler temperatures it will be fun to go outside and look for changing leaves and other signs of fall. I also have a collection of fall books that I want to incorporate into our days.

My sons loves finger painting and I think that will be a fun sensory activity to help learn the letter F. We are a big fan of finger painting because it encourages fine motor skills, it is easy to clean up, and of course lots of fun. If it feels too messy you can choose a different activity or check out my post on making it easier to say yes to the messy activities.

My son’s favorite number at the moment is the number four. I think it maybe a rule when you are a small child that your favorite number matches your age. He wants to eat four of everything, do things for four minutes or four days, and put everything into groups of four. This is a great week to reinforce that number through counting, activities, and possibly add drawing the number 4 in finger paint to our letter activities.

Finally what better way to enjoy the letter F than with a few good fairy tales! There are so many great ways to enjoy fairy tales. We can read them in some of our favorite books, listen to them, watch a movie, or even make up our own fairy tales.

I hope this post gives you some ideas to get started with the letter F. Please share your ideas for letter F in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

Figs

Fig Newtons

Fish (gold fish)

Fruit Salad (This is a fun one for them to help make. They can use a lettuce knife to help cut and then mix it all together.)

Funnel Cake

French Fries

Fruit (and veggie) Flower Snacks

 

Extra Resources:

Letter F Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter f Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Fishing

Float/Sink experiment

Nature study on fish or ferns or fall

Finger Games

Fair (this one is seasonal but times out perfectly for us)

Fairy Tales (This 5 minute fairy tale book is free if you have kindle unlimited).

Letter F Fair Day Scavenger Hunt (FREE PRINTABLE)

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter F sensory bin pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

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Letter E Preschool Activities and Printable!

E

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

We are excited about all of the ‘E’ activities for this week! My son loves going out each morning to help his older brother collect eggs from our chickens and he has been learning how to scramble eggs so he will be thrilled to get to help make eggs for one of his ‘E’ foods. He is also working on counting and we are going to incorporate the number eight into our weekly studies. Even if your child is already comfortably counting past eight you can use numbers like eighteen or eighty.

eggs

My four year old, like many children his age, can have trouble expressing and explaining his emotions in appropriate ways. I hope to talk about emotions this week and help him with expressing those in constructive ways. I have included a website in the resources below that has some great activities and games to help with that concept. I also love the books, The Grouchy Ladybug  and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I plan to do a letter sort with all of the picture cards from the letters we have covered so far. We will lay out each letter and then have him place the pictures that start with that letter in the rows below the letter cards.

He loves animals so we may make one of these adorable elephant crafts if we have time. We will also use our craft dough to shape the letter E and maybe practice the letters that we have already covered.

Our nature study is going to focus on eggs. We are going to look at the eggs from our chickens and ducks as well as looking at books and information about other bird eggs. We can study how they are various colors, shapes, and sizes. You can also talk about how many people think about birds when you talk about eggs, but other animals such as turtles and fish also lay eggs.

 

Please share your ideas for letter E in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

  • Eggs
  • Enchiladas
  • English Muffins
  • Elephant Ears (no not real ones… the fried dough ones)
  • Eclairs (this is a great mom snack!)

 

Extra Resources:

Letter E Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter e Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Nature study on eggs, egrets, or eels

Work on the number 8 (jump 8 times, find 8 rocks)

Work on Emotions concept (excited/sad/mad)

Experiment with elastic

Learn about electricity

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter E Sensory Bin pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Letter D Preschool Activities and Printable!

D

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I want to be transparent, we did none of the ‘C’ activities on our list last week. Our schooling was put on hold as we dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. While our family was blessed to still have a safe and dry home, many people in our community were not so fortunate. Once roads were passable and our power restored we worked with our church to help those that needed assistance. We are still helping but hope to fit in both some C and D activities this week to get caught back up. I’d love to hear what you did for letter C.

This week we will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “D” snacks, sorting through the cards from all four of the letters, and doing some dirt themed ideas. My four year old loves dirt and will be thrilled to do anything that involves playing in dirt or getting dirty. I think we may use dirt for our sensory letter activity by doing a ‘dirt’ tray instead of a sand tray and letting him trace his letters.

 

Please share your ideas for letter D in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

  • Dates
  • Doughnuts
  • Dirt Cake
  • Dolmas (This may be a new food for many preschoolers but my son loves these stuffed grape leaves and they can be found in many grocery stores).
  • Dairy

 

Extra Resources:

Letter D Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter d Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Nature study on dirt! (Use a magnifying glass to look at how dirt is different in different places or what you can find in the dirt.  You can even experiment to see what happens to the dirt if you add water or if you sift it through a sieve. )

Dashing… practice running fast, maybe even set up some lines and time yourselves

Drawing

Dates/Days (You can begin working on calendar skills or days of the week. There are some really fun songs to help learn the days of the week.)

Dollars (You can begin talking about money and the concept of dollars and coins.)

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter D sensory bin pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Ireland By The Way (Review)

IMG_20180827_173012_831

 

Is it a book? Is it a unit study? Is it a Bible lesson? Is it a geography course? Is it a fun family activity? I found that Ireland By the Way from the By the Way Book Series was all of this and more! This is the first time I had read any books from By the Way and I was really impressed.  It felt like so much more than a story book but yet it was still a fun read aloud for the whole family.

We started reading this book under very normal circumstances as a family read aloud and we were really enjoying it. When we were about half way through the book a major hurricane hit our town and caused a lot of stress and power outages for multiple days. We would sit in our living room at night and read pages from this book by lantern light. The children loved hearing it and it was a welcome break from the stresses that were going on around us.

While I sometimes find things that try to include too many subjects become confusing  or seem disjointed, in this book the author did a wonderful job of including them in a very natural flow that did not make us feel like she was jumping around from topic to topic. We used this book as a family read aloud and discussion starter. However, it could honestly easily be turned into a unit study because it includes so many different topics woven into the story but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

I should first tell you that this is the story of two children and their mother on a trip to Ireland to meet extended family members and see all the sites of that beautiful country.  We journey with them from Wicklow Mountains (and the wonderful wildlife) to a 5th Century Lighthouse and then on to a castle. They continued their tour through Ireland visiting other castles, cottages, cliffs, and even doing one our families hobbies, geocaching. My twelve year old son even said, “she wrote it so that I felt like I was traveling with them and with the pictures I felt like I could really see the places.”

 

Along the way we learned about a variety of subjects. At the lighthouse we learned not only about the lighthouse but about the whales and dolphins that live in the waters there. Then at the cliffs we learned about the birds and other animals that are common in that area. In another place we learned more about the history of the Titanic and even legends of fairies and leprechauns. Intertwined into the story were many Biblical lessons such as the power of the tongue when they saw the Blarney Stone to the wonder of God’s creation as they visited the Cliffs of Moher. As we went through the book there were many great discussion topics. We enjoyed a good conversation about how we can use our tongue for good and needing to be careful not to use it to cause harm.

There were fun facts about the animals, rivers, and other places they were visiting in sidebars along the various pages. These easily could have been used to expand the learning and be the jumping off point for a larger lesson. For example, when we learned about Puffins the children thought they were very interesting and so we may go back and study them further. They also enjoyed learning that Ireland has dolphins which were already a favorite of theirs because we have them here in North Carolina as well.

Ireland By the Way is part of the By the Way Book Series and each one is set in a different geographical location and includes information to help teach a Christian worldview. I hope to continue reading these with my children for fun family read alouds that spark great discussions. To check out some of the other great titles in this series or see how others used the book make sure to check out the other Review Crew reviews! I would love to hear in the comments which of the locations you would like to read.

 

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Letter C Preschool Activities and Printable!

c

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Our second week back was quite different than the first! This week has been a whirlwind for us as we prepare for Hurricane Florence. I’m writing this and setting it to post on the blog just before she hits so that you will have next weeks letter resources even if we do not have power. We had really hoped to do bird study to go with the letter B but between hurricane prep and many of the birds leaving before the storm we have delayed that part of our lesson. He did enjoy ‘reading’ the new Young Naturalist Backyard Birds Field Guide that I picked up for him. It is perfect because it has most of the birds we normally see on our walks but isn’t’ so long as to be overwhelming to a young child. Hopefully once the storm is over we can get back to our walks and identify the birds that we see.

The letter B was a review for him because it was the very first letter that he learned since it is also the first letter of his name. This was a blessing this week with my limited time. He was able to practice writing the letter B and review A by painting them with his paint brush. We also looked at the picture cards and have plans for him to use his sensory bin while we are hunkered down waiting out the storm. It should be a good quiet activity for him.

B painting

We also thoroughly enjoyed ‘B’ foods this week. The big kids got into figuring out ideas and we went a little further than normal. We had bagels, breakfast burritos, bananas, blueberry dessert, and even biscuits. My daughter cooked the biscuits and surprised him with one in the shape of a ‘B’.

This week we will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “C” snacks, sorting through the cards from all three of the letters, and doing some camping themed ideas. We had actually planned a three day family camping trip and the timing was working out perfectly, however, the storm has postponed that trip. Depending on the weather and storm damage we will either camp in the backyard one night or set up a ‘tent’ in the living room and pretend to camp.  I even have a great book of camping poetry that we can read together.

Coloring is always a fun activity. He can color the letter ‘C’ or just his own creation. He also really enjoys the chalk pastel lessons from ‘You Are an Artist‘ so I will be sure to include a couple of those if we have power and internet.  He knows his colors but does sometimes get a couple of them confused so we might do some fun activities with colors to reinforce that concept.

I would love to do a nature study on creeks because there is so much so see and do at the creek. They are great places for play and exploration (supervised of course) under normal conditions. However, with the predicted flooding we will probably postpone that study as well. If you are in an area not affected by the storm I highly recommend spending some time observing at a local creek.

Please share your ideas for letter C in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

  • Cheeses
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Clementines
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Crackers

 

Extra Resources:

Letter C Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter c Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Coloring

Work on Crunchy/Soft concept

Nature Study on cicadas, creeks or crickets depending on what you have nearby.

Camping (real or pretending in your living room or back yard)

Homework and Horseplay has some great ideas for a camping themed tea time!

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter C sensory bin pictures  to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Letter B Preschool Activities and Printable!

B

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Our first week went wonderfully! I know that it may not always be as smooth but he was so excited to have his own work and feel like one of the ‘big’ kids. He loved learning all about letter A and practicing finding it and writing it. He also loves our nature studies so he enjoyed finding ‘ants’ and learning about them.  I thought we were going to work with shaving cream and drawing our letters but we switched it up and made the letter A with Play Doh for one of our tactile activities.

This week we will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “B” snacks, doing some physical activities with balls, and a study on birds. Now that we have two letters worth of cards we can also start working on sorting them and matching the picture with the beginning sound.

I’m really excited about the bird study because my son loves birds! We often take walks to look for birds and we even got him an inexpensive bird feeder to hang in our front yard so that he could watch the birds from the kitchen window. Bird studies can be as simple as sitting outside and watching for birds. If your child shows interest there are also some great simple bird guides both in print and online to help you identify the birds. You could even just talk about their size and colors.

bird picture

He has a set of sorting bears that we may use to work on the concept of big and small in keeping with the ‘b’ theme (big bears). This is a great way to also help develop fine motor skills. You could also use stuffed animals or other household objects.

Remember that it is important to keep it simple and engaging. Children learn best through play, so while we will learn about the letter B I want to keep it fun and active. This is one letter that my son actually already knows (it is the first letter in his name) but I think it will be fun to review the letter. Also, keep in mind that letting them help prepare the snacks can be a great way to start teaching them the valuable life skill of cooking and preparing food.

Snack Ideas:

  • Banana
  • Biscuits
  • Blueberries
  • Bagels

Extra Resources:

Letter B Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter b Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Play Ball (This is a great way to get in some physical activity and work on gross and fine motor skills.)

Nature Study on Birds or Bees ( This can be done for free by just going outside and observing nature at your home or local park, but if you want to attract more birds to your yard or make it an on going project you can add in an inexpensive bird feeder or this simple field guide for backyard birds.)

Work on Big/Small or Bitter/Sweet concepts (You can use sorting bears or choose activities from around the house to work on big/small and for bitter/sweet you can choose simple foods like lemon juice/ candy or fruit)

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter B sensory bin pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is on sale only through 9/10. Normally Healthy Living isn’t a big part of what I blog about BUT one of the courses that I love for our homeschool, the Fit2B Girls E Course is included with this bundle AND the entire bundle is cheaper than the ecourse is regularly priced by itself.  There are 96 wonderful products included in this bundle with resources for your whole family.

 

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Reading Eggs Review and FREEBIE!

When I agreed to review Reading Eggs, I thought I knew exactly what to expect because my daughter had used this program several years ago. We enjoyed the program then, but I was very pleased and surprised to see how much more it included now.

Online Reading Eggs SuiteFor this review I was using Reading Eggs with my four year old son.  I was a little concerned about whether or not it would be too difficult for him as he has just recently started expressing interest in letters and numbers. However, when I logged in I found that not only could he work on the reading eggs program that I remembered but they have a new section that is designed for ages 2-4. This gave us a lot of flexibility.

readingeggs5

When we tried the first lesson of the regular reading eggs (designed for ages 3-7) my son was able to do it but it was a little more difficult and he honestly did not really enjoy it. I feel that it is a great program and some children may be ready for it at age three but some children will need to be a little older before they are ready for that component. It started with the letter m and was teaching the sound (not the letter name) using a variety of activities related to m. He did the first activity or two but grew tired of it before the lesson was over, but he could easily go back and finish at his own pace.

Though my son was not quite ready for that portion of the program it is still a great program. Reading Eggs starts at the very beginning with letter sounds and continues through fluent reading, their highest levels Reading Eggspress works on reading comprehension and fluency for children ages 7-13. It is a fun and thorough program that works great to help improve a child’s reading ability.  Luckily for us, they also now have Reading Eggs Junior.

 

When we tried the Reading Eggs Junior section (ages 2-4), we knew we had found the right fit. He absolutely loved it and could not get enough. They had books that he could look at and listen as they were read aloud, short videos that worked on letters and other educational concepts, and lots of different games to help him with preschool level skills.

readingeggs6

He knows all of his colors but really enjoyed playing the color games where he would match part of an object to the rest of the object in the same color. For example, they might have a purple and a pink car and two cut out circles form the cars (one in each color). He would then have to move the colored circle into the right spot.  He enjoyed a game where he had to sort butterflies onto flowers based on their color.

They also had counting games, alphabet games, puzzles and more. The one thing we noticed with the games is that you needed to be used to using a mouse in order to successfully complete the activity. While many children have this skill, it was not something that my four year old had mastered because most of the time he does his activities on the kindle and uses a touch screen. He did get more proficient with the mouse as he worked through various activities.

Each game/activity is done in a map style layout (see the pictures above) and gets progressively harder. They program will let him return to one he has already completed but it will not let him move ahead until he completes that level. This helps keep the children from getting frustrated by the difficulty level. I should also note that in the regular Reading Eggs program it is set up in a similar manner but children can take a placement test to determine where they need to start so that they do not have to go through the lessons from the beginning.

My one real complaint about the program is that it is not compatible with Kindle. While this will not be an issue for many families, we find that logistically it is better if my son’s programs can be done on our kindle. He is better able to navigate the kindle than our desktop and can be more independent. However, this is still a wonderful program and we will work around the kindle issue using it on our desktop. Thankfully, my older children enjoy helping him and can assist him when I am not available.

If this sounds like a program that might be a good fit for your child, I have a wonderful offer for you. Reading Eggs has agreed to give my readers a FREE four week trial of the program. This is a great way for you to try it out and see if it is a good fit for your family.

In addition to the wonderful online program, Reading Eggs has just released new workbooks to accompany the program. While we did not personally use them I am hearing some great things from the reviewers that used the new workbooks and I encourage you to check out the other reviews to learn more about those.

Online Reading Eggs Suite {Reading Eggs Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Letter A Preschool Activities and Printable!

A

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

As a part of our relaxed preschool plan and my son’s strong desire to learn his letters we are going to study a letter each week. Each week I’ll share snack ideas, sensory bin cards, crafts and other resources for that letter. I strongly encourage you to use only what seems to work for your child and keep it fun.  It is far better to wait until they are ready to learn than to push them too early.

We will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “A” snacks, practicing making the letter in shaving cream, and doing an ant nature study this week. We won’t be able to pick apples for another couple of weeks but we may also do some fun apple pages from the extra resources depending on how interested my four year old seems to be as the week progresses.

Snack Ideas:

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus (might be better with dinner but still a fun ‘A’ food)
  • Ants on a Log (celery w/ nut butter and raisins)

Extra Resources:

Letter A Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter a Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Apple Picking

Ant Nature Study (you can observe them outside, create a habitat in a jar, or purchase an ant farm)

 

Don’t forget to download your free Letter A Sensory Bin Pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

Fall in Love with Art - You ARE an Artist Clubhouse

You Are An Artist Clubhouse Memberships are now Open for enrollment! and having a 25% off Sale through September 4th!!

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Read-Aloud Family Chapters 3-4

Capture
Our favorite hero tale, even if we are a bit biased.

 

Sometimes I watch the news (or my newsfeed) and I get fearful for the world that my children will live in as adults. I know that 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV) However, it can be so easy to worry about preparing them for the troubles of this world without inundating them with problems at a young age.  I love how chapter three of The Read-Aloud Family talks about the effects of reading aloud about great heroes and the positive effects it can have on our children.

I want my children to grow up to be prepared to stand up for truth. I want them to be willing to do great things for the Lord even in the face of adversity. I know that they may well face persecution for staying true to their beliefs and I’m often not sure how to prepare them for that possibility without unnecessarily scaring them. Realizing that I am preparing them to stand up to those challenges simply by reading them stories of others that have acted heroically.

When we read the Chronicles of Narnia or the Green Ember my children learn that there may be difficulties, ‘white witches’ and ‘lords of prey’ but that they can stand up to them and fight the battles that lie ahead. We read about sad times and troubling abuse in The War that Saved My Life but they learn that people can make  a real positive difference in the lives of others. All of these important life lessons simply through picking up a book and reading.

We have to push forward and make decisions about what is worth out time and what is not-about what gets our best attention, what gets our peripheral attention, and what gets no attention at all.

In chapter four, she switches from the ideals of heroism to the academic effects of reading aloud. Often I think we tend to worry that when we focus on our ‘ideals’ we neglect the academics or vice versa and struggle to find that balance.

I struggle in trying to challenge them academically, guide and nurture them spiritually, spend quality time enjoying each other, and all of the other necessary tasks in life (for some crazy reason my kids all want three meals a day and a number of snacks.) This means that my attention is pulled in many directions and I sometimes have to say no to good things in order to focus on what is best.

I love how these two chapters show that reading aloud is beneficial both in sharing our family ideals and in strengthening academics. We do not have to choose, we can work on both at the same time. The story of the young college student who thought she was short changed because she had less math and science but more reading really stuck out to me. I have often said that if you could read you could learn anything you needed to know, but I love seeing a real life example of that philosophy.

I’ll end this post with the quote that ended chapter four because I think it sums up so well the benefits of reading aloud. ” And so, while I continue to daydream and wonder about what my children will one day become and what great vision God has for each of their lives, I’ll do the one thing I know will best prepare them for it all. It’s free. Its easy. And it’s the most effective way to help my kids succeed academically. I’ll read aloud.

Deals and Freebies!!

 

Peter Rabbit Collection Audiobook for only .48 cents! (at the time of posting always check prices)

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

 

Resource Library

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Read Aloud Family Chapter 2

 

 Whether we are visiting Podo’s Garden in Aerwair,  a snowy hovel in Narnia or Ramona Quimby’s Cellar on Klickitat Street, a little spark is lit. We all know it only takes a spark to start a wildfire.

What do a walrus and an ant have to do with reading aloud? I won’t spoil the story in case you haven’t read this chapter in Read Aloud Family but it was a great reminder that we need to be able to notice the little things. We don’t need to miss those small important moments waiting for something big.  To often I’m missing the ants waiting for the walrus. I don’t take the chance to look at the flowers with my son, to watch bubbles blowing through the air, or to take that five minutes to read a chapter in our book together.

In the interest of transparency, sibling relationships is something that we’ve been really trying to work on in our house. I love the part about how those stories we read become something that they shared and help to create deep friendship between siblings. I can already see how some of the books we have read have given my children a common language and inside jokes that bring them closer together. For example, my husband likes to joke around and use his Aslan voice to get their attention, calling out ” Oh Children’.” Every time we go to hotel that has a wardrobe in the room it is the first place they run to, climbing in for an adventure to Narnia. We are still working on those relationships, but I love the idea that my time reading aloud can benefit those relationships and help to draw them closer.

Stories are comfort food. Stories are inside jokes. Stories are ant moments. They bond us together even when life is hard. When we pull a child on our lap and break open the pages of a book, we’re taking them by the hand and walking them into a quiet garden in the center of a noisy polluted city.

Life can get so busy and our days so full of the urgent things in life: dishes, laundry, bills, cleaning, work, school, etc. We can get disconnected from the ones we love and care about most. Reading aloud is an easy way to bring us all together, to leave the business behind and enjoy some moments together. It doesn’t take a lot of preparation or money, just a few moments and a good book.

When my head hits the pillow each night I want to know that I have done the one most important thing: I have fostered warm, happy memories and created lifelong bonds with my kids– even when the rest of life feels hard.

This chapter hit home and stepped on my toes a little bit. Too often I get busy and I’m rushing around and I miss the little things the important things. I’m going forward with a renewed determination to enjoy the everyday moments and be focused on the here and now. I want to know that I spent each day doing what was most important even if what is most important are the little things.  I leave you with this quote from chapter 2, “success in parenting my kids means showing up and giving my best to what matters most right now. Which means, of course, that I have to know what matters most right now.”

Resource Library

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

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