Sunday, May 29, 2016

Our 2015-2016 Homeschool Year Part 6

Our 2015-2016 homeschool year is now officially complete!

What a blessed, busy, and productive school year we have had!

Having quite successfully completed our 5th year of homeschooling, I thought it would be neat to do a series of posts looking back over our year!

Check out the previous posts:
Part 1 - Spelling
Part 2 - English
Part 3 - History
Part 4 - Science
Part 5 - Math

This will be the final post in this year in review series. Today, I want to look back and see all that Little Brother has done!

Tot School

Little Brother just turned 2 in April, and while he's way too young for "formal" homeschooling, he is at the perfect age to explore and to develop a love for learning.

He still spends a large amount of his time in very unstructured ways just playing and roaming around from this to that. Making messes seems to be a favorite pass time; but he also enjoys helping me with chores like loading the washer/dryer or sweeping the kitchen. Just his being here to see Big Brother doing his school activities and taking part in our family's day to day routine is a big part of his "education" at this point.

One area Little Brother has especially excelled in over this past year has been Scripture memorization! You may remember that we have used the Scripture Talk DVD this year which teaches KJV Scripture passages using fun hand motions. One of Little Brother's greatest joys has been joining in as Big Brother has practiced reciting passages. From gentle daily exposure our toddler has learned Psalm 1, Psalm 100, Matthew 7:24-27, Mark 12:38-34, Ephesians 4:25-32, Ephesians 6:10-18, and John 3:16. Take a look at my blog post about toddlers and Scripture memory here

Another favorite for Little Brother is music. He absolutely LOVES music!! He and I have enjoyed attending local Kindermusik classes that are just perfect for his age group! He learns songs so easily, and some of his favorites are hymns like "What a Day That Will Be," "Amazing Grace," and "Trust and Obey." These he has learned simply from my husband and I singing them to him at naptimes and bedtime. He has a Melissa & Doug piano of his own, a First Act guitar, and a Little Tikes drum.This little dude is a one man band! Any toys that play songs are favorites. He enjoys listening to our local Christan radio station, and his current favorite group to listen to on CD for trips in the van is an acapella quartet called Garment of Praise. He can sing most of the songs on his favorite Garment of Praise CD.

I have ABeka's Nursery Arts and Crafts book which is mostly coloring sheets and simple crafts for learning colors and shapes. We have not ended up using all of this book, but Little Brother does know colors and basic shapes extremely well from just talking about all the colors around him everyday.

We have taken time to play simple "Name the Color" games using M&Ms, LEGO bricks, gummy bears, and more. Check out this post showing the simple file folder colors game I made for Little Brother to play!

Little Brother can count to 12, and he recognizes all the numerals from 0 to 9. He enjoys counting everything from steps to Cheerios to cows! He likes playing with calculators and pointing out the numbers on the buttons.

Little Brother also loves books. He can "read" his favorite books to me since he has them basically memorized. I often leave blanks when reading him familiar books so that he can fill in the words. He loves to discuss pictures, and he seems to especially enjoy books and pictures with animals.

He loves animals; and although we do not have any of our own, Little Brother quickly makes friends with any animals he encounters. Just behind us is a small farm with a few cows, and he could spend hours back there petting and talking to one especially friendly cow! He knows many animal sounds, and he loves to practice them!

Little Brother can currently identify all the capital letters of the alphabet and can give many of their sounds. I made an ABC booklet for him that has a letter of the alphabet on each page along with a picture of something familiar to him that begins with that letter. His favorite page is the page for the letter D because I put Daddy's picture there. (Little Brother is very VERY much a Daddy's boy!)

Pretty much daily he plays a cute little app called Toddler Preschool Activities that I have downloaded for him on my Android smartphone. We use the free version. It introduces letter names, numbers, colors, shapes, and counting to 10. It is surprising to me how easily a 2 year old can learn to use a smartphone!

We gave him an inexpensive set of alphabet magnets and a magnetic board on which to play with them. These are really a big hit! Sometimes I will write a few letters on his board and then ask him to find the matching magnet letter and place it on top of my letter. This is just an easy little game that is also helping him with letter discrimination. Often he will play with these magnets independently, sorting through the letters and numbers while talking about their names and colors.

Next school year he will be learning more about the alphabet and phonics while making his own ABC books to go along with our AWOA unit studies. I am also looking forward to including him in our Bible time, art, any hands-on activities we do, and as much of our read-aloud time as possible. I can't wait!

I hope you have enjoyed this series! We start back to school on Friday, June 3rd for our first 6 week session of our new year-round schedule

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