For reading, I have a set (reprint) of McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. These readers were originally published in the 1830s. Though Hunter isn't totally fond of them, he prefers the stories in these because they are realistic, and not dumbed down like many of the modern readers. I like the moral lessons and the rich vocabulary. Hunter is a pretty advanced reader, but I still have him read to me because occasionally, he comes across words he can't pronounce correctly. Twice a week we read McGuffey's lessons. Then once a week, Hunter gets to pick what he wants to read to me. It is usually one of his technical manuals. Today was one on electricity and last week was a plumbing book. By letting him choose books, this keeps his enthusiasm for reading out loud up. And I usually end up learning about things I would never read about on my own. ;)
I have a cart that I keep Solomon's current Montessori-type activities on.
We push it into our living room each morning, so he can work in the same room where I am teaching Hunter. I put activities on the cart that he can do on his own (after I show him how) and that are things he can do quietly so that he's not a distraction. (That's the goal anyway - it doesn't always work!)
Here are some things he's worked on this month:
He's really into rainbows and the Noah's ark story. So I printed out a rainbow and he matched little plastic bears onto the correct color. (He added the "Lilly-colored bears" for decoration.)
We're working on numbers now. Solomon can count to 10 and do several number chants (thanks to listening in on Hunter's lessons). So I decided he was ready to start learning what the numbers looked like. He talks a lot about Thomas the train being number 1. So that gave me the idea of making Thomas the train cards and having him match the correct number to each card. Many of the trains in Thomas have a number. So I had Hunter tell me the trains that had numbers 1-10. I then went to Google Images, copied train pictures, made number cards, then printed everything out.
After he was done, Solomon got out his Thomas the train engines and matched them too.
After a couple days, I gave Solomon some magnetic numbers I had, and he matched those.
I came across some "highway numbers" online and printed them onto cardstock. (See here.) Solomon drives his cars through the numbers. I give him a new number every few days, and we keep reviewing what he has.
We're having fun with Nursery Rhymes too. I put our wooden nursery rhyme blocks on a tray along with Richard Scarry's Best Mother Goose Ever book. Solomon likes to look at the book and match the blocks to the correct pages. And of course build with them too.
When Tabby was about Hunter's age, she really enjoyed the book and CD set Can You Hear It? I recently began introducing songs from this to Hunter and Solomon. We listen to a new one each week. The CD has a number of great works of music on it and the accompanying book has a picture for each and things to listen for. We like to act the songs out when we listen.
For picture study, we are studying Leonardo da Vinci. I am using Simply Charlotte Mason's picture portfolio for da Vinci. I made Solomon his own set of cards of the da Vinci prints we are studying. I printed 2 sets so he could match them. I also gave him a book on da Vinci that we have.
|Whew! Gotta wiggle around after all that!|
One more activity, that had to be done in the kitchen, that Solomon really liked was when I filled a bowl with some water, put in some little plastic bears, and handed him some little sugar tongs. He had to "catch" the bear and lift it out with the tongs, and then drop it into an ice tray. This proved to be tricky! He worked at it for awhile then when he was tired, he finished up by using a spoon to scoop out the bears. This was a nice long project for him that allowed me to get several kitchen chores done while he was working. ;)
Solomon enjoys taking structured activities, such as the above, then adding his own twists to them. This is important. Good for his brain! He also really enjoys helping me do various chores and helping care for the animals. He and Hunter play outside some of each afternoon too. Also important - on many levels!
Play is important for kids. (Though too much play can lead to trouble. Parents of multiple kids probably know what I mean!) Here is an article I read recently, that I found interesting: "The Decline of Play in Preschoolers - and the Rise of Sensory Issues."
Well this post is long enough. I hope I've been able to give you some ideas to do things with your little ones, if you're in a similar place in life as I am.