A is for Alphabet Path, which is the beautiful curriculum we’re using this year. Head on over to Serendipity to see the Alphabet Path and all its beauty. The greatest thing about it is how adaptable it is and how endless the possibilities are. It’s a whole lot of fun thinking up ideas of what we can include (tonight at dinner, Joseph was “b”rainstorming ideas for week “B” and the list seemed to go on forever…bouncing balls, blowing bubbles, playing baseball…trust me, it’s easy and fun!)
We’re using all of Serendipity’s plans, adapting the reading lists to the books that we have in our home library. I’ve also added a few extras like a history block (just introducing some of America’s historical figures and moments), word box work (which is a basic introduction to alphabetizing and will provide fuel later for word sorting), physical education activites, and practical life activities. William is traveling the Alphabet Path with us, with adaptations made that fit his age and learning style. Joseph is also doing RightStart Math and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (along with Explode the Code and Building Thinking Skills) in addition to his Alphabet Path work.
Here are some highights from our A week activities (these really are just the highlights…this curriculum is so full of opportunities and rabbit trails that we actually took 2 weeks to complete our A activities!)…
A is for…apple aprons. Auntie Leslie and Alex (and Uncle Dustin, who unfortunately doesn’t have an A anywhere in his name) were visiting on our first day of A week, so we made apple print aprons together.
A is for…Apple Blossom. After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the Apple Blossom fairy. Joseph also did some copywork from the poem that is in the Flower Fairy book (which he did while listening to the Flower Fairy CD). We also studied apple blossoms for science using Betsy Maestro’s book How Do Apples Grow? which naturally read to a reading of one of our favorite books, Apple Picking Time.
A is for…Saint Anne and angels. We read about Saint Anne in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints. Joseph did some copywork and both boys colored a picture of Saint Anne. We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter A formation. We read about angels in Letters from Heaven. We’re using Letters from Heaven as a springboard for some Bible work this year. There is a poem for each letter followed by a Bible verse reference. I’m using that reference to teach Joseph how to use an actual Bible. We’re also using the beautiful book God’s Alphabet for copywork. Just so happens that A in both books refers to angels. Later in the week we read Angels, Angels Everywhere and Joseph illustrated his favorite angel from the story.
A is for…the letter A. Each week we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to practice correct letter formation using some various ideas such as Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Salt Dough letters, and Pin Punch letters (although I’m still waiting for the pin punches to arrive…they’re on backorder).
A is for…Adam and Eve. I used the book Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden to introduce the story of Adam and Eve. Then we used our Betty Luken’s Bible Felt Set to re-enact the story. Joseph and William then made apple tree fingerprint trees and Joseph did a narration of the book.
A is for…Always Ask. I found these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story. After talking about what it means to “Always Ask” we talked about the importance of also using the word please when we ask, which sent us hopping down the rabbit trail to re-read the story “Please” from The Children’s Book of Virtues and to dig out our manners book, Please Say Please! Here are some pictures of Joseph asking to please borrow some crayons from William (“May I borrow your crayon please please?”)
A is for…apples. We studied Paul Cezanne’s Apples. Joseph did a narration and then they both did a sketch.
A is for…Alaska, Argentina, Austria, and many more…For geography, we’re using blank outline maps, a globe and our wall maps to locate states and countries that begin with the letter of the week. If our pin punches ever arrive, we’ll add pin punching the country outlines to our activities.
In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):
History (Johnny Appleseed and Abraham Lincoln): The Story of Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed, Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books, Abe Lincoln Remembers, Rookie Biography of Abraham Lincoln
Favorite A Books: Dr. Seuss’s ABC, ABC Animal Jamboree, Adele and Simon, Amelia Bedelia series, Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse, The ABC Buny, The Alphabet Room, At the Beach, Apollo, Ask Mr. Bear
Finally, another fun A activity we did was an All About Me lapbook. Joseph had a blast filling in all the details about himself.
Now that you see how fun and easy it is, won’t you join us as we wander down the Alphabet Path this year?