U and V

Since there is no U flower fairy, U and V were combined.

U and V are for…Vetch fairy, St. Ursula, and St. Vincent de Paul.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about the saints in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter formation.

U and V are for…the letters U and V.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Gray Block paper, and Pin Punch letters.

V is for…vegetables.  Joseph decided first thing Monday morning that he wanted to make vegetable bread.  We’d already been to the grocery store for the week, so I suggested maybe he could make some vegetable bread in his kitchen.  “Yes, that’s a great idea!  I’m going to make a list and pretend to go shopping,” he replied.  Well…that led to setting up our own grocery store complete with price signs and our cash register.  Joseph did make his list and then, together with William, grabbed his shopping cart and loaded up on supplies.  Once he had everything on his list, he brought it to the cashier and we added up his purchases.  He did some math and figured out how much change I needed to give him.  We put his purchases in a bag and he was off to make vegetable soup.  He used the book Growing Vegetable Soup to guide him.  It was delicious soup…he made it dairy, soy and egg free so even Roo got to “try” some!

V is for…volcano.  After reading about volcanoes in Usborne’s Volcanoes book, we made our own volcano.  First we did it with “lava” (red food coloring) and then we did it with “dust and ash” (blue food coloring).  We also watched some volcano videos on Youtube.

U and V are for Understanding and Virtuous.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.  We made up our own story about the Understanding coloring page, which I then wrote out.  I included some thoughtful errors and Joseph edited the story for us.

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

Science (volcanoes, universe):  Usborne Volcanoes; Planets: A Solar System Stickerbook; Individual Planet books from Pebble Plus: Exploring the Galaxy

Favorite U and V Books:  St. Valentine; The Very First Easter; The Velveteen Rabbit; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; The Very Quiet Cricket; The Very Lonely Firefly; Growing Vegetable Soup; Very First Last Time; Violet’s House

T is for…

T is for…Thrift fairy and St. Therese.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint Therese in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter formation.

T is for…the letter T.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Gray Block paper, and Pin Punch letters.  We listed as many words as we could that started with the beginning sound /t/ and then the boys got a little adventureous and decided to list words ending in /t/…excellent letter-sound practice for William.

T is for…tessellations.  It just so happened that one of our RightStart lessons this week was about tessellations.  So we made tessellations using squares and then rectangles.  Joseph tried using octagons and found out that he couldn’t do it.

T is for…tracing.  Joseph loves the Rod and Staff preschool workbooks.  There are quite a few coloring pages in there, so he traced around the outside edge of the pictures and then colored them in.

T is for…trees.  For art apprecation, we studied paintings of trees and then using their pastels, each child replicated a painting (William’s are the first two drawings; Joseph’s is clearly labeled as his).  We also studied trees for science using Tell Me Tree and A Tree is a Plant.  We then taped paper to the trees in our backyard and did bark rubbings.

T is for…Tell the Truth.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.

T is for….tye dye.  We didn’t actually get to tye dye our shirts yet because Joseph and William want to wait for Grandma Cindy to arrive, but we did make it to Hobby Lobby to pick up the t-shirts (and a onesie for Roo!).  While we were out, we also went to Target…just because it started with T.

T is for…trains and treehouse.  Joseph is big into Thomas the Train right now, so this was a great week for him…such a great excuse to play with Thomas and all his trains.  We also dug out the old Playmobil treehouse and played with it.

T is for…tangrams.

T is for…telling time.  We practiced telling time again and again and again.  And, of course, we could not practice time without Usborne’s Telling the Time book.

T is for…Tikki Tikki Tembo.  This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, so I introduced it to Joseph and William at the beginning of our week.  It sparked their imaginations.  They spent the rest of the week taking turns being Tikki Tikki Tembo and Chang and falling in the well (a pile of cushions on the couch).  Then one of them would put a hat on and pretend to be the old man with the ladder.  Lots of imagination!

T is for…tea!  We made southern sweet tea to enjoy with lunch this week.

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

Science (trees):  Tell Me Tree; A Tree is a Plant

History (Trail of Tears): The Trail of Tears

Favorite T Books:  Tikki Tikki Tembo; There is a Bird on Your Head!; There Was a Crooked Man; Ten, Nine, Eight; Thy Friend, Obadiah; The Tiny Seed; There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly; Ten Apples Up On Top!; The Three Questions; The Tushy Book; Take Me Out to the Ball Game; Teammates; The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; Today is Monday; Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes; Time of Wonder; To Market, To Market; Twelve Hats for Lena

M through S…

I have fallen behind on blogging for the Alphabet Path.  In an effort to catch up, I’m going to post one blog here about letters M through S.  We’ve been continuing along with the Alphabet Path plans, so for the main plans (including faith, art, letter formation, nature study and language) you can head on over to Serendipity.  Serendipity also has tons of picture book suggestions, so head over there for ideas.

Here are the highlights from our Alphabet Path studies, along with a few photos.

M is for…St. Martin de Porres and mice, so we made mice using cupcakes, m & ms, and homemade marshmallows (I think the first two pictures are actually Monday morning muffin making).

M is for…Martin Luther King, Jr.  I blogged about this picture here.  We read about Martin Luther King, Jr. in Martin’s Big Words and If a Bus Could Talk.

N is for…numbers.  We used sidewalk chalk to practice number patterns.  Then Joseph and William had to find nature items to match their numbers.

O is for…oops!  I forgot to take any photos and the only thing worth noting that we did this week was learn about owls.

P is for…The Story of Ping.  We took a little detour from our Alphabet Path routine and did a lapbook about Ping during P week.  It was a nice break.

Q is for…quicksand.  We read The Quicksand Book by Tomie de Paola and the kids were wildly amused with the idea of quicksand.  So we read it over and over and over again.  We know quite a bit about quicksand now.

Q is for quilts.  Due to my lack of planning, we didn’t actually sew or quilt, but we did flip through some quilt pattern books and Joseph found a pattern he really liked called Nelson’s Victory.  I drew the grid for him and using his colored pencils (and his color choices) he colored in the block.  The picture of Joseph and William on the floor is actually them sitting on their completed quilt block.  The word quilt in this family usually translates into picnic, so it only made sense that when Joseph finished his quilt block, that they pretended to have a picnic.

R is for…recycling.  We attempted to make our own recycled paper.  I didn’t realize that the Ad Sack is not the same thing as regular newspaper.  It was all about the process not the product.

S is for…stamps.  We did lots of stamping…great opportunity to practice spelling and patterns.

S is for…stickers.  Auntie Jane had sent the kids some valentine sticker puzzles, which we put to good use during S week.  Joseph also did some sticker stories where he chose stickers for a picture and then wrote a story.

We’ve also been continuing with our Right Start Math and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, amongst other things.  Here are some random photos of the past few weeks of school (not Alphabet Path related):

L is for…

L is for…Lily of the Valley fairy and St. Lucy.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint Ignatius in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter formation. 

L is for…the letter L.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Gray Block paper, and Pin Punch letters.

 

L is for…St. Lucy and light, so we made lanterns!  We used clear glass jars, painted them with decoupage glue, and covered them with tissue paper squares.  Then we put a flameless, flickering light in each.  Now Joseph and William fall asleep to lantern light. 

   

L is for…letter writing.  We spent a good part of the week (and counted this as most of our copywork) writing thank you letters for all the Christmas gifts received.  Joseph wrote all of his by himself and drew an illustration for each.  William dictated and I wrote for him.  He also illustrated each letter.  I love that this is already ingrained into their heads…it’s not a dreaded task; it’s just what we do to show our thanks.   

L is for…laundry.  For practical life, Joseph and William helped sort and fold what laundry they could.  It’s nice to have helpers for the diapers and sock sorting.

L is for…leaves.  We read about leaves and then went leaf hunting.  I was impressed (and relieved to know that all that reading is paying off) when Joseph was able to identify both maple and oak leaves!  We brought our leaves home and did some leaf rubbings, tracings, and colorings. 

L is for…Listening.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.  We’ve been doing quite a bit of reading from Little Stories for Little Folks, which both kids really enjoy.  Also, to practice the virtue of listening, we’ve been reading chapter books.  We just finished Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and are now reading the 2nd book, The House at Pooh Corner.  There are a few illustrations to accompany the text, but not many.  I am amazed at Joseph and William’s listening abilities…they recall many, many details and their comprehension is impressive.  Who would’ve known that even a 2 1/2 year old could be so enthralled by a chapter book? 

L is for….listening walks.  L week would not have been complete without reading Paul Showers’ A Listening Walk.  After reading it, the kids were eager to just listen (ahh, silence was golden around here!)  We also took a listening walk and Joseph documented all the sounds we heard.

     

L is for…ladybugs.  After doing some ladybug reading, we made ladybugs from painted red lima beans and then did some ladybug math.  I would have loved to do a ladybug lapbook, but we ran out of time!

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

Science (ladybugs and leaves):  We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt;  Ladybug, Ladybug; The Grouchy Ladybug; Are You a Ladybug?; Ten Little Ladybugs; Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Favorite L Books:  The Little Engine that Could; Llama Llama Red Pajama books; The Listening Walk; Let’s Count it Out Jesse Bear; The Letters are Lost; Let Me Hold You a Little Longer; Little Critter Books; The Little Island; The Little Rabbit; The Little Duck; Lyle, Lyle Crocodile; A Letter for Amy; Little Bear books; Love Is…; The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear; Love From Woolly; The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

J and K…

Our J and K weeks were lacking.  They occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I had actually planned to pause in our Alphabet Journey until after the New Year, but Joseph kept begging to keep going.  So we did.  Pathetically.  We carried on with our Flower Fairy and Saint work.  We read lots of books that started with “J” and “K” and we continued with our phonics and math work.  We lightly skimmed history and science because we had lots of Advent related things to do.  Here’s J and K weeks summarized, incredibly briefly, with hardly a picture to show for it.

J and K are for…Jasmine and Kingcup fairies and St. Joseph and St. Kateri.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the fairies.  We read about Saint Joseph and Kateri in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints

J and K are for…the letters J and K.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, and Pin Punch letters. 

J is for…Jackie Robinson.

J is for…Jungle.  We learned all about rainforests!  We read The Rainforest Grew All Around and The Umbrella and used our Safari Ltd rainforest animals and Gears set for some imaginative play.

J and K are for…Joyful and Kindness.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.

J is for…Jesse Tree.  I had great, great plans for this.  We have a beautiful felt Jesse Tree that we have used for the past couple of years, but I did all the work in making it.  I wanted to involve Joseph and William this year by making some ornaments for an actual small tree, but my plans were waylaid.  Ahh, maybe next year.  In the meantime, we used our felt set. 

In our book baskets this week:

History (Jackie Robinson): Teammates

Science (jungle): The Rainforest Grew All Around; The Umbrella

Favorite J and K Books:  Jamberry; Jambo Means Hello; Jump!; Just the Way You Are; The Jolly Postman; Just Me and My Little Brother; J is for Jump Shot; Just Critters Who Care; The Junkyard Wonders; Jesse Bear What Will You Wear; Julius, The Baby of the World; Katie Meets the Impressionists; Katy No Pocket; Kali and the Rat Snake; The Kissing Hand; The Knight and the Dragon; Katy and the Big Snow

I is for…

I is for…Iris fairy and St. Ignatius.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the Gorse 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint Ignatius in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter I formation. 

I is for…the letter I.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Salt Dough letters, and Pin Punch letters. 

I is for…the letter i and the sounds it makes.  For phonics review (and phonics introduction for William!) and for our word box, we focused on words with the short i sound.   

I is for…Indians.  We did lots of reading about the Indians in relation to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving (“I” week occurred just before Thanksgiving).  I cut the sleeves off of a couple of plain white t-shirts to make vests for Joseph and William.  We then used black tea to dye them.  After they dried, the kids used traditional Indian symbols to decorate their vests.  They also chose their own Indian names. 

I is for…igloos.  We made igloos from paper bowls.  We turned them upside down, cut out a door, and glued cotton balls to them.  Then Joseph and William got out their Arctic animals and engaged in some imaginative play.

I is for…ice cream.  Actually it’s for “Better Than Ice Cream” since we’re not doing a whole lot of dairy around here.  The name might be a little exaggeration (I mean, really, can anything be better than real ice cream?) but it was delicious and the fact that we added absolutely no sugar made me a very happy mommy.  You can find the recipe here

I is for…I’m sorry.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.

I is for…Insects.  After lots of reading about insects, we visited the Botanical Gardens for some up-close encounters with insects.

     

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

History (Indians): Knots on a Counting Rope; The First Thanksgiving; Thanksgiving Day; Squanto’s Journey

Science (insects): The Life and Times of the Ant; Are you an Ant?; Are you a Ladybug?; From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Favorite I Books:  I am an Artist; It’s About Time Jesse Bear; Is Your Mama a Llama?; I Knew You Could; I Am Not Going to Get Up Today; I Spy books; It’s Mine; If Jesus Came to My House; If You Give…; I Was So Mad; I Know It’s Autumn; I Like to Be Little; Inside a Barn in the Country

H is for…

H is for…Herb Twopence fairy and St. Helena.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the Herb Twopence 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint Helena in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter H formation. 

H is for…the letter H.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Salt Dough letters, and Pin Punch letters.   We also painted our salt dough letters this week…the vowels are yellow; the consonants are green.

H is for…Honeybees.  It just so happened that while we were studying honeybees, the Texas Beekeeper’s Association had their annual convention.  Joseph and William were happy to attend, along with their friends Belle and Joe.  They learned quite a bit about honeybees and even got to make their own beeswax candles!

 

H is for…helicopters, hot dogs, hats, and handicap signs.  We started show and tell this week.  The kids love it!  On the first day of a new letter they each choose an item or two to bring to our circle time and they tell all about it.   

H is for…Helen Keller.  We read about Helen Keller…a lot.  Over and over again.  Their favorite book was Helen Keller: The World in her Heart by Lesa Cline-Ransome.  I also had an old book with braille in it and they found that pretty impressive.

H is for…helpful.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.  This was such a great opportunity to have some eager little helpers.  Washing the walls?  Yep, they were even eager to help with that.

H is for…hula hoops, hopscotch, and hula toss.    

H is for…hair.  We studied a picture of George Washington’s hair.  Joseph and William both did a narration and illustration. 

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

History (Helen Keller): Helen Keller: The World in her Heart

Science (honeybees): The Life and Times of the Honeybee; The Honeybee and the Robber; In the Trees, Honeybees; The Honey Makers

Favorite H Books:  Harry the Dirty Dog; Hermie; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; A House is a House for me; Hush Little Beachcomber; Horton Hatches the Egg; How Do You Say it Today Jesse Bear?; A Hug Goes Around; Horton Hears a Who; Henry and Mudge; Harold and the Purple Crayon; Hop on Pop; Harriet You’ll Drive Me Wild; How Many Feet in the Bed?; A Hole is to Dig; Harold’s ABC

G is for…

G is for…Gorse fairy and St. George.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the Gorse 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint George in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter G formation. 

G is for…the letter G.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Salt Dough letters, and Pin Punch letters. 

G is for…the letter g and the sounds it makes.  For phonics review (and phonics introduction for William!) and for our word box, we focused on the hard and soft sounds of g.  We added g words to our word boxes and then played hard g/soft g many, many times throughout the week.   

G is for…Geo Puzzles.  These are such great puzzles!  Joseph absolutely loves doing them and William is an eager helper. 

 G is for…God, Guardian angel, and Glory Be.  We read about God in our God’s Alphabet book and Joseph did some copywork.  We talked about making our way to Heaven so that someday we could see God (William has decided that he’d like to have a cookie party with God in Heaven when he gets there…I told him anything is possible and I’m sure that God would be pleased to join him in a cookie party).  We talked quite a bit this week about guardian angels.  We read about Wupsy in our Catholic Treasure Box books.  I found a wooden angel puppet that Joseph colored as his guardian angel.  We also prayed the Guardian Angel prayer.  G is also for Glory Be, which we practiced again and again this week.  William has the beginning down pat and he kind of mumbles his way through the latter half.  We’ll keep practicing. 

G is for…George Washington.  We read George Washington and the General’s Dog and Joseph did an illustration and narration.    

 

G is for…garden.  Daxson built us a beautiful vegetable box and we set to work planting seeds in it.  Since it’s a little late for planting, we didn’t have many choices.  We filled our box with radishes, spinach, carrots, turnips and beets.  We’re anxious to see how well it all grows!  We also started on a great garden lapbook, but ran out of time to complete everything.  I set it all aside for now and if time permits, we’ll finish it later in the year. 

G is for…gratitude.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.  We read Gift of Gracias, which went along quite well with the theme of Gratitude.   

G is for…game.  We studied François Hubert Drouais’ Boy with a House of Cards.  Joseph did a narration and illustration.

G is for…green beans.  For a practical life exercise, Joseph snapped green beans. 

G is for…grapefruits.  Joseph and William really enjoyed eating grapefruits.  They scooped out the flesh, then used a straw to suck out the juice.  After they were done, I scraped the “grapefruit bowls” well and we set them out to dry.  Once they were dry, we filled them with bird seed and nestled them in our trees.  The birds emptied the feeders before the day’s end.


G is for…Go to Austin to see Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Gary and while there, feed the goats. 

In our book baskets this week (I’m choosing one book from each basket to have Joseph do a narration and illustration of):

History (George Washington): George Washington and the General’s Dog

Science (garden): Planting a Rainbow; Flower Garden; Tools for the Garden; All Kinds of Gardens; The Tiny Seed

Favorite G Books:  The Greedy Python; The Three Billy Goats Gruff; Go and Hush the Baby; The Growing Story; Grandfather’s Journey; The Glorious Flight; Goodnight Moon; Goldilocks and the Three Bears; The Gingerbread Man; The Gingerbread Boy; The Gingerbread Girl; Guess Who’s Coming Jesse Bear; Game Time; Go Dog Go!; The Giving Tree; Good Morning Chick; The Grouchy Ladybug

F is for…(part two)

This is part two for F week.  Part one is here.

F is for….firefighters.  We did lots and lots of reading about firefighters (Joseph loves dressing up as a firefighter).  We read Firefighters A to Z, Smokejumpers One to Ten, Fire! Fire!, A Day with Firefighters, Firefighters, Fred the Firefighter and A Visit to the Fire Station.  Joseph completed a fire safety lapbook.  Then we had an awesome field trip to our local firehouse.  Capt. Ortiz, with the help of Firefighters Eddie and Liz, went out of their way to show us all kinds of things about firefighters.  We got to see where they sleep, eat, and relax.  We got to get inside the fire truck and see the lights flash.  Joseph’s favorite part of the trip was seeing Captain Ortiz put on all of his fire fighting gear…oxygen tank and all.  Joseph and Walker even got to spray the hose (William wasn’t quite so adventurous!).  William points out the firehouse every time we drive down the street and Joseph is still talking about his trip there.  Definitely a sucess!

F is for…flag.  For our history lesson, we learned about the United States flag.  We read some great books (see our book basket below) and then painted our own flags.  (I realize the flags don’t have 13 stripes…the first one did and when I realized how impossible it would be for a 2 and a 4 year old to paint those skinny stripes, I decided to do fat stripes instead, regardless of the inaccuracy…if you ask them how many stripes are on the US flag, they know…so I guess it didn’t really matter.) 

F is for…frosting.  For a practical life exercise, we frosted cupcakes.  Since our diet is missing a lot of things these days (due to Andrew’s allergies), we tried a Duncan Hines lemon cake mix (it has no dairy, soy or eggs) and mixed it with Ginger Ale.  The cupcakes turned out quite yummy.  We then frosted them with blackberry jam.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.

In our book baskets this week:

History (flag):  The Flag We Love; I Pledge Allegiance; The Star Spangled Banner

Science (farm animals, flowers):  Farm; Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm; The Year at Maple Hill Farm; The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales; Farm Animals; From Seed to Pumpkin; The Pumpkin BookPumpkin Circle: The Story of a GardenThe Reason for a Flower; Roots; Seeds; Leaves; Flowers; Planting a Rainbow  

Favorite F books:  From Head to Toe; Frog and Toad Together; Fox in Socks; The Five Chinese Brothers; A Fly Went By; Flower Garden; Fly, Jimmy, Fly!; The Fire Cat; Fin M’Coul; Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed; The Flea’s Sneeze; The Fox and the Crow; Flip and Flop; Frederick; Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree; Falling for Rapunzel; Flat Stanley and the Firehouse; Five Little Pumpkins

F is for…

This is part one for F week.  Part two is here

F is for…Fuschia fairy and St. Francis.  After reading Serendipity’s Flower Fairy story, Joseph and William colored pictures of the Daisy 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).  Then we looked up the actual wildflower in our field guide.  We read about Saint Dominic in our Alphabet of Catholic Saints.  Joseph did some copywork.  We also used the picture from the book to practice the letter F formation.  We read about St. Francis in St. Francis and the Wolf and Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi

F is for…the letter F.  We practiced letter formation using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, Do A Dot, Salt Dough letters, and Pin Punch letters. 

F is for…fairy houses.  Since we’ve been learning about the alphabet fairies, this was a perfect opportunity to build a fairy house.  We started with unfinished birdhouses ($1 at Joann’s), painted them with black tea (strong, strong black tea), decorated them with moss and nature walk findings, and then filled them with more nature walk findings (just in case a fairy needs to rest).  By the way, Andrew has gotten extremely good at supervising all school activities. 

F is for…farm animals. We love farm animals here…the sounds they make, the opportunity to feed them, the way they look.  We did lots of reading about farms and farm animals (see our science book basket in part two) and then had a chance to go see some farm animals up close and personal.  We went to visit Walker’s grandparents who own lots of land and cows and horses.  It’s not an actual working farm, but Joseph was convinced that where there are farm animals, there is also a farmer, so Debbie is now known adoringly as Farmer Debbie.  Joseph and William got to feed Festas some hay, which was the highlight of the trip.  Once we returned home, Joseph was happy to write a thank you note to “Farmer” Debbie, which turned out to be a wonderful form of narration.   

F is for…flowers.  F week was just full of science experiences (see part two for our book basket).  We read lots and lots about flowers and gardens and planting.  Naturally we had to do a little planting of our own.  We visited our local plant nursery, picked out our favorite plants (in William’s case, his favorite color), came home and dug in…literally.  Our little garden is beautiful and thriving (despite Daxson’s prediction that I would forget to water them). 

 

To finish up our studies of flowers, we visited one of our favorite places…the Botanical Gardens.  I gave Joseph an assignment for our trip.  He was supposed to find flowers, draw them, and label them.  I wrote at the top of the paper “We’re going on a flower hunt.  We’re going to find some pretty ones.  We might even see a butterfly.  Here we go.”  So Joseph decided that rather than drawing flowers, he’d draw all the things we saw on the way to see flowers (in imitation of the story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt).  Turned out his idea was better than mine (since most of the flowers at our Gardens are not labeled).  He was so excited to walk the trails and add to his story board. 

F is for…Friday fun with friends. F week actually turned into F weekS because there were so many “f”un “F” things to do!  Each “F”riday during our “F” weeks, we visited our “f”riends Belle, Joe, and Ms. Lori.  Auntie Jessica, Walker, and Gavin joined us on the second “F”riday.  We had a “f”antastic time!

F is for…friendly.  We’re still using these great coloring pages and we’re including one each week along with a virtue story.  The coloring page for this week showed two boys, one sitting on a rock; the other approaching with a ball in hand.  After coloring it, I asked Joseph to write what he thought each boy was saying and I was impressed with the result.  He said it was a picture of him and William and he wrote that he was asking, “Hey William, do you want to play football?”  William replied, “No, I want you to sit with me.”  Joseph then replied, “Okay.”  We also read about faith in God’s Alphabet.

We also began reviewing the letters we’ve already covered.  This week we reviewed letters A and B.  Joseph drew the letter and then came up with three words that start with that letter.  He illustrated and labeled his three choices.  Beginning next week I’m also going to have him scrapbook each letter we’ve already completed (beginning with letter A)…that way at the end of the year we’ll have a scrapbook of our Alphabet Path memories. 

More on F week soon to come in part two!