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My broken wrist has really cramped our ordinary Afterschooling schedule. One bright spot has been Reading Eggs. I purchased a subscription through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and have been extremely impressed.
Here’s why the former Kindergarten teacher in me loves Reading Eggs:
- It’s systematic and sequential
- It’s balanced, (phonics and sight words)
- It’s diagnostic, (built in assessments keep kids on track)
- It’s FUN!
The way Reading Eggs works is there are 12 maps with ten lessons each. Every lesson has 11 activities. My daughter took the placement quiz and began on map 3. At the end of map 3 she passed a simple quiz to move on to map 4.
- Clicking with a mouse can be hard for little hands. We don’t have an iPad, but we do have a touch screen computer. That really helps. However, some of the activities work better with the screen and some work better with the mouse. I need to be on standby in case my preschooler becomes frustrated.
Jenna has been playing Reading Eggs for three weeks now and I’m already seeing a big difference. Level 3 Bob Books are a lot easier for her now, and she has more confidence when sounding out words.
For more information about Reading Eggs, please click here.
Got some old crayons laying around? Turn them into masterpieces!
Heat rocks from your garden in the oven at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. (Smooth rocks work best.) The rocks will be hot to the touch, but not dangerously so. Use hot pads just in case, to protect your kitchen table.
Then color with old crayons. The wax will melt on contact, producing a beautiful paint-like effect.
Today my 4-year-old and I got out Cooking Is Cool: Heat-Free Recipes for Kids to Cook by Marianne Dambra. I am a little disappointed in the book because it doesn’t have step-by-step pictures for children to follow and it uses a lot of food coloring. But the full color illustrations of each recipe are nice.
Here’s our version of Butterfly Salad. The actual recipe called for dyed cottage cheese, which I thought was gross, so we used grapes instead.
- lettuce leaf
- pineapple rings
- cottage cheese
- grapes or berries
- celery stalk (the body)
- 1 olive (the head)
- a carrot or bell pepper (the antennae)
Math Skills Involved:
- fractions (cut the pineapple rings in half)
- comparisons (more cottage cheese, less cottage cheese)
- ordinal numbers (first you do this, second you do that, etc.)
- symmetry (the goal is to make the wings look the same)
This recipe took about twenty minutes to make. My daughter and I both had a lot of fun!
In the above picture you see my daughter Jenna learning the greater than/less than symbol, at age two. She thought she was playing “Hungry Guy”, but really she was learning a first and second grade skill.
I believe that children as young as two and three can do real math. The trick is to teach them mathematical concepts in a way that makes sense to them.
Play-based math will get results!
Jenna is three and a half now, and I felt like she was ready for something more formal. So three weeks ago, we begin using Right Start Mathematics Level A. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Right Start. I’m just a die-hard Joan Cotter fan.
We are on lesson 7 now, and I am thrilled. All of the activities are easy to set up, play-based, and conceptually very deep.
Jenna does between 5 -10 minutes of math every day, but only if she wants to.
Here is a sample of what we have done so far:
We made triangles and quadrilaterals out of craft sticks.
We learned about comparison words like long and longest.
We did ordering work of longest to shortest. (This is the before picture.)
We began to explore the abacus.
This is exciting. This is fun. This is easy.
The teacher in me wishes every child in America was benefiting from Dr. Joan Cotter’s wisdom. The mom in me wishes I had know about Right Start when Bruce was this age!