1. Bowls are surprisingly useful for just about everything.
2. I don't own enough bowls.
3. It is important to have a place to hang projects that require glue.
4. Cats like glue.
5. The concept of a family tree can be confusing to a 4-year-old.
6. My family tree is more like a forest fire. It disorients people and is nearly impossible to escape.
7. Expo sells low-odor dry erase markers.
8. Too much time in front of a dry erase board with standard markers...wait, what was I saying?
Which reminds me, I figured out that it's a good idea to write some of the lesson plans on the whiteboard ahead of time in order to save time during lessons. It doesn't need to be the entire plan, just some notes on daily assignments so that I don't need to refer to the book every 5 minutes. I'm beginning to understand why some parents have a crate or box containing the daily lesson. Having everything ready to go the day before makes things go much smoother. I probably should have figured this out sooner...I blame the markers.
As I mentioned in Week 1, I wanted to start some kind of mobile home-schooling kit (not to be confused with a mobile-home schooling kit). Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Anyway, here's what I have so far:
It needs some work, but I think it's a good start.
My favorite part is the backpack. Since Christmas, I have been trying to find the perfect backpack for Kylie. Why is it that the creators of children's backpacks think that our kids need giant backpacks relative to their size? Every type that I found seemed to be huge on Kylie., and these were branded Dora, Spongebob, Super Mario...even Barbie. She's petite, but not a tiny kid. If I were to put one of them on her and fill it, she would fall over. To top it off, they want $20 - $25 for a pack that doesn't even fit right. I had nearly given up on ever finding one that fit her age and size until I stumbled on this beauty at Walmart. According to the tag, it's an "Accessory Backpack". I found it with the toiletry kits. The best part was that it was only $9. To give you a point of reference as far as size, the red pack of flash cards is the size of a deck of playing cards. Plus, it's Jeep...how cool is that?
Next, I added Pip-Squeaks Colored Pencils by Crayola. Also at Walmart, it was a bit pricey at $5, but it came with 18 colored pencils and a sharpener. After considering the likelihood that the backpack would be left in my truck at least once during the summer, I decided that crayons were a bad idea. The Arizona sun can melt just about anything you leave in your vehicle. Crayons don't stand a chance.
The Primary Journal by Mead was also more than I wanted to pay, but I'm probably just getting cheap in my old age. It was just under $3. The pages are split into two parts. The upper half is blank for drawing pictures. The bottom half is lined for beginning writers and has red lines that "cues students to sit letters on the baseline."
Finally, the flashcards are just a couple from a stash I picked up at Target for $1 apiece. I can rotate them in and out. We have letters, simple math, phonics and sight words. I also picked up some with presidents and the states, but she doesn't like them yet. Thankfully, mom pitched in the purple water bottle. Maybe we can get Kylie to drink more water now. I'm starting a betting pool. Any takers?
Of course, we also added her Nintendo DS (thanks a lot Santa). I'll let her keep it in there as long as she doesn't use it exclusively. For now she only uses the DS about half the time.
So far, I've been able to drive up to an hour without her complaining about being bored or starting the never ending question "where are we going next?" She'll play with an item for 10-15 minutes and then move on to the next item. I think that it will continue to work as long as I keep the contents fresh with new stuff.
Here's the best picture I could get of her wearing it. I've learned not to get between her and the computer unless absolutely necessary. She was busy helping Dora save mermaids from garbage. She doesn't get too much time on the computer during the week, so I try to stay out of her way when she gets a chance to play.