Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Calendar Setup

I’ve given in. Anybody who knows me knows that I don’t believe in pushing formal education too early. However, this summer my 3 1/2 year old took an interest in days of the week and was asking questions related to “what day is today” and “what day is after Monday”, etc etc. It was hard for me to explain to him without a visual. Since we had a very busy summer, it was also difficult to explain to him how many days he had to wait for camping, vacation, and other fun things in his world.

So I gave in and set up a calendar in our sunroom.  Notice I’m a little behind on this post :-)

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I went out and got a bulletin board from Wal-Mart and the calendar came from Michael’s (40% coupon of course!)  The rest of the printables came from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. If you have little ones, you MUST check out her blog. You will spend hours devouring all of her free printables.

So basically we “do calendar” after breakfast as a way to start the day.  It’s nothing formal.  We discuss:

-the month and year (I still need to get the year up)

-the day of the month 
*to practice ordinal counting, we always count the days and then he tells me which number comes next.

-the day of the week
I always say “today is Monday, September 30th, 2010”
*we sing the days of the week song to the tune of the Munsters (click at the bottom for the words to this song)
 
-the season (see spinner above)

-the weather
*they go out on the front step to check the weather and tell me if it’s sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy or windy. Then we find the card and someone puts it up. That is the printable with the rainbow on it. We then chart the weather on the graph and compare at the end of the month.

-Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
*we discuss the day that was yesterday, today and tomorrow. This part is a little beyond him so I don’t spend too much time on it.

-Links for patterning
*I got these learning links from Amazon and use them to make patterns on the calendar. This is awesome and I’m psyched that I won’t need to have 12 different sets of numbers. We’ll focus on the AB pattern for as many months as it takes, and then branch off from there. We do the same as the numbers, he goes through and tells me “green, yellow, green, yellow, green,yellow” until we get to today’s.

-Address, phone number and 911
*I just review with him our address, phone number and what number to call in an emergency.

So there you have it. At this point, it is just a way for me to introduce what’s going on that day. We also put special days on there to see what’s coming up in our lives. I’d say about 70% of it goes over his head, but that’s okay. I don’t push anything and figure it’s just a starting point.

We always end calendar with story time. It’s become a nice morning tradition to get us all going. And Garrett really seems to like doing it, which is the most important thing.

Click here for more pics from Erica’s blog and details about how to set up a calendar.

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