Monday, August 23, 2010

Last Week Before School!!

It hit me this morning that if I'm going to schooling Kittyboy with a schedule (which would make record-keeping far easier - not that we need to, but it'd be a good idea), our starting date of September first is ONE WEEK away. I have a week to figure out our schedule, get copies made of the awesome workbooks I got from Rod and Staff, decide how we should do things, and I want to plan a "first day of preschool for real" photo session.
And by the way, if you have a three-year-old, check out those workbooks. Seriously. Your child will have some nearly K-level skills by the age of four - and yet they start with the most basic ideas and very slowly and subtly work up to actual critical thinking and such. It's a set of four workbooks. The first page of the first book is "Draw a line between the pictures that are the same" with two columns of pictures. Not only are the columns exactly the same (the first two match, second two match, etc), there's a dotted line to trace for each set. Then one of the last couple pages in the fourth book asks the child to draw lines between the dominoes that have the same number of dots! Nothing to trace, the dominoes aren't in any order, kind of demanding for a four-year-old, but if you've already mastered the other three books, it's not a stretch at all. And that's the precursor to their actual preschool curriculum, which I'm guessing is roughly equivalent to kindergarten, and their 1st grade curriculum is meant to start at age 6.
As far as daily scheduling, I think "school" starts after lunch, when Husband leaves for work. Mornings are Daddy/play/park time, and afternoon school is the schedule Kittyboy is used to anyway. Thanks to my friend Amy, he has a lovely school desk with storage in it, and boy will I be using that storage space.
I already did some supply shopping (sans Kittyboy), for new markers, real glue (gluesticks are about as adhesive as post-it notes, I learned this the hard way), folders for storing worksheets, a pencil case, and his first real pair of scissors. I had a lovely time going through every box of folders at the store to make sure Kittyboy would have one of each of the Toy Story folders. When I was in junior high and high school, there were folders with these beautiful paintings of fish and whales and coastal scenes by an artist named Christian Riese Lassen, and I would go through every box of folders on the shelf to make sure I had one of each painting. That way I had something to look at when I was bored. Scouring the shelves for Buzz and Woody brought back memories! The pencil case is also Toy Story (we have a theme, obviously, since he already has a Toy Story backpack). The folders would never fit in his little backpack, but that's fine, because he's not going anywhere that he would have to take them! Haha! Of course, all this has been stashed in our closet, to surprise him on his first day.
I already know that we are taking off from the week before Christmas to St. Anthony's Day in January (the 17th), and that's Christmas break. Then we'll take off Holy Week and Bright Week, and the month of August. I'll sprinkle off-weeks elsewhere in the year.
So I have this week to
1. make copies of the first workbook
2. print out and put up the fish anatomy diagrams I found online (more on our classroom pet, the bluegill, later)
3. get page protectors! That way I can put his worksheets in them and he can do them with dry erase marker and if he scribbles, I can wipe it off.
4. hunt up some "manipulatives" for counting. That's a fancy word for "little stuff to count". I'm thinking dried beans, buttons, those flat glass marbles... and a container in which to keep them.
5. find methods of organizing the (large, flat, shallow) storage space in the desk.
Not only all that, but it's great laundry weather right now - I should go do that.


Tena said...

That's exciting! J loves Toy Story too. He alternates between that and dinosaurs. I totally had those folders you are talking about! I wasn't as careful about getting all of them, but I did love them. Ah, school! J doesn't start preschool til next fall, but it is already something he's looking forward to. He asked for a Broncos backpack the other day...

Caeseria said...

I googled Lassen to see if anyone sells prints of those, and found his website - *sigh* I'd forgotten how gorgeous the paintings were. I need posters now. K would go nuts, as into fish as he is.