The One That Survived

Before we left Juneau in June, the girls and I stopped at Fred Meyer to stock up on some things that we thought would be nice for our "trip" to Hyder. One of those items was an envelope of flower seeds. For anyone who knows me, this might sound strange because I tend to have a black thumb. It's so bad that I even managed to kill our "wedding" fern that we were given at my bridal shower (you know, the kind that are supposed to symbolize your marriage - Ya, that one). It only took me 6 months and that thing was a crunchy corpse {ooops}. Needless to say, I don't have the best track record with being able to grow viable plants. Regardless, when you're standing in front of the "kazillion-gamillion" (Katie's words) packets of beautifully colored and artfully arranged flower seeds, it doesn't matter if you're the Grim Reaper of plants, you just have to get a packet (or 12) in hopes that maybe just one will SURVIVE your "efforts". So, that's exactly what we did. We bought a few packets of pretty, multicolored flowers to take with us.

When we first arrived here in Hyder and set up our travel trailer, I found one of the packets (Yes, you read that right.....ONE...not sure what happened to the others). The girls were so excited about the flowers that we planted them right away. We put some seeds in a pot and scattered the rest on the outskirts of our gravel pad. And, as is typical for 4- and 7-year old little girls, they checked on the seeds' progress every 5 minutes or so for the first hour and complained loudly that they weren't EVER going to grow. As the days past they started forgetting all about them, then a few weeks ago Alexis came to me all sad and deflated. She said, "Mommy, come look. There is something wrong with the flowers." Truthfully, I had forgotten all about them as well (thank goodness for all the rain). When we walked over to the little pot, what we saw did NOT look like flowers at all. It looked more like weedy, tall grass. I thought, "Great! They filled the flower seed packets with weed seeds - figures I'd only be able to grow weeds." We decided to just let them grow anyway since it was the only thing green I'd managed to keep alive (thank goodness I had completely ignored the plant, otherwise I might have succeeded in killing it).

Three days ago we found that our "weeds" had sprouted flowers.
 NO WAY!! 

Isn't it beautiful? We were so proud of it {smile}.

Of course, not knowing anything about flowers beyond what a rose, daffodil, tulip, and daisy are, AND not having saved the packet, we have no idea what kind of flower this is, but we love it anyways. As for the seeds we had scattered, nothing ever popped up - surprise, surprise {sarcastically, with an eye roll}.

Lesson Plan for "Letter I Day"

First off, I have to tell you that I am in no way an authority on preschool education. I am simply a homeschooling mother with a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Washington that strives to find an interesting/effective way to teach my preschooler the basic foundation of what she'll need to build her future education on. And, being a blogger as well, I get to share this journey of ours with you {smile}. Having one already in 2nd grade (homeschooling as well), I'm already aware of the things that DON'T work well. Been there, done that.

I've found that introducing the letters in a specific order really helps my preschooler chunk the sounds together and read small words a lot easier than if we had just gone straight through the alphabet. 

We have already gone through the letters: A, N, T, and E (lesson plans for those to come soon). 

Today, I introduced the letter "I". So, if you're looking for an interesting and fun lesson plan for the letter "I" then keep reading:

Of course we start off each morning with this wonderful "Good Morning" song. Both girls love it.

Devotion Time:

Today's devotion was on Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." We talked about how, if you had watched God create our world, you would not need sunglasses in the beginning because everything was dark. Then on the 1st day of creation, God separated the light from the dark and called the light, "day" and the dark, "night". You can have your little one close their eyes and then open them again to see how light and dark can be separated. Have them try to put into words what they see when their eyes are closed, and what they see when their eyes are open. If their attention span allows, you can then start talking about what God created on the other days. We got through day 3 before Katie was maxed out on her devotion time. Have your little one memorize Genesis 1:1 and review it every day for a week. You could even make a little poster of the verse to hang up if you have the space.

Introduce Letter of the Day:

If you have a subscription to Scholastic Printables, you can print out the letter "I" clipart on cardstock and laminate it for a nice visual. I used contact paper on ours because I do not have a laminator yet {sad face}. It works just as well though. If you do NOT have a subscription, I would highly recommend one if you are putting curricula together yourself (or supplementing).

Even though the letter "I" can make three different sounds, we just stuck with the short and long sounds for now. I will introduce the long "e" sound that it can make later when she gets more into blending and reading harder words.

Letter "I" Videos:

Katie enjoyed these videos very much and requested that she be able to watch the Storybots video again (5 times, actually). 

Letter Formation/Recognition:

We then headed into learning how to write the letter (both uppercase and lowercase) properly. If you have a membership with Starfall (which I highly recommend), you can print out letter "I" worksheets here. If you do not, then some other fun worksheets can be found here and here. Either way, it is VERY, VERY important that you make sure your preschooler understands the correct way of forming the letter. It will make writing a whole lot easier for them in the long run. Pay attention to how they're forming it and their tendency to either do it backwards or not. 

"Where do you start your letters? AT THE TOP!" 
(from Handwriting without Tears). 

There are many sites online that offer additional worksheets, such as letter searches, matching, etc. to help familiarize the student with the letter and the sound. If your child doesn't mind sitting and doing those then it can be quite beneficial. However, most preschoolers aren't that interested in sitting down to a worksheet (or more than 1 worksheet anyways). Instead, have them search through magazines for the letter "I". Name some objects and ask them if they can hear the short or long sound of the letter "I" in it. You can make it an all-day activity of pointing out things that have the letter "I" (signs, movie titles, the ice cream container when you dish up a small snack {smile}). Your preschooler will more than likely find a gazillion, million I's on his/her own as well that he/she will shriek about and need to show you - so be prepared for the onslaught of I's.

Letter I Craft:

And, of course, what would a day of preschooling be without some good crafty fun. An easy and fun letter "I" craft that we really enjoyed was the ice cream cone craft. 

Doesn't it look "delicious"? My little one LOVES pom poms and any excuse to finger them, squeeze them, roll them, throw them, etc. is just fine with her. And, of course, tiny bead "sprinkles" are delightful as well. You'll want to make sure you do this on a cookie sheet (with a lip), or something similar, to keep all the bits and pieces in one area. How many scoops can you fit on your cone?

Of course, these are just a few of the many options out there for exploring the letter "I". However, I found that it really kept Katie's attention and she had a great time with it. In fact, she asked if we could do letter "I" again tomorrow {smile}. So, just have fun with it and if something isn't working for your little one, don't push it. Just move on to the next thing....keep it light....keep it enjoyable. We want to instill a love of learning, not make it drudgery.

Found on Cornerstone Confessions: Titus 2 Tuesday Linky Party
and Uncommonly Yours Link Party