Saturday, January 29, 2011


Ever since Lydia got a plastic t-rex from the dollar section at Walmart, Tyler has hoped that she would love dinosaurs.  And she does.  She enjoys her little toy dinosaurs (we have since added to her collection), but she's more likely to make them kiss than she is to have them destroy things.  In hopes that she would become more educated on all things dinosaur, Tyler requested I do our next unit on dinosaurs.  I happily agreed.

This one didn't go as smoothly as the Penguin week, though.  For one thing, she didn't recognize any dinosaur except T-rex as a dinosaur. I got several books from the library about dinosaurs, but because I got them without looking through them first (you try bringing two kids two and under to the library past naptime), only two ended up being at Lydia's level.  And even then, she only liked the one that was more about butterflies than dinosaurs.  Oh well, she did enjoy our dinosaur craft, though!  Anyways, here's what we did this week.

We read the book, Dinosaurs Roar, Butterflies Soar as well as Dinosaurs Big and Small.  As I mentioned, the former was certainly her favorite.  And I have to say that I enjoyed it as well.  The illustrations were bright and fun.  We read both of these books several times.  With Dinosaurs Big and Small, we learned some new vocabulary such as "carnivore," "herbivore," as well as several dinosaur names.  If you ever want to have fun, try to get a two and a half year old to say dinosaur names.

We also watched the movie, The Land Before Time.  This was a mistake.  It is crazy violent for a G-rated movie.  I don't mind the violence, but Lydia has always been very sensitive to tense scenes in movies.  I let her watch it while I was doing some chores and she kept coming to me and saying, "Scared dinosaur movie."  I'd tell her that's ok, we can watch something else, and she would say, "Go finish dinosaur movie."  So I said ok, and she'd go back.  I think in the end she enjoyed it well enough, but I don't think I'll be having her watch it again any time soon.

We also did a few dinosaur coloring sheets as well as a dinosaur craft.  I bet you can't tell which is mine and which is Lydia's.

For a sidenote, Ellie learned how to roll over this week!  What a big girl.  This is a picture I took of her today.

For fun, I've been reading Lydia Edith Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare.  I got it for free on my Kindle, and now Lydia asks me several times a day to "read Shakespit!"  It makes a mama proud, and I'm learning a few new things too.

This week had a few beautiful days, so we spent a lot of time in the backyard.  I let Lydia bring her dinosaurs outside.  Even after all her education this week, she still made them kiss goodbye.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Music Study

If you know my husband you know that music is a very important part of our lives, especially his.  He has a very strong passion for music, especially rock and roll music.  As a result, we both want our daughters to grow up being exposed to lots of different kinds of music.  I'm interested in our daughters being familiar with the great composers and their works.  My husband wants our daughters to be familiar with the great artists of the last 50 years.  So what I did was to create a playlist on for the Ambleside composer study recommendations.  We listen to this every other day.  It's about an hour long and I just put it on when the girls are playing.  Here's the link to Ambleside's composer schedule.

Right now that means we're listen to Vivaldi.  Specifically (and I don't know if I'm writing these correctly, but there you have it):

The Four Seasons
Trio Sonata in C major
Concerto in D for Guitar
Concerto for Oboe, Violin, and Strings in B-flat major.
Concerto Senza Cantin in re minore

My husband thought it would be a good idea for the girls to start with The Beatles, so he's working on a playlist for them.  I have will have them listen to this on the days we don't listen to Vivaldi.  My plan is to do two new artists (one classical, one modern) every four months.  In this way I'm hoping they will gain familiarity with them all.  I'll update this post with my husband's Beatles playlist when he gives it to me.

Today, Lydia fell asleep while listening to Vivaldi.  I guess that's a good side-effect of a classical music education!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My first Unit Study ever!  Now, in theory I'm not really a unit study kind of gal.  I am actually pretty hard-core classical.  But for preschool and for fun, unit studies are great.  So for my first attempt at "organized" preschool, I decided to do a unit on my husband's favorite animal, penguins.

This week has been ALL penguins.  The four books pictured I got from the library.  And can I just say, I love our library system?  It has several libraries in it, and I can request a book from any of them and they will be at my library, waiting for me to pick them up!  I love it.  Anyways, we really enjoyed all these books, but Lydia especially enjoyed A Penguin Story, while my husband's favorite was Pierre the Penguin.  He actually called it "charming."  We have read each of these books at least once a day this week.

We also did a heart penguin craft.  Lydia loves hearts because there are some on her shoes and we call them her "pretty heart shoes," so I knew she'd love this one.  Here's the link to the template.  We colored the hearts black and red and talked about the colors.  Then I cut them out and we counted the hearts (several times.  Lydia loves counting).  Then Lydia wanted to talk about which ones were big and which ones were little.

After that discussion, I glued them together and we each had our very own heart penguin.  I named mine Snowflake, after the pink penguin in Scamper the Penguin, which we're watching later this week and I'm ashamed to say I actually own on DVD.

Other Penguiny things we've done or are going to do: We watched this short interactive story, we have a number of coloring sheets and a few more crafts to do.  I did find an adorable Oreo penguin snack, but that would require having lots of leftover Oreos, and as we have recently renewed our efforts to eat healthily, that wouldn't be a good idea.

We also play with Starfall everyday and Lydia's getting closer to being able to recognize that reading is just putting letters together.  Before this week she knew all her letter sounds if you asked her, "what does B say?" or "what sound does L make?," but she didn't know how to reverse it.  So if you said, "what letter says sssss?" she wouldn't have a clue.  After the last three or four days of working on it, though, she had a breakthrough and now recognizes what I call the Transitive Property of Letter Sounds.

I would say, overall, that this has been a very successful first attempt, and now I'm just faced with the question of what unit study to do next?


Well, as Lydia gets older, I am now finally starting to get to where I can "teach" her things, so I decided to go ahead and start a homeschooling blog to chronicle our adventures.  I plan on homeschooling our girls, and even though Lydia is only 2 and a half now, I'm going to go ahead and start doing some really light activities with her.

You may be wondering about the name of our homeschool.  Well, in order to try to convince my husband that homeschooling was for us, I offered to let him name our school.  And as he's a very big Beatles fan...well, you get it.  So Abbey Road Preschool it is!

This blog is going to be dedicated to sharing and keeping track of what we do together.  I'm also probably going to write about homeschooling topics that interest me as well.  It will be fun to see what happens over the next few years!