Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekly Report for Aug. 12, 2011

What a busy summer we've had!  Throughout Tyler's summer vacation from medical school, we were out of town for over 7 weeks!  And that wasn't all at once either.  On Monday, though, Tyler went back to school and I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things.  I've been so much more productive than I was while he was home.

This week, Lydia had therapy 4 different days in the morning.  I think going to those helped me get started in the mornings, and I was able to do so much more than usual.  Now that she's 3 years old, I've been trying to do better about "preschool" stuff.  She's still a very concrete thinker, and even stories or themes seem to be lost on her still, so I've decided to do more concrete things.  For this week, I printed off pre-handwriting exercises, planning on having her do one a day.  She kept asking to do more, though, so we averaged three a day.  She's doing better and better with those.  It's now obvious that she's trying to follow the lines, and we're working on correct pencil grip.  She also spent hours coloring this week, which I think is also helping her.  Her new favorite show, Blue's Clues, has really influenced her coloring.  She is constantly "drawing" different clues, and I even overheard her one day talking to herself about how to draw a duck, per Steve's instructions, "First you draw a circle for the head..."  I used to be a hater when it came to Blues Clues, but for Lydia at least, it has done wonders.

We also had three books that I tried to read every day that were different from her normal favorite books.  This week's books were Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Little House, and Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse.  They were all hits, especially the last two.  I think she liked The Little House because there are trains and trucks in it, and after the first reading of Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse, she would always point out where the purple pebble was hiding as soon as we got to the page.

I also tried to read from The Secret Garden a little each day, but I only managed to do that a few days.  Still, she seems to be enjoying it and any time I ask her if she wants to read it with me, she's game.

I found this book called The Primer of Industry that someone linked to on Google Books.  It is a series of fine motor skills exercises that are supposed to help children be able to eventually do handicrafts.  Some of the exercises look more interesting than others, but the first series is called "stick laying."  Basically the book has a series of patterns, starting with two sticks and moving up to more complicated designs that you are supposed to have the children copy.  I was interested to see how Lydia would do, so I took some popsicle sticks and traced a few of the two-stick designs on paper.  Then I asked her to lay the sticks on the lines.  She was able to do some, but was confused at others, especially if the sticks crossed.  I think I'm going to have her do a few of these "puzzles" every day, because although I can't pin why, I think they will be good for her.

Tyler and I have made a deal that I will do the dishes if he reads to the girls the whole time.  This deal seems to be great for both of us, and he just finished reading Winnie the Pooh to Lydia.  I'm going to pick up The House at Pooh Corner for him to continue.  Every night, right before bed, he also reads a picture book to Lydia, and after weeks of her choosing Madeline, she is finally choosing a new book.  Her new favorite is Caps for Sale, which she received for her birthday from Grandma.

And I almost forgot!  Yesterday, I made Lydia some home made play dough.  She didn't really know what to do with it, so I just started making shapes and having her tell me what shapes they were.  Eventually, I just started making circles and had her count them.  She could actually count them so long as I was pointing.  Counting is something we've been working on, so I was excited to see some of the fruit of my effort.

As for Ellie, she's getting cuter every day.  She took her first steps this week and loves to stand by herself as often as she can.  She isn't very interested in walking yet, but she's almost there.

And that's our week at Abbey Road Preschool.  It's been one of our busier weeks, but I think we've all enjoyed it, and I hope next week is as good.


  1. Aw. That post made me miss the sweet times of preschool. I'll have to look into that stick activity. That sounds interesting. Tina-whose 3year old is borrowed M-F and whose real baby is 9.

  2. So sweet hearing about all the gentle learning that you are doing with your little one!