Monday, August 29, 2011

Pre-Writing Notebook

I cannot take the credit for this, as using page protectors is common among homeschoolers that want to preserve worksheets and workbooks for extra practice or for their younger children.

The idea for doing it a notebook format was not mine either.  It came from the files or database in the Ambleside Year 0 yahoo group.  I joined to get information, ideas and encouragement for homeschooling through the Preschool-Kindergarten years in a Charlotte Mason style.  I have not been disappointed.

Worksheets are not really Charlotte Mason in style, especially for Elliott's age.  However, a notebook format appealed to me for a few reasons.

(1)  I was given a massive amount of worksheets by a Kindergarten teacher who found out I would be homeschooling.  While grateful, I wasn't sure what to do with that many worksheets.

(2) Page protectors are forgiving.  Dry erase markers are much more easily erased than pencil from paper--and much more fun for a 4 year old.  They also give us the chance to do the fun pages repeatedly.

(3) I can change it up as his skill-level increases, his interest changes (right now he likes the mazes the most) and even change it during holidays, as there were several seasonal worksheets in the stack she gave me.

The first page is a "My name is Elliott" practice sheet.  I used a worksheet generator on Handwriting for Kids, which is a free website for Handwriting practice.  He taught himself how to write his name, but needs more practice with letter formation and size, and the name worksheet seemed like a good title page of sorts to mom.

I'll probably eventually add in pages with short sentences for his birthday, address, phone number and other information that he has already memorized but will need practice in writing and spelling.

So to get his notebook in order, I had to get the worksheets in order.  I separated everything out, then put the alphabet/phonics in alphabetical order, numbers in numerical order, holiday worksheets in seasonal get the point.

Then I chose worksheets that would seem less like work and slightly more fun to Elliott.  I included dot-to-dots (both numbers and letters), matching, drawing shapes, mazes, letter and number tracing, blank pages for writing and drawing, and only a few that were for a specific letter or number.

This is daddy blowing up a balloon for him...we've had a lot of balloon play in the house since we had extra balloons from Emory's birthday party.

It's nothing spectacular, but he likes it, and it fulfills his desire for "school" work.  In order to keep the idea of the notebook fresh and fun, we don't use it daily.  He doesn't need to do worksheets daily, though he does need occasional practice to work on hand-eye coordination and handwriting.  I think it'll be nice to put in some new puzzles before the long car trip coming up...

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