Saturday, June 30, 2018

Year 0 in Review

Year 0 isn't really an official year.  It's all the years leading up to formal schooling, so for my 5 year old (and to some extent my 3 year old), it means working on habits, exposing them to good books, simple handicrafts, letting them tag along for the riches, and enjoying nature study.

Eleanor is a precocious child, and she enjoys doing.  Worksheets, crafts, nature journals, learning to read.  It doesn't matter - she will ask for something and puts forth a lot of effort and really enjoys what she does!

Eloise is our wild child.  She didn't really do anything formal this year, but she did tag along on nature study of course, some art/handicrafts, and she enjoys books.  She chose Panda, Panda Bear, What Do You See? as her favorite.  She also really likes The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.

I was going to do Before Five in a Row with the girls, but that just didn't happen.  We did a couple of rows, and they were fun enough - but when I switched the boys to Ambleside Online, it was so easy to switch the girls to Year 0.  AO Year 0 is more in line with my natural tendencies, and the 5 year old already liked listening to their readings.  Eleanor enjoyed Emory's Burgess Animal Book for awhile (and Birds, when we read that together) and even listened in to other readings.  I know she was making connections with Age of Fable from Year 4, because when our co-op's drama club did a skit based on a greek myth, she recognized it!

So here is a peek at our year, not necessarily in chronological order . . .

Nature Study
Eloise is a bit more in the thick of things.  She catches bugs in a bug catcher, and probably going to be a bit more adventurous like Emory.

Whereas Eleanor adored starting her own nature journal.  This was an American Toad, based off a picture I took of one splayed out in the water.

She doesn't mind getting dirty though, especially if it means helping pawpaw, because then she will do anything for her favorite person!

Puzzles & Patterns
We do lots of blocks, puzzle play, and pattern blocks, and other hands-on activities.  It's an easy way to engage the girls while the boys are working.

Sometimes it's for play, and sometimes it's for extracurricular activities.  Eloise was in a small class of girls and they were told they could dress up as princesses.  She picked Princess Leia!  Totally sums up her personality!  {She was also a mighty cute cow for the Christmas program.}

Eleanor was Mary for the Christmas program.

Arts and Crafts
This was Eleanor's red-winged blackbird from listening to The Burgess Bird Book with her brother.

In addition to drawing, Eleanor loves any kind of handicraft type activity.  She's very artsy crafty, so I'm always looking for easier activities to introduce to her.

Handicraft - Homemade Necklace - Stringing Beads 

Super Beads - an fun beginner handicraft that she adored!

Trying her hand at origami for the first time!

Decorating her first pinch pot! 

 A sticker-by-number unicorn craft that she bought at the AWANA store.

Queen Eleanor from ARTistic Pursuits Art of the Middle Ages 

Play-doh is a great beginner activity to build fine motor skills and prepare for other handicrafts.

These are a sampling of the type of quality picture books we read this year.

The Real Mother Goose
The Gingerbread Man
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Katy No Pocket
Angus Lost
The Snowy Day
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The Big Green Pocketbook
Caps for Sale
I Am an Artist
Yellow Ball
My Blue Boat
The Story About Ping
The Poky Little Puppy
The Shy Little Kitten
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
Peter Rabbit

Of course, she joined in on the family free reads, which I'll share later.

Final Thoughts
The girls had a good Year 0.  So many lovely stories, so much fun outdoors, and creativity and imagination running wild!  An AO Year 0 allows littles to be little.  I look forward to another rewarding year of this!  Eleanor will technically be K and transitioning to formal lessons since she turns six, but Eloise is only three, and we still have a few years left of this informal, but beautiful way of exploring and learning!

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