Friday, August 31, 2012

All About Reading Level Pre-1 Review

This month we had fun learning with a real curriculum for pre-reading from All About Learning Press:  All About Reading Level Pre-1 .  

"All About Reading Level Pre-1 is our pre-reading program for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Your child will enjoy the special games, crafts, and storytime read-alouds, while as the parent and teacher, you will love how your child effortlessly learns the five essential pre-reading skills that we call the Big Five Skills."

What I loved most about this program was how easy it was to sit down and pull out the materials and start the lesson.  And the lessons could be as long or short as you want them to be.  I would do one lesson every other day and my son was ecstatic, especially when Ziggy the Zebra (puppet) was part of the action. My son is 3.5 and already knows almost all of his letters and we are starting to work on sounds.  He is quick to pick up on new skills and I was very surprised at how well he played the rhyming games right from the start.

So what makes All About Learning Press unique?  In each lesson there are 5 components that make a complete learning package called the Big Five Skills: 

1. Print Awareness teaches how print is used.   Each lesson provided opportunities to develop print awareness such as pointing to words in the reading book.  The teacher manual also gave many helpful tips for reading with your child that included print awareness activities like counting words in a sentence or identifying letters in the title of a book.  We also did sensory activities like the one below where we built letters with objects like dominoes.

2. Letter Knowledge is learning and understanding the alphabet. In each lesson we would look at the large poster with all the letters of the alphabet and sing the alphabet to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  My son picked up on this song rather quickly.  Here is short video of him singing it. 

3. Phonological Awareness teaches children to hear and identify the different sounds in words.  We loved the little rhyming games that Ziggy played with us using flashcards and also just oral questions and answers.  Shrade would always laugh when Ziggy made a mistake and in correcting him, he was able to use rhyming words to make the sentence right.  It was definitely a highlight of our lesson time.

4. Listening Comprehension is the ability for children to understand the meaning of the words they hear and relate to them in some way.  This was developed through questions and discussions with the poems and stories that we read.

5. Motivation to Read is an important skill demonstrated by a child's eagerness and and willingness to read.  My son has always been interested in books and continues to be even more intrigued since he is making connections between letters, sounds and words.  He loves to pick up a book and "read."

Playing a rhyming game "Get out of the Wagon!"
Completing a worksheet from My Book of Letters
There are 78 lessons in this curriculum and covers capital and lowercase letters and their sounds.  The variety of activities and also the systematic way they are taught is very appealing to me.  I was a teacher and I enjoy structure and it is very well laid out that even moms who were never teachers can pick this up and have lots of fun learning with their child.  The only consumable product is the activity workbook, so multiple children can be taught with only having to buy the workbook for each succeeding child.

If you are looking for a great way to introduce your young preschooler to letters without having to do a lot of preparation work, this is the resource for you!  Check out All About Learning Press for more information.

*This product was provided to me free of charge by All About Learning Press for the purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this product and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

The All About Reading Level Pre-1 Deluxe Package includes:
  • Teacher's Manual (208 pages)
  • Student Packet
    • My Book of Letters and Sounds Activity Book (192 pages)
    • Picture Cards
    • Letter Sound Cards
    • Capital Letter Alphabet Chart
    • Lowercase Letter Alphabet Chart
    • Progress Chart
  • The Zigzag Zebra: a rhyming alphabet hardcover book
  • Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new hardcover book
  • Divider Cards (to keep your Picture Cards and Letter Sound Cards organized)
  • "Letter Sounds A to Z" CD-ROM
  • Ziggy the Zebra puppet
  • Activity Box to hold your student's learning cards
  • Adorable Animal Stickers for the progress chart
  • All About Reading tote bag to keep your components organized

Summer Bible Reading Adventure Recap

Hi Everyone! Were you able to read the Bible everyday to your children this summer?  Well, I almost did!  I'm so glad I was intentional to open God's Word and expose my children to HIM everyday.  This starts a very good habit while my children are so young.  I intend to read the Bible everyday to my children just as I read it for myself.  Someday I can actually teach them how to do devotions.

I hope you were able to follow me on Facebook for daily verse postings!  It was a great accountability for me to post and then remember to read that passage to my children.

For those of you who completed the August Bible reading, 

please fill out the check in form by September 10.  I also included a short survey.  And as promised I will reward one family a children's Bible.  Be sure to leave your email address.  Thanks, Shonda

For those of you who are interested, I will be having a Fall Challenge Scripture Reading Adventure starting in October.  Be sure to check back in the middle of September for details.  And let me know if you think you will be part of that challenge. Thanks!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Highlights from Letter B Lesson Preschool (age 3)

Here we have embarked on our second preschool lesson.  We started this in July and then things got really busy so we are finishing it now in August.  I am having so much fun finding great crafts, books and activities for each letter of the alphabet.  It's exhausting, but worth it.  So join us as we explore letter B.

Bible verse for the month: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God."  Matthew 5:9
from Raising Rock Stars Preschool

Corduroy Story Bag

I used this idea for creating a story bag for the Corduroy book.  I chose several objects from the story and put them in a bag.  Before reading the story we took each thing out and identified it.  Then during the story we again talked about the objects that we had that were in the story and last of all we re-told the story using the objects.  I also had some flashcards from Homeschool Creations that went along with the book.
Sorting buttons
We did many of the activities from The Activity Mom using these buttons:

B is for bear
Throwing beanbags
B is for beaver
Sorting and graphing gummy bears
B is for bug.  Daddy and Shrade even found a whole bunch of bugs!
Playdough balls for B
"Reading" books
b is for boat
Oh, my goodness, I wish I could write all that we did, but I'll have to let the pictures tell you the story.  It's been fun doing preschool at home although it takes a lot of planning work for me!  I'm trying to figure out an easy way to do it.  Hopefully by December I will have it down.  All of my printables and ideas come from my Pinterest board, so check it out.

Here is my Pinterest Board for Letter B.

Books we enjoyed:

Be sure to look at my lesson plans to see how I incorporate 10 areas of learning!

Letter B Lesson Plans

No Time For Flash Cards


Parenting is Heart Work: How to Start Connecting With the Heart

Here we are at the last session #8- How to Start Connecting with the Heart.  I am so excited to share just a few things from Parenting Is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller and our home group session.

The most important thing to know is that relationship opens windows and doors!

Some roadblocks to connecting are being tired, busy, not knowing how and afraid of rejection.  Do you relate?

Connecting emotionally takes work.  You need to be intentional. 

How does my child like to be loved?  See this HEART acrostic.

Have fun!

Eating together in a fun environment

Arrange activity

Remember the good times

Talking and listening

How are you connecting with your kids?

There are so many other things that I wish I could have shared about this book and video session, but these are some basic principles that I think will help you as you start connecting with the heart.

If you missed any of these posts click HERE for all the posts for Parenting is Heart Work.