Monday, September 22, 2014

Communion Focus

Sunday during communion I gave Quinn the following copywork to focus on.  Now it's important to note that she is in a developmental stage where she LOVES copying....if she didn't, this type of work would have been tedious and pointless, but because she is internalizing and processing concepts of print through copying it right now, she loved this and it was perfect for her.  

I started by whispering briefly in her ear a reminder of the different elements of communion and what they meant.  We quickly flipped to I Cor 11 and read about Jesus providing the meaning of the cup and the bread.  (All of this was happening very quietly while the elements were being passed out during worship).  Then she went to work!   

Adding "God" and "Jesus" at the end were her idea.  She was so proud of her writing work, and she re-read it several times during the rest of the communion service.  This was a simple activity that allowed her to work with the concept of communion at her own level.  Obviously I wouldn't do this same activity with her every week, but might offer it as one of two choices for the next few weeks until she gets tired of it.  I might change out the verse or even have her copy from her own Bible.

Van Gogh Artist study

Lately we've been doing some artist studies.  We started with O'Keefe (because our poppies were blooming like crazy and she painted poppies) and moved on to Van Gogh....because now our sunflowers were going gangbusters!  Tying the artists into our garden has really worked well for us and has helped direct which artist to study next.
We take it nice and slow....
We listened to Starry, Starry Night by Don McClean. 
 We read some children's nonfiction books about Van Gogh (often I pick through and just read some of the parts and we examine the pictures).  For Van Gogh I didn't go into all the details surrounding his suicide and his depression, etc.  I keep it appropriate for my kiddos' development.

Then we tried his expressionist style of drawing, using the Starry Night for inspiration and pastels.
 Q wrote his name for us each day on the chalkboard.

 We are also enjoying these Crayola Slick Writers--similar to pastels but slightly easier to use and less smudgy, but still a LITTLE smudgy.  Beck, especially, likes them!  And Q went wild and drew every spare second of her day with them for the first two weeks we had them.  :)
 But mostly we just used regular oil pastels.
 Then we tried our hand at drawing sunflowers.
 (random streamers were due to Q's bday festivities....)
 We REALLY loved these two books.  Beautiful pictures, simple story, and very informative.  We probably read each book 5 times.

My kids have just loved learning about Van Gogh and were very captivated by his paintings--especially the sunflowers, Vincent's Chair, Vincent's Room, Cafe at Arles at Night and Starry Night.  We've seen a few random Van Gogh reproductions at various spots over the past weeks and I am so proud when one of them notices and excitedly exclaims, "There's a Van Gogh!!"  I had fun with this, too!  Q has asked to study Paul Gauguin next, as he was a contemporary of Van Gogh and they painted together (and he was likely the reason Van Gogh cut off his ear....)

Crash and Bump

One activity we do many mornings is "Crash and Bump."  It's basically a little obstacle course around our living room, and you've probably seen my posts about it before.  The goal is to provide a structured outlet for some physical energy, promote gross motor development, vestibular development , proprioceptive development, direction-following, and just plain fun!

We change out our obstacles each week, but we keep pretty much the same TYPE of objective at each obstacle.  I have the kids sit on the couch while I set up--they can look at books but not get off couch--and it takes me 5-7 min to get set up.  I usually have a pretty good idea of what I'll set up planned in my head, and lots of obstacles are the same, or mostly the same with just a little tweak, each week.  

For this obstacle, Q was jumping over the "river."  Ie: a rug that she had to jump across.
 Balance beam (table leaf spread across two chairs)
 Trampoline (piece of Q's mattress with baby gate to hold onto to facilitate bouncing)
 Pillow pit (all the couch pillows with a down comforter thrown on top)
 Crawly tube and in the background is the road--a piece of black felt with lines of yellow felt hotglued down it--initially made for Beck's cars, but also works well for this!
 This is the sommersault afghan.  Beck does more of a roll--they go from one end to the other.
 Uhhh-ohhh, doggy road block!

We also usually put out or rocking horse for riding and some rocker boards either to rock on or to walk across like a bridge.  I put on some fun, fast-tempoed kids music and we have fun!  There's no passing allowed, so if you catch up with the person ahead of you, choose to redo the past station or march in place...or just wait patiently!  I usually help Beck with some of the obstacles such as the "balance beam."  Sometimes I just line up chairs with no table leaf for them to walk across.  Nothing fancy, but they have great fun and I know we're working on those little body systems that are forming pathways in the minds and bodies of little people!!!