Preschool Priority #1 – A rich feast at table time

I plan to use AmblesideOnline in the future. Well, technically, we are already in Y0. Ambleside Online has an extensive set of Riches (or extras that aren't really extra) such as classical music, hymns, folk songs, and art appreciation. I want to make those a regular part of our schedule now so first grade doesn’t seem like such a big switch – and because I enjoy them myself.

As I mentioned last time, we’ll be following Elizabeth Foss’s Alphabet Path. But we will be paring it down quite a bit (example - we aren’t catholic so we will skip the entire saint of the week part).  Most of what it will become our source material for Table Time this year using the Flower Fairy book, Favorite Poems Old and New (a favorite of mine and I have my mom’s copy so it still smells like my childhood to me) and the art book Museum ABC. Looking at her AP essentials, this is only 3 of the 9 she suggests although I'm also adding in an alphabet bible verse book I already have. All of this means I don't have to search for my own additions which was the hardest part of TT for me.

Last year we did bible verses and catechism in the morning and hymns, poems and folk/fairy tales at lunch. This year we’ll be adding a few new things

Morning Table Time
  • bible memory
  • bible catechism
  • hymn 

Lunch Table Time
  • Flower fairy story
  • Poems (1-2 alphabet themed ones daily + one to keep all month to learn well/memorize)
  • Folk song - We love to listen to folk songs around here but I think concentrating on one a month will help us (me included!) learn the actual words so I don’t have to listen to a certain preschoolers constructive criticism when I can’t remember what comes after “she’ll be wearing pink pajamas when she comes.”
  • French song/rhyme – After going back and forth about languages, I’ve picked French, mostly because I studied German and French but its easier to find French materials. I’m using Duolingo to brush up on my skills which is my main goal for this year but I've found a few songs and nursery rhymes for the kids to start with along with sneaking a couple French picture books to sneak into our book pile.
Other treats for the week:
  • More Books - Elizabeth Foss has a ton of book selections for each week. I’ll just select of a few for our book basket that week, using it as a change to bring out some old favorite from our book closet and try some new ones from the library.
  • Activities - If I want to do any activities or baking based on the letter, I can. I think Jonah might appreciate activities that are just for him and Lucy will like being the helper. The general theme of letters will make it easy to fit to our week and both kids. Depending on the week though, I might not do anything. We will also be a part of a small monthly preschool co-op with some friends. That will be another chance for all those pinterest type activities so if I don't get around to any myself, they won't be totally deprived.
  • Alphabet Book and Copywork - Activities or not, by the end of the session (1-2 weeks probably), Lucy should have a lot of options of things that begin with that letter. Hopefully we will have practice writing those letters a few times in multiple ways (salt, playdough, chalkboard, etc) and on the last day, she’ll make a page with 4 pictures of things that begin with the letter of the week. As long as she is interested in writing, I’ll have her write the letter a couple times and circle the best one. This will go in her alphabet path notebook along with the story. 
  • Opera – We loved doing studying specific works last year so this year I thought I’d pick an opera or two. I've found several sources of opera kid fun but I’m still working out details. I don't know much about opera myself. The one experience I've had involved and Craig and I falling asleep about 3/4 of the way through marriage of figaro although to be fair to us it was really hot in the theater. 
  • Art – Lately we've started having daily open art time between lunch and nap, mostly drawing, cutting and gluing but sometimes painting. That sounds more complicated than it really is - kids color while I do the dishes :-) We’ll keep doing that. I've got Drawing for Children so we might do a few lessons as well. Once a week or so, we'll do Art Appreciation using the Alphabet Path’s recommendation.
This is getting long so you'll have to wait to hear about rest in Part II.

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