Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 2nd Grade :)

April Lesson Plans

on March 26, 2013

2012-2013

Whether big or small, I hope you have some gardening plans in the works for April and that you will participate in these lesson plans with us! A gardening theme is a great way to teach that faith is lot like a seed. Good things come to those who wait. If you have time, its fun to go into the archives of this blog and look back at what we were doing last April with the theme of faith, gardening, farming, and chickens (we narrowed things down this year because the theme was too broad). Let us know how your garden grows!
 
If you are new here, we invite you to join our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs school by following along with our lesson plans at home! You are welcome to do homeschool together with us! Please take a look at Welcome Back to School for a basic explanation of each area of study that you see here in this monthly lesson plan (bold blue headings), as well as a description of the beauty of Charlotte Mason education methods. If you would like to preview other themes planned for the year, also see our 2013 masterplan. If you would like to call your school Little Lambs as well, see my post Founding Message of Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs, a sweet Bible lesson I presented during one of our very first circle times that you might want to use with your kids too!

Bible Theme: I have faith

Preschool Fun Theme: Gardening

Bible Stories:

Week 1 Hebrews Chapter 11, Parable of the Mustard Seed (Luke 13:18-189)

Week 2 Jesus Feeding the 5,000

Week 3 Jesus Walking on Water

Week 4 Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego

Memory Verse:

Review last years verse: If you have faith as small as mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Learn new verse: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (Charlotte Mason used KJV, and we try to use it because it teaches literary language and vocabulary)

In other words: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Classical Art Study:

Choose from hundreds of Garden Paintings here.

In the Garden by Claude Monet, 1895

Hymn:

No Mp3 of this hymn available, so learn it beforehand using the link below, and then teach it to the children a cappella.

Faith is a Living Power from Heaven

Lyrics and tune

Poetry for memorization:

Annie’s Garden from a Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa

(by the way, mignonette is pronounced min-yə-ˈnet, and means ‘any genus of herbs’)

IMG_9422

Handwriting:

The children will practice printing:

garden

Word Building:

Use lowercase letters to build:

Week 1 hat

Week 2 sun

Week 3 mud

Week 4 wet

Extension: After building the assigned words, select other beginning consonant letters that form a new word from the same word ending (this can be done by the child or the teacher). For example, lay out letters b, c, f, m, p, r, s, to choose from and then have children make new words by taking off the h in hat and replacing it with a new consonant. Have the children sound out their new word and announce what word they built. The children will see that many words can be built from the same word endings ( word endings being –at, –un, –ud, –et). See Welcome Back to School post for more Word Building information.

Provide real objects or pictures during your word building lesson if you want.

IMG_8709

Literature and Reference Books:

Place books on hold on your library’s website today, or order from an online bookstore, so they will be ready for you on time!

Math:

(Activities are from the book Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Week 1  Measuring with Strings (p. 97)

Object: Children will be introduced to the idea of a measuring tool. Have the children use a length of string to find objects that are the same length, longer, or shorter than the string. Since we previously practiced measuring things around the room with our arms to find objects that are “the same as me”, ask, “Is it easier to measure with your arm or a string?” Do the children try measuring things that seem unlikely to be the length they are looking for or are they discriminating, measuring only those things that are fairly close to the length of their string? How close do the children need to get to an object before they can tell if they have found something that might be the same length?

Week 2 Can You Find It? (p.122)
Make number set cards (like the toothpick set pictured in my December lesson plan) with varying objects such as buttons, paper clips, bread tags, or beads on bracelets, beads strung on yarn, objects glued on popsicle sticks, etc. Each set should include at least 3 or 4 of each of the numbers from 1 to 10. Object: children will match quantities, count without touching, and practice recognizing quantities up to six without counting. Hand out 5-6 number set cards to your child. Hold up a number card set and ask if he/she has a card with the same number as yours. Do they need to touch the objects or can they count just by looking? Do they just check the cards that look similar or do they count the objects on every card even though it couldn’t possibly have the same number? When working with number sets of six or less, let the children know that it is good when they can tell you how many without counting. Counting when needed is good, but some children think they are supposed to count every time even though they don’t need to. Preschoolers can sometimes recognize groups of 2 or 3 without counting, but you want to encourage and work up to the instant recognition of numbers to 4, 5, or 6.

Week 3 Concentration (p. 123)

Object: same as week 2, but different format. Set up cups upside down in three rows of four. Use counters to place two sets of each number being worked with underneath the cups (two cups with 3 beans underneath, two cups with four beans underneath, and so forth) OR (one cup with 3 beans, one cup with 3 pennies, one cup with 4 seeds, one cup with 4 beads, and so forth). Have children uncover two items to see what number is hiding. If they uncover a matching pair, they remove them. If the pairs don’t match, they cover them again and the next child gets a turn. Do the children choose cups randomly, or do they remember what number is hiding underneath? Are the children able to recognize that different groups have the same number, even when they are different materials?

Week 4 Pattern Block Puzzles (p. 93 )

Object: children will explore how shapes fit into other shapes and find ways to fit shapes into puzzles outlines. Level one puzzles in the book have interior lines, and level two puzzles are without interior lines (see this advanced example of level 2). Have children find pattern blocks that he or she thinks will fit and fill in a puzzle shape (you can print out or draw). For example, give the children a puzzle that is the outline of a trapezoid, and see if they can discover that it will accommodate two triangle pattern blocks and one hexagon pattern block. Do the children test the blocks and move them around to make them fit? Do they know ahead of time what blocks to get?

Group Projects:

Plant and take care of a garden!

IMG_9346

Write an Experience Story

“Today we planted a garden in our backyard with mommy and daddy. First, we planted a pumpkin behind the rosemary. Next, we planted planted peas in a large pot. Then we planted lettuce, carrots, radishes, corn, and onions in our raised garden bed. Finally, we made sure to water all our plants. We can’t wait to eat fresh vegetables from the garden!

Planting a garden together is a perfect opportunity to use something called Language Experience Approach (LEA), or dictated stories. The language experience approach is a “whole language” approach that promotes reading and writing through the use of personal experiences and oral language. Beginning literacy learners relate their experiences to a teacher, who transcribes them. These transcriptions are then used as the basis for other reading and writing activities. Through LEA the teacher is able to demonstrate important concepts about print such as: starting on the left side of the page, capitalizing proper nouns and at the beginning of a sentence, spaces in between words, punctuation at the end, how to proceed to the next line on lined paper, etc.

LEA is something useful I learned in my teaching credential program, and is very compatible with Charlotte Mason methods as it treats language as a “whole” experience. Teaching language arts as a whole means that speaking, listening, reading, writing are taught all together in a natural and meaningful way, and lessons to teach skills and mechanics of language are not taught separately because this takes them out of context, thus losing their meaning. Since LEA develops literacy through whole language, it develops literacy with the whole learner in mind. Real people love to read and write for real purposes. (FYI, learning parts of language out of a workbook is the exact opposite of whole language methods)

So to do LEA, make a shared memorable experience together, such as planting a garden, then sit down and have children all contribute to retelling the experience while you write down their words in large print that everyone can see (like chart paper or a blackboard). You may help provide the framework such as a topic sentence and transitional words such as first, next, then, after, and last. You can help provide correct grammar without totally changing the children’s story. Read your story, re-read it, revise it, make a book out of it, share it, journal it, or write it down in a memory/scrap book……..do you see all the purpose and the meaning?!

This activity is very beneficial because the children will see how the writing process works from beginning to end, they will also get reading practice as you all read and re-read the story together, and beginners enjoy the activity because it uses a topic of high personal interest and familiarity. Plus, teamwork gets the story done which makes it easy and fun for brand new writers.

Paint Rocks to Make Cute Vegetable Garden Markers. Make sure to spray varnish each side at least 5 times or colors will disappear rapidly! Last year we varnished a painted rock project only once or twice and the paint washed off in no time.

Grow a Sunflower House

Make mushrooms grow in the garden. I love this idea because I have a thing for toadstools, polymer clay, and garden decor. Last year we painted something made out of polymer clay, kept it outside all  year long, and it still looks great. I am surprised how well painted clay weathers, and so I think the mushrooms will stay pretty too.

Paint Sunflowers

IMG_4189

Nature Study:

Find unexpected natural treasures.

IMG_9474

Pick them, and then every time look very astonished at mommy’s no picking rule.

IMG_9477

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. –Francis Bacon

All good things are inspired by God! We share freely here to be a blessing to you with all that He has given us. Thank you for sharing what you have been given with others too. “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8

 


2 responses to “April Lesson Plans

  1. Laura Bishop says:

    Thanks Lynn! I think I will attempt doing some of these lessons this month at home with Aiden. I’m very unstructured with our learning and would like more structure in our routine. Thanks for the inspirations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: