June 9, 2011

Focus Word: Dog

Now that summer is here and S is home more, I am in the process of getting more organized with home learning activities.  S's baby brother, M (Has he even been mentioned here yet?  Poor second born!)  is now 8 months old and so I have been wanting to include him in our activities.  A great way to teach multi-age kids is to use themes.  

While I have always used themes to organize our activities in the past and probably will return to them when school begins, I decided to try something different during the summer because I felt like it might be a good fit for both boys at this point.  We are going to have a "focus word" each week. 

This week's word is DOG.  M is playing with dog toys (ones meant for children, not dogs), is seeing lots of photographs and illustrations of dogs from books, and is learning the sign for dog

S on the other hand has shown lots of interest in reading lately ("How do you spell ______?" "What does __-__-__ spell?").  Since he loves identifying initial letter sounds and is so interested in learning how to read, I am going with it even though he's still very young. This could be a passing phase and my plan is abandoned mid-summer, but so far it's working well and S is loving "learning to read."

Since our focus word is dog, we have been doing activities using the -og word family:

We have also been reading lots of books about dogs and frogs and finding the word dog and frog in them:
Other focus words I plan to use this summer (though they may change) are fan, hat, dad, pig, hot, bug, nap, and car.  I chose these because they are good baby signs and also lend themselves to CVC word family words.  I also like this site for word family printable books and this site for nursery rhymes, but didn't use them this week as there is no -og.  

We also used our old dog carrier to set up a vet center for S (and M) to pretend with. I also plan to do some math activities later in the week using little dog counters, and still need to come up with a dog craft. 

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