Last month we focused on our friends and families and how we impact them and how they influence us. Although we talked about others – it was a pretty egocentric focus re-titled as “All about ME.” However the me focus always came back to how we individually affect each other. Therefore, our back 2 school ABC lesson was “Always Be Caring.” Always Be Caring to everyone and everything. We talked about ways to care for ourselves, our family members, even animals – which transitioned nicely in to our “Fall on the Farm” theme.
We transitioned from pets in our homes, to the animals on the farm down the road. We separated animals into categories of pet, farm or wild. We separated wild animals into where they lived around the world. We talked about how animals around the world use adaptation, migration and hibernation to survived the lands and weather changes. As weather changes around northern Michigan we observed birds flying south and learned about how farm animals prepare for the cold weather.
We read books on animals and re used some of our A-Zoo knowledge from a past Mother Goose Time curriculum. We found an animal for each letter of the alphabet and started learning about letter shapes. Last week we used lines and curves for shape art – which transitioned nicely into how each letter uses lines and curves. A = lines, B = both, C = curve … C = Cat, Chicken, Cow. We worked on using the letter C. For each letter we work on making the speech sound(s), then sounding out words with such sounds and matching those words to objects (example C is for Cow * cow figures, cow pictures, cow projects).
After a speech focused use of the letter we work on identifying the letter. Our little ones might match same letters while middle students match upper and lower case letters and oldest students work on cursive. After letter recognition we work on word-work finding words using the letter in initial, mid or ending sounds. We play build-a-word games labeling images or working on spelling skills. We define and rhyme with the words, work on syllables, parts of speech, etc depending on age – then use the words to build sentences and finally stories.
Sometimes we read stories featuring our letter of the day – sometimes we write them. Sometimes they are fiction, sometimes fact, sometimes serious, sometimes funny – sometimes a little of all reading/writing styles. Sometimes we take the book provided from Mother Goose Time and add to the tale – or use it to continue building on lessons. This months book about having a cow inside the house has a been a hit and yesterday it led to discussions of animal vs people habitats – which led back to our line and curve shape studies.
We built forts indoor and outdoors – big and small – discussing habitats and homes. We observed animals in the wild and followed ants to their mounds. We found gofer mounds and compared the two. We visited a farm and compared man made structures to animal made ones. Field trips are a big part of Adventure Academy for our older students. Our older tutor-time students venture off our home-based center for various adventures throughout the community. Some say that’s their favorite part of the program – others say they love that they get to be helpers when on site with the little ones.
Adventure Academy is a multi-age program for infants through pre-teens. Some days are dedicated to a specific age range for developmental focus – other days there are a wide variety of ages and stages working and playing together. Indoors and outside it’s amazing to watch older students build confidence teaching younger kids and the younger ones being encouraged to try new skills. Our programs are stage based instead of age based so there is no race, but rather encouragement.
Adventure Academy is just one of Mi Families programs. Mi Families facilitates recreational and educational programs for children, their parents and providers. We are reaching out with resources for families and those who work with families across Michigan through on-location services and on-line. Feel free to find us on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIN … subscribe above to get our future articles … email the director Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information on any of our services – including our next field trip: to a pumpkin patch and our next event for Halloween!