Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Octonauts for Pre-K

pretty much the second we decided to have Cameron be homeschooled for kindergarten, I turned to pinterest to look up fine motor skills activities, math games, and other fun learning activities we can use next year along with reading, reading, and more reading together. In the process, I came across some things that are perfect for his stage and interest level now and since he is still home with me three days a week while his sister is in school, I printed off some activities to help us get into the groove of school at home together. These (free printable!) Octonauts activities from royalbaloo.com have been a huge hit! We love Octonauts in our house, despite my initial reservation that they were too babyish for my kids. Cameron (and even Leila) will watch with great interest and the ocean facts learned on the show have sparked discussions and motivated further fact-finding missions for both my kids.
To start off our Octonauts activities, first, I let him watch an episode of Octonauts while I took my shower, since it didn't happen in the morning rush, and Wes was asleep upstairs, having just come off the night shift. I promised him some one-on-one time after I was cleaned up and he was so excited to sit down with me and do "homework."

Once the show was over and I was halfway put together, we did some pre-writing with dry-erase markers (I put the printed sheet into a sleeve protector). Cameron is most happy with a blank sheet of paper (rather, a whole blank pad!) and a marker and will sit contentedly for hours drawing robots, sea creatures, Star Wars scenes, and people, but I wanted to see how he would follow directions and tracing. Looks like he did pretty well! He even asked to do this again later in the day.
While Cameron was working on tracing, I was folding up a dice featuring the Octonauts characters for our next activity - graphing! At first I said to roll the dice ten times and we'd see who had the most rolls, but Cameron was way into it, so I changed it to, "Let's have a race and see who gets five rolls first!" Cameron responded so positively to the idea of a race, and we played this game over and over again (Shellington won three races in a row, hence the next picture!), and even played it again in the afternoon while we waited for Leila to get home from school. Again, I used a sleeve protector and dry erase marker to be able to play this game multiple times without wasting paper. 
The activity pack features tons of other games and practices, and I didn't print everything off, but there are a few other things I've saved to pull out another day. For now, Cameron is super excited about having mommy be his teacher and asks me, "how many more days until I'm homeschooled? how many more days until kindergarten?" When Wes told him it was close to 100, he was a little discouraged, but we'll keep having fun with these pre-k activities in the meantime and look forward to September together!  
Also, looking at these pictures makes me realize that we really need a curtain or shade in this room that is slowly turning into our homeschool room if we're going to be productive morning workers in a few months! 

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