Letter of the Week Homeschooling: Letter Aa

We commenced our Letter of the Week Homeschooling last week with the introduction of the alphabet. We kicked off this week our letter per week lessons with the first letter of Ashley’s name: the Letter Aa. I initially thought of covering the alphabet chronologically. But I learned from fellow homeschooling moms that introducing the letters of the child’s name first will make it more interesting and the familiarization easier. After all, the first words that the child will be writing and spelling more often later on will be his or her name. I also found a Montessori research material that presents the ideal order of introducing letter sounds/phonetics to preschoolers. It starts with the letters that are most commonly used. As the child progresses, he or she can make many words with the letters that were just learned.

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Our Aa Week activities and Lessons

* LANGUAGE ARTS

Theme Words

For each letter, we’ll be coming up with five Theme Words posted in our ABC Chart.  These are words written on flash cards and intended for everyday reading.  Most of the time, the activities that I plan for the week are related to or are based the theme words.  For this week, our theme words are:

animal, ant, alligator, apple, Astronaut

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The Aa Theme Words

Read Aloud

Reading books together are one of our favorite bonding activities.  There was never an instance that she refused every time I invite her for a story time.  Often, she’s even the one who initiates and requests, “Mommy, read tayo please!”  For our Aa Week, we read mostly her books about animals.  We don’t have a specific reading hour or schedule but most of the time, Ashley wants to read before nap and bed times.

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Our Aa Week Books

* MUSIC

A is for ants.

Ashley quickly learned the song “The Ants Go Marching”.  Her favorite lines from the song are “Hurrah! Hurrah” and “Boom Boom Boom Boom!”.

* SENSORY BIN

A is for apple, aquamarine, Aurora, Ariel, Anna, ant (inside the container), alligator

I came up with a Sensory Bin that contains objects starting with Letter Aa.  The little girl identifies all the items inside the box as she gets them one by one.  Here are the items in our bin.

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Our Aa Sensory Bin

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Items that start with Letter Aa

* MATH

A is for alligator.

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Alligator Clothespins

We made alligators from wooden clothespins.  Clothespins are great tools for fine motor skills development.  The materials became an instant matching game after coming up with a number card and placing dots on the back of the alligators.  Ashley enjoyed counting the dots, identifying the numbers and having the alligator “bite” the number.

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Number Card and the Wooden Alligator Clothespins

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Fine Motor and Counting Exercises

* SCIENCE (and LIFE SKILLS)

A is for aquarium.

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The Original Belle and Oggy

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The second batch of fishes

Asher and Ashley were so ecstatic when I told them that we’ll set up an aquarium.  We went to the pet store and they personally chose the fishes they want to take home.  They chose 2 fancy gold fishes with huge belly bumps.  I tried to research about their specific species of gold fish and the description that comes closest is that of the Fantail Goldfish.  Unfortunately, they both didn’t make it and died the next day much to Ashley’s dismay.  She wailed upon seeing  Belle and Oggy floating and lifeless.  For a moment she was inconsolable and was only pacified when I said that it’s not her fault that her fish probably got sick (the fishes exhibited swim bladder conditions the night before).  Poor little girl.  She got easily attached to the fish.  Their Dad promised that he’ll get them new fishes from the pet shop the next day. They got 5 new fishes but after 24 hours, just like the first 2 fishes, the fishes died one by one except for Ashley’s fish which she named Belle again.  Belle is the last fish standing…swimming.  Ashley looks forward to feeding her pet fish every morning.  She would say “Belle, yum yum yum..eat ka marami ha!”  So aside from Science, Ashley is learning a new life skill: caring for a pet.

* SOCIAL STUDIES

is for Astronaut.

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Am Al

AkAn

I showed Ashley our pictures taken at the Hong Kong Space Museum where she saw and even had a picture with an unmanned Astronaut.  She vividly remembered the things she saw since this advance field trip took place just 3 months ago.  She learned what does an Astronaut do and where they go, why does their suit look like that, how does a rocket control capsule look like inside and she learned about Ham and Sam, the first astronauts to test the first manned spaceflights.

A is for Pambansang Awit ng Pilipinas

Ay Az

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Our Aa week coincided with the celebration of the Philippines Independence Day.  We had a flag making activity on Thursday and a flag ceremony after. She identified the shapes and colors of the flag.  She counted the stars and the rays of the sun.  We sang the Lupang Hinirang (National Anthem of the Philippines).  She also learned the proper gesture of placing the right hand on the left chest while singing the anthem.  We were also able to watch some of the featured Philippine matches at the ongoing Southeast Asian Games.  When the athletes’ profiles or the medal standings are flashed, she correctly identified the Philippine flag.

We went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan on June 12.  Our Independence Day lessons continued while we were on a long road trip.  She screams “Philippine Flag!” every time she sees one at the Expressway Toll Gates.

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*BIBLE STORY and CHARACTER LESSON

Bible Story: Noah’s Ark

A is for ark and animals.

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I read to Ashley the story of Noah’s Ark.  She learned about the importance of obedience, faith and trust in God.  We just didn’t have the extra time but I was planning to come up with a Noah’s ark craft activity. My idea was to create a mock up ark made of cardboard and my kids’ toy animals and reenact the part when Noah called in his family and the animals to the ark as they anticipate the coming of the storm and flood.

Character Lesson: Attentiveness

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Rainy season is near so we’re seeing ants crawling on our walls as they busily store their food.  It’s a perfect timing that we’re discussing about them as their attentiveness to one another is highlighted.  Ashley learned that if one or few ants are not attentive, the line will be lost and the ants might not find their way back home.  In the same way that she must always be attentive whenever Mommy and Daddy gives out instructions and lessons.

* CRAFT ACTIVITY

A is for alligator.

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Aq Ar

We used a green construction paper to make our Alligator.  Ashley cut the paper into pieces (fine motor skill exercise) and glued to the letter A cutout one by one.  We downloaded the Alligator template from Miss Maren’s Monkeys.

*TRACING and COLORING ACTIVITIES

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Tracing and Coloring are also among the weekly activities that we had.  But Ashley usually can’t stand doing worksheets for a long time so I make sure to give her just short and easy ones.  The free coloring and tracing worksheets we use are from The Measured Mom and Action Alphabet.

* FOOD

A is for Adobo and apple.

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One of Ashley’s favorite fruits: Aa is for Apple

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One of my kids’ favorite viands: Aa is for Adobo

These two are Ashley’s favorites. So I made sure to include them in our menu for the week.  Every time she takes a bite, she says “A-a-a-a as in apple!” or “A-a-a-adobo!”

There goes our exciting and learning-filled Aa Week.  We’re so ready for our Ss Week next week!