Nursery School

I am so excited!!!!

One of the things I loved doing with Nicholas during his four-year-old year was “nursery rhyme nursery school.” Non-academic in nature, it’s intent is to form as a sort of bridge between the somewhat free-for-all first three years of life and the more structured life of a homeschooler. It’s a time when we’re intentional about sitting down and doing an activity a couple times a day. It’s a time when I’m intentional about spending time with him. It introduces him more formally to our weekly rhythms, and believe me, he holds me accountable! Additionally, it’s a chance to make sure he’s familiar with nursery rhymes and poems, an important part of cultural literacy.

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In August, Daniel will be starting our “Nursery Rhyme Nursery School” year. I believe that nursery rhymes are a very important part of every small child’s development, as well as essential for cultural literacy. This circle will change during the month, but here is how we’re beginning.

I begin with a “Gathering Song”. I wrote it myself and sing the first stanza until everyone is there (everyone being Daniel, the babies, and I and sometimes Nicholas) and then sing the second verse while we light the candle. I am still using a homemade beeswax candle we made at the beginning of the summer.

Create a “stringing box” for your little one. Stringing and lacing are
great for small motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It it also
fun for a child to create their own dress ups! Find a little box and
decorate it with your child.

Some items stringing include:
large wooden beads (see craft stores or education supply stores or
catalogs)
“special” beads in unique shapes
wooden spools
drinking straws cut in various lengths
keys
paper shapes with holes punched in the center (an older child might
enjoy making these!)
wooden stringing and lacing shapes
lengths of shoe lace or yarn with tape on the ends to make stringing
easier
anything else you can think of!

Nicholas has been enjoying all sorts of little gnome stories and projects. We added a little beeswax gnome to our nature table last week:
And this week we made gnome treasure:
Nicholas drew a Mama Gnome and a Kid Gnome. I try to model the “waldorf-style” of drawing for him, but he just learned to draw stick figures and is way into it:
Today we painted gnome treasure–gold in a blue sack, hiding in the green grass:
The gnome color hunt was fun, too!



We’re still doing the gnome circle time from Autumn Seasons of Joy. Daniel’s been joining in, which is very sweet. His favorite part?

There was a little gnome
Who had a little crumb,
And over the mountain he did run
With a belly full of fat
And a tall pointy hat
And a pancake stuck to his bum, bum, bum!

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With daylight savings time ended and winter coming fast, Nicholas has been very aware of the differences between day and night. For our nursery rhymes this week (and maybe next) we’ve chosen two: Wee Willie Winkie and One Misty Moisty Morning, which you can find over in the right sidebar.

We’ve been really doing this up, using play silks as blankets and making little “beds”.

Gathering Verse:

Candle Lighting Verse:
from Autumn Seasons of Joy
The sun, it shines so warm and bright,
It strengthens all I do.
Now let me take this bit of light
So I shine brightly too.

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Here’s a great toddler tamer– give your child an empty 2-liter bottle and some wooden clothespins. Show her how to push the clothespins through the top. Not only are they fun to put in, it’s fun to shake them out!

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in the tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out,
Knaves all three!

The illustrious and somewhat dubious history of the three men in the tub. My main goals this week were to reinforce the idea that baths are an important part of hygiene and the number concept “3”.

We brought out our Three Men in a Tub toy! (It’s actually on clearance here on Kidbean if you want one.)

Circle Time:
Found here.

Books and Stories:
Rub a Dub Dub by Kin Eagle
Rub a Dub Sub by Linda Ashman
The Wise Man Who Lived in a Tub from Stories of the Ancient Greeks
Eureka! from Thirty More Famous Stories Retold

It was my intention to post some of the activities we do and some ideas for activities we didn’t do for each nursery rhyme. Forgive me for being three weeks behind! I’m going to keep my thoughts pretty minimal until I catch up.

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Here is the beehive.
Where are the bees?
Hiding inside where nobody sees.
Watch as they come out of the hive!
1… 2… 3… 4… 5…
They’re alive!

My goal was not necessarily for Nicholas to gain scientific knowledge about bees, but to stand in wonder and appreciate of the bee and the work it does in the world.

Circle Time: Found here