Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sweet Pickles... or What Are We Using for Preschool

So, I know I'm not the only one who grew up in the Sweet Pickles era.  I pink fluffy heart loved Sweet Pickles!!!  I think my early years could have revolved around it.  I had the books, I had a wonderful membership to "The Bus".  I couldn't wait for a new shipment to come from them loaded with tons of actvities: games, stories, crafts, puzzles, etc.  Need a refresher? 

Well I had kind of forgotten about "The Bus", but I remembered loving the books, so when my oldest was born I started hunting the books.  I found a decent size stack of VERY well loved books once at a thrift store and snatched them up for a song:

Then about 2 years ago, while out yardsaling I ran spotted something that instantly brought back warm fuzzies.  Sitting in a box I spot these:

I try hard to control my excitement when I see them.  I pick one up expecting it to be empty but much to my surprise it weighs a good amount... it is full of something, but these things are almost as old as I am, there is NO WAY they have the orginal cards in them.  I open the box and about jump out of my skin.  It is jam packed full!  I open the other, holding my breath... FULL, over flowing full!!!  I can see that they were well taken care of back in their time.  The cards that went together had been wrapped in rubber bands that had long since lost their elasticity and were more of a brittle plastic.  I think I paid $12 for both of them.  I had this gut feeling that there was no way they were all there, after all, these had belonged to a little kid at one time, they for sure had lost a card or ten.

This was after I had gone through them, but you can see those boxes were way overflowing.
I brought the boxes home, having no clue how to figure if every card was there.  I noticed a code on each card, so I went from there.  I sorted them out in stacks by their code, the code would be a 4 digit number, a dash, then a 2 digit number.  A pattern started appearing.  The first 4 numbers seemed to be like a packet code and the 2 digit number seemed to be the card number from that packet.  On card 01 of each packet listed the packet number (example card 7710-01 says Packet 1 on it), there are 19 cards in each "packet" and there are 36 packets. Every single card was there!!! I was so estatic.

Also in there were game pieces, the parents guides and a really cool skills progress poster:

Some of the cards get cut into game pieces or puzzles, some are stories, each packet has a board game, there are cards that teach colors, numbers, letters, thinking skills, science skills and wonderful social skills.  There are arts and crafts, "stick puppets" and finger plays.

This is one of the packets all spread out.

I decided to make each packet into a, well, packet.  I took construction paper and foldeded it into an envelope of sorts, stapled or taped the edges closed and loaded each of the packets into it's own envelope: 

I noted on each one what supplies I may need to buy.

Each week or maybe every other week since he has 2 preschool years yet, The Cuddler will get an envelope.  The other kids are chomping at the bit to have these come out as well.  They got to play with them a little bit when we first got them, but they have not seen all the great wonders that are inside these envelopes.  They will all delight in playing the games and doing the crafts. 

Anyway, this is what The Cuddler's Preschool will look like. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

What We Are Using 2012-2013

I think I have almost everything picked out/purchased for Rylee and Reagan this coming year.  We will be starting July 16th.  The kids will be using mostly the same things.  Their readers will be different and the grade levels for their Math and Language Arts will reflect their own personal level, but the curricula will be from the same publisher.

Math: McRuffy

Language Arts: Total Reading (I decided to drop the GWG, WWW, and not even start the SWS, they just take too much time,  Rylee hates them and I want our work to be something they don't hate.  TR covers everything they need to at this level, it's colorful and fun, and I think they will like it much better)

Spelling:  Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections

Social Studies: Core Knowledge and Intellego

Science: Core Knowledge and Intellego

Art: Artistic Pursuits level 1 book 1

Music: Core Knowledge and we just might start learning the recorder, if I can find it in myself to put up with hearing

I think this covers the basics.  Other stuff will be thrown in, and we will most likely do Spanish this year from Discovery Education (Elementry Spanish), but I'm not 100% set on that.