Monday, June 22, 2009

BFIAR - Caps For Sale

Now that my MS has improved alot, we made an effort to continue with our BFIAR homeschool program. I must admit BFIAR is a great program to start off with for little children younger than 4. There is nothing academic about it (unless you intentionally make it so). There's plenty of fun activities recommended in the manual and loads more that you can find from the web. Once again, just be very observant and sensitive to the needs of your child and add a bit of creativity to customise the activities to make the learning experience one that your child will love.

Once again, we used the resources from HomeSchoolShare site and printed out this find the item sheet. It's a little like "Where's Wally". T has to find all the items listed at the side of the sheet on the colour picture and circle them out. Surprising, she did very well and found all of them quickly. I noticed she enjoyed this activity and must make it a point to self make some more activities similar to this one.

We did some colouring activity here where she various medium of art. First with crayon, then with water colour. She doing the watch colouring, she started off nicely painting each cap a different colour. But somehow towards the end to decided to get abstract and started to splash colours randomly all across the the page.

Here we did some maths counting activity. On an earlier occasion, I attempted to introduce T to counting and numbering using this . It was too difficult for her to relate the quantity in the picture to the number dots. Somehow 3 bears and got nothing to do with 3 black dots, so why should they be the same? (this is what I decipher from her expression). So I gave it some thought and used Caps for Sale story to re-introduce sequencial counting to her. While reading the story, we were already counting the caps and monkeys in the book, so monkeys and caps are something very close to her heart now. I made out our own worksheets for her to match the correct number of caps to the monkeys. I made it a point that the 'lenght' of the the monkeys and caps were the same so that she increament of number is visual to her and this game is self correcting. (Eg. 1 monkey = same lenght as 1 cap, 5 monkeys = same length as 5 caps. If she matches a wrong number of caps to monkeys, she will have a cap with no monkey or a monkey with no cap). After a few rounds of me explaining and helping her along, she can now easily match correctly up to number 5. So knowing that she can now count accurately and not just blindly recite the numbers (which she does very well), we moved on to do something a little more difficult. The second worksheet (from HomeSchoolShare) requires the child to count and write to number. Since T has yet to learn the numerals and I don't intend to teach her that yet, I adapted it and asked to to draw the same number of circles as the monkeys she counted (similar concept - 1 monkey - 1 drawn circle, 4 monkeys = 4 drawn circles). With the laid foundation, she understood it easily and enjoyed drawing the matching number of circles.

Here we made a paper plate monkey mask and had a good 30 minutes of fun just chasing each other around the house. As you can see here, T is wearing a red cap pretending to be a monkey and I was the peddlar who had to run after her shouting "Give Me Back My Caps".

Some other activities that we did included :

- stacking a whole lot of caps on our heads and walking around the house shouting "Caps for Sale, fifty cents a cap".
- doing another print out worksheet which matched action verbs to the correct picture (Sitting, Jumping, etc... action words mentioned in the story). When learning the words (actually T knew all the words already), we played out each action exaggerately.
- T pretending to sleep and I hid the caps around the house and she has to find the caps around the house.

There are still alot of other activities that can be done with this story such as :
- making monkey bread
- introducing the concept of money
- learning about different domination of money
- learning about different types of monkeys
- learning about different types of hats and their uses....

there's so much so much that I am not able to list all here right now.

For now, I think we (or me) have had enough of this story for now. We shall try to move on to another story (target to do 1 story every 2 weeks) and maybe revisit this this one when T is older.