Friday, April 17, 2009

Starfall and LEXY

I posted over a year ago (I think) about the pre-school program I was using with Miles - Busy Bee Preschool.  It worked very well for us the first year.  It taught great social skills, as well as basics such as colors, shapes, and letters.

When we were done doing that, I found Starfall.  I love, love, love Starfall. (Bonus:  it's free!) Miles and I started at the most basic level and did the ABCs.  For each letter they have some worksheets you can print out, plus a little computer game.  Miles loved it and so did I.  I would get books from the library on topics with whatever letter we were doing that week.  We finished up all the letters a couple months ago and moved on to the next level, "Learn to Read."  Again, I can't tell you how much I love this site.  There are about 15 on-line books to read in this level - and with each book there are fun activities on the computer helping out with sounds, vowels, etc. The books are even animated with the click of the mouse.  Miles will struggle a tiny bit reading a book for the first time (no animation on his first read-through), but by the second time he's pretty much got it memorized.  Once he reads me a page correctly, then he gets to do the animations.  It's great.  I want to cry every time we do it because it's so wonderful.  Okay, a little exaggeration, but really it's fun and educational.

After this, we do some fun workbooks I bought for super-duper cheap at Target.  Little bit of math.  It's just so fun!  For Miles, too.  Ha.

And, of course, Miles wants to do a craft every time we finish up our "work."  But I am already crafted-out and I never really began.  Luckily I get the online newsletter from Kids Craft Weekly.  I don't think it's actually weekly that I get the newsletter, though?  Weird, maybe I do.  I would say more like monthly - but maybe I'm way off.  I mean, it does say weekly.

This week was perfect.  We read our book at Starfall - The Robot and Mr. Mole.  And lo-and-behold, the newsletter's crafts were all. . . robots.  So Miles created and made his robot - she's named LEXY (the Y is on the side).  Great times.

Speaking of which. . . I just registered him (Miles) for kindergarten.  Barf.  Smile.  Mixed emotions.  I really, really, really hope that full-day kindergarten does NOT get implemented at our school.  Yes there are benefits of all-day, but those benefits are most likely to occur with kids from a less-supported home environment.  Miles is only 5.  He's my first.  He's not leaving me all day long.  By the time I get to sending Emmy off, I might be ready for all-day kindergarten.  But not now.

Anyways, what a wordy post.


erinmalia said...

so there's this boy in my ward who is almost the exact same age as miles and i always watch him to get an idea of what miles is like, since sadly, i live so far away. i love it.

but to see this picture...he just looks so old!

and i love that the "y" is on the side. awesome.

megan said...

My boys like the starfall games, too. I've never done any of the printouts. I'll have to look at them.
And I cried a little the day Alex started Kindergarten. Not in front of him, though. I wonder if it will be any different with Benjamin.

Megan said...

We love starfall! Levi explores all over it nearly everyday.

I registered Levi for kindergarten last month - crazy! I can't believe how "old" they are getting!

rebecca said...

My oldest three are big fans of Starfall. They just crowd around the computer together. They like to "vote" on the stories.

I just registered Matthew for kindergarten! Yikes. It feels like Kylie just started. I cried several times in the early days of Kylie at school, but I don't think I ever cried when Larkin started and I don't think I'll cry with Matthew leaving. Maybe tears of joy? :) (I'm kind of looking forward to having only two at home. I admit it.) It is hard to send the first one.

You are AMAZING Emily. I really admire how focused and committed you are to teaching and crafting with your kids. I always feel like I'm depriving my kids after I read your blog. Great job!

courtney said...

starfall sounds great - we'll have to check it out!

and my boy is only 2...but they have all day kindergarten here and i'm not a fan. don't take my baby from me for the entire day! doesn't that seem like a REALLY long day for a 5 year old?