Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Unit Kick Off!

Today we officially kicked off our new unit. Actually I combined two units (as our destination apex nears faster everyday!): trains and the Redwood Forest. Although they seem like polar subjects, I smooshed them together because we've always wanted to take Aidyn on the steam engine ride through the Redwood Forest, so we thought this would be an excellent way to merge those ideas.

So, this morning, Aidyn and I colored number and letter trains. Each train car had a certain number or letter ready to trace. I was impressed by how well he was able to mimic the writings though I haven't pushed formal handwriting just yet. Rather, I think I will start him on a tracing book with real world applications (i.e., things he can readily imagine) and save the letters and numbers for later. Later, Aidyn and I glanced through our big train encyclopedia for children and just browsed through the impressive pictures. He also took in the Disney short The Brave Engineer.

After we "did school," Grandma, Aidyn, and I headed to Jamestown to ride a real steam locomotive. What a neat experience! We chatted with the conductors and train car hosts, toured the grounds (which included a blacksmith's shop, a caboose from the film Back to the Future III, a carpenter's shop, and a roundhouse). Interestingly enough, the peek into the blacksmith's shop brought to life a book we read not even a day ago: Winter Shoes for Shadow Horse in which the father was a blacksmith who made horseshoes with his young son.

What an excellent start to a new unit! Throughout the next week, we have many exciting activities to do and many marvelous books to read.

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