Alphabet Notebook

I found this idea in many preschool Pinterest posts.  As I began a more formal homeschool year, I wanted to try and add this in to keep track of learning our letters.  While we follow a formal homeschool very loosely, I like the girls to have some fun things to look at and show Daddy when he comes home.  London really wanted to learn to write this year.  I’m more laid back and willing to have lots of play these years and focus more on formal learning closer to age 8…but London REALLY wanted to learn to write this year.  So I will use her as a guide and nurture that love of learning as best I can.

We are looking at a type of Handwriting Without Tears approach to writing.  My girls know all their letters and sounds already.  But I wanted to really focus on how to form the letters correctly when writing so that when we get to an older age and are focusing on the craft of writing, they already have form down without much thought.  

We, of course, had to use Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as our inspiration.  All my tiny humans all love that book and so I am happy to use it anytime I can.  We made 3D palm trees with paper towel rolls, construction paper, and sticker foam letters I had in my massive scrapbook supply.  It was fun but we definitely were not keeping them for long.  So we took the needed picture to remember our craft and then made a flat version to decorate our Alphabet Notebooks.

I tried to make something for little brother to do while the big girls do their school work.  I think this is the trickiest part of homeschooling – trying to find meaningful play for Braxton while I focus on working with the girls.  This sensory bin was one of the simplest ones I have made, but it is so pretty!  Something about the neon colored letters against the black beans just really makes them pop.  I use these magnetic letters for all sorts of activities – best dollar store find ever.  

He is only 2 years old so I do not need super deep work for him.  But I also truly believe kids learn SO much more than we give them credit for, especially when they are this young and can’t always communicate as much as they can absorb.  So even though it’s just ‘play’ I try to make it coordinate to what the girls are learning so that his little brain is using the books that we read together, the vocabulary we are using, and his play to connect ideas.

As I mentioned before, this Alphabet Notebook was a preschool type lesson.  So a lot of the legwork is done by me so that the craft can happen quickly and easily by the girls after they have focused on forming a letter correctly.  I just cut the capital letter for one day and a lower case letter for another day.  Then I prepare anything we need to complete the craft.  For the lion I already had the circles cut out, but had the girls practice their scissor skills by adding snips around one circle to create the mane.  For the lollipop I had my girls use watercolors for the first time and decorate the top of the lollipop.  

It’s funny how you realize how many basic skills other kids probably learn while in daycare or preschool.  Since my kids only have me, I am noticing that I have failed to give them certain experiences.  So I’m using this year to try and introduce some of those – scissor skills and art in different forms.  These Alphabet Notebooks have been nice because as I’ve planned the craft, I’ve been able to pepper in some of those experiences.