January 3, 2014

New Year, Start a Learning Binder

I've been wanting to create a Learning Board to learn and review basic things with the boys, but realized that in our small and humble home, I didn't have a good place to put it! So, I came up with a more sleek but similar idea:
A Learning Binder! 
originally published: 11-1-11

It is a simple 1/2 inch binder with sheet protectors to hold all of the things I want to review with the boys for that week. After looking on the internet at different board ideas, I made a list of the things I thought were most important and fun for my boys right now. And here they are (also refer to the pictures below):

1. Gospel Learning -- I took pages out of The Friend magazines we have accumulated. (a magazine for children published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) You can also print things from the magazines. Click here. Each week we have a story or 2 that we will read and talk about each day. Teaching my children to have faith in Jesus Christ and His Restored Gospel is important to me, and this is a simple and fun way to do it each day! 

2. Letter of the Week -- LM has been very interested in writing letters lately, so with the letter of the week he gets to practice writing that letter in upper and lower case. LB has some Leap Frog fridge magnets of the alphabet that sing and say what letters they are. So he gets to play with that while we review the week's letter!

3. Shape of the Week -- We have a shape that I put in a sheet protector and then the boys look at the page of shapes I made (by cutting up flashcards) to find that shape!

4. Color of the Week -- Similar to the shape, I put a piece of construction paper of the color of the week in a sheet protector and the boys look at the page of colors (made from construction paper) to find that color.

5. Animal of the Week -- This is a fun way to help LB learn to copy sounds. We pretend to be the animal by acting it out and making the sound it makes. 

6. Sight Words -- This is a fun way to get LM started with reading. I choose 5 sight words for the week and each day LM learns a new one. He then uses the word page I created to find the word of the day. At the end of the week, I made word searches for him to search for the 5 words he learned that week.

7. Worksheets -- I have several preschool workbooks that I bought at the dollar store that cover different concepts. So each week, I tear out a few pages and put them in sheet protectors. We review the worksheets together using a dry-erase marker.

8. Weather -- I made a chart for the week (Mon-Fri) for us to post what the weather is like for the week. The weather pictures I found in the Microsoft Word clip-art folder. I printed them off, laminated them, and put them in a pencil pouch.

9. Calendar -- LM is very interested in knowing what day it is and how many days until something, so I put a calendar in the binder to review with him each day. It was just a calendar I got free somewhere. :)

Here are the pictures of all the things I described above:

Not pictured:

  • We start our Learning Time by singing a song from the Primary Children's Songbook.
  • We end our Learning Time with a special activity -- a craft, learning activity, etc. (which I post on the blog)
And that is all there is!

Here are a few reasons I've loved it so far:
  • It's easy to create. Like I described above, I mostly used things I already had -- Church magazines, flashcards, construction paper, workbooks. The binder is simply a place to put all these things together.
  • It's quick to change things out. On Monday mornings, I take the old stuff out of the binder and put in the new week's stuff. This only takes about 5 minutes. 
  • I'm trying to do it in the morning before the day gets to hectic and I get too tired. It usually takes about 30 minutes or less for us to sit down and go through the binder.
  • And best of all, the kids LOVE it!! 

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