Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If I Had a Dog

 Jasper is studying pets for the entire month of March at preschool.  Same as last year.  This is always an interesting unit for us, because we have no pets.  So without fail Jasper comes home from school with visions of  pet ownership.

I did much better last year when Jasper would come home with a paper list of homework assignments.  We would pull it out of his backpack after school, read over the assignment together and talk about how we would complete it.  No one else is living in the 80's besides me, so this year we have to log in a website, pull up the weekly newsletter and try to read the 12 pt font on my phone.

I didn't log in until yesterday to see he has a big project due Thursday, which means it needs to be finished tonight.  Yesterday we talked about some options, and then I forgot about it until 5:45 PM tonight, and we were going to be gone from 6:30 until bedtime.

Homework for four year old's is another soap box I could climb on.  I will say -- I do not love it when the assignment is something they clearly can not do on their own.  I try to have Jasper do as much as possible himself, but it's hard.  I do like homework he can do 100% on his own, with supervision and encouragement.

The assignment:  Make a poster or book about your pet(s).  We modified it to be about a pet Jasper would like to have.  Luckily he was realistic and we did not research having a Zebra in our backyard.

He chose a dog.  The not surprising part of that is that his best friend and confidant is baby puppy the stuffed animal.  The surprising part is that he is scared of real dogs.  He didn't used to be.  But he had some run-in's with some very large (i.e.  much bigger than he is) dogs and it freaked him out.

Throughout this assignment Jasper has told me over and over, "I just want a small dog mom."   We had dinner at the Fortier's on Sunday night.  Their dog Tobi (small to medium size) was there, and Jack and Susie's dog Sandy (medium size) was there too.  Jasper did okay with them by the end of the night.

Back to the homework.  We decided to make a book, as I have no idea what to do with posters afterward.  No scanning the original with a piece of posterboard.  We found an old board book and I printed the pages off on white cardstock that's made especially for photos and then modge podged the printed pages onto the board book pages.  It works best to modge podge the back of the page on, let it dry for a bit, then add a light coat on top for durability.

I had to add small items in between each page so the book would dry without the pages stuck together.  It is currently fanned out on the kitchen table in hopes that it will completely dry overnight.

I am SO EXCITED about this project and how it turned out.  I asked Jasper to tell me about the dog he wanted, what they would do together, etc.  Most of the text in the story is word for word from Jasper.  A couple of lines really make me laugh. 

We got online and I had him select photos to use for the book, mostly just from the Microsoft Office clip art gallery, so I don't think we are using anyone's photo we're not supposed to.  We also went through and picked a few of our own photos to add in.  Without further ado...


Erica said...

Love it! And way to get it done quick!!

Cyd said...

Great job Angela! That is a keeper for sure and I love that you used an old board book.

Mary Kay said...

That is adorable. How fun! I loved your idea of using an old board book. Goodness knows we have a gazillion of those! I completely agree with your homework soapbox. I don't think 4 year olds should have any homework!

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I am full time wife and Mom. Jasper is my busy 3 year old who keeps us on our toes. I like to sew and craft and make our house a home. I love to be outside and play with my boys.