Letter J Study

Letter J Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter J. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Boys
Boys 

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land
Letter J Study
Letter J Study

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

LETTER J REVIEW

Its so exciting to discover a new letter together! The focus books for letter J are The Giant Jam Sandwich and Sheep in a Jeep. We also added  Jack and the Beanstalk since we all love reading, and I already had a few different older versions from my childhood on hand. Finally, we read the Jesus Storybook Bible  Jonah and the Whale story.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk

GLITTER GLUE LETTERS

Next, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

My parents gave the boys some Glitter Markers so they were eager for this letter to try them out.  Typically, however, we use the glitter glue as mentioned above for this activity since it is recommended by the Peaceful Preschool.

Letter J Study
Letter J Study

J IS FOR JEEP

For our first book, we read Sheep in a Jeep. The boys liked this book because it is simple with lots of rhyming words. After reading it through the first time, we read through it a few more times, and they took turns finishing the sentences!

I found a tutorial on You Tube on how to draw a simple jeep. We each drew a jeep on these watercolor postcards we had left over from my older son’s art birthday party. My older son did an excellent job drawing out his jeep, although he got frustrated with some of the process, so he made a second drawing.

Jeep Drawing
Jeep Drawing

My youngest son LOVES these oil pastels so I thought he would be interested in coloring in the jeep I drew with them. When he finishes up a picture, he loves to rub his fingers all over the chalk or oil drawing. We have so much fun using our hands to create and learn!

Jeep Study

COUNTING

Since we were focusing on a jeep/car theme, we gathered toy cars from around the house. Next, the boys sorted them by color, and matched them with their corresponding number cards. My youngest loves to trace the numbers and letters with his fingers, and my oldest also sorted them by size!

Number Study
Number Study

J IS FOR JONAH

We LOVE Jesus and the Storybook Bible. Next to Nature Anatomy, it is probably one of our most well-read books. My boys love manipulating the play dough. Since I try hard to keep natural materials for our children to play with, I usually purchase natural options or make our own. We purchased this lovely wooden play dough set more than a year ago and it has had lots of use! I love how it comes with some lavender and chamomile calming herbs to enhance the senses.

Jonah and the Whale
Jonah and the Whale

We also brought out some sea creature cookie cutters we used in our letter F unit  to go along with the Jonah and the Whale study. The boys took turns making sea creatures from modeling clay.

Jonah and the Whale
Jonah and the Whale

LETTER J WRITING PRACTICE

I saw this idea from my friend on Instagram. She traced over this letter board so we just had to try it too! The boys were delighted to see the letters show up on the paper because they are beautiful! My oldest son is interested in handwriting and therefore we practice handwriting often in the car. I love using these mini chalkboards because they are convenient, a great size, and come in their own pouch for easy clean up!

Alphabet Tracing
next, Alphabet Tracing

J IS FOR JAM

We make it a priority to eat nourishing foods, so when I found this lovely wildberry jam at Whole Foods that contains no sugar I was super excited! The boys spread it on gluten free toast on their own and made a delicious snack to enjoy while we read through the Giant Jam Sandwich.

We were able to check this book out, from our local library. It was a big hit because it was also the audio version. We read through this story about 15 times. The boys didn’t want to take the book back to the library since they loved it so much! If you have never read this book, I highly recommend it!

Giant Jam Sandwich
Giant Jam Sandwich

Previously, we made homemade strawberry jam together. Here is the recipe here if you want to give it a try because it is so simple and easy!

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam
Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

Finally, we painted our letter J template with jam!

Letter J Study
Letter J Study

J IS FOR JELLY

These three part cards can be found at Simply Learning Kids. My boys are finally grasping this activity well enough to do all of the cards in one sitting. We finished off the activity with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabar! I feel good about giving these as a convenient snack to my boys occassionally because they are gluten free, contain simple ingredients, and they love them! I have found the price is better on Amazon so if we are going to have them, I make sure to order them there.

Letter J
Letter J

Finally, we practiced handwriting skills with these free sheets from Simply Learning Kids. We have used these alphabet stamps many times. This was one of the first times my oldest son tried to write the word completely on his own, which was super fun to observe!

Letter J Stamp and Write
Letter J Stamp and Write

SUPPLIES

The Giant Jam Sandwich
Jesus Storybook Bible
Glitter Glue
Oil Pastels
Modeling Clay
Alphabet Stamps
Watercolor Paint Brushes
Tactile Letters
Rainbow Stamp Pad

 

OUR PICKS

Finally, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

Homemade Jars of Strawberry Jam

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE

My fondest memory of my Grandmother Tessie was how much she loved her family, and I also loved her homemade strawberry jam. While we visited my Grandmother each year, we were welcomed with a home-cooked breakfast. Each morning, we could wake up to count on: bacon, sausage, grits, homemade biscuits, butter, and homemade strawberry jelly. I have always loved food and am particularly fond of a big breakfast and the star of Grandmother Tessie’s breakfast was her strawberry jam.

STRAWBERRY JAM AND BUTTER

My Grandpa Ford showed me how to mix butter and strawberry jelly together in just the right amounts to make a delicious topping for anything. We would take a fork and mash together the two ingredients and although it didn’t look very pretty, it had a heavenly taste. I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head with delight each time we concocted it. When I was in middle school, I learned Grandmother’s delicious jelly actually was made with figs. Since I didn’t know anything about a fig, I was a little shocked and turned off by my new knowledge. My ignorance quickly faded and I maintained my reverence of her strawberry jam.

Superfoods Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Strawberry Jam Helping Hands
Strawberry Jam and Helping Hands

Grandmother Tessie lived to be 97. She lived a long, loving and loved life, filled with a large family, and homegrown and homemade foods.

CHILDREN IN THE KITCHEN

I knew just the thing to do when I discovered an abundance of strawberries in my refrigerator. I rounded up my boys and we made homemade strawberry jam. My boys are always so excited to help us out in the kitchen. Their faces lit up and they are so delighted to get their hands on the food and assist. I call my boys my great little helpers often – and they truly are. They wash berries in the sink, cut off the stems, place berries in a bowl, squeeze lemon to make fresh juice, and dump in sugar, and vanilla extract from my pre-measured spoons and cups. They also stir it all together before I place it on the cooktop to simmer.

When your children assist you in the kitchen, it may take longer for the task to be completed, and your kitchen may get dirty. Yet, I believe the benefits of including your children in cooking preparation far outweighs the negatives. We can help you discover tips on how to get your children more involved in the kitchen.

  • STRAWBERRY JAM: The recipe is super simple and super delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
SIMPLE, HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM

Ingredients:

2 pounds strawberries, sliced and stems removed
Juice of one lemon
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups sugar (raw cane sugar or coconut sugar - I'm going to try honey next!)
2.5 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. 

Jam should be ready in about 60-90 minutes. It should be thick and jam-like.

I stored my jam in a mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month. However, I don't think it will last that long!

This recipe is adapted from a Completely Delicious recipe. I use fig balsamic vinegar because it reminds me so much of my Grandmother’s homemade version. I also add lemon zest for brightness since a little extra lemon is almost always a welcome addition! If you try this jam recipe, please comment! I would love to hear how it turns out for you! 

Finally, Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

 

OUR PICKS