Kindergarten Home School Day 3

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Friends: Day 3 of COVID-19 home schooling went well academically, but the toughest part about today is that Travis misses his friends. It breaks my heart that our playgrounds are empty, that our children cannot play together, despite the importance of it. Who says we are turning into a virtual culture? It’s clearer to me than ever that kids need other kids physically. To that end, we made sure to do a Skype with a buddy from school. Travis’s teacher also sent a video of herself reading a book. These “face-to-face” interactions were crucial, and I hope you are all finding ways to do them. At one point he just crumpled into tears, missing his buddies, and I held him for a long time. I am sending virtual strength to all, and here was our day!

7: We slept in! Home school is exhausting.

7.30-9: Breakfast, get dressed, free play.

9-10: ELA. Today we read a favorite book (Ralph Tells a Story), and when it was finished we talked about who the characters were, specifically the main character versus secondary characters. Travis loved doing his Lexia games while I played a quick game with baby sis!

10-10.30: Recess and snack.

10.30-11: Math. After playing a “Number Squeeze” game online, we made a hands-on version.

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Travis had so much fun drawing monster faces, which we then taped to straws to “squeeze” our way to each number, using the concepts of greater than and less then.

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11-12: While baby sister napped, Travis and I made a batch of homemade playdough. This alone was great fun, and then we used the playdough to write his name.

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He wanted to make all capital letters first to avoid curves, but then got a little more confident and tackled a few lower case letters.

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12-1: Lunch/free play.

1-2: His special today would have been “Library,” so we sat down for a story (I made sure Veronika had a few tactile books to go through, beside us), then listened to two episodes of the Kids Ask Authors podcast.

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Finally, we modified the StoryMarch concept here; we printed pictures of six of the word prompts and lined them up in various ways. Each time the pictures were in a different order, we made up a different story about them!

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2-3: Frankly, Travis was exhausted this afternoon and I barely got him to focus. So instead of energetic physical movement, we did a “Chillax” video from GoNoodle. For science, we read a book about bugs, and watched a quick video about the first day of spring.

We capped off the day with a walk outside to take advantage of the nice weather, and looked for signs of spring. Travis was so proud when he spotted buds, or flowers coming up.


Remember What We Did Today?

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This little game is a great way to teach even the youngest kids about a storytelling arc, specifically the notion of a beginning, middle, and end. Since Veronika is rapidly acquiring language, it seemed like the right time to work with her on storytelling, even as big brother does his ELA lessons!

I sat down with her just before bed holding some of the items we’d use throughout our play.  A toy puzzle helped further provide visual cues. “First, we woke up,” I said, pointing to the woman rising for the day in her bed.

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“Then we had a tea party!” I reminded her. She came over to inspect the cups and play with them again.

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“Then you painted with water,” I reminded her, using the paint brush as a cue. Now she could test out a few brush strokes on the tea tray.

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You can hit upon other events in the day, too, like car rides or nap times. Or focus on one particular moment in the day, like a stroll in the park, and discuss any beginnings, middles, or ends. Again, visual cues help!

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“Finally, we’ll brush our teeth and go to sleep,” I told her. No matter how mundane the events of your day seem, it can be very helpful for a child to hear things in sequence like this. Consider making it a nightly practice!

Water Painting

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With sunshine on our back patio, Veronika had some water fun outside today after a morning cooped up for home schooling! This was the perfect game to occupy her during big brother’s “recess”.

I sat Veronika down on a soft blanket and presented her with a bucket full of water, paint brushes, and brown paper bags. The bags were to be her canvas, and my little artist went to work!

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She was fascinated watching her “paint” appear on the brown bags, instantly making dark marks, even though she also knew this was just water.

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We tested out the way the water made everything darker, whether the patio next to her…

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…or a rock from the yard. The rock was particularly fascinating, and she loved “painting” it for quite some time.

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I showed her that she could get her hand wet and make prints on the bags.

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After which she wanted to paint water on her hand for a while!

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She also loved watching big droplets of water drip from the brush if she held it up in the air. These made fun runnels of water over the brown paper bags.

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At one point we made a big puddle on the patio, and watched how quickly the sun turned the color to normal again. You can have fun doing this with shapes and letters for your little one, too; it’s the original invisible ink!

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Chances are your big kids might want to join in on this one, too.

Cheesy Grits

Cheesy Grits

These easy grits make a nice alternative for a hot breakfast if your kids are sick of oatmeal!


  • 1/2 cup grits or yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese
  1. Combine the cornmeal, water, and butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  2. Add the cheddar and stir until the cheese melts.

Tea for Two

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Toddlers love learning to pour and there’s no better place for it than in the bathtub. That way, you literally have no spills to clean up!

I decided to make it extra fun for Veronika by turning a pouring lesson into a tea party game. A low stool made a perfect table, and I filled the tub with a little warm water and got her in her bathing suit.

Set the table with a tea set of course! We added a pot, plates, and two cups, along with a few toy “cookies”.

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She was so happy to be a guest! First I filled our cups with the “tea” and pretended to take a sip, which just made her grin.

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Then it was her turn! She loved being in charge of the tea pot…

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…and also loved using one of the cups to scoop up hot water and fill the other cup.

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We got silly and filled the “cookies” with water two, and experimented with taking the lid on and off the pot.

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She probably could have stayed in here playing this game for hours, but the water got cold!

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