Kindergarten Home School Day 6

Home School Day 6 g

I may start to do these home school posts as weekly roundups, especially as it seems likely we’ll extend further into the school year. But for today at least, here was our second attempt at a Monday! There were some real challenges today, less about the schooling and more about a five-year-old’s emotions at missing friends, missing “real” gym and recess, and more. How are you faring? Please share in the comments!

7-9: Breakfast, get dressed, free play.

9: Check-in/ELA. I’m making sure to ask Travis how he’s feeling each morning, in addition to going over the weather and day of the week. When we started today’s literacy lessons, I could tell he was bored with sounding out words. What he really needed was to see his teacher, so we were glad to find another recorded read-aloud online. I could only get him to sit for a little Lexia. (Baby sister was busy, meanwhile, with Velcro).

Home School Day 6 b

10-10.30: Snack and recess. The kids got silly eating snack, which was a lighthearted moment. It’s cold and snowy so we weren’t outside long, but did fetch a few sticks because we needed them later for arts and crafts…

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10.30-11: Math. I had him count out peanut butter puff cereal in 3 ways. First just counting the total, then arranging them in a circle, then in 4 groups of 10.

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Little sister helped herself to a snack on occasion, so I kept extras at the ready. High fives all around!

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We also did 1 fun page from How High Can a Dinosaur Count.

11-11.30: Arts and crafts: Using our sticks from recess, Travis made tissue paper flowers. He twisted big pieces of colorful tissue into “flowers”; they ended up looking like calla lilies!

Home School Day 6 f

11.30-12.30: Gym: He would have had P.E. as the special today. One suggestion was to throw snowballs, but despite the wintry weather, there wasn’t that much snow on the ground. So we made some! This indoor mommy-son snowball fight was the highlight of the day. Next I encouraged him to try an exercise tabata, but this, on the other hand, led to tears and complaints about how home wasn’t the real gym. So we called it quits for…

12.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Social Studies. It was hard to get him to focus after lunch. We tried a suggested social studies unit on being a good citizen from pebblego.com, but missing classmates made him angry.

Home School Day 6 a

I felt like I was failing. Yes, I can provide my son with literacy and math skills here at home, but I’m also very aware of how far short I fall from replicating a classroom environment for social learning. We tried out a Spanish song and a Kidzbop dance to change his headspace, but those didn’t help much…

2.30:3: Science. Luckily, a little science did! I decided we needed something more hands on so we made an outer space parachute. We finished the afternoon with a board game. By this point he was really tired, but I pushed him to play a round of Silly Sentences, which is wonderful for teaching parts of speech. Soon he was roaring with laughter for “shiny squirrels singing” and “scary sandwiches breaking”. So much so he wanted to play a second round!

Home School Day 6 h

Just before bed, we watched an online read of I Am Peace, a suggestion from his school counselor to help kids with mindfulness in this trying time. We needed this one tonight, gulp. We’ll jump in again tomorrow.

Outer Space Parachute

Space Parachute (5)

Last summer and fall, Travis and I experimented with a few different ways to make a parachute. For home school “science” today we tried once more, but this time made it outer space-y with a coating of aluminum foil. Travis thought it looked just like the gear used to ease the landing of Mars rovers!

To start, wrap a paper cup in aluminum foil. Travis enjoyed decorating all over with star stickers (in keeping with the theme of course).

Space Parachute (2)Cut a square from a plastic shopping bag, and then use a hole punch to make a hole in each of the four corners (you may need to rip the bag a little bit, too, to help the hole punch through).

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Cut four equal lengths of yarn and tie one to each corner with a knot. Gather these four strands together and push down through a hole in the top of the cup. Make a fat knot so they won’t slip back out.

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Time to launch! My intrepid explorer bravely climbed the stairs.

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Then it was 3, 2, 1: Blast off!

Yarn Snowballs

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These fun indoor “snowballs” are a larger version of homemade pompoms Travis and I recently made for finger puppets. We found this larger version to be much easier than the little fork version!

Cut a U-shape from cardboard (ideally a stiff box cardboard, but even a manila folder worked in a pinch).

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Begin winding white yarn around the U until you have a nice fluffy pile. Wrap a piece of yarn around the center, going through the notch of the U, and double-knot securely. Slide off of the U, then snip all the loops and fluff out.

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Once we had 6 “snowballs”, it was time for a battle.

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For extra amusement, we even set up pillow forts and then had at each other.

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Then Travis wanted to have batting practice against the snowballs, saying this was his defense against my attacks.

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We laughed and dodged and pelted each other for ages with this game! (Thank goodness there wasn’t the icy sting of real snowballs, as we would have been covered in snow).

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Action shot!

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This was one of the best mother-son activities we’ve done to date, and that’s saying a lot.

Sticky Figures

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Here’s a great way to keep little toddler hands busy… and build muscle strength!

I set up this game the night before for Veronika, using hot glue to attach the scratchy side of Velcro strips onto a piece of flat wood (about 5×7 inches). The Velcro strips were already sticky on one side, but the hot glue was extra insurance that they would stay put.

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I then glued the opposite side of the Velcro (the fuzzy side) to the bottom of little animal toys and figures.

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This game will work best with toys that have a nice flat bottom, although I did try little dinosaur figures, too.

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Now it was simply a matter of presenting the game to Veronika! She loved the way the animals became stuck once attached.

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I had worried that she would be frustrated at the challenge of pulling them off, but instead she seemed intrigued. She soon learned to pull down on the wood and up on the figure at the same time to help the two Velcro halves apart.

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In sum, this is a nice game for keeping little hands busy, although I can’t say it occupied her for as long as other recent projects.

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