Kindergarten Home School Day 8

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Pluses and minuses to our day, here on home school hump day! Read on…

9-10: ELA. Today’s suggestion, to have Travis pick a favorite book and “read” to himself for 20 minutes, turned out to be fantastic. I thought he might just look through the pictures of the Star Wars book he picked from his shelf, but he was determined to read the words. This meant it was a little more hands-on on my part than anticipated (my toddler happened to be smeared in peanut butter at the same time), but he was so determined I couldn’t turn him down. The assignment to then draw either his book or his reading nook, unfortunately, led to a temper tantrum. Emotions are high, folks.

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10-10.30: A reset pause for snack and recess.

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10.30-11: Math. This went great today!

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We wrote out the first names of everyone in the family, and counted the letters of each name. Then he put the results into a graph. He was disappointed that ‘Travis’ “lost” to ‘Veronika’, though!

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11-12: Science. We started two projects today but we’ll have to wait for the results. First was to see if we can waterlog a large piece of wood (like a craft stick). Set one in a container of water and wait. Our guess is that it will take a week before it sinks completely.

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We also made a quick rain meter by ticking off inch marks on a mason jar. It’s out on our patio to collect the rain!

Home School 8 h

12-2: Travis got a long break because baby sister needed me for a nap, then lunch, then baby sister had a “live” music class. As a result, it was hard to rope him back in for some final activities.

2-2.30: Library. This is his Wednesday special and the suggestion was to explore any topic of interest on PebbleGo. Travis chose Inventions/the telephone, and sort of clicked through the links about it, but wasn’t interested in putting together a cup and string telephone craft. He also resisted drawing his favorite book character, or watching one of our local librarians do an online storytime.

2.30-3: Movement. So I got him moving instead. Check out my quick post about Line Dancing!

Honestly, the biggest hit today was a sensory tray meant for baby sister, so hey, sometimes the learning happens inadvertently.

Line Dancing Fun

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Travis is growing tired of class videos we’ve used to get our afternoon wiggles out during home school, so today I turned to Raddish Kids for inspiration. With a musical theme this month, one of the lessons was all about line dancing!

We kept the “lesson” part of it short, since really I just needed to get Travis moving. Big kids can delve further and talk about the genre of Country and any singers or song titles they know. You can also give some history of the genre. Instead, I just focused on common instruments (banjo, fiddle) and explained that line dancing allows dancers to move as a group, instead of with a partner. In other words, it’s meant to be shared!

To get our toes tapping, we listened to clips of the Boot Scottin’ Boogie and Watermelon Crawl. A few quick tutorials from YouTube showed us basic steps like the heel stomp and grapevine. Travis was a little skeptical but then we watched a quick how-to for an Achy Breaky Heart line dance.

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We cranked up the music and danced! Of course, it’s totally fine if your kids make up their own moves.

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For giggles, we finished with a clip of a line dance from Ice Age.

Baking Soda and Vinegar with Color Fun

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This activity was intended for my toddler, but it turned out to be my kindergartner’s favorite part of the day. Since there’s some STEM involved, keep it in mind if you find yourself home schooling!

For set up, I wanted Veronika to have the option of color mixing, so I filled three cups with vinegar. I left one clear, added yellow food coloring to the second, and blue food coloring to the third.

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I then sprinkled a box of baking soda into a shallow tray. Veronika instantly liked making lines through it with the pipettes I had left out. It was sort of like an indoor sandbox for a moment.

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Then it was time to start squeezing in vinegar! I used the clear cup first, knowing the bubbly reaction was enough to get a “wow” even before we added color.

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Then we started piping in the colored vinegar. I had hoped Veronika might get in some fine motor practice with the pipettes, but that was too much for 16-month-old fingers. Big brother Travis loved using a pipette and baster, though! Then the kids poured the cups of vinegar instead, for even bigger reactions.

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The blue and yellow turned into a nice green, of course, which I’d also hoped to demonstrate.

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After that we just had a big pile of green bubbly “lava” that the kids loved scooping through with pipettes and cups for ages.

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Eventually they wanted to drip in other colors from the food coloring set, which was fine, although it didn’t look so pretty.

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A great afternoon activity!

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Peanut Butter Sculptures

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This fantastic sensory activity is perfect for entertaining a toddler… and it takes care of snack time, too!

I simply spooned a large glob of peanut butter onto a shallow tray, and set out a few craft sticks (or use plastic take-out knives) and circle crackers.

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Your child can use the craft sticks to make lines and movement through the peanut butter, or to build their budding knife skills by spreading it on the crackers. Once the crackers are sticky with peanut butter, you can stack them into towers and make “art”.

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Veronika loved experimenting with the peanut butter, as well as nibbling the crackers and licking peanut butter right off the craft sticks.

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She also was intrigued by the peanut butter jar, occasionally dipping in a craft stick.

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I wouldn’t recommend this activity for a toddler solo, since it’s bound to get a little messy and you’ll want to supervise.

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But a great way to keep little ones busy! Note: Use another nut butter if your child has peanut allergies, or even jam for all nut allergies!

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