Kindergarten Home School Week 4: Monday

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Having posted a weekly round-up of home school last week, I realized I really prefer to return to a daily post. Although the activities are fairly simple, what I’m aiming to capture is the daily ups and downs, struggles and successes. Hopefully you, as readers, can follow along on this journey as we all live through this historical COVID-19 moment.

9-10: Circle time/ELA. Circle time is quite fun now, and gets Travis in the right mindset! We sing the morning songs and baby sister claps along. We jumped right to ELA from there, today focusing on rhyming. After reading an old favorite (Frog on a Log), we all colored in rhyme flashcards, little sister, too! Travis was fussy by the time we cut them out and matched them up, so clearly we needed a break.

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10-10.30: Recess!

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10.30-11: Math. Today’s assignment was to sort a set of things. We raided the craft bin, and Travis chose straws and pom poms. I asked him how each set of things was the same, and also how they were different.

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11-11.30: Social Studies. Travis watched a quick video about schools and who the members of a school community are, then drew the school nurse in an online program.

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11.30-12.30: Teacher parade: This was the highlight of the day; the teachers of his school arranged a drive-by parade! This meant the chance to socialize with neighbors from a safe 6 feet, and then the thrill of waving as the cars went by, honking their horns and decked out in signs saying “We Miss You”, “We Love You” etc.

12.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Spanish. Travis counted to ten in Spanish while hopping on one foot, and then we named Spanish colors as we played a board game.

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2-3: We took a break from the lesson plan for our own home school lesson on Mardi Gras!

3-3.30: P.E.. His special today would have been gym so we played Flip the Yard; throw a plastic bottle filled with rocks underhand towards a target, like a hula hoop. 2 points if it lands inside, 1 point if it’s touching the rim. First player to 15 points wins! The kids just enjoyed the spring sunshine after.

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We also squeezed in a few videos from the San Diego Zoo over a late afternoon snack, and Travis designed an “obstacle course” for his classroom’s hermit crabs. In sum, we did a lot. The day simultaneously felt endlessly long and really fast, is that a thing? I felt like I didn’t give my toddler enough attention, so my goal is some quality crafts or games with her in the mix tomorrow!


Mardi Gras

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In conjunction with a spicy, jazzy jambalaya, Travis and I did a social studies lesson today on Mardi Gras, care of Raddish Kids.

To get in the mood, fire up some Mardi Gras tunes online. As the band began to play, I read Travis some talking points about the festival. We checked out where Louisiana and New Orleans were on his U.S. map, and then discussed the party atmosphere of floats and parades. He thought it sounded neat, especially the masks!

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Using the traditional colors of gold, green, and purple, we “celebrated” in 3 ways. First, he drew a picture of a Carnival king; note the big purple mask.

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Then we made costumes! Travis helped craft a felt mask and an “armband”. The latter was a paper cup with the top cut off, which we surrounded in purple, yellow, and green masking tape.

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We added items from the dress-up bin, including a purple cape, a boa for sparkle, and of course a king’s crown. He’s ready to parade!

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Finally, I gave him a mini piano lesson of When The Saints Go Marching In, thanks to an online tutorial.

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Finish up with a story about Mardi Gras. We enjoyed the silly Dinosaur Mardi Gras, by Dianne De las Casas, but you can find more serious titles at a book store or library, too.

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Finger Paint Easter Egg

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On the heels of her first Easter craft, Veronika made an equally easy toddler-friendly Easter egg today. This one requires only poster board and finger paint.

I initially thought to set up the activity outside, given a nice day of sunshine. You’ll notice the pack of wipes on hand for easy clean-up, a must whenever you use finger paint!

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After cutting an egg shape from white poster board, I squirted a few colors of finger paint out onto at ray and briefly demonstrated how she could dip a finger in the paint, and then press on the egg.

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I also squirted some of the paint directly onto the egg shape, thinking she might want to swirl it around with her whole palm. But after a moment to check it out, the outdoors proved far too distracting!

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So we moved the activity inside, where she was able to pay more attention. This time she dipped her fingertips into the paint. I can’t say she loved the craft, but she did make enough markings on a full sheet of poster board that I could cut out a smaller egg shape around it.

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So we ended up with mommy-and-me Easter eggs, which I think are pretty cute! For preschoolers, have fun making deliberate lines or patterns with the finger paint, to add a little education into the mix.