Kindergarten Home School Week 5: Monday

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Well, happy Monday. There was lots of resistance and tantrums today, folks, a few moments of laughter to break the tension, and a toddler who refused to nap. Chaos, in sum! How did your day go? Please share!

9-10: ELA. Travis and I started out with a game of sight word Fiddlesticks. Ideally play this with craft sticks, but I recently used mine up so I wrote sight words on the end of paper strips.

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We put these in a cup, along with one strip marked with a purple diamond. Travis and I took turns pulling out the strips and reading the word. If we drew the purple, we declared “Fiddlesticks!” and our strips went back in.

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This got some laughter at least. He also did a letter page in his workbook and 20 minutes of Lexia, which involved a fair amount of yelling, fussing, and hating me.

10-10.30: Math. While Travis wrote the numbers 1 through 10 on red squares of paper, I marked 10 additional squares with hearts in corresponding amounts. Travis laughed at making me draw so many hearts. I’ll take laughter where I can!

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Then we played a version of Memory: finding a number card and the corresponding number of hearts means you keep the pair and get another turn.

10.30-11: Much needed snack and free play (sigh, pouring rain).

11-11.30: Science: Travis watched a read-through of The Tiny Seed. Then we made a giant flower by coloring a green stem, yellow center, and tracing his hand on red paper for the petals. As a bonus, we glued down dried beans in the center for seeds! He was mildly into the project. At least he wasn’t screaming at me.

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11.30-12: Gym. Everyone needed to move and baby sister wouldn’t take her nap, so we checked out his P.E. teacher’s suggestions.

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A rhythm stick dance to ‘Thunder’ by Imagine Dragons fit the bill, followed by a game called Kicking Corners. Put 2 cups in each of the 4 corners of a rug or other open area. Time your child and see how long it takes to kick all the cups down with a soccer ball. This was great for kicking skills, no hands allowed.

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12-1: Lunch/free play.

1-1.30: Spanish. For some silly fun we watched the teacher’s dog “sing” a song about 10 little dogs. Then Travis drew 10 animals in circles, and was proud of his own details!

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We then looked up the names of each animal in Spanish. Mommy even learned a few new ones.

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We called it quits early, turning to a fun cooking project instead and going for a drive in the pouring rain just to get out of the house. We’re hoping for a nature walk, fewer tantrums, and more naps tomorrow.

 

Little Passports: France

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I’ve never been so glad to have a Little Passports subscription as I am now, perfect during this era of home schooling. Travis’s latest package took him to France. The booklet felt a little too advanced this time, reminding me that Travis is on the youngest end of the age spectrum for World Edition. The maze was hard (even for mommy!) and activities like being an art critic and following a landmark hunt involved lots of reading that was too advanced.

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Still, he enjoyed the extras on the web like seeing vibrant pictures of monuments and landscapes in France, learning a few French words, and selecting his favorite French dessert. And he proudly added the flag to his passport and the “push pin” to his map.

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Souvenir:

The mini easel and watercolor palette, complete with two tiny canvases, was a huge hit!

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Travis was immediately making masterpieces after we looked at a few examples from Monet and Matisse for inspiration. He even corrected me, pointing out that one of his canvases was meant to be viewed horizontally and the other vertically.

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Activities:

We opened this package on April 1 which turned out to be perfect because one activity was to color in a fish for the “poisson d’avril“.

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This French variation on April Fool’s Day is to tape the fish to the back of a friend or family member and declare that person the “Fish of April!” Travis got a big kick out of doing this to daddy.

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Next up was making an Eiffel Tower out of Dandies marshmallows and dry spaghetti!

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This was STEM at its best: thinking spatially about how to engineer the tower; using shapes (rectangles, triangles); dividing spaghetti pieces into halves or quarters; and of course eating marshmallows along the way for sticky fingers and lots of laughs.

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Look how it turned out!

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I had also purchased the optional add-on, an Aquarellum Parisian Painting Kit. This included 9 watercolors and three scenes of Paris on absorbent paper. Travis loved that he could use the provided eye dropper to mix colors.

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The scenes turned out beautiful. My petite artiste!

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Finally, we colored in the French flag to add to our garland.

Recipe:

Of course we weren’t done until we’d taken our culinary voyage. This time we turned our kitchen into a French bakery, plus learned a little cultural background for the galette des rois (Kings Cake).

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We had to improvise a little, since the recipe called for puff pastry which is hard to find vegan. We used store-bought pie crusts instead, which means our cake didn’t puff up like a traditional version, but it sure still came out yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 (9-inch) pie crusts
  • 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance butter
  1. To prepare the filling, mix together the sugar, almonds, almond extract, and 1/2 cup butter.
  2. Whisk the flaxseed into the water to make 1 flax egg. Add to the sugar mixture and stir until mixed. Chill in the fridge.
  3. Meanwhile, turn one dough circle out onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread the chilled filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border.
  4. Top with the remaining dough circle, pressing the edges of the dough to seal. Brush with the melted butter. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 20 minutes.

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Note: If your kids want to, hide a dried bean inside in keeping with the French tradition of this cake around Epiphany.

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Whoever finds the bean or a toy figurine in their slice is the king for the day and gets good luck! Skip that step if you are worried about choking hazards.

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Walk and Find

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Here’s just a quick game I played with Veronika this morning, as we work on building her language skills and following directions.

For the former skill, I hid a series of toys under pillows, and then used directional words “Where is your toy?” “Who is under the pillow?” to direct her along.

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She very quickly solved the mystery!

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The latter goal was to help her follow directions when specifically asked to do something. I placed toys on a series of chairs in the hope that she’d move in order from chair to chair to couch, picking up a toy as a prize each step along the way. She followed directions quite well!

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As a side note, this is a great game to play if your child is in the early stages of walking but still needs to “land” against something after a few steps. Have him or her go from chair to chair (or other similar landing spot), with the toys for encouragement.

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