Kindergarten Home School Week 7: Monday

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Fresh off “vacation” week, I have a confession: I’ve gone rogue. I’m no longer strictly following the suggestions that come home from Travis’s teacher each day. I am so happy to report… wait for it… zero tantrums today and an extremely interested boy. The biggest change is that I broke out a summer K-to-1st workbook early. I’m using each page as a prompt for activities. There’s also now a sticker progress chart that Travis is thrilled about!

9-9.30: Math. The corresponding workbook page involved tracing numbers 1 through 9 and then circling his age. I then used the page’s desert theme as a prompt for… kinetic sand play!

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We put the sand in a bin, but the twist was that I hid various 3-D shapes in the sand. Using clues, Travis had to guess each one before he could dig it out. For example, “I can roll and I have no edges,” was the clue for sphere. “I have 6 sides all made of squares,” helped him guess cube and so on.

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After this little “quiz” I was happy to let the kids keep playing with the sand for a while! Incidentally this was a way to keep my toddler busy, too.

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9.30-10: ELA. The corresponding workbook page involved singing the alphabet and filling in the missing letters. We then read Dragons Love Tacos, an old favorite. Travis drew pictures of the beginning, middle, and end of the story (Little sister was busy, meanwhile, with tissue paper).

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The book made Travis hungry, so good thing it was…

10-10.30: Snack time! He decided he needed salsa just like those dragons, which made for silly happy kiddos.

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10.30-11: Science: We read about the Earth in his children’s encyclopedia, which features a QR link on each page. This particular lesson took us to images of the Earth from the International Space Station.

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We then repeated an old activity, making the layers of Earth from play dough and then slicing into it. The last time we did this, Travis was two years old! Needless to say, he was much more involved in the process this time and loved it.

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It lead to an hour of play dough play after, which left me time for toddler music class with little sister, including homemade guitar strumming.

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11-11.30: Spanish. His Spanish teacher had sent along a video of counting crocodile (cocodrilo) teeth.

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We have a similar shark from a board game, so after watching her demo, we counted our shark’s teeth up to 24 in Spanish. Of course then we played a round of the board game and counted our playing pieces in Spanish as we went!

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play/TV show of choice as a reward for an awesome morning! Travis also happily did about 15 minutes on Lexia.

1.30-2: Gym. Travis has disliked the suggestions coming from school. Instead, I challenged him to a Catch and Count. On our first try, we got to 29. Well, now he wanted to get to 100! We never got quite that far, but we did reach 50. He finished with 15 minutes of Star Wars yoga on this sleety cold day.

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2-2.30: STEM/art. To round out the day, I challenged him to make Darth Vader’s face on his Lite Brite. Not bad!

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Finally, at bedtime stories tonight, we dove into the Suggested Reading list from the summer workbook. First up was Amazing Grace. After the story, we discussed main character, themes (a new vocab word!), and more.

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Cantaloupe Papaya Smoothie

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This unexpected flavor combination takes my kids’ two favorite fruits and mashes them together into one perfect smoothie. Use plain soy milk instead of the almond milk if you prefer less sugar.


  • 1 cup frozen cantaloupe chunks
  • 1/2 cup papaya chunks
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

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Strumming Fun

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For some musical fun today, I made Veronika the easiest guitar ever: just a piece of corrugated cardboard ripped from a recent delivery box (thanks, Amazon Prime!) and a few plastic spoons.

I showed her how she could scrape the spoon along the cardboard to make “music”, humming a favorite tune all the while.

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It took her a few minutes to figure out which way she needed to orient the spoon (concave side down) in order to produce the right sound, but she looked so proud when she had it correct.

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Big brother Travis pointed out that the sound was a bit like a duck quacking. So this led to lots of silly quacking fun.

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Because I’d left out extra plastic spoons, she alternated between strumming or tapping two spoons together, adding a percussion element to her one-girl band. When it came time for her online toddler sing-along, she could strum her own “ukelele” alongside the teacher.

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I loved how simple this was for her to use, and how busy it kept her!

Tissue Paper Bag

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Tissue paper is one of those fantastic materials for keeping a toddler busy without fancy materials or much supervision. I had a full pack of multicolored tissue paper which was just begging to be played with. I cut squares from the sheets so they were just the right size for Veronika’s little hands, but that was it for set-up!

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I presented her with the tissue paper, along with a brown paper bag and a small empty toy bin. I left it up to her to decide where the tissue paper should go from there! Stuffing it into the bag was good fun…

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…as was piling it into the bin.

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She particularly loved this when we hid a toy underneath. “Where’s meow meow?” she asked of her toy kitty, and then lifted up the sheets of tissue paper with a “peek-a-boo!”. 

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Of course it’s just fine if your toddler wanders off with a few sheets of tissue paper, too.

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I also showed her how she could crumple up the pieces so they were more like balls than squares. This interested her so much that she soon invented her own version: putting a crumpled piece on a spoon and moving it into the bag or bin this way!

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It’s also silly fun to stuff the bag full of paper and let it rain down on your child’s head.

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To be honest, I thought she would play with the whole set-up for longer than she did, but it was good fun while it lasted.

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