Kindergarten Home School Week 7: Wednesday

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We had a day with…wait for it… no tantrums! Our journey through a K-to-1st Grade summer workbook continues to be a success.

9-10: ELA. The corresponding workbook page was similar to what his teacher terms “writers workshop”, a topic that normally prompts Travis’s anger. But seeing it in this novel format, he was an eager participant!

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The assignment was to write abut what a desert woodpecker might do when it arrived in its cactus home. Travis used his imagination to say the woodpecker would remove the prickers! He proudly sounded out this sentence, then drew a picture. To make it a bit more scientific, I prompted him to think about how the bird’s nest might be in the cactus, too. Travis proudly added 3 stickers to his chart after these pages. We even found an old set of toy sticks and balls that helped us engineer a “nest”!

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He finished with a proud stint on Lexia, working on sight words. (Baby sister was busy with colored cups).

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10-10.30: Snack/free play.

10.30-11: STEAM. Today’s encyclopedia page was about the seasons. We watched the QR code video explaining the Earth’s tilt, then returned to an old art project: four seasons trees. The last time we did this, Travis wasn’t even 3 years old! This time, he drew his own tree trunks.

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He didn’t want to get his fingers messy, so his job was to the find the right color tissue paper for each season’s tree leaves and crumple it, then I dipped it in glue and adhered to the tree. Snipped q-tip swabs made “snowflakes” on our winter branches. This craft nicely kept my toddler busy, too!

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11-1: Lunch/free play. I’ve learned that giving him this chunk of time during little sister’s nap really helps his mood.

1-2: Outside time. We squeezed some math into our walk by making patterns from nature finds.

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We also used the walk for a letter hunt!

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2-3: Snack/Health: A homemade ranch dip with veggies was a great chance to talk about the colors and review the way a rainbow of veggies impacts our health. This led to good play with an old veggie farm set. That was the end of the school day, with some quiet solo puzzle play rounding things out.

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Tonight’s storytime read was Don’t Throw It To Mo! with a nice, can-do message.

 

Letter Hunt

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This little outdoor challenge was the first of several in Travis’s school workbook: the goal was to find an item in nature corresponding to each letter of his name. What a perfect excuse to get outside for “recess” during home schooling!

Off we set on a gorgeous local trail and Travis very quickly spotted the first letter he needed: tree for T!

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I asked him what letter was next, and so it went. Root was for R (as was rock!):

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Acorns were for A, vines were for V, insects were for I, and sticks were for S.

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This game gave simple purpose to our walk. If your child enjoys it, do the name of a sibling or parent, next!

Homemade Ranch Dip

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This creamy dip is a nice way to get kids to eat their veggies. The perfect snack during home school, perhaps?

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) container non-dairy cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and soy milk until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.

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We like this with steamed baby carrots and broccoli florets!

Homemade Ranch DIp (4)Celery would also be yummy. You can even use the recipe as a jumping-off point to talk about eating the “rainbow”.

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We got to fill in orange and green today!

Michelangelo’s Bathroom

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Just as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is designed to make grown-ups look up, here’s a trick to tilt up your little one’s head! This little “art” project can help your child tip his or her head up during hair washing if they are otherwise fearful or reluctant to do so. It works like a charm!

You can cut up any pictures for the project, including old magazines or even old calendar pages. We had an old book of nursery rhymes that’s become tattered over the years, but I love the illustrations. So I snipped out a few, and began to tape them to the tub walls.

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I deliberately chose images of Veronika’s favorite things, including cats, chickens, and stars.

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And she has some unexpected favorites, like umbrellas!

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She loved watching as I hung the pictures, oohing and aahing as if she were in an art gallery. Come bath time, I was so pleased when my trick worked. “Where is the sheep?” I asked. Her little neck craned up, and water poured over her head without any getting in her eyes.

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Success! I intend to mix up the pictures on occasion so our “art show” stays fresh.

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Colored Stacking Cups

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Here’s a twist on a recent game I played with Veronika, in which I simply presented her with a stack of plastic cups to pile and nest any which way.

This time, I had a pack of pretty cups in see-through pastels: think spring greens and rosy pinks, and daffodil orange.

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I gave Veronika the cups in hopes of not just stacking and nesting but also so we could play around with light and shadow. Veronika is so into her shadow these days (“Hi shadow!” she says on our walks), so I knew she would love this.

Sure enough, first she was just interested in the cups as…cups.

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To my amazement, she quickly had them in one huge pile!

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Lest I think this was just an accident, she then moved the cups out of her big pile and created another, off to her other side.

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But the real magic happened once the sun was at an angle, streaming into our living room. I showed her how the rings of the cups showed up as a circle shadow on our rug.

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“Hi shadow!” she said. You can then play around with how the shadow changes depending where the cups are stacked, or even just at different angles to the sun.

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Needless to say, they were just gorgeous to play with in the window.

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Although the building of complicated structures is beyond Veronika at eighteen months old, I loved showing her the dazzling effect.

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She loved adding the finishing touch!

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And when the sun goes down, you can just go back to regular cup towers.

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