Kindergarten Home School Week 7: Thursday

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Travis nixed the lessons that came home from school as suggestions today. So I was glad to be armed with a lesson plan all my own!

9-9.30: Math. Today’s page in his summer workbook was counting animals “hiding” in the desert. He counted and wrote these out, making a few of the numbers backwards… a good reminder that we haven’t written numbers in a few weeks!

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We then extended the activity. For each animal, how many more were needed to a make 10? Counting this out in rainbow cereal made it silly and yummy.

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The bonus on the page was to spot the letter 4 made out of sticks. So we then brought in sticks from outside, and made a whole bunch of numbers!

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He was particularly proud of his 5. (Meanwhile, baby sister was busy with crayons).

9.30-10: Recess/snack. Riffing off the animal “hide and seek”, I challenged him to a real game of it for recess. It made him so happy to play together this way, a good reminder of the play he’s missing out on with friends at the playground.

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10-10.30: ELA. I went light on this subject today. We played a round of fishing with sight word fish.

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Then he sat down for Lexia but quickly grew frustrated with the day’s topic of story sequencing. He looked so relieved when I said he could stop, in favor of…

10.30-11: STEAM. Our encyclopedia page of the day was about the weather, specifically clouds and the rain cycle. It was good timing, since he completed his weather chart for all of April today (sun won!).

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Then we made a demonstration of rain falling from saturated clouds, and old experiment I last showed Travis three years ago!

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We also made cloud “paintings” (another repeat project) for the art in our STEAM, which got baby sister involved, too.

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11-1: Lunch/free play. Magna-tiles have been one of my favorite toys during home school, because I can give him an engineering design challenge!

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As mentioned, Travis nixed the suggestions from his teachers, including Music, Spanish, and a wellness presentation from the school counselor. It felt nice not to push him, and he rounded out the day with solo play, a game together (Charades), and reading a book from the summer list: Frog and Toad All Year. Meanwhile my toddler had some fine motor building with knobs and got to enjoy an online library storytime.

Strawberry-Oatmeal Squares

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These bake-ahead oatmeal bars will make mornings a cinch, whether you’re dashing to the bus or just making things a little easier on yourself during home school.


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 2 cups plain soy milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  1. In a bowl, combine the oats, pecans, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. Melt the Earth Balance butter in the microwave, then combine in a bowl with the Ener-G eggs, soy milk, and maple syrup. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture. Stir in the strawberries.
  3. Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Let cool, and then cut into 9 squares.
  4. Reheat individual square in the microwave just before serving in the morning.

Drawer Knobs & Screws

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In the on-going search for household items that keep little hands busy, today’s installation features… drawer knobs! I have a set that I’m saving for one of those “someday” projects, but I realized today they had a current use keeping Veronika occupied.

I twisted off the tiny pieces first (nuts, washers), leaving her with just the screws, the drawer knobs, and the decorative metal backplates. These three components seemed too large to be choking hazards, although I do recommend supervising play like this since even the blunt screws could be a hazard if stepped on or chewed on.

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The idea was for Veronika to line up the screw with the hole of each knob, and she was so proud – and delighted! – that she could do so.

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Sometimes she had the screw turned the wrong way, which meant it didn’t fit into the hole. I showed her how to turn it around for a big smile of success.

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At one point, she did throw a tiny tantrum over it. She threw the items on the floor, and discovered they made fantastic noises! Then she was back to screws and knobs.

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She liked the way the knobs spun around on the screws.

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When she experimented with the backplate on the screw, she discovered that it made a great jangling noise. Almost like little baby cymbals!

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This activity was great for her fine motor skills, but again you can’t quite call it toddler busy play since you’ll need to supervise.

Cylinder Pictures

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Veronika loves to scribble these days, and one of the easiest ways to occupy her when I need a few minutes is to let her loose with a box of jumbo crayons and a few blank sheets of paper.

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As is probably the case with your toddler, though, she has a tendency to fill up one portion of the paper and to leave the rest of it completely blank. So here’s a fun way to display your child’s early masterpieces while hiding that blank space.

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Trim the paper if needed (for example in sections that are completely white), then wrap the remaining paper around itself into a cylinder.

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Tape shut and set on a mantle or windowsill. Even a little one’s scribbles look so artistic this way!

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These drawings truly were all Veronika’s doing, except when she asked me to draw her stars on one sheet.

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If your child wants to take the cylinders down to play with then, that’s fine too. Just think of it as “process art”!

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