Kindergarten Home School Week 10: Wednesday

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I’m hitting a nice stride now where I touch on the concepts that Travis’s teacher sends each day, but we learn them in our own way. This method keeps Travis’s skills up to state standards and keeps him focused. Please share how your home school journey is going in the comments!

9-9.30: Math. After a quick Star Wars workbook page introducing the notion of tens place and ones place, Travis was left with a string of numbers all in the teens. We ordered these from least to greatest on a sheet sent home from the teacher. We followed it up with a game of War which is fantastic for teaching kids to recognize the greater or lesser number quickly.

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9.30-10: STEM. After reading about boats in his encyclopedia and watching a QR video, Travis tested how he could make play dough float. If he shaped it into a ball, it sank!

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But once we hollowed it out like a real boat, it floated (though you can see that it was far from water-tight). Little sister got in some boat play, too!

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10-10.30: ELA. His workbook pages focused on J and K, and he did 20 minutes on Lexia.

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To add to the J lesson, he traced his name in jelly, then got in some quick exercise for each J verb (jump, jog etc.). Then we headed outside with a kite for…

10.30-11: Recess/snack. He tried hard to get that kite up in the air!

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11-11.30: Library. His teacher read a yoga book and sent videos of sample poses. Travis wasn’t interested, but we did dot-color a spring picture together as we watched.

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Zoom. Travis is getting the hang of sitting still for this half hour with his teacher and classmates, and even shared that he’s thankful for his sister.

2-3: Outside. The best part of the day was a trip to a local farm for strawberries, both to celebrate National Pick Strawberries Day and as a nice follow-up to yesterday’s lesson on living and nonliving resources.

His bedtime story was Separate is Never Equal.

National Pick Strawberries Day

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I love learning of random “national holidays” like this one and tailoring the kids’ activities to them. This year, unfortunately, we couldn’t pick our own strawberries to mark May 20. Still, even amending our outing for social distancing made the afternoon special and exciting.

First we headed to a local farm stand that is selling “curbside” with an honor system from their porch!

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This was a fantastic opportunity just for the kids to view the fields, smell fresh herbs in pots, and have an understanding of where food comes from.

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Could we actually pick our own strawberries? Not today, but I picked up a case of strawberries from the market, and it tricked Travis! “Someone picked these today!” he said proudly.

When we got home, Travis so carefully helped rinse the strawberries (and fresh basil we bought to go with them!)

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The snack that followed was a strawberry love fest. Ok, so we didn’t actually pick them, but we sure celebrated them today.

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Under the Sea Lunch

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Travis has been learning a lot about the ocean recently, both the creatures that live deep down, and the ways that humans can explore under the water. So it felt only appropriate to continue the fun with our food!

For a “fish” sandwich, trim a pita or similar flatbread by making two triangle cut-outs on one side. Now your fish has a tail.

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You can use just about anything for the filling! We filled one “fish” with tofu salad and another with cheese slices.

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Add raisins for eyes.

On the side, I served a little ocean floor scene. Almond butter (or peanut butter) was the sand, lightly-steamed celery sticks become waving seaweed, and we added a few vegan Swedish fish to populate our ocean.

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You could even add homemade goldfish crackers for the fish! I’m happy to report that lunch went swimmingly.

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Chocolate-Banana-Nut Popsicles

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Roast the bananas for these novel frozen treats in the morning, and you’ll have Popsicles ready for a mid-day snack!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Wrap the bananas individually in foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and mash. Combine in a bowl with the brown sugar.
  2. Transfer the banana mixture to a blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.
  3. Divide among Popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours, or until solid.

Foam Blocks in Water

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Veronika has a versatile set of foam building blocks that we play with all the time, whether purely for building or more for learning. But never before have we put them in water!

As soon as I spotted this idea online, I realized what a no-brainer it was. Of course the foam floats! I filled a plastic storage bin with just enough water for the blocks to float and placed it on the floor over a towel to catch any splashing. (Note: You could just do this outside on a water table on a hot day!).

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Veronika was thrilled to see something old look new and different. She began reaching in immediately, delighted both to fetch out the blocks (“Triangle!” she said) and to feel the splashy water all around them.

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Mostly I just let her play, but we also sorted the blocks by color at one point.

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There was lots of splashing and lots of excitement as the blocks floated around almost like little boats. The water also makes the blocks stick to each other, which makes it perfect for building up little towers and castles.

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We definitely ended with water all over the floor, making this messy but worth it.

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

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Row Your Boat is currently one of Veronika’s favorite songs, and I’ve always been partial to it myself. Part nursery rhyme and part song, it extends itself easily to movement play and more.

To start, I simply sang the song. If you need a reminder, here are the simple lyrics:

Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream.

Merrily merrily merrily merrily.

Life is but a dream.

After singing, we added actions!

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I sat so that Veronika and I were facing each other and took her hands. As we sang, first I pulled her forward, then I leaned toward her so she leaned back. It was magical to watch the siblings giggle and row together!

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To reinforce the concept of a “boat” (which is not something we see daily around here!) I pulled out a few floating toys. Veronika loved playing with them in a shallow basin.

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You can always check out animated versions of the song online, too. You’ll likely encounter silly verses. An elephant wearing jeans? A lion eating green beans? Then see if you can make up your own, which is guaranteed to make your toddler laugh!

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