Kindergarten Home School Week 12: Thursday

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I confess that home school felt a little mundane today; should I have planned something more elaborate? On the other hand, it meant the day felt easier and smoother than most!

9-9.30: Morning circle. We’ve gotten away from the routine of morning circle and songs that Travis was used to from his classroom. Luckily today’s workbook page on letter S was a good reminder to review! For example, after writing September we sang his months of the year song. Sunday and Saturday likewise prompted singing Days of the Week, and Spring was a reminder to go through the seasons. Plus it was sunny, and we began a belated weather chart for the month of June.

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9.30-10: ELA. The second workbook page was on letter T. We took the time to tap out syllables and sounds for all the words on the page, something else we’ve neglected to do recently. Then he did Lexia for 15 minutes.

10-10.30: Recess/snack. Travis wanted to play inside but little sister was out hunting for frogs in the grass!

10.30-11: Math. After Star Wars droid math problems, Travis wrote a full math story about it and drew a picture to boot! He struggled but was ultimately so proud of his work. A high point on the day.

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11-11.30: STEM. Travis designed a pom pom maze, an activity we tried with marbles about a year ago. Then he used his hands as measurement tools to find items that were shorter/longer, heavier/lighter etc.

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Social studies. Taking inspiration from a page in Highlights magazine about Gallant kids, Travis learned about life skills and disaster preparedness, including a funny video on how to use a fire extinguisher.

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Highlights was also great for some quiet time puzzling over the Find It page.

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2-3: Specials. For Music, Travis recorded himself saying chants fast (hare) or slow (turtle), For Spanish we listened to a beautiful song on la luna (which arguably interested little sister more!) and then enjoyed a Zoom with the teacher.

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3-4: Outside. We took a nature walk with a family friend, who taught Travis about new plants, flowers, birds, and bugs. I didn’t have a camera to capture the beautiful moment, but sometimes that’s for the best.

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Pumpkin Bread

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This easy pumpkin bread is full of sweetness, spice and veggie goodness. A slice is perfect for breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 heaping teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the almond milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the pumpkin puree to the applesauce mixture, stirring just until combined.
  3. Spoon into an 8×4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, pressing into the batter slightly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing.

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Want more veggies in your baked goods? Try carrot cookies or sweet potato pie!

Stab That Shape Foam Trays

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Veronika has shown an early interest in shapes and can now readily recognize triangles, stars, hearts, and circles. We’re working on squares and rectangles next!

To foster her interest in the topic, I made this easy shape recognition tray for her today, using a leftover foam tray from the grocery store. I simply drew 4 shapes, three that she knows well, and one less familiar (the square).

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I then handed over the tray and a plastic fork. First she just loved stabbing at the tray!

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It was a tougher than I thought for her to poke the tines of the fork directly down, so the game was great practice for fork skills at the dinner table, too! Soon she started to get the hang of it.

“Can you poke the heart?” I asked her. Yup! She also easily followed directions for the circle and triangle.

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When I asked her to poke the square, she just played around aimlessly with the fork, which reinforced my sense that she doesn’t know the word yet. But she still was having lots of fun!

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Older toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy this tray, too. Encourage them to “stab” along the lines of each shape so it is covered in dots, a precursor to tracing.

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Meanwhile, Veronika had fun stabbing the tray all over. The dots feel bumpy once the tines of the fork have poked through, and she carried the tray around happily for a while.

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Frog in the Grass

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Here’s an adorable game to play outside with a toddler, one that involves both imaginative play and observational skills. We used frog toys because the green camouflages perfectly in the green grass, but any green animal toy would work equally well, or even green beanbags. To wit, we also added a snake and a centipede.

Veronika spotted the frog toys before we headed outside, excitedly declaring, “Froggie, froggie!” so I knew she would love the game. Once we were outside, I scattered the frogs in the grass while Veronika watched, curious. Older toddlers can be asked to close their eyes while you scatter the frogs, making it a true hunt.

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“Frog in the grass!” I yelled, once all four had been ‘hidden’. She was confused until I led her by the hand to toddle over to the first frog. Then it seemed like the most exciting errand in the world!

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After that she was off and running, finding a frog in the green grass, bringing it back to the patio, and then returning for the next one.

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Then we also hunted down the green snake and centipede.

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Once everyone safely made it to the patio, I tossed them back into the grass. “Frog in the grass!” I yelled again. This time she thought it was hilarious, and went scampering over.

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You can add animal learning to the game by making the corresponding noises and motions. Veronika loves to say “ribbit”, and I encouraged her to leap like a frog.

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Next thing I knew, she had two of the frogs kissing on the patio, unprompted!

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We’ll have to see if one of them turns into a handsome prince.

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