Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Thursday

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We did it! My son is a Kindergarten graduate and I successfully taught seventy days of home school. There were tears and smiles, tantrums and triumphs, and lots of learning along the way for everyone involved. Thank you to the readers who have followed along on this journey, something I never intended to do or blog!

It would have been cruel to make it a full school day for Travis, knowing that summer was mere hours away. So here’s a quick rundown of the morning.

9-9.30: Workbook pages. Travis had only a few pages left in his workbook, including: ELA (adjectives and a poem), math (addition), and social studies (map reading). He zipped through them and put all the final stickers on his progress poster.

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9.30-9.45: Math. We got in exercise and math by skip-counting as we tossed a ball. We did this by both 10’s and 5’s to 100, a perfect review before summer!

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9.45-10: Specials. Travis recorded himself singing his favorite song from Music this year. He then watched a final story in Spanish (The Three Little Pigs) and an Adios song.

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10-10.30: Snack/storytime. Travis’s teacher had sent links to 2 final books to watch: Mrs. Bindergarten Celebrates the Last Day of Kindergarten and This Year Was Different.

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Well how about that! We needed to celebrate with vegan ice cream, of course.


Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Wednesday

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It’s the second-to-last day of school! With an emphasis on tying up loose ends and having fun, here’s what we tackled today:

9-9.30: ELA. Travis filled out a page in his workbook with word tic-tac-toe, along with a page about punctuation marks like question marks and exclamation points. We finished with a real game of tic-tac-toe!

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9.30-10: Math. Travis rocked his math lesson today, a workbook page counting penguins and then filling in ice cubes with numbers up to 100.

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I surprised him with a break-the-ice board game (going along with the theme) after, which he absolutely adored.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. Little sister got artsy with mud while Travis played.

10.30-11: STEM. Travis watched a read-aloud of Bartholomew and the Ooblek before we made it hands-on with the classic experiment of making ooblek. We mixed together 1 cup water and 2 cups cornstarch for some of our best homemade ooblek to date.

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Of course it needed to be green. Travis was unafraid to get his hands in, then filled out a worksheet describing it with all his senses.

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11-11.30: Craft. We had fun with pool noodles!

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Class Zoom. For the final online session with his class, his teacher shared a slideshow of the year. What memories!

For evening storytime, we not only watched his teacher’s final read-aloud online (Only One You), but also took time to make shadow puppets.

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Travis filled out a worksheet page drawing animals on provided shadow puppet templates before we tried our hand (ha!) at making our own. Travis was particularly proud of his spider!

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Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Tuesday

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It’s Travis’s last Tuesday of Kindergarten! When there’s ice cream involved at 9.30 in the morning, you know you’re shifting into summer mode…

9-9.30: Math. Travis counted fish in his workbook using the tens place and ones place, and he rocked this lesson. We made it hands-on with a round of our sight word fish game after. Travis was so proud of how quickly he reads most words now.

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Even when there was interference from a cute fish in the pond!

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9.30-10: Social/emotional learning. Travis’s next workbook page involved following directions, using the example of making an ice cream sandwich. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t surprise him with a real ice cream sandwich thereafter? We even added sprinkles.

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Needless to say, I had two happy kids, and I guess this counted as snacktime, too!

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10-10.30: STEM. A leaky water bottle experiment had major wow factor, and got us outside for “recess” at the same time.

10.30-11: Art. We made a gift for the upcoming Father’s Day!

11-11.30: ELA. Travis first watched a read-aloud of Zoom Zoom Zoom, I’m Off to the Moon. He then colored in a rocket template and he picked his destination to write down: Mars. Home School 73 j

He finished up with 20 proud minutes on Lexia.

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play. Little sister had a gym class!

1.30-2.30: Outside. We searched for animal homes in a gorgeous walk through the woods.

See you for the final Wednesday tomorrow!

Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Monday

Home School 70 eIt’s the last Monday! Travis’s workbook theme all week is about the Arctic, so no doubt we’ll have some frosty fun as the week goes on.

9-9.30: STEAM. He started with a workbook page counting up dimes and pennies, followed by a second page coloring arctic animals, and a third imagining a town in a cold mountain setting. Travis drew houses, a clock, and bridges.

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To extend the play, I pulled out all the building blocks and train pieces and it was time to engineer a city! As you can imagine, this had both kids happily playing for a while.

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9.30-10: Gym. For his final P.E. as a kindergartner, we kept things fun with “at home” sports.

10-10.30: Snack/recess. There was some messy outside art on the patio!

10.30-11: ELA. Travis’s teacher sent along a favorite story, Dex…The Heart of a Hero.

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After watching a read-aloud, Travis colored in superhero masks, and both kids dressed up in masks and capes.

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Travis was supposed to write, “If I were a superhero…” but frustration led to a huge tantrum. He half-finished the assignment.

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As a result, we switched over to a workbook page on WH words and a stint on Lexia.

11-11.30: Spanish. The kids have laughed and loved the silly songs sent by Travis’s teacher all spring, this time on a fruit conga line!

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play

1.30-2: Class Zoom. Travis even shared that he was thankful for his sister.

2-3: Outside. We can’t get enough of the playground!

3-3.30: Music. There was a special live Zoom with the teacher today, going over favorite songs from the year, and getting Travis up and dancing.

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Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Friday

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TGIF! We pulled out lots of toys and items from around the house in connection with each lesson today to keep things feeling fresh.

9-9.30: ELA. After a workbook page on animal rhyming words (dog/log, cat/hat), Travis designed a “habitat” for a few stuffed animal friends.

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This led to lots of stuffed animal play early in the morning, but I was happy to pause and go at a slower pace. He also did a page on the letter Z, and about 10 minutes on Lexia. (Little sister was busy, meanwhile, with bottles and lids).

9.30-10: Math. Travis’s workbook page had him skip counting by 10’s to 100, using pictures of dimes. That meant we pulled out his old collection of foreign coins!

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Both kids loved looking at all the different types, colors, and shapes of currency. Travis was fascinated finding the year on the oldest ones. Veronika simply loved the fine motor challenge of fitting them in the slot of the piggy bank! A big win for everybody.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess.

10.30-11: Author Spotlight. We dabbled back into the suggested Mo Willems curriculum for the week. Travis watched the story Waiting is Hard, but then protested about writing about it after (character, setting, etc.). He did record a message to his teacher saying his favorite story this week had been Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

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We finished with a STEAM extension: Elephant and Piggie puppets! Lacking the suggested paper bags, we glued the templates to paper plates instead, with craft sticks for a handle.

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We then acted out a story on the back patio!

11-11.30: Science. Travis learned about how pollination works through this hands-on activity from Highlights magazine. Bury a wrapped candy (we used lollipops) in one bowl and cover with a cheesy puff snack (like Hippies).

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Place a second wrapped candy in a second bowl, and cover with apple slices. I invited Travis to dig for the lollipop, and he eagerly began searching down through the puffs.

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When he lifted his hands, they were covered in cheese dust – pollen!

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Now he dug for the second lollipop and we saw how the apple slices we covered in the “pollen”, just as pollinators like bees and butterflies transfer it from plant to plant. Of course then it was time for a lollipop.

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Board Game. We played a favorite game with one caveat… Mommy got to go first! The idea was to reinforce the lesson of waiting from the earlier Mo Willems’ story. Travis was thrilled to take this pause together while baby sister was sleeping, insisting on two rounds.

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It was an early start to the weekend after that, getting outside to the playground. One week to go!

Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Thursday

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We deviated from the curriculum today, with Travis losing interest in Mo Willems-themed activities. Luckily I was able to engage him with the following:

9-9.30: ELA. After a page on the letter Y in his workbook, y as in yellow prompted us to redo an old color wheel activity, which of course turned into messy water and food coloring play. So a good way to start the day! He also did about 10 minutes on Lexia.

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9.30-10: Telling time. Travis filled out a summer workbook page with clocks showing the time at :00 and :30 intervals.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. This may have involved walking on pillows.

10.30-11: Art. Upon learning it was Corn on the Cob Day, we made a quick art project! Travis made a big blob of glue roughly in the shape of an ear of corn, then loved dropping in unpopped corn kernels.

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We added marker for brown silk strands on top and green husks. We continued the fun late day by shucking and roasting real ears of corn!

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11-11.30: Math. Travis only wanted to do Star Wars addition problems. I encouraged him to write a “math story sentence” to go with one problem, to much protest, so we switched over to…

11.30-12: Music. Travis’s teacher posted a wonderful sing-along of Lift Every Voice and Sing in solidarity with those demonstrating across the country right now. I spoke to Travis about the protests in an age-appropriate way, and asked him what the song meant to him. This was a little tough for him to grasp, and we zeroed in on the concepts of fairness and love.

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I was proud of his heart to share with his music teacher.

12-2: Lunch/free play. And social time with a friend on Zoom!

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2-2.30: His teacher asked the kids to think about summer goals, a great prompt! Travis settled on learning to ride a bike, and then wrote a sentence for it and drew a picture.

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2.30-3.30: Outside. We finished the day with a gorgeous walk to count critters! And then enjoyed that roasted corn of course.

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Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Wednesday

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We crammed a lot into a busy morning, then got to enjoy more leisure time in the afternoon. All in all, a successful home school day as we near the finish line.

9-9.30: Author spotlight. Travis’s class exploration of Mo Willems continued, this time with The Duckling Gets a Cookie. Travis thought this story was particularly funny! Next he invented his own cookie on a provided worksheet (he told me it was an orange M&M spice cookie featuring turmeric and paprika; I almost want to try that!), and drew himself saying NO to the pigeon.

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We extended the play with play dough cookies and then printed out pigeon and duckling finger puppets.

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Note the puppet fly-by from a cute little toddler.

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9.30-10: Math. Travis filled out a summer workbook page on taller/shorter, and we did a quick hunt for things in the house that fit each category. He also made a graph of Mo Willem characters, continuing with the week’s theme.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. We were getting wet outside with chalkboards and volcanoes, oh my!

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10.30-11: Science. Travis colored savanna animals on his summer workbook page, so it was then fun to check out video clips about each. I highly recommend Nat Geo Kids’ Amazing Animals series, with facts, jokes, and funny voices crammed into only a minute or two.

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11-11.30: ELA. Travis did 15 minutes on Lexia.

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Class Zoom. Travis grows more comfortable with the format each time.

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2-3: Outside. There was a Zoom for his Gym class today, but it was optional and Travis did indeed opt out (I was not surprised, as this was his least favorite special all year). Instead, we played a quick round of sock basketball to get moving, and got in some exercise rolling down hills!

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Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Tuesday

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We had a quick half-day today, mostly focusing on Travis’s author spotlight assignments from the teacher.

9-9.30: Author Spotlight. Today’s Mo Willem story was Should I Share My Ice Cream? Travis watched a read-aloud, then filled in his own version: Should he share his… Legos!

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He also created his own Elephant and Piggie cartoon, somewhat reluctantly, and then we tested out dance moves based on Elephants Can’t Dance. (Meanwhile my toddler was busy with pots and cups).

9.30-10: ELA. Travis did workbook pages on letters X and Y, and then great sight reading on Lexia.

10-10.30: Snack/recess. Baby sister had her gym class online.

10.30-11: Math. Just some quick Star Wars addition problems today. (Baby sister was learning shapes).

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11-11.30: Library. We finished with a rhyming activity from Travis’s library teacher, including making up silly rhymes like a pony eating macaroni.

Then there was lots of time to play outside at the town playground after that! Hoping to squeeze in some more STEM activities tomorrow.


Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Monday

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We hit the ground running for Travis’s second-to-last Monday of kindergarten, and what a fantastic day we had. Here’s a recap:

9-9.30: Travis did three pages in his summer workbook: a page about safety rules, a page on the letter V, and a geometry page identifying shapes. That last featured images of circus performers, so we watched Cirque du Soleil clips online to kick things off on a fun note.

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9.30-10: Author spotlight. After watching a read-aloud of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems, Travis wrote a sentence about the pigeon: Don’t let the pigeon watch Star Wars! He then colored in the pigeon with a thumbs up for a class vote on whether or not the pigeon can drive.

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He finished with a STEM extension, designing alternate vehicles for the pigeon and building one from Legos. (Where was little sister during all this? At a play dough construction site!).

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10-10.30: Snack/recess.

10.30-11: Art. We made monster straw paintings!

11-11.30: ELA. Travis did a protest-free stint on Lexia. His sight reading has come so far!

11.30-12: P.E. He chose to do about 20 minutes of Minecraft-themed yoga for some exercise.

12-1.30 – Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Class Zoom. I was very proud of Travis sharing during show-and-tell.

2-2.30: Math: After one page in his Star Wars workbook, we played Uno. (Little sister got in her toddler math with tape shapes).

2.30-3.30: Outside. The state’s playgrounds have reopened! This meant Travis got to safely have a play date with a classmate. It made my heart do cartwheels to see children playing again. I hope you are finding a similar return to normalcy in your own hometown.

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Kindergarten Home School Week 12: Friday

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There are two weeks to go everybody! We ended on a high note, here in coronavirus home school week 12.

9-9.30: Maps. After a workbook page about directional words (behind, in front of, above), Travis wanted to recreate the campsite on the page! We quickly had a makeshift “teepee” and a fire made of craft sticks and torn construction paper. Mostly he just played in it, but I threw in a directional word or two as we built to keep up the theme.

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9.30-10: ELA. The “campsite” was the perfect place to finish ELA for the day, including a page in his Star Wars writing book, and a workbook page about letter U. He finished with Lexia in “camp”.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. Because little sister was playing with monkeys, Travis soon had an inventive game going with them, too!

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10.30-11: Math. Travis did an addition page in his Star Wars workbook, and then we did a quick review of teen numbers, i.e. each teen is 10 plus X more.

11-11.30: STEM. We did a unit on the Sahara Desert today!

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Art. Travis’s assignment was to draw an animal in its habitat. He made a very inventive green ant, and got to share it on a Zoom with the art teacher.

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We wrapped up early after that, the home school equivalent of a summer Friday.