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Saturday, September 27, 2014

s is for seeds

Another strange week because the kids were sick.  We did a bit of schooling but not nearly enough.  I had a friend point out to me that we're doing a lot of school just having the kids home with me and including them in the life of the house.

Theme: seeds

Practical: extracting seeds from a sunflower (planned but never happened)
                  pouring and scooping seeds
                  planting a seed (never happened)

Sensory: seed sensory bin

Educational: Youtube video of a seed sprouting
                       talked about the "seeds we eat" every meal
                   
Work Boxes: identifying and sorting seeds
                       coloring (never happened)

Books: "The Tiny Seed"
             "Seed in Need"
             "How Does a Seed Grow"

Song: "The Johnny Appleseed Song"

Outing:  This week was our once-a-month excursion to the big city.  This month, that trip also included a visit to the pediatric dentist.  Dragonfly saw braces on someone's teeth for the first time.  We also had a social worker into our house this week for her monthly visit (we're foster parents).

Follow In Our Pond's board "s is for seed" on Pinterest.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

t is for trees

This week, Mommy got sick.  I'm an asthmatic, so I get really knocked down by a head cold.  We really didn't do much for school.

Theme: trees

Practical:

Sensory:  nature walk in the yard to feel the parts/types of tress

Educational: 
                   
Work Boxes: maple tree life cycle
                       pine tree life cycle cards


Books: "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf"
             "The Maple Tree"
             "Count Down to Fall"


Song:

Outing:  We had the developmental specialist in our home on Monday.  That was the only "outing" since I was so sick (I got sick on Tues).

Follow In Our Pond's board "t is for trees" on Pinterest.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

m is for milk (week 2)

This was a really strange homeschooling week.  I think we've had too many extraordinary, crazy weekends in a row so everyone's sleep schedule has been off.  I only like to do "activities" if the kids are rested, but that didn't happen very often this week.

So, here's what we did-

Theme: milk (cows/farm)

Practical: practiced pouring and serving "milk"

Sensory: smelling and petting cows at the fair
              chocolate "mud" goop*
              played with knit farm mat

Educational: picture cards about milk
                     Youtube movie about how milk
                        get from the cow to our house
                   
Work Boxes: sorted barns by size (here)
                     matching animal families (here)

Books: "Milk Machines"
             "Life on a Dairy Farm"
             "Click Clack Moo"
             "Big Red Barn"
             "Little Blue Truck"

Song: "Old McDonald Had a Farm"

Outing: We started our week with a trip to the fair and rodeo.  All week, Dragonfly has been talking about the rodeo princesses and Skimmer has been pretending his ride-on car is a bucking broncho.  Next year, I'd like for us to spend more time at the fair observing the bee hive, petting farm animals, and watching demonstrations.

 *How to Make the Goop:
- flour
- cocoa powder
- oil
- water

Sorry about the excess of pictures.  I couldn't pick my favorite since each one tells a different part of the story.

Follow In Our Pond's board "m is for milk" on Pinterest.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Super Simple Apple Sensory Bin

For our "apple" week, I made Skimmer a super simple bin to play in while Dragonfly did her "school work."  This bin is about 1/4 cup oatmeal, a tbs of cinnamon, a few fake apples, and a truck (cause we always need a truck).  Skimmer enjoyed pushing the apples around with the truck and making tracks in the oatmeal.  I'm sure that he would have had a bit more fun if I had given him more oatmeal.  But, when Skimmer decided he was "all done" and dumped the whole thing on the floor, then I was glad I'd only gave him a bit.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

a is for apple (week 1)

For week 1 of preschool, I decided to go classic.  And, to me, nothing says "back to school" like apples.  I'm very "Montessori" influenced right now, so our activities for the week were mostly practical and hands-on.  The big way that I'm not Montessori is that I don't allow my kids access to the tot trays and activities whenever chose.  Instead, I chose the times when I think they might be ready to do something at the table and allow them to chose from a few options.  I've been calling them "work boxes" since they're contained in a 3-drawer plastic unit.  However, they're not technically work boxes either since I let the kids pick what they wanted to and didn't force them to complete any of the tasks.

So, here's what we did this week-

Theme: apples

Practical: chopped apples for apple pie and applesauce
                  planted an apple seed in a bag (to watch the "tiny tree" be "born")

Sensory: cinnamon play dough, which they chopped like apples and rolled like pie dough
                simple apple sensory bin
                apple themed bath

Educational: picture cards about how an apple seed becomes an apple pie and the seasons of a tree
                       Youtube movie about how apple cider is made and tasting some
                       explored the parts of an apple and found the "star" in the core

Work Boxes: sorted wormy apples from non-wormy ones (printable)
                       counted apples on trees (printable)
                       seed to pie sequence cards
                       pompom "apple" transfer with tongs
                       apple size sequence (printable)
                       wormy apples counting (printable)
                       "a is for apple" coloring page

Books: "The Apple Pie Tree"
             "Applesauce Season"
             "10 Apples on Top"

Song: "The Johnny Appleseed Prayer."  (..."the sun, and the rain, and the apple seed.   The Lord's been good to me!")

Outing: we have an apple tree in our yard so we checked its apples and observed the deer and squirrel as they got ready for winter (by eating our apples).  We also had a well-child check-up for one of the kids this week.

 Here's a peak at what our homeschooling/eating room wall looked like this week:

Follow In Our Pond's board "a is for apple" on Pinterest.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Super Simple Ocean Sensory Bin for Young Toddlers

I've found that my kids are just as contented with a simple small world set up as they are with complicated ones.  This ocean set up is about as easy as you could make it.  A half inch of warm blue water with a toob of Safari Reef animals.  Skimmer has so much fun moving the fish though the water and exploring the different pieces.  The thing that I love most about the super simple bins is that they're very easy to clean up when the young toddler decides to dump the bin on the floor.  The Toob pieces are stored in a Crystal Lite container with the name of the toob and the number of pieces written on it instead of in the original toob.  The CL container makes it easy for the toddlers to put away the animals themselves since the fit isn't as tight.  All of our CL containers are stored together in our "invitation to play" box.

 I've seen some really elaborate sensory bins and small world set ups, but I'm blogging to advocate that simpler is better.  Try it today!  Your kids will thank you.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Interview With Dragonfly

This is Dragonfly's first year of homeschooling and, boy, is she excited.  She's been asking me every day for weeks if she can start "today."  So fun.  I'm excited to start it too.  But, first, here's an interview from Dragonfly about her life and hopes for the future.

Name: Dragonfly (not her real name)

Age: 3

Height: 34"

Friends: (Auntie) Katie and (Auntie) Emi (and she plays with her brothers a lot)

Favorite Thing Play: ocean animals in the bathtub

Favorite Color:  purple stuff

Favorite Book: I don't know, Mommy

Favorite Movie:  Elmo (anything Sesame Street)

Favorite Food:  mac and cheese

When I Grow Up:  I want to have babies and feed them Mommy Milk (sometimes she says that she wants to be a "tummy mommy")

Quotes: "dino-foam" (styrofoam)
              "No, brother!" (to either of them)
              "I can't like that."
              "I'm just a little girl."