S is for Snake (year 4, week 1)

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our PondWe started our 4th Year of Homeschool with a study of snakes.  Dragonfly caught a garter snake from our yard, so she requested that we release the tree frogs and keep the snake for a while.  We have studied frogs quite a bit, so the snake has been new to us.  We did a bit of comparison between venomous and nonvenomous snakes.  We also found out that some snakes are oviparous while others, like garter snakes, are ovoviviparous.  We watched Youtube videos of garter snakes being born, which the kids found very fascinating.  They're hoping our snake is pregnant with eggs and will produce babies one day.

Dragonfly also requested that I replace our frog posters with snake ones in our Science Center.  I had a very hard time finding anything about garter snakes, so I made the posters myself.  The one on the left shows the snake's place in the food chain.  The top animals are ones that the snake eats (earthworms, minnows, and tree frogs) and the bottom animals are ones that eat snakes (hawk, raccoon, and crow).  The poster on the right is the life cycle information.  The top picture shows a garter snake that has been cut open to show the eggs inside.  Garter snakes hatch inside their mothers, and then slither out of her, which is what the bottom picture shows.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

We had our first day of school on Monday.  Like I said in the curriculum post, we're focusing on the 3R's this year.  Dragonfly (6) did very well on her math workbook.  We're working on direction-following and independence.  Her book focuses on addition, number sense, and counting to 100.

For writing/reading, she traced a letter for her friend.  She's excited to send it to her and to get mail back.  I realized watching her that we need to work on letter formation a bit more.

The boys (ages 5 and 3) worked on their pencil grip.  They're each working on learning to write their initial letter with the goal of writing their names soon.  They're both lacking the fine motor skills to write for now, so we'll be doing a lot of practice this year.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond
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For our second day of school, we went on a field trip!  We started at the courthouse to turn in some jury paperwork.  Then, we went to the "Mennonite" bakery for our traditional back-to-school donuts.  Lastly, we drove down the highway about twenty minutes and ended at a campground with a creek.

My kids love this creek, but we hadn't gone to it all summer.  It was fun to see how much they had grown since last fall and how much more confident they have become.  They scampered all over the rocks, walked up and down the creek, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

They were so happy with mud between their toes!  They begged me for more time and to go back every day.  I loved seeing how they played and explored.

The only animals we saw were skimmer bugs.  The kids were fascinated with them, but were disappointed that we didn't see any frogs or snakes.  The drive to the campground brought us past lots of farms, so we saw horse, llamas, cows, and deer.

Our third day of school was a home day.  Dragonfly did some math and writing/reading work.  The boys worked on writing their letters.  We also moved our calendar board from an obscure place to a prominent one.  Already we've used it much more this year than ever before.  Dragonfly is enjoying the number connections.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

The fourth day, we visited a new church and attended a women's Bible study with childcare.  Yay for socialization and free lattes!

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

On Friday, Daddy was home and we had company coming in the evening, so we cleaned the house most of the day.  We also started a new chore system with "Disney Dollars."  Each buck is worth $0.10 and can be exchanged for treats or toys.  Right now, Dragonfly is working on earning 100 Disney Dollars to get a dragon toy that she wants.  In the safe environment of our home, I want the kids to learn about earning and spending money.  I'll probably blog more about this soon (and get some free printables on there too).

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

Dragonfly also colored a snake anatomy poster.  She did such a good job on the detail work (with a bit of help).  We laminated it and hung it proudly in our Science Center.

This was our snake's first time hunting minnows.  He's not very good at it, but it was very interesting to watch him try.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond


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