Life is hectic right now. It is just the nature of this season to be busy and sometimes we need a lesson or activity that we can grab real quick without a lot of prep.
This week we are focusing on insects and arachnids in our homeschool classroom. It has been a fairly dull week, full of the usual activities: reading books about insects and arachnids, looking at dead (preserved) insects and arachnids with a magnifying glass, discussing the anatomy, life cycle, diet, habitat and such of insects and arachnids. It is all fun and fascinating but it has all been blogged about before by so many other people so I won’t bore you with the details.
Here is one thing we did that hopefully you haven’t seen before (because I came up with it myself, lol!).
LittleMan has kind of a weird quirk with coloring books. Most children I know will look for a page they like, color it, look for another page they like, color it and when they are done there may be 5-10 pages colored and they are content to move on to a different activity leaving the rest of the pages for another day. LittleMan starts on page one then moves to page two, then page three and so on coloring in EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. refusing to do anything else until the entire book has been finished. His reaction when offered a coloring book is almost obsessive. For this reason, we have had to limit his access to coloring books, which is something we never wanted to have to do.
On the plus side, there are many ways to make garden variety coloring books into an educational activity. Here are some of the ways we utilized a dinosaur coloring book from Dollar Tree in our homeschool classroom:
LittleMan woke up on the *wrong* side of the bed this morning. I knew that it would be useless to try and enforce our usual box system of lessons so I tried a new approach- just for today.
I am really excited about this comic book pack. LittleMan sat with me most of the time that I worked on it and he had a very large say in what went into it. (more…)
One of the hurdles I wasn’t fully expecting the first week of LittleMan’s school was how SunnyGirl would react. Sure I knew there’d be some struggle and divide of my attention but I had assumed it wouldn’t be much more difficult than it is to do the dishes or shower without interruption. I was horribly unprepared.
She had her toys and her books and I had hoped that would be enough to entertain her just a few short hours of the day. Instead I found myself grasping at straws because she was not content to play with stuffed animals while big brother was working. An activity she would happily do for hours on end suddenly bored her once the pencils and lesson boxes came out. She had decided that she too must have “big kid work.”
A lap desk of her own, some coloring pencils, and a coloring book helped only slightly. So I did what I always do when faced with a parenting dilemma. I brainstormed, came up with ideas, thought long and hard. Then I Googled it. I Googled the crap out of it. And here’s what I came up with both on my own and via internet support:
- When a child seeks to exercise their mind, it is a parent’s duty to support them, regardless of inconvenient timing.
- I might as well get used to having two “students” now because sooner rather than later, she’ll be doing formal preschool lessons, kindergarten, etc.. and LittleMan won’t be graduating before then, lol.
- Some learning activities now might boost her confidence, improve her focus, make her more calm and centered. Well, as calm and centered as an 18 month old can be.
- Her brother was not much older than her when I first started preschool lessons with him at age 2.
- There are a ridiculous amount of resources, articles, and ideas for “Tot school” out there. Seriously, look it up, it is overwhelming. I never realized before but now I know, and if I remember correctly, knowing is half the battle!
One thing I did was look back at pictures I’ve taken these past 6 months to get a fresh perspective on how SunnyGirl likes to spend her time and recall which activities she most enjoyed. Of course I’m planning on trying plenty of new things but what was a hit for another blogger’s child may not be a hit for mine and vise versa so I want to make sure I’ve got some old stand-bys on hand just in case. I also have noticed some of these old activities can be modified to be fresh and fun. (more…)
Our first week of school has come to an end, and so ocean theme week is also ending. It has been interesting to see what LittleMan has responded best to (and worst to) this week. He liked the more independent activities that he could do alone and I could check his work later (like read/build/write and phonics/counting clothes clip cards). He loved daily name journal time- LOVED IT. He was not a fan of anything which required a lot of direction or instruction from me.
There were so many little activities and box lessons that I haven’t blogged about, really it is too much to include it all so I’m doing my best to include the favorite activities. Again, several of our activities have come from Homeschool Creations free ocean preschool printable pack.
Today we touched on addition using 5 fish shaped beads I had left over from a project.
As I mentioned in my last post, I really wanted to capitalize on this dinosaur kick LittleMan is on and create a dinosaur themed sensory writing tray, much like the fairy and mermaid writing trays I had seen on Pinterest. Today, I finally found the motivation to put it together.
LittleMan’s grandmother recently sent him a stack of dinosaur books she’d found hidden on her shelves so dinosaurs, which have always been popular in our home, are even bigger right now. We read the books and set up various small world plays with our toy dinosaurs, use toy dinosaurs for painting dino tracks, last weekend we even froze some dinosaurs in a block of shaving cream to play with on a hot day.
I wanted LittleMan do so some writing practice, something beyond tracing the words I write in highlighter on a piece of paper. I had hoped to set up a whole theme writing tray like I had seen on Pinterest (like this, and this). I still plan on putting one together, but to be frank, I just didn’t have the time or motivation do to so.
Instead I offered LittleMan this simple tray:
I’ve mentioned before, although we do not have a full-fledged Montessori homeschool for our children, our home is Montessori inspired. Many of the activities we did for flower theme week reflected that inspiration.