I started having LittleMan help in the kitchen just before he turned 2 years old. The first meal I taught him to make *mostly* by himself was “eggy-bread,” he was 2.5 at the time. (Eggy-bread was his name for french toast.) Back then LittleMan’s time in the kitchen was meant to help him learn to follow directions and develop his motor skills, it wasn’t until recently that I started showing him how to read a recipe and how to measure ingredients by himself.
Our little pie pumpkin was starting to get a little soft around the stem so we decided it was time to give it the boot.
Before doing that, we put it to use one last time with a little pumpkin dissection. (more…)
We kicked off harvest theme week with some seed exploration. In the process of that, we made a point of not wrecking our seed packets by cutting the bottom corners to retrieve the seeds and we put a few seeds aside in small clear containers. We used these to create a sort of matching game.
Autumn harvest. The perfect opportunity to take your children to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and berry fields so they may see first hand where their food comes from. The domino effect of food in our lives is overwhelming. What you put into your body influences pretty much everything else either directly or indirectly, and these sort of first hand experiences can be a great way to help children understand this important building block of good health and wellness.
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!).
This past week was a light week in our homeschool. With visitors from out of town, we knew how over excited and distracted both of the children would be so we tried to stick with review and play based activities.
Halloween being just around the corner, monster theme worked out well for a nice light week. Frankenstein, mummies, vampires, zombies, and even some Monsters Inc variety of monsters were read about and made into play-based learning fun.
The two big sensory activities that were available throughout the week were our eye-ball goo bag and our monster sensory bin.
The eye-ball goo bag is quite literally just a gallon sized Ziploc baggie filled 1/3 full with dish soap, googly eyes, and pom poms then sealed shut with clear packaging tape and mounted into our front window.
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:
Last week was fire and fire safety week.
About half the week was spent working with printable materials. I found a large round up of excellent free fire themed printable materials at Living Montessori Now so I just kind of went through that list and picked a few of the printables that I thought LittleMan would most enjoy and learn from.
When we weren’t working with those printable materials we were running practice drills. We practiced touching a door to feel for heat. We practiced looking under the door for smoke. We practiced crawling out of the house. We practiced dialing 9-1-1. We practiced breathing through a wet rag. We practiced rolling as if we were on fire.- Over and over and over we practiced these things until I was sure it was embedded into LittleMan’s brain and then we practiced a little more.
One of the few things we did that wasn’t a printable or practicing fire drills was an experiment which lead to a discussion about what fire needs in order to stay a blaze.
I remember doing this same experiment as a child in school (though we weren’t allowed to help, we just watched our teacher do it) and it must have sunk in because why else would I still remember it 20 years later?
I try to give the kids a theme bath at the end of every week. It is a fun way to put a cap on whatever we learned that week in school and a great way to start the weekend out on a good note. Unfortunately I’ve slacked off about the weekly theme baths these past couple months. We were long overdue.
It is dog theme week and we are having a ton of fun. Our current situation does not allow for us to have a dog, but LittleMan has been telling us for months what color and size dog he wants when we are able to get one. He even has a name picked out. We are all looking forward to the day that we will be ready and able to welcome a canine family member in, until then we are taking dog theme week as an opportunity to teach LittleMan some of the basics about dogs and their care.
When I got pregnant with LittleMan, and for several years before then, I was actually working as a dog groomer as well as being in school to become a vet tech. Being a stay at home mom was something we had agreed on before Marmaduke and I got married, so even though LittleMan’s conception came a couple years earlier than we were expecting, I put aside my career plans to focus on our growing family. I still miss my clients from time to time. Being a dog groomer was a lot of fun (and it paid pretty good too).