Probably my favorite part of homeschool is seeing my son be creative with the manipulatives after a lesson. I love seeing my kids take something that is used for one purpose and creating a new purpose for it.
I’m often curious as to what this guy is thinking while he is creating. You could tell his little mind was busy and thinking, but it looked like he was just creating more piles.
We took the last couple of days to get caught up on Science.
Yesterday, we went on “A Leaf Hunt”.
It was such a fun activity.
I started off by asking the kids to “Find a leaf that_________.” I gave the clues as to what kind of leaf I wanted them to find. “Find something that sends nutrients through the tree.” It also helped them practice listening for descriptive words, and listening skills. After finding a few leaves this way, they wanted a turn. Each kid gave clues as to what types of leaf everyone else needed to look for.
We collected our findings in a “nature bag”.
It was pretty late in the day, so when we got back home we set them aside for today.
Each kid picked out a leaf, today, and they created a leaf rubbing art. We talked about the parts of a leaf. Then, they labeled the parts of a leaf.
They ended up using different things they collected to create and build.
They had a ton of fun, and this activity kept them busy for quite a while.
It’s important to note that not every day goes as planned. On day 3, just as we were getting ready to do our activity for Science, it started to rain. This is any outdoor activity, so, we had to put it on hold for a later date.
For both science and social studies, we continued to use Epic!, to read about fall and voting.
This week is our first week doing multiple contents with our new curriculum . So, the goal for science and social studies this week has been to have fun while learning. Since we are focused on getting caught up in Language Arts and Math, we also have been focused on getting into a rhythm and not putting too much on our plates for other contents.
We also reviewed by watching voting and fall videos on Brain Pop.
Day 4, we had planned a field trip to Dogwood Canyon. They currently have educational activities that fit right into our theme for science. Unfortunately, as we were pulling into the parking lot. . . I hear from the back of the truck “Mom, my stomach hurts.” I’ll spare you the details of what happened next, but let’s just say. . .we had to turn around and leave just as we arrived.
We got back home, and immediately I had to clean out the truck.
So, we ended up taking a day off from school, yesterday. It was much needed after the morning we had.
If you’re new to homeschool this year, and you’re feeling overwhelmed. . . Please remember to give yourself grace. Give your kids grace. It’s ok to take a day off here and there. You can catch up! Don’t stress. Find community and link arms with those who have gone before you!!
*Out of transparency, I do not get a paid commission if you click on the links above. I like to share resources I use. Both of the learning websites, I do pay monthly subscriptions to. And the field trip, when we reschedule, will be a paid field trip. There are a ton of resources out there, though and it’s easy to find free resources in your community!
Today for science, we are starting off by watching 3 Brain Pop Jr. videos for my 1st grader: Fall, Seasons, and Trees. He will then re-read the books he read on Epic!, yesterday. As well as, have the opportunity to read any new books.
For my 4th grader, he will watch on Brain Pop: Seasons, Autumn Leaves, and Photosynthesis. He will also re-read books on Epic!, and have the opportunity to explore new books on Fall.
Brain pop and Brain Pop Jr, are monthly subscriptions or you can pay yearly. To see family and homeschool options go here. Otherwise, if you just google “Brain Pop”, you’ll see pricing for schools. I do not make a commission off of Brain Pop. However, I do want to share this valuable resource.
Go on a leaf hunt: we go on a daily walk. What I love about the location where we go on a walk, is that there are a variety of trees and plants.
Find a local location where you can really see leaves, trees, and plants changing. On your walk, identify different tree and plant types. If it’s doable, collect different types of leaves to bring back and identify. Use the non-fiction books that you are reading to classify the leaves. Sort leaves by color, shape, and size.
This week, we went ahead and started Social Studies. With the Election being last week, we talked a lot with our kids about what was happening. They asked a lot of great questions, so I decided we would do a unit on Voting.
Day 1: Read
Again, we started our unit with reading. Today, we read “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote” by Bonnie Worth. It was a great book to start the unit. This book went over the basics of voting, and talked about the importance of using your voice.
The boys were able to make connections to the events over the past week, as well as, ask new questions.
Today, we read fall books to prepare for the week ahead.
For us, choosing books off of https://www.getepic.com/ has been a life saver. I downloaded the app. . . And, ahead of time, I chose fall books on each kid’s reading level. Then, they read them at their own pace, while I’m working with another kid on something else.
Then, we review one of the books together, hit on the main points, and answer some comprehension questions. I also love that the books on Epic has quizzes, so I can use that as well for comprehension checks.
Epic works best for us, because we have a small space. . . and there are a ton of digital books. I pay one monthly fee for all 3 kids, and don’t have to pay per book!!
Once they read one book, other suggestions come up. I love this, because they can keep reading to extend their learning. And repetition is important.
We will continue reading the same fall books all week, and they will have the option to choose new ones.
Another great idea is to hit up your local library. Same concept applies. Re-read and re-visit the same books throughout the week.
Last summer, I wanted to set up (some) structure for my two boys. I wanted my oldest to start practicing cursive, and my youngest to work on his handwriting and letter formation.
In my mind, they would be excited. They would get their activities done quickly, and we would be on with the rest of our day. WRONG. Haha. I got SO much push back. So, I had them do some practice, here and there, but decided not to be too structured about it.
Fast forward to the school year. I began to mentally prepare them how we would be homeschooling “next school year”. Lots of talk about, “next year, when we homeschool”…In my experience, kids do a lot better when you prepare them for what’s to come through conversation.
Little did we know, they would have, sort of a, transition period half-way through the year. I won’t go all the way into all of the uncertainty that the corona virus pandemic brought, including my kids’ last year in public school. But, I will say, that it sort of gave us a transition period.
At home learning gave us a preparation season. It gave us a “dip your toes in the water”. I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful we aren’t jumping in with cold feet.
So, as the school year ended, we took June off completely from any intentional learning, with an exception to a short Juneteenth lesson.
This week, we have started being more intentional. The goal? To work on our homeschool stamina. I want us to have stretched our muscles, before we dive into homeschool, in September.
So, right now…my oldest has to spend some part of each day reading, and practice 5 pages of cursive.
And my youngest has to practice two pages of handwriting practice and read one book.
Right now, they are “advertising” to a frog trying to get it to live in a toy house, so they can keep it as a pet…I’m sure they are learning something from this…right?!