Here are the subjects on our 10 boxes, and what we did with them!
1. Fun with Numbers (Math)
I'll post in more detail about our math learning on Monday. We used simple homemade activities this week, including a Counting Cars activity (see description and free printable here), a simple penny toss tally chart, and a smarties graph (liked the popular M&M graphing, but food allergy friendly!). And we also did a "Which Number is Bigger" worksheet I wrote for him quickly, with double and triple digit numbers.
2. Science, Animals and Nature
You can read about our science-related activities on Sunday's post. We weren't very focused this week, so we did a scattering of activities, about recycling, how oranges grow, and animal sounds. Next week I am going to try to be a bit more organized, so I let the Bibliophile choose a focus animal. He chose giraffes.
3. Arts and Crafts
We had fun mixing paint colors in ziploc baggies (see post here). On Tuesday, we started playing with Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book, and it was such a hit that it ended up staying in his Arts & Crafts drawer (and being taken out each day to be used) all week.
4. Let's Get Moving
For the first couple of days, we played with our Alphabet Movement Cards (we've had these laminated on a keyring for ages, and he LOVES them. I think I originally got the printable from here).
We also had fun reading and acting out Little Yoga - A Toddlers First Book of Yoga. (I also got Itsy Bitsy Yoga from the library, but realized it is more about babies than toddlers). Before the week is out, I'm hoping we get to our Soccer in the Hallway card, with a makeshift laundry basket goal. I might start incorporating some music in this box sometimes too.
5. Word Games
I created a little "fill in the missing letter" handout for him, which he enjoyed. Then the next day I put in a new writing mat and dry erase markers. We kept that in all week, but it didn't get used much toward the latter half, so I'm going to do more with this box next week.
6. Game Box
Rush Hour in our game box all week. He can now do all of the beginner cards, and tonight did an intermediate card by himself. This is such a fun game, and he hasn't tired of it all week. If you want to try an online version, there are a few copy-cat versions here and here. I think he realizes that I am impressed with his performance, because I took a little video of him solving one, and every time he sees it he says, "that was amazing!"
7. Reading and Storytelling
We introduced a new story journal, which I posted about here, and also had fun with a book review template, which I posted about (and shared a printable for) here.
8. "Play Fun"*
*This was originally the drawer that the Bibliophile insisted should be labeled "Housework." On Day 1, he changed his mind, and declared: "I have an idea! My idea is that we label this drawer 'Play fun,' and mama put fun things to play with in it!" I'm just treating it like a miscellaneous drawer. This week I put in:
- A Winnie the Pooh word search from here.
- A few Connect the Dots from here.
- My Busy Book: a book done with a dry-erase marker which he loves (technically ages 4-5 but pretty much all doable now).
- Some homemade opposites flashcards that he hasn't used in awhile but always enjoys.
I've been a little unfocused with the Spanish drawer. I should probably come up with a more consistent/fun plan. This week, we just did a hodge podge of simple activities, including:
- A worksheet I made to draw a line from the English word to the Spanish word (reinforcing words he already knows).
- Reviewing/coloring a colors sheet from this site.
- Reading Let’s Speak Spanish: A First Book of Words, and a book that he always enjoys at the local art museum -- Mis Colores Mi Mundo.
- We also kept singing Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish, which he mastered a couple of weeks ago and loves to sing.
- And we practiced small conversational phrases (mostly saying hello to each other, asking how we are, etc.).
10. Countries / Places (Geography)
we focused on Ireland and posted all of our activities here. I think I'll spend the last day of the week just talking with him about all of the things we have learned about Ireland this week, maybe doing a collage or just drawing together.
Next week: Iceland!
It was a successful first week. We're still finding our groove. I think I will try to work a little more with themes, at least within categories, so that I don't have to come up with 50 unique ideas every week (5 days x 10 drawers). I burnt out on filling the drawers by Thursday. He's already chosen a couple of themes for next week, and in future weeks I may even try to link across categories more (if he chooses a contry in Africa for geography, then guide him toward an animal found in Africa for his animal drawer, etc.). After saying I don't really think themes will work for us, I can definitely see the benefit now! He kept asking for "learning boxes" and peeking in them every day, so I feel like I should really keep up the momentum, if I can. It is definitely making our days go by with a lot less "bored" time, for both of us.
For all my efforts, I do think he still learns best when I sit next to him with a marker and an empty doodle pad and just teach him, though. This is how he learned his letter sounds, how to read, where countries are, etc. We still do this at every meal, and I am going to make an effort to use that time to reinforce what the fancier activities are supposed to be teaching him.
I am linking this post up with Tot School, Preschool Corner and Weekly Wrap-Up.
Comment! As always, we love comments! Link us to your homeschoolish activities for the week, suggest new resources for us, or just say hi!
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