Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekly Homeschooling Wrap-Up (with a free printable)

This week we have family visiting, so we only really did any bloggable activities during the first part of the week before the big arrival.  Here is what we've been up to, by the categories on our "learning boxes."

Fun with Numbers (Math)
On Monday, we prepared a fun muffin tin lunch with 12 different shapes.  We've been generally playing around with learning parallelogram, trapezoid, rhombus, sphere, and cylinder this week.

We're also just starting to do a bit of addition and subtraction.  I'm not pushing it, because I think he is a bit young for it, but to the extent that he enjoys it, we're working it into games and providing him workbook pages here and there.  I plan to share a very simple printable math bingo game I made for him in a few days.

We started a two week trial of Dreambox this week (available for free on their website).  He enjoys some of it, but not the repetition.  I have to take a closer look at the parental section and see if I can do anything to make it more enjoyable for him. 

Animals and Nature (and Science)
He chose tigers as his focus animal this week.  We read one fun fiction book, called Reading To Tiger.

I also created a tiger-themed code activity where he replaces symbols with the letters they represent (according to a key) to reveal the secret messages.  He did one on a restaurant kids menu recently and really enjoyed it.  I couldn't find any online (I'm sure they are out there somewhere), so I just created our own.  I've uploaded them to Scribd and am going to embed them here, in case anyone else would like to give them a try.  This was the one activity he kept pulling out of his learning boxes all week.  We do them together (I usually take over writing partway through).  Each of the four pages reveals a different code about tigers (just simple facts - I didn't want him struggling to understand what the message meant once he solved it).  The last page contains the answers.

Tiger Code                                                            

Arts and Crafts
We finally tried our hand at salad spinner art, which led to some fun imaginative play (see post here).  We also studied Beethoven a bit (see this link for details).

Let's Get Moving
Nothing in this box this week. 

Word Games
We finished up the last page of our alphabet scavenger hunt (which I posted about here). 

Game Box
The surprise in his games box this week was a $1 Alphabet bingo game from Target.  Each bingo card contains an assortment of letters, and the cards that get chosen each turn have images (like a rug) and a word with  missing letters (like r__g) - beginning, middle, or end sounds -- as well as alphabet sequences with a letter missing (like abc__efg).  He has no trouble figuring out the missing letters right away, but still really enjoys it.  We've been playing it often.

Reading and Storytelling
I put a few library books in here (Clifford books he had chosen).  I'll review them in our Saturday "What My Child is Reading" post.

Play Fun
I just stuck a Dover spot the differences book in this box.  He never really used it, though.  I also introduced a fun game with his hula hoop.  We laid the hoop down, and I put a few items in it, and asked him to spot which was different.  This was my first (easy) example:
He only wanted me to use cars and trains, and this evolved into more of an open ended playtime.  He decided that he liked being the one to set it up, so he would put 5 or 6 cars in the hoop, and then we'd talk about similarities and differences (colors, but also "this one is the only one with a person in it," "this one is the only one with a siren," etc.).  Then he started creating "pretend Rush Hour" scenes for me to solve.
I asked him what we should call our game - suggesting "Hula hoop same and different game?" and he said, "No, how about ... "'Bibliophile" and Mama together game."  Aww.  You'd think I wasn't together with him 24/7.

At his request, I printed off the lyrics to Frere Jacques in Spanish, French, and English, and we've been singing them off and on during the week.  Near the end of the week I printed Happy Birthday in Spanish, so we can look at that next.  I'm not asking him to memorize them -- we just have fun reading/singing.

I also put a couple of tracing sheets (letter C and Ch) with new Spanish words in his boxes; the sheets are from this site

Countries / Places
He chose Norway as his focus country this week, but we didn't actually do anything with it.  I printed a Norway flag to color, but he never chose to do it (and company arrived midweek).

I am linking this post up with Weekly Wrap-up, Preschool Corner, and Tot School.

Comment: What have your kids been up to this week?

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Christy said...

Wow! You did a lot this week! Thanks for the printable - I will be using it.

Ticia said...

I can't wait until they're ready for secret codes, they're just not up for it yet.

Joyful Learner said...

You did so much in a short week! I decided to do occasional day in the life posts instead...less for me to remember.

It's amazing what you can find at Target! They have everything and anything!

Crisc @ Jus Keep Smiling said...

Such great activities!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I love "IB and mama game" - I think he really appreciated it that he was the one calling all the shots and inventing the rules. Great week all around, and enjoy the family visit!