Here is our weekly homeschooling wrap-up, by the categories of our "learning boxes." The Bibliophile has been flirting with the idea of giving up naps this week (NOOOOOOOO! Sorry, that slipped out). So, we have had more time to spend on activities, but I've had less brainpower to prepare things by the end of the day, and to blog about it. So, we have gone back to what we do best - lots of books and on-the-fly learning games. I think I'll just squeeze them into one post, rather than by splitting for science, geography, math etc. this week. Apologies if it makes for a long post.
Fun with Numbers/Math
We read Monster Musical chairs, which he liked.
And we did this handout filling in numbers up to 100. He is fine with counting up to 100, but he can't write his numbers that well yet (certainly not that small), so after he wrote a couple, I wrote the rest as he called them out. He got bored at 42, and then we went back and finished it another day.
We've also started drawing/learning a few new shapes - parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezoid (which my husband came home and immediately called a "trapezium" - another British English/American English difference that I didn't realize existed).
Animals and Nature (and Science)
The Bibliophile chose orangutans as our focus animal this week. We read a really cute book featuring a baby orangutan at bedtime: Goodnight Me, by Andrew Daddo. The text is simple enough for the youngest bibliophiles (all about a baby orangutan saying goodnight and trying to convince various parts of his body to go to sleep), and the illustrations are simply adorable. This book has been in the bedtime rotation ever since we got it home. I also took out Little Bobo Saves the Day, but it was too much text for him, so we never got through it.
We read one nonfiction book -- Orangutans by Joanne Mattern. This was a perfect level for him. We learned a few things, like that orangutans come from Borneo and Sumatra, that they build new nests every night, and eat fruits, nuts, plants, and insects.
And we watched some youtube clips ("orangutan island").
On another note, on one of his no-nap days, I insisted that he play quietly in his room for a few minutes while I eat lunch. I came back to find this scene -- him playing with identifying all of his rocks from the Natural History museum. He has loved these for a good year, and one of our earliest clues that he was sight reading was when we realized he could match them all up to the name labels in the box about 6 months or so ago.
Arts and Crafts
We did a fun painting experiment in the style of Mark Rothko, and we also posted about a Very Hungry Caterpillar craft this week (which we actually did late last week).
Let's Get Moving
Nothing really in this learning box this week. I put a frisbee in there, but he didn't ever take it out. We had plenty of running around time at playgrounds and the State fair, though.
I printed up a simple word unscramble sheet for him, which he really enjoyed. He got them all right away except for "frog," which he figured out once I told him the first letter. We also did animal word unscrambles on his doodle pro. I was impressed when he insisted on writing an unscramble for me to guess. He wrote "XOF." We have just generally been playing around with unscrambling and spelling words on paper casually this week. I'm impressed with how he can spell a lot of words now when I ask him. I didn't really expect that for awhile.
We continue to love games around here. Monopoly is still wildly popular, and these games were also brought into circulation this week:
Letras. He loved it. Basically, players are dealt hands with a certain number of letter cards (the number in each hand is up to the dealer each round, but we usually play with 3 or 4 per hand with him). Each turn, a player picks up a card and discards one, until he/she can spell a word. The first person to spell a word wins that hand. (We don't bother with scoring at this point). The Bibliophile often doesn't recognize when he has a winning word in his hand, but if I tell him he has one and what letter it begins with, then he can find it by unscrambling. It is technically for players 7-107, but there aren't any choking hazards, and there are of course plenty of ways to just play around with letter cards.
We also rediscovered his electronic 20 Questions game, which was hugely popular at the beginning of this year. He needs help reading some of the questions, but otherwise understands the game just fine, after we played countless games of 20 questions with him (sans electronic assistance) for months. We were so amused when we realized that he could manage to play it with us, and we used to do it all the time on walks in the stroller. I didn't buy this electronic version for him, but one year we gave out a few as Christmas gifts, and had one left over. He became very interested in it, so I decided to just let him have it.
Thanks to a generous Nana, he also received a new version of rush hour (with trains!) this week. We have just started playing that one near the end of the week.
Reading and Storytelling
I had an idea that we would write something in his story journal every day, along the lines of asking him what he had enjoyed during his day or what made him happy that day. In actuality, we did it once. We did plenty of reading, some of which I'll probably post about on Saturday.
these fun picture rhyming cards, which I read about on Activity Mom. He was a little slow to get going on them, and I was afraid he'd forgotten how to rhyme, but he caught on and did well with them eventually (and had fun). Strangely on one set we ended up with a necktie and a key left - not sure if those are supposed to rhyme or if I led him astray in matching the others.
He also found a $1 face/body puzzle from Target that I had squirreled away for a rainy day and did it quite a few times this week.
I let him pick out a new book at a bookstore this week, and he chose this board book with various trucks in English and Spanish. So, I stuck that into his learning box for the week. He has also been counting from 1-20 in Spanish constantly this week (and I realized he can also keep going after that when asked). We continue to practice saying little greetings in Spanish, usually at his prompting a couple of times a day ("Como estás, Mama?" "Muy bien." "Que bueno."). I should probably be teaching him new words in a more formal way, but I think we'll probably start doing some new videos soon.
Countries / Places
He chose as our focus country the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). I don't know why I didn't feel very inspired. We have relatives on both sides of our family from the United Kingdom. But it was just that kind of week. We did color a UK flag to go with the others we've done. Other than that, and a few rounds of London Bridge is Falling Down, we didn't do much. He did hear bagpipes at a Sheepdog Competition recently, so I guess that fits too.
Some ideas I had but never got to (in case they are useful to anyone else): Big Ben craft maybe combined with learning to tell time, stonehenge craft, London Bridge craft with a bridge, drinking tea. We did half of the planned Big Ben activity; I took out his time and money flashcards, and gave him only the clocks that showed a time on the hour (3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, etc.). He got them all right away, but I still don't feel like teaching him 3:05, etc. makes sense. I'm having trouble with the logic of saying "if the big hand is on the 1, then it is 3:05." So I think I'll just set that aside for awhile.
I am linking this post up with Weekly Wrap-Up, Preschool Corner, and Tot School.
Comment: What have you been up to this week? Did you cry when your kids first gave up napping? Or were you happy to give up the battle? Just don't make me feel guilty by telling me that you were pleased to have more together time. :)
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