Back to School

After a 2 week break for the holidays, it was our first day back to the school routine today.  C was enthusiastic & I was relieved.  He fully embraced the holiday, often reminding family members that it was a holiday & he could choose to do whatever he wanted.  

Anyway, we read this great book & I couldn’t wait to write about it.  It is called Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert.  It uses tangrams to tell the story so we brought out our Spielgaben set & made the animals as we read through the story.  We talked about 2 & 3 dimensional images, different types of shapes and made our own interpretations of the animals in the story.  We talked about the friends in the story & how they treated each other.   The best part of this book was the storytelling it inspired in our house afterward.   I wish that I remembered where I read about this book!  

  #kindergartenlessons #kindermath #childrensbooks #tangrams #spielgaben 

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This is homeschool…

My mom & I have this understanding that everything is homeschool.  Every experience, activity, outing or discussion provides an opportunity for learning.  So, sometimes when she asks what we’ve been doing, I’ll go down this list and add on “but you know, it’s all homeschool.”  She has my little man for school once a week, so she often says the same to me.  Anyway, this is homeschool today. 

  

A little review

So, I never did post about our pre-Kindergarten review.  Here it is – albeit really late.  We made a homeschool photo journal with C’s favorite activities.  I categorized the photos as Sensory, Art, Pretend Play, Outdoor Activities, Cooking, Reading, Games and Field Trips.  C provided captions for each of the photos.  I learned a lot about what inspires C to learn.  Many of his favorite activities weren’t the things that I had planned.  They were opportunities for learning that just presented themselves spontaneously.

Favorite Sensory Activity: Playing with Moon Dough

Favorite Art Project: Making animals with playdough

Favorite Pretend Play Activity: Playing pirates & playing snow ball fight

Fave Outdoor Activity: burying Piglet in the sandbox, flying a kite

Fave Cooking Project: Making the O Monster (Rice Krispy treats with Cheerios & orange marshmallows)

Fave Book: Hug me by Simona Ciraolo

Fave Game: Halloween Countdown & Color matching game with The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

Fave Field Trip:  Kidding Around Yoga with Bella

Based on his choices, I decided that kindergarten would involve a lot more active learning.  C has never been interested in worksheets.  After this review, I decided that we would not go the way of the worksheet.  We started a neighborhood co-op, joined weekly P.E. classes and attend field trips at least once a week.

So far, kindergarten has been great!  My approach has been a little more structured than last year but still play-based.  More on that later.

Michaelmas

We celebrated Michaelmas by reading George and the Dragon & The Knight & the Dragon.  We made shields out of cardboard and decorated them with the things (aliens) the little man thought would scare dragons away.  We tried to make dragon bread but it we a flop.  We talked about bravery, courage & our fears.  The little man has some pretty logical fears like monsters, sharks & lions; while I have a fear of cockroaches.   

 

Halloween Countdown

We made this Halloween countdown board this morning.  Just 20 more days!  I cut out 20 cardstock circles & covered them with foil & the little man added Hershey’s kisses & stickers to decorate our spooky scene.  I later added stickers behind each of the silver witch “hats.”  We numbered each of the hats so that we can count down the days.  It was fun & a good math lesson!   

 

Last official day of pre-K

We will continue school with a loose schedule throughout the summer but this is our last official day of pre-kindergarten.  This year has been interesting for both of us.  We made a scrapbook of C’s favorite activities, which I’ll post about later.   This summer, we are checking out a new Waldorf coop, taking swim lessons, playing games, reading books to meet our summer reading goals and going on lots of field trips!  

C started the day out slow as he had a stomach bug last night & was not feeling well.  Today, C drew pictures, worked with puppets and built a house for Eeyore.  This week we attended the Waldorf coop, sang songs in circle time, created figures with beeswax and heard a lovely retelling of the story of the three pigs.  We had end of school year photos taken earlier in the week.   

  

Zoo school: Sleepy Sharks

This was our last zoo school for this school year.  It was held at the aquarium and the theme was sharks!  C learned the differences between fish and sharks, touched shark skin (denticles), and cartilage before he fell asleep!  He missed the food chain game but woke it time to see the Sharks in the big tank.  

 

Shark discussion

 

My sleepy shark

 

   Shark tank

Did you know that the liver of a shark makes up about a quarter of its body weight & is filled with oil which helps it float? 

Field Trip Friday: Country Girl Creamery

Today we toured Country Girl Creamery in Lumberton, Mississippi.  It is a working dairy farm with over 100 head of cattle, mostly Jersey cows.  C fed the calves by bottle. 

  

Then, we toured the area where cheese processing and pasteurization takes place.  

  

They showed how cheese waxing is done and talked about the aging process.  

Next, we saw the milking process.  

  

Next, we took a tractor ride to the pasture to see the cows grazing.  

 

We enjoyed lunch at the farm with farm-fresh grilled cheese, an apple and chocolate milk straight from the farm!

  

We bought lots of meat, milk & cheese, too!

  

  

Zoo School: Rainforests

Tuesday was our last day of school at the Zoo.  We have one more meeting at the aquarium next week.  This week, zoo educators discussed the layers of rainforest: forest floor, understory, and canopy. The kids met some rainforest dwellers: Madagascar hissing cockroach, red-footed tortoise and guinea pig. Then, the kids broke into groups and explored skulls of different animals.  

I do not want to touch the cockroach, Fernando.

We did touch this one!

  

did you know that sailors used to keep guinea pugs on board ships as a source of food?

  

C loved being on the team with the big boys. They had a sloth skull!