Daddy was home at the start of our week – always a treat! He has a knack for working in lessons that are fun and practical at the same time. Being a fireman (both paid and volunteer), he taught the kids about fire safety.
While making breakfast, something on the bottom of the oven started burning off and the resulting smoke travelled around the house and accumulated in the office. Gwen kept running back into the “smoke,” so she had to be rescued over and over. And over. They took turns being rescued and even convinced Mommy to play victim.
Our Bible story of the week was about the wise man and the foolish man, so we listened to the familiar children’s song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rocks” over and over. I did the hand motions and the kids loved it! They kept asking me to play it over and over. I intended to use blocks as houses and make some sort of analogy but never got around to it. Another homeschooling mama used the story of “The Three Little Pigs,” which I thought was an excellent idea.
Though I planned the theme for the week to be the desert, I realized later that quicksand – our Q-word for the week – isn’t usually found in dry areas. Oops. I stuck with the theme anyway.
2 Teaching Mommie’s has a Desert Unit, so we made use of some of their printables. Gwen did a tracing maze…
She did well on her “desert” tracing page and wrote the letters all by herself. Not bad for a 4-year-old!
For a fun, sensory activity I wanted to combine a couple ideas I came across – cornstarch quicksand and moonsand. I thought it would be neat to have a tray full of moonsand desert with a section of quicksand for the kiddos to play with. It didn’t turn out quite like I imagined – probably because I used a silica sand instead of playsand – but the kids had fun with it anyway and made many a toy animal sink in the quicksand pit. I had the vacuum handy to clean up the sand all over the place.
We almost always start our letter activity with a Do-A-Dot page because they’re fun, quick and easy.
I also started using 1+1+1=1’s alphabet color-by-number pages and I like to color them with Gwen. She typically gets impatient with straight coloring but seems to enjoy finding out what color comes next.
Another favorite is the Letter Hunt Worksheet, and Gwen has become a pro at identifying her letters right away. She even takes the initiative to identify and circle the correct letter in other sheets we happen to be working on, even if we’re not specifically doing a letter hunt.
Another letter hunt resource I shared recently is the letter maze, which kicks the find-and-identify concept up a notch. Gwen concentrates really hard as she’s connecting all of the correct letters through the maze. If she makes a mistake, she quickly goes back and finds the right letter. We also continued with the beginning reading: alphabet worksheets; my PDF viewer has been printing them out kind of wonky, but we get the idea.
We press on with number sixteen, and though Gwen gets easily confused when we get to the teens, she seems to be understanding that they progress in similar fashion as 1-10. If, when I ask her what comes after fifteen she says thirteen – or something like that – I aske her if three comes after five. She knows six comes after five, so I point out that sixteen then comes after fifteen. Savvy?
We used the clip cards from the Desert Unit…
along with some counting sheets on which I had her stamp the correct number with her rubber stamps. She used the number 1 and 6 stamps on her number poster, too.
The shape of the week was pentagon, and the shape matching game from the Desert Unit just so happened to include this shape!
We’ve already learned octagon from our octopus week, so the name of the shape probably wasn’t as foreign-sounding as it might otherwise have been.
We used education.com’s alphabet nursery rhymes again this week, who’s Q-rhyme was Five Little Ducks.
Josiah got a hold of my camera and practiced his technique. There were about ten or fifteen pictures that all looked alike. I call this Still Life, by Josiah:
Since we have a bird feeder attached to the window right near our kitchen table, we can watch the birds come and go during the day. This week, we were amused at the squirrel who kept clamoring up the side of the house and sitting in the feeder. We all had a good laugh and Daddy managed to poke it before it jumped down.
Life in a Desert
Animal Babies in deserts
Way Out in the Desert
The Quicksand Book
Ps and Qs
I.Q. Goes To The Library
Click, Clack, Quackity-Quack
My “q” Book
The Keeping Quilt
This Quiet Lady
Planet Earth – Deserts
Gwen is 4 years old and Josiah is 2.