Homeschooling: Owls Week

I was so excited to start Owl Week! Our whole little family loves owls so this was fun for all of us. We actually did this last week, but I am behind on posting – this week we worked on one of our Heritage Studies, Scotland! I will share about that next week though. (We always do a special unit study in addition to our regular curriculum)

Many of our activities were based around reading, which is my kind of activity. I love book and activity tie in, and there are so many great owl picture books out there! I used some old favorites, and found a few new ones!

First we started with Owl Babies, one of the cutest little books out there. We read the book, and worked on the flip books I downloaded, which were super informative and fun. Then we created some Owl Babies inspired art! (always always Wyatt’s favorite part)

The next day we read Owl Moon, which if you haven’t read it is one of my favorite books ever, about a father and child on a cold silent winter night, looking for owls. We completed some work pages I found online, then created an owl moon artwork. I cut out the silhouette and he did the moon, face and glued it all together.

We spent the rest of the week reading, looking at different types of owls that live all over the world, having a poetry and book teatime with my mom and niece, crafting, and watching owl videos. We finished up our week with our very own owl prowl at the park! We met up with my cousin and his girls, my brother, SIL, and niece, and my friends and their two girls. We think we may have heard an owl straight away but other than that, nothing. It didn’t matter though, it was a beautiful night for a hike through the woods with with friends. And sadly, it was our last for a while as we all agreed to not hang out for a while, even masked and distanced outside, due to our surging COVID numbers. But, for the night we had fun and felt free under the dark canopy of trees, the kids playing, Wyatt hooting trying to call owls, and everyone seemed happy. So not a bad night to end social events on at all.

Resource Round-Up!

Owl Babies Free Printables – Homeschoolshare.com

Owl Moon Free Printables – Wildflower Ramblings

Owls of the World – Little Spark

Books Read:

Contains Amazon Affiliate links

Adopted by an Owl (too long for Wyatt but I loved it) || Little Owl’s Night || Owl Babies || Owl Moon || Tanna’s Owl || Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry

Crafts and Other Resources:

Owl Babies Craft – I Heart Crafty Things

Owl Moon Craft – Liz’s Early Learning Spot

Molly of Denali – Bird in Hand Episode

Next week I will share our Scotland Studies week! It has been really fun.

Homeschooling: Bat Week!

Happy Halloween!!

I thought bats were the perfect choice for Halloween week! I love it when I learn along with Wyatt, and I learned some interesting things myself this week.

It was such an interesting topic I guess, that Miso wanted to learn too.

On Monday we talked about the parts of a bat, and we looked at a few different kinds of bats that live here in Michigan. There are around 1300 species of bat in the world; Michigan has nine different types living here. We did little bat number puzzles, a bat memory game using little bat cards I made, and read some books.

Tuesday we focused on the different types of homes bats make, what it means to be nocturnal, and echolocation. Then Wyatt made the cutest little bat caves!

Wednesday we talked about bats as pollinators. I loved this topic, of course, and I think we are going to plan a night garden for bats this year. Did you know bats are main pollinators of the cacao plant? We need them for chocolate everyone! Also agave and avocados, so thank a bat if you enjoy margaritas paired with guac and chips.. We also made brownies in preparation for our video chat tea party we were planning on having Thursday with my mom and niece, who were studying bats along with us all week.

I loved our little tea party! We ate our snacks, I read spooky nursery rhymes in honor of Halloween, and just chatted with each other. Dinogirl and Wyatt love to have show and tell over chat, so Mom and I kind of just sat there while they showed each other a bunch of stuff.

When I planned this week, I didn’t know it was also bat week for the NPS! So I had to last minute add some content for that of course. So we talked about Carslbad Caverns, a total bucket list trip for Billy and I, and about the mass bat exodus from the caves. One day! Wyatt also completed a Junior Ranger packet for Carlsbad Caverns and got his certificate, which felt sort of anti-climatic since it was all from our living room. When we visit one day we will do it again.

We also worked on a few other things, letters and the -at word family, math and history. We read books and watched videos and just had a good week. Next week is owl week, one I have been really looking forward to for a while. We love owls!

Resource Round-Up!

Bats Pack from In All You Do (free)

Bat Pollination from Fiddlesticks Education

Bat Cave Craft from Crystal McGinnis

Junior Ranger – Carlsbad Caverns

Books Read:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Nightsong || Bats at the Beach || Bats in the Band || Good Night Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel!

Listened to/Watched:

Earth Rangers Podcast – Big-Eared Bats and Big Cat Countdown

Wild Kratts – Bat in the Brownies

Bats Echolocation Song

And that is it for this week! Happy Halloween and stay safe!

Tiny Mini-Post: Edgar Allen Poe and Ravens Study

Ok so, this study was for me. I love Edgar Allen Poe and I figured it was Halloween, Wyatt likes birds, let’s just go for it – but kindergarten style.

This was a very small special unit study that took us just a few hours over two days. We spent some time discussing ravens, which Wyatt loved, so much so that it was what he decided he wanted to be for Halloween. We kept it simple, talking about how clever and smart these birds are, how they like to play and have been spotted sliding in the snow for fun, and about their distinguishing features. Then we made that cute little hand print raven! The next day, we tackled Poe. Basically, I summed up Poe’s life in a kid friendly manner, and about how he was a writer. Then we read a few books, and watched the Molly of Denali episode with a raven in it. And that was about it! The rest of the week we used some fun scarecrow inspired fall printables mixed in with our normal curriculum, and it all came together very nicely!

I almost didn’t post about his little mini-study, but I felt like the resources we used were wonderful, and wanted to share them.

Stephanie Hathaway Designs – The Common Raven Mini-Unit which includes information on Poe as well. I used a few printables that I felt would work best for Wyatt and then stored them all when we were done for another year.

Edgar and the Tattle Tale Heart by Jennifer Adams – This book is so cute! I love that it is series. I will be buying the rest! (Amazon affiliate link)

Rappin Tappin Halloween by Marylou Quillen – So this book was a fun find! Inspired by the Raven, it builds suspense in a very kid friendly way. Free if you have Kindle Unlimited, otherwise I think you can download it for $3.99! (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Handprint Raven – From Iheartcraftythings.com

And of course the Molly of Denali episode I mentioned, Return of the Ravens. There is a podcast too!

And there you have it! A little Poe from me to you on this gloomy day here in Michigan..

Homeschooling: Pumpkin Week!

As we move further into fall and closer to Halloween, we have been tailoring our special unit studies to the season. This week, we studied pumpkins!

As you can see, I had many on hand for us to physically use in our study. Wyatt learned about the parts of a pumpkin, the life cycle of a pumpkin, and completed pumpkin themed worksheets. We did not get to our craft or other activities this week though due to our field trip and the planning of our Wild Hunt! (soon to be explained..)

One thing that Wyatt loves is to play memory matching games, and I find them so helpful in teaching him the vocabulary for that unit and also to work on his speech! He is doing amazing with speech lately, talking so much.

We have also been focusing a lot on letters and sight word reading – I get so excited when he recognizes words! Not many yet, but it is a start and one I am so proud of. Things come a little less easy to this kid with his delays and so every little thing is so celebrated here.

We did a fun pumpkin letter patch, and then matched upper case to lower case letters with a very fall theme.

Then we finished our week with a trip to the pumpkin patch! It was a family/homeschool field trip, as both kids were learning about pumpkins this week, and we had a blast.

Next week we turn our attention to bats!

Resource Round-Up!

Pumpkin Life Cycle Printables – 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Pumpkin Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Books We Read:

And that sums up our week! I am excited to start bat week next week!

As a reminder, here is our regular curriculum that we do in addition to the special unit studies every week.

Homeschooling: Bears!

This was a pretty good week! In addition to our regular curriculum, we added in a small bear study, and we had a lot of fun. Some weeks work out better than others, and this was a good one!

We started the week by reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and learning about different types of bears. Wyatt’s favorite is the American Black Bear, and I am partial to the Moon Bear. My niece and mom were doing the same study and Dinogirl said her favorite bear is the Spirit Bear while my mom liked the pandas. We also went on a “bear hunt” around our house, playing hide and seek with a toy bear. We discussed the anatomy of a bear (the basics) and created our own bears out of playdough.

Midweek we talked about hibernation, read some books, and made a little bear in a den scene. It was also a gorgeous if a wee bit windy fall day so we took school on the road to the park, where we worked on science.

Today we are going to finish up with some fun stuff, like participating in Fat Bear Week by voting for our family favorite, and then if the clouds cooperate, looking for Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the bears in the sky tonight!

Next week we are doing a mini-study based on ravens and Edgar Allen Poe… should be fun with kindergartners lol! But I found a few resources to make it more their speed- I just felt it would be fun for October! Or at least, appropriate. Lol.

Resource Round-Up:

Fiddlesticks Education – Bears of the World

Fiddlesticks Eductation – Bearly Awake Journal Pages

Join the Bear Hunt Activity Pages (designed to go with We’re Going on a Bear Hunt)

Books Read:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links

Bear Make Den || Welcome Home, Bear || Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze || Bear Snores On || We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Videos Watched:

Bear Snores On

Black Bear: Animal Facts for Kids

And I rented We’re Going on a Bear Hunt from Amazon

If you are interested in the National Parks Fat Bear Week, you can find it here! If you do check it out, let me know which bear you voted for! Update: This challenge is over but you can still check out the participants!

Homeschooling: Acorns and Squirrels!

I was super excited about this study! I am such a fall person and this felt very autumn to me. Plus, squirrels are cute, except when they eat my pumpkins that have been growing for months.

We did take things a little slower than usual this week, but Wyatt and I both seem to do better when our days have structure so we did do work, just more spread out throughout the day. We started the week with acorns and ended with squirrels, which was a fun progression. We learned about the parts of an acorn, the life cycle of an oak, and he made this cute little tissue acorn. Later we talked all about the different types of squirrels in our area, colored a picture of his favorite (the flying squirrel), learned about their habitats and diet and looked at their fluffy tails and pointy ears. My niece loved the red squirrels for their big ear tufts actually – they are pretty darn cute! My favorite were the fox squirrels though. We also took a short little hike through the woods, spotting squirrels and their nests. I found a little wood sprite too!

With Blossom and Root, we studied the letter I, read from Frog and Toad all year, and did some nature lessons around trees – and squirrels!

Billy always loves the evolution of the learning area through the week – it changes from start to finish and this week I tried to capture the different stages. In one you can see the game that we played this week too – one of my friend’s had given Wyatt this game when he came home from the hospital, and it fit so perfectly with our lesson plans this week!

So the resource roundup!

Resources and Printables

Squirrel Lap book and activities – Homeschoolshare.com

Acorn Anatomy – KinderPapery

Squirrel and Autumn Printables – Natural Beach Living

Fall Math and Literacy Packet – The Moffatt Girls

Books We Read

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Full disclosure: we only did a picture walk through the Chester Raccoon book, as it is about death and loss which I was not ready to discuss this week. However, if you need or are looking for a book on this topic for kids, this is a fantastic one.

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories || Little Acorn || Because of an Acorn

Extras

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Wooden Acorn Lacing Toy

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Next week we move on to bears!

Homeschooling: September

It’s been a month. From starting homeschooling to Wyatt’s surgeries, it’s been busy. We are using the Blossom and Root curriculum, supplementing with Chickie and Roo’s Kinder Nature Beginnings, and I am also throwing in my own stuff as well. It’s a lot to sort and juggle, but it is worth it. We read Aesop’s Fables and Stone Soup this month so far in Blossom and Root, and did some fun activities to accompany the readings.

We started September by studying apples, then moved on to red foxes because I love them, then ended the month with a two week leaf study. We didn’t get to everything extra I had planned but that is ok.

And frankly, this month has been such a roller coaster I can’t recall most of the resources I used for the first two units of extra study. Our leaf study though at least is fresh in my mind!

We discussed the parts of a leaf, played with a leaf ID puzzle, traced and colored leaves, worked on leaf IDs, did a My Leaf report page, and painted an autumn tree. We made a leaf squirrel after being inspired by Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, as we also read a bunch of books. My favorite was our leaf rubbing day, where we sat outside in the sun and read and created.

So, the resource round up!

Printables:

Kidsparkz Fall

Leaf Investigation Freebie

Wildflower Ramblings Leaf ID

Parts of a Leaf from Twisty Noodle

Books:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Pooh’s Fall Harvest || Fletcher and the Falling Leaves || Leaves || The Gold Leaf || Leaf Man || Hello, Fall || Illustrated Stories From Aesop || Stone Soup

Hello, Fall was a big favorite here – so adorable. And we always love David Ezra Stein, and the Fletcher books too. Wyatt is a fan of Winnie the Pooh so that is always a winner for him, but his favorite this time was the Flip-Up Fairy Tale of Stone Soup, which had lift the flaps and a CD.

Extra Materials and Links

Crayon Rocks – perfect for leaf rubbing!

Wooden Leaf Puzzle

Stone Soup Board Game

Next week we are learning about acorns and squirrels – it should be a fun week!

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: Hawaii!

Our final week of summer homeschooling! I wanted to end our summer session with something fun – and also meaningful. This week, Hawaii week, was the first of our Heritage Weeks that we are going to start working on this year, that focus on Wyatt’s ancestry – and what better way to end the summer with a week “in” Hawaii.

Billy’s grandmother, so Wyatt’s great-grandmother, was a born and raised Hawaiian, and so was her family for as far back as you can go. Wyatt and I talked about how Hawaii is a chain of Islands in the Pacific Ocean, read about Hawaiian legends, gods, and goddesses, talked about the native plants and vegetation (including pineapples and coconuts of course, with a tasting!), surfing, volcanoes, geckos (although not like our gecko), sea turtles, and listened to Hawaiian music, especially ukulele music. Wyatt liked Elvis’ version the best. He learned Hawaiian words, like aloha, ohana, and mahalo, designed his own surfboards, and made a grass crown. We also talked about the importance of tattoos in the Hawaiian culture, and gave this little tough guy a few temporary ones.

Resources Used:

Coconut Learning Pack and Mini-Hawaiian Adventure from The Masterpiece Studio

Volcanoes Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Books Read:

Tell Me a Tattoo Story || Hi’aka Battles the Wind || Maui Hooks the Islands ||Maui Slows the Sun || Pele Finds a Home || Hina || The Magic Ukulele || Secrets of the Seashore || Nerdy Babies Ocean || Ohana Means Family

We of course also watched Lilo and Stitch, Moana, and a Disney short called Lava, which was adorable!

It was a great way to end our summer session! Next week we have a vacation week, as we rest up for his first week of homeschool kindergarten! (wish me luck!)

Homeschool, Summer Ed: Space

This was a great unit – we covered a brief overview of Earth, the Moon, constellations, and space exploration, and it was really fun. This was our second to last week of our summer homeschool – we are going to have one more week then we will be off for a week before we start Wyatt’s first day of Kindergarten!

I think constellation day was our favorite. We started by looking at the Skyview App on my phone, laying on the floor of his darkened bedroom, seeing where the constellations were in the sky. We talked about how we couldn’t see them since it was daytime, and how when the sun went down then we would be able to see them. I dug out his Uncle Goose constellation blocks that we got him a million years ago, and he had a blast building tall towers with them after we looked at some of the constellations. We ended by playing a game of Night Sky dominoes. They weren’t really dominoes though, more like heavy cardboard shaped liked dominoes with illustrations on it. They were pretty cool.

Wyatt also made his own constellations – he chose a house and snail lol. I drew them out and he put the stars on.

We read about Vincent Van Gogh, and Wyatt painted his own version of Starry Night. He also painted a moon, using a foil ball as a stamp, and did an Earth lacing activity. It all looks so pretty hanging in our den. We have one project left, and we are waiting until tonight to do it as a family – an Oreo moon phase activity. Anything that involves Oreos, I am there for.

Resource Round-Up!

Solar System Lacing Cards – Little Spark Company

Moon Phases Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway

Books We Read:

(contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Vincent Can’t Sleep (such a gorgeous book!!) || What’s Out There? || The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets || What Are Stars? (Wyatt loved this one the best) || Moon (another gorgeous book) || Night Sky Dominoes (not a book)

Videos:

Caitie’s Classroom – Stars and Moon

Caitie’s Classroom – The Night Sky

Caitie’s Classroom – Let’s Pretend to be an Astronaut

Wyatt loves Caitie so we lucked out with so many videos this week!

Homeschooling, Summer Ed: France, Part 2

My little artist. This week we spent a lot of time reading and playing around with art, which made both of us happy. Our allergies were crazy so we had to stay inside a little more than we wanted sadly, but at least we made the most of it.

We started the week with Renoir and The Wave, as our inspiration piece. I found this great idea on Pinterest and thought it worked perfectly with our unit study! Since we are homeschooling for the upcoming year, I bought a really nice set of finger paints, and Wyatt was excited to break it open and use it, so instead of the sponge he used finger paints mostly, with a little sponge for dabbing, but not much. As you can see…

We also talked about the lavender fields of France, and made another finger painting rendition of these fields. We added a little extra to this project though – Wyatt helped me to cut the spent blooms off of our lavender plants and we saved them all, and sprinkled the seeds over the painting. He completely loved this project, with the cutting and sprinkling. I loved it because it smelled so good!

Friday we worked on little paper miniature things. Wyatt has a love of tiny toys, he calls it baby size, so he really liked playing with his “baby Paris”. I cut it all out and he just moved the little paper cut-outs where he wanted them. Then he/we made a tiny art museum, complete with Degas stickers for the “exhibit”. Elmo was excited to visit this art gallery!

It was a pretty easy going week, but a good one.

Resource and Reading Round-Up!

(Contains Amazon affiliate links)

Travel Size Paper Paris – Made by Joel (free to print)

Kitty Kat, Kitty Kat Where Have You Been? Paris || Degas Stickers || Linnea in Monet’s Garden || Escargot (a favorite of ours- Wyatt gives this little snail so many kisses lol!) || Arteza Finger Paint

We are taking next week off, as it is Billy’s birthday week! When we pick up again we will do a week about the night sky and a week “exploring” Hawaii, then a break again before we start up again for fall. I am really looking forward to all of our future projects!