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!

Mini Post: Tiptoeing into Homeschooling

I mentioned in my last post that I have always wanted to try my hand at homeschooling – and that now is my chance. I decided I might as well take advantage of this situation and give it my all. I never really wanted to teach the basics however, and my son has cerebral palsy, which results in some creativity on my end, as I am not a special education teacher – or any kind of teacher at all. I figure this is preschool though, and I have until September to do this.

I belong to a few groups on Facebook, and have for a while, wildschooling groups and unschooling and different curriculum based groups, like for Charlotte Mason. So I have a teeny bit of prior knowledge; I used to read what other people were doing to adapt their ideas for Wyatt. But it was always with the expectation too, that at least I wasn’t his only teacher. I did it more as an enrichment.

So, this week I decided on next week’s “lesson”, which I use that term loosely. I moved his room all around, making a spot for his studies. And we are all pretty pleased with the changes! As for the studies themselves we are going to focus on the letter R, and on rabbits – you know with Easter and all. My mom ordered him a Peter Rabbit stuffed animal and Beatrix Potter book, which we will use to start us off. Then I found so many great resources online, that I have printed off and prepared for next week.

Today my challenge is sort of organizing the what and the when, while remaining flexible. We are going to talk about rabbits in general, their burrows, make a rabbit sensory bin and diorama, and I plan on taking evening walks to count the rabbits we see, and then chart them. Of course we will read books, and we are definitely going to do a few crafts because that is my favorite, and his too. I still need to research those as well (meaning spend time on Pinterest..) Most importantly, I am going to do this slowly and more organically, as much as I can. Lisa at Boondock Ramblings suggested no more than 90 minutes of “instruction” and I think that is a good suggestion for my kiddo. I think we will do 30 minutes a day three times a day of different things, and see where we land. And looking at what I have collected, I might have to extend our “lesson” to two weeks!

If you are interested, here are the links to the resources and materials I have found. I plan on using bits and pieces from them all, adapting them to Wyatt’s needs and abilities. All of these shops have a multitude of offerings on all topics and themes – I had to restrain myself!!

Stephanie Hathaway Designs – Eastern Cottontail Mini-Unit

Firefly Nature School – Bunny Hop

Simply A Love – Rabbit Anatomy

Fiddlesticks Education – Bunny Burrows Nature Study Pack

If you have any tips or suggestions, I would love to hear them!