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!

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!

Homeschool, Summer Edition: Birds and Fireflies

We have been focusing on life with wings the past two weeks, and have learned about birds and fireflies! Fireflies just feel so summer to me. I wait for them to start blinking their lights every year and when they finally do, I feel like ok, now it is summertime for real. We are doing a little less structured school for the summer, but still learning and creating and keeping up with skills so we avoid that summer slide – which is a real thing and with this year being so abbreviated at school, I felt like I would just keep going.

Last week was bird week! We talked about different nests and eggs, worked on number identification, patterns, letters, and also more nature study type things, like bird identification and listening to different bird songs and calls. Wyatt’s favorites are chickadees and woodpeckers – mine will always be owls of all sorts (in fact we are spending a whole week on owls this fall..) We also measured our “wingspans” and learned that Wyatt’s wingspan is similar to that of a barn owl while mine is close to an osprey.

Art is always a fun part of our week and for bird week we painted with feathers, made a feather branch out of construction paper and a branch (fine motor skills and cutting practice!), and made a bird kite that was more fun to make than fly. Wyatt’s painting though – I don’t think he intended to paint a bird but do you see it? I think I am going to frame it!

Then this week we learned about fireflies, or lightning bugs depending on who you are. Again it was a more unstructured, more nature study versus school kind of week, perfect for summer. We did continue to review skills, and read books and listened to Leo the Lightning Bug on CD a million times. We made a cute little lightning bug and then fun glow in the dark firefly jars. We ended the week with an ice cream dinner then watching for fireflies in the yard. It was a good very summertime feeling week.

Resource Round-Up:

HomeEd Printables Birds

N is for Nest Teaching Mama

Honeycomb Cabin Birds

Fireflies by Stephanie Hathaway

Firefly Activities – Teach With Me

Books and Extras:

(Contains affiliate links for Amazon and Usborne Books)

Montessori Bird Puzzle

Sibley Backyard Bird Matching Game

Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe || Firefly July || Leo the Lightning Bug by Eric Drachman || My Book of Life Cycles || Birdhouse

And that is it for our homeschool the last two weeks! Next week we are doing a very fun unit on the Great Smoky Mountains; pre-COVID we had a vacation planned to the Smoky Mountains and Dollywood which is now on hold until next year, unfortunately. So we will be visiting and learning about the the area virtually! It is a more play based week with an emphasis on art and music and geography and history – I am excited to see how it all goes for us!