Homeschool: Snow!

In addition to Wyatt’s regular curriculum, every month we focus on a different theme (or themes). This month is all about snow! I feel sort of like I dared Mother Nature with this one, as we have gotten more snow this month than we have all winter.

I haven’t blogged yet this month about our snow studies and I feel like we have done so much! We started the month by talking about well, snow. How it forms, different types of snowflakes, the life cycle of a snowflake, the basics of snow really.

We also did some great art projects. Wyatt loves painting and books so I tried to focus a lot this month on incorporating more of those into our month.

An online friend gifted Wyatt with the book Sneezy the Snowman for Christmas and he loved it so much that I wanted to use it this month as part of our studies. We read the book, discussed melting and freezing, worked on sequencing, and then followed it up with this great activity. This was Wyatt’s favorite thing we have done so far this month.

My little painter. He also painted two pictures, inspired by the books Snow Falls Karen Gardner and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. (I did help him with painting Peter though, full disclosure in light of the whole North West controversy) We also did some extra studies with The Snowy Day, including sequencing just like we did with Sneezy the Snowman.

Then yesterday we read The Snow Globe Family and Snow Globe Wishes, which were both adorable. We followed up the readings with a little writing assignment, answering the question what would Wyatt do if he lived in a snow globe (answer: paint), and then he wanted to see an actual snow globe. How I don’t have one, I don’t know. So we made this spur of the moment, slapdash, what we had around the house version of one, using a jam jar, a small toy fox, some crystal beads, and then me, wielding a hot glue gun. The beads are too heavy so I need to add some glitter in there, but kiddo loves it, and that is all that matters.

I am going to do a huge resource round-up of printables next Saturday, after we finish up the month’s activities, so stay tuned for that! I will share the books we have read and videos we have watched though.

Books We Have Read So Far:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Snow Globe Wishes || The Snow Globe Family || The Snowy Day || The Tea Party in the Woods || Sneezy the Snowman || Snow Falls || Snow || The Snow Rabbit

Videos:

Wild Kratts How a Snowflake is Formed

Caitie’s Classroom Snow

Maddie Moate Snow

We have one more week left of our snow study, then in March we are mixing it up! Our own March Madness I guess.

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: 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: 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 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!

Exploring Folk Music

This week Wyatt is learning about the Great Smoky Mountains, and I thought it would be a great time to add in some music! He is a huge music lover of all kinds, and while we almost always have music of some sort playing in the house, I have never purposely included it in our plans – mostly because I am not well versed on music, at all. But I thought this was a good basic intro for him!

I found these folk instrument flash cards online and used them not really as flashcards to quiz him but as a way to talk about the different instruments used in folk music. Then I collected any instruments that we had around our house that were listed and set them out for him to play with. I usually have his small instruments out for him in a basket, but the guitar and ukulele are usually put away and for occasions with supervision. The guitar was his grandfather’s and is special to me for that reason. I want him to to use but treat it with respect which is sometimes hard for five year olds who are learning still.

We talked about all the instruments, the types that they are, played around with them, and then listened to music on YouTube. I specifically searched for fiddle music, banjo music, etc so that we could hear what each sounded like, and also threw some in just for fun.

We watched a few Lindsey Stirling videos because I personally love her style. I was surprised that they were not Wyatt’s favorites, because they are so lively and upbeat but I think she was his least favorite! He really loved the harmonica pieces we listened to and Abby the Spoon Lady.

Afterward we constructed a cereal box banjo/guitar but we are still working on the neck – I will update with photo later! I turned it inside out, taped it all back together and had Wyatt decorate it before adding the rubber band strings. His grandfather was an artist and was so talented with calligraphy and design – Wyatt decorating his little art project while we listened to country music just really made me feel like his grandfather was with us for a bit.

So it was a very basic intro but a good one! I am going to look into music for homeschooling as this kid seems to have music in his very soul!

Homeschooling: Plants Week!

This week our theme was plants and gardens! We needed a break from our insect friends, although we start again with them soon. We apparently like bugs in our family.

This was a fun week, and so seasonal to what we are doing around our house as well. Our seeds that we planted a few weeks ago are sprouting so this was good timing – hmm, almost like I planned it..

We learned about the parts of a plant, the life cycle of a plant, and then talked about what sorts of plants we can eat. We worked on numbers and math and the letter F, on sequencing and matching, and on writing and fine motor skills as well.

I really dig our Kandinsky Circles Flower art project! I have stumbled into finding different projects for our weeks that are based on famous artists. We have done a Matisse snail, now these.

Then today I decided to do a special mini-unit day about strawberries! It is the new moon for this lunar cycle, the Strawberry Moon, so I thought it fit very nicely! It dovetailed nicely into our lessons about plants, and strawberries are just sort of fun and cheery, which we needed on this gloomy rainy day.

I am in love with this art project too. We used his little hands and he dabbed on the yellow paint with his fingers. We also read Audrey Wood’s book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Such a fun book! I also appreciate the fact that our strawberry plant cooperated and produced flowers for us today.

It was a fun week, but I have to say I liked our strawberry day the best.

Resource Round-Up:

Growing Plants by Mrs. Jones Creation Station

Strawberry Patch Printable Pack by Simple Living Creative Learning

Books:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear || In the Vegetable Garden Sticker Book || The Tiny Seed || If You Plant a Seed || The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder

Art Projects:

Kandinsky Circle Flowers

Handprint Strawberry Craft

Extras:

(this section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Garden Building Set (Wyatt loves this way more than I expected!)

Overall this was a fun week! Next week we move on to Ponds and Frogs!

Homeschooling: Interrupted

Last week started off well – we kicked off butterfly week with some great activities and the emerging of our butterflies, which was exciting! Wyatt strung together this great looking banner (I glued them to heavy paper and cut them out first) then we hung it in his window.

Then we were derailed. We had a neurologist appointment for Wyatt on Wednesday (video) and we ended up getting an overnight EEG for him the next day. This kid is something else, he is so strong and brave and undergoes so many things with such a good disposition. He is pretty amazing.

I was a mess honestly. Having to go to a last minute emergency overnight EEG during a pandemic was the last thing I wanted to do obviously. But the EEG did show that Wyatt has seizure activity occurring in his brain, and we were able to start him on medication immediately.

So our week took a different route than we had originally planned, but we are home now and together and have some answers on something that had been worrying us for months. He was originally supposed to get this EEG during the peak here in Michigan and it was obviously postponed, until it couldn’t be.

Anyway! For those interested, I did download many resources for butterfly week.

Resources:

Butterflies – Little Pine Learners

All About Butterflies – Science for Little Learners

Butterfly Math – Linda’s Loft for Little Learners

Painted Lady Butterfly Unit – Stephanie Hathaway

Twig and Moth

Twig and Moth Butterflies and Moths

Books We Read:

Extras:

Wild Republic Butterfly Nature Tube

Insect Lore Life Cycle Toy

Homeschooling: Snail Week!

I was so excited about this week, since I love snails! Wyatt enjoyed this week as well if you can tell by his big smile!

I’ve been using the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum as a guide for thematic ideas, along with the seasons here in Michigan. We had to move different weeks around because it was really still winter here until like, well…hmm. It snowed yesterday but I am still calling it spring. We have been enjoying our weeks, and I have the next few weeks all planned already, which I don’t think is too bad for being kind of thrust into this role.

This week we focused on snails and the letter S as our theme and framework. I had to dig a little harder to find the resources I wanted but when I did find them I was super excited about them. We ended up with so many projects and lessons, and worked on many different ideas, including patterns, shapes, colors, comparing/contrasting, literary arts, numbers and counting activities, and of course, talking about snails and their habits and habitats.

And we have our own little snail to observe too, which made it more fun.

Meet Sampson, if you haven’t already.

I love watching our learning space fill up with Wyatt’s projects and work every week. On Monday mornings, the space is sort of bare but by the end of the week is overflowing with what we have worked on. And he is so proud of them, and he should be. He loves to show them off to his grandmas on his zoom chats with them.

I kind of really loved our art projects this week – a snail based on Matisses’ The Snail, and a cute project I found on Pinterest using one of our favorite books, Escargot!

Resources I used:

Snails and Slugs Printables from Family in Wanderland

Insect Centers for Preschool by Natalie Lynn (this is a huge bundle! 212 pages that I plan on using different activities from over the next few months)

Worms, Snails, and Slugs by Pre-K Printable Fun

Living Montessori Now Snail Do-a-Dot Printable

Chickie and Roo Snail Collection

Escargot Book and Craft from Raising Kinley

Escargot Story Hour Kit

and then this super cute song!!! The Snail Song

I do sort the resources and adapt and adjust as needed for Wyatt’s abilities.

Books Used:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

1001 Bugs to Spot Sticker Book || Snail and Worm Again || Bug Hotel || The Biggest House in the World || Escargot

Next week we start Butterflies! Our butterflies should be eclosing any moment now and we are really looking forward to seeing them.