Homeschool: The Arctic!

This week we finished week 1 of our month long Arctic unit! We are venturing far north, learning about the different animals that live there, how they survive, how they live, why they are white, and all sorts of cool things. Unfortunately, it seems like the Arctic heard about our plans and decided to bring the Arctic weather to us, with a possible polar vortex on the horizon. We don’t really need that much authenticity, thank you.

To get back into the swing of school after our holiday break, I began with narwhals, because narwhals are just fun. I knew the kids would be excited about these unicorns of the sea, and they were! We read some cute books (although the kids (my son and niece) did think that narwhals were born in clam shells after reading the book Not Quite Narwhal – whoops! Lol.) We learned about their tusks, which is really a front left tooth that protrudes from their lip, not a tusk at all. We also learned that the tusks are like inside out teeth, with the nerves on the outside, so they definitely don’t use them for fighting. That would be a big ouch! I have to admit I was fascinated by these creatures as well!

We also painted the Northern Lights, using frozen paint cubes. This was actually hilarious – it was fun and then as it started to warm up, changed how the paint flowed onto the paper. But then when it finally thawed it just plunk! fell right off. It also became very messy. It was still a fun activity!

The kids also created salt dough narhwals, and narwhals out of spoons. My niece also made a unicorn spoon, but Wyatt wanted to just make two narwhals, which is fine. I like to do some directed art but also let them feel free to be expressive. Today we are finishing up the narwhals, painting them. I am betting we will end up with another set of blue and yellow narwhals over here…

It was a fun first week back! Next week we learn about Polar Bears, and a really interesting experiment about blubber is in the plans.. and some arctic animal yoga!

Resource Round Up!

Note: If printables include penguins, save those for a separate unit, as they live in the South Pole, not North

Little Spark Arctic Animals

Preschool Mom Arctic Animals

Arctic Animal Fun Pack

Arctic Animals Like Cold book

Arctic Animals Learning Pack

Books We Read

(This section contains Amazon affiliate links)

Wendell the Narwhal || Not Quite Narwhal (about a unicorn but still adorable)

Arts and Crafts

Clay Narwhal (we shaped them using the dough from this recipe)

Narwhal Spoon

Videos and Other Resources Used

(This section contains Amazon affiliate links)

Wild Republic Polar Animals Nature Tube (just don’t use the penguins, they are South Pole inhabitants!)

The Girl Who Went to the Arctic

A Walk in the Arctic

Narwhal: Unicorns of the Sea

As always we also use Blossom and Root for our regular curriculum as well.

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!

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.