Homeschool, Summer Edition: Deer Week!

This week was not originally intended to be deer themed – but when I saw that the Full Moon for July is the Buck Moon, I decided to switch it up. We started this small study with the new moon, and I loved the symmetry of it. I love it when a theme comes together!

We are still schooling over the summer, but taking it a little easier – less table work, more play. Although my boy asks for table work so I had to find more as the week went on. I guess I love a theme, and he loves a routine. We worked on the letter D, pattern recognition, handwriting, counting and number identification, and read a few cute books. We learned simple facts about white-tailed deer, about their white-tails, how they have hooves, about antlers. That a male deer is a buck, a female a doe, and a baby is a fawn. That they live in herds, and eat plants. All in all, it was a pretty easy-going week, with lots of opportunity for whimsy and drama, with his deer mask and antler crown.

Our art projects this week were particularly fun. We had bought sun art paper to play with for the summer solstice, and we had some leftover, so we pulled that back out and made some deer sun art. Then last year, when we were participating fully in the Kid’s Moon Club, we made an antler crown for Wyatt, which he loves to wear still. So this year, we made one for his little toy badger Henry, that he loves to pieces and sleeps with. So now they both have little antler crowns. My cousin said that Wyatt looks like a character from Peter Pan in his crown!

Resource Round Up:

White-Tailed Deer Unit – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Deer themed books that we read:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Imogene’s Antlers || The Deer in the Wood

Extras:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Sun Art Paper

Deer Figurines

And that is about it for our week of deer! Next week we start birds!

Homeschooling: Ladybug Week!

Ladybug week! I was super excited about this week, since we were going to have live ladybug larvae to observe with our studies! They are pretty crazy looking honestly. And I learned things about ladybugs as well – I think that is one of the coolest things about schooling Wyatt myself. I am continuing to learn too! Did you know that when ladybugs emerge from the pupa state they are yellow before they turn red? I didn’t until this week.

We also started the sunshine before noon challenge from 1000 Hours Outside this week. Morning sun is supposed to do wonders for your health, both physical and mental, and we are making it a priority to get outside early. I am loving the early morning time outdoors together – we read and draw and talk and observe the world around us. Blue jays shrieking, dragonflies flying low over our heads like little helicopters, the breeze blowing through our hair. It is a wonderful way to start the day. We start in the shade and then welcome the sun as it moves closer to us.

We worked on so many things this week, but focused on the life cycles of ladybugs, what they eat, counting, letter and number identification, the letter L, handwriting, patterns, sequencing, and fine motor. If you read here, you know that Wyatt has Cerebral Palsy. One thing he was working on in school was making a circle, without going around and around in spirals. Just one circle, with a starting and stopping point. And this week, he did it! We were sitting outside and boom, there it was. Over and over. And he was so proud, as he should be! We do a lot of hand over hand work together, as well as using an app called Writing Wizard, and this week the connection between brain and hand was made! He is such a hard worker.

This was a fun week, and I was so happy that we were able to get outside too! I am really looking forward to next week, when we tackle bees! After that we are taking a week’s break then we are just going to pick back up again. We missed two months of school so we will continue, although I hope to make it a little less formal most days.

Resource Round Up!

Ladybug Anatomy Bundle and Printables – PsychoScreen

Ladybugs Preschool Printables – Lauren-Sophia

Books We Read:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

A Ladybug’s Life || Are You a Ladybug || The Life Cycle of a Ladybug || Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet

Extras Used:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links)

InsectLore Ladybug Land Kit

Wooden Self-Adhesive Ladybugs and Bees

Videos/Songs:

Caitie’s Classroom – Beautiful Bugs

Ladybugs by Jessie Farrell (Gumboot Kids – Spotify)

If you have any questions about how I used or adapted the materials let me know!

Weekend Vibes..

We had a fantastic long weekend together – it was a nice combo of lazy and active. Lots of reading, sitting around, playing games, but also exploring – and even some socially distanced social time!

On Saturday a few friends and I got together for some 6-8 feet away drinks and conversation. I put on a dress, my new necklace, slipped on sandals and off I went. We even all brought our own beverages and glasses so that we didn’t touch things others had touched – and so Kelly didn’t have to wash a glass. It was so nice to just see their faces – and I was so relaxed, watching the birds. And this was the very first time I had been away from Wyatt since March 12. I probably could have curled up on the outdoor couch and taken a nap, I became so comfy. I have taken to naming my friend’s homes lately (I blame all that British tv), and I have decided Kelly’s house should be called Refuge.

Then Sunday and Monday we spent pond dipping, as part of our homeschooling for the week! This week is all about ponds and frogs so we were hoping to catch some minibeasts in our catch and release beach aquarium. We only managed to find an aquatic snail in the water, but we did spot a Northern Water Snake, two turtles, a Great Blue Heron, a ton of Red-Winged Blackbirds, heard a bullfrog, and a little American toad! We brought the toad home as our guest for a few weeks, then we will let her go. Wyatt has named her Uh-Oh. the funny part is my brother found a toad yesterday and brought it in as a pet for my niece (who named hers Cupcake). But it all started with Kelly who found one last week and brought it in to avoid the cold snap. Her toad is a beast! They named her Theodora.

Later Monday evening my brother invited us, my mom, and my sister-in-law’s mother over for a socially distanced bonfire. It was so very nice to be near my family again, even though I itched to hug them all! Again, we all brought our own drinks and cups. What a strange new world we live in. Regardless, it was so fantastic to see their faces and talk to them, and not through a screen! Wyatt was so happy too, and just kept pointing to everyone and saying “Wow”. It was his first time seeing his family in months, and even though we were apart, it was wonderful to be sitting and talking together.

It was nice to be back exploring and seeing people again, no matter how we had to do it.

Homeschool Week 3: Caterpillars

We are on week three of our homeschooling journey! This was never really intended to happen but with the schools closing here in Michigan, I decided to really go for it. I have support as well from Wyatt’s teacher, which is wonderful, and makes me feel a little more comfortable and like I am on the right track.

This week we learned about the life cycle of butterflies and about caterpillars. I bought Wyatt the Insect Lore Butterfly kit for us to use along with our studies, and Stephanie Hathaway Designs has a purchasable unit that goes along with this kit which I bought. It is so beautiful and has so much information – her store is quickly becoming a go-to for me when researching resources for our homeschool.

In J formation, getting ready for chrysalis!

This week we worked on letters and counting, sorting, letter writing, the life cycle itself, patterns, and even some occupational therapy with our crafts, among other things.

Wyatt had some definite favorite activities. He loved the memory cards again (this kid loves card games), and he enjoyed an activity we did where he used a round sponge brush to paint “eggs” onto leaves, as a number matching/counting activity. He also really loved making the Fruit Loop caterpillars, and while I had intended that he only had to construct one, he made four before he got tired of it. For Wyatt, that was a lot of work – lots of OT and also balancing to hold himself upright while working with both of his hands. We turned his little half made fifth caterpillar into a chrysalis instead.

I think the cutest thing we did though however, was his life cycle through movement! I came up with little movements to mimic the life cycle stages – egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. He looks so cute doing them too!

This morning we woke up and all but our Leo the late bloomer caterpillar is in chrysalis so next week we will begin a week about snails until they eclose into butterflies!

Resources Used:

Stephanie Hathaway Painted Lady Bundle (she also has a mini unit available for free)

Science for Little Learners All About Butterflies

Caterpillar Egg Counting Mats from Fantastic Fun and Learning (we used paint instead of pom poms)

Feed the Caterpillar from Fantastic Fun and Learning

Caterpillar Name Craft from Pocket of Preschool

Fruit Loop Caterpillar

Books we Read:

I did not have that many here at the house so not too many this week. I do have some on order but since they are non essential they are taking a bit to get here. Oddly I didn’t have The Very Hungry Caterpillar in our library, so we didn’t use any resources having to do with that book. I need to remedy our lack of Eric Carle books when things loosen up with ordering. Then we also watched the Gumboot Kids episode on Amazon Prime that correlates with the book below.

Overall, it was a fun week! I am looking forward to our upcoming snail week and butterfly week as well!