Homeschooling: Frogs and Ponds!

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This week we learned about ponds, pond life, and frogs! I have to admit this week forced me to sort of overcome my squeamishness over getting my hands mucky – I am not a fan. Luckily Billy doesn’t mind so he could take over some of the messier aspects of our pond dipping experiences. That is the first thing we did – pond dipping! I had never heard it called this before but I like it. We bought Wyatt a catch and release beach aquarium, suited him up in his rain gear (he would not have liked sitting in muck either..), and let him explore the shallows of our favorite pond. Honestly, we didn’t find much! We did manage to spot an aquatic snail in our pail but otherwise, nothing. Lol. We did spot much larger creatures, from herons to water snakes to toads in the sand, so it wasn’t a complete bust.

This week, we also played with a pond sensory bin, which was welcome on the hottest day for us so far. We kept to the shade and Wyatt loved the small water play. We also worked on counting, number and letter identification, size comparisons, patterns and sequencing as well as discussing pond habitats and the animals that live there, and the life cycle of frogs. It was a busy week!

Art is becoming one of our favorite activities! Wyatt loves to paint so this week I lined up two painting projects – a rendition of Monet’s Water Lilies, and then I had planned to do some carton creatures, but then we swerved off plan! Wyatt was having more fun painting on the paper I had put down on the table, so I just scrapped the carton creature idea and just let him create some process art.

 

I am getting a kick out of finding these art projects that are based off of famous artists, that also match our theme, lol. This one might be my favorite so far!

This was a pretty fun week, even though my hands got a little dirty…

 

Resource Round-Up:

Pond Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway

Life Cycle of a Frog – Stephanie Hathaway 

Pond and Frog Preschool Activities – Pre-K Printable Fun

Scout and the Gumboot Kids – Frogs

Books: 

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links for which I will receive a small commission. I use all money made this way to purchase more educational materials)

Over and Under the Pond || Growing Frogs || In the Small, Small Pond ||The Wide-Mouthed Frog || Big Fish, Little Fish || Fish is Fish||The Usborne Outdoor Book || Across the Stream|| Have You Seen My Duckling

 

Videos and Art Projects:

Caitie’s Classroom – Frogs 

Scout and the Gumboot Kids and the Case of the Spotted Jelly – Amazon Prime

Monet Inspired Water Lilies = Messy Little Monster

 

Also, I wanted to share that The Hidden Way has teamed up with many different homeschool resource creators and is offering a Mega-Nature Bundle for $25! It is over 1800 pages and offers studies on many different topics for learners of all ages. I bought mine yesterday; there were so many different units included that I plan on doing with Wyatt, such as bees, owls, birds, and so many others, that it would have been crazy not to. I would have spent that on just one or two of the units alone!

Please let me know if you have any questions about how I use or adapt these materials in my learning time with Wyatt!

A Day of New Life!

Yesterday was a big day around here! We had 6 of our 9 butterflies emerge from their chrysalis – and they couldn’t have had better timing.

It is butterfly week here this week, and Wyatt and I had just settled in to do some work after reading the book Butterfly Birthday. Butterfly Birthday celebrates the beginning of spring and also the birthday of all the butterflies that eclose in the book during the party. So, we read our book, got situated on Wyatt’s lesson, and I glanced down to see a butterfly! Our first butterfly made its appearance minutes after reading our book. Lol. We had to take a break to celebrate – with cake!

We just happened to have some left from Mother’s Day – strawberry with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Yum!

It’s so cool to us that you can see them as fully formed butterflies within the chrysalis before they emerge. Nature is so amazing! This was the first one born – the one in the chrysalis was the third.

It was a day for new life all around – my seeds are starting to sprout, also something to be excited about! I am most excited about my pumpkins today – I have always wanted to grow our own mini-pumpkin patch. I hope they make it!

My little sprouts! Pumpkins, watermelon, squash, lettuce, and basil all have made their appearances. Outside, the radishes are doing well! We are still waiting on some but this is a great start!

Spring was certainly making itself felt around here yesterday, and with it, a happy hopeful feeling as well.

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:

Books linked to Usborne are part of my Usborne store; if purchased I receive a small commission that will be used for educational materials for Wyatt.

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.

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!