Homeschool: Duck Week!

I think we all enjoyed duck week around here! This was a request from Wyatt as this kid has loved ducks for just about his whole life. I also coordinate my niece’s homeschool right now, and my mom, niece, Wyatt, and I all had fun with this unit! There was just something so spring feeling about it, and let’s face it, ducklings are adorable!

We spent time talking about the anatomy of a duck, the life cycle of a duck, working on sequencing and patterns, then moved on to dabbling, diving, and domesticated ducks. I did not tell my niece that some ducks are raised for meat, she is super sensitive to that, so we just said that they lived on a farm. We played a duck matching game for vocabulary reinforcement, did a kindergarten “deep dive” on mallards, and discussed what ducks eat and their habitats. We also learned that ducks are waterproof due to an oil they spread out over their feathers – and then just when I thought Wyatt hadn’t been listening, he told his dad this fact. And we read lots of books and made a diorama!

Wyatt got a little overzealous at first with the nest building. Also, one of the eggs he put into the nest almost rolled into the pond area, which made me think of one of the books we read, I am a Duck.

And we all chose our favorite ducks! Wyatt liked the Cayuga and Red headed ducks, I liked the Khaki Campbells, my niece liked the fancy Wood ducks, and my mom liked the Mallards.

Overall this was a fun, easy, springtime unit! This weekend we are hoping to get to a farm to see domesticated ducks and a marsh to spot those wild ducks – so crazy they are, those wild ducks.

Resource Round-Up!

Duck Unit Study Guide by Stephanie Hathaway

Books That We Read:

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Ducks by Gail Gibbons || Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore || On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen || Ducks Don’t Get Wet by Augusta Goldin || Just Ducks by Nicola Davies || Duck, Duck, Dinosaur by Kalie George || I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting

Next week is a request from my niece, for flowers!

**Our theme units are always extra in addition to our regular curriculum from Blossom and Root**

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!

Week Two of Homeschooling…

This week we focused on weather! I have to admit, I am starting to really have fun with this stuff! It’s a lot of work but I am enjoying finding all the resources and working with him everyday. (well we took Thursday off since he had worked so hard all week already!) Saturday we are baking something rainbow, that is yet TBD.

We did so much stuff this week! We worked on the letter W, which he is already pretty familiar with since it is the first letter of his name, and talked about sun, rain, clouds, wind, snow, and rainbows. We talked about the types of clothes we need for different types of weather, then did some sorting activities with that. We did an experiment, of will the wind blow it, with items gathered from around the house. We read books and made sensory bottles, worked on numbers and letters, sequences and patterns, and then created some art, including a name rain cloud.

These little cards were Wyatt’s favorites! He loved lining them up, naming them, playing a memory game with them, matching his little gnomes up, and then creating patterns. I printed them from out from a resource I found online, and glued them onto some cardboard I saved from cereal boxes. I am trying to save all sorts of things like that now for crafting and school use.

Resources Used: (no affliliate links)

Stephanie Hathaway Designs Weather Bundle – so many neat things, including all those beautiful weather cards

Little Learners All About Weather bundle

Melissa and Doug Alphabet Picture Boards

Weather Peg Dolls (I’ve had Wyatt’s for a few years)

Books We Read:

Videos we watched:

Catie’s Classroom – Wind

Catie’s Classroom – Snow

Catie’s Classroom – Rain

I was pretty excited about all of these Catie’s Classroom videos. Wyatt loves her so he was pretty happy about watching them too.

All in all, it was a pretty good week of school!

And of course, every school needs recess!

Mini Post: Tiptoeing into Homeschooling

I mentioned in my last post that I have always wanted to try my hand at homeschooling – and that now is my chance. I decided I might as well take advantage of this situation and give it my all. I never really wanted to teach the basics however, and my son has cerebral palsy, which results in some creativity on my end, as I am not a special education teacher – or any kind of teacher at all. I figure this is preschool though, and I have until September to do this.

I belong to a few groups on Facebook, and have for a while, wildschooling groups and unschooling and different curriculum based groups, like for Charlotte Mason. So I have a teeny bit of prior knowledge; I used to read what other people were doing to adapt their ideas for Wyatt. But it was always with the expectation too, that at least I wasn’t his only teacher. I did it more as an enrichment.

So, this week I decided on next week’s “lesson”, which I use that term loosely. I moved his room all around, making a spot for his studies. And we are all pretty pleased with the changes! As for the studies themselves we are going to focus on the letter R, and on rabbits – you know with Easter and all. My mom ordered him a Peter Rabbit stuffed animal and Beatrix Potter book, which we will use to start us off. Then I found so many great resources online, that I have printed off and prepared for next week.

Today my challenge is sort of organizing the what and the when, while remaining flexible. We are going to talk about rabbits in general, their burrows, make a rabbit sensory bin and diorama, and I plan on taking evening walks to count the rabbits we see, and then chart them. Of course we will read books, and we are definitely going to do a few crafts because that is my favorite, and his too. I still need to research those as well (meaning spend time on Pinterest..) Most importantly, I am going to do this slowly and more organically, as much as I can. Lisa at Boondock Ramblings suggested no more than 90 minutes of “instruction” and I think that is a good suggestion for my kiddo. I think we will do 30 minutes a day three times a day of different things, and see where we land. And looking at what I have collected, I might have to extend our “lesson” to two weeks!

If you are interested, here are the links to the resources and materials I have found. I plan on using bits and pieces from them all, adapting them to Wyatt’s needs and abilities. All of these shops have a multitude of offerings on all topics and themes – I had to restrain myself!!

Stephanie Hathaway Designs – Eastern Cottontail Mini-Unit

Firefly Nature School – Bunny Hop

Simply A Love – Rabbit Anatomy

Fiddlesticks Education – Bunny Burrows Nature Study Pack

If you have any tips or suggestions, I would love to hear them!