## Saturday, October 5, 2013

### Homeschool Kindergarten Lesson Plans - Week 5

L and E are doing great with homeschool Pre-K/ Kindergarten this year.  We engage in learning activities 7 days a week, so some days end up being more formal instruction (activity trays that I set up for them to complete) while other days are filled with reading together and playing.  Here's a recap of what we did this week:

Math and Science:

The girls watch The Magic School Bus on Netflix every morning, and I usually try to do little extension activities for them.  After watching an episode on construction (where in one part the kids made a bridge out of gumdrops and toothpicks), I gave the kids their own bridge-building challenge using plastic toothpicks and mini marshmallows.  Of course the design made with triangles instead of squares fared the best.

Then I challenged the girls to make some 2D and 3D shapes, and they caught on quickly and ended up building all sorts of contraptions all afternoon (and eating way too much sugar along the way).  This ended up being the favorite activity of the week for them.

We reinforced some of the math concepts we've been working on with some independent work for the girls.

It's hard to see in the photo, but one of our activities was writing addition problems on painters tape and then letting the kids jump over them after they gave each correct answer.  Kids respond so well to activities that involve physical movement.

We have a lot of file folder games, so its really convenient for me to grab a few for our activity trays.  Here, L is working on fractions.

This graphing activity is also from a file folder game - girls not only enjoyed creating their graphs, but also seeing if they could interpret each other's graphs.  Watching them quizzing each other was super cute.

I taught the kids how to weigh objects using our scale.  They got to pick three objects from their room to weigh and then recorded their own results!

They worked so nicely and independently (after I showed them the basic concept).  I enjoyed sitting back and watching them solve problems.

Another experiment inspired by a Magic School Bus episode involved investigating light and colors using color paddles.  We also tried to make our own prism using water in drinking glasses.  The girls loved being "Color Detectives"..

After I showed them the technique of creating secret notes, they made their own messages and drawings for each other to uncover.

We also finished Life of Fred: Butterflies last week (answering the practice problems orally, but mostly enjoying the story).  We're going to take a break from Life of Fred for a bit before going on to the next book.

Language Arts:

The girls read daily and have improved by leaps and bounds over where they were only a couple months ago.  We just finished the Houghton Mifflin 1st Grade Anthologies (1.3-1.5), and are starting the 2nd Grade 2.1 Anthology.  We still go back to the First Grade stories to work on fluency, but I'm amazed at how well both girls are doing getting through the more challenging content (remember they only turned 4 at the end of July!).  Some of the books the girls enjoy reading include:

Danny and the Dinosaur
Little Critter
Henry and Mudge
Good Night, Good Knight
Little Bear
Tales of Amanda Pig
We Both Read Books (level 1-2)

For read-alouds, we just finished Amelia Bedelia Means Business (a chapter book with a young, modern version of Amelia Bedilia, who still takes expressions literally), and we're starting the next chapter book in that series.

We play the occasional spelling game for extra practice, but I think that the girls are picking up more phonics rules from reading than anything I can teach them.

I also add a couple reading comprehension worksheets into their activity trays a few times a week for extra practice.

E is done with the uppercase letters in Handwriting Without Tears, and L is almost there. I try to get the girls to write in their journals a couple times a week.  I can't wait to be able to compare these samples with what they come up with at the end of the school year.  L is not very enthusiastic about writing, so I don't push her, but E absolutely loves to write her stories.  I promise to take some pictures of her journal entries and post them next week.

File folder games have been great for practicing additional language arts concepts such as Singular vs. Plural, Real vs. Imaginary, parts of speech, how to build a sentence, etc..

Art, Music, Physical Education, Fun

This week the girls spent a lot of time "playing stories", which is basically making up adventures for their stuffed animals and having wonderful play sessions.

Of course, art is a part of every day for us, but I seem to forget to take photographs of all the creative things the girls make.

My favorite part about the kids' artwork is that they totally take initiative to create things themselves.  They're always coming up with new ideas and drawing, cutting, painting, and gluing.  After we read a story about a mother who makes a kite for her children, E decided to make her own kite.  She worked so nicely on it and we were even lucky to have some wind so she could "fly" her kite out on the deck.

Life is fun, and I'm feeling more confident with my decision to homeschool my kiddos with each passing day.

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