Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homeschool Kindergarten Lesson Plans - Week 6

After going to two fall festivals last weekend (and another one this weekend), we've all been enjoying some autumn-themed learning activities in our homeschool (like the autumn leaf scratch-art in the picture above).  It's amazing how some simple seasonal crafts can elevate the girls' level of enthusiasm about school.  Here's what we did this week.

I don't think I've ever shared our schoolwork progress chart.  We cover a lot of subjects each day and combine multiple subjects within a single activity, but this chart helps me and the girls make sure we're hitting on the core subjects most days.  There aren't specific rewards associated with completing their lessons, but sometimes the girls will make up their own prizes ("Let's do math and then we can watch a show" is something I commonly hear).  As you can see from this week's chart, L has not been very excited about her writing lately so I'll try to put together some more interesting activities to get her to practice writing next week.

Math

I took out some foam beads shaped like leaves to go with our fall theme and asked the girls to sort them and record how many they had of each color.  We talked about the composition of the teen numbers and their "math names" (one-ten-four for fourteen, which means it is made up of one ten and four ones).

Our "Pumpkin Factory" math game was a big hit, as well.  The girls used chopsticks to transfer pumpkin mini-erasers onto the paint palette with 10 spots.  Then they made machine noises as they transferred the group of 10 to an index card.

The girls used the index cards to count by 10s and wrote the appropriate number on each one.  Towards the end, we started putting two pumpkins in each spot and counting by 2s to 20 (the girls can only go to 12 without help), and then making sure that as they transfer. they divide them among the two index cards equally.  They spent a lot of time on this task and did a great job.  Both girls kept saying "a job at the factory is hard work!".  I paid them with plastic coins when they were done.

Language Arts

The girls sometimes have a hard time with the letter "Y" at the end of a word, so they did some file folder games where they had to sort words based on whether the ending "Y" says "E" or "I".

We also continued learning about vowel teams like "ow" by building different words using alphabet magnets, as well as some online activities on Starfall.

I asked to girls to memorize a little fall poem, which I wrote down for them to decorate with drawings of leaves.

L's reading log this week included:

Pinkalicious: Puptastic
Pinkalicious: Fairy House
"Shopping" from Dragon Gets By
The Best Mistake

E's reading log this week included:

Should I Share My Ice Cream (Piggie & Elephant)
The Surprise Family
Jack and the Bean Stalk (We Both Read)
Oh No, We're Doing a Show (We Both Read)

For reading aloud, we're almost done with Amelia Bedelia Unleashed (chapter book #2 in the series).  Next up will be something Halloween-themed - most likely Princess Posey and the Monster Stew followed by The Little Witch and The Witch Family.  I want to do some cute witch crafts, so that will fit in perfectly.

Handwriting is something E loves.  She's always so proud of her letters.  On the other hand, getting L to practice handwriting is like pulling teeth (I'm guessing because she's on the creative side and handwriting is so rigid).

The girls drew and wrote about pumpkins in their writing journals.  L told me a wonderful story about two pumpkins that were left behind in the pumpkin patch, but then when it came time to write it down, I had to physically stand next to her and encourage her on each letter.  I think she gets frustrated that she can't write as fluidly as she thinks, so she's been a very reluctant writer and always cuts her stories short.  We just finished up the capital letters in Handwriting Without Tears, so they're mostly writing in all caps.  I just want them to get as much practice as they can get.

E loves writing.  She forgets to put spaces in between words, but she's fairly good at figuring out words that are spelled phonetically and doesn't struggle with letter formation.  I can't wait to see how both girls progress in their writing over the course of our school year.

Art / Music / PE

We did lots of crafts this week.  The girls painted plaster cat magnets.  We also worked with modeling clay to make some seasonal decorations.

I showed the girls how to do leaf rubbings using some craft leaves.  Later in the week we went on a nature walk and collected our own fall leaves to examine.

We also navigated our way through a corn maze, went on a hay ride, enjoyed an apple cider festival, and visited a 19-century-style fall fair.  The twins are at a very fun age where they really understand and enjoy our family outings, which makes it even more special for me as their mother.  Just thinking about all the neat experiences we had this week brings a smile to my face.

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