Monday, February 10, 2014

Week in Review: Oak Meadow Kindergarten ~ Week 5

Our week had a recurring theme this week that just so happens to be one of our favorite things around here: pie.

I chose to use verses and songs that mention pie- Little Jack Horner, Georgie Porgie, The Three Little Kittens- and the kids especially loved it when mama cat had a change of heart and allowed her kittens to try the tasty treat.  Our Beatrix Potter story of the week also had a tie-in where one character invites another over for pie leading to some messy mix-ups.  

The time had come to revamp our calendar for the new month which sister took the lead on:

The kid's grandpa has a birthday on the 4th, hence the special heart.
Our letter this week is D so we spent some time thinking of D words.  Sister decided she wanted to draw a picture in her lesson book of she and Daddy at the dump:

The way to every girl's heart, apparently.
When I asked sister to tell me about the story we read the day before, she had a hard time retelling the plot, so we read it again and spent extra time on some elements that were a bit more subtle and therefore confusing. 

We followed the curriculum's suggestions of drawing D's in the shape of a door.  For the first time, I drew my own picture as well at her request with brother adding some special touches.  Sister was concerned that my drawing was more polished than hers (which is why I'd been reluctant to suggest tandem drawing before) so I highlighted the creativity she was using and she offered to add a little to my picture, seen in the green door decor: 

We made the switch over to Tuesday music time and had fun with some new finger plays.  We also heard a lot of Beatles tunes on the public radio station this week in commemoration of their first performance on US television.  We especially enjoyed a version of "Can't Buy Me Love" in Spanish and reminisced about the time we spent in Mexico last year close to this time.

We connected with another homeschooling family through the Oak Meadow group on Facebook, which spurs lots of good discussions and ideas.  Their daughter is close in age to sister and was interested in finding a pen pal, so we exchanged info and sister spent a couple of days writing and decorating a card for her new long distance friend.  We looked at the placement of the mailing and return addresses and stamp and sister wrote the names on the front of the envelope. We are showing off the backside complete with puppy dog sticker (of course) before it left our hands and headed for the east coast.

To connect the letter D with doors and this week's story, I invited sister to cut out a D shaped door that we could glue into her lesson book.  She drew a pie behind the oven door along with the table and chairs for the two pie-eaters from the story.  Hope they don't get too hot in there.

We collected foliage throughout the week to use in art project of leaf printing.  Sister chose three objects and painted them with multiple before we pressed them into the paper.  This was one of my favorite activities as evidenced by the amount of pictures I took.

The craft book suggested affixing the leafs to a piece of cardboard first and this night have allowed for more clarity on the print, but we both enjoyed feeling the different textures- sister as she held and painted them and I when helping her press them down.  Sister played around a bit with her brush once the paint was on the paper, I used the remaining paint to make prints on another piece of paper, and brother used a paint brush to mix the colors on his paper resulting in a diverse trio.  


Our math lessons this week expanded on the number two.  We talked about things that come in pairs- body parts, clothing.  Then I asked sister if she wanted to play an opposites game.  I started with hot and sister didn't know what to say.  I was pretty taken aback since she recited opposites by age 2, but I wonder now if that was rote learning that was not enduring because it wasn't meaningful.  I made a visual with my arms that showed the continuum from one opposite to another, creeping along from hot to warm to cool to...cold!  From there, sister and I took turns starting the game though I coached her through some additional concepts that I would not have expected her to have difficulty with.  I really appreciated this opportunity to support her in hopefully making some more lasting connections.

I saved one of our art projects to coincide with our expansion of the number two and introduced two becoming one through watercolor painting.  We talked about the primary colors and I told sister she could choose two colors.  We used red and yellow and watched as they combined to make orange in she and brother's paintings.

For science this week, we were supposed to study the conditions of local bodies of water.  We checked on our front yard's built in pond throughout the week, and as we left the house in the early afternoon, noticed that it was frozen.  We have been experiencing an unusual cold snap here like many other places across the US and by the time we got home a couple of hours later, things had quickly transformed. 

Our little pond is barely visible to the left of the lavender bush. 

Daddy got a snow day from school/work so he joined us for circle and we shared the songs and verses we'd been reciting this week.  He and sister played another round of the opposites game and he came up with real life examples to explain ideas like full (brother's tummy) and empty.

Our math activity for the day was to cut out a number two from paper and cover it in something we could feel as we traced our fingers along it.  The curriculum suggested sand, but since we didn't have any handy, I suggested some glitter covered foam we had some spare pieces of.  Sister drew her two and began coloring inside its lines with a pattern that I noticed and admired right away.  What I didn't notice was that she'd drawn the two backwards.

I was torn because in the parenting class I am teaching we have been discussing the importance of process over product.  But since this was intended to help us remember the shape of 2 and we obviously needed some help in this area, I decided to point this out to her and ask if she wanted to make another one.  She finished her 2 and was happy to pass it off to little brother.  However, making a second 2 proved challenging and I found myself doing more persistence coaching than I have since our homeschooling began.  Ultimately, I drew a 2 for her and she cut it out.  We then cut out different shaped pieces of the glitter foam and glued them on. 

We swapped out a suggested science activity for time in the snow, building a snowman since the snow conditions were just right and using wax to make our sled travel faster downhill.  We measured nearly two inches on the front porch, a pretty significant accumulation in these parts.

Once back inside and eager to warm up, we decided to round out our theme of the week by making our own pie from scratch.  We were able to freeze a number of cherries from our yard's trees this summer and I committed to making my first lattice style crust.



And in this case, the process and the product brought equal parts satisfaction.

Purr, purr, purr, now you may have some pie.  

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