Archive for August, 2015
I am so far behind in my posting of our summer activities! These are activities we did at the end of July. I need to get caught up so I’m not behind when the school year begins. Here are some of the activities we did:
Our theme was Batman and I found some fun Batman printables for the boys to use. Every day during circle time Hunter and Anthony read their Batman books.
They did a prewriting activity to practice their handwriting. Batman and Robin had to get to the bad guys. Hailey is an amazing helper!
They did a simple color by number.
They worked on cutting and sorting.
I put their names on some butcher paper and then taped in on the wall. They traced their names and practiced writing their names on their own. I left them up for a while and when they walked by they would stop and look at them. Hunter wanted help naming all of the letters in Anthony’s name since he doesn’t recognize all of his letters yet.
We were studying all about our 5 senses. On this day we were learning about the sense of sound. The kids shook some containers and had to guess what was inside.
Table toys continues to be a favorite time! They loved working with these pegs.
These Interlox are a definite favorite. They sat and built with these for quite a long time.
One day we took a trip to the library. When we got home Anthony and Hunter set up their own little library.
They also had fun building a fort on the deck
I can’t believe that August is half way over! Summer is just going by too fast. We’ve been having lots of fun learning, playing, and just relaxing. Here are some of the activities we have done recently:
We have done a lot of writing practice this summer. This week we used Big Hero Six printables to try to keep it fun.
They practiced sizing,
Each day, Anthony and Hunter practice writing their names. I try to change in up once in a while, so on this day they practiced writing on the sliding glass door using dry erase markers.
We made sense of touch books while we were reviewing a super fun science curriculum. Hunter is making a page for his book here, using sandpaper.
Anthony added bubble wrap to his sense of touch book to represent bumpy.
We made smelly flowers when we learned about the sense of smell. The kids made their flowers and then added a cotton ball to the middle that had been sprayed with perfume.
Table toys is still a favorite time of day! Here are some of the toys we used this week:
Anthony was really concentrating on making something with the Squigz.
They had fun using their Scooby characters when they built with the gears.
Hunter decided to organize his colors.
Since our focus was on Big Hero 6, we made these very simple Baymax masks.
Of course, they also spend lots of time outside.
Science is one of our favorite subjects around here. Which is a little bit surprising considering how much I hated science when I was in school. Now that I am homeschooling I try to make science as hands-on and fun as possible. When I saw Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers from Funtastic Unit Studies I was really excited to check it out.
The author of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers, Susan Kilbride, is a homeschooling mom herself. She realized that science isn’t the easiest subject for parents to teach, so she created this curriculum using the methods she used while teaching science to her own son. Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is a paperback book with over 200 pages. There are 20 different science units covered in the book. The first 10 units are for children ages 4-7, the last 10 units are for children ages 8-13. Some of the units covered include:
- The Human Body
- Fun With Magnets
- Stars and Planets
- Animal Ecology
- Chemistry Fun
That is only 8 of the exciting topics covered- there are 12 more!
Each unit has a supply list at the very beginning of the chapter. Most of the items you will need are things you already have at home, or you can easily purchase. After the supply list there are lots of hands-on activities as well as explanations of the hows and whys things work. The chapters for the older students also contain tests and worksheets. The end of the book has the answers for those tests and worksheets.
So, how did we use Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers?
I decided that since I would be using it with kids ages 3, 5, and 8 that we would use one of the units for the younger kids. I picked the unit about our five senses and it was a hit! Since I am not doing formal homeschooling during the summer, I just set up our science activities a few times each week. There were lots of hands-on activities to pick from. If you want to do all of the activities you can do that, or you can pick and choose what you want to do.
Here are SOME of the activities we did:
(Keep in mind that I didn’t include pictures of everything we did do, and we didn’t even do every suggested activity. So as you will see there are tons of choices!)
I introduced the topic of our senses by having the kids put body parts on Mr. Potato Head. We talked about what we use our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands for.
The first sense we covered was taste. I put salt in one jar and sugar in the other. First they looked at it to see if they could tell which was which.
Then they shook the jars to see if it sounded different. Then we smelled each container.
Next they felt each one to see if they could figure out which was which. Lastly, they tasted each one to determine for sure which was salt and which was sugar.
We talked about the 5 different kinds of tastes there are: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and savory. We did a little taste test to try each taste. In this picture, they had just tasted sour, which is why Hailey is making such a silly face
Next up we talked about touch. In this picture Hailey has one finger in a bowl of cold water and another finger in a bowl of hot water (but not too hot that it would hurt to touch). The middle bowl has lukewarm water in it. After a minute Hailey put her fingers into the lukewarm water. To one hand (the one that had been in the hot water) the water felt cold and to the other hand (the one that had been in the cold water) it felt warm. We talked about how our sense of touch tells us if something is hot or cold based on how your skin already feels.
We also made Sense of Touch books- Hunter is feeling the rough page (sandpaper).
Anthony is feeling the bumpy page (bubble wrap).
When we talked about our sense of sight, I had the kids try to draw a picture of person while wearing a blindfold. Then they took the blindfold off and drew another picture while looking at their work.
For our sense of hearing I put different items (water, batteries, crumbled paper, goldfish crackers) into some containers- they shook the containers and had to guess what was inside. I also recorded various noises (water running, piano playing, toilet flushing, money rattling) and they had to guess what the sound was.
Last we did our sense of smell. I dipped cotton balls into various different things (vinegar, perfume, baby lotion, pickle juice, cinnamon) and they had to smell and see if they knew what it was.
They also made flowers for our sense of smell…
…then added a cotton ball dipped in perfume to the center of the flower.
We had a lot of fun learning all about our senses! Remember, the book has even more ideas for teaching the five senses than I shared here. Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is full of fun units just like the one we did. Hands-on is how we learn best, especially when it comes to science. The lessons have lots of activities and explanations that make it easy for parents to teach science. If you’d like to see some sample lessons you can download two complete science units.
I really like Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers. I plan to continue using it this summer and this coming school year. Most of the time the kids didn’t even realize they were learning because they were having so much fun. I would definitely recommend this fun and educational curriculum!