There are some weeks that I seriously wonder what all we got done until I look at my pictures and this was one of them. Then, I was exhausted just looking at them! This wrap-up is huge and has tons of photos. I keep thinking I’m going to split things into a preschool wrap-up and a big kid wrap up and then realizing that so much of what we do is intertwined enough that I’d rather just write one long post each week. Between field trips, preschool and elementary school work though, this one is more like three posts in one!!
I realized that if I’m going to keep up my AWANA series that I started yesterday that I’m going to have to actually take pictures of what we do, so here’s a couple of pictures previewing activities from “A is for All.” I’m just putting them here so I can find them again later :-)
Our busiest day over the past week was probably a trip we took to the children’s museum in Chattanooga on labor day weekend. Whew! It was crowded. Just to be transparent, I want to tell you that I don’t talk much about Monkey having some slight sensory issues, but taking him to the children’s museum and it being crowded was pure torture. Poor kid was completely overloaded and weepy….and I’m not always the best mother in situations like this because he stresses me out so badly when he gets like this.
That said, we found a few spots of calm at the museum that we had fun at. One of the them was the craft station where he and Firecracker created 3d snakes and horses.
We went to the children’s museum mainly because I had promised Rose I would take her back to the museum before the Wizard of Oz display packed up shop. It’s gone now, and I didn’t get a lot of great pictures because Monkey spent most of his time in this area crying, but there was fun to be had. :-)
I hadn’t realized how many different areas of science that you could touch on in the Wizard of Oz until we came to the museum and played with some of the displays. I think I’m going to come back eventually and explain some of these photos better in a separate post rounding-up some science ideas for the Wizard of Oz. (I’m thinking it would make a great unit study!)
Hubby also took the children to the art section of the museum, and they found some fun things to do there :-)
I took the children to the music side of the museum where they had lots of fun experimenting with different sounds and different stage lighting! (Hubby took Monkey to the toddler section of the museum to play with trains at that time where, alas, it was too stressful for him. Later, Monkey was really disappointed to have missed the music section :-( )
We did a little riverplay. That’s one of my favorite sections of the museum and there’s a playground climbing/slide section up above it that the children really love.
The dinosaur dig section of the museum was too crowded to get into the big sandbox, but we dressed up like dinosaurs and dressing up makes everything fun.
We also spent what felt like forever in the little bee nook of the museum. We watched bees, dressed up like bees and climbed in and out of the honeycomb. I was really pleased that we lingered so much in this section as over the last two weeks we were so focused on how B is for Bee.
The next day we went to a festival at one of the local Jewish temples called “Nibble and Noshfest.” I didn’t feel at liberty to take photos during the temple tour but the kids really soaked a lot in. They also got a chance to sample some traditional “Jewish foods” and have their faces painted. It was really a fun time.
We did manage to work in some regular school type activities as well ;-) We studied Abraham Lincoln for history this week and read Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln. Rose, despite saying that she “hates” wars is completely wrapped up in our history program right now.
We also read another Bunnicula book. This time it’s Bunnicula Strikes Again! The children are nearing the end of the original Bunnicula series. They’re going to be so sad to leave Bunnicula’s world.
The big kids also created some clay creations. Rose created a cat and Firecracker made some sort of Kirby.
Firecracker and Rose also began working from WriteShop again this week. We journaled some and started working on an “All About Me” project that Rose was especially excited about us getting to finish into a book and decorate next week.
The big kids also had a few of their own projects they wanted to work on. Rose, who refuses to do math has been working on puzzles and measuring fabric for her own felt TARDIS. I find that amusing on many levels. :-) I also enjoyed spending some special time with her one evening this week working on our puzzle.
Firecracker’s still working on some of this own felt projects. In fact, he’s progressed from flat Pikmin to a more three dimensional Kirby. He’s using a blend of online free templates and his own homemade ones, and he’s really enjoying the creative process right now.
We continued working through the letter B using Little Hands to Heaven. We also added in a few Noah’s ark crafts just for fun. The first was a cool handprint dove that is a copy of one I saw on Pinterest.
We also made a great Noah’s ark craft using the printable Noah’s ark from Learn, Create, Love along with stickers we got from the Dollar Tree.
We also did a little abstract rainbow art. It was a lot of glue and different colored construction papers, but I loved how they turned out. I also loved Monkey’s strict adherence to straight lines of color in rainbow order. He has a structure all his own!!
While we were working on Noah’s ark, I also worked through a little preschool science on sinking or floating with the little kids and Rose. This was a great experience and I could tell I’ve changed a little as a teacher. We did this experiment two years ago with Firecracker and Rose and they brought every junky plastic toy that would float out of their room and learned nothing. This time I was much more controlling about what we used and felt like the little kids were left with a much better idea of sinking and floating than the big kids had been when we explored it with them.
We made a masking tape B to build block towers on, but I actually think that Monkey and Firecracker used it more for “Angry Birds and Lego Cars” pretend play than actually working on the letter B.
We also worked on finding B’s in a letter search and on counting using raindrops. I liked that Rose participated in these worksheets with us because it’s the first time ever she’s found all Bs and not marked a few Ds as Bs, and because I had her count by 2s on the counting sheet and she really needs some practice skip counting. I can honestly say that sometimes I’m using the preschoolers’ curriculum with her as a way to review some basic skills in a non-threatening manner.
Even though we continued some work on the letter B, we also started working on the letter C and talking about how “C is for cat.” Owlet has been so cute because she goes around the house saying, “Cats say kuh-kuh-kuh and meow-meow-meow.” I really think she loves our letter time more than Monkey does.
C is also for crown. So, we made some crowns. I do have to point out that the big kids are right in the middle of this collage pretending to be vampires. Bunnicula has influenced my children in so many ways!!
One of my favorite C crafts we’ve done so far is the paper bag cat craft we found at DLTK kids. The children love puppets and they all made them. I love when we do something that all four of them want to do. Cats are especially popular in our house right now because one of the main characters in the Bunnicula series is a crazy cat named Chester.
We’ve also been really working through the “Five Little Monkeys” nursery rhyme and watching videos on You Tube of different variations of the song as our preschool music time. We couldn’t help but make these cute Five Little Monkeys finger puppets that I found at Preschool to Plato.
We also introduced another new virtue from We Choose Virtues. This one is one of the ones I really need to work on–Self-Control. I’ve got some bossiness and some “yelling” and stuff going on in our household, so I thought this was a good time to focus on that virtue.
That’s really about it for this week. We also started back to Community Bible Study and started setting up some personal Bible times for the big kids to spend with me so that I can help them as they work through their workbooks. I was feeling bad about mostly doing “little kid” stuff one day when I remembered that the big kids had already had spelling, reading comprehension, etc. just through me guiding them through their CBS books. It’s a constant balancing act though balancing our “together stuff,” the big kids’ school and the little kids’ school.
Firecracker also did some math and English that aren’t pictured here, but all our other work in pretty much on the collages this week.
There are a few things I’ve made notes on this big post to pull out and make into their own more focused posts, but that probably won’t happen this week :-) Hope everyone had a great week, and I can’t wait to read some other weekly wrap-ups!!