Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Non-Schooling Update February 2015

This month I started incorporating new projects and homeschooling content more purposefully into our daily routine.  I found a history timeline I wanted to follow, and started talking to the girls about early humans.  We talked about places in the world and did a few activities to match,
After discussing Prehistoric art like Lascaux and Venus of Willendorf we moved on to Asia and the Bering Strait.
I showed Sonja how to take visual notes, and we drew the earth and where the bridge and land mass once connected.
Sonja loves to draw and this was a fun way to incorporate notes into drawing.
We practiced tracing words and letters, she knows all her letters but doesn't quite know how to write them all yet,
Of course Vera would rather be doing yoga so that worked out, letting me practice letters with Sonja.
We used our play dough from last week to make the Venus of Willendorf at Sonja's request.
After talking about clay in China we decided to make some of our own.
I found a salt dough recipe on pinterest to make  with the kids.
I might have added a touch too much water because it was looking so flaky, but I'd suggest testing it out before adding more water.
The girls were very excited to start playing with it.
So we pulled it out of the mixer and started making our "ceramics"
I explained how clay really has to be a perfect mix to get the right texture with a perfect mix of glass and sand to be able to fire in a kiln.
I also explained coil building technique and we practiced making little bowls.
The next day we made carrot cake with friends, Sonja loves to measure the ingredients and add them to the mixer.
While she's doing that, I found an easy way to get a toddler involved, Vera loves to sort the liners into the circles of the muffin tin.
For math this week, I found a stack of post it notes, and with highlighter, I wrote all the numbers 1-20 twice with some addition and equal signs so we could "write" some math equations. 
Allowing Sonja to practice tracing my highlighter numbers gives her the chance to practice writing the numbers, encouraging muscle memory and fine motor skills.  Again, she knows her numbers by sight but don't have the writing down, so this is a great way to practice.
Then, we used the numbers to "play" our math game, where she added the numbers and we counted them to find the answer, because they were sticky we could swap more in and out, and keep playing.
And finally our craft for the week were Valentines.  Sonja wanted to practice her scissors so I drew the shape and she cut them out, Vera colored them and we added stamps and stickers.  I also used the highlighter technique to draw the name on the heart and Sonja traced the words.
  Sonja kept asking to use my "wax" seal so we stayed up late one night, when Vera wouldn't be in the way of the heat, and I loaded up my hot glue gun with the glitter sticks and we stamped a letter "S" onto them.

And that's what a week of non-schooling looks like in our house.  I'm trying to get more consistent with documenting and sharing our projects and curriculum.  If you have links or ideas I'd love to hear them!  let me some love in the comments.

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