Friday, August 30, 2013

B is for Bones - Week in Review

I think I would consider this our first "real" week of homeschool preschool. It's the first week that we have had some type of a schedule, and the first week that we did planned activities every day (Monday through Friday).
First Day of K3

You can see more detailed information about the main activities on my previous posts (Bones, Bones, Bones and This Post is Brought to You by the Letter B).

I'll do a more detailed post on my planning so far (along with a link to the planning sheets I created for myself if anyone is interested), but here's a rough outline of our days:

  • Morning routine - get ready / eat breakfast
  • 1st Circle Time - calendar / plans for the day / Mystery Bag (objects related to theme)
  • Introduce new work
  • Work Time (Approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until M seems to have had enough)
  • 2nd Circle Time - music / dancing / instruments
  • Lunch / Rest Time
  • Afternoon activity (play date or park/library/zoo, etc)
  • Evening - clean up, prepare dinner, get ready for bed

Monday (Language)

We didn't wake up until about 8:30 (M and I are not morning people...), so we didn't start "school" until around 10am. We looked at her Magnetic Calendar, talked about the date and day of the week, looked up the weather on and added the sun magnet to her calendar. We had library books to return, so we added the library magnet as well. After hanging up her calendar on the wall we looked in the Mystery Bag. I had put some skeleton nomenclature cards, a dog bone, and a book about bones. We read the book and talked about how the bones in our bodies help us move.

I introduced the letter b, showed her the sandpaper letter and demonstrated how to trace it and say the sound "buh." She traced it, but wasn't overly interested. I took out the salt box and showed her how to draw the letter in the salt, but she didn't want to do that either.

She saw a picture of Doc McStuffins peeking out of one of the baskets, and quickly moved on to the counting/graphing activity. Next, she took out the mechanical skeleton and nomenclature cards and we matched the bones on the cards to the bones on her skeleton. She spent a few minutes running and jumping (using her bones!) back and forth along a tape line on the floor in the living room. I had a failed attempt at a game with the color tablets, and while I was trying to get her interested in that, she moved on to sorting beans. She traced a few shapes, practiced spelling her name with bottle cap letters, and then convinced me to take her outside to pick flowers for her bud vase. After flower arranging we listened to some music and danced around in her play room.

We ate lunch (or I ate lunch and M took a couple of bites and then colored her life size skeleton on the wall), and then M watched a movie for rest time. After the movie she played some games on my phone, did a chalk rubbing over the sandpaper letter b, and played with her word builder on the fridge while I finished putting together a list of books to find at the library.

We had a great time at the library. I found all of the books on my list (and a couple more - like a neat Fairy Tale Cookbook for next week!). M found another little girl around her age (who spoke very little English, but that didn't seem to bother either of them), and played with her for over an hour.

We wrapped up the day feeling very productive!

Tuesday (Sensorial)

We woke up a little earlier on Tuesday (not much!), and started the same way we did on Monday. We looked at the calendar and the weather, talked about what we wanted to do that day (swimming!), and looked at the items in the Mystery Bag (new library book, the AB book from My First Bob Books, sandpaper b, dog bone treats, skeleton nomenclature cards). She was in love with the new library book (Bones: Skeletons and How They Work), so we actually read that one twice!

Next, I pulled out the Letter B Sensory Bin, and she spent a long time sorting through the bin and making a pile of all of the items that started with the letter b. She then spent the rest of the morning in her play kitchen cooking the dried beans for her bird.

We wrapped up our "school time" with the Rhythm Sticks Rock CD we borrowed from the library. M didn't want to use her rhythm sticks (she played her recorder and danced), so I played along with the songs to show her how they work. I really liked this CD because it gave directions (tap slower, tap faster, tap with the beat, etc), but it had a nice variety of songs that she could dance to without using the sticks if she wasn't interested.

After lunch and rest time, M pulled out her Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board, and then we put on bathing suits to go swimming. Unfortunately, I didn't read the website carefully enough, and the water part was closed when we got there (I didn't notice that they switched to weekends only after school started). We drove home and pulled the baby pool out of the garage. M splashed in the pool, rode her Balance Bike, and helped me give the dogs a bath, so it all turned out ok in the end.

Wednesday (Practical Life)

Wednesday started out the same as Tuesday. We looked at the calendar and the weather, and M decided that she wanted to go to the zoo that afternoon. I had the same items in the Mystery Bag (except for the dog bones that she fed to the dogs), and she enjoyed reading the bones book again and comparing the bones in different animals.

On Tuesday night I had rearranged some of the trays and toys in her playroom, so she grabbed a new paper bag off one of the shelves before I could get her started with the Practical Life activity I had planned. The paper bag had three different geometric shapes inside - a sphere (ball), cube, and cylinder (blocks). I used the 3 Period Lesson format to tell her the names of the shapes, and then asked her to point or hold up the shape I named. We played with them for a few minutes, and put them away when she got bored.

The practical life activity involved cutting out pieces of a skeleton, assembling the pieces and gluing them onto construction paper. She actually did better with this than I expected, and did most of the activity by herself. She even colored the skeleton after it was glued on the paper, and showed it off to her "buddy" the skeleton when it was done.


When I rearranged her play room, I also rotated the books on her book shelf. She was immediately attracted to the "new" books when she noticed them, and we spent the rest of the morning reading. She has a Mickey Smart Pad, and we read three of the books from the set. The first book took a LONG time to get through - each two page spread was about a different color, and it had a bunch of objects to count. She would find the button on the smart pad for the color, then count the number of objects of that color and find the matching number on the smart pad. M has gotten really good at counting lately, so that was no problem, but she doesn't actually know what the numerals look like. There was a lot of trial and error to find the correct buttons the smart pad (she wanted to do it herself). She also got distracted by the letter buttons and wanted to press them all to hear the names of the letters. I wasn't about to stop her!

Since she hadn't eaten a very good lunch for the past two days, I made a "themed" lunch of things starting with the letter b - bear-shaped sandwiches, blueberries, and blue milk with a blue straw. Yay for actually eating lunch!

After lunch we went to the zoo (my brother gets us an annual membership for Christmas every year!). M brought her digital camera (she loves this thing, and it takes real digital pictures!), and we planned on taking pictures of all of the animals at the zoo with names that start with the letter b. There really aren't that many zoo animals that start with b.... but we had a lot of fun and M took some great pictures! She also had a chance to play on the playground and run (and climb) off some steam.

Black Swan
Burmese Python

M taking pictures of the chickens

M's picture of "Baby Bob"

Thursday (Math)

I'm a member of a couple of Meetup groups, and one group had a hike planned for Thursday morning. I decided it would be fun for M to get together with a group of kids to play and hike, so we flipped our day around and did school in the afternoon. M played with "friends" (everyone is a friend at this stage) at the library and the zoo playground, but it's nice to have a couple of groups that we plan activities with so she is seeing the same faces on a regular basis.

I don't know why I didn't take any pictures on the hike, but here are a couple of M playing on the playground after the hike. (This is her hiking attire - a dress and sneakers instead of sandals. Princesses wear dresses, even when they hike.)

We ate a picnic lunch at the park with our friends, then headed home to rest for a little while. M said she wanted a snack when we got home, and my planned "math" activity was a snack, so we went ahead and did that activity: Skeleton Bones!

It wasn't the most attractive snack we've ever made, and it was certainly not the healthiest, but they were yummy! We counted the pretzel sticks, then I showed her how to count by twos to count out the marshmallows. M counted by 3's - two for the pretzels, one for my mouth. We also counted backwards with the timer on the microwave as the chocolate melted.


When we finished, we put them in the fridge to harden, and I set up a TV show for M to watch while she rested. She ate a small bowl of "bones" while she watched.


M was tired out from the morning activities, but she couldn't seem to fall asleep. It didn't help that the dogs were wild and desperately needed a walk. I decided to wrap M on my back and take the dogs for a walk. Double win - M fell asleep and the dogs got the walk they needed!

When M fell asleep, she dropped her Goofy doll. When she woke up later she realized he was missing, so we went on a second walk to find Goofy. The garbage truck was driving through the neighborhood, so we talked about garbage men and trucks and landfills while we walked. I was really hoping Goofy didn't get tossed into the trash by a well-meaning garbage man! Luckily we found Goofy unharmed in the grass.

When we got back, M was hungry again. I gave her a banana and a cheese knife and she cut slices of banana for herself (and Goofy).

Our final activity of the day was a blue bird collage. I traced a bird outline onto blue construction paper, and gave M a variety of blue items to glue onto her bird (feathers, beads, sequins, and glitter). She really enjoyed this, and I decided it would be fun to continue each week with a different color and animal. Maybe we'll make a little book or a display to hang on the wall.

Friday (Art)

M's 3rd birthday is on Sunday, so I spent most of the morning cleaning and doing laundry in preparation for the family party this weekend. M watched a movie and played with some of her toys while I cleaned. I took a break to try this art activity, which I was really excited about. I saw this idea on Dilly-Dali Art for negative art and cotton swab bones - so cool! I showed M a bunch of pictures of cave paintings of hand prints, and we talked about how early humans used hollow bones to blow paint-like liquids to make negative art.

Just like the other blog, we had a complete fail at getting hand prints using a straw. I moved on to the spray bottle, but for some reason it kept getting clogged and I couldn't get the paint to spray out. I probably could have just outlined her hand and moved on to the cotton swab bones, but M had already lost interest at that point. Oh well...

In an effort to keep the idea going, I quickly made a letter b on M's easel with painter's tape. I put out some blue and white paint for her to paint over the tape, and then I could remove the tape when she was done to leave the shape of the b.

Ironically, she hasn't wanted to trace the letter b all week, but when I give her an activity in which she's NOT supposed to trace, she does! 

I gave her some time to paint over the tape, then explained that the point was to cover the whole page with blue, and then we would remove the tape to see the b. She seemed to like that idea. She mixed the blue and white paint, and we talked about how she could get lighter shades of blue by adding more white, and darker shades by adding more blue. She had a lot of fun!

I was really impatient and didn't wait until the paint was completely dry before removing the tape. I accidentally smudged a little blue paint and had to white out part of the b - whoops! I think it turned out pretty well though.

M saw a round magnet on the fridge, and asked if I had any that matched. I gave her a whole set, and she built a Mickey. She said she needed the matching magnets to make his ears and leg bones - haha! There were different colors and sizes of magnets in the set, so she kept comparing to see if the pairs of magnets were the same.

 Next, she found the DIY blocks I made from a pool noodle. I cut the noodle into pieces so that each piece was just a little longer than the last. The could be stacked or arranged in order to make steps.


After lunch we decided to go to the park. We walked around the lake and saw all kinds of interesting things - a salamander, caterpillars, ants, ducks, dragonflies, and small fish. We played on the playground for a little while, and picked flowers in the adjacent open field.

Wow! Thanks for sticking with us through all of that! I'm pretty proud of how our first official week turned out, and I'm so excited for next week!

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  1. Wow, you fit so much into one week! Love the ideas!

    1. Haha- yes, we keep very busy! Thanks for checking out my blog! I hope you found some ideas you can use!

  2. What a great first week!! Keep up the good work. You should be super proud of yourself. I love the painters tape idea. Totally doing that :)

    1. Thanks! It was a fun week, and I think I'm enjoying it as much as my daughter is!