Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer (School)

Baby Girl (L) recently finished her first year of preschool. She only went two days a week but this is our first official summer break. In an effort to ward off insanity boredom, I started working on a plan to keep L busy during the summer. I signed L up for some day camps staggered throughout the summer at our local community center and I made a list of things that she seems interested in these days. While we definitely have more than our fair share of princess business around here, L has a pretty wide variety of ideas for pretend play. I just started jotting down themes that came up like pirates, cowboys/girls, camping, etc. Then I did some searching around the homeschooling blogs (there are a billion you know) for activities or learning packets based on these themes. L is pretty enthralled with the idea of homework and workbooks... probably because she doesn't have any real homework yet... so I knew activity pages would be a hit.

One of the best homeschooling blogs for preschool-aged kids that I found is called Homeschool Creations.  The rockstar mama who runs this show makes up all these awesome packets of age-appropriate work pages and activities surrounding a theme and then also outlines how she uses them with her own kids. She turns the whole packet of materials into a DIY workbook for each kid, which she calls a lapbook and puts together using file folders. Oh and all the pages and resources are FREE. I said she was a rockstar!

The first unit we did in honor of summer was Gardening/Flowers. I know that's probably more of a spring theme but it's not like flowers don't grow in the summer too! You can find the materials from Homeschool Creations for the Garden unit here. It's a big packet with lots of printables so I didn't use all of it, but just chose what I felt would be most appropriate for L.

The front of L's Garden lapbook.

The inside of the lapbook at the beginning looks a little sparse but we did other pages that I just slipped inside the folder. There's a garden words mini-book and a flip-book of garden pictures where L circled the letter that starts each word. I glued in the envelope to hold the story sequence cards that go along with the book Jack's Garden

We used Jack's Garden by Henry Cole, as well as a few others that we picked up at our library. We also read The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, which was my favorite. Both L and her little brother really liked Seeds Grow, which was a very simple explanation of how seeds become flowers.

We did a flower craft (loosely) based on this one. I had the foam flower shapes already and let L loose with the glitter glue to make them "fancy." I didn't have any brown yarn for the roots so she just colored them with marker. Truthfully the hardest part of this whole craft was getting the pipe cleaner stems to stay on the paper! We ended up using some tape because glue just wasn't getting the job done.  

Overall the whole experience was a hit. We didn't do as much as I planned during the week because we were just settling into vacation and taking everything slow. But L seemed to like having the activities to do and it gave us something constructive to do during the afternoon when boredom usually hits hardest. We did plant some real seeds and as per my usual gardening experience, they have yet to grow at all despite our best efforts. No wonder my husband laughed a little when I told him we were going to do a unit on gardening! 

This week is pirate week in our house and so far it's a hit! 

1 comment:

  1. So i just found your blog and I am really enjoying checking out you past posts! I am gonna check out this homeschooling website for my daughter. Thanks for sharing.


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