kids activities · learning & actitivies

Homeschooling update

Spider sorting - he insisted on doing gluing so we glued them after sorting.

Ok, so it’s not really homeschooling per se, but since we have time as Mittens only attends school for 2 hours a day, and I worry it might not be “enough” (although that’s a whole other discussion altogether), and there are just zillions of free resources out there, I try to keep the boys occupied without having to rely on the tv. Too much. (There are some times when I just need a breather, and thank God there’s TV for that!). Unfortunately we don’t do anything regularly enough, but I’m glad that Mittens has now grasped the concept of having “lessons” at home since we started.

Here is a snapshot of what we’ve been doing over the last few months.

A for Ant

We do some colouring and we read books from the library about ants. I’ve forgotten or haven’t really paid much attention to ants, so I (as well as Mittens) learns about the head, thorax and abdomen, and the life cycle of ants. I think ants creep me out. We also watch A Bug’s Life, and I was all willing to let him watch Antz as well, but he didn’t seem too keen on it. Maybe he only likes Pixar! I liked the activities from Danielle’s Place, which has an extensive page on all things ants, and especially like the Counting Ants story.

B for Bee

A little less creepy, but I’m starting to learn that the life cycle of almost all insects are the same (egg, lava, pupa/cocoon, adult). Whoops, did I say these are supposed to by my son’s lessons and not mine? 😀 We also like to watch the beginning of Bee Movie, when they show lots of the hive activity. It gets creepy when he starts talking to Renee Zelweger.

C for Caterpillar

Front cover

This is an interesting one, because we re-read Eric Carle‘s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we introduce the days of the week (also something that they try to teach in school), and because Mittens doesn’t go to any Sunday School, I also tried to introduce Genesis 1:1 to him about the seven days of creation. He doesn’t attend Sunday School because most churches only start it at 5 years old, which I totally don’t agree with because he is absorbing so much at this age and asking me all kinds of questions about Jesus and God. The other day when he asked and I told him that Jesus had to die because some bad people wanted him dead (ok give me some credit lah, it’s not easy to explain these things to kids!), he said he would take his lightsaber and fight them. Awww. Anyhow, after a few months of reinforcement, he’s slowly starting to understand the concept of the days of the week.

When I started I thought I would do lapbooks for each letter of the alphabet, but I’ve never really had any experience with lapbooks and was really grasping at straws, I decided to make it more literary based, i.e. around a central theme from a book. Which of course we started with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Image from Amazon

The Very Busy Spider

I think after Mittens got a bit more used to the idea of not just playing all the time at home, I feel that we accomplished more with The Very Busy Spider rather than him asking to watch TV halfway while we’re doing the activities. Says so much for how interesting mummy is, right?? There are lots of free printables available, but I found the ones from Making Learning Fun most appropriate for Mittens. I used mostly the Literacy ideas, and we had fun making the Popsickle stick puppets, learning words with the Animal Word Match, and using a ruler to draw a spider web.

I think the hard part is trying to figure out what is age appropriate for the kids. I realised that Mittens is so not interested in colouring (and there are so many colouring resources out there), which was something that his teacher also echoed. I also need to work on getting his attention to complete tasks, although his teacher said that in school he is pretty good at sitting down and finishing an activity. Maybe it’s just me? Thank goodness we’re not planning to homeschool them for real, otherwise I don’t know what I’d do!

Hopefully this school holidays we can do The Grouchy Ladybug to introduce time, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?, A House for Hermit Crab to introduce months, activities around M&Ms (he is going to LOVE that!), and more maths, like number word recognition. Oh, and of course some Christmas activities 🙂

Some of the sites that I find handy:

  • Confessions of a Homeschooler: LOVE the graphics. I find it hard to give them anything that looks too much like clip art from the 90s.
  • Currclick: You can find resources from many different vendors here, and some are free. There is a LOT of stuff here, it can get mind boggling.
  • Montessori Print Shop: Some free, some not, but interesting articles and tweets too.
  • PreKinders: Lots of lovely, free resources here. I like the patterning pages.

Hope you find some of that useful 🙂


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