Letter of the Week ~ V

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¬†Better late then never, right?! With a Spring baby, a busy, fun-filled Summer and settling back into Fall routines, I fell behind on our Letter of the Week posts. However, I don’t do well with unfinished business, so I will be finishing these posts over the next couple of weeks, in interest of completion ūüôā


 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something¬†opposite¬†to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we¬†complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and¬†plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter V Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose Vexy smurf and Mr Man selected a vase.

I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them¬†complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “V is for Vexy.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

This week our rice bin was transformed into a veterinarian’s office! All of the stuffed animals visited and were cared for by my little vets-in-training!

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Letter Craft:

V is for Vase.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter V from construction paper. Provide some blue water, green stems and a variety of flowers and allow the kids to create! We glued our letter onto a background to help our flowers stay up strong!

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Field Trip: 

V is for veterinarian.

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For this week’s field-trip Friday¬†we visited the Veterinary Hospital in our town. The kid’s loved meeting the animal doctors and their patients, trying on the x-ray vest, locating microchips and seeing what goes on behind the scenes at the veterinarians! The lovely front desk staff even put together a great little package for the kids to take home, which included stickers, poop bags, colouring books and animal safety tips! The kids were thrilled!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Letter of the Week ~ T

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¬†Better late then never, right?! With a Spring baby, a busy, fun-filled Summer and settling back into Fall routines, I fell behind on our Letter of the Week posts. However, I don’t do well with unfinished business, so I will be finishing these posts over the next couple of weeks, in interest of completion ūüôā


 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something¬†opposite¬†to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we¬†complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and¬†plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter T¬†Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose a tube and Mr Man selected a tool.

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I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them¬†complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “T is for tube.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

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Letter Craft:

T is for Tree.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter T from brown construction paper. Provide a green cloud shape for a tree-top and an assortment of round stickers to add on as apples! This doubled as a great fine-motor and counting activity, in addition to our letter of the week!

 

Field Trip: 

T is for train.¬†For this week’s field-trip Friday¬†we visited the new O-Train exhibit for our city. The kid’s loved pretending to ride the train to a variety of imaginary locations!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Camp Google

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Anyone else partaking in this fun and interactive online summer camp put on by Google?

Fun weekly themes, such as, oceans, space, nature and music, presented by experts from National Geographic Kids, Khan Academy, NASA and National Parks.

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We joined in yesterday for the live dive and although the feed was so busy that it wouldn’t load, we were able to participate in the interactive voting and question posing, which the kids found exciting. And when we went back on today,¬†we were able to watch the dive from yesterday in its entirety.

They also have these awesome badges and a badge tracker page to collect and display all of your little one’s accomplishments – a real fun bonus!

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My kids are a few years under the target age range (7-10), but we are still having a blast learning and exploring together

If you have yet to come across Camp Google, it is definitely worth checking out!

Art Appreciation: Kadinsky

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I love the arts, especially the creativity it evokes in young people. However, my own artistic ability, as it relates to visual arts, is very limited, and so I thought a fun way to integrate it into our school plan for the year would be through monthly Art Appreciation projects.


Back in February we tried our hands at the abstract works of Wassily Kandinsky. 

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After discussing Kadinsky’s background as a founding father of abstract art and exploring how he believed¬†shapes and colours evoked feelings in people (i.e. squares would bring on a sense of calm), we got to work making own interpretations of his painting, Farbstudie Quadrate” (pictured above).

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Using large lengths of easel paper taped to the floor we drew in the squares with pencil and then began painting circles with watercolour paints. The kids enjoyed choosing a variety of colours and worked hard to make each of their circles unique.

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The finished masterpieces were both colourful and individiual!

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Letter of the Week ~ Q

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Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something opposite to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter Q¬†Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose a queen and Mr Man selected a quilt.

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I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “Q is for queen.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

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 Letter Craft:

Q is for Quilt.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter Q from cardstock. Provide squares of fabric and allow your child(ren) to create their own pattern.

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Field Trip: 

Q is for Quiver, the piece of archery equipment that holds the arrows!

{With some letters we have to get creative!!}

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For this week’s field-trip Friday we visited That Hunting and Fishing Store’s archery range¬†here in Ottawa. The owner, Jen, happily showed the kids how to shoot a bow and arrow and explained the equipment required for archery.

The kids had a great time and even made their own targets at home to use with their Dollar Store bow and arrows!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Feed the Birds

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It’s been a cold, long winter here and while we have been able to cozy up by the fire, the birds have been left to the elements.

And so we have been doing our part to keep them fed Рhere are a couple of our favourite homemade bird feeders:

 

Peanut Butter Sunflower Rolls:

The kids really enjoy making these ones. They are quick and easy and only require a few items.

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Materials:

– Peanut Butter

– Plastic Knives

– Sunflower seeds (or any birdseed)

– Bowl or plate (for rolling)

– Toilet paper rolls

– String (for hanging)

– String

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Allow the children to spread peanut butter onto their desired number of toilet paper rolls. Then roll in your choice of bird seed. Lace a string through the roll, tie and they are ready to hang!

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Blueberry Cheerio Hearts:

These feeders are a tasty treat for the birds and also double and triple (and even quadruple!) as a snack for the kids and a fine motor and patterning activity!

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Materials:

– pipe cleaners

– cheerios

– blueberries

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Method:

Allow kids to thread the Cheerios and blueberries onto each pipe cleaner. This is a great opportunity to encourage younger children to be more precise in their fine motor activity, especially with the blueberries, which require much less force! For older children, ask them to create and continue a pattern as they thread. Once the kids are satisfied with their creation, twist the pipe cleaner ends and bend into a cute heart shape! Hang.

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¬†Our finished products are loved by the birds and even make the¬†trees look pretty, but best of all, they bring the sounds of Spring to our yard…since the snow and cold don’t seem to be in a hurry to go!

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 Do have a favourite way to feed the birds in you area? Care to share? We are always looking for new ideas!

Monthly Book Club ‚ąľ Jan Brett

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With the New Year we have started a monthly book club for a group of fellow homeschoolers in our area.

Each month will feature a new children’s author and share the love of reading with our early readers. The plan will be to read a story together, have other titles by the author available for the children to read and then bring our story to life through a craft and hands-on activity.


For the month of FEBRUARY we celebrated the beautiful stories of Jan Brett!

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Our primary focus for book club was “The Mitten”, but we also had the following titles on hand for the children to enjoy:

  • The 3 Little Dassies
  • Mossy
  • Armadillo Rodeo
  • Trouble with Trolls
  • The Hat
  • On Noah’s Ark
  • The Umbrella
  • Gingerbread Baby
  • Cinders
  • Hedgie’s Surprise

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We began by lacing a card stock mitten. Each child then got a bag of animal cutouts for a sequencing activity. While I read the story aloud, the kids got to put the appropriate animal into the mitten, the cut-outs had both pictures and words so they were great for a variety of ages.

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After reading the story we discussed what kinds of things would typically fit inside a mitten. We came to the consensus that this was likely a fictional story, which had been exaggerated just a bit!

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 For our craft we made some stained-glass mittens. I lined the backs of some cut-out mitten frames with contact paper and had a variety of tissue paper pieces for the kids to stick to the tacky paper. Each child was able to punch a hole in their mitten and thread a string through to hang them.

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And they look very pretty collecting sunlight in our window!

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My eldest and I also did a follow up comparison activity using¬†Jan Brett’s,¬†The Mitten, The¬†Umbrella and The Hat. These stories all follow a very similar story line from which many similarities can be drawn, but they also have very obvious differences. And can even be used as a great springboard for a unit on animal habitats.

Come back next month and dive into the timeless and tongue-twisting tales of Dr. Seuss along with us at Mommy School!

100th Day of Homeschool!

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And just like that we have had 100 days of Mommyschool! We have read and played, learned and explored and have thoroughly enjoyed our adventure thus far!

I have been blown away (with both exhaustion and love) by this experience, but I will save my own reflection for another day.

Here’s how we celebrated 100 days of learning:

We counted to 100 using our hundreds chart and discussed how 100 was 10 groups of 10. then using 10 different water colours and Qtips we drew/dotted 100 gumballs on our gumball machine template.

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We talked about how big the number 100 is. And for little ones just beginning to grasp the idea of number sense it truly is a HUGE number! I drew 2 pictures of a cup and showed them the actual cup and droppers we would use and then had the kids predict what 100 drops of water would look like.

Following their predictions we got some water (which I coloured blue to make it easier to see) and measured out 100 drops into our cups and recorded our findings. Both of them were pretty surprised at how little water we actually got from those 100 drops!

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It has been frigid in our parts lately…actually all Winter, so for our daily physical activity we were indoors. We completed a 100 fitness movements challenge, which the kids LOVED and we have been doing daily ever since!

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We made a list of 100 words we know (even after they insisted NOBODY knows THAT many words!). And yes, ‘poop’ and ‘pee’ made the list, but so did ‘mosaic’, ‘kindness’ and ‘vehicle’, so I let it go,,,you’ve got to pick your battles, right?!

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We counted out 100 Duplo blocks and experimented with what we could build with them.

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We bingo-daubed 10 ten-frame caterpillars to help reinforce the concept of 100 being 10 groups of 10.

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And while the littles napped, Little Momma and I had a roll the dice race to 100 – which she won, but was kind enough to help me finish, too!

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We had a really fun day celebrating 100 days of homeschool, anyone else do anything to commemorate the achievement?

Letter of the Week ~ N

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 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something opposite to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter N Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose some nail polish and Mr Man selected a Ninja Turtle.

I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “N is for nail polish.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

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Letter Craft:

N is for Night.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter N from black construction paper. Provide a moon and some stars cut from yellow paper. And allow the kids to creatively create their very own night sky!

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Field Trip: 

Fort this week’s field-trip Friday we visited the Wild Bird Sanctuary to check out all of the various bird nests they have on display. The kids thought it was lots of fun to match the display eggs with the appropriate bird’s nest and guess how many eggs each bird likely lays.

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And of course before leaving we took a little stroll and fed some of the birds outside!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Letter of the Week ‚ąľ M

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Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something opposite to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter M¬†Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose a moose and Mr Man selected Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle (who Little Momma made some paper clothes for).

I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “M¬†is for moose.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.¬†Even Baby Girl got in on the letter fun this week!

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Letter Craft:

M is for Moose.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter M from brown construction paper. Provide two beige antlers, as well as nostrils and hooves from black paper. Add some googly eyes and voila Рa moose!

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Field Trip: 

We have been learning about money and so our field trip this week to The Mint, was quite fitting.

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We got to learn how Canadian coins are made, see the Olympic medals from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and even hold a solid gold bar that is worth over $750,000!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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