Week eleven started out with me being sick, then we had a nice day midweek where we all felt great before the girls came down with the same cold as me. We didn’t do quite as much as we normally would, and apparently it affected my picture-taking ability because most of the pictures came out blurry.
We relied heavily on cuddling and reading aloud this week. I mixed up this week and next week’s books, but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t make too big of a difference. In my sick delirium I couldn’t figure out why we were making turkey hand print mats, but then realized this was supposed to be the week we read about Thanksgiving 🙂
We also started a Letter of the Week curriculum from The Measured Mom that is filled with book ideas, crafts, games, and songs for each letter. This will be a great reinforcement in letter recognition for Mimi and a fun introduction to letters for Adi.
The books we focused on this week were In November, a quick read filled with pages of great illustrations about all of the ways life changes in November, Tapenum’s Day, which is about a Wampanoag boy’s daily life in the 1600s, and The Lady with the Alligator Purse. The Lady with the Alligator Purse is a big favorite in our house. The girls love joining in and shouting the rhyming word at the end of each sentence.
At the beginning of this quarter, I printed out some random worksheets that Mimi could do with minimal instruction in case of sick days or if she was bored, we would have some educational options to fall back on. She saw a worksheet for sight words and asked what it was. I explained sight words to her and color-coded the words. She was able to do it all on her own after that.
Once she finished coloring it in, I quizzed her on the words. I love the look she gets on her face when she understands a concept, it’s just pure joy! Our Letter of the Week game was Apple Math from Learning4Kids. The girls would roll the dice and put the corresponding number of apples made out of Play Doh on the tree. For the dice, we used a game we have that has large dice, ThinkFun Math Dice.
I learned a new word, subitising, which is when you look at an object, in this case the dice, and instantly know the quantity. This game helps with numbers, subitising, addition, and subtraction. We played this together for a while, and then they played together for about an hour. I was surprised how long it kept their attention.
For the tree mats, I printed the template from Learning4Kids, colored them in, and then laminated them. A laminator is a great investment for homeschoolers and can be bought on Amazon for a pretty low price. When we were first starting out, I heard people compare laminators to wipe warmers, saying that they never used them. I have found the exact opposite to be true. I’ve had mine for about a year and use it pretty frequently. We made probably the fastest hand print turkey placements I’ve ever seen in my life. It was right when I was slightly feeling better so I had enough energy to help the girls with it, but I didn’t want to have a big clean up. They each picked out what color they wanted their turkey to be, I painted the finger paint onto their hands and they stamped it onto the paper, then I helped them glue feathers onto it.
Once the paint and glue were dry, we put contact paper on the front and back so they can use the mats on Thanksgiving. I couldn’t find a definitive answer on whether we could laminate them or not because of the feathers and I didn’t want to risk ruining my laminator. If you know the answer to this, please comment below!
We read each book several times this week, and Daddy even joined in. Scary Mommy had an article on how kids develop language better when dad reads the bedtime story. I think there are a lot of factors that play into this and that one of the biggest factors in this benefit is simply being read to by more than one person regardless of who it is. My guess is that this is beneficial since we all speak and read differently so it helps give the kids the experience of being exposed to multiple reading styles or nuances.
I’m going to have to check out if there are any books about months like In November. It’s made Adi very aware of what month it is and she keeps telling us “It’s November, it’s almost Thanksgiving!”
As much as I’d like us to be done with the entire handwriting book, we seem to get anywhere between two and four pages done per week. I mentioned to Mimi that she only had seven shape pages to go before she can start on the letters. This ignited a fire and she did five of those seven pages while laying in bed after she got sick. I don’t know that we’ll keep up this pace, but it was awesome getting through such a big chunk of this section!
Next week is our last week of the fall curriculum before we head into the holiday season!