Home Schooling – Week 3 Activities

This week marked the start of the Easter break; usually we would be on holiday with my in-laws, somewhere warm and sunny, near the beach.  This year, we are in lockdown!  During our school breaks, we would normally spend most of our days out visiting castles, country parks, zoos, aquariums, parks etc; because we can’t visit anywhere, we decided to continue our schooling.  Our girls are almost 3 and almost 5, and respond better to structure when they are unable to leave the house.  If there is little for them to do, they become unsettled and frustrated (and it becomes harder work!).  Due to their ages, most of the learning is through play or practical activities, so it is very informal and designed to be fun.  If they were a little older, we would break from school completely for the full two weeks.

After a few blips last week (sleepless nights from the girls, the terrible two’s rearing their head again and our youngest dropping her nap), we had a much more settled week.  However, this week did mark the first time the girls noticeably missed their friends.  Both girls have also begun to ask when we can visit our favourite places; I think this is a genuine question we would all love to know the answer to.  It is also a tough question to answer when they are too young to fully understand the gravity of the current situation.  We briefly talk about the silly bug that is going around, and swiftly move outside for some playtime, and jelly and ice cream to keep them distracted!

Here is a rundown of our week, and the activities we have done to keep busy;

(Note: my children are almost 3 and almost 5 years old, so this is directed to both of their learning.  Our eldest is able to read, but I am following the standard scheme for this age group to ensure she has no gaps in her understanding for literacy as I was not made aware of what they had covered in school up until this point.  Any activities that are above our youngest’s ability level due to her age; she is given colouring/drawing and free play activities to do instead).

Monday

9:00 – 9:30  English – oa sound

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Counting backwards from 20.  Our eldest is able to count backwards from 20, but I want to ensure she understands place value fully.  Children become very good at repeating things without fully understanding the concept of it – they can recite the alphabet and numbers, but if you asked them what came before or after a chosen letter/number, they would often stumble, until they have that solid understanding.  I gave my eldest a series of number lines from 20 down to 1, with missing numbers; she would then fill in the gaps .

10:30 – 11:30  PE – Bike and scooter ride.  We had initially planned to do something different, but flexibility was key this week with the girls missing their friends.  Our youngest decided she wanted to play on the scooter, so we took the opportunity to go for a short outing in our neighbourhood.

11:30 – 12:00  Free play – in/outdoors, child led (children decide what they want to do).

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Catapult building (see images below).  Using popsicle sticks, rubber bands (or hair ties), teaspoons and pom poms, we created our own catapults.  These are really quick and easy to make, and provide a good amount of fun.  Before we created ours, we watched a few videos on Youtube of real catapults; how they were used, when they were used and why.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Easter Story foldable cross.  This was a resource I pulled from the internet (see Easter Craft Highlights on my Instagram).  Before creating our Easter story cross, we watched The Story of Easter on Youtube by Saddleback Kids.

3:30 – 4:30  Outdoor play – in the garden.  Child led.

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – Puzzles

Tuesday

9:00 – 9:30  English – oo/oo sound

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Basic time.  Our girls have a habit of waking us up before the sun has had the chance!  Our eldest will be 5 in June, so I thought we would begin to introduce time to her.  I printed off a blank clock and asked her to stick the numbers 1-12 around the clock face.  We then discussed the difference between the minute hand and hour hand.

10:30 – 11:30  PE – Rescue the teddy bear!  (see images below) This was probably my favourite activity of the week!  Using masking tape, I mapped out an obstacle course for the girls to make their way through to rescue the teddy bear!  It provided a good amount of giggles for all.

11:30 – 12:00  Free play – in/outdoors, child led (children decide what they want to do).

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Refraction experiment (see my Instagram Home School highlights).  This is a great activity for all ages.  You simply place a horizontal arrow on a piece of paper behind a drinking glass; when you fill the glass with water, the image reverses.  This is due to the light passing between the glass, water and then glass again.  The girls are much too young to understand this, so we drew various images and watched the magic happen!

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Holy week wreath (see images below).  This was another resource I pulled from the internet.  The girls are now of the age where they can start to understand the true meaning of Easter and why we celebrate it.  This is an activity where they place the story of Easter in order.  It involves a good amount of colouring, so the girls were big fans!

3:30 – 4:30  Outdoor play – in the garden.  Child led.

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – Kerplunk

Wednesday

9:00 – 9:30  English – ar sound

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Continuing with time.  We focused solely on o’clock.  We discussed what o’clock looked like and how it is written.  I printed off a worksheet with multiple clocks that displayed a variety of o’clock times; our eldest then worked through these, writing the time digitally below.  Because she is still very young, we are taking baby steps to build her confidences; there is ultimately no rush, so I don’t want her to become deterred if she finds it difficult at any point.

10:30 – 11:30  PE – Races in the garden.  I had initially planned for the girls to go on a scooter and bike ride, but they decided they would prefer to have races in the garden.  The girls ran, scooted, biked etc in the garden, racing each other around.

11:30 – 12:00  Free play – in/outdoors, child led (children decide what they want to do).

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Create a waterwheel using paper plates and cups (see images below).  This was another of our favourite activities that we did this week.  This is great for all ages (you can increase the complexity of the design for older children).  We used 6 party cups, 2 paper plates and a wooden skewer.  I used a glue gun to secure the cups to the plate, but you could use tape.  Once we had constructed our wheel, the girls gently poured water into the cups and watched it work. (For more on how to construct this, check out my Home School highlights on Instagram)

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Popsicle crosses.  Continuing on with our traditional Easter crafts, we created and decorated our own hanging crosses.  We used coloured popsicle sticks, glitter (the clear up was incredible afterwards!), gems, sequins, miniature fabric flowers and anything else we could find!

3:30 – 4:30  Outdoor play – in the garden.  Child led.

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – Princess movie night.  The girls get to pick a movie and princess dresses.

Thursday

9:00 – 9:30  English – or sound.

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Time – half past.  We recapped o’clock to ensure that our eldest had fully grasped the concept from the previous day.  We then began to work on half past.  I printed off a worksheet with lots of clock faces showing a mix of half past and o’clock for our eldest to work through.

10:30 – 11:30  PE – Our girls were a little unsettled, missing their friends; so we spent our PE time playing in a fort in the living room.

11:30 – 12:00  Free play – in/outdoors, child led (children decide what they want to do).

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Learning to tie shoe laces (see images below).  I laminated a cartoon image of a shoe and threaded a shoe lace through it to mimic a regular shoe.  I gave no  direction during this session; it was merely a chance to allow her to explore laces, what happens when you twist and turn them, and build her curiosity.  She played with the laces for a short while before losing interest (which was the intention).  These laminated shoes will be left out for her to play with as and when she wants to, until she wants to learn how to tie them.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Decorated Easter eggs.  I printed off some Easter egg templates; some were blank, others had patterns, all varying in size.  The girls decorated their eggs, which would later be stuck up in the window for the children in our neighbourhood to spot when they are doing their Easter egg hunt walks.

3:30 – 4:30  Outdoor play – in the garden.  Child led.

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – Game of the girls’ choice

Friday

9:00 – 9:30  English – ur sound and handwriting practice. Due to our eldest being 4, I do not make her sit for long periods of time practicing her handwriting.  These are short and snappy practices – I usually get her to do five of each with breaks in between).

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Time.  Galt Tell The Time Set – this is a game I had purchased last year.  It is great fun and can be used to introduce time, as well as improve their speed and understanding when telling the time.  The game includes two dice; an hour dice and a minute dice, and a training clock face with movable hands.  It also includes timers, a wipe clean timetable and clock faces, and routine stickers.  We took it in turn to roll the dice and set the clock accordingly.

10:30 – 11:00  Free play– in/outdoors, child led (children decide what they want to do).

11:00 – 12:00– Kid’s church group session on Zoom.  Our church has started up a children’s group on Zoom whilst churches are closed.  Both of our girls joined the fun little 30-40 minute session on Zoom.

1:15 – 2:15 STEM– Magic Milk experiment.  This is another quick and easy, fun experiment for all ages.  All you need it some full fat milk (it doesn’t work as well with semi skimmed or skimmed milk), some dish soap, food dye and q tips.  You pour some full fat milk into a dish (you only need a shallow amount of milk), and then place droplets of food dye in the centre.  The food dye naturally starts to spread, but when you put a few droplets of dish soap on the surface of the milk using the q tips, the food dye mixes wildly.  The dish soap reacts with the fat in the milk; you can’t usually see this, but the food dye allows you to see the reaction taking place.

2:15 – 3:15 Create – Easter egg sun catchers (see images below).   We have made a huge variety of sun catchers in the past, so this is something the girls really enjoy.  The children in our neighbourhood are now looking for Easter eggs in windows whilst on their walks, so we thought we would add some of these to ours.  To see some of our other sun catchers, and how to create them, click these links – Summer Sun CatchersHalloween Sun Catchers, Christmas Sun Catchers, Under the Sea Sun Catchers.

3:30 – 4:30 Free Play – in/outdoors, child led.

4:30 – 5:30 – Movie time with popcorn.

This is just a quick overview of what we had been doing – to see this is more detail, make sure you follow my Instagram account where I post up our activities throughout each day.  Don’t forget to check out what we have done in previous weeks;

Week 1 Activities

Week 2 Activities

If you’re home schooling too, I hope it is all going well.  If you have any questions, or there is anything you’d like to see, pop a comment below or on my latest Instagram post.

Elisabeth

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