Home Schooling – Week 7 Activities

This week presented a small glimmer of hope, that normality might begin to return at some point in the not so distant future.  Although there is no clarity of when this may be yet; the rumbles of conversation on the matter are certainly reassuring.

We’ve now completed seven weeks of home schooling; and for the most part, I feel like we have now got into the flow of things.  There are naturally ups and downs during the week; but we seem to now all be into the swing of it.

This week, we began our Under the Sea theme for our STEM activities.  Before starting this week, I asked the girls to list all of the sea creatures/animals that they wanted to learn about.  It is a vast topic, and we are only going to spend a couple of weeks looking at it; so I wanted to ensure they had some control over what they were going to learn.

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 – We have finished and secured all of our phase 3 and 4 sounds, and reading the sounds within different words.  We spent this session recapping all sounds and sight words that we have covered so far.  Our eldest had a piece of work to complete from the school, so we did it during this session.

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Beanbag addition/subtraction (see images below).  The weather started to pick back up again, so we took our maths outside.  Using chalk, I drew rows of circles; each circle contained a number.  Our eldest threw two beanbags (socks filled with rice); whatever numbers they landed on, she either added or subtracted.

10:30 – 11:30  Geography–  The United Kingdom.  The girls decided they wanted to switch out some of their PE activities; they spend a lot of time free playing, crafting and spending time in the garden.  When the weather turned last week, they asked to stay indoors and “…and do some new learning.”  We decided to try some geography activities.  We looked at the location of our country on our globe, talked about our capital city, discussed the different countries within our country, and then looked at our flag.  The girls then coloured in our Union Jack; our eldest used the correct colours, whilst our youngest created a more abstract rainbow version!  The girls then watched a couple of episodes of Go Jetters, related to the United Kingdom whilst I began to sort out everyone’s lunches.

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

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Octopus (see images below). Our youngest is obsessed with octopuses, so this was an obvious choice!  We looked at the key features of the octopus; 3 hearts, general structure, habitat, ability to camouflage, diet and different types.  We then watched a couple of short videos on Youtube by National Geographic Kids.  As a group we created our own octopuses swimming in the water.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Free play with play-doh.

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

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – Movie night

Tuesday

9:00 – 9:30  English – Because we have finished our phase 3 and 4 sounds, we will continue to recap these over the coming weeks to ensure these are fully consolidated.  We recapped all phase three sounds using sound cards, and then recapped all sight words we have covered so far.  We then played with the Orchard Toys Match and Spell game (see my Home Sch 2 Instagram highlights).

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Bowling subtraction (see images below).  This is a great game; our eldest had to be pulled away from it in the end!  I placed ten reusable cups in a triangular arrangement; using a ball, our eldest would roll or kick the ball knocking the cups down.  I had printed and laminated a sheet for her to fill in.  She would complete the question; 10 – (number knocked over) = (number still standing).

10:30 – 11:30  PE – Rescue the teddy bear (see my Home School highlights on Instagram).  This was requested again by the girls!  If you’ve missed this game from my previous posts; it is an assault course through the hallway, to rescue their teddy bears.  Using masking tape, I create a maze of horizontal lines for them to climb over, duck under and squeeze through.

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

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Sharks (see images below).  Who doesn’t love sharks?  Fun fact – Greg and I swam with sharks in Hawaii on our honeymoon; it was a truly incredible experience.  We started this session looking at the anatomy of a shark, key features, teeth, different types, diet and waters they are usually found in.  We again watched some videos on Youtube by National Geographic Kids, and National Geographic.  We then created our own chomping sharks, using some card, a rubber band and a couple of popsicle sticks.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Free drawing and colouring.  It had been a busy day, so I needed a no prep, easy tidy activity for the girls.

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

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

Wednesday

9:00 – 9:30  English – We recapped all phase 3 and 4 sounds, and the sight words covered.  Our eldest did a small amount of handwriting practice using some Disney handwriting worksheets that I had pulled from the internet.

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Smash Subtraction (see images below).  This is a lovely activity for early years children.  Our eldest rolled ten balls of play-doh and placed them on the subtraction mat.  She would splat/squish some of the doh balls to help her complete the subtraction questions. e.g. 10 – 6 (splat six balls) = the number of balls left.

10:30 – 11:30  Geography – United States of America (see my Home Sch 2 Instagram highlights).  The girls are starting to understand that there is a big world outside of the one they know; and their curiosity is continuously growing.  We decided to look at the U.S.A.  We first looked at its location on the globe; we then looked at the key monuments, capital, food and sports, different states and state flags, and the American flag.  We then watched some videos on Youtube related to Mount Rushmore, Washington DC, and New York.  The girls then watched a couple of episodes of Go Jetters whilst I began to sort lunch.

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

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Dolphins (see the images below).  Continuing on with our Under the Sea theme, the girls picked dolphins as the animal for the day.  We looked at the anatomy of a dolphin and how it differs from a fish; we looked at their diet and key characteristics, as well as where they are often found.  We watched some videos on Youtube by National Geographic Kids, related to dolphins.  We then created our own coffee filtered dolphins; using the same technique that we used for the coffee filter butterflies (colour with felt tips, spray with water and set aside to dry).

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Monster Bookmarks (see images below).  Our eldest is really getting into reading on her own, so we decided to make some of our own bookmarks.  Using some card and googly eyes; we each made our own unique designs.

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

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

Thursday

9:00 – 9:30  English – We recapped all phase 3 and 4 sounds, as well as all of the common sight words that we have covered so far.  Read, form, write (see images below).  We have started to focus more and more on the different sight words.  This is a really nice activity to help them recognise the different sight word.  I placed out a series of sight word cards for our eldest to select from.  She then used some Alphablocks figures to spell out the word.  Once completed, she then wrote the word below.

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Pirate Addition (see my Home Sch 3 Instagram highlights).  This is a nice low prep, no mess activity.  There are also endless versions available online to select from.  This is a colouring in worksheet; each section is colour coded based on the answer to the addition question inside.  When all sections are coloured in, it reveals a picture.

10:30 – 11:30  Music – Keyboard.  For this session, I allowed the girls to play freely; letting them explore the different keys and the sound they made.

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

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Whales (see the images below).  Using some reference books, we looked at the anatomy of whales; comparing them to fish, sharks and dolphins.  We looked at the different types, their call sounds, diet and key characteristics.  National Geographic Kids have some great videos on Youtube, so we watched a few short videos about whales.  We then created our own paper plate whales.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Water marbling (see images below).  I remember doing this as a child in primary school, so this was something I really wanted to do with the girls.  It is a great activity, no matter how old you are.  No two pieces of marbling are the same.  Using marbling ink (purchased from Amazon), water and some card; we created lots of pieces of water marbling.  We filled up a tub of water, dropping ink droplets onto the surface; using a chopstick, we swirled the ink around.  Once we were happy with the effect on the top of the water, we either placed the card on top of the water, or fed it under the surface.  Each method creates a different effect.  The girls were memorized the entire time.  Be warned, it can get messy; so have plenty of paper towels and wet wipes at the ready!

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

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – movie night.

Friday

9:00 – 9:30  English – It was a bank holiday, so our day followed a very loose structure.  Usually, we would spend our bank holidays exploring, or having a lazy movie day; but being stuck in, the girls prefer to have some structure.  All activities were offered up, if they opted out, that was fine; but the option was there.  Our eldest wanted to do some literacy work, so we recapped our sounds and sight words and she did some Disney handwriting practice.

9:30 – 10:15  Maths – Pirate Addition.  We did the same activity as the day before, but this sheet created a different pirate related image.  Our eldest is not yet five, so her colouring stamina is still developing.  We decided that she would calculate the answers and select the correct colour, but I would do the colouring in for her.

10:30 – 11:30 Geography – China.  We looked at China’s location on our globe, and then discussed some of the key monuments and cultural sites.  We looked at the food, language, writing and flag.  We selected several short videos to watch on Youtube by National Geographic and National Geographic kids.  The girls then watched a couple of episodes of Go Jetters which focused on China.

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

1:15 – 2:15  STEM – Jellyfish (see images below).  We looked at the key characteristics (or lack of characteristics!), where they are usually found and different types.  We then watched some videos by National Geographic and National Geographic Kids.  Monterey Bay Aquarium also have great videos on Youtube (if you ever get the opportunity to visit the aquarium; I recommend it).  We then created our own jellyfish out of card.

2:15 – 3:15  Create – Tangram tuff tray (see my Tuff Tray Instagram highlights).  The girls spent a lot of the afternoon playing in the garden, so I set up a tuff tray for them to play with as they pleased.  Tangrams are an activity I have done with children from primary school age, through to secondary level.  They can be differentiated to suit all ages and abilities.  The girls created some of the shapes from the cards provided in the set, as well as their own designs and patterns.

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

4:30 – 5:30  Family game time – movie night.

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

Week 3 Activities

Week 4 Activities

Week 5 Activities

Week 6 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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