Home “School” #fortheloveoflearning #andprayIkeepmysanity
Well, we are one week into this home school situation, so I thought I’d check in and share what we’ve been doing and hope to do during this extended time off.
First things first. Y’all, just because I’m a teacher, doesn’t mean this home school life is for me! This is a big adjustment for all of us. Also, I’m continuing to work on finding the balance of accomplishing learning with having the kids play outside and even have some independent time.
My kids were sent home with books and their chrome books. They can use the chrome books for their online math and reading learning.
Also, I don’t feel like I need to come up with grand ideas as the kids’ teachers have provided the school work. I just thought since we have a bit of extra time on our hands, I could incorporate things the kids would like to do anyway….or activities we don’t typically have time to do. #nowwehaveallthetime
For me, (and the kids!) a schedule and a routine are important. My kids are going to bed just a bit later, but then they are also sleeping in. Instead of being in bed by 9, I’ve let them start getting ready for bed at that time and then lights out by 9:30. Thankfully, my kids have always been good sleepers and will sleep in as late as needed for them to feel rested. Of course, on a regular schedule, I’m more strict about it. And, actually, I don’t feel like we are too far off course of our normal routine.
So, I’ve basically told them that once they wake up they have an hour to have breakfast and do whatever they’d like (watch tv, text with friends, play xbox, etc). Then, the schedule begins…
- Get dressed, brush teeth, make bed
- Read for 30 minutes (me too!)
- Play outside if possible/play inside (Legos, drawing, etc)
- Math for 30 minutes
- 1 hour free time
- Other learning (all the ideas I’m sharing below)
- More independent play (or hopefully play outside)
Again, I’ve seen lots of schedules with specific times, but I’m just going with more of an order of events structure.
Hadley decided to type the schedule out (I think a few of her friends have done this) to keep in her room.
Or this schedule may work for you. 🤣
Hadley had given Hayden this crystal kit for Christmas. So, we took the time to put it together last week. We found it at Michaels. *disclaimer: so far, nothing is growing! haha Probably user error.
Update: the crystals did grow! Took about 10 days or so.
We’ve also taken the time to bake a few treats. Hadley’s pretty independent with baking. She’s really good at reading the directions, measuring, mixing, etc. Baking counts as math and science, right?
I’ve shared about these Sticker by Number books before, and they’ve come in handy for a little break in the academic learning. I even ordered myself one a few months ago.
Here are a few sticker books we’ve ordered in the past.
I read Andrea’s blog faithfully, and she always has really great educational ideas. She’s a middle school math teacher, but she also has a super creative side, so I love seeing what ideas she has to offer.
On Friday, we did this watercolor art project based on art by Wassily Kandinsky. Real talk: I’ve never heard of this artist! Well, maybe I learned about him in my college art history class twenty years ago?? Anyway, Andrea included three videos in the lesson. My kids watched all three and really enjoyed them and learned from them. Also, my kids also said their art teacher had taught them about Wassily Kandinsky. Yeah for prior knowledge 😉
After watching the videos, I drew the lines on the paper. Together, we found circular objects around the house and traced them using pencil. Then, they traced them using crayons and then used water colors to paint. From start to finish, this probably took us 45 minutes to an hour. It was a great way to spend our Friday afternoon.
I also saw people post on Facebook about Mo Willems, children’s author and illustrator, who is posting a Lunch Doodles series each day. The kids were excited to watch his episodes because they know his books. Plus, Hayden especially, loves to draw.
Also, in an effort to support local small businesses, I bought Easter cookies from Maddie’s Cookie Co. for us to decorate this week. We love these cookies and want to support her business.
When I was tidying up my classroom last week, I found these books. I’ve had them forever as I’ve used them for years with some of my struggling high school readers. They are high interest, lower leveled reading. Thankfully, my kids are skilled readers, and these books are perfect for them to learn a bit more about these regions and topics.
The regional books have short passages about travel, folklore, environment, culture, people, and pastimes. After reading a passage from the book, I’ve just had the kids share with each other about what they read or write down three things they remember from the reading. They could also draw a picture or a map if they wanted to include some art in their learning. They aren’t reading the whole book in one sitting; they are just choosing the chapter that interests them.
I also picked up a few of the graphic novels in my room as well.
Again, I’ve seen posts about various virtual field trips and online resources.
- Zoos and Aquariums with safaris, live cams, and virtual tours-Cincinnati Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and more!
- There are museums with self-guided tours – Smithsonian, Van Gogh Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, among others!
- International landmarks like Buckingham Palace, the Galapagos Islands, the Great Wall of China, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with videos and virtual tours.
- Theater, Film, Symphonies, and Operas live streaming recorded performances and music.
Of course, I haven’t checked all of these out, but I plan on using this link as a resource for some of our “other learning” time.
Hadley watched the daily 3:00 Facebook Live of the Cincinnati Zoo yesterday. The focus of the live was showcasing Kris and Remus, a cheetah and her companion dog! She really enjoyed watching it.
Also, the kids don’t know how lucky they are. Travis took them to the horse farm this past weekend to check out some of the baby horses!!
We’ve had lots of rainy weather recently, but thankfully, with each day, there’s been a break in the rain. The kids have ridden bikes, played basketball, had batting practice with the hitting net, walked Homer and gone for runs around the block.
We haven’t done it yet, but I know we can use side walk chalk to draw or even play Hop Scotch!
Also, maybe we can take a “field trip” and go for a hike soon.
Amy at Coffee and Cocktails at the Casa also had some awesome ideas! I love the idea about driving around and playing I Spy.
A Few Funnies
I wanted to leave you with a few laughs during these uncertain times. I hope these provide a giggle or two.
Are my kids probably still spending too much time on electronics? Yes. Do they still grumble at me when I ask them to brush their teeth? Yes. Also, you wouldn’t believe the number of times I have to ask Hayden to change out of his pajama pants in a day! Simply put, implementing a schedule and providing a bit of a routine is good for all of us…even if some days I feel like we get nothing accomplished 😂
Also, I do try to be “present” in the learning with them. Except for math. I do my chores during math time 😉 I just mean that when they are reading, I read. If they do an art project, I do one too. Also, I make a point to go outside with them for a bike ride or a walk.
I’m going to try to keep this routine over the next couple of weeks. Starting April 6, the kids will have more online learning, so I may adjust the schedule if needed.
Please share your ideas. How are you keeping your crew busy ?
I hope your week is off to a great start!