We also took last week off of school. My mom was in the hospital much of the week, she's ok and doing well at home now. For the first time homeschooling really made things more complicated for me. So, every day I evaluated and every day I decided the world would not end if we didn't have school that day. Learning still happened and the kids got some extra time with John and their Amie - which they loved!
So, yeah, not our "usual" here, but what exactly is our usual these days?
This week we continued our exploration of the circulatory system. Guthrie walks a fine line of being fascinated by the human body and being completely freaked out by it. I get it, but it's hard for me to gauge the line. Guthrie traced her body on craft paper and then decorated herself. (Side note: I need to remember to do this periodically, it completely changed her view of her body - how tall she is, where her hands line up to her legs, etc. it was so interesting to watch her negotiate where here clothes would go and drawing her face on the head of the outline.) Then we were going to glue red and blue yarn on the outline to represent veins and arteries. The yarn part totally freaked her out. (Additional side note: even the tracing of the body freaked Laithe out. He would not lay down to get traced. I attempted to freehand it for him but umm. yeah.) We used our encyclopedia set to read about blood types and everyone still agreed that platelets are awesome.
We also finished copying a poem about snowflakes. I love her handwriting. My mama-eye always wins out over my teacher-eye!
Then this morning we mounted the papers on craft paper and used potato stamps carved like snowflakes to decorate the poem's background. Laithe's modified activity was stamping with the potatoes on craft paper.
Guthrie did a word search and word building. We played a dice game. Sequenced buttons by size and grouped by color. Brownies were made.
I tasked the kids with drawing a picture of something they saw out the window that was a part of nature. Laithe drew a dinosaur.
Both kids enjoyed the valentine themed sensory box I put together - pink rice, dried tapioca pearls, red sanding sugar and a few spoons and cookie cutters.
Tuesday morning it was 65 degrees so we enjoyed a super long walk and identified several birds. I should clarify - Guthrie identified several birds, mostly by their calls. Smarty pants.
And then it snowed and then it was so cold that we didn't really venture out. Lots of dancing in the living room (thank you pandora) and jumping on the trampoline (thank you Patty) and balancing on the curvy board (thank you mom). Yay Iowa winters!
The definite highlight of the week though was the field trip Guthrie and I took to the Putnam Museum, just the two of us. She told my mom later, when asked, that she didn't learn anything, and I just smiled. To her we spent a couple hours playing Little House on the Prairie and hiding from hippos in a submarine, but it could have been her final exam for the year - grouping puppets by herbivore and carnivore in order to feed them an accurate breakfast. Fretting over what kind of bedding she had for them.
Trading furs at the trading post - figuring out how many muskrat furs it would take to buy 2 buckets and a tin plate. Pointing out the parts of the life cycle of crickets. We had the entire museum to ourselves and it was really, really fun. Both John and I have been, without really discussing it, scheduling in more one on one time with each of the kids. Everyone has benefitted I think.
Stories for the week were varied as I didn't have a central oral story picked out. We enjoyed a mix of library and some of our own books - particularly the following:
Gem by Holly Hobbie
Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost & Illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
and especially the Field Guide to Mammals - that's been a total hit