On Monday we began our first day of Mommy School. We started with the letter “a.” My younger daughter Lola wanted to learn more about astronauts, so we kicked off our at-home education with astronauts, apple math, Antarctica vs. Arctic, angles, and art.
I used a hybrid of both of their classroom schedules and daily tasks to create our own class schedule at home. I often help in both of their classrooms so I was able to easily take what works best from both classrooms.
In both classes we always start with circle time and talk about what we are going to do for the day and what is expected of them. It centers them and provides expectations for their behavior. Kids like to know what’s in store for them. It makes them feel relaxed and excited about what they get to do next. So, I used that method for Mommy School.
We started our day with a good morning song and then talked about the date, weather, season and counted the days of the calendar. Next we reviewed our schedule of what we were learning for the day.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I chose the letter “a” because we are started a new routine and it provided a theme and organization that worked for us. There are many other ways to structure your at-home lessons, but this worked for me as I thought about how to tie in education concepts for each academic subject.
A is for…
To introduce the letter “a” we had a brainstorm of words that begin with the letter “a.” By beginning the day with an interactive activity following the calendar time, it motivates them to participate and get into the lesson right away. I wrote out our words on a big sheet of paper.
Next, we did some simple math problems that I wrote out in the shape of apples. I had four questions that were simple enough for both of them to understand and ended with a word math problem.
Next we had share time. Both girls had brought items to talk about that began with the letter of the day. We ended circle time and went to the dining room to start our worksheets.
Once they had completed their worksheets we did some more apple math. My aunt is a Waldorf teacher and she once told me that she cuts up fruit and teaches fractions, so I kept with my theme of apple math and taught the girls about 1, 1/2, and 1/4 and they ate the apple.
While they ate their apple slices I read a book called “Astro Girl,” by Ken Wilson-Max. It’s a story about a little girl who wants to be an astronaut just like her mom. All of the things she does each day are preparing her to become just like her mommy.
When we were done we talked about how it is Women’s History Month and there are many women who have made history as astronauts. I showed the girls this cool video by NASA and talked about some of the women who have made history like Sally Ride, Mae Carol Jemison and Christina Koch.
Next, we talked about space suits. In preschool they had talked about the solar system, the moon and what astronauts do, so I showed them a 2017 issue of National Geographic that I had saved that was all about space suits. We talked about what astronauts need to survive in space due to its conditions.
The night before I had sketched a schematic of a space suit so they could design their own space suit as a craft activity. They liked it!
Arctic vs. Antarctic
We took a break for snack and play time and when we returned we examined a big world map and found the North and South Poles. We talked about the differences between the Arctic and Antarctica and what lives there. We read a book about Polar animals and talked about what they eat and pointed to where they live on the map.
We followed up with a ice tray activity were we counted blueberries and placed them into an ice tray. We filled it with homemade lemonade and stuck it into the freezer.
After our science adventure we moved onto angles. We looked at different types of shapes — 2-D and 3-D. Then as a suggestion from our preschool teacher we went on a hunt for them around the house to see them in every day forms.
Hazel’s kindergarten teacher said we needed to work on 3-D shapes, so I figured this was a good angle. 😉
We ended the day by talking about art. What is art? What are the different forms of art? How do we make art? What are our favorite types of art? We compiled our thoughts on a sheet of paper. Then I invited them to create a piece of art. They drew for a bit and then were ready to be done!
At the request of her teacher, I also let Hazel play Core5 Lexia which is a reading program they track at her school. If she completes a lesson she’s allowed to play Starfall, which is another reading website recommended by her school (that Hazel enjoys more).
The rest of the day was spent reading and doing free time play!