Today we started school late because I was feeling very tired from staying up too late and I wanted to make the girls a special breakfast. Of course, because I was tired, I messed up the recipe and had to redo it, which took even longer. (Don’t worry, though, I didn’t waste any food!) It just goes to show you that it’s probably better to go to sleep early than stay up late trying to get everything done — you’ll probably just make a mistake from tiredness that will cost you time anyway.
Alright, you’re here to read about Mommy School, not my lack of sleep.
Wednesday was all about the letter “c.” Both of my girls love rainbows and unicorns so I figured we would talk about colors. It’s always a great topic to refresh and this time I had them identify all of the colors on the rainbow in the spectrum using ROYGBIV.
Hazel: “Violet means purple? Woah.” Haha.
We also covered carrot math, coral, and California. We didn’t make it to camouflage, but let’s be honest, I was way too ambitious thinking we would get to that with such a late start in the day.
We began the day with circle time which included going over the calendar, weather, schedule, word of the day — it was “calm” because you know we all need a bit of that right now. They also did share.
Circle time was a bit rough today, I’ll be honest, it’s because I started late and my four-year-old was feeling a bit too tired to focus. She rallied after sitting in my lap and we brainstormed c-words and did our carrot math problems.
She really enjoyed the books we read: “Bear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson, which was given to us by some of our friends from college who have girls that are the same age as ours, and “Over in the Ocean in the Coral Reef,” which we bought at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
By the way, if your kids enjoy the aquarium, you should check out their live cams!
There are about a millions ways to talk about colors. I chose to let them tell me what they know about colors and then we wrote out which colors mix to create new ones. We also talked about what makes a pattern and why rainbows occur. I made a cute rainbow worksheet (when I should have been sleeping) so they could associate the spelling of the word with the color.
If you’d like a bundle of fun worksheets there are a ton at Teachers Pay Teachers, a site where you can buy and download worksheets made by teachers. It’s a great way to support them and get quality curriculum for your kiddos.
Afterwards we did some real color mixing with paint. We used watercolors so they could get creative. When they were done Hazel did her math and letter worksheets while Lola played with play-dough. They had a nice time and I had some coffee while sitting with them at the dining table. Win-win for all!
I made a cute sheet with different numbers of carrots and little equations. We were going to practice more fractions with an actual carrot, but no one wanted to eat a raw carrot for some reason, so I cooked them for dinner instead.
The best part of school today was our segment on coral. My husband’s cousin Nick and his wife Allison are both biologists and they offered to teach the girls about coral. Allison is an expert on coral and had many great things to teach the girls over FaceTime.
The girls were completely enthralled — silent, in fact — as she taught them about how coral grows in colonies (“groups”) and how the ocean temperatures affect their survival. She also taught them about how they’re sort of like jellies in that they don’t communicate like plants, but are not plants, and how they can fragment and grow with a “teammate” (algae).
Most notably, Nick and Allison shared what their favorite types of coral are so Hazel took it upon herself to draw their favorite species, brain coral (Allison) and stag coral (Nick). I’m on strict orders to mail the coral drawings along with some gifts she found in her room for them. Talk about a thank you note!
Though Lola was quiet and made a drawing she wanted to keep to herself, she definitely retained what was said on the phone. At dinner when my husband asked how their coral lesson went, Lola stood up in her chair and shouted, “Coral is an animal, not a plant! I was quiet because I was listening to all of her words so I could tell you about it, Daddy.”
If you’d like to teach your kids about coral I recommend showing them photos. My girls really liked looking at photos of different types of coral. We love going to aquariums and this was a fun way to tap into that passion of theirs even though we cannot visit an aquarium during isolation.
Nick and Allison also said that anyone can chat with a scientist if they want to learn more about a topic. If you want to spice up your at-home curriculum check out Skype a Scientist for more details. We had a really great time (and got to socialize with family as an added bonus).
For our unit on California I found these nice printables. I just printed the one that is a simple map because my girls are too young for some of the other ones. National Geographic for Kids has a great collection of facts and photos about California.
The girls are going to draw places they know on them and different sights in California. (We took a break from talking about California to do some yoga and exercise and didn’t finish our map. Another fun thing for tomorrow!)
Like I said before, I’m keeping things flexible, but making sure I hit the main things we all want to do each day: read to the kids, get them thinking and being creative, and having fun.
Side note: I know it’s hard to balance the chores, the work, exercising, cooking, resting, the fun, and educating, but as my husband told me today, we are in control of the pace of life now, and if there are some days you want to do a lot — do it! However, if you’re tired and need to change it up, take it down a notch.
You are all probably doing this already, so maybe this is just a reminder for me, but I’m saying it anyway in case someone else out there needs to hear it.
Heading off to bed early tonight. Hope you are too!