Saturday, March 14, 2015

Homeschool preschool: bear theme

In January, I started doing additional structured activities at home with Ellie. These follow my ideal way of learning for her: it's child-led, theme-based, and play-centered.

Each month, she chooses a theme. I find or create activities for her in that theme, around broad educational categories. Many of those overlap, but I try to identify a primary learning objective for each one and hit a number of categories each week. Each day we (usually) do one or two activities, depending on our schedule.

We're on month three, and it's working because I'm planning and prepping EVERYTHING the month before. I've tried planning without prepping beforehand, and then I end up quitting after a few days because I get behind.

Here are links and photos of month 1, week 1!




Symmetry with counting bears: I made a line of symmetry with a bead necklace. I placed a bear, then she had to place one symmetrically. Then it was her turn to place a bear first. She began experimenting with facing different directions, stacking, etc.

Probability: I put 5 each of two colors of counting bears in a cup. We talked about probability, then she closed her eyes and pulled one out. We repeated over and over. This was good for subtraction practice too.


Shortening and ice water experiment (mimics polar bear insulation)

Engineering: Moveable teddy (she did this 100% independently after I had the pieces cut out)

Art: "Old Bear" collage. We did a two-step art project. First, we did four large pages with two colors each, based on the colors in the artwork of "Old Bear" by Kevin Henkes. Then, we found pictures representing each season in nature magazines and made a seasonal collage for each one. Then, we read the book and walked our little model bear through each scene.

Music: I made a Spotify playlist of music from the 1900s, around when teddy bears were invented and became popular.

Gross motor: Teddy bear toss: we collected all their teddy bears and tried different ways of tossing them into our laundry bin. 

Fine motor
Torn paper cave: Ellie hated making this because she was really bored. But she loved pretend play with it later!

Imaginets bear

Geography: Bear-habitat-map match game: I made cards to play a match game. We took turns turning over one card in each set. I wanted to focus on the geography part -- the habitat and map exploration -- more than the memory part, so when we turned them over, we left them face-up. If any of our cards completed a set, we could take them. Most sets wins, of course :-) We played this LOTS of times.

Cooking/kitchen: Bear-themed dinner of salmon, berries, mushrooms and a drizzle of honey

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