There's been talk of garnets, emeralds, diamonds & rubies intermingled with strains from the song "Lord, You are More Precious than Silver" around Russell Homestead! We've been learning about jewels as we study the letter J. The theme of the week has been that Jesus is more valuable than anything else - even jewels.
We began the week by learning what jewels are and names of jewels. We pretended our connecting cubes were jewels (the green were emeralds, the red were rubies, etc.) and I had the boys string them in patterns.
Next, we "made" our own jewels from soft clay. We rolled the clay into small balls and poked a pencil through them to make a hole for stringing. We allowed them to dry for a day, and then strung them. Again, we talked about what jewels are the different colors can be.
We enjoyed reading Revelation 21:19-21 that lists the jewels in the foundations of heaven. The boys were very fascinated with the idea of a gate made of a single pearl. We talked about how pearls are formed and about the parable where the man sold all he had for the "pearl of great price" (Matthew 13:45-46).
It was a fun unit, and now we are on to butterflies (complete with raising our own Painted Lady butterflies)!
Thanks for stopping by!
For the past few weeks in our My Father's World kindergarten curriculum, we have been focusing on wild animals. I was ready for a new topic, but...rocks? Now, being a mom-of-boys for six plus years, I know boys love rocks, so I pretended to be thrilled about rocks. And, until the end of the week, I was! Especially the suggested "book basket" books about rocks!
We kicked off the week with learning the three types of rocks - igneous, sedimentary, & metamorphic. We discussed how Jesus is a rock and learned the words to the hymn "On Christ the Solid Rock." We also sang "The Wise Man Built His House upon the Rock" each day of the unit.
The second day of the unit, we went rock collecting! I each of the boys an egg carton & turned them loose in the back yard. One egg carton wasn't enough, and each boy ended up with two. After collecting them, I let them wash & scrub each rock to make their collection shine.
After their collections were all cleaned up, we organized the rocks by size & color. They each picked their favorite rock and sketched it in their nature journal with 2 adjectives. We also counted them by 2s and discussed the term "dozen." For JJ's preschool lesson that day, he made the letter R with rocks (see the worksheet on Pinterest here.)
Then things got really exciting. We made a volcano model (since igneous rocks come from lava that hardens after volcanic eruptions). I definitely wowed the boys with this simple baking soda-and-vinegar volcano. Totally worth the mess!
I taught the boys how to play Mancala - a simple rock game. (See youtube video on how to play here.) I made our own board with an egg carton. I cut the top off, and then cut it in half. I super-glued the halves on the end of the egg carton bottom to make the mancalas. I painted the mancalas and the corresponding row of egg carton holes to help them see which side is "theirs."
Let me end with the aforementioned "book basket" books that were our favorites this week. (Let me preface this with the fact that some of them do mention "millions of years.") Here were our 3 favorites.
1. My favorite was Rocks in Head by Carol Otis Hurst - a book about a boy with a passion for rocks who grows up, survives during the Great Depression, and eventually lands a dream job having to do with rocks.
2. The boys hands-down favorite was How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World by Faith McNulty. I told my husband this is such a boy-book (in a good way). A boy digs a hole to the other side of the world (did you know if you start in America, you come up in the Indian Ocean?). He goes through all the layers (with the help of his custom no-spaceship with a fireproof jacket & drill on the nose, etc). We read this book over & over!!
3. Another favorite was Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop by Stuart J. Murphy. This book clearly explained the different types of rocks and the Mohs scale of hardness. The children enjoyed the ending.
So, now I guess you could say we have rocks in our heads, but more importantly, I hope we are standing more firmly on the ROCK! Thanks for stopping by!
This post is linked to the weekly wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
I have a new favorite children's book - On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss. The boys begged for this book over & over again during our Zebra unit. The story is about a boy who is proclaiming his knowledge about the alphabet all the way to "z is for zebra." His friend then expands his world by taking him on beyond zebra to all sorts of new letters & creatures in his own imaginative alphabet.
Some of the highlights of our zebra unit were making a zebra mask...
...making zebra pudding (layered vanilla & chocolate pudding)...
...learning lots of zebra trivia, cutting & pasting animals on an African map, & enjoying our stack of "zebra" books from the library. We considered the question - are zebras white with black stripes or vice versa? (A question I had never thought about before!) It seems that most people agree they are black with white stripes.
In other homeschool studies, I switched AJ from the MFW first grade math to CLE (Christian Light Education) first grade math curriculum. The MFW math felt a bit disjointed and light for me and my math-loving boy. I felt like it needed a lot of supplementing to be a complete program. CLE is much more of a deliberate, workbook-based approach. I'm hoping to lay a good foundation of memorizing his facts in the remaining months of first grade and perhaps move on to a different program next year. MFW recommends Singapore in second grade. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the choices out there, but, at the end of the day, I guess I just need to pick one.
CJ continues to plug away at the MFW kindergarten math and phonics. Math is a breeze for him, as is learning letter sounds. We continue to work on sounding out words, but it isn't his favorite part of the day and I'm okay with that at his age.
JJ is always delighted for "his lesson" and begs for more & more of my stash of freebie worksheets from online. I try to print out a few worksheets relating to our unit theme for him, and he just can't get enough of it. (I'm thinking it may be more the one-on-one mommy time :) Some of my favorite go-to sites are as follows:
-All Kids' Network (I like their realistic pictures)
-Confessions of a Homeschooler (love Erica's letter of the week curriculum-for free!)
-Homeschool Creations (full of resources)
-1+1+1=1 (great lapbooking resource)
-Our Little Monkeys (lots of great printables if you own the MFW Kindergarten curriculum)
Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed weekend!
This post is linked to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly wrap-up.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
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