Hello there! Just wanted to share a few words today about our second week of school. Things are moving along quite nicely. The monkeys really seem to be enjoying the new school year, and they’ve already learned lots of new things.
In our history lessons last week we studied Noah’s flood, the Ice Age, dinosaurs. I decided to tailor Lucy’s learning activities for the week around an ocean theme to go along with our discussion of Noah.
I whipped up a batch of glittery, moon sand for some sensory play. (Who knew you could make your own moon sand with only flour and baby oil??) Both Ty and Lucy had fun sculpting sand castles and digging in the sand for hidden seashells. I incorporated a little Brave Writer fun into this activity, by having the monkeys do a keen observation of their shells, then use interesting words to give detailed descriptions. This exercise gave us a chance to discuss using comparisons, such as metaphors and similes, to describe objects. Ty came up with a great simile for one of his shells. He said it was holey like Swiss cheese.
Here Ty was trying to sculpt the leaning Tower of Pisa. His tower leaned a little too far.
At poetry teatime last week we were fortunate enough to have a princess stop by to read us a story. Then we read to each other poems by Shel Silverstein. I just love his ridiculous rhymes.
In addition to poems, I’ve also been reading to the kids from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. These stories are a lot of fun and lend themselves well to discussions about literary elements like alliteration, repetition, imagery, and made up words. What’s surprising to me is how the stories have alluded to the same topics we’ve been studying in history – creation, Noah’s ark, cuneiform… it’s neat the way things have been working out across all subjects!
For a fun, inane activity during our Ice Age lesson, I had Ty see how long he could keep a cube of ice on his belly.
The answer? Not very long.
He toughed it out for one minute (mostly because I was taunting him), but he didn’t like it. That ice was cold! I tried to get Lucy to give it a try, but she was way too smart for that.
I also froze some tiny trinkets in a big block of ice and had the monkeys try their hands at “excavating fossils” – a good activity for a hot, summer day.
Lucy is most excited this year about getting to learn cursive writing. Last week she began by learning lowercase i, u, and e. She has really impressed me with her strokes, and she is quite proud of her progress.
One other ocean themed activity I put together for Lucy was Sizzling Shells. Basically I formed “seashells” from a mixture of baking soda and water. Once the shells were dry I mixed up a bottle of vinegar with a few drops of blue food coloring and let Lucy squirt the shells. The shells fizzed and sputtered to reveal pearls (buttons) I had hidden inside them.
Lucy enjoyed the activity and once all the shells were dissolved, I added some water to the plastic tub and just let her play with the glass beads and rocks. It doesn’t take much to keep a five-year-old entertained.
I thought I’d better include a little something about Tacy Mae. She kept an eye on all the sizzling seashell activity from the safety of her walker. The girl can really get around in that thing.
I almost forgot about the ocean inspired lunch we had last week. Some folks call them Octopus Dogs, but I like to think of them as Redneck Caviar. Yes, I agree they do look disgusting.
Well, that about wraps up week 2 here at Arrow Academy. Hope you’ll check back again soon for another update.