Sunday, June 22, 2014

R is for Rock

Rocks are so simple and so fun, are they not?  Especially my little one cannot seem to get his hands on enough rocks.  He always seems to be filling his hands and his pockets with them.  So, it wasn't hard to really come up with much to make it an appealing week!  They kind of hold their own appeal, at least for my boys.  
Isaiah is an observer and a details kid, so we did a lot of observing and classifying.  Isaiah likes anything about being a detective, so he fancied himself a rock detective for the week.

When we went on a walk to find and collect rocks, I had to cut them off as the bag I was carrying was about to rip from all the rocks they found that just "had to" come home with us.
Now, I grew up on a farm, so I grew up playing in dirt, but there is something about city dirt and grime that kind of just grosses me out.  Add to that the fact that litter is a big problem here, so there is often garbage laying around even in the midst of what would be a nice open green space.  So, just as a matter of practicality, I was pretty determined to wash any and all rocks that were going to be brought into the house.  But, instead of washing them myself, we set up a big bucket of sudsy water, and it turned out to be Zeke's favorite activity of the week.  (It's possible I was just being a little crazy, but I did actually rinse and then soak the rocks in bleach water first.)  I gave the boys sponges and old toothbrushes, and Zeke asked to wash rocks EVERY day, multiple times a day. 
Actually, once I brought the rocks in the house, I set up a bin for Zeke for washing and polishing, which I failed to get a picture of, and I had a smaller container of water, some rags, a toothbrush, and some baking soda.  The boys used the baking soda and water to polish rocks.

They had each picked out one large rock on our rock collecting walk, and I let them paint them.

 I also had a set of smaller rocks from awhile ago that I had written the letter of the alphabet on, so I pulled those out and an alphabet printable for him to match up the letters (both capitals, so a simple matching), which he also loved.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Z is for Zebra

Z was definitely a lighter week for us.  Given that I'm still in catch-up mode with posts, I can't even remember exactly why, but we didn't do a whole lot beyond the basics.  
One of the things that was part of our curriculum was to draw an outline of Africa and then color, cut, and attach the African animals from the sheet that was included.  Isaiah was really adamant to find out exactly where in Africa each of the animals lived so that he could put them on the map in the "correct" spot.  I tried explaining that several of these animals are found throughout Africa, but he really wanted to look up each one and place them on a particular spot on the map.  Thankfully, he did at least settle for placing it somewhere within a region as long as he saw on a map online that that particular animal actually lived in that area.
It was also a good chance to mark a couple of specific countries on the map and pray for some friends living there.  My cousin and her husband are in Senegal for a year, so we looked at their blog, marked Senegal on the map, and then prayed for them.  Also, one of the families on our team was working on opening the office for our business in Kenya, and they actually had pictures on facebook from a safari, so we got to look at pictures of many of the animals WITH them!  And, we got to pray for them and for Kenya as well.

 The math concept for this unit was tally marks.  There was a practice sheet included, but I decided to also have Isaiah practice with something he was interested in.  One of his very favorite things is Zita the Spacegirl, so we took one of the books and started tallying the number of frames (it's a graphic novel) in which each of the characters he chose appeared.  He actually took to tally marks really easily.  It wasn't much work at all, which was nice because I honestly find it such a boring task that I was glad to not have to dig into it too much.

We also printed out blank zebra pictures and used q-tips to paint black stripes on the zebra.  Unfortunately, what seemed like a quicker and easier activity (and which Zeke enjoyed), Isaiah actually ended up really frustrating Isaiah.  I'm not sure if it was the task or his mode for the day, but he was really struggling with it not being "perfect" as he had imagined somehow in his mind.  That is an ongoing struggle for him, and sometimes it appears during projects or activities that I don't expect it to.