07 October 2008

Homeschooling ideas for Halloween

Today Savannah and I listened to "Boo, Cackle, Trick or Treat" by Sue Schnitzer (the lyrics for the songs on the album are here and the album can be purchased on iTunes). She has some really good songs for kids for October including counting songs, songs with coordinating hand movements, and about pumpkins and bones, etc. and these songs aren't annoying like many of the Halloween songs for kids. I've decided to use these songs in our homeschooling so we're doing a small unit on bones, which Savannah loves. Today she cut out and used brass tacks to make this dancing skeleton from "the toy maker," a great site for toys to make at home and cut out, including math toys, airplanes, boxes and bookmarks.

Tomorrow we'll sing some more songs together (Savannah dances too) and practice learning some of the bone names that she doesn't already know and use the Kids Health website to talk about why bones are important and what they are made of. She's also excited to cut out these jack-o-lantern bookmarks, even though we don't use bookmarks that often right now. She can use them in her Science is Simple book by Peggy Ashbrook and in her reading lessons book.

We are really enjoying this science book that has activities for preschoolers through 2nd grade. The activities are easy to do at home with few additional supplies, if any, although it is presented as a book for preschool teachers. She presents each unit as a whole, by season including relevant stories to read with each topic and songs to sing. I sometimes extend the activities by adding a short writing component since Savannah can write or a math activity for counting or matching. I was really pleased with the unit we tried on wind earlier this week. We checked out books related to wind from the library, spent an afternoon on a picnic blanket watching the things that the wind moves, made a wind sock and bird to hang in the tree to monitor wind.

I'm all tired out again this week with preparations for moving. Savannah is sick of all this cleaning and organizing business and I just hope I have the energy to unpack once we're in Altamont.

Savannah's dancing skeleton that she's very proud of. She knows about a dozen bone names including humerus, femur, patella, cranium, ribs, vertebrae, pelvis and sternum.

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