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Blossom and Root First Grade, Our Homeschool Week in Review series


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I find it funny that the week I made a video about how we plan our homeschool was a week that all “plans” were put on hold. (You can watch that video by clicking here.) Both girls took turns being sick this week–Brice with a bad cold and Blake with an ear infection. So we ended up doing very little “homeschool” and a lot more soothing, sensory play.

But honestly, that’s why the system we use for planning (“planning from behind” as Julie Bogart calls it) is so effective. I didn’t worry, I didn’t have to bust out the white-out. I just moved the sticky notepad over to the next week in my planner and we picked up where we left off.

A Week of Quieter Moments

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It was a quiet week. We spent a lot of time listening to music, watching movies, doing play dough, and resting. Blake got her very first Swiss army knife, a very significant moment for her. She picked it out with my husband on the computer and counted down the days until it arrived. She has many plans for shelter-building and learning how to fish this summer, and now she’s properly equipped.

Loving Our Kindergarten Days

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We did half of week 2 in Blossom and Root Kindergarten before Brice got sick. We read “The Lion and the Mouse” and worked on the sound of letter M. Brice is really starting to enjoy drawing more and has been taking her time working on the pictures for her journal entries and narrations. I figured out pretty quickly that she favors pencil over crayon for her drawings most of the time. I think they’re just easier for her little hands to control.

We did a few activities from Wild Math Kindergarten, too. Brice loved practicing her numbers outside on the patio, and we played a variation of “Who’s Missing” with numbers. It was so much fun, and so easy to set up and play. Our lessons are delightfully short with Blossom and Root and Wild Math. We usually fit everything in under forty minutes, leaving plenty of time for sensory activities, outside time, free play, and fun.

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Afternoon at the Reservoir

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Monday was absolutely gorgeous, but I knew snow was heading our way midweek. A visit to the reservoir was a must. After picking Blake up from her enrichment program, we headed down to Chatfield. It was so peaceful–just a few fishermen and us. I was glad we were able to squeeze in that outside time before the snow came.

First Grade Fun

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We kicked off the first grade week with a little magic. Blake got a peek at the Waldock’s Wizards and Wands curriculum I’d printed out and wasn’t about to wait until August to start. She did one of the “enchantment” activities–designing a wand. I absolutely LOVE this curriculum! I’ve decided that, for now, I’ll just keep the student notebook in her morning bin and she can kind of pick and choose activities to do while I work with Brice on kindergarten.

We also did an experiment from our Unicorn Science kit. We made “unicorn horn gooze” which was basically just oobleck. It was really messy and fun and Blake did learn a lot about polymers, liquids, and solids.

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We began our spelling work this week. I actually bought All About Spelling several months ago but can’t bring myself to start it. It just doesn’t feel like a good fit for us. So I downloaded a list of first and second grade words off of Teachers Pay Teachers instead. Here’s what we will do:

  • Each week, there are about ten words to learn. I write them with white crayon on white paper and then Blake paints over them with watercolor to “reveal” them.
  • Next, she practices writing each word with some kind of sensory activity (like shaving cream or a flour tray.) This is really similar to how we approach learning our letters in Blossom and Root Early Years, so it feels very familiar to Blake.
  • The next day, she takes a pre-test. I let her use dry-erase markers on the window or the white board, instead of just pencil and paper. Any words she gets right, we check off. Any words she misses, we’ll work on the next day.
  • Words that she missed in the pre-test are reviewed with a variety of activities I’ve found on Pinterest–chalk on the sidewalk, “rainbow writing” with multiple colors, forming them with play-dough or beeswax, etc.
  • Finally, we test again any words that she missed in the first round.

This week’s words were pretty easy for Blake. She got them all correct in the pre-test, so we were done for the week after just two days. The lessons stay short and sweet, and (so far) they are fun for her.

First Grade Science and Math

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This week, we learned about thunderstorms and tornadoes with Blossom and Root First Grade. We kept it to a minimum, since Blake was still recovering from her ear infection. We read a few books, watched a few videos on YouTube, and Blake made a “lightning resist painting” to go into her main lesson book.

We stuck to gameschooling for math. I’ve picked up several games for her second grade year and she was anxious to play them. We loved “Pet Me” and “Rush Hour.” I’ll make a video to share all of the other games and resources we’ve gathered for second grade sometime in the next few weeks. 🙂

The Great Un-Blizzard of 2019

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We were forecasted for another big blizzard and bomb cyclone to hit this week, but thankfully this one wasn’t nearly as bad as the last, at least where we live. We got about six inches of snow, which was all melted by the middle of the next day. During the snowy day, we hunkered down and made cookies and hot cocoa. It was a lazy, quiet day.

Sensory Play!

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My girls are really into sensory play lately. Any invitation to muck around in mud, sand, dirt, shaving cream, flour, rice, beans, play-dough, clay, or water can keep them busy for hours and hours. We’ve always done most of our sensory play outdoors during free play, but lately I’ve been setting up invitations after we finish homeschool so I can get things done before we head out for the afternoon.

I see a lot of really cool sensory play activities on Pinterest, but we really like to keep it simple. Here’s what I keep in our sensory play bin:

  • A quart-sized Ziplock full of flour, another of dried beans, and another of uncooked rice
  • Play-dough (store bought and homemade)
  • Pie pans, rolling pins, play knives and forks, cookie cutters, plates, etc.
  • A can of shaving cream (Barbasol for now, but trying to find one with NO scent)
  • Air dry clay
  • Random nature bits (pinecones, seashells, pebbles, etc.) and artificial flowers from the craft store

I keep everything except the homemade play-dough in a big plastic storage bin. Homemade play-dough is kept in the refrigerator. Clean-up isn’t too bad, as the girls help wash the table and Blake is learning to use the vacuum.

Swallows and Amazons

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I had selected Swallows and Amazons for one of our summer read-alouds, but we started early when we finished all our spring ones ahead of schedule. This is such a sweet summer book and the girls are enjoying it immensely. It’s already started to ignite their imaginative play–the ultimate wish I’d had when I chose it. They’ve made boats out of boxes in the backyard and tents in their rooms. I’m sure it will linger in their minds all summer long as we play outside.

This week, we made little boats out of some wooden boxes I’d bought at Michaels. The girls painted them, then sealed them up with Modge Podge. They made sails out of felt and designed paper flags. The only trouble has been getting the mast to stay up. We tried anchoring it with air-dry clay and hot glue, but the moment it gets splashed in the tub, it falls apart. We’re going to try a new tactic next week. The math gnomes seem to be enjoying them, regardless. 🙂

I hope everyone else is enjoying their springtime so far! I’m so excited about all the plans I have for the months ahead. We have one more week of our weather unit, then we move on to fossils for a bit, and then we begin our months-long unit on ponds! What are your spring and summer plans? Do you homeschool all year round?

Resources We Used This Week:

A quick shout out and thank you to feedspot.com for featuring us in their list of Top 10 Secular Homeschool Blogs! Be sure to check out the list–some of my favorite blogs are on there. I feel honored to be in their company. 

Click here to see the Top 10 Secular Homeschool Blogs list on Feedspot!

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