We started our morning a little grumpy, she said ‘I’m not ready to start my day yet.’ I kind of woke her up a bit earlier than she's used to, but it's really nice doing our lessons early so we have the rest of the day to ourselves AND we can finish what we're learning while sister is napping (because currently she takes a morning nap.) But...we had a rough start with a bit of a teeny melt down. I let her sit down and calm down a bit and decide she wasn't tired anymore before we went and got coffee.
So, we left and came back and she ‘played’ ABC mouse for a bit, this lets her re-group...letting her do something SHE has decided she wants to do before I "make" her learn. Usually this way we stumble upon something we WANT to learn that day...in this case it was coral. On ABC Mouse she won a piece of coral for her aquarium and so we decided to learn about that today. So far we have sort of let the day guide us to our lesson, it's worked great so far. I think when we "officially" start Kindergarten, we may have a more rigid curriculum going if I could ever decide on something...there is SO many and I'm still trying to figure out how Camden learns best.
We went to YouTube and found a coral video and then I quizzed her! I think my favorite part of this is that I’m learning as we go as well, she might be schooling me before too long.
Questions I asked after the video (which was roughly 10 minutes) :
Is coral an animal? Yes
Are Hawksbill Sea Turtles Endangered? Yes
Is coral stationary? Yes
What is coral made up of? Polyps
Does coral grow fast? No, only a few centimeters a year
Is all coral hard? No, there are sponges and anemones and other non-rock like formations
What is a reef? When corals grow together
Are nurse sharks fast? No
Do nurse sharks bother humans? No
What fish do clownfish scare away? Butterfly fish
Do parrot fish actually have beaks? Yes!
How do the parrotfish help the coral? They eat the limestone and poop it out into fine sand! (Camden of course remembered this the most and thinks it's so funny!)
Are anemones predators? Yes
Sea Anemones are what to Coral? Relative
She really only got a few wrong. She said that coral grows a few centimeters a week, so I politely corrected her and said 'year'. Watching videos really helps her retain information well, so I do know that about her learning process so far. Watching a video before our lesson is working out well.
She did super great, so I told her she could have 20 minutes of ‘normal’ videos as she calls it (Ryan's Toy Review y'all, you too? ha!) and then we did a coral project! Later we will recall facts about Big Ben and touch base again on Egypt a bit too!
To start off, we used MY FAVORITE THING...our new letter board to spell out what today's lesson was. Again, I love this thing because I can tell her how to spell out what I want her to spell out on the board. She loves finding the letters and then reading what it says!
We wanted to construct a coral reef. We used a ton of different elements to try and imitate one! We used coffee filters and dry baby wipes to make the seaweed and corals. We used dried stamp pads for the hard coral and we had sand on the bottom.
Dry baby wipes
Toilet Paper Rolls
Cardboard Base (We've been saving all household cardboard for projects, recycle WIN!)
You don't NEED all of these elements. We were just kind of playing to see what worked best. The dry baby wipes held color way better than the coffee filters, which were a bit washed out.
We would color either a baby wipe or a coffee filer and then dunk it in water, drip water on it, or drip food coloring on it to spread the other colors. It was super neat to see Camden have a few 'AHA!' moments about which colors mixed together made other colors!
Using the jello powder was my favorite! This substance really looked a lot like seaweed to me when we poured it on the baby wipes, it was very goopy! The thing that worked best to actually MAKE the seaweed sticks was to use the wet jello powder and roll a toothpick in it, then submerge a baby wipe in the same substance and roll it around the toothpick, it stuck really well! Then we stood them up on our reef!
The way we made the jello substance was pouring ALL of the powder in a cup and then filling it with enough water to make it goopy, not runny. And don't mix it all the way so all of the powder doesn't dissolve. It looked every more realistic since it was gritty too but not mixing it! It's a bit messy, but it was fun and turned out to be a mush of corals and seaweed and sand and it was so colorful, reefs are definitely colorful!
We had planned to add a top that looked like water and string fish from it but after making the reef, we were insanely sticky from the jello powder, so we just cleaned up and hung out with sissy after! Like everything else, I'll keep touching base on the knowledge part by asking questions!
I'm SO enjoying actually taking the time to do these projects with her. Far too much we are rushing our kids through their day, we've become such a 'busy' society. I'm trying so hard to slow down, not schedule myself to death and overwhelm my kiddo!
I hope you enjoy our photos!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!