Though we are still getting back into the groove of things post Christmas, this week was far better organized and definitely more successful than our South America week. My girls love dinosaurs, so on almost any given day they can be found playing in one of the two large boxes of dinosaurs we have in our house. Even Skylar really got into this unit since so many of the activities were hands on and involved playing with dinosaurs! I think it was really well placed in timing because we needed a fun unit to ease us back into school, though you could easily study dinosaurs at any point during the year. Though there are a lot of fun materials I have for the unit, the best activities were the science based ones, the dinosaur sight words game, and the dinosaur addition worksheets…and I’ll tell you why!
First of all, I found an amazing deal through Facebook one day for a dinosaur craft kit (BOGO), so I have had this craft kit for the longest time and was so excited to actually pull it out. It wasn’t as big of a hit as I would’ve hoped, but a lot was reusable and I could save for next year. I found a bunch of dinosaur egg hatching kits this year (one at the dollar store, one from a consignment sale, and one from our Sing, Spell, Read, and Write prize box. So, it was a blast to line up several glasses and watch dinosaurs hatch and grow from eggs and guess what types of dinosaurs they could be. Another big hit buy was a dinosaur card matching and lacing kit I bought from the Target dollar section (and I loved the dinosaur workbook I found at Target to practice copy work). We played with the cards in multiple ways during the week!
I can’t recommend enough the dinosaur sight word game that I used this week. Now that we are in the middle of the year, it was a great way to do a checkup and see where Aria is at in her sight word knowledge. My husband was super excited to see that she knew 63 of the sight words in the game (and I love being able to show him that we really are using our time wisely at home)! The math addition game was a great way to take a break from Math U See and do the same concepts we are learning but in a more fun way. Even if you have never done addition with your child before, I think it is a great first introduction to addition.
But by far the thing Aria loved most this unit was the science activities. Aria has recently decided her favorite thing in the world is to make up her own science experiments (you can see her working on some below). She could spend hours outside mixing different common kitchen ingredients and water to see what will happen. She is already asking for me to make a science club each week at home next year. I LOVE this, so I am all about adding more science when the unit permits. We had a blast making lava “explode” when talking about hypotheses for why dinosaurs went extinct. Aria loved digging dinosaurs out of hardened cornstarch in water like a paleontologist and making our own dinosaur bones out of salt dough to bury and dig out later. Dinosaur ice eggs are always a blast to melt, and coffee fossils are just far too easy not to try!
Needless to say, we had a busy but overall effective week. Perhaps she still doesn’t know as many dinosaur names as I would like, but we really got hands on this week and covering so much math, writing and reading in addition to our normal math and writing was really great for Aria and a really good gauge of where she is out right now. Plus, it was fun to see Skylar get really into the unit and it got me thinking some good ideas of what to do with her next year to make her first year super fun! Trust me, dinosaur unit doesn’t just have to be a silly, throw away unit- it is always one of my favorites each year and so worth a shot in your own home!
p.s. The tooth fairy made her first visit to our home this week, which was a huge surprise and completely unexpected! Can't believe Aria is already one tooth down (and she pulled it out herself)!
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Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.