I have shared before how I have a bit of an obsession with themes.
My love of themes will someday turn into a lot of cool unit studies for homeschooling, but for now they are very mini unit studies since I just have young children. As much as I’d like to go all out and come up with TONS of fun ideas for crafts, science, math….what I do instead is mostly follow their lead on what they are interested in…letting them come up with ideas, offering more activities that I’ve come up with only if their interest holds and they are asking questions. And I don’t really push academics at this age so I do not really incorporate math, etc.
It’s mostly for Big Sis at this point. Little Sis enjoys some of the stories and activities, but she has a sort of sixth sense about when someone is trying to teach her something and loses interest. Ha! She’s going to be an interesting one!
I’ve been wanting to start posting about these mini unit studies for ages, but I’m finally purposefully taking time to write. So hopefully these posts will start to happen more often!
My first one is on WINTER!
Have you heard of shine-a-light books?* I love them SO much! I just love fun nonfiction books that are interesting to my kids anyway, but these books are extra special because you can shine a flashlight behind each page to find a hidden picture. Once you turn the page you can learn more about it. Like this:
My favorite one is “Secrets of Winter”…maybe because it’s so applicable to our life where we live. Its beautiful and we get to learn all about what happens in the winter…frogs can freeze, some animals’ fur changes to white, some animals hibernate, etc.
So at our homeschool co-op we read this book and then did some fun winter animal yoga. You can get on pinterest and find some awesome examples of different yoga poses but I ended up just creating my own. I told a story about wind coming in, snow coming down, and what different animals were doing to get ready. Then we got into our cave and hibernated a bit as I sang a song about hibernation. Then Spring came and we woke up and stretched some more.
The kids thought it was neat how long they could keep their hands in the icy water without getting cold.
The last thing we did at our co-op was play (many) rounds of hibernate-and-seek. One child was “Spring” while all the other kids pretended to be a different hibernating animal. It was a hit. (Of course…because what kid doesn’t like hide-and-seek!)
There are SO many other things you could do on this topic and Pinterest is great for that. But my FAVORITE thing about homeschooling is letting the kids’ interest lead us. So we did some other learning on this topic that I don’t have documented. We asked questions and looked things up….”what other animals hibernate?” “what do bees do?” “what do ants do?” “do frogs really freeze?” (Another reason why I love homeschooling….because I learn so much too!!) And of course we did a lot of playing outside and observing nature.
Any other ideas out there for activities or your favorite books for learning about winter? I’d love to hear them!
*I am not going to turning this blog into one big advertisement for Usborne books, but I do want to mention that I am an Usborne Books and More Consultant (they are so awesome for homeschooling!) I sell these children’s books so that I can build our homeschooling library and earn some extra income for my family. If you’d like to check out the shine-a-light books you can click HERE to see them all on my site.
Feel free to message me if you’d like to learn more about the books or if you’re curious about getting involved somehow to build your own library! Use the “contact” me link either on the top right of this page or on my Usborne site. Cheers!