Showing posts with label unit study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unit study. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Studying America

The boys are enjoying the extra planned activities in our day. Actually, they have been enjoying them so much that we have already finished most of the activities that aren't reusable and reused the reusable ones a lot more than I thought we would. I didn't want try too much for this first unit study, but clearly next month I should add more.

The boys have enjoyed doing more worksheets. Aaron has suddenly become really careful about coloring and tracing. This happened right around his third birthday, but I think it had more to do with him observing me actually color Thomas the Tank Engine correctly, than simply turning three. Andrew loves to color, so he scribbles happily along beside.

I was pretty happy with the collection of American themed activities I chose, as they covered a little bit of everything. Preschool basics like tracing, counting, coloring, sorting, graphing, as well as facts about American history. We did do one quick craft I made up where we glued stars and stripes that I had cut out of wrapping paper to make our own flags.

Probably everyone's favorite thing was the special Fourth of July food. The hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, frozen yogurt, and sparkler cookies were all a big hit.

We are still continuing our American facts calendar and singing songs about America. Aaron has learned quite a few facts and songs this month, and Andrew likes to chime in too. It is really neat to hear Aaron requesting to sing The Star Spangled Banner, presidents song, state song, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and America the "Beauty" (as he calls it). Don't let him convince you though that it was Thomas Andrew Jefferson that wrote the Declaration of Independence though, as Thomas Jefferson really has no middle name. Aaron just throws that in when he is feeling silly. I love that he is learning so much but is still a funny three-year-old.

I'm looking forward to continuing with this theme slowly for the rest of July and starting to plan our next unit study for August: D is for Dinosaurs. Although whenever Aaron sees me starting to work on it, he wants to do everything right now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our First Unit Study: America the Beautiful

With the boys begging for more school activities, I decided to incorporate some simple unit studies into our days. Aaron definitely needs a challenge, and Andrew is happy to be a part of any activity we can include him in. Eventually, I want our boys to have a good understanding of both America's and China's history and geography, as well as the states of Illinois and Texas. I thought that celebrating the 4th of July all month long would be a great first unit study. We're keeping it simple and doing the activities as a sort of birthday party for America. Aaron is getting really excited about celebrating America's birthday, and Andrew loves our patriotic decorations.

I found so many awesome resources online that I thought I would share them in case anyone else wants to learn more about America this month, or anytime of the year.

The blog 1+1+1=1 has an awesome calendar you can print that teaches history facts. You can also print out activity sheets that accompany the calendar to reinforce the facts in fun ways.

2 Teaching Mommies provides a free printable 4th of July activity pack. These preschool worksheets and activities teach basic skills using fun patriotic graphics.

Homeschooling in Heels has a really cool lapbook pack available to download and print for free. I think we are going to have to wait a year or two for this one, but it still looks well done.

Currclick has a free ebook about why we celebrate this holiday in the first place.

Kidzone has free coloring sheets focusing on state history and geography.

DTLK has a lot of 4th of July activity sheets and games for kids.

Apple 4 the Teacher also has a ton of coloring sheets and other activities focusing Independence Day and American history.

Family Fun has some neat craft ideas. Including printouts for a patriotic paper airplane and patriotic pinwheel that look fun.

We have also been trying to learn more songs together as a family, and I think we will try to learn some patriotic songs this month. And perhaps we will work on the pledge of allegiance with Aaron as well.

There are so many awesome resources out there to pick and choose from. It is great to be able to pull together activities that are right for each child's level and tailor what you want to focus on. I pulled bits and pieces from a lot of these resources. I may add more if time allows, and the boys are still interested. We'll see what we all end up using this year, and can always save things they aren't ready for yet for another year.

So far we have just done a few days of the calendar cards and some of the activities from 2 Teaching Mommies. Aaron has enjoyed them a lot and asked to do more. I plan on making traditional American food for tomorrow's official birthday party, and we may try to make other special treats and/or crafts throughout the month. I want to make this learning experience lots of fun for our little guys.


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