This week we rowed Virginia Lee Burton's wintry story, Katy and the Big Snow .
Katy is "beautiful red crawler tractor" who works hard and diligently. When the town of Geoppolis becomes heavily snowed in, the Highway Department changes Katy's bulldozer to a snow plow and relies on her strength and determination to dig everyone out.
We had fun with this winter book. We learned about responsibilities, cooperation, road signs, and snow-plowing (with a hands-on activity of shaving-cream-snow!).
Social Studies: Relationships- Responsibilities
On the first day of rowing Katy and the Big Snow, we discussed responsibility within the story. We talked about Katy's responsibility as a worker for the Highway Department and everyone who relied on her to help them get out of the snow: the police department, fire department, electric and telephone companies, doctors, etc.
We brought the topic closer to home and talked about our own responsibilities. At first, Aidyn had trouble listing any of his responsibilities, but we created a chain of effects if he did not keep up his responsibilities. For example, we talked about how he is responsible for keeping his teeth clean and how that affects everyone else. If he did not keep his teeth clean, we would have to take him to the dentist and pay for treatment, and the money that would go to treatment might not be spent on other, more fun, things. If he did not keep his teeth clean, he might be in pain and have to miss school days, which could affect his learning, etc. I also reminded him of his other responsibilities around the house (such as cleaning doorknobs), which helps keeps everyone at home healthy and clean.
Social Studies: Running a city
Through reading the book many times, we learned how a city runs and how specific departments rely on others. If one person does not do his job, others are surely affected.
Social Studies: City- Street Signs
We had so much fun learning about street signs! I printed out a book of streets signs from www.homeschoolshare.com. We talked about each sign individually, and I acted out (via a white board and a toy car) what each sign meant. Aidyn enjoyed acting out different scenarios (if the driver did NOT see the yield sign and, therefore, crashed into a truck or if he DID see the sign and was safe).
Later, while I was driving our own car, he noticed several different road signs, some that we went over and completely new ones. In acting out different scenarios, he learned how important road signs are and how important it is for drivers to be aware of and responsive to them.
Sensory Play: Shaving Cream Snow
After laying cellophane on our dining room table, we made a city out of wooden blocks and brought in some toy cars and trains.
Soon toy cars couldn't drive through the snowy sludge, so a train acted as the snow plow.
This was meant to only be a short activity, but Aidyn ended up "playing in the snow" for the majority of the day.
Cooking 101: Snowflake and Snowpeople Pancakes
In an effort to work on his fine motor skills (in pouring batter and flipping pancakes) but mostly for fun, we made snowflake and snowpeople pancakes one morning.
Luckily snowflakes are all unique so all his splatters were praised as fine snowflakes!
Fresh off learning how to make paper airplanes, Aidyn tried his hand at cutting out snowflake patterns. Aidyn and I, along with our uber-talented friend, Amanda, made PILES of snowflakes. Below is a photo of about 10% of them.
Art: Gingerbread House
At Aidyn's art class, we made a gingerbread house with all the trimmings!
Aidyn's handwriting is as atrocious as a medical doctor's so we've been implementing copywork into our day. Homeschool Share has copywork pages available for all the FIAR titles.
Aidyn just finished up Chapter 11 of his California Math book. It covered patterns, which for Aidyn was easy-peasy but just right to ease into winter break. When we return to schooling, he'll be working on reviewing place value to 100.
We just finished the chapter on long i (-i_e, -igh-, and -ie). Words like sight, night, light, etc. were tricky for him to learn but playing with phonics tiles helped as did several games of Long-i Bingo.
We also rented a Leap Frog Learning Pad to help with learning to read.
We breezed through Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House (Geronimo Stilton, No. 3)
in one day! He loves the Geronimo Stilton graphic novels.
We've also been reading several Christmas stories, like One Splendid Tree, and re-reading favorites like Cranberry Christmas
and Great Joy.
Aidyn wrapped up his last weeks of karate before the winter break and learned some new defensive moves.
After a character class on sensitivity, we attended a show by Lariat Larry, who twirled his ropes, lassoed a few children, and told animated stories about rattlesnakes guarding gold in a cave and folk tales of Pecos Bill.
Every day, rain or shine, Aidyn has been goofing off outdoors with his friends, tracking toy trains through the mud, playing tag and hide-n-seek, and telling scary stories.
We have just begun our winter break and plan to play, lounge around, reflect on the past year and make goals for the next one!