Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Hands-On Learning

One of my favorite aspects of the curriculum we're using is that it incorporates regular hands-on activities to keep little ones engaged in the lesson and to reinforce learning.

This week we completed Unit 9 in Little Hearts, our Kindergarten homeschool curriculum. Some of our favorite hands-on moments of the week were math and science activities at the sink. I told Buttercup that scientists make their best guess about what will happen and then test to see whether their guess is correct. Then scientists record the results of their experiment. We practiced doing the same.

In math this week, Buttercup estimated and tested the number of cups that would fill a container.

She also estimated how many teaspoons of oatmeal would fill her measuring cup, then tried it again with a tablespoon. She made a "cube graph" out of blocks to show the number of scoops.

For science, which tied in to the Bible story of Jonah and the big fish, Buttercup collected some items around the house and guessed which would float and which would sink. She was surprised that some of the items floated, like the avocado. Here are our results:

In another science activity we read an introduction to the skin. This tied-in the with Bible story of Naaman, who received healing from his leprosy when he washed in the river. For our watery science exploration, the girls learned that water can wash dirt away but soap is needed to remove oil. Plastic wrap represented skin, washable marker was "dirt" and we put some oil on with a cotton ball. Then they dunked the plastic in plain water to wash away the marker, but they needed soapy water to remove the oil.

Another favorite activity this week was their hands-on reminder of the Bible story of Elijah and the ravens. The girls were ravens, picking up "bread" that I scattered around the living room with their "beaks" (training chopsticks). This was a lot of fun and the pinching pick-up was good for their fine motor development.

Other activities this week included hide-and-go-seek (it was part of the lesson plan and related to another Bible story!) , using dried fruit as math manipulatives (and snacks), dancing to our memory verse on CD, and doing an action rhyme, complete with spinning in circles, to help us remember our Bible lessons.

One of the things I enjoy about this curriculum, other than its biblical focus, is that most of the activities can be done with items that are found around the house, so I don't have to plan ahead or make preparations for school. I just open the guide and see what we will be doing that day. If you're interested in more information, you can find it at Heart of Dakota.


  1. What a fun, learning-filled week, Kristin!

  2. Looks like you're doing an amazing job of homeschooling, judging by those happy faces:) Kindergarten is so much fun!

    Drop by if you can, I'm giving away a membership to Math Blaster this week.


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