Saturday, January 10, 2015

Journey into Africa - The People

Its been a while! I am sorry for the delay but its been pretty busy; From a new baby in the house to a hand-fasting and moving! Thankfully things are calming down and we can start blogging our adventures once more.

Story Time

The first two weeks of January we are focusing on AFRICA, and our reading list reflexs that. Some of the stories we have read a this week have been:

We also listened and watched Youtube videos on some African Folk tales such as:

African Folktale - Anansi
Why do mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears
How did the Leopard get it's spots

Arts and Crafts / Social Studies / Cultural Studies

African Tribal Mask:


We explored the internet to discover the unique styles of African masks. We talked about the meanings and uses for these beautiful art forms. He enjoyed watching videos of tribal gatherings where these masks were worn in intricate dance and ceremony. His favorite was one from West Africa, and he used it for inspiration as he created his own.

Needed items:

  1. Cardboard 
  2. Paint
  3. A means to cut the cardboard

How to:
  1. Cut the cardboard into a shape of your preference
  2. Paint your own details
  3. Enjoy!

African Beaded Neck Rings:


This is another activity where I can't cite a particular website or tutorial. So we ended up googling and discovering together. We found that some cultures have very simple rings while others have detailed patterns. We learned that the necklace or neck ring that a person wore can tell others many things. They could denote if a person was a warrior,a mother, ready to marry, a child, the mother of a warrior or married.  We looked at lots of pictures with different styles before Chandler was ready to make his own. His favorite was of the Maasai woman that I shared above his craft.

Needed items:
  1. CardStock or a paper plate
  2. Paint
  3. A means to cut the material

How to:
  1. Cut the center out and make one cut around the edge so that you can 'open' it to put it on the child.
  2. Examine other examples and discuss what your design might say about you.
  3. Paint your own neck ring
  4. Enjoy!

Arts and Crafts / Animal Sciences 

Safari Observation

Since going to Africa is out of our budget we went on a safari of our own. We dumped out every animal we had (a crazy amount!) and Chandler helped sorted the animals that lived on the African continent into their own group. Next the turned over a bucket and placed one animal on the very top and used his science eyes to observe the animal. How many legs did it have? Did it have sharp teeth or dull teeth? Did it have camouflage? If so what about it's marks give you a hint about where it lives? After he observed the animal on his safari - he would document his findings by illustrating what he saw. He isn't one to sit for long but he didn't budge for almost an hour (by choice!) as he took down the details and moved from one animal to the next! 

Science / Cooking Skills

Make a Gingerbread House:

Absolutely nothing to do with Africa! More like Momma taking advantage of the post holiday clearance items. I wanted to help bolster his independence and help him gain those ever important life skills so no matter how badly I wanted to pipe on those perfect lines and keep a pattern in the gumdrops - I refrained. Instead I helped him enough by getting it together with out falling over and let him go to work. He had a BLAST! He loved showing everyone our gingerbread house and telling them he did it on his own! So many lessons are learned that don't come from a book!

Phonics / Spelling / Fine Motor Skills

Sight Word Bingo

Easy Peasey and lots of fun. I made these in just a few minutes the night before. I cut a piece of cardstock in fourths and drew lines on them. I wrote each sight word in the space with a pencil so that I can change them upon mastery. ( I have stopped thinking week to week. One of the best parts about Homeschooling means you can move forward as your child masters a skill - not force him to keep up with some imagined scale) I cut up some colored note cards with craft scissors for fun covers. I made four cards for them to choose from. One set has four words, while the other set has eight. Giving Chandler the option to chose the level of difficulty makes the came much more approachable.

Clothes Pin Spelling


Another quick and easy game that you can adjust as you move through words. I wrote the words clearly on note-cards and wrote a letter on each clothes pin. The child sorts through clothes pins and pin the clothes pin atop the letter. Its also a sneaky way to work on that pincher motion that cause kids to struggle with scissors.

Sight Word Blobber

Instead of just point and read sight words this week - we made it fun! I took some paint I still had out from the mask project and a foam brush. I quickly wrote his words on a paper and armed him with the brush. Whenever I called out the word he had to locate it and SMASH the word with the foam brush. For a kid who thinks he's HULK half the time you can imagine the sound effects! He had so much fun. Its these kind of impromptu activities that makes Homeschooling so worth it for us.

Emotional Understanding

Face Place

Little boys and little girls have some fiery spirits. It's easy to toss up your hands and yell at them for yelling at you. We want to take their toys because they took their siblings and aren't listening. This is neither fair nor effective. So we are trying a new approach. Addressing our emotions. He lashes out and so do we. So this week we took to my camera and made all sorts of faces. We talked about what would cause us to make that face, and how it felt in our hearts. It was an opportunity to talk about calm down methods and to admit that sometimes Mommy doesn't follow those methods, but she does try - and that's the important part. We talked about going to an empty room to take calming breaths and we practiced meditation. We spoke about how sometimes we get angry we forget how to use our words and would rather stomp or yell - and how its important then more than ever to realize and choose a different path.

Math / Arts and Crafts

Paint by Numbers

Worksheets can get dull, so to work on our number recognition we opted to take advantage of the Christmas Clearance (see a pattern here lol) and snag up some paint by numbers for 75% off.

Sorting and Organizing - Animal Families

Before we could do our Animal observation and documentation we had to sort out our African animals from our other animal toys.Chandler took it a step further by sorting the African Animals into family groups. Which led to a discussion about different traits between the parents. He noticed that unlike the white tail deer we have here both adults had horns in a lot of the animals we have. He noticed that male lions have a heavy mane, while Lioness did not. Naturally my little Ninja wasn't happy with sorting them, he had to stack them "so they can have piggy back rides!" 


Song we are learning

Some of Our Favorite Images We Discovered 


1 comment:

  1. Great Post! Makes me wish my girl was little again.... :-)