Thursday, January 9, 2014

Baby Animals - Which babies get help from their dads?

The first lesson on this day was called Gentle Leading.  The question we asked was, what does it mean to be gentle?  We were supposed to talk about how we would carry an egg.  Then pass an egg back and forth and practice being gentle.  I started the discussion with my boys talking about eggs.  Lachlan loves the concept of eggs, so it always gets him intrigued.  But then another opportunity came up to practice our gentleness.  Our guinea pigs needed their cage cleaned.  We have been working on gentleness with them as they hold the guinea pigs but never really gave it a name.  So this vocabulary was perfect.

I got the guinea pigs out and put them on the bed with the boys.  We talked about being gentle with our actions, but the part that I really liked was the idea of being gentle with our sounds and voices.  I would have never thought about the fact that we could be gentle with our words except that Mother Goose Time had it as one of their bullet points.  The boys were doing really well for the first few minutes, but Peter in particular, quickly got noisy and loud and was not being gentle.  So he had to get down.  But for a short time we were able to hold our Gentle feathers and talk about the concept in regards to our new pets. 
 First Lachlan showed his new word to the guinea pigs.  Then I asked him to show me. 

Next we worked on the Holding 5 activity.  First I put an apron on Peter and we talked about how seahorse Dads care for their seahorse babies by holding them in their pouch.  I gave him 5 foam octagons and asked him if he can hold them all in his pouch.  He got to work picking them up and tucking them away.  He loves this sort of activity.  He often pretends he is a Mommy rhino and fills his shirt with hotwheels cars and then lays his eggs by squatting down and dumping them out.  It's a little hard to explain to him that rhinos don't lay eggs.  We have told him, but he doesn't seem to care. 
After filling his pouch with his babies, MGT had us ask them to pretend to swim like a seahorse.  This was Peter's interpretation.
Lachlan was playing in his room and when he came out I put his apron on and asked him if he could also fit 5 seahorse babies in his pouches.  So he collected his 5 octagons and put them in his pouch.
Next I asked Lachlan to pretend to swim like a seahorse and I was quite impressed.  He got it spot on. 
See his little fins on the side that he is fluttering as he moves along slowly.  He then told me about their curly tails that they can use to grab onto things.  He must have seen a Wild Kratts about them at some point. 

After they both swam like seahorses, I got out the Counting Card.  Which of course had 5 spaces for octagons on it.  So Lachlan emptied his pouch and placed the 5 octagons on the counting card.  Peter sat back and admired his work.
I tried working on the Queen's Quilt with the boys several times.  I just couldn't get them interested.  It was a great concept.  I took the Hands-On letter Q and drew a smiley face on it.  We were to pretend it was the queens baby and we needed to find it a quilt.  But as I said, it was a no go. 

So I moved on to Octagon Sides which was an activity in our My Little Journals.  I cut out a bunch of little strips of paper.  I chose green paper because it is one of the colors we are learning this month.  I asked Peter how many sides does an octagon have?  He wasn't sure, but I told him that it has 8 sides and asked him to count out 8 strips of paper.  He is a great counter and we did this no problem.  For Peter I helped him set the 8 sides out in the shape of an octagon and then he helped me glue them down. 

First, with Lachlan, I had him write his name on the front of his journal.  I got out the dry erase board again with his name still on it.  He did great, all on his own.  I just gave him a quick reminder to put the letters close, so they all fit.  I walked away and let him get to work.  When I came back to the kitchen, I saw he was putting the writing pen to the dry erase board and I reprimanded him, telling him not to write on that board with that pen.  I felt so bad, because he wasn't going to.  He was simply pointing to which letter he needed to write next and keeping track that way.  Sad Mommy moment.

Next I talked with him about how many sides an octagon has and we counted out 8 strips of paper.  I gave Lachlan the glue stick and strips and let him get to work all on his own.  On the octagon page of the journal there is a little picture of an octagon so he had something to look at.  He did really well, but at the end I noticed one strip of paper had escaped and was sitting next to him on the floor.  I had him count how many sides he had on his octagon and when he discovered he was one shy and only had 7 sides he started looking for the other strip of paper.  When he found it I helped him reorganize his octagon to fit one more side.
 Counting his sides.
 Mom, I am smiling for you, no really.  Just take the picture.

The next day was his 5th Birthday!  I can't believe it.  He is getting so big and able to do more and more on his own.  I love seeing him grow and excel in new areas. 

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