Thursday, December 22, 2016

Learning About Hedgehogs

It's been Christmas break around here for my two older boys who are a part of a homeschool charter school.  Yes we homeschool, so we could still be doing stuff here.  But since we don't have to, we have been taking a break.  What we have been doing is playing a lot of Pokemon battles, which motivates my boys to read and they have to do math.  So at least they have been doing something.

The other part that has been awesome about this break from the big boy school is that we have been able to do Mother Goose Time everyday!  It took two days to work through Hedgehog day.  We started on one day with Circle Time and ended on the second day with the Invitation to Create.

We've gotten in a pretty great pattern with our Circle Time.  We put the new day up, we say today's date, we count how many days there are left until Christmas, sing the days of the week song, then sing the months of the year song, Adam and I do a shape quiz, then a color quiz, and end with counting the number fish.

Then I follow the prompts in the Teacher Guide.  The discussion question on hedgehog day was, "what do you know that is pokey?"

Adam hopped right up and went over to the Christmas tree.  He is so right, it is pokey.
 While he was back there he found the foot to one of my Goofy ornaments.
Peter of course wanted to join in on the fun and they hid behind the pokey thing as a hedgehog would hide beneath his pokey parts.

So now here is my question for the Mother Goose Time development team.  Did you know that most people would have a pokey Christmas tree in their home when you planned hedgehog day and formed this discussion question, or was that just a lucky coincidence?

Next we did the daily rhyme.
They thought this was the best thing ever and I believe we did it about ten times.
Two hedgehogs sitting on the table.
 One named Jane and one named Joe.  Runaway Jane and Runaway Joe.
 Come back Jane . . . Joe is still hiding.

 Jane and Joe are hiding.
 And they are back!!!
Next we worked on the cover of our My Little Journal.  As with all the activities with Mother Goose Time we started with a discussion.  The question we were asked was, "What do you think a hedgehog eats?"  I have to tell you, I did not know the answer.  Thankfully, MGT provides the answer so you don't have to go Google it.  They eat bugs worms, small animals, vegetables and fruits.  They are omnivores.  This, of course, is life science for toddlers and preschoolers and heck, it's a great science discussion for my Kindergartner and 2nd grader too!

I did not get a picture of the process of making the cover because I had a cute little 2 year old curled up on my lap as I traced his hand.  It was a wonderful cuddle time and I cherished it.
We turned our hand print into a hedgehog and we turned our fingerprints into bugs.  Then I wrote his name and spelled it out loud as I went.

When he hopped down from my lap it was time to explore the theme poster.  He looked for hedgehogs and pine cones but discovered icicles instead.

At this point I lost their attention.  Probably because I was trying to clean up from breakfast or checked something on my computer.  We came back to the Invitation to Create the next morning.

They had a picture of a hedgehog sitting in green grass, a brown paper plate, a pokey ball, scissors, glue, black dot stickers and white paint.  I put Adam's pokey ball on a clothes pin to give him a little bit more to hold onto.
He made quick work of cutting his plate and I was quite impressed when he had cut it in half.  He has developed beyond the fringe cut stage.  When I saw the plate cut in half I held it up to the hedgehog photo and said, "look, it looks just like the hedgehog."  Then we worked together to glue it to the green paper.  He added spikes by painting with the pokey ball.  Notice how he is only painting on the brown plate and not all over the page?  I did tell him to paint spikes on the hedgehog and he knew the brown plate was supposed to be the hedgehog.  He is certainly getting more purposeful with his art and the decisions he makes while working.
He admired the paint on the pokey ball.  It did look pretty cool.  I am definitely going to use this clothespin technique again, it worked very well.  Otherwise, I am sure he would have had his whole hand covered in white paint.
 The last touch was to put black eyeball on his hedgehog.
I really enjoy these Invitations to Create.  You can really see your child grow as they work through them.  The Adam of two weeks ago, would have just splattered white paint everywhere.  The Adam of today carefully made spikes on his hedgehog.

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