Wow! I can’t believe it is week 29 all ready! This week, we spent some more time on our farm unit, including making a visit to the farm!
To begin our week, I taped a bunch of computer paper together to make a long page and wrote the ABC’s out on it vertically, then we brainstormed words associated with farming and put them next to whatever letter it began with. I know I’m a dork because this was the activity I was really looking forward to – actually, one of the ones I’ve been most excited about in my entire curriculum. Elizabeth though, not so much. It ended up taking us two days. Now, if we’d been in the car with the music off and no paper to slow us down, she would have come up with 200 words instead of 30…
The next day, we made an animal sound song. It took her a little bit to get the idea of what I wanted, and she didn’t keep it to farm animal sounds, but I intended for it to be a silly song of patterns with animal sounds. It didn’t last long, but it could be a fun activity to do in the car again, or just whenever, you know, like anytime she says she’s bored, what should she do. Then we looked up information or videos on things associated with the farm that she wanted to find out more about. This resulted in finding a funny cat video which she has requested to watch every day since and which she laughs right out loud to. Not farm related, but a good laugh never hurts.
Thursday, though it was cold and there were flurries falling from the sky, we headed to the farm where their father works. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been there, though I think he took them once in the late fall after he returned to the area. Paul was really excited, it’s so cute to watch him grow! As Chepe was hooking up the milking machine, he wanted to pet the cows too, so Chepe would pull him over next to him to let him stroke the cow’s belly and back leg. Except the kid is only about as tall as their bellies, so he looks so tiny, not to mention these are organic cows so they are smaller than those on a regular farm, where he would seem like an ant next to those giants. Chepe mostly just let him pet one cow, which is the friendly one who isn’t riled by much. When I asked what her name was, he said, “84.” This made me laugh. Poor cows, what boring names. Over all, the trip wasn’t really that exciting, but the kids like to go.
And today, Elizabeth and I did the math component of the unit. I found some pictures of three different habitats online, mostly through Wikimedia because it didn’t take so long to load, and made them whole page spreads. Then, I found pictures of animals that live in those habitats, which I left smaller so that they kind of fit on the pages. These I then printed off and cut out and let her place the animals in their respective habitats.
I also set up math obstacle course. It wasn’t very elaborate, but spread from the living room down the hall and into the play room. There were six obstacles, and after each, she had to do a simple addition equation in order to move onto the next. After helping me set up the course, including standing up two sets of dominos to be knocked down, she went through the first obstacle (a tunnel) and saw that she had to do an equation and dug her heels in, saying that she just wanted to play and didn’t want to do the math. Unfortunately, this wasn’t good enough for me, and I knew that she needed me to dig my heels in and squash the mouthy talk, so she had a quiet time in her room for a bit. Upon returning upstairs again, I required that she do the course per my instructions (minus the dominoes which I didn’t set up again) and, interestingly, as she went along doing the math problems, she relaxed into it and even seemed to be enjoying doing them. I’m not really sure why she was opposed to them, it has been a while since we’ve done any addition, but it honestly seems like just enough challenge for her that she feels a sense of success and even an enjoyment out of it, if she would just put her mind to it. So, I guess addition problems and reading are the big things that I need to work on with her to prepare her for school next year.
I’ve also had some possible and probable job opportunities come up this week, both that I am very excited about (I don’t want to send either of them bad vibes by talking about them too much), but they do leave me feeling exhausted and wondering how exactly I am going to do it all as a single parent. Well, I will just do the best that I can, just the same that I’ve been doing all along.
Keep sending me good vibes, and share your thoughts: What are some fun activities you have done centered around the farm?