Homeschool Reading Blog

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Mother & Father's Day Cards

Help your child make cards for Mother's Day & Father's Day this week. If you can, maybe Dad can help your child make Mom's & vice versa to make it special. Here are some ideas for Mother's Day cards to get you started. For some cute Father's Day card ideas as well, click here, here, & here.
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Make a Book Together

Work with your child to make a book like What Mommies/Daddies Do Best only a personalized version. Take dictation while your child thinks through what they feel their mom & dad do best. Put each sentence on a separate piece of copy or construction paper. Let your child do the illustrations. Again, save this creation for future enjoyment after reading plenty of times together this week.
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Animal Babies

Look through the animal babies books & talk about the different names for babies. Note that the babies often look like their parents, but sometimes not so much when they are newborn. ALWAYS when they grow up, they share their parents' looks.
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Orphans & George Muller

One more extra idea; not sure if it's a great one, but we'll include it for now. With so many great orphan movies out there, you could build some appreciation for great stories AND having parents at the same time by watching a few of those classic orphan flicks this week together. Here are a few that came to mind: Heidi (Shirley Temple version), Annie, The Little Princess (Shirley Temple again), Pollyannna, Toby Tyler, Disney's Jungle Book, Tarzan, & Cinderella. I do have to say though, if you're going to do this, especially with those Shirley Temple movies, you may want to pick only one or two for this week. I tell you, both Heidi & The Little Princess will rip your kid's heart out! You'll be sending them on an emotional roller coaster if you watch more than a couple of these in a week. Just saying. My kids at this age loved them, but they are "emotionally charged". When I think about orphans, I always think George Muller. If you or your child haven't "met" Mr. Muller yet, I have a wonderful "orphan story" for you! 



And for an "early reader" on Mr. Muller, read George Muller: Does Money Grow On Trees? by Catherine MacKenzie together. (His name is pronounced like Mew-ler, not mull-er.)

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Share a Song and Book Together

Read Somewhere In the Ocean together. It is actually a song to be sung to the tune "Over in the Meadow" (which is a song about Mamas, too). If you're unfamiliar with it, hear it sung here...

 My children have loved this musical ocean book over the years. It's one of their favorites & never gets old. I put it in this week's unit since it talks of the mamas & their babies in the ocean. You can use it again in a few weeks when we do the Ocean Unit. The author has since written several books along the same lines, so you could take your pick of any or all of them sung to the same tune & with the same charm: Way Up In the Arctic, Over In the Garden, & Way Out In the Desert.

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Looking Ahead

Rustle up some plastic eggs, pipe cleaners, silver duct tape, & LED tea lights for next week's firefly craft. Very cute!! Worth the time to gather & buy what you don't have to make a few of these little critters.

If you don't have dried black beans, pick some up at the grocery store over the weekend for next week. And if you want to make "ladybugs", get some dried lima beans & red spray paint, too.

You'll also need either an empty egg carton or 12 baby food jars or the equivalent.

If you don't have pipe cleaners, a couple paper plates, yarn, & play dough, you may want to get more of those before next week so your child can make bugs & a spider web. And for a little extra fun, stop by the dollar store & get a bug cage/house.

If you don't have an anthill outside that you can observe, look into buying an ant farm at Hobby Lobby or Walmart. Either way, make sure you have a magnifying glass or two for your child to watch the ants next week.

Order & pick up the books on bugs for next week's unit.

If you want to use colored sand in a few weeks (during the Ocean theme), you will need to order or purchase the materials. Here are a few other cute ones: sea life mobiles or day at the beach pictures.

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General Goals

  • To differentiate contrasts in music such as high/low pitch, loud/soft dynamics, fast/slow tempo, unison/harmony, and major/minor.
  • To use singing, playing, and/or moving in response to a variety of musical ideas.
  • To attend live musical performances.
  • To explore and identify a wide variety of sounds, including the human voice.
  • To recognize the four basic instrument families: woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings.
  • To introduce Thomas Edison as an inventor & Beethoven as a composer.
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  • Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin - Lloyd Moss
  • Tubby the Tuba - Paul Tripp
  • My Fist Music Book - Helen Drew
  • Meet the Marching Smithereens - Ann Hayes
  • Animal Music - Harriet Ziefert 
  • Mouse Practice - Emily Arnold McCully 
  • Little Critter: Just a Little Music - Mercer Mayer
  • Pete the Cat books - Eric Litwin & James Dean
  • Edison's fantastic Phonograph - Diana Kimpton
  • A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison - Don Brown 
  • Time For Kids: Thomas Edison: A Brilliant Inventor - editors of Time for Kids
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Find Some Fresh Music

Hopefully you were able to find some kind of live music experience for your child to attend; either a short orchestral concert or a high school musical, etc. Maybe you have a neighbor or relative that would even be willing to give you a personal concert on the dulcimer or guitar. Use your imagination. As much as recordings are wonderful, there is no substitute for live music. If you absolutely can't get anything worked out (or in addition to the live music), you may wish to expose your child to one of the classic musicals this week. Our children have enjoyed all of these at very young ages: Oklahoma!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, and Annie. If you've not seen any of these yourself, this would be a great week to check one of them out of the library & enjoy together.
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Philharmonic Fun

Play around at the New York Philharmonic site for kids. Soooooo much great stuff there! I would highlight the best parts of this site, but the whole thing is great. You can listen to the different instrument families there, hear each instrument IN the family, introduce composers by countries or style, get ideas on making your own instruments, make your own musical creations in the Composition Workshop, & play some fun musical games! Excellent musical site.