Homeschool Reading Blog

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Make Instruments

This is the week to make instruments together & play a few CDs to accompany. Here's a good site to get your creative juices going in that direction. Here are ideas for balloon bongos, a box guitar, ( or a simpler version here), a popsicle stick harmonica, and of course you can always just get out some pots & pans to let your child drum away! Put various small things in plastic eggs for shakers (rice, dried corn, beans, dice, etc.). I save the little spice containers for this purpose. The lids make it less chance for crazy mess. Use your imagination & have fun. Use the instruments to explore loud & soft playing, fast & slow rhythms, etc. Teach your child how to keep a steady beat throughout a song. After playing LOTS this week, keep all your musical creations in a large box to pull out & accompany CDs this week and in the future.
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Discover a Piano

If you have access to a piano (if not at home, think church or a neighbor/relative's home), let your child count the white keys, black keys, etc. Point out the pattern: three black, then two, then three, then two. If you know how to play, start at C and show your child how to play 8 notes in a scale. Point out there are 8 notes in a scale. Play it softly, them louder. Let your child do it. Even if you don't now how to play, you can watch a video to learn yourself & pass on to your child.
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Parts of the Orchestra

Watch this cute old story about the tuba in the symphony to help your child hear all the parts of the orchestra...

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VIrtual Field Trip

Watch Mr. Rogers go to a guitar factory under "How People Make Things". You can also listen to tuba & french horn music there, as well as see a visit from Yo-Yo Ma there under "Field Trips".
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Major & Minor

Talk about the difference between major & minor chords by letting your child listen to both here. Scroll down to listen to the demonstration clips. Explain how major chords sound more "happy" whereas the minor chords sound "sad".
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Unison & Harmony

Explain the difference between "unison" & "harmony". Here's a little clip of three girls singling first in unison, then the same song in harmony for your child to hear the difference...


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Musical Biographies

Watch the Nest DVDs on lives of Thomas Edison and/or Beethoven. Beethoven was a famous composer, & Edison invented the phonograph/ record player which revolutionized music.

After watching Nest's Beethoven, you could listen to a few of his pieces here (3rd Symphony), here (5th Symphony), and here (9th Symphony - you can point out it's minor key).

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Jazzy Book Series

If you haven't seen Pete the Cat, now's the time. He's a crazy jazz cat with a cute series of books, each with a very simple song. Go here to get the author reading each book & singing the song on line for you to get the tune. (Scroll down to "free song downloads" to hear.) You can also find other Pete the Ct activities there. Each song is so simple, anyone can catch the tune & join along. My personal favorite is Pete the Cat & His Four Groovy Buttons. We happened upon these books when our youngest was so in love with shoes & we were looking for any kind of book on shoes. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes had just come out. Our little boy LOVED it. If your child really gets into Pete, you can even watch him move to the groove here. Cute.


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Looking Ahead

Order & collect the books on mothers & fathers for next week's theme.

Look over the various card making options found in next week's ideas & make sure you have crafting needs for that card. (ex - One card idea requires scrap booking stickers that fit a dad's hobbies. Another requires green pipe cleaners.)

Look over the list of orphan movie ideas to borrow if you want to do that & need to get a hold of them. The list is found toward the end of next week's ideas.

You may want to place an order for some bugs or pick some up as you see them at the store over the next couple of weeks in preparation for our bug unit coming up. You don't have to, but sorting bugs & a tube of bugs is nice to be able to handle plenty of insects that week. All four of our kids & their cousins have really enjoyed playing games with the sorting bugs at this age. A bag of bugs that looks more realistic brings another kind of fun. The two kinds serve two different purposes so think which you'd like or both & order now to have them.

This is an extra, but excellent children's musical about the Prodigal Son that you may end up liking more than your child. Since the unit on bugs is coming up, Antshillvania would be a good CD to order & listen to during that week. You can order one here if your library or church doesn't have it for you to borrow. If you've not heard of it, listen to the first song here. It's very clever!

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General Goals

  • To organize a story retelling by sequencing pictures in order.
  • To identify symmetry.
  • To recite the days of the week.
  • To demonstrate an understanding that living things have life cycles and that within each cycle the young are similar to but not identical to their parents.
  • To describe migration.
  • To distinguish the difference between a butterfly and a moth.