Fun @ 4: Symmetry and Fossils

Written by Mommy Cameron | Homeschooling

It felt good to finally get back to “doing school” and both boys were excited and willing to do school today.


Thing 1’s day began as normal, with sight word practice from You Can Read – Unit 7.  I think he enjoys the sight word practice because it is easy. 

After we did our math for the day, we came back to do a little more reading.  Thing 1 tends to shut down when things are hard.  This has definitely been the case with reading.  So I have been searching for a way to help him break through this barrier. 

Over the weekend I came up with a new plan.  Thing 1 is a child who works best with proper motivation, otherwise he just shuts down.  When he was potty training, Thing 1 needed a reward (trains.)  Whereas, Thing 2 needed little motivation, he learned in about 3 weeks, with only a little bit of ice cream as a reward.  So I have decided to offer Thing 1 some reward for trying. 

We are going to use the BoB Books (to start) and work through each book every week.  We will review the letter sounds, work on spelling words using the review letters, and then we will read 2-4 pages together.  Each lesson will be 10 minutes, 15 at the very most.  Each week my goal is to have him read through the entire book two times.  When he is able to do that we will cross that book off the chart I made.  Once we have made it through the entire set, he will get a prize. 

As I sat down today and explained this plan, he was all for it and very excited.  This is the most motivated he has been about reading in a long time.  He was so motivated that he read through all of book 1 in set 1 twice, thus allowing him to cross it off his list.  No surprise to me he did great, proving what I kind of knew in the first place, was that he was ready and can do it. 

Set 1: Book 1  Mat
Reviewed sounds: a, m, t, s, o, n

We spelled: mat, sat, Sam, on, not, am, mom, man (I think that was all)
He read pages 1-8 two times.

Thus tomorrow I will have him go through book 1 again, and then we will move on to book 2. 

Oh, I have also made a chart with 100 squares on it to record the first 100 books that Thing 1 reads.  Today we were able to add the first book to our chart. 

I am hoping that this works and we can keep him motivated.


Today we talked about symmetry using play dough and cookie cutters.  I originally wanted to make cookies, but I ran out of time, so instead we used the play dough. 

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I would roll out some play dough, then Thing 1 would pull out a cookie cutter and we would make the shape.  We would then "cut” lines into the dough and test to see if they were lines of symmetry.  Some of the shapes were easy for Thing 1 to see, while others he struggled with a little more. 

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What was great about the play dough is that we could make light cuts into the play dough (not going all the way through) then we were able to fold it over to see if it had symmetry.  If we made a line that wasn’t correct we were able to make the line disappear without having to make a brand new shape.  This definitely helped Thing 1 when he would struggle to find the line of symmetry.

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Today we began our dinosaur study.  A few weeks back Thing 1 requested that we learn more about dinosaurs next.   He wants to know more than Daddy about dinosaurs, thus our chosen topic. 

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Our first topic was fossils.  So we read Dinosaur Fossils by Leonie Bennett.  While I read the book, Thing 1 used our dinosaurs and some left over salt dough to make fossils.  However, instead of just pressing the dinosaurs into the salt dough, he buried them, since that is how fossils were made.  This meant that I was not able to put it in the over to dry.  Oh well, at least he took to heart how the fossils were made.  Once he realized that it wasn’t any fun to have the dinosaurs buried, he took them out an started playing with them in the pumpkin spice play dough, which made it look like real dirt. 

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What fun activities have you done when learning about dinosaurs?

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