A Four year old’s Solar System

My son loves science! He is especially interested about the solar system. His dad brought home a Space book and he was thrilled. We read about the 8 planets and we went page by page.  

Since he learned about the 8 planets song, Joshua has been asking me to help him make his solar system. I have sort of procrastinated on the request until the other day. With play doh and white Carolina paper, we followed the look of every planet from his Space Book.

I drew on pencil and Joshua had to fill the planets with play doh. Once he completed it, he had to write also the title of his project. This activity made him remember the name of the planets and he also practiced his writing.

This project was real fun to make and Joshua made it as a gift to his dad. But I decided to post it in their room and write on it so both Joshua and Anna could read and remember the solar system every day.

 

Plant Life

A great way to understand the cycle of plant life is for our children to see it first hand. So part of our science study is to truly see the cycle from seed to plant.

We took some monggo seeds and see what happens in 5 days. This project takes a little patience… Because we observe what happens every day.

Day 1 – We soak seeds in water. We leave it out where the sunlight can reach it. Three major things my children learned is that life needs air, water, and sunlight to thrive.

Day 2 – we observe many of the seeds grew in size and their old cover starts to wear off.

Day 3 – we see roots starting to grow out of the seed. This time we move them to their cups with soil. Don’t forget to make holes underneath so water do not drown the seeds.

Day 4 – The good Lord has brought showers and some hours of sun.  So we left our monggos alone. We let our little farmer play some golf instead! 

Day 5 – My little farmer was so elated to see that his seeds have now grown with stems and leaves. Many of them have rooted themselves well.

What a joy for kids to understand the reality of life and nature. We may plant, we may water the seeds, but truly it is God who causes the growth! 

Volcano Project

My son had a sudden interest to understand earthquakes because of the recent 7.2 Magnitude earthquake we experienced a few weeks ago. We went through some interesting YouTube shows to help explain what happens in an earthquake.

Part of our science subject, we started to look at tectonic plates moving causing these shakes. But it went further to why the crust moves and that the earth has a mantel and core were liquid rocks, metals, and minerals. From this it got him interested to understand about lava and volcanoes. And this started our Volcano Science project.

We first got a soft drink can and cut out the top to make it like a cup. Then we cut out some old folder into strips and made it as the outline of our paper mache mountain. Then with some newspapers and glue & water, we started shaping our mountain.

Next day, after drying our mountain, we began painting on it. This activity was fun for the kids! 

After painting we had to get the Main ingredients to make our lava. You see inside the earth’s crust are some molten rocks and some will come out of a volcano when it erupts.

 Homemade lava is made of 3/4 hot water, 3 drops of red colouring, 2 table spoon liquid detergent, 2 Table spoon baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar.

This activity was super fun as they were seeing the lava quickly spew out of the volcanoes mouth.

Here is our video on how it all happened!

Homeschool Schedule for my 4 year old

Just this January, I decided to give a bit of structure to our homeschool. I created a guide on what would do everyday. For a four year old pre-schooler, a good 30 minutes to 1 hour of focused time is all we need for every subject I am teaching.

For English and Writing we do letter writing, sounds of letters and try some small word reading. Honestly, my son does not enjoy  writing, but we encourage him to try. We also do a lot of language by asking questions and answering them, doing imaginary stories, and talking about feelings.

For Science, my son loves anatomy. We bought from a bookstore posters of lungs, internal organs, teeth, and more. We discuss this and he really enjoys it. After our session, Joshua would go to his dad and explain what he understood. 

For Piano, we enrolled Josh in Gray tones school of music. I love their curriculum for kids his age. It is a mix of play and music familiarization and playing the piano.

For Math, we do a bit of number practice 1-100 and concept of addition and make Johua write numbers. We also play a math app on the iPad where it introduces fractions, addition and subtraction and sequencing.

For Arts, I have to find ways to be creative… we do painting, we create animals, we do drawing. Lots of materials are found on Pinterest. One should take a look there and get inspired! This is a sample of what we made recently — butterflies using toilet paper rolls and some colored paper and pens.

For Values we discuss bible stories, and themes like sharing, caring for each other etc.. I love the Bible for Kids app by youversion.com. They make the stories come alive with their graphics and it is easy for kids to understand. We discuss what we read and then find ways to apply.

We also insert some physical activity for Joshua and so we enrolled in swimming at the Bert Lozada Swim School. It is a one hour swimming session where our 4 year old learns the skill on swimming and survival.

What Joshua has a lot of is play. He plays blocks, he plays with clay, he plays with toys and his sister. They watch their favourite movies, they sing and dance…. they fight, they make up, they laugh and play some more.

I am not strict on my son or on myself. We are enjoying the journey of discovery and learning together. Sometimes, I don’t follow my schedule and it is okay. Our pace sometimes is fast, sometimes it’s slow. We go on my child’s pace. As a homeschooling mom it is a discipline not to look at what others are doing and comparing my child with theirs. As a parent-teacher my goal is for my child to learn and enjoy learning.

So far by God’s sustaining grace, we are doing okay.

Fearfully Made

It’s good to teach children body parts as an intro to science. Let our kids  know how God made us. So for this activity I drew on a white cartolina a faceless Boy without arms and legs. 

The idea is to make the eyes, ears, mouth, arms as cut outs that Joshua will paste into the faceless drawing. As a guided play, we start explaining the uses of each part. 

First we have 2 eyes so we can see. Then I wrap my hands on his eyes explaining if he had no eyes he cannot see. God gave us 2 eyes. Then 2 ears so we can hear and listen. Then, I cup my hands on his ears to explain that without these we cannot hear well.  And then further explaining 1 mouth for tasting and talking. Lastly God gave us 2 arms so we can feel, hold, and touch. Then, I held and hugged Joshua. I explain that hands are for helping and serving others. 

  
It is a simple activity at home that just needs paper and pen, scissors and a stick glue. I let Joshua stick the cut outs on the proper places.

Also you can further explain what areas in the body that are considered “private”. These are areas that other people should not be allowed to touch. He also should not touch other people’s private areas. They are private and should be left alone. This helps get our children awareness so that they don’t get into situations where they are in danger of molestation. I know it sounds so morbid, but there are horror stories of kids being molested. The worst part is when children are not sure if what was done to them was normal or not. So it’s good to keep our children aware and informed.

When teaching about body parts, it is important to note that God had a good plan in creating us. We are made in His image and likeness. We are also fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Colored Ice! 

Thinking of painting in a different style, I tried to follow other moms who use food coloring and water. The new idea is to put them in a ice cube tray and freeze them!

  
I placed Popsicle sticks a little early, so my ice cube tray looks like this. It still was as good because it still was able to pull out the colored ice cube. My son was excited with his new medium for art! 

  
What we used was a cartolina paper. I also recently ordered some tables and chairs from a dear designer friend, Rain Ramas. This is where Joshua can do his activities. I find it so important that Joshua will be able to reach and do things in his level and height.

  
Okay, my son started to talk about what he was doing and he has some application from our recent visit to Mind Museum. He said that he was making planet earth with the stars! A little bit of science input there. He is beginning to understand that we live in planet earth and that there is a sun and moon, with other stars and planets. The movie “Home” also made it clear that there is a big universe or space out there where the stars are, and that we live on planet earth. 

  
I am seriously amazed at my son’s growing knowledge and imagination. This was the first work he did on ice cube paint! It was so fun we ended up having to do another cartolina paper. But Joshua ended up letting our dog eat the remaining ice and he enjoyed eating this edible colored ice too!

  
This is really one fun, fun, fun activity for 2-3 year olds. But I say, even a 38 year old mom like me, enjoyed it too! 😄😄😄