Pre-School at Home: Pond Theme

Vivi at the Zoo

I have been bad about updating about what we have been doing in our homeschool, but things have just been super hectic around here. It seems like that each night I have time to either read blogs or write for my own blog, and I keep choosing to read blogs. I love reading period and the blog format really appeals to me, but I also love reading about everyone else’s great ideas.

I did quickly realize that I am better off with weekly wrap-ups than trying to do separate posts about each subject, like I had wanted to do when the school year started. So for Dora’s pre-school work, I’m going to post twice, once for practical life work and once for her “theme” of the week, which covers literature, art, fieldtrips, and science. I may also post about her phonics and math work sometimes, when something we are doing stands out.

This week’s theme was pond animals. We read Jump, Frog, Jump!which I had never read before. It is kind of like The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, with the repetitive chant/story, except it uses animals chasing/eating animals. The story is a really good way to introduce the concept of food chains/webs to young children. We especially enjoyed the ending, which I will not give away.Frog Art 2

For an art project, we made a pond habitat with a paper plate. We glued tissue paper squares of various shades of blues and greens to the plate and then glued plastic frogs and turtles from the Safari LTD Frogs and Turtles Toob set to the green “lily pads” (I will eventually pry them off an save them for future studies). Dora was very excited about this project, as she really loves gluing.

For science, we reviewed the frog life cycle using the set of Insect Lore Frog Life Cycle Stages plastic figurines. Then we used Maurice Pledger’s Animal World Sticker Book. We also used this book to review sea shore animals the week before. This book has at least two pages that briefly discuss the animals that live in each particular habitat, which is a good way to review each animal we have discussed and/or seen during the week. Then, for several of the habitats, there is a two-page spread of the habitat with stickers for the child to decorate as she wants. Dora put all of the animals in the pond habitat together, because they are all “friends”. She even told me a few stories about the pond friends.


Ironically, right after reading Jump, Frog, Jump!, we went outside to play and there was a small frog in our backyard. Unfortunately, that frog quickly jumped, frog, jump, so Dora never actually saw it and I never was able to get a photo of it. We later went to the Woodland Park Zoo, but Dora refused to go in the Day and Night exhibit, which is where they keep the amphibians and reptiles, so she did not see any frogs there either. In addition, Dora is obsessed with botany right now and spent most of the time at the zoo examining the various foliage and berries. As a result, we didn’t even see many animals, though Dora did really enjoy the chimpanzees.

Vivi Looking at a Chimpanzee

She did have to take one day off this week to get her teeth worked on, which I posted a photo of on Wordless Wednesday (picture below again in case you missed the photo the first time). No one is quite sure what to make of her teeth. None of my four older children has had one single cavity (and I didn’t do sealants with them either), while she has had too many to count. Three of her front teeth were actually pulled last year as they had dissolved down to nubs before the dentist could get an anesthesiologist who worked with children that young in to the office. This time, she just had fillings put in and is old enough that they just gave her some Demerol (?), followed by laughing gas, rather than full anesthesia. She behaved wonderfully and things went very smoothly.

Vivi Getting Her Teeth Filled

Unfortunately, there are already signs of decay on one of her two year molars, which haven’t even fully come in. We are hoping that her adult teeth will be stronger and that as she gets older, she will fight us less about brushing her teeth. The current belief in dentistry is that cavities have more to do with the bacteria that live in a person’s mouth, than with a person’s diet and brushing habits. Ironically, she is the healthiest eater of all my children at this age. I have tried looking into alternative approaches to dentistry and experimenting with chlorophyll, xylitol, and non-alcohol-containing pH neutral rinses, but thus far, nothing has made much of a difference.

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Labels: High School, Literature, Preschool, Science, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff