Preschool at Home–Studying Corn

In honor of Thanksgiving, we studied corn this week. For science, we used this “From Seed to Plant Specimen Center” from Lakeshore Learning. Dora really enjoyed trying to figure out which seed, leaf, and fruit/vegetable went together. If you buy this set, do yourself a favor and somehow mark the leaves so that you know which one is which. They come in little baggies that are labeled, but if you take them all out of the baggies without marking them in some way, some of them are hard to figure out. The seeds are very easy to identify, as are the fruit/vegetable cards, which are color-coded anyway. It took a large group effort for us to match all of the leaves though.
Corn Art
For our art project, we made corn prints with bubble wrap. We cut the bubble wrap into a corn cob shape, which Dora then painted. We placed a piece of paper on top of the painted bubble wrap and used a rolling pin to make a to fully press the paper onto the bubble wrap. Later, I made some corn leaves, which Dora glued onto the corn prints.
Our literature focus this week was The Littlest Pilgrim, which is not a Thanksgiving book, per se. This book had been highly recommended to me, but I was quite disappointed. While the book is not offensive per se, it teaches a lesson that is contrary to what I believe and to how I am raising Dora. The book is about a little girl, named Mini, who is the littlest pilgrim in her village. Each two page spread discusses all of the things that she is too little to do. At the end, she learns that the one thing that she is not too little to do is make friends. I found this to be rather disappointing. I am spending so much effort using Montessori methods and materials to help Dora learn the skills to be as independent and capable as possible and this book teaches that little children aren’t capable of doing anything useful. So this book will be added to our donation pile. 
Fire Station TourFor our fieldtrip, we did not go anywhere corn-related. Our local homeschool group had scheduled a tour of a fire station, so we joined them for that. Originally, the tour had been advertised as being for ages 8-10, then it seemed like only younger children were going, so I signed Dora up. Unfortunately, the change in age range was not communicated to the fire station instructor, so the instruction level was at a much higher level than was really appropriate for Dora. She did really well, behavior-wise, and with attempting to answer questions. She did, however, get a bit confused. The whole afternoon after the tour, I had to check every single door to see if it was hot before I was allowed to open it! When we finally were able to go see the fire equipment, it was very impressive, but the whole area was a bit much for Dora. When I tried to put her in the fire truck to have a turn, she totally freaked out. Then she asked to go back in it and freaked out again. I couldn’t even get a picture of her in the truck. We actually had to leave at that point, because she was just wore out from being over-stimulated.
H Basket
In other areas, we continue to work through our alphabet baskets and are on the letter “H”. In case you missed a previous post about this, I fill a basket with objects that begin with our letter of the week, a capital and lowercase sandpaper letter, and a Leapfrog Magnetic Alphabet letter. We then discuss the sound the letter makes in relation to the objects, listen to Leapfrog pronounce the letter, and finger trace the sandpaper letters. We also continue to use Handwriting Without Tear’s wooden letter pieces, play dough letter set, and chalkboard.
Art Display 2
I’ve started putting out art prints from Child Size Masterpieces of Steps 1, 2, 3 – Level 1 Easy. I’m going to start implementing all of the elements from the curriculum soon, but for now am just putting out one print in a clear acrylic frame every couple of weeks. Dora has been very interested in all of the prints, except for the one I put out last week, which was a modern art piece (the photo above is from several weeks ago).
Our School Shelves
In addition, I’ve been setting out one music tray a week, with themed instruments. Dora already goes to a Kindermusik class every week, so we don’t a super lot with these instruments, but I like for her to explore some different concepts in addition to what they teach in class sometimes. For this week, I set out a tray of instruments that are all played by shaking them – a woodpecker, maracas, and a tambourine.
Finally, you may note that there is a globe on her shelves. That is brand new. I absolutely love the way Montessori geography objects are all colored exactly the same way, no matter what the object is (i.e. Asia is always yellow, whether it’s a globe, map puzzle, wall map, etc.). So I have just started the most basic geography introduction, by putting out the globe and showing her where we live.
Dora has been doing lots of math also, but that is a separate post unto itself. I’ll try to post about some of it next week. We are going to be taking all of next week off from homeschooling, just because we’re homeschoolers, so we can. I actually have rather mixed feelings about Thanksgiving and we usually do not make a big fuss about it around here, other than enjoying Mr. Mo being home for an extra two days (this year he is working on a Christmas-release product, so we will consider ourselves lucky if we even see him over Thanksgiving, but he will be taking three weeks off at Christmas and for part of January!).
What about you? Do you celebrate Thanksgiving and if so, how?
Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.
I’m linking this post to The Play Academy at NurtureStoreFootprints in the Butter’s Reading Aloud Challenge, and…

Chestnut Grove Academy
Shibley SmilesChestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop Favorite Resource This Week Science Sunday
Tots and Me

Labels: Language Arts, Literature, Montessori, Preschool, Science, Social Studies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff