Monday, June 8, 2020

First Full Week of Summer Vacay

Summer vacation 2020 has very different vibes than previous summers. For starters, quite a few of the kids have already been together for a few weeks homeschooling. Since we've been homeschooling, there's still a lot of focus to keep the big kid's minds sharp. It's balancing the carefree fun days of summer with a little bit of learning through play. We've dedicated Monday's social studies days, Tuesday's are science, Wednesday's go to the arts, Thursday's are math days, and Friday's, well, Friday's will always be Free Fun Friday's. Every afternoon the kids take time for reading, writing about what they read (comprehension), and journaling. Sure it was only week one, but the schedule worked out great! 

Here's a peek at our week:

I fully realize National Donut Day is the first Friday in June, making it June 5 not Monday June 1st. However, try arguing with the minis who are convinced, no matter what Google and Alexa tell them, that it's June 1st (likely because we've celebrated on this day in the past). Whatever, it doesn't really matter to me. So, we celebrated National Donut Day on June 1st. For our social studies lesson we learned about the history of donuts, the kids got to play donut shop with Play Doh, and we ate donuts. I'm digging donut shop options on GrubHub!
Most of these Play Doh toys we've had for 6+ years. They're well loved, but still work! The kids had such a fun time with everything that we had it out all week.

I know I've said it many time, but I love for worksheets! The kids have a fun time with them.

First time for everything. On their 14 birthday (or what we celebrate as their birthday since we don't know their official birthday), the cats fished deli meat out of the trash (that I kid threw away from lunch) and ate it. If it's not a kid it's a cat.

I love watching them do their school work. Usually I can hear a pin drop in that room while they're working.

We broke out yard games to play too. Chicken toss is a favorite as is making their own obstacle courses with hula hoops. Those are our kind of yard games!

We had planned on celebrating the cat's birthday during daycare (because what kid doesn't love a party), but we couldn't ever catch both cats at the same time. When daycare closed, we gave them their donut holes (they licked them and then largely ignored everyone the rest of the night) and sang them Happy Birthday. They were not impressed. I'm fairly certain their still mad about the party beads I put on them too.

Lately, the minis have been helping me (doing most of the work actually) in prepping for the next day's activities. On this particular night, they chose to DO the activities while I finished getting the other pools blown up and ready to go. This sprinkler was instantly loved and loved so much that it was broken the next day (a seam split). 

The kids have been waiting for June 2nd to arrive because part 2 of Fuller House's last season debuted on Netflix. I gave them a three episode limit! They didn't love me for that.

More Play Doh playing.

One of the littles came back to daycare and the bigs were beyond excited. They now ask to "take turns watching me," which really just means I have to watch everyone even closer so they don't attempt to pick him up or change his diaper or.....something that they feel would be helpful but would just create more work for me! Regardless, I love watching them together and I love that they are truly helpful with things.

Science class was homemade bouncy balls. These turned out awesome and is actually a great non-messy slime recipe. Try it out here.

Double science for the day: the kids had to go around the yard and find/pick different leaves (each child had to gather 5 different leaves). Then, they came inside and used a Plant App to figure out what kind of plant or tree the leaves belonged too. As it turns out we have mistletoe growing in our yard! Notice in the picture above, a child's arm way up high. One child got on top of the playset and picked leaves for a few kids.

Our "tree" made from all of the different leaves in the backyard! This tree art didn't last long because the cat got ahold of it and ate the leaves off of it. Again, if it's not a kid it's a cat.

Sprinklers and pools! It was hot last week, so we broke out the sprinklers, pools, and big blow up pool. We decided to put the larger pool on the deck so the kids didn't instantly break it this year. So far it's last for a full week!

Everyone is getting confused about the new things we have around the house. The kids don't fully understand why I'm getting them used to wearing shoes in the yard (has never been required before, but soon a puppy will be using that yard too, so shoes are a great idea!) and the cats don't understand why I have large food bowls and baskets full of puppy toys out. Everyone is in for quite a shock in a few days!

Wednesday's are dedicated to the arts. The shaving cream wasn't part of the arts. Instead it was used as a lesson for the big kids to be kind to one another (similar to the toothpaste lesson) and to talk about expectations for summer daycare. This actually seemed to work and resonate with the kids (and only one kid cried because they were sorry--one of mine). Then we went on to do A LOT of painting and a few of the big kids drew a chalk course that everyone completed for "gym" class.

Now all of the kids are requesting to make their own chalk course and have everyone do it. It's been decided that each Wednesday, two kids will get to partner up to design their course and then we'll all do it.

I love the morning sunlight filtering through our window mural.

We're making headway on our Bucket List albums! Each day during snack the kids take turns picking which albums to listen to. Not your typical music class, but we're sure listening to a variety of music!

The big kids love playing Prodigy and I love it because they're actually playing math games while they do it! We added in an extra math game in the pool too. I threw in coins, the kids took turns being blindfolded and grabbing as many coins as they could, then they had to count it out (they chose to do this blindfolded as well). This game actually took longer than expected as every big kid wanted a turn, but it was a great math refresher on money, counting, and adding!

Swimming suits all day during pool days! The bigs came in to do their reading and wrapped up in their towels until they could go back out in the pool.

Some kids played math games and others played in the pool.

Pool playing means sooooo much laundry! Towels, swimming suits, blankets, all get washed daily. I've never been more thankful for my commerical sized washer!

Free Friday's are the best way to end our weeks! The kids got to paint the clay donuts they created at the beginning of the week and the clay figurines they made a few weeks ago too. Reading for the day was a group reading in the tent and the rest of the day was spent running through the yard mixed with a few rounds of Prodigy in between.

Naturally, at the end of the busy week the minis wanted to do something special. They settled for little pools at dusk and sleeping in the tent in the backyard completely by themselves. That was a first for them! I like to think that was the topper to a great first week of summer!