It’s half term, time for a week (or so!) of just playing and exploring. The youngest is becoming a confident reader, the older two have really improved their handwriting and we have just finished another topic - ‘all about me’,
We created a wall display with some self portraits and they looked at what made them unique, their likes and dislikes. They did an experiment on taste and smell likes and dislikes, blind testing of various things – the chocolate buttons were popular, the olives created some very amusing faces! We also put together Andrew’s baby book (I know you’d think that by the age of 4 we’d have done more than just collect bits loose in an album but somehow it was never a job that got quite high enough up the to do list). It was an interesting journey through the first year of his life looking at scan photos, baby pictures and the like. The album itself was a gift from a friend (thanks Sharon) and very appropriately is decorated with shells on the front. Whilst we arranged and stuck we talked about all the boys as babies and the older two wrote out time lines of their first experiences – when and where they were born, when their brothers were born, when they met particular friends, where they went to pre school and school - it was a very pleasant morning down memory lane.
We then expanded out to their bodies. We looked at teeth and how to look after them in detail, practising cleaning teeth on some we made out of building blocks and created some interesting posters, they have been very fastidious at cleaning their teeth since seeing some gory photos of decay! They did an experiment on the effect of exercise on the heart and lungs – possibly quite amusing for anyone watching them running around the car park for 2 minutes and looked at how some systems worked, like the heart, lungs and the digestive system with the help of books like the chewy, gooey, rumble, plop book.
For the final section of this topic we took the opportunity of Grandparents coming to visit to create and look at the family tree. Seeing names – such as George - come through the family was interesting as were stories of relatives and their connections. We also looked into who could tongue roll, what jobs run through the family and the older two had a brief look at genetics. It was interesting to imagine the differences which would have been experienced by the 8 nurses over four generations and the shopkeepers of their great grandparents generation compared to the retail managers of the current one.
We finished the topic by looking at the definition of a living thing (animal, vegetable, mineral grouping for the youngest) and spent a morning on the beach looking for creatures, plants and other materials to decide which group/kingdom they belonged in.
We’re finding that generally mornings are better for school work but it’s great to be finished by lunch so we can go off to explore. Having had a couple of sets of visitors we decided to do less work for a couple of weeks but to keep a few things on the go using Grandparents as ‘expert tutors’. Individual art lessons were popular as were museum trips.
The boys have asked to do some first aid which fits so nicely with having looked at how their bodies work that it seems silly not to. I have picked out suitable topics and will teach them a basic first aid syllabus over a couple of mornings to get the new half term started next week – I’m quite happy to have more people able to help me if I’m injured! The next topic is the sea, I’m sure I can find some resources for that somewhere…..