This week continues Mission: Keep Our Brains Fresh
Week #3 – Ocean
As previously explained in Mindset Mondays, I am on a mission to keep my kiddos brains fresh this summer break from school. Every year I try to focus on hiding some learning opportunities into our summer fun and this year my oldest daughter and I have put together this weekly plan of attack.
Our Plan As Follows
Every week of summer we will have a new weekly theme and we started these themes on Memorial Day (Monday) as this was the first official full week of summer break for us. Read about our first weeks K.O.B.F. plan K.O.B.F Week #1 Outer Space and our second week K.O.B.F Week #2 Science as well. We should have started week three last Monday, however life happens and I am no stranger to that fact, so sometimes plans change. This past Monday upon our return home from Romantic 10 Year Anniversary Road Trip my husband found himself admitted to our local hospital for 3 days. This left me holding down the fort with 4 crazy excited little girls that we were home but stir crazy as I was back and forth to the hospital regularly.
My girls spent the week doing some left over worksheets from previous weeks and really focusing on reading, (and as it goes sometimes, more screen time than normal) once they completed their daily chore’s and Summer Devotion Time. SO this week I am excited to be home from vacation, with my husband out of the hospital, following his discharge orders & making the appropriate follow-up appointments AND back to the normal swing of things around our house during the summer with my kiddo’s. I’m even more excited that our theme is ocean, especially after having just spent a relaxing trip with my toes in the sand & ocean tide again!!!
Here’s the overview if you wanted to follow along:
The weekly themes my oldest daughter (she is helping me run & organize it this summer, just call her my “PA” personal assistant!) and I have decided to focus on are as follows:
- Outer Space
- Oceans – This weeks learning theme!
- Bugs & Butterflies
- American History
- Colors & Shapes
- Super Spy School
- Water Fun
The idea we have regarding the weekly learning theme’s is to focus on a different theme each week that gives us a commonality to incorporate multiple different subjects under the same topic, much like daycare’s and preschools do. Each Monday I will be posting a new blog with our weekly theme and some of the lesson ideas and tools we will be using that week. I plan to focus about an hour an afternoon on a different subject each day but which days I execute which “assignments” will depend on the flow of each week . We will only be taking an hour out for assignments on typical school days, Mon. – Fri. As I mentioned before, I don’t want their summer learning to ever feel like they are attending summer school for 3 months straight.
Each week I hope to cover these subject areas in our daily
Mission: KOBF hour are…
…Arts & Crafts, Vocabulary, Reading, Math, a Physical Activity or Outing, and also a few Fun Food Ideas!
This weeks Ideas:
– Art project or craft, I don’t plan for this to be a big production every week. Most weeks will likely be coloring, painting or drawing, but again, depending on the theme for the week, I may change-up the difficulty level & intensity of the arts & crafts sometimes.
This week our arts & crafts will be very largely based on coloring pages incorporated in the link I provided for the vocabulary section below. Also I have a large supply of toilet paper rolls on hand for random crafts or repurpose needs and I found this great idea to make toilet paper roll fish!
I may complete a “Field Trip” with them to a local beach to acquire sand & shells to be used for shoebox diorama’s as well. For now we have a fair amount of rain in this weeks forecast though so that will be played by ear!
****Here are a few other ideas I don’t think we will have time for but may be fun for you and your kiddos! Like Crystal growing Seashells as explained and documented by “Little Bins for Little Hands” blog, I as excited to come across this demonstration because it can sneak a little science into your week of learning! Also this could be super fun to do, a cute Swimming Jellyfish Paper Plate Craft idea!
– Vocabulary Lesson, this may be as simple as providing a list of words to have my 7-year-old copy for practice neatly writing into a short sentence each and also for my older daughters to include in a creative writing assignment.
This week our vocabulary lessons will come largely on Monday & Tuesday through the Ocean themed printables and coloring pages that I found from this homeschooling momma here at 3 Boys & a Dog Blog. (This is a resources I will likely refer back to also, she has a vast collection of coloring pages & worksheets on many topics)
– Reading, storytime style taking turns from one week to the next depending on the difficulty of the book chosen each week. Some weeks my 7-year-old will read it out loud other weeks it may be one of my older two and on some occasions it will still be me (we have quite the expanse of books in our home so most of the books will likely come from our existing collection but I will share those titles when available in advance).
This is another area where we can accommodate a pretty wide variety of reading selections based on the beach & ocean from our personal book collection. As in previous weeks, I will encourage my girls to find selections they will enjoy to read to each other while I prepare for our weekend campout. However since I will be home, I will try to slip one or two into a bedtime storytime session one evening. I don’t have any specific book titles to offer but I always encourage a trip to your local public library to let your kids explore the many titles and find books within each topic that interest them specifically. This helps them get excited about books even more when you let them have an opinion on what they read!
– Math, this will be a practice session with themed math worksheets whenever I am able to find or create them within our theme. On some occasions though they may be hands on activities, like baking or cooking, or measuring to create (i.e. helping to prepare a dish for a camping trip or family cookout=measuring lesson)
This week our math lesson will be an activity. I took some inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, “The Imagination Tree” to come up with our math lesson for the week. Their idea was to Fish for Letter Sounds as explained on their page. I decided instead to write numbers on the ping pong balls and give them a basic math problem. The first one to “catch” the correct answer using their net to “fish” will win a point. After a series of problems the winner will be presented their Prize Goldfish Cup!
– Physical outing or activity, it may be as simple as a dance session to some kind of music that fits the theme or it may be a game or sport altered to fit the theme but whatever it is it will get our hearts pumping! ( because our family has a wide age range we may personally incorporate multiple variations of play to whatever activity we do. Take the liberty of personalizing our recommendations to fit your families dynamic & age span).
I plan to sneak a beach obstacle course in during our Field Trip to the beach if we can manage that around the weather. I will draw out the course in the sand and encourage them to run it against each other 2 at a time. Running in sand is a great way to get a little extra leg burn into your play!
– Snacks, I have always been a food lover and as a creative person I find it fun to “play with food” in my family fun theme’s, learning experiences and celebrations. I’m a super cheesy person and love a good theme! I will use our weekly themes as an opportunity to look at our meals, snacks and treats through a different lens through the summer so look out for some fun snack/treat ideas inspired by our theme selections!
Now this is the one area I may have let you down in last week but I do have some simple fun ideas planned for this weeks Ocean theme! I do always encourage you to challenge yourself to come up with some cute ideas based on your kiddos diet & preferences. If you do get creative please share them in the comments or via my Dazzling Domestic Dreamer’s Facebook Page! I would love to see what you come up with! Here is what we will be doing this week, we will be decorating Ocean Cupcakes and making a Simple Seaside Snack Mix. In lieu of a lunch or dinner I will serve Fish & Chips!
For the cupcakes I am going to bake some boxed mix cupcakes and frost them with basic blue frosting. Each girl will get one cupcake and a variety of ocean themed candy to decorate their cupcake, like these sour octopus gummy’s, this great gummy sea critter variety pack, and not to be forgotten, one of my favorite’s Swedish Fish! For the Simple Seaside Snack Mix I will place some goldfish crackers, salty sunflower seeds (inspired by the salty sea water) the last of the gummy candy’s and some pretzel rods (inspired by driftwood) into a large Ziploc bag so I can shake it to mix it up. Each child will get a personal sized cup to snack on! My last idea is to serve Fish & Chips by way of fish sticks & seasoned oven fries for dinner one evening!
We’d Love You To Join Along!
As I can fit them into our theme I will be looking for “field trip” opportunities and we always welcome friends along for those fun outing so watch out for those in our weekly plans if you are local to us! Also we welcome play dates in the summer schedule too. If you can’t join us in person we would still love to hear about your fun summer themes if you decide to put this plan in place to fit your kids and your family! Share pictures and stories in the comments!
Whether you plan to execute this identical to my plan and future blogs on the topic, or whether you use is as a vague guide, or even not at all doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me is that you are proactive about allowing your kids brains to properly be stimulated WITHOUT electronics this summer and that you make it fun for your kids specifically. Remember, while you are doing this you aren’t just keeping their brains fresh, you are creating memories! So go make memories this summer in general, but their teachers will thank you in the fall if you implement some form of our K.O.B.F Mission this summer, and don’t forget to check back for more ideas on our future themes and other summer fun memory making ideas! Now Dazzle your way to an Ocean themed week of Learning & Intentional, Productive fun!
As always, thanks for reading!