Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Frogs on the Brain

My favorite resources for homeschooling my children are the free programs and services offered through our local precinct.  Whether it's guided nature studies, free science and nature classes, or library story time, I know my boys are going to learn something new about this wonderful world we live in.  

Well, I was not disappointed this morning when I took the little ones, ages 2 and 4, to preschool story time at our local library.  Even the 9 year old dropped his Mr. Cool facade and really enjoyed today's frog theme.  As I was sitting there listening to the stories, my homeschooling mommy brain started turning over ideas for a short study on frogs using many of the resources I already have at home and on the internet. I also got on Facebook and asked my homeschooling and classroom teacher friends to join me in coming up with some ideas.  

The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility.  We can take a break from our normal studies and pursue areas of interests because we have the time to do so.  Then, we just get back on track and keep going until the next idea sparks an interest in deeper study. 

I decided to share the final list of ideas below.  My thought is to just go down the list of ideas until we reach the end, or not.  It all depends on the boys' interest level.  I'm also open to any suggestions my boys come up with as we go along. 

Read Aloud:  In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming

  • Create a concept web on pond animals.  Have the boys draw the pictures.
  • Dig up pond water from our neighborhood pond and take a gander at what's swimming around in there.
  • Get up early in the morning and observe the pond.  Come back at noon and in the evening to observe what types of animals we see at the pond.  Bring sketch pads so the boys can draw pictures of what they see. Or, maybe just snap pictures and create a Pond Photo Journal.  I'm flexible.
  • Nature journal narration for the 9 year old.
Read Aloud: Tadpoles and Frogs by Anna Milbourne

  • Create a model of the frog life cycle. 
  • Narration and labeled diagram of a frog in nature journal for the 9 year old.

Types of frogs and where they live:

  • Read a library book and then locate them on a map. 

Read Aloud: Frog and Toad Series by Arnold Lobel  

  • Read aloud to little ones and assign as independent reading for the 9 year old. 
  • Verbal narration for the 9 year old. 
  • Internet search for the difference between a frog and a toad and record similarities and differences on a compare and contrast chart

Read Aloud: The Frog Prince by Brothers Grimm

  • Introduce the elements of the fairy tale genre to the 9 year old.
  • Narrations and act it out for all. 
  • Watch The Frog Prince and discuss the similarities and differences between the play and the story.
  • Watch The Princess and the Frog and discuss the similarities and differences between the movie and the story. 

 I've already recruited my husband for this! I love my boys, but I think this calls for some father/sons bonding time. 


  • Read The Adventures of Grandfather Frog by Burgess and give narrations.
  • Complete some of the activities from Homeschool Share.
  • Lily pad learning activities for all.  I'm thinking of creating language games for the little ones and maybe some math activities for the 9 year old. 
  • Art projects
  • I'm considering frying frog legs, but I don't know if I'm ready for that yet! 

I usually follow a Charlotte Mason approach and allow the children to make their own connections.  However, I think it's okay to deviate and give them alternative learning opportunities.  This will be our first official multi-age thematic unit and I'm really excited about it.  

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