When my son was little and we started using Homeschool Share I thought it was so fun to plan field trips and crafts and make fun foods that went along with whatever book we were using that week. Fast forward a few years and now I have two kids, five years apart, and even though that stuff is still fun, it’s hard to do those things for two separate books!
Over Christmas break I sat down to sketch out my eight year old son’s semester and then started to do the same for my three year old daughter. As I started plugging books in on my calendar, I found several weeks where both kids could be doing books on their own levels but with a similar theme, and suddenly those crafts and foods and field trips started to seem like a realistic possibility!
Some of our plans for the coming weeks are…
Hanna’s Cold Winter & Goodnight Gorilla: We started back to school this month with these books that are both centered on zoo animals. We made zoo cookies and even took a field trip to our zoo, which, unfortunately, does not have hippos or gorillas! We read Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship as a go-along with Hanna, though, and both of my kids really enjoyed seeing the Aldabra Tortises.
Albert & Feathers for Lunch: We’ll all learn about birds together with these books. I’ve pinned several bird-related things on Pinterest and I’m especially looking forward to the Go Birdwatching! game and making our own bird treats! We’ll also make sure our feeders are nice and full and hopefully we will spot a few of our favorites.
Snowflake Bentley & The Snowy Day: These are the floaters on my schedule—we’re just waiting for a good snowstorm to settle in and enjoy these books. The Snowy Day was one of the very first lapbooks my son did and I can’t wait to share it with my daughter! I’ve been pinning all kinds of fun snow-related crafts and activities and I think these are the books I’m looking forward to the most!
Mailing May & Trains: My three year old often listens in on her brother’s books and I think they will both enjoy Mailing May. This will be the perfect time to pull out all of the train books we have collected and we’ll work on the trains lapbook from HSS with my daughter. If you haven’t seen Inside Freight Train, you must check it out!
Beethoven Lives Upstairs & Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!: When we read these books we’ll be listening to CDs together and if possible, we’ll attend a live music performance. I found a music science kit on sale at Hobby Lobby that we’ll try out together, too.
If you’re trying to figure out how to keep your kids learning together even when there is an age gap, I hope this has been helpful! I’ll be back again next week to share a few more ideas!