When I asked Hunter what he wanted to learn in homeschool kindergarten, he confidently replied, “Dinosaurs!”
That conversation happened in the middle of summer.
True to form, that kid forgets nothing…and we started our homeschool journey studying dinosaurs.
Thanks to this website, we had a great lapbook guide laid out for us. It was so helpful for our first attempt at a lapbook and I must say, we are hooked! We did not do all of the activities, but enough to make a full lapbook’s worth of work. Hunter was so proud of his finished lapbook that he took it to campus and ‘taught’ everyone at our lunch table about dinosaurs.
I loved that the curriculum was Creation based, which meant we had discussions about the Flood, Creation, how dinosaurs lived with humans, and lots of sentences that started with, “Many years ago…” to substitute the “Millions of years ago…” that many of the library books and articles used. Hunter is five and Madison is three, and we were able to adjust most of the activities for both of them to participate. The three mornings a week when Madison had preschool is when Hunter and I did more of the kindergarten level or one-on-one work.
- Dinosaur Roll and Graph – make a cube from paper (like a die), and put different dino stickers on each side. The kids rolled the die and kept track of which dino had the most rolls.
- Dinosaur Feet cut-out – make dino feet from cardboard. The kids painted the cardboard before and then after it dried, cut it out in a dino foot shape. I attached it to their feet with string. Quickly, they turned into rockets and guns…somehow. 🙂
- Dinosaur Sticker book sentences – honestly, don’t remember what that one was. Ha!
- Dinosaur songs/make a band – followed this idea and used her lyrics.
- Spell dinosaur words with letter tiles/word recognition (I showed Hunter a photo on the computer and he sounded out the word while spelling it with letter tiles).
- Erupting volcano (because, even with a Creation based study, if we can make things explode, we will). We did the traditional baking soda and vinegar, as well as adding in shaving cream and dish soap.
- Matching dinosaurs to where they were discovered on the map.
- Reports – I would read to Hunter about different dinosaurs, then he would tell me what he learned about each one and I wrote it on a report page for him. We did one every few days.
- How big? – We went outside with a piece of sidewalk chalk and a measuring tape. I read about different dinosaurs and how tall they were, and Hunter measured out their lengths. Then we compared which ones were the shortest or tallest.
- Dino Diorama – created a dinosaur diorama together in a small cardboard box.
- Watched this video, as well as a few others by Ken Ham.
We topped it off with a field trip to the Natural History Museum in San Diego. I asked Hunter to do an ‘Allosaurs face’ (his favorite dinosaur) in that last photo..cracks me up!
We also read a lot of dinosaur books during our time studying dinosaurs. Our homeschool routine has us start at the dining room table with Hunter’s Homeschool Box (weather, worksheet, 100 days countdown, and any extra independent work I toss in there), reading, and math. We also try to memorize a Bible verse each week.
Then we head to the couch. Hunter reads a short story from a Dick and Jane reader (or other level-appropriate book) or does some sight-word cards, and then we read together. There is a cardboard box where all the library books about our current subject are stored. Hunter and Madison each pick one book and we read it together. Then, if another book corresponds with that day’s lapbook activity, we will read that one as well. Then, back to the table to finish up the lapbook activity for the day.
Some of the books we read:
The dinosaur lapbook unit was a wonderful way to start our homeschooling adventure. I loved that Hunter choose the topic and it kept him engaged and excited about school, even through his frustrations about not going to ‘real school’ (which only happened a few times, and usually it was connected to feeling left out about something that other kids were able to do). When we went to the NHM in San Diego, I must have mentioned at least half a dozen times, “Wow, isn’t it great you’re homeschooled and can do awesome things like this!” Who knows if it sunk in…ha!
I love learning with my kids. I love finding out random facts and information that makes me go, ‘Huh!’ I love reading with them and sharing my passion for words and topics and research. I love that school has been a positive experience for them so far.