It has been raining and raining and raining. It’s wonderful for the reserve and for the wildlife but we are getting a little tired of it. Our clothes don’t have a chance to dry and everything is getting that damp smell which I associate so strongly with the rainy season. Our thatch roof leaks and we are tired of being dripped on. The girls asked Sali, our housekeeper, if we could move in with her because she tells us that her tin roof does not leak. There has been almost as much rain this February as there was all of last year and we are only half way through the month. We have been going a little stir crazy and we are ready for some sunshine but we are also enjoying exploring all the changes that the rain brings. We have terrapins in our waterhole and the seasonal river that runs past our home that is almost always a bone dry sandy bed is flowing constantly. The bush is transforming before our eyes and it is amazing to see.
Literacy and Language Arts:
Progressive Phonics and Webbing Into Literacy are taking up almost all of our language arts time so I’m loath to give the girls anything extra in this area but we love to paint so I’m counting that as an activity this week since it helps with the fine motor skills necessary for writing. Boo is very serious about her painting!
Cognitive Skills and Math:
We spent a lot time talking about opposites this week and found some fun YouTube videos to reinforce what we were learning. We especially liked The Opposite Song and a couple of opposite train videos: “Opposites Trains” and “Learn Opposites Train 2.” During one rain free morning we went out on a walk to look for opposites in nature. We compared tall trees with short flowers, soft leaves with hard stones and smooth bark with rough bark.
Science and Nature Studies:
The terrapins suddenly appear in our waterhole when the rain starts so we spent some time watching them and brought this little guy out of the water for just long enough to get a closer look and touch his shell. We talked about the difference between the tortoises that we often see crossing the road and the terrapins that we find in water. We learned that turtles live in water, tortoises live on land and terrapins live between the two but are always near water. If I’m going to be honest I will have to admit that I had no idea what a terrapin was before we moved to Malawi and I thought the terms turtle and tortoise could be used interchangeably. After doing a little research, I’m finding that the definitions of these terms vary depending on where you live but since terrapin and tortoise are used quite frequently where we are, I thought we should try to use them as correctly as we can. We’re going with the information we found on the San Diego Zoo website that seems to be in line with how the terms are used here.
We had fun making Valentine cards for Dada. We pasted colored tissue paper onto white hearts and then glued them to construction paper. We drew pictures on the back and then stuck on another small construction paper heart that told Dada about our favorite things to do with him. It was hard to keep them a secret until Valentine’s Day.
Our preschool homeschool is going really well. I’ve been looking back at some of my earlier posts and how nervous I was about embarking on this journey and now it is something that we all get really excited about. Boo gets so upset on days that we don’t “do school” and I am thoroughly enjoying planning how we will change things up next year. My parents will be visiting in April so I’ve been having a lot of fun shopping online for resources that they will bring out to us. I’m feeling more and more confident in my ability to give my girls a good education while nurturing their natural love of learning. We are in a good place in this aspect of our lives.
We made each other valentines and ate heart shaped pancakes to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Did you celebrate and if so what did you do?