Noodle is finishing up her first unit in the Awana Cubbies Appleseed handbook – God is Creator. Enter me, trying to find a way to add a bit of science to our homeschool routine, and presto! It makes perfect sense that our first ever science unit would begin at the beginning.
This morning we did one of the suggested activities from her Cubbies handbook and made play-doh suns together. Noodle is the crafty type and never passes up a play-doh activity.This one gave us a great opportunity to talk about how making the sun wasn’t hard for God, and he didn’t make any mistakes, and how he didn’t need any resources to make it – he just spoke and there it was!
To go along with her lessons on the days of creation, I found this great free Days of Creation lapbook set from LapbookLessons.com. This is our first ever lapbook and I am actually rather surprised to say I am loving it! I have always been interested in doing unit studies but the idea of lapbooking scared me, mostly because I wasn’t sure how to assemble all the pieces together. When I discovered that I wasn’t actually responsible for finding the individual pieces myself and there were free sets available for download, well, cue the hallelujah chorus! It helps that the verse included for copy work (Genesis 1:1) is the same verse she is memorizing for Awana this week.
I also love the variety of activities included in lapbooking. All kids are different, as they say, and although my girl is already reading at age four, she has a lot of trouble with her handwriting and scissor skills. This project gives her practice with everything; and while she is copying, cutting, or coloring, I can sit and read the creation story to her straight from the Bible (if Squirt will allow it).
Noodle is really enjoying lapbooking, too. I was worried at first that she would be impatient with a project that took so long – she is usually in a hurry to see a finished product (what 4-year-old isn’t?). But so far each individual product she finishes seems to satisfy her until we do the next one, and she is always excited to add to her book. The minibook has been her favorite activity so far. She has understood the story of creation but has trouble remembering what happened when. She loves reading me the story from her own book, and I think it’s going to be a great memory tool for her.
One other great resource we’ve used for this unit is the book And God Created Squash by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Noodle received this as a Christmas gift a few years ago and it has been a favorite read-aloud ever since. It tells the creation story in order in a very accessible way without taking, I think, too many liberties with God’s character.
So – first lapbook, check! First unit study, check! First year of experimenting with this homeschool thing almost at an end. And I’m finally feeling like I’m getting it!