Homeschooling doesn’t have to be complicated. At Learn + Live Letter, we believe the best learning happens organically in the life you already love – and we strive to create and share simple, fun, and educational lesson ideas and activities you’ll enjoy doing as much as your child. Below is a sample of what a unit study includes. Have questions? Contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org. Ready to subscribe? (Yay!) Click here to learn more about our subscription options.
Your child is incredibly special. (But you already knew that, right?) In our Me! The Body unit, you’ll help your child explore diversity, math, science, health, art, and music as they develop a stronger sense of self. Want to track your progress? Download this printable worksheet to track books read, skills learned, and keep track of your progress. We suggest you prepare for your week ahead of time by reviewing the lessons, purchasing or borrowing the books, and printing, cutting, and laminating the printouts.
Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more) and modifications (which can be useful for including younger siblings). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) or minus (-) symbols.
Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):
- Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
- Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller
- The Busy Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell
Optional extra reading:
- Why Do I Bleed? by Kirsty Holmes
- Why Do I Poo? by Kirsty Holmes (*highly recommend for reluctant potty trainers!)
- Why Do I Sneeze? by Madeline Tyler
- What Happens to a Hamburger? by Paul Showers (or you can read an older version here on OpenLibrary)
Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- Montessori alphabet (optional, but we reference it throughout our curriculum!)
- ingredients for this playdough recipe
- paper towel tube
- a funnel
- masking tape
- a paper clip
- construction paper
- finger paint
- straws (you can use plastic, or we love these stainless steel versions!)
- paper bags
- sensory bin or deep baking dish
- red water beads
- ping pong balls
- red craft foam
- string or yarn
- 3 different colored markers
- small jar (or you can use a short glass)
- a balloon
- red food coloring (optional)
- a mirror
- pencil + drawing supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints)
- ingredients for a simple snack plate (get ideas here)
- cardboard egg carton
- yellow felt
- pipe cleaners
What to do:
We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!
Letter of the Week:
New to the letter of the week? Start here! Each unit will introduce a new letter. We encourage you to reinforce the sounds with our Letter of the Week Song. Next, you will download a Letter of the Week Guide + Coloring Sheet.
Remember, the guide isn’t a worksheet! The first page is for you, the grown-up. Use it to introduce the letter name, the sounds it makes, and to demonstrate how to draw each letter. Display the Letter Guide in your school area along with the completed coloring sheet to reinforce the lesson throughout the week.
Next, use the second sheet to create a page for your child’s phonics book (we explain the phonics book here). Review the book a few times each week until your child has mastered these phonics.
Begin by reading Shades of People to introduce and reinforce diversity, sense of self, and acceptance for your little student. Next, read the book Remarkably You to continue this theme and help your child to identify what makes them special. When reading your stories, point out the word “body” and talk about the letter B. Show them the upper case B and the lower case b and demonstrate the sound it makes in the word “body.” Practice this phonics lesson throughout the week to reinforce recognition. (We don’t do a letter of the week because our program is designed based on seasonality, but here’s a video from our co-founder with a few ideas on how to incorporate letter recognition and letter sound lessons into your homeschool in conjunction with our unit studies.)
Activity 1: Name letter practice is a great activity for a child who already knows how to write their letters.
(-) Not ready to write their name yet? Try using a movable alphabet, letter magnets, or other letter manipulatives to learn how to spell their name.
Activity 2: Create a “Me Collage.” Have your child write their name (if they know how) or write it for them on a large piece of paper. Say each letter as you write it. Make a hand print of your child’s hand using paint (or trace their hand with a colorful marker), then interview your child and write their answers on the same paper next to their hand print. Here are some suggestions for interview questions:
- What is your favorite color?
- Thing to do?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
Next, have them “write” (scribble) and color or draw on their collage to decorate it until they think it’s done.
Activity 3: “All about me” playdough activity. This activity will not only get their imaginations working but also their fingers, helping them develop fine motor skills—an important precursor to writing. Provide them with beads, yarn, doll accessories, or whatever you have on hand to help them personalize their creations.
Read The Busy Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness. Discuss some of your child’s favorite ways to move. Then watch the first four minutes of this video to learn more about the three body systems that help the body move. (You can stop the video when it gets to the vision test.)
Activity 1: The Exercise Counting Game. Numbers and movement go hand in hand! Reinforce counting skills with this fun activity.
Activity 2: When we move our bodies, our heart starts working harder, pumping blood and oxygen to all the muscles in the body. Listen to each other’s heart beat with this homemade stethoscope.
(+) Try this idea to actually see your pulse.
Activity 3: Human body printable. Use this activity to introduce and reinforce the body parts and organs. (Cut and laminate the body parts ahead of time.) There are several options for body backgrounds, so pick the one that’s right for your child. The body that has the organ body parts highlighted will make it easier for young learners to place the manipulatives in their proper place.
Activity 4: As we saw in the video, the brain is an important part of body that controls movement. This brain hat by Ellen McHenry will be a fun way to introduce the different brain parts to your child. Download the brain hat pattern and look for the picture called “small child hat.” For younger children, we recommend cutting and taping ahead of time since it takes about 10 minutes to put together.
(+) Older kids might enjoy coloring the pieces and putting it together with you. When introducing the hat to your child, simply name the parts and use the pictures to briefly explain that part’s job. Your child might also enjoy the song that is linked in the page!
Our growing bodies are pretty amazing. Today we will learn about several body parts and functions including our lungs, our blood, and our digestive system.
Activity 1: String body measurements activity.
Activity 3: What is blood? There are four main parts to blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. This hands-on activity will help you introduce the four components of blood and their function to your little one.
(+) Ready for more? Read the book Why Do I Bleed and do this activity.
Activity 4: How long are our intestines, anyway? Find out by doing this outdoor activity.
(+) Read the book What Happens to a Hamburger and do this digestion activity to learn what happens after they eat their favorite meal.
It’s art + music day! Start by showing your child this self-portrait by Pablo Picasso. Tell them the name of the piece and the artist, and explain what a self portrait is. Talk about the colors they see and the mood of the person in the image. (Are they happy? Are they sad? What do they look like they are thinking about? How does this picture make you feel?) Talk about the shapes they see. You can even let them come up with a story about the person in the picture if that’s what they want to do. Show them how Picasso’s self portraits changed through the years here. (Note: This can be especially helpful if your child is a perfectionist—it helps them to see that anything they paint/draw in their self portrait is exactly right even if it doesn’t look like an exact replica.)
Activity 1: Set up a mirror for your child to create their own self portrait.
(-) For younger children, sit with them and draw your own portrait, too.
Activity 2: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes Song (Tip: Get up and sing and dance along with the video to reinforce the lesson + work out any wiggles.)
Activity 3: This gross motor skill game will not only reinforce body part names but also get the wiggles out.
Bones are an important part of our body! Today, let’s learn more about the bones in our body and what important job they play in keeping us healthy and strong.
Activity 1: Watch this video to learn more about the skeletal system. Next, build your own skeleton using this printable. Print on cardstock, cut, and use brads to connect the bones together to make your own movable skeleton.
Activity 2: Let’s take a closer look at the spine or backbone. Scroll down to the backbone image on this website and make your own spine using a cardboard egg carton, yellow felt circles, and two orange pipe cleaners.
Activity 3: Did you know that the teeth are the only bones in your body you can see and touch? For today’s first activity, encourage math skills with this printable worksheet that lets your child practice counting teeth. Start by having them count each tooth. You can ask your child to color them in or use counters such as dried beans or cereal to keep track of their counting. Place one counter on each number as they count.
(+) If your child is ready, try skip counting by twos.
Activity 4: Make a senses snack plate. Stimulate all the senses using this simple guide for a kid-friendly tasting plate. Try to include something colorful (sight), sweet or sour (taste), crunchy (hearing), textured (taste), and fragrant (smell). As you taste, ask your child to describe each food using all their senses.
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