Last week during one of our synchronous learning opportunities, the class I work with was discussing Asian Pacific Heritage Month. For one of their “lessons” I gave a presentation about Hawaii, my time living there, and finished with a sweet book Aloha Bear by Dick Adair that my second grade teacher gifted me before we moved back to the main land. Talking about Hawaii excited me and seemed like a fresh “theme” for homeschool, not to mention a kick off to summer.
First, I did a search on Google and Teachers Pay Teachers for free luau and Hawaiian themed prek and Kindergarten worksheets. There I found a great number of ones that ranged in concepts of patterns, addition/subtraction, number order, coloring pages, and much more. I also turned to this site to create a few of my own worksheets. What is great about this site is that you can personalize lessons based on handwriting style, page orientation, lines/no lines; but mostly I love that you can make a handwriting sheet of which ever words you’d like FOR FREE. Amazing, right?
The next thing I did was look at Pinterest for craft ideas. I always like to sprinkle in a few arts and crafts since I’m missing getting those from the girls preschool, and usually Pinterest does not disappoint. From handprint crabs and flamingos to snacks on brand – I was excited for all I had planned.
Lastly, (and I didn’t do this with other lessons), I turned to Amazon. How can one have a luau without a grass skirt?! I bought this cute and inexpensive set for H as well as a set of luau themed stampers that she could make patterns with. Both of these purchases were 100% unnecessary to pulling off the perfect Hawaiian themed week, however they made it fun for her and could be used well beyond the week’s lessons.
Other things we did throughout the week included movie choices such as Moana and Lilo and Stich, learning how to hula amongst other things from one of our new favorite YouTube channels iHula Hawaii, and incorporating foods in our meals such as pineapple, coconut chicken tenders, and BBQ – but skipped the poi and Spam. We finished the week with a virtual lesson from her guest kumu kumu (teacher – her grandmother) who led her in a craft making Kala`au Sticks (think rhythm sticks) using paper towel rolls, and mini “luau” aka dance party.
While none of this was essential to her learning, it was fun for me to put together as well as fun for her to complete. For one, she has a fondness of Hawaii since she knows I lived there a long time ago; but she also enjoyed having a central theme to her week. In school her teachers have always been fabulous about having themes to their units, and while I don’t adhere to it every week (some weeks are just flash cards, workbooks, and lots of unstructured play), I strive to continue to do so for her. I feel that in creating these special moments, the magic of learning and exploring won’t dissipate for her and that she’ll continue to carry it with her once life goes back to “normal”.