Our “Old MacDonald” lesson.

A favorite song of every parent is “Old MacDonald.” When I say favorite I mean annoying favorite. When Nicholas was little we sang this song to teach him the noises animals make. I remember one car ride when we sang this song for 45 minutes. By the time we were done the farm had, in addition to traditional farm animals: a dinosaur, a hippo, a giraffe, an elephant, a mommy (which Nicholas decided had to say “yes yes yes”), a rhino, a car, a cricket, a fly, a bee, and many other things. Nicholas decided, this morning, that his lesson was going to be on farm animals because he wanted to sing the “Old MacDonald” song.

First things first, we made a list of all the animals we wanted. I let him pick 5 animals to focus on. He chose: horse, cow, duck, pig, and bull. I tried convincing him that cows and bulls were the same thing, but he told me that “Cows are girls and bulls are boys. And, silly mommy, you can ride a bull but not a cow.” (He has been seeing a little bit of rodeo on TV that I have been using to inspire some fiction writing.)

First I wrote the words, then he traced over them. I write in a sharpie marker, and he traces with a pencil. Then we spell the words, pointing out each letter as we spell. That’s our fun language arts time for the day.

Then we pull out the computer and pull up pictures of the animals, movies of the animals, and information about the animals. Nicholas learned the difference between an Angus cow/bull and a White-face cow/bull. Seems like random information to absorb, but he’s proud of himself.

Next, we drew the pictures of the animals. This was a big step and we both needed the picture on the internet to help us draw. But we drew and colored. While we were drawing and coloring we talked about the animals, what parts we were drawing, what colors they were, how many feet each animal had (and much more). This was a lot of fun, even if our drawings were more abstract than practical.

Finally, we sang our “Old MacDonald” song. Abby really liked this portion too and danced. But Nicholas sung the song a few (maybe more than a few time).

So in about an hour and a half we did all this. We had so much fun. He’s very proud of his drawings and his new knowledge.

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