Five senses later, and I am not smarter than a Kindergartener

So we learned about the five main senses last week in our little home school. And I’m not just typing the word “we” to be cute or supportive of my daughter’s learning. No, I am saying we learned about the five senses, because I learned at least half as much as my daughter did. After discussing the basics about how our bodies were created to work, focusing on our sight, hearing, sense of smell, sense of touch, and sense of taste, we then completed some fun little exercises and activities for each sense. This was a unit study, so we had the full week to incorporate and learn about senses, while also learning the basic subjects for her school level.
Of course, we enjoyed cups and cups of tea this week, because, well, that’s just what we do around here when you have three little girls and a pretty china tea set, and because trying various teas turned out to be a great way to use all of our senses.
Our schoolroom/playroom back wall. Decal from etsy. Shelf from my favorite consignment shop in my old hometown, and tea set was a Christmas gift to girls from an aunt and uncle.
It all went so well, my little girl was a good listener, and then, the questions began. My kid wanted to know things this week, lots of things.

What color is the cochlea? And what kind of fluid is in the cochlea? Why does a sea shell sound like the ocean when you hold it to your ear? Why does your eye make water? How do eyes work? How do glasses work?

And the list goes on. Being a mother of little ones, I am pretty accustomed to oodles of questions coming from my kids’ mouths, but these questions, well, they just made me feel a little less intelligent and a little ill-prepared, since I am teacher-mom now. But the questions and my lack of solid answers made me laugh, and they also made me grateful, so grateful that we had the time to stop and find answers to her questions when she wanted to learn. I had a general idea of the answers to a few of these questions, but the other few, well, I was lost on those. And general ideas are not at all sufficient when trying to explain things in a simple, clear manner. So I reached for a bag of books we had checked out from the children’s section of our public library on how our bodies work, and wouldn’t you know, there were answers to my daughter’s questions, and they were written and illustrated for kids. Best books ever, at least best books ever on that day and in that moment. Wow, was I glad we ventured away from the fairy tale and classic storybook sections my oldest and I like to spend our time in to grab some books from the non-fiction children’s section. Otherwise, we never would have learned that the “ocean” sound coming from a sea shell held over your ear, is actually the sound of ambient noise and even your own blood flowing. Well, that was a little heartbreaking to me, I gotta say. Not that I thought the sound was actually a magical piece of ocean music hidden away in the shell, BUT I at least thought it had some cool scientific explanation, you know, something sea shell specific. But I guess the sound of your own blood flowing is kind of a cool scientific explanation. Bubble bursting, but cool.

One other little bit of information we learned this week, was something about my sweet little kindergarten girl. Well, I guess we already knew it, but we learned a good way to use it. So, my oldest is a big fan of good smells. She doesn’t cuddle with a blanket or stuffed animal when she is tired, she sniffs it. And she loves to talk about how good things smell and what different things smell like. So, on our focus on sense of smell day, I brought my favorite new candle into our classroom and you know what the kid did, she smiled the whole day, only taking a break from her work to take a big whiff of the warm smelling air. I love her. And yes, we are going to make a candle part of our routine. Who knew getting her in a better learning mood was as simple as getting her some glasses (there will be a future post on this…I have so much to share on her glasses) and lighting a candle! I would have done those two things WAY back had I figured them out. Oh, the drama we could have been spared. But, live and learn, and then apply.

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