Thursday, April 19, 2012

G, H and I are for..

I haven't had the chance to post much recently, including my blogging through the alphabet posts.  So here's my attempt to catch up and hopefully stay caught up!

G is for Games
In my head I was going to do G is for Games!  Games are such an easy way to work in learning opportunities in a fun, informal way.  We're mostly at the preschool/early elementary level of games, but I plan to continue using them as a teaching tool throughout our homeschool.  I am always on the lookout for games that can add an educational flair to our day--I have found many great games like Scrabble Jr., Boggle Jr., Rummikub, Candy Land, Sequence for Kids, Charades for Kids, UpWords and numerous others at great prices by shopping thrift stores.  Sometimes we play by the rules, and sometimes we make up our own to focus on specific math or language skills.  The best thing about a game is that it is a great family activity and bonding experience!

H is for Hands-On Learning
I remember the timed math drills, the pop quizzes, the vocabulary lists, and the spelling tests every Friday. I don't want my children to remember that about their homeschool experience.  I want the boys to know that learning can be fun, so right now we are leaving out the lessons and the worksheets.  Instead, we do a lot of hands-on activities for every subject.  Science is primarily Nature Study, math usually involves dice, dominoes or some other manipulative.  Sometimes we do an extension activity for a book, and we include a lot card games, board games and puzzles.

I is for Interest-Led Learning
At my children's age, it is very easy to say "This is what you need to learn to be on track with your peers" but that should not necessarily be the case.  In the spirit of being relaxed and fun, I try to allow interests to be a big part of our learning experiences.  Many times I will set out a few different activities and let them choose, other times Elliott will suggest a topic and we will explore it in a semi-unit study fashion, while still trying to maintain a Charlotte Mason foundation.  Our dinosaur theme and resulting field trip to the Creation Museum came about because Elliott popped up one day and said he wanted to learn about dinosaurs.  Other times we spend hours outside "playing" (to those that aren't in the know ;-)  because we are observing goats and their kids, learning about frogs and studying termites...again, nature study is a big part of our school, and I love seeing what creatures catch their attention.

Right now Elliott's interest is Lego and Mega Blocks.  There are so many opportunities for learning.  Reading and following instructions, planning and executing when building his own creation, sorting, patterning, symmetry, and a host of other "skills" can be covered with a box of Legos and a little creativity.


1 comment:

  1. I love making up our own rules to games too. :-) My three year old in particular likes making almost any game a matching game! I love seeing the things people think up for this alphabet blog-along. I also did "games" for G. I really couldn't think of anything good but "iPad" for I..."Interests" is such a good one, I can't believe I didn't think of it!