One of my homeschooling goals is to take ordinary, everyday things and make them educational. Whether it’s preparing a meal, visiting the store, playing, or taking care of Charlie, it can always be made educational. You have to think about it a bit more, but most of it can be spontaneous. You don’t have to think about it TOO much. You just have to get in the habit of looking at activities and saying “how can I use this to teach a mathematical concept?” or “are there any words in this book he may not understand?”
Yesterday started with Adrian dumping out his dominoes. We’ve never really “played” dominoes. We mostly make up our own games and just have fun. I bought him this $3 set from the store in January. They have up to 12 dots and several colors. The first thing he wanted to do was make a “sun”. I showed him this before and apparently it was interesting enough to remember 3 weeks later.
Then we made a “house”. More like a hut really. With no door. LOL
Adrian learned how to add extra supports in the middle so the roof wouldn’t cave in.
Then we moved onto cards. The kind that cost $1. Who said homeschooling had to be expensive? Not me! I take out the face cards and aces for now. He’ll learn those later. Like when he’s ready to play poker. 😉
He already knew the concept of “War”, but the last time we played it, he still didn’t quite grasp “which number is bigger”. Well, he had no problem this time! He was lightning fast and took his cards when he won and gave them to me when I did. And he whooped my butt too! Then I taught him “Go Fish”. He doesn’t understand to keep his cards hidden, but that’s ok. He worked on matching and counting. Then we played “Memory”. He’s played things like this before, but I was impressed that he didn’t just randomly choose cards. He really thought ahead to make his matches. Then I taught him “Speed.” Ahhh, what memories. My little sister and I used to play this game for HOURS in the summer when we were bored to death. It’s really fun when your opponent isn’t a 4 year old. That’s ok, he’ll catch up soon enough. In the meantime, he worked on learning which numbers are next to other numbers. For example, in this game you can put a 4 or a 6 on a 5. It can be on one side or the other. A little more challenging than “War”. 😉
And we read some books of course. “On the Farm” I thought was kind of a baby book, but I was actually able to pick out 5 words he didn’t quite understand. So he learned what investigate, proud, settle, thrilled, and bull all mean. It’s amazing that we use these words all the time and he’ll use them occasionally, but he can’t tell you what they MEAN. He uses “proud” all the time. He’ll come up to me and give me a great big hug and say, “I’m so proud of you mommy!” When I ask him why, he’ll say something like “because you take care of sissy”. I don’t think he means “proud” really, but he knows proud is a good thing, so it works for him.
“Imagination Vacation” is a cute little book that has a lot of opportunities to practice shapes, colors, and counting. He’s proficient in all those things, but he keeps coming back to this book. So even though it’s not “work” for him, we practiced shapes, colors, and counting. He learned the words imagination, excitement, and distance. Again, these are words he may understand somewhat, but he’s never really used them correctly.
We discussed why vitamins are good, and how they can be harmful if you have more than one in a day. At grandma’s, he helped her dig rocks out of the flower bed so she can plant a garden. I heard them talking about how it makes it easier for plants to grow when the rocks are gone.
He spent about 1/2 an hour dumping water from a 30ml medicine cup into an 8 ounce bottle. He also likes to use a 10ml syringe to fill the medicine cups and then fill the bottles. I’m not sure how exactly, but he has to be working on his math skills in some way.
He helped me make his lunch and we included all the food groups.
Subjects covered: Math (counting, matching, patterns), Reading (vocabulary), Basic skills (colors, shapes, problem solving), Science (health and nutrition, plants).
Total time spent: About 2 hours.