Inside the Mommyvan

Homeschooling & Life Inside the Mommyvan - an old dog learning new tricks

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I don’t art very well, so my kids attend summer camp at a local fine art center each year. This morning a local news station was there. My youngest had a moment in the spotlight, but was too busy to give the interviewer much.

I often fall into the trap of thinking that we have to do something out of a textbook, workbook, or curriculum schedule. I forget that there are myriad ways for children to add knowledge to the little sponges that are their brains; and that the more fun they’re having, the more likely they are to retain the material.

This afternoon, one of my girls is creating a work of art on the chalkboard. She started labeling each of the items she drew. Realizing that she was not only having fun, but also practicing her spelling and handwriting, I encouraged her to continue. Her brother wandered over after a while and read all the words she’d written — bonus!

So, a reminder (I know I need it): learning really is everywhere. In the elaborate field trips, and in the simplest of games at home in pajamas. If they pick up an activity that uses any of their newfound skills, go with it! Encourage them! And don’t forget to add it to their portfolio! 🙂

Several months ago, we started reading aloud from the “chapter books” that came with the Sonlight curriculum package. Some have been very engaging all by themselves, others are a little more dry from a 5 year-old perspective.20120821-132355.jpg

Today I tried adding a little something to keep the kiddos interested in and really listening to the story I was reading (in this case, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes). I had them sit down with their Doodle-Pro boards and draw pictures that came to mind as they listened to the story. Nothing specific, just whatever they thought of, or saw in their imagination, as I read.

This not only kept their hands busy and their bodies quiet as I read, it also encouraged them to listen and absorb the story as I read. Their pictures were not masterpieces by any means, but they were a great insight into what they heard… sometimes very different from what I take away at the end of the chapter.