I’ve got a lil’ pre-schooler this year who’s always aching to get in on the school action with us. She’ll sit there for hours listening in on what we’re learning about and doing little workbooks, but she REALLY loves it when I plan a special project just for her. This week while the big kids were learning about why we have the seasons, she got to do seasons crafts and fingerpaint season trees:
All of the black lines were just simple hand drawn outlines I made ahead of time with a sharpie marker. She got to use all of her little fingerprints and dab them on to the pictures to create the snow and the leaves. Pretty cute, and oh, so easy. The leaves on the mountains outside of our windows are just started to turn all their beautiful fall colors, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect!
- It’s astounding how much the little kids pick up listening in the big kids’ lessons. Sometimes I don’t think we give kids enough credit for their understanding. Don’t be afraid to teach advanced topics to your younger kids. They can totally get stuff like precession causing the seasons if it’s explained clearly.
- Crafts can either be busy work or they can have a purpose. Make sure yours have a purpose by making them the anchor that all the facts hang on. Talk about concepts while the kids work. Make sure you ask them questions about what they just learned.
- It’s also a good idea to have a written portion of every learning experience, even if it’s just a caption. Some kids learn best and test best with a verbal conversation and some learn best when they write it down, but everyone needs to be able to communicate with both the spoken and the written word. If this doesn’t come naturally to your kids, take it step by step, asking them questions like, “What happens first?” “What comes next?” and “What’s the last thing?” And most important of all, “What do you believe and why?”