Monday, July 28, 2014

Homeschooling a crowd

I'm not sure how Eva Beadle Simms pulled it off on Little House but, in our one-room school, things are never quite as tidy as it was portrayed. Same goes for the bloggers who say "just hand the little ones their busy bags and you'll have plenty of time to work with the bigger kids." Ummmm. I suppose if you're done with your "work" in about 8 1/2 minutes, since that's the average time it takes #s 4 and 5 to blow through counting bears, dress up dolls and dry erase boards.

I'm not complaining, really. It's kind of cute how they have little-to-no attention span (they are 2 and just 4 after all) but it still presents a challenge. So, we're always looking for new and exciting things.

Our latest "find" was a bargain-basement priced, giant Rubbermaid container of blocks. So many blocks...and figures and doors and horses. They have played non-stop since the blocks arrived yesterday. So, you know, go with what works. On our first non-vbs school day in some time, I figured I'd work them into our large-group time. It was awesome.

We started by reading a book from our local library (it was featured in Children's Literature in the K-3 Mathematics Classroom)

A cute story about a little block that encounters many "creatures" while finding out that, indeed, he is completely himself and not a missing piece from someone else. Curiously, (or maybe not, since this week we're covering "B" for Baptism, among other things) the post-reading chat was a lively time of "who am I" and discussion of how we are each special because we were chosen by God, even in the womb (Jeremiah is the scripture quote of the week) and that we are washed clean in the waters of baptism. Yes, I wish I had recorded the discussion. It was a lot like that but with little-kid words.
Once religion and reading were taken care of ;0) We moved on to art and math. First, we used piles of blocks to create a creature of our own design but along the lines of those in the book. Here are the top two's creations...
"the one who holds batteries"

"the one who reads books"
Each had a story about their personal creature and how they functioned.
The last part of our session was math and, well, it was less exciting. We counted blocks (like how many it took to make our creature), we sorted, we multiplied, divided and estimated. That's my limit ;0)
By the time 10:15 rolled around and it all fell apart, I felt like we had done enough with the little people. They went to play
a castle for the knights...Mr. G loves those topper blocks
and the older two were able to seek solace in the school room to do the rest of their work. I do love this experiment we're having. I am so grateful to be home and help my little ones learn and grow. We are so blessed.

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