First week of homeschooling and I wanna peng san… Hats off to early childhood practitioners who have to deal with sooo many kids and non-stop action for 12 hours! But I think we are off to a good start and we did have fun. I did.. who cares about the kids? Oh wait… homeschooling is for them. Ah…
I decided to take things from where the school left off the last week of term and they were on the Water theme. Figured it’ll be easier since I just have to extend and reinforce the learning, not necessarily teach new stuff. So basically, I knew they were doing the water cycle and I was pretty shocked K actually could explain terms like “evaporation” and “precipitation” in a child-like, simple way! My dad said, “Wah… even Gong Gong doesn’t know!” K looked at him and said, “It’s okay…. You can come to school with me.” LOL!!
1. Went to the library and borrowed some books about Water. We haven’t gone through them yet, but I will get through them the next week.
2. Raindrops through Shaving Cream
This is a pretty cool activity, which K is supposed to drop coloured water (with food dye) through the shaving cream and see rain drops floating down the water. This supposedly helps her practice and strengthen her fingers in using the dropper. However, everything happened too fast (i.e. the activity got out of control) and the colours just meshed together, turning a dark, inky colour before we could see any raindrops. Also, I realized she hasn’t learnt how to use the dropper yet! #lessonsequencingfail. But anyway, she discovered shaving cream was cool to the touch and enjoyed meshing it with her hands and seeing the 3 primary colours mix together to form other colours. We had fun looking at the beautiful paddlepop colours. *yum* All these happened with Z screaming in the background. You can’t see him in the picture, but I’m sure you can hear him. Even now.
Supposed to see real rain drops through the clean water.
3. Bath Time! Even Z cannot say no to this. The trick was how to manage 2 kids who were screaming to get in at the same time. And because I only had food dye, clever me really poured a whole lot of food dye into the bath. Aww… so pwetty! Then I saw the inky water under the bubbles and I realized… I’m going to have alien babies if I let them in the bath! Note to self: Need to get liquid watercolours the next time. Again, looking at the swirls of colour made them really high and happy. Good for sensory play! Only their hands were of a weird colour later but K was really pleased with her pink-hued fingernails. “I like my nail polish.” She was quite sad when they faded after 2 days.
A hit with the kids
4. Montessori Time
She can’t really order the tower or the stairs yet. But just letting her have fun building them whatever way she wants to. I try to get her to see that the “stairs” aren’t helpful because they are so uneven – it doesn’t go down or up all the way. I do “cheat” a bit by leading her to pick out the largest, then the next largest … and place them side by side to order them (Montessori says you’re supposed to let them “discover” it on their own.) Okay… I’ll try to reign in my top-down, teacher approach and try to let them DISCOVER on their own time and space.
It was supposed to be a tower but she wanted to arrange it like stairs;
Fascinated with the gradation of the broad stairs
*Shameless plug!* Pre-order for Montessori Materials here! Best prices because we believe education should be made affordable for all!
5. On her own, she chose a lacing activity. I was surprised she could push the shoelace in and out because a few months back, she certainly couldn’t. She got really frustrated because she would insert the lace, only to pull it out the same side – she didn’t know how to let go and pull the lace out from the back, even after repeatedly showing her how to do it. I asked her if her school taught her. She said, “No. Mama taught me.” *Yay to me!* I guess the lesson here for me is really, there’s no point forcing or trying to accelerate learning if the child isn’t ready. Time and effort is better spent doing age-appropriate and interest-led activities!
Practising hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
She didn’t lace it all the way. She laced the ends of it and left a huge loop to create necklaces. She did it thrice (so it was not a fluke) and gave 1 to me and 1 to her Daddy. She was really proud of her turtle medal/necklace and has been wearing it the whole week! I have to wear it too or she gets upset. Okay….
Making animal necklaces and medals.
6. She discovered that the tiniest cube from the Pink Tower could fit into this Smarties spiral toy that her Grandma gave her. She just kept playing with it – putting it at the mouth, turning the knob and watching the cube spiral all the way down (where a smartie is supposed to). By then I was so tired I was happy to let her play that again and again and again…
Letting the smallest pink tower cube slide down the smarties chute!
7. K decided she wanted to do cutting. Her school has been letting her practise it and she can do it quite well now. We did a simple (and ugly) craft with her cutting along the lines. She has to stop when the lines stop. She cut the grass. A math counting activity was incorporated (cuz her teacher says she can’t count very well!) so I made her point and count the number of clouds. Reinforced the water cycle again.
Practising cutting with a pair of scissors
Seriously ugly but who’s keeping score?
8. Went to the Gardens by the Bay Water Play area!
K had a whale of a time with just a watering can and a bottle! Z, on the other hand, had this perpetual displeased look as I kept making him touch the streams of water, saying, “Water! Cold! Water! … Cold!” And he frowns at me like, Woman… what’s up? It’s my naptime…
Gardens by the Bay Water Play
This homeschooling thing is tiring… and more planning is needed for this week! It’s kinda fun, if only I wasn’t so pulled in a lot of different directions these 2 weeks. I’m gonna get through these 2 weeks! Pray for me!
*disclaimer: I’m not a crazy Tigermum who forces her 3 year old to memorize terms like evaporation and precipitation!! It just happens K is in a mix-age preschool so she learns what 5-6 year olds learn there. I think she’s just exposed and she’s just picking things up incidentally, which is great!*
**and… this is the nth time that K has been exposed to Montessori materials. She used to throw them around and do weird stuff with them and I keep them away and not let her do that. So don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t “play” with the toys the way you expect them to the first few times. They will soon enough!**
Follow our journey! Sign up for our newsletter or Like us on Facebook to get regular updates!