Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Let Them Teach - how to get everyone involved in a multi-age setting.

We homeschool, so our classroom consists of all the siblings.  They are currently, 8, 5, and 2.5.  But I imagine we are not the only setting with some little and some big kids.

Lately, we have mostly been focusing on the big kids and their school work.  We use amazing curriculum for each subject that really teach in great ways.  But ultimately, it comes down to mostly work and some play.  Translation - a lot of time putting pencil to paper.  The big kids, are a bit fed up with this plan.  Of course I have an easy solution, Mother Goose Time.  It's learning and play and a lot less pencil to paper.  But, I only have so much time in my day, so of course my goal is to get the basics, the must haves done first for the older two who are required to get "school" done daily.

However, I think it's time for a reboot.  For two reasons, Adam is almost 3 and I think he could really benefit from daily learning, not the sporadic learning I have been offering him.  Second, I have a revolt on my hands.

So here is my plan, have the older kids "teach" the little one and do the fun learning through play first.  Then I am crossing my fingers and hoping that the other stuff will be easier to tackle with more willing kids.  If I am right, this will not take anymore time in the day than when I had to battle the big kids to do their work.

This is day one, I handed the Teacher Guide to my 8 year old and asked him where do we start?  I pointed out Circle Time and did some of the reading for him.  I read the directions for the song of the day which required pictures of different baby animals to be cut out.  So the teachers got right to work.
Once they got them all cut out they put them in front of Adam, had him flip one over, and started singing happy birthday to that animal.  Adam quickly cried "no" and threw a fit, he didn't want to play this game, he wanted to go over the colors and shapes on the Circle Time display.

I quickly reminded them that the teacher has to follow the lead of the student.  A lesson I had not planned on teaching with this new arrangement.  So Peter headed to the Circle Time display and Adam again screamed "No, Mommy do it!"  Okay bossy pants, you are ruining my plans here.  But I obliged and took over.  The boys joined in on all the songs. days of the week, month of the year, ABCs and so on.  So they were still a big help.

The teachers continued to help little brother by pouring his milk.

Finally, Adam was warming up to the idea and we got to sing happy birthday to each of the baby animals.

 He thought it was the greatest thing in the world.
 Full on laughing with joy.   Of course, that makes the teachers happy too.
We moved onto the next activity which could be done at the table, the Make & Play craft.  I grabbed a tray and a small bowl to put the confetti in and gave Adam a glue stick.  He first followed Lachlan's lead by coloring his hat, then he planned on gluing one piece of confetti on the hat at a time.  Doing it that way, while rich in fine motor practice, would take FOREVER.  So I taught him the glue all over and dump it on like glitter technique.
 Coolest day ever!  I think he enjoyed his hat.
 One of the "teachers" created along side him.
So did Peter actually, but he made his into a cat mask, and I didn't get a picture.  :(

So here is how the rest of the day went . . . it was awful!  Lachlan is sick and he had a REALLY hard day, which means I had a really hard day.  He didn't get anymore school done (his second grade work) and now we have to do extra today or do school on Saturday.  Peter did some school with me at the very end of the day.

But, I could see how proud they were to be in charge, to be the teacher instead of the student ALL THE TIME.  So I am going to give this another try.

I really don't think it's this new routine and the giving of the teacher role that is at fault but more the sunshine, which made doing "school" impossible.  But they did play a lot together and sometimes days like that are just needed.

So I am off to try this routine and change of roles again, I will let you know how it goes.  Will you say a pray and cross your toes and fingers for me?  Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. i have always thought that teaching makes learning easier. makes you really understand it and alsp gives you a respect for the teacher