Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're not homeschoolers but I had to share...

Our kiddo isn't in kindergarten so no homeschooling for us but we do know that she'll be attending a public school when the time comes.  This summer though, she is attending School de Mamaw and Papaw!  My parents have worked for the school systems for a combined 55 years (my dad teaches 7th grade Earth Science and my mom works in an elementary school as a paraprofessional...many years in the library) and have dedicated their summer to helping my niece and nephew and LeeAnn with their learning.

The three kids are seven-, five- and four-years-old (entering second, kindergarten and preschool this fall) and love to learn.  They all have things they struggle in and things they excel in and my parents are working hard to help them excel even more.

Since my niece and nephew are at my parents daily (in the mornings) they get to play "school" all the time.  C works on learning her letters and number.  L reads outloud to Papaw and is working his math too.  And when Mamaw is home (she also works part-time at the public library) she does the same work with them.  LeeAnn is so jealous that they get to play school so often (she only goes in the afternoon for an hour or two) so this evening we went over so she could show me what she was able to do this afternoon.

Enter pudding.  Yep.  Plain ol' pudding is used at my parent's house as a teaching device.  And LeeAnn LOVES it.

Mamaw spoons a cup of pudding onto a plate and then also sets another plate, a spoon and a napkin on the table.  As LeeAnn is going through her flash cards, she is writing the letters she doesn't recognize right away into her pudding and then when she's done she'll lick the pudding off, use the spoon to smooth the pudding and go on to the next card. 

While using your finger to write isn't the same as using a pencil to write, it gives her the same basic concept and she loves that she is playing in the pudding.  And when she's done, she'll eat what's left of the pudding and get cleaned up.

Another game LeeAnn was able to play tonight involved her letter flash cards and a fly swatter (and a quick, or sometimes not so quick, Mamaw).  Mamaw sets several (four to six) flash cards on the table and then calls off a letter.  LeeAnn is supposed to try to swat the right letter with her fly swatter (a brand new clean one, by the way) before Mamaw reaches up there and swipes the card she called off away.  This is supposed to get her going with quick recognition of the letters.

The time that my parents have spent working with other kids is amazing.  The fact that they are spending multiple hours per day helping their grandkids is even more amazing.  My dad often teases me during the summer that he's just going to lay around and read a book while I work (because I work year-round).  This summer though, between teaching the kids and carting them around to various swim lessons and library classes, I'm not sure he (or my mom) have had any time to read just for the joy of it.  And I had to share these because I thought they were fun, easy and cheap ways to maybe show your kids another way to learn. 

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