My two little ones love to read.I read somewhere that one of the best indicators of academic success, and success full stop, is how much children are read to when their little.Chickpea has loved being read to since she was around 9 months old.She would point at the bookcase and grunt and I knew that she wasn't finished, she wanted another one.It took Monkey a bit longer but he is well and truly into it now and will sit on the couch for ages looking at books and takes me to the bookcase several times a day shouting, "Book!Book!"So our bookcases are now full and we try to get to the library once a week.I hope they can continue their love of learning and reading throughout their life- well, that's the goal!
MAKING A GRUFFALO WITH SALT DOUGH
I've recently looked into a system called "Five in a Row."The basic premise is you read the same book for 5 days in a row and do educational activities based on the book.There are a few problems with it from my perspective.A lot of the books were not as easy to get (expensive) being that it is an American company.Also, the activities, while fitting in with each subject area (maths, english, etc), sometimes seem to lack an element of fun and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to give this a go while using books and activities of my choice.I started an online group, collaborating with others has been great for this: the range of activities people come up with is brilliant and my two have genuinely enjoyed our foray into literature!
ACTING OUT THE SCENE IN THE GRUFFALO WHERE THE MOUSE FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE SQUIRREL.. HOLD ON
The repetition has been great!I thought the kids would get bored and occasionally they don't want to read the book that day, which is fine.We save it for another day or leave it and pick up the next book the next week.The repetition has allowed us to delve deeper into the books, talk about the characters, the moral dilemmas, what they might be thinking or feeling and looking more closely at the artwork. Plus, both children have learned the stories really well.There has been a lot more acting out of stories and pretend reading since we have started this.I can also see that the repetition will be good for when they start learning to read and recognising words.
BLINDFOLDED FRUIT TASTING FOR "EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM"
The activities related to the books have been fun and inspired me to try different things with the kids, much more make believe and more interesting arts and crafts, even sensory activities and music and dancing.The best part, though, is the unplanned for things, the places that the books take us that were completely unexpected. Chickpea will ask a question about something we've read and we will look up the answer or watch a video and that takes us somewhere else and leads us to somewhere else after that, everyone learning something new- even me!
"SNOWY DAY" PLAY
SOME OF THE MORE EXCITING ACTIVITIES WE HAVE DONE-
* Made a boat (with an upturned table) to sail to Where the Wild Things Are, looking out for sea monsters on the way with our binoculars.
* Listened to humpback whales singing-The Snail and the Whale
* Made up a dance to Katy Perry's "Roar"- The Tiger Who Came to Tea.
* Introduced a tiger sock puppet, Senor Tigre, who only speaks Spanish- The Tiger Who Came to Tea.
* Chickpea made her own blanket cave and we went on a bear hunt, going over many different textures barefoot to get to the cave with the bear in it -We're Going on a Bear Hunt.
* Played with arctic animals in snow dough- The Snowy Day.
From an unschooling perspective this has been really good- nothing is forced and if the children don't want to read the book or do a certain activity that's fine. Many things are set out as invitations to play.Even the Mr. has gotten into it and has made some wonderful things with them while I'm at work- a log-pile house for a snake and towering tree for an owl.All in all these book activities have been great fun for all of us!