Okay, I admit it: I’m not the most patient person in the world. Which is yet another reason why I love homeschooling so much. We don’t have to meet arbitrary deadlines for scholastic progress, so I can take as long as we need to cover one topic.
One of the things Tigger struggled with early on was rounding and estimating. When we originally covered it in grade one, she couldn’t let go of counting each number and just guess at the amount. But, when you think about it, that makes sense. We spend weeks teaching them how to count and then after they learn that, we tell them, “Okay, now don’t count. Just guess how many you think there are.” In retrospect, that does seem kind of silly.
Instead of trying to discuss it over and over again, I just dropped it and decided to come back to it later. This time, she picked it up on the very first day. She learned rounding and I got yet another lesson in being patient.
Tigger really does well with step-by-step processes, so I used this anchor chart that I saw on Pinterest as our guide for the week. With each problem, we walked through the process and by the end of the lesson, she was doing it in her head. Rounding? Check.
What were Roo and Pooh doing during this, you ask? They were doing Morning Time, a lifesaver that I learned about over at Hodgepodge. When I first started this school year, I envisioned all of my children sitting quietly at the table working together. Here’s the problem with that scenario. Roo and Pooh are three and four years old, respectively. They’re not going to sit quietly on their own for long. Instead of peacefully working, Roo took to making faces at Tigger while she was trying to work and Pooh busied himself by asking me a million and one questions. Something had to give.
That’s where Morning Time came in. When you get a chance, click over and read the post about Morning Time at Hodgepodge to find out what it entails, but it’s basically a training session to help the younger kids get used to working quietly by themselves. I decided to let them listen to a Bible drama about the 10 Plagues and play with Legos. It did take a few tries to help them understand that they actually had to be quiet for about 20 minutes, but they got the hang of it by the end.
That picture right there? A thing of quiet beauty and a joy forever. Now if we can just keep it going…
How do you keep the littles occupied in your homeschool? We’d love to hear about it in the comments. Keep on learning!