“Bubbles bounce,” one child said. “No, bubbles pop,” another replied. A third child suggested they blow the bubbles and find out the answer.
We’ve been setting aside time for scientific discovery at Adventure Academy. We’ve been learning to observe, guess and test our ideas outside and indoors. During free play, while reading, when creating… Sometimes lessons are guided and questions are asked to lead the activity… other times materials are simply left out and I step back so see where the students lead the activity. If it’s a day with younger children, or older students, or a multi-age mix – it is still a day of peers teaching each other and encouraging each other.
Being able to teach each other and encourage each other does not mean the students already have the answers. It means they are growing confident in their learning skills. We use various curriculums to teach basic skills, but all our students enjoy the theme activities that come from Mother Goose Time. This months theme is “bubbles, boats and floats” and as the weather warms up we’ve been enjoying concepts of water play, learning about water cycles and discovering the importance of water.
Water leads to bubbles, which leads to learning about hand washing and making a mess helping clean up! Many avoid having children help with clean up because it takes time and you often have to re-do the clean up process, when they turn it into a bigger mess. BUT making a mess, making believe and making friends is how students at Adventure Academy learn and grow together. Listening to the students interactions, observing their play and allowing them to attempt cleaning up their own mess helps me design individualized and group activities.
As we finish up our water week we’ll morph into activities and lessons about water travel and water animals. The children have shown interest in learning about what animals live in water vs those that can live on both water and land – so I’m sure they’ll be excited as we transition later into learning more animals in the MGT “A-Zoo animals” theme. Following the children’s interests and leads it is helpful to transition to new themes and not just switch subjects. Helping them find ways themes are similar and different helps prepare them for transitioning through school subjects and completing lessons such as research papers.
It is so much fun to run a multi-age program and watch children of different levels interact. As older students research further into topics it encourages curiosity about the topic with younger children and installs work ethic. From child care to tutoring all students work at their own pace and learn through hands on activities. As we finish up our spring activities we are planning ahead for our fall session and have a few full day and part time spaces available for tots to teens. If you know a child near Kinglsey, Mi who’d like to join in our adventures please email Christi@MiFamilies.com.
If you would like to learn more about Adventure Academy or Mi Families visit www.MiFamilies.com or find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube… The Mi Families (“my families”) team is reaching out with resources online, in schools, daycares, churches, homes… We have programs for children, families, parents, providers… Mi Families is for all families and those who work with families. Let us know what resources you’d like information on! If you’d like more information on the Mother Goose Time resource mentioned visit www.MotherGooseTime.com.