I just realized I’ve been trying to cram in all the activities I want children to enjoy before closing Adventure Academy for summer vacation. I just realized that’s not the smartest teaching style as when we rush through anything we miss out on what activities can offer. Activities can offer more than what’s written on the lesson plan when we let students take the lead and explore the topic to its fullest. Our current topic is A-Zoo from Mother Goose Time – and you can’t rush through children’s animal interests!
Mother Goose Time is one of the curriculums we use. Although it’s designed for preschool development younger children enjoy the themes and older students expand on their unit knowledge by diving deeper. Last month we dove into “bubbles, boats and floats,” which transitioned smoothly into water animals – then animals that fly and so on. We put animals into various categories from bugs to the biggest of creatures. We talked about some bigger creatures being the mommies and daddies of the smaller ones.
Since Fathers day is coming up we researched how animal parents care for their young. We transition from one topic to the next, staying within theme, but allowing children to morph through their academic development as a tadpole morphs into a frog and a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. Children are captivated by animal changes as they relate to their own developmental changes. Each child develops and morphs in different ways and at different speeds.
Often a child is referred for tutoring or other developmental services with a specific label and often that label is challenged as the child develops and grows because their needs change. Sometimes that child was wrongfully diagnosed and a label of “delay” would have been more appropriate, as he/she simply needed more time to work on that skill then their peer, but he/she might be ahead of their peer with other skills. Developmental skills, talents, interests … every child, every person, changes and morphs on their time line.
A child might be behind on learning their letter sounds, but ahead at building puzzles. That child might be interested in learning about ocean animals, but not interested in math worksheets. Using theme studies a child is interested in can help you teach needed skills in a fun and hands-on way. An alphabet puzzle with ocean animals teaches those letters sounds with a picture that holds their attention, and which they can count the creatures at the end teaching math skills.
As Ben Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” Involve them in the learning process – ask them what they want to learn about – follow their lead. If you haven’t used themes to teach previously – check out Mother Goose Time for an easy package, which guilds you and involves all subjects through various activities. If you’d like more information Mother Goose Time visit www.MotherGooseTime.com. If you’d like more information about Adventure Academy and other Mi Families programs visit www.MiFamilies.com
Mi Families provides programs for families and those who work with families – which includes our child care and tutoring program: Adventure Academy. Due to my maternity leave we will be closed for summer vacation, but are currently enrolling students for Fall 2016. If you know a child near Kingsley, MI who would like to join us for learning adventures please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. If you’d like to network with Christi or others on our team, including other parents and providers – find us on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube…