Afternoons mark a very special lull in our day. While G-Bear is in Kindergarten each morning, the boys and I run errands and catch up on chores. This means that we are all excited to reunite at lunchtime. Because Buddy Bear naps in the afternoon and the older Bears no longer do, we have a home-bound lull in our day and a great opportunity to spend time together. Lately, this is when we do our Learning Time.
My kids love Learning Time. Our time isn't rigorous or fancy. Many days, I have devoted minimal planning to how we will spend our time, although we do have a pattern to our routine. I think what they love the most is the focused attention they get from me, the togetherness of the activities, and the excitement of getting to try something new. The routine of the afternoon is comforting to all of us. I let the kids start out with coloring (or play dough, when we can be at the porch table) or other light artwork while I put Buddy Bear down for his nap, then we do an activity together, and we finish with story time on the couch. Then they choose a quiet activity to do until Buddy Bear wakes up, while I take a deep breath and start making dinner. Before I know it, it's dinner time!
Again, there is nothing fancy about the activities we do together during Learning Time. We'll do letter or number games, build on a skill that the kids are working on in school, or sometimes do a project with a faith-related theme. As I said, I think what they like the most is spending time together! Plus, kids at these young ages can learn something from just about anything we do together. That being said, here are a few examples of our Learning Time activities last week.
Roll A Word
Last week, to help G-Bear with her Kindergarten sight words, we played Roll-A-Word. We started with a paper word block that G-Bear made at school, but you could easily use a block with words taped to the sides or a simple dice with each number representing a sight word.
|Our sight word dice|
The kids took turns rolling the "dice," and G-Bear would read the sight word and write it in the appropriate column. We played several times, and each time a different word won.
|Animals, by Bright Baby|
Here he is, hard at work.
Great job, E-Bear!