My favourite-four-year-old turned five this month. It felt so momentous. Half a decade old. A milestone birthday, somehow.
Five is often the time that some sort of formal academic teaching starts. We did a bit of academics together yesterday afternoon when he visited me for an hour. It wasn’t the usual homeschooling type of academics though. It was the type that grandparents can get away with. It did involve writing numbers, thinking of letters and words, practising pen control, being creative and some reading time. But it wasn’t as fancy as the list makes it sound.
I’d been really busy and had just sat down with a cup of tea to do the Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper when he arrived. My favourite-five-year-old had a little homemade snack then climbed on my knee to see what I was doing. He did the maze, and then he wanted to help me. I worked out the numbers and he wrote them into the squares for me while I directed him. (Practice in writing numerals.) Next, we found a very simple junior crossword, so I read the clues out to him and helped him work out the answers. (General knowledge and description comprehension.)
Cryptic Crossword Puzzles
My f-f-y-o was enjoying this so much that he didn’t want to stop. In fact, he was feeling so confident that he was ready to tackle the cryptic crossword puzzle. I’m not up to ‘cryptic’ level so I told him he could make his own solution for this puzzle and he liked that idea. He neatly crossed out all the clues one after another, the way Mummy does when she solves a puzzle. Then he joined all the empty squares to each other with a pen line. (Pencil control.)
Finally, I picked up the current story book off the coffee table and read a couple of chapters to him. (Literature.) It all felt very peaceful, comfortable and relaxed. And even though it wouldn’t do as the main form of academics, its worth was in the time we spent together.
When he scrambled down off my lap he was ready to play outside (physical exercise), and I felt refreshed and could get on with sorting the laundry and tidying the papers on the dining table.
Sometimes the children just need a bit of time with you. A short time of focused attention can fill them up so that they play happily (if they are tiny) or study well without supervision (if they are older).
Story time always refreshes, too. I can’t recommend it highly enough. And it’s worth a million DVDs or videos in terms of:
- vocabulary enrichment,
- developing good reading habits (it’s a well-known fact that children who are read to become readers),
- relationship building,
- imagination development,
- memory making, and
- brain development.
If you want inspiration for books to read aloud you can have a look at some of the books on my bookshelf.
And you might like to try one of these study guides to enjoy literature with your children. There are lesson guides, ideas, suggestions, websites included in the guides. Study Guides for Homeschoolers
Meantime, enjoy your children. They are only with you for a short time.