“I made these ships yesterday. I learned how to make them from my brother. There are a lot of pieces. The little ship has a bad guy in it, and he is being chased by the big ship, that has good guys. I like to make ships because it’s fun.”
-Morgan McQueen, age 4
I love that my son, “Morgan McQueen,” is already learning to be creative at age four. Educating my children at home has greatly contributed to their learning experience. Having different ages all together (instead of segregating children by age, like in most schools) provides a rich opportunity for picking up new skills. Sometimes all of my children work together on the same activity, such as LEGOS. At other times, while the older children are practicing their handwriting, for example, I’ll have the younger ones sitting down coloring in their coloring books–writing/coloring time for everybody. Each one is doing something age-appropriate, but they’re doing it all together. The little ones are learning the importance of sitting still, and applying oneself to study as they observe their older siblings. I also make it easy to access educational toys, available whenever they want to play with them. Here’s a list of activities in easy reach of my 2 and 4-years old children:
- Lincoln Logs
- Coloring books and crayons
- Craft supplies such as paper, stick glue, stickers
- “Reading” books
I have found it VERY helpful to have the smaller children occupied with educational “play” while I’m dealing with the older ones, or taking care of the baby. I have seen them “reading” books to each other, playing “school,” trying hard to write letters and numbers (without me ever having to tell them to do so), telling stories to each other, playing make-believe, working on craft projects on their own (they don’t make too big of a mess, either), etc.
Home educating several children at once can be challenging. But isn’t it like that with anything worthwhile? And after all the work, to cheer me up, I get to enjoy seeing little LEGO space ships made by tiny hands!