Because we have a little one of school age now, I thought I'll try to share a series of regular blog posts showing some things we're learning about. Perhaps some of the resources and activities we do will help inspire other families.
Zeah is very interested in Time at the moment. She has asked for a watch for her fifth birthday, and is often asking questions relating to the concept of time.
TIP: Place a standard analogue clock in a living/playing area of your home, and refer to it often, eg: "It's nearly 2 o'clock, we need to get ready for swimming now."
This past week, we started doing some activities and we read a book to support her interest. Here are some of the items we've used...
These rainbow timers from Junior Learning measure 1, 2 and 5 minutes and assisted with estimating and comparison of how long different things take at at our place. I got them online for about $10 last year.
This book, Just a Second by Steve Jenkins has beautiful illustrations and taught us numerous Time facts like: a bee's wings beat 200 times a second!
These teaching clocks are sturdy and Zeah loves to move the hands and "test" us on what time it is. I'm not sure where they came from originally, but I think they may both be KMart products! I like the wooden puzzle best, and Zeah likes the smaller plastic one she can carry around.
Other activities for Zeah include this simple paper plate clock from an activity box from Castle & Kite - putting the stickers around the edge helped showed her how the clock goes from 1 to 12 and then repeats. We also just received this awesome kiwico crate which includes a marble timer and art project. If you'd like to try kiwico crates (there are several types), you can start with 50% off here. (afflink)
These are some other resources I'd use once Zeah can write numbers and read, which I found on our shelves. The boxed learning kit is from KMart and the book is Maths Centres Year 1 by Blake Education. The story book is one we've had for decades! Whenever we choose a theme I'll flick through our resources for what we already have, and I'll also pop into the library to see what they have that's relevant. All the themed resources usually sit in a box or basket together and we look at something most days. If I was working with a multi-age group, other items we'd include might be a stopwatch, a metronome, a list of time-related experiments and activities, a link to any interesting online lessons about time (eg Khan Academy), a time themed writing prompt, and time management tools such as daily planners... We'd also talk about the concept of time in different cultures, spiritual perspective of time, theories of time travel and other interesting topics. When we had a large family learning together, the conversations, activities and resources were for whoever was interested, and sometimes the older children would share something with their younger siblings.
Themed learning interests me, and has been fun for our family throughout the years. I'll share more "Learning About" blog posts this year, including topics such as maps, oceans, money, gardening, feelings and more!