Monday, September 12, 2011

Self-Directed Learning Activities for Little Ones

Sometimes parents find it challenging to keep younger children on task while older children are receiving instruction or help with their assignments. Young children often need tools to help them focus and work on their learning activities independently. Today I found a laminated chart that I made for our youngest child. It was the school chart that he used when he was six or seven years old. Each day I would assign a specific number of tasks for him to complete. Some days he would be required to complete them all. On other days (like piano lessons days) I would shorten the list and mark the ones he was to complete. 

Sometimes he was allowed to pick and choose a specified number from the list. He liked having the freedom to choose and it fostered independence and incentive. He received a sticker from teacher-mom for each task completed.  The stickers would go onto a sticker sheet that had spaces for 25. He would save all his sticker sheets because they were valuable to him. They could be used as homeschool currency in the school store.

Here is an example of the learning activities he chose from each day:

  • Count aloud to someone from 1 to 100 by one's, ten's, and two's.
  • Write your alphabet, upper and lower case, in your handwriting booklet.
  • Say all the single letter phonograms out loud to someone.
  • Write your single letter phonograms in lower case as someone says them to you.
  • Complete an addition or subtraction math page. Use a number chart and Matchbox cars to help.
  • Read a book out loud to mom or dad.
  • Do your addition or subtraction flashcards.
  • Carefully color a picture from a nature coloring book.
  • Draw a careful sketch of something you see.
  • Play a file-folder game or table game (learning bingo, matching game, etc.).
  • Spend 15 minutes working in your garden.
  • Work on one page or activity in your garden or nature journal.
  • Learn your memory verse and repeat it to dad when he comes home from work.
  • Write a sentence or two on lined paper and draw a picture about it.
  • Walk or run laps around the front and back yard (1 sticker per lap).
  • Put a puzzle together.
  • Listen to a Bible story CD and draw a picture about the story.
  • Cut pictures out of a magazine and make a collage or poster.  Choose a subject or theme.Chose a recipe from the kids recipe notebook and cook something.
  • Other ________________________________________________________.

*Note that some of these activities require parental involvement, but it is the child's responsibility to take the incentive to come to the teacher-parent for help rather than the other way around.

*The activities listed above were to be completed after the morning "group learning activities" such as devotional time, calendar, prayer, thankfulness chart, story time, and Bible class.

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