I had this ace idea yesterday. I've been trying to make learning interesting for James and Matthew at home, but it just gets a little boring going over the alphabet and numbers in a parrotty sort of way, and they soon get bored of it. Well, when I was tidying their bedroom the other morning - they all share a bedroom, and I hardly ever tidy it because I am too lazy - I discovered Thomas's red desk and chair that we bought for him when he was about 2. And that got me thinking that James and Matthew might enjoy playing 'schools' at home. I remember playing schools when I was little. Role playing was definitely a part of my childhood, though I've only vague memories of getting things ready, of putting things in the right places, getting books out and pencils, making the living room look like a classroom as much as possible. And then me or Noomski would be the teacher, and we'd have to do spellings or sums, and whoever was the teacher would mark them. I remember really loving the feeling of writing a tick in red pen on Noomski's work: it made me feel so grown up, and for a few minutes I would be sure that I wanted to be a teacher when I did grow up.
Anyway, I didn't use the desk with James and Matthew, but I did turn the living room into a classroom. We had a little area in the bay window for story time; we had a place on the carpet for writing practise; we had a corner where we used blocks and built towers and houses and such, and talked about colours and shapes; we had another area for looking at numbers. It was very successful indeed - even I enjoyed myself! I pretended to be the teacher, of course, and when I said that my name was Miss Rawlinson, James pulled a very peculiar face like he thought I was very stupid, and said that he would just call me Teacher instead. They both, even Matthew who is only 2, produced a lot of good work. James wrote his name three times, very beautifully. I have this thing about them learning to write their name before they start school. Thomas was able to do it, James is well on his way to being able to write it by himself, and Matthew will have no problems with it because he is probably a genius.
Here are some photos of our afternoon of home-schooling - please ignore the horrible state of the hideous and horrifying carpet, we need a new one urgently!
And for the sake of equality, here is a picture of Thomas drawing a picture this evening, right after getting ten out of ten for his spellings for the second time in a row after coming home from Beavers and telling me all about the adventures he had there that were tiring and also being extra tired after a string of early mornings and a busy and tiring week that left practically only ten tiring minutes for tirelessly learning said spellings when tired! Phew!
And here is just one more picture, of James demonstrating what happens when we are tired in this house:
Today James made this face, with this sound coming out of it for about an hour: 'wuuuuuuuhh'. Poor kiddo, he's exhausted, because he is 4, and when you are 4 and are going to start school this year you are exhausted at exactly the time you don't really want to be, eh?
I have just become acutely aware that at the beginning of this blog I said that I would not talk about or post pictures of my children! Sorry. But realistically, since I spend twelve or thirteen hours of my day with the little ... fellas, I could hardly keep them out of it now, could I?!