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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Calendar Time: Tools to help reinforce concepts

I have been thinking about ways to consistently reinforce concepts like days and months and our bible verses with Adventure-man. We tend to cover numbers, shapes and letters as part of the play that we do but I was wondering how to fit those other things in. I know he'll pick up most ideas as we talk about them through the day but I wanted to carve out a time where we are focused on learning some new concepts and also our bible verses particularly.

I stumbled upon the idea of Calendar Time - which I was familiar with in the context of schools. However, seeing how this mum and this mum  incorporated it into their homeschool, I thought it would be a fun way to start our time each day while reinforcing words and ideas.

Learning Bible Verses:

I try and pick a bible verse that will loosely relate to the letter we are working on during the week - so this week it was "Love your neighbour as yourself". I make up songs and raps and we sing it together (or rather I sing it and he shouts out the parts he has learnt when he feels like it). We also sings the songs over breakfast as a way of reviewing what we have done over the past few weeks (helps wake us up too!).

These are the verses we have tackled to date:

I have hidden your word in my heart

With this verse, I made a heart pocket using two pieces of red cardstock and had him place a picture of a bible in it to visually represent to him the idea of hiding the Word of God in his heart.

I also used this to talk to him about keeping good things in our hearts -  I wrote out on pieces of paper a variety of things like "hitting", "shouting", " hugging", "helping", "kissing", "biting" etc and we went through each one and I asked him which things were good and which were bad. We then put each good thing in our pocket heart and each bad thing I got him to scrunch up and throw it in the bin! He loved it and now whenever we come to any bad behaviour, all I need to say is -"Is that something we want to keep in our heart?" and He'll reply " No, we want to scrunch it up and throw it in the bin." And for most part, the bad behaviour will stop!

Heart Shape template

Be kind to one another  - you can get a printable for this verse and a whole variety of other verses at Totally Tots.

Love is patient

Do check out the great ideas and printables for 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 at Totally Tots.

We are actually learning the whole of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8  in portions in the form a rap. We'll rap parts of it during breakfast time and Adventure-man will shout out his favourite bits like "boast!" or "Self - Sleeking!" (yes that is how he pronouces it : ) ) - Well, I was blown away the other day when he started rapping almost half of the entire verse word for word to Grandpa while they were playing with his trains.

I'm now pretty much convinced that he will learn anything if I put it to some kind of silly song or rap!

Love your neighbour as yourself

I put together a fun activity for him after we read The Good Samaritan from Stories Jesus Told by Nick Butterworth and then we got a poor injured doll who needed to be washed and dried, bandaged and plastered. He enjoyed it and it was particularly funny when he dunked her head first into the pail!

I downloaded the weather template from Homeschool Creations.

This is a great way to discuss Today and Yesterday as well as the different aspects of weather. Of course, where we live (in the tropics) it is usually only sunny, cloudy or rainy. He loves being able to stick things to the board.

Months of the Year
This is a pretty tough concept for him to get a hang of so we are just chanting the Months and I talk about whose birthday falls in which month. I have made a visual chart of the months and will be getting stickers or photos to place in our birthday months so I can talk to him about the months that way.
 I downloaded this template from 1+1+1.

Days of the Week
We have a little song we sing and then I lay out the days in order so he can see the words and then I help him choose the right day to stick on on board. We talk about yesterday and tomorrow as well. I made up this template myself and you can click here to download it.

Finally, I printed out his name and the names of the family and each day he picks out his name and he is also learning to recognise the names of his siblings too. I got this idea from 1+1+1 again.

You'll see from these other blogs I linked to that there are a lot of other wonderful ideas you can incorporate into the Calendar time as your child gets older. I've taken into account Adventure-man's age and attention span and have kept our calendar pretty simple for now. I will probably add it over time.

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