Changing With The Children
Have you ever been right in the middle of something and not wanted to stop until it was finished? That happens a lot at HCMA. We get into something and no one wants to stop until it's done! We are fortunate that we are not locked into a ridged schedule where we have to eat at a certain time, play at certain and be ready for a special at a certain time. We can let our day be dictated by our moods or the weather . . . well to a certain degree! Everyday I have a general plan of the hours I want to keep, yet I am able to say to the children, "Why don't we go outside early, as there is bad weather coming," or "Perhaps we should work now and go out for a nice long play time later."
I feel very fortunate that as the seasons change and the children grow that we are able to change our schedule to one that is most optimal for learning. In the beginning of the year, the weather was beautiful, and the children's concentration was less, so we broke for free gross motor play, outside, twice a day. We would go out for an hour before lunch and then another hour at the end of the day. As the children transitioned back into the school year routine, they needed this time outside. However, as the year progressed and the weather turned cold and darkness chased us back inside, the children were ready for more sustained concentration and work times. So we changed our schedule! The last few weeks have found us working all morning, eating lunch and then going out for a nice long afternoon recess. The days that we can't get out because of the cold temperatures, we have had indoor play. Play and free time is such an important piece of the equation for these young learners. When our children think of the term "school" they think of a day with a great amount of choice in their learning, hard work, and lots of play! Don't you wish children across the country thought of school in the same manner? I am so blessed that our daily schedule lets children be children! Oh yes, and while they are being children . . . they are learning at incredible rates!
Here are a few pictures of the choice in work the children have had, particularly in math.
Part plus part addition.
Pattern block fish for the penguin! Ask your child to identify the hexagon, trapezoid, rhombus and triangle.
Candy heart patterns.
Roll the dice and add the goldfish for the penguins!
What comes before and after?
Adding candy hearts.
Working with place value. Making two and three digit numbers with the number stamps and adding them together.