Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homeschool Workspace

I bought this old school desk about a year ago (I can see how long ago it was, my baby still had unchipped front teeth, poor girl!) for the kids to use as a homeschool work space. Not that it's the only space they use to learn at all, just that I wanted something that was the right size, particularly for the bigger one to be comfortable for writing and drawing.

I noticed that they didn't really use the built in storage except to put more and more things in, any stationery or materials stored inside to get used weren't being used at all, so we put it all out where it can be seen. There is pens, pencils, textas, scissors, tape, glue, all kinds of paper, paints and brushes,ink and stamps, and all sorts of collage stuff all within view to encourage their use and it seems to work well.

The boy is not as frequent a visitor as his sister to the desk, but he does do some writing and drawing on it, even if he doesn't sit on it the way I imagined he would! (That is a "Disc O Sit" he is sitting on which is really good for kids who find it difficult to sit still.)

It has been really good for the girl, she often sits and creates things there, art and making things is quite calming for her, one of her very favourite things to do.

And very occasionally, they will sit at the desk together and even more occasionally, it won't end in tears! The smaller one can't usually keep to her own work and that really doesn't end well!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celery Dye Experiment

It's sometimes hard to find an activity that both a 9 year old and a 3 year old can both do, enjoy AND get something out of. This one was all of that and quick and easy as well!

Some water, food colour and celery, then we waited, We talked about what they thought might happen and why.

Our pink colour didn't work at all, no idea why! But the blue one worked well, maybe the heavy handedness with the blue colour paid off! The 3 year old learnt why she really didn't need to water plants anywhere but the bottom, despite her previous insistence that she NEEDED to get all the flowers wet!

My poor burnt from the heat Camellia tree in the background, does anyone know if it will come back on? It was perfectly good but after the very hot days we had, looks dead.

And the nine year old was able to follow up with some much deeper learning of plants.

A lot of his reading takes place up there in his top bunk, we took the ladder down so that a little someone can't get up there on her own. That way he gets somewhere she can't distract him so much.

She does get to go up there sometimes though!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Too Loud

Like her brother, she is very sensitive to sound. Loud, high pitched, sudden and unexpected noise is way too much for her. She doesn't cope with loud busy places, storms or even a sudden loud knock on the door. Even everyday sounds like vacuums and hair dryers are impossible for her to bear. We have two inside dogs so need to vacuum a LOT, but the tears, screams and biting didn't make for a fun time for anyone. We knew from her brother that earmuffs would help, we also knew that like her brother she is touch sensitive and it would be a while until she would tolerate the earmuffs. She was Not At All Keen to try them but is finally at an age (3.5) that we were able to explain it would be better for her to wear them (well, that and a bribe to initially get them on!)

And thankfully, she felt for herself how much better it was to have them on when something loud is happening! She still doesn't love the feeling of them and is quick to pull them off when it's quieter, but being able to get around without assault to her ears outweighs that and she is better able to cope with so many more things with them on!