I wish I knew that teaching my child would be like opening up my imagination and saying “What grabs my attention? What did MY teachers do to get me to listen?” or “What could they have done to make me want to learn?” The answers all resound back to me as……Make it Fun to learn!
Ok. How do I make MATH fun? I dreaded math in school. Wait…no I liked math until I got into high school. I even remember some fun middle school classes that had my attention! I could teach fun math. I just had to figure out how. Hmmmm…..hmmmmm. I got it! Light bulbs light up on my head (I think like this, at times). Cooking uses math and it is very fun to cook when you are a child and it’s NOT a chore.
We added cooking and baking to our math lessons and Mom became a great math teacher, for awhile. Cooking and baking can be messy and after a few days of math in the kitchen, tiresome. Now, we use cooking and baking as fun projects to add to our learning. We have also added helping clean up to our list.
We use our big dry erase board for learning new math and doing problems together until she gets the hang of it. Then I found dry erase boards (at Michael’s on clearance) that were lap size. This we use in place of paper. Easily erases without holes or rips and can save trees. We use these for math work that needs a lot of practice or that we may need to erase a lot. Plus, there is room to doodle and erase before Mom sees (sometimes I just smile, as I remember).
Mom liked math but what about the other subjects? What did I know about animal habitats (first grade) or ancient Egypt (second grade)? I know where some animals live and I have heard about pyramids and sphinx but come on….I had no idea!
Thank God for the internet and libraries! The internet has way too much info and guess what? Most of it is FREE! That’s right, if you can figure out what it is exactly that you need, you can find it for FREE! I have yet to buy pricey curriculum! I do however know a lot on how to research our state’s standards of learning and minimum requirements, and know how to apply them and teach my daughter above that level (easier done than sounds).
The Bible is implemented into our history classes because it is history. God created the whole world! History and science classes can be done using the Bible. Creation can be a science and history lesson. Think like that and find other lessons throughout the Bible to incorporate into your lessons. Your child will listen if you add crafts or projects or even just coloring pages (many free printable on the Bible topics).
How else can I make learning fun and not so boring? Hmmmm…Well, there are times that we go on mini “road trips” or even long ones and my daughter gets bored. I can put together a road trip activity pack and she can learn while playing. These need some thought. You need fun, attention getters, some coloring pages, and some real school type work, too. I keep my major learning stuff to a minimum in the car. Color by number is fun and engaging (could be sums, products, etc), color pages of flags or countries or a country’s monuments is a way to keep your history lesson flowing, scavenger hunts (items, license plates, animals, etc), talking about Bible verses or bring music that applies to a lesson can be another way to make learning fun on the go.
Planning a lesson wasn’t rocket science but I’ve learned as much or more as my child by learning what to teach and how to teach. Could I do it again? Sure! Could I teach 20-30 kids at a time? Probably not, but if I had to, I could. Teaching is not something I ever dreamt of doing but now that I do it, everyday, I love it.
I’m always planning that next lesson, even if my daughter doesn’t know it’s a lesson. If I can teach her without her knowing that I’m teaching her, than God really is working miracles in both of our lives and that really is a blessing!
How do you plan your lessons? Do you use curriculum? Does the Bible guide you?