Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Unofficial homeschooling

Since we won't put Ricky in school until next year, I am trying to build his vocabulary and curiosity a bit at home. His language is coming along really well and quicker than I expected- he can have a basic conversation in English and Spanish, knows his numbers, body parts, some animals, and can sing ABCs in both languages. We're working on "dramatic play-" and lucky for him his 3 older siblings are constantly pretending, inventing and imagining. In our house we don't really watch TV, and I think that this encourages the kids to make up games and activities. Ricky loves getting dressed up and is slowly joining the kids in their schemes instead of standing on the outside and watching (though he does find them very entertaining!). The big kids are always asking me to do "experiments." I'm not sure what is so appealing, although I have a feeling they like the messiness and unpredictability of science. Their favorite was the baking powder and vinegar, and I think they are waiting for the next big explosion (we'll have to try a volcano one time.... outside). I found an old used book on amazon called "Literature-Based Science" that ties children's books to science activities that I have been using. Also there is another one I took a bunch of copies from about developing critical thinking or creative thinking (I can't remember the name of it!). Some of the experiments take several days, and the kids have a hard time waiting to see the results: putting balloons in the freezer and under the bed, planting different seeds in different materials, putting a wet and dry pieces of bread in baggies, and placing a wet one and a dry one each under the bed or in sunlight, checking what liquids evaporate faster under what circumstances, or here placing chalk in water and in vinegar. "Why can't they go faster? Sometimes they take so long mommy!" It's all about predicting what the kids *think* will happen, making observations on what actually is happening, and then drawing some sort of conclusion.

I always loved science and I hope that doing these little "speariments" (as Maya says) will pique their interest.

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