Struggling to teach your child at home? Read Mommy Lovely’s account of how play-based learning works for her family while in this pandemic.
What can you read in this article?
- How Mommy Lovely brought Antarctica into her home
- Ways to incorporate play-based learning at home
The best memories of my early childhood are experiences such as playing in the rain, my first bite of strawberry during a trip to Baguio when I was about 4 years old and bike rides with my siblings around the neighborhood.
It is why I know that fun times are the ones that stick and stay with you forever. I want my kids to have a childhood like mine or maybe even better, even in this time of pandemic.
As a homeschooling mom who is very involved in my children’s education, and considering that play-based learning is beneficial for them, I find ways to incorporate learning with fun activities we can do at home.
I try my best to keep their days gadget-free and keep their hands busy because I am a believer of what Maria Montessori said, “What the hand does the mind remembers”.
Can’t travel? Not a problem
Image from author
During the early part of the first nationwide lockdown, my eldest showed interest in continents specifically Antarctica. Though we could not travel, I told my kids we were going on a trip and asked them to wear winter clothes and printed play passports for them.
I then transformed their study room to Antarctica with penguin plushies they already had, white snow blankets, and full blast air conditioning.
As they entered the room, they were transported to the continent with fun facts and a short video of the ice-covered landmass. The joy in their eyes was just the same as when we actually traveled to another country pre-pandemic.
Another time I told them we were going for an adventure and asked them to pack their camera, water and pretend map.
I took them out to our yard and had them use their imagination pretending they were in the woods and I was amazed at how they brought themselves to a different place with their creativity .
Our blue ternate plant became a tree full of blue jays, a hanging plastic sheet became a waterfall and the picnic mat a lake.
It is both rewarding and a blessing, for you and your kids, to join in on their adventure and see the world through their eyes.
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Image from author
I encourage them to observe and notice even the tiniest weeds and insects or the most mundane things such as a dry leaf that can be found in our garden and ask them questions to stimulate their little minds.
Here are the things that we did:
- One time, they saw a caterpillar and began asking about it. So we decided to take care of one and made a screened home for it. I let them feed and check it every day until it hid in a cocoon and became a butterfly. It was the best way to teach them about life cycles and metamorphosis because the unique experience makes them remember.
- On some days we just lie on the mat and stare at the sky. And, I teach them about clouds or parts of the tree or constellations at night or play with the garden hose. Allow them to be wet and messy, and let them discover things like light plus water creates rainbows. I make every effort to give them even just a simple background of the things around them.
Image from the author
- Sometimes we cook or bake and I tell them about fractions when measuring and reading the recipe. We plant vegetables and watch them grow or they sit with their dad and rummage through his toolbox while naming and learning the uses of the different kinds of tools. Even be as simple as handing them a box of chalk to write and draw on the pavement.
- If we choose to stay indoors, we read books, paint, do crafts, play dress up and play game boards like our DIY sight word game. So we have fun while my little girl is learning to read. I also allow a lot of time for free play.
- Occasionally, they get to watch their favorite cartoon when mommy and daddy are too busy. Sunday movie nights are also something they look forward to. The beauty of homeschooling is finding opportunities to learn anytime anywhere and in any way.
- I also enrolled them in monthly zoom class programs so they get to talk to kids their age.
Of course, we have workbook days but I try my best to incorporate fun activities for them as much as I can. Because this is also a stressful time for them.
Not fully understanding what the virus is, though I have explained to them, their innocence cannot fully grasp why and how this is happening. Now, more than ever, is not time to pressure them to learn.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lovely Uy is a stay-at-home mom to a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. Since she gave birth to her first child, she decided to devote her time and energy to raising and teaching her kids.