What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

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my3sons
Posts: 10589
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by my3sons » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:37 pm

I wanted my 4 yo to have an independent play time, so he could learn some independence (as he's always with his big brothers), and so I could have more uninterrupted teaching time with my olders. I've tried this in the past, but he just didn't stick with whatever I'd set out for him for more than 15 minutes. Last week I tried setting up different activities for him to rotate through... and success! :D He happily played for an hour right away. I honestly couldn't believe it. I think he just needed some variety and an order of what to do. I think this would work well for a child who understands the order of numbers, and who is around 3-6 years old. :D

I picked a safe room that is near us but not RIGHT by us. We have a large entry room just off our kitchen we have childproofed, so that worked well for us. I numbered big index cards and folded them in half to tent them. I started with 5, but have now used up to 7. I chose 5-7 varied activities for him to work through. I started with a few short activities that have a definite end to them. For example, #1 was a puzzle, and #2 was a card for him to practice writing his name once. These were at his little table and chairs.
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I picked a building activity for #3. For example, magnatiles. I sectioned off a spot for it on a blanket and put the #3 tent card by it...
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A book on tape was #4, and I designated a spot for that with his little chair. I also put headphones there, so my middle ds wouldn't be distracted by the story...
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#5 was something active again that he could play with, like his construction set, and I sectioned that off with another blanket...
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#6 was a set of books he had not seen before, sectioned off by his bean bag chair and blanket...
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I told him to start with card #1, do the activity, turn over the card when he was done, and move on to #2. I turned on his LHTH's Singing Bible CD for him, and away he went. :D I checked on him a few times and snapped a few pics...
Image Image

By the fourth day of doing this, he headed right in there all on his own after I'd done phonics and LHTH with him. I was putting away his LHTH tub and wondering where he had disappeared to, and there he was happily putting together his puzzle at center #1. :D I change out the things, but in general, #1 is always a short puzzle type activity, #2 is a short fine motor skill type activity, #3 is always something more active to play with on a blanket, #4 is always a different book on tape in his little arm chair, #5 is always something more active to play with on a different blanket, #6 is always different books in his bean bag chair, and if there is a #7, it's something active. Wyatt likes to help me set up this or that for it too. I set it up right before we eat breakfast, so it's all ready to go. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to set it up, as I've put things near there for handy access. I also put a few stuffed animals at various centers, as he loves his buddies. :D Last time, it had been over an hour and I said it was time to play with his brother (which he LOVES), and he said with his hands on his hips, "But I'm not done yet! I still have #6 and #7 to do, and I really wanted to do them!" :shock: "Okay, okay, 10 more minutes, and then that's it," I said, thinking 'could I possibly having to LIMIT this time now?!?' :lol: Anyway, here are a few more pics I snapped to give some ideas...
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

I think it is important to choose things that they know how to do. So this isn't the time for puzzles or coloring or writing skills that may be too hard for them. It also helps to change out the books, toys, and activities, choosing things they can be successful with. I just let him move on to the next one whenever he wants to. Sometimes he is at one center for a very short time, but that's alright, as he's at the next one longer. It all works out. Anyway, I just thought I'd share this as it has been a wonderful help in our home! :D If you are blessed enough to have a naturally independent child that just plays on his/her own with things, than this may not be necessary. But if you have a child that needs a little help in this area, this may work for you too! :D I'd love to know if you try it - it is my prayer that this could help some fellow busy homeschooling moms like yourselves. :)

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Heidi in AK
Posts: 470
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 am
Location: Fort Richardson, AK

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by Heidi in AK » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:04 pm

Julie, how long does this take you to set up every day? This would be great! I have a bag of toys for DS2.5 that I could possibly use. We won't need to try it for a while, I think...he does ok during DD5's 3R's, and then I do the LH of LHFHG with her during DS's nap. However, knowing he won't nap forever, I want to start prayerfully planning, so that when we do LHTH with him, I can still do LHFHG or Beyond with DD.
Heidi
loving teaching my rewards!!!
Girlie (dd7) - Beyond, 4 days/week
Boy-o (ds4), LHTH, along for the ride!!! (all boy, whatever he can get his hands on, FULL OF ENERGY!)
Psalm 78:3-7

http://heidihovan.blogspot.com

my3sons
Posts: 10589
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by my3sons » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:12 pm

Hi Heidi! :D I put a tote of books on tape and a tote of books in a cupboard in the room. The room already had the little arm chair, the little table and chairs, a CD/tape player, toys, and blankets. So, 5-10 minutes is what it takes to set up, which for me to gain an hour or more is so worth it. :D I've found having a childproofed area with some things befitting my little one is a necessity. If I had to run all over the house to gather things though, this would take much longer to set up. We don't have a playroom on our main floor, but if we did, I'd probably set it up in there. :D Good question! :D

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by MelInKansas » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:17 pm

Julie,

Thanks for describing so thoroughly what you have done, I love that idea! It would be great for when my 2YO gets a little older, I plan to start LHTH with her but of course I still need time to read and do work with the older kids. :D
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Heidi in AK
Posts: 470
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 am
Location: Fort Richardson, AK

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by Heidi in AK » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:20 pm

I love it too. It gives me time to think up a great space, and then organize our toys/books/activities. Thanks for using the pictures; I'm a visual learner. :)
Heidi
loving teaching my rewards!!!
Girlie (dd7) - Beyond, 4 days/week
Boy-o (ds4), LHTH, along for the ride!!! (all boy, whatever he can get his hands on, FULL OF ENERGY!)
Psalm 78:3-7

http://heidihovan.blogspot.com

water2wine
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:24 pm
Location: GA

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by water2wine » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:45 pm

What a great mommy you are! :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

kamariden
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:51 pm

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by kamariden » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:03 pm

As I was reading this I commented aloud, "I am SO doing this!" :D My extremely active 3yr old would just love it! I just have to find a space in our tiny apartment to set it up.... :lol: Thanks for all the details and pics. Pics definitely help! :D
Happily Married to Luke since 2001
Ethan - doing LHFHG part time, will begin BLHFHG fulltime Jan. 2012
Quintin - doing part time LHTH.
Liam - studying the art of annoying his brothers and taking out anything that has been put away. (toddler)

pjdobro
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by pjdobro » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:39 pm

This is brilliant and Emmett is adorable! If I had a little one, I would be setting this up. You know, I even think my 9 year olds would have fun with something like this. :wink: It's kind of like a play along treasure hunt. I love how you had his buddies waiting on him at different stations. What a wonderful way to draw him into the activity. You amaze me with your creativity! :D
Patty in NC

b/g twins '02 Rev2Rev 2014/15
previously enjoyed LHFHG, BLHFHG, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
******
Nisi Dominus Frusta (Without God, frustration)
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

NicoleJ
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:46 am

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by NicoleJ » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:43 am

I love, love, love this idea Julie! Thankyou for taking the time to show us what you have been doing with Emmett! :)

MomtoJGJE
Posts: 1534
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:20 pm
Location: Gastonia, NC

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by MomtoJGJE » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:11 am

We used to do something similar when I only had one doing school. The others had stations to move around to every 30 minutes. :)

I'll need to plan it for Evie in the spring when she's the only one NOT doing school!

my3sons
Posts: 10589
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by my3sons » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:15 pm

Thanks, ladies! :D It sounds like some of you have either done some different version of this throughout the years or would like to try it out. Whenever something proves to be a help to me timewise, I love to share it in the hopes it helps others, as homeschooling moms are some of the busiest, most hard-working moms I know. :D We are on our 2nd week of doing these rotations with our 4 yo, and today he worked on them for over an hour and a half. He didn't want to stop, even when I sent my 8 yo in to help him pick up! Anyway, for this stage in our life, this has been such a help to us. I hope it will be to some others too! :D

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8052
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by Carrie » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:25 pm

my3sons,

This is a great visual for those who have little ones! :D You may want to link it in the scheduling thread too if you get a chance. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

edsnyder
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by edsnyder » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:09 am

I am going to want to find this later... ;) and by commenting is the only way I have figured out how :oops:
Elisa help meet to my husband Luke of 12 years and mother of three awesome children:
ds9 - Bigger
ds6 - Beyond - Half Speed
dd3 - Little Hands -

wonderfilled
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:59 am

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by wonderfilled » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for sharing, Julie. I had already decided that I was going to put some toys and activities on a shelf for my 4 year old and number them. This gives me some great creative ideas to consider. :D
Enjoying Heart of Dakota for our fifth year using:
Ds15- World History
Ds13-MtM
Ds11- RtR
Ds7- Bigger Hearts
http://wonderfilleddays.com

quiverfull
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:08 pm
Location: NH

Re: What my 4 yo does that gains me 1 hour of teaching time

Post by quiverfull » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:36 pm

I know this is an old thread, but I love it! Great idea :)
Wife for 28 years….Mom to 9~
Four graduated, five still in school. 26, 23, 22, 19, 17, 15, 13, 9, 8


Used/Using
WH
WG
MTMM
Rev2Rev
CtC
Preparing
LHFHG

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