Category Archives: Learning

Shadow Drawing: Outdoor Activities

Are you looking for more activities for your little ones at home? This fun activity is something they can do with very little help. Shadow drawing. Now you can show your kids how the light from the sun changes our shadows throughout the day. Thank you Rookie Parenting for this super-cool idea. Check out the full tutorial here.

Light travels in a straight line, when it is obstructed by an object it will create a shadow of the object. In order to show this unique result simply gather some fun objects to obstruct the light. You can use toys to create this fun experiment. Grab some tall, short, large, and small toys to give varying heights, depths, and shapes.

Use a piece of paper or place them on the concrete and create shadows on the cement. You can then use a crayon, or chalk if you are drawing on the cement. Trace the outline of the objects and mark what time of day you captured the shadow.

In a few hours come back to the objects and see what changed. Trace the shadow once more. How has it changed? As the suns position in the sky changes so will the way it casts a shadow on the toys.

You can follow the suns movements throughout the day and you will see how the length of the shadow changes as the day goes on.

Learn more about shadows here.

Books about Presidents

Our kids do a lot of learning outside of the classroom. One of the ways they learn is by reading. Reading i one of the fun ways to learn new things. Especially when you read non-fiction. Non-fiction books do not have to be boring, they can actually be really fun. When you are learning new, interesting, and fun things about someone that you already know something about you become more excited about that person, and about learning. That is why we are suggesting some fun non-fiction books this month. The President of the United States is someone new every 4 or 8 years. We know all of their names. We even know a little bit about some of the more popular ones. But do we know anything fun or personal about them? By learning something fun and personal about them we can learn more about them as individuals.

Master George’s People: George Washington, His Slaves, and His Revolutionary Transformation: This fun book about our first President, George Washington, covers a wide range of background on the man who led our country in one of its most important moments. It tells about him as he was during his Presidency, and just before his presidency, and just after it. It really opens up about his slaves, his involvement  in the war, and creating our nation. This is a book for grades 5-8th.

Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy RooseveltThis book follows Theodore Roosevelt and discusses him as a child. Follow along and learn about the great bull moose president’s early years and how they shaped him to lead a country.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of HopeThis book allows kids to learn more about our most recent president. President Obama was probably the first president many of our kids had experience with. Now they can learn more about him as a child, the way he grew up, and how he became the man at the helm of change.

Teaching Your Child: What Type of Learner is Your Child?

Every child is different, so is every parent. I learned this on day one. I have more than one kid, and I have been doing this for a while. But guess what? It never gets easier. My kids may look like near carbon copies of one another (I apparently make one type of kid, I swear they look like twins 4 years apart, minus the fact they are different genders) they are absolutely nothing alike. One is the easiest going kid you will ever meet. Is polite, outgoing, brave, ready to learn, and learns very quickly. Once is shy, a momma’s boy, takes his time to warm up to new places, situations, and people, and is smart but works more methodically. They couldn’t be more different. Its ok. It just make for a change in my parenting style with each kid. Any parent that tells you that one style works for every child, has never had more than one child. Everyone is different. I also have a very different relationship with each child. Which is ok too. My daughter is my partner. We work together, she learns alongside me as we play, work in the yard, cook, clean, workout, and read. My son needs a teacher, a mentor, someone who stands over him and guides him. It doesn’t mean he isn’t as smart, it doesn’t mean I think he needs more help. it is just the way in which he absorbs knowledge.

I taught Special Education for years before staying home to be with my own children. It helped me see that every child is different. I truly think it guided me to understand that I have no control over my kids. They are who they are. I am simply guiding them to be the best version of who they are.

When I work with them I play to their strengths and weaknesses. My daughter shadows me to learn. She has already begun clearing her own dinner from the table, making her bed, and helping to do the dishes and cook meals. She watches what we do, and she replicates it. We make sure to model things at her level. When she sees how easy it is to do something, she goes ahead and tries. By doing this with her we have shown her how to begin taking care of her own mess, and even make her own snacks. We have moved all of her food to the lowest level of cupboards and created a snack and utensil area at just her level. Now she does things for herself.

My son needs more one-on-one interaction. When we teach him a new skill we repeat it over and over. We make it a game. each step leads to the next. He even gets a sticker reward when he completes each task. This has helped him figure out how to dress himself and put away his toys.

Self-Sufficiency is a lesson that we teach everyday of our children’s lives. It doesn’t end at a specific stage. But if you find your child’s learning queues you can make it easier for everyone involved. Take a few days to watch and observe your kids. Do they need more help, less help, do they do things on their own, do they need extra motivation? No matter what type of learner they are you can help them. Just remember not to put to much pressure on yourself, being a parent is hard. But it can also be very rewarding. Especially when you can sit on the couch and watch your child get their own snack while you take a five minute break.