One of the challenges of homeschooling is finding ways to help everyone learn that don’t involve everyone having separate lessons. ?Of course some things do need to be separate because different children have different needs and are at different levels, but if one of the purposes of homeschooling is to knit our children together then we need to have them learn together too.
In previous years Buggle and Mouse did a lot of their schoolwork and their playing together but as they are growing and changing and Bull and Jack are joining the pack the dynamics are also changing. ?More and more frequently now the boys “play” together (is designing and testing various kinds of building equipment actually play?) and Mouse is left to her own devices as she doesn’t find their kind of play all that playful!
She wants to either make pretty things or play imaginatively so I have to find ways to help her draw the boys into her interests while also helping her to appreciate and share theirs.
I’ve actually wanted to do something like this for some time but didn’t have space to have my sewing things accessible in our old house so just let the ideas languish on my Pinterest boards!
Now however, we do have space and with Bull and I doing a “Letter of the Week” kind of preschool (phonics really helps his speech issues) I’ve been finding that I can add in Handwork to compliment his letters and help everyone with fine motor skills.
The toy kitchen gets a lot of use right now as it’s in the corner of our kitchen and cooking frequently involves making sure that playdough doesn’t get added to the dish by a well meaning toddler! The children keep asking me to get them some play food, so for our first three handwork projects we made some of our own!
They have all gotten lots of play. Jack in particular feeds his stuffed bear “iggs” every morning. I’ve written a list of handwork and put it into Bull’s lesson plans. It’s not all food as I couldn’t come up with a food for every letter, but the other planned projects are also things they can play with.
I really enjoy their sense of accomplishment when they finish making something which looks good and is “useful” to them. I definitely see some pride in their work and also an increase in how they do imaginative play together, so handwork is helping to knit them together as well.