Teaching to a child’s interest
Everyone, especially children, learn best when they are learning about something that they love. I always focus on how a subject will help the student achieve their goals if the student is older, but for younger students, I just go with whatever they love at the moment and make my lessons match, regardless of how gross it may be to me and with three sons, I have had some very gross subjects! Right now my four-year-old son just LOVES anything that has to do with butts and poop. Yea for me! Seriously, though, I have planned all of our lessons around that and he is so much more receptive to learning. It won’t be long and we’ll be on another topic, so I’m not terribly worried.
Here’s some of our words for the day – we were focused on “butt” and “poops”. I wrote the bottom 3 sentences and had him circle the word “butt” in each one. Then he got to make up a sentence, which is at the top, “”The butt poops on Mommy’s head.” If you have boys, I’m sure you can imagine how hilarious he thought that was.
We then moved onto art lessons and drew pictures of butts, and then went to take a bath and used the shaving cream bath paints to make pictures using his butt in the bathtub. Again, the laughter wouldn’t stop.
Later on we decided to work on some science and he picked several animals that he wanted to see their poop with the T. Rex being his favorite. I didn’t think we would find any but there are fossilized specimens We researched them and make flash cards so he could also work on reading skills too. I printed off different sets and we learned the words/pictures then I cut them up and hid the pictures and he picked the names of the animals and found the correct picture. We continued with another fun art project, where we took Play-Doh and figured out how to recreate the pictures.
The “joy” when Cole wanted to write a story about a dinosaur named Tyrannosaurus Mommy. We do this type of creating writing often, where he tells me a story and I write it down. Sometime I ask leading questions, but for the most part we just go with the story. My favorite line he came up with today was “A Tyrannosaurus boy went into a dark and stormy toliet.” I’m not sure where he got that line from, but the more they listen to stories and create their own, the better their vocabulary become – don’t let the issue of them not being able to write it down themselves slow down the process. After he dictates everything to me, I type it up and I let him pick the pictures. He loves reading the stories he writes.
You can use these types of ideas for any topic that your child has an interest in. Now go and have fun while learning new things yourself!
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