Sometimes parents ask how I manage to teach so much to my LD children.
“How do you find time to work with clients, run a house full of 9, and work with your children?” they ask.
The truth is, it’s not easy! I plan topics monthly to learn with the kids, and then break that down into weekly lesson plans. We don’t homeschool, but I do have about an hour a day set aside to do “table work” with them. Those are activities that I want them to do that are either in my lesson plan, or relate to learning skills like auditory memory or expressive language, that they are weak in.
Still, I can’t say that I always cover everything I want to. Some days they get involved with one activity, so everything else gets pushed down. Other times technical difficulties get in the way, like I ran out of ink, couldn’t find the resource that I wanted, or like last Thursday, when I sat down to go through a song with my youngest- the computer speaker died. And sometimes it’s such a beautiful day that we drop everything and decide to go to the park.
That’s why I try and focus on everyday learning as well: whenever I see a learning opportunity, I try and involve my kids in meaningful, hands-on activities that will help them understand what we’re learning.
Today we folded and packed envelopes for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. As I folded and they placed the invitations in an envelope, I explained to them what letters are, and how they get to where they’re meant to go.
I focused on sequencing with the 6 year old, by asking her periodically to repeat the steps the letter takes on its way to its destination. She also learned some new vocabulary, such as “sender,” and “receiver.”
The 4 ½ and 3 ½ year old learned some new words as well: letter, mailman, post office, address, and mailbox. I don’t expect them to remember everything at once, but since we’ll be mailing the envelopes later on in the day, and working on other activities, they’ll pick it up in a few days.
Then I remembered that we have a song that was a favorite when I was a kid, called “The Mail Must Go Through.” So after we folded envelopes (and put in another load of laundry, tidied up the bathroom, and thought about what to make for lunch – no meal plan, I’m not that organized :)) – I put it on. I let it play several times (good thing I like that song!) until they were familiar with it. Then I stopped it after a key word – “go”- and let them fill in the blank.
After that I used the presentation below to help them improve their auditory memory skills:
The Mail Must Go Through Presentation
Then in the afternoon I read them a book about mail (you could read “A Day With a Mail Carrier” with your child if you like). We again focused on our new words as I read the story. When I came to a sentence with one of the new words, I stopped, and let the kids fill in the blank. If they had a hard time, I pointed to the picture to give them a clue.
I also remembered seeing this make your own letter box a while back, so even though I don’t have time right now to make it look fancy, I found a hanging file folder lying around and after rummaging in our art supplies (plus I cheated- I printed out some fancy paper), and put those in, adding some colored pencils and a few lone markers. The box will be a great way to store all of our letter making supplies.
It’s not as pretty as I would like, but after labeling it “We send letters” it does the job. The kids were excited to write to their Grandma and Grandpa, and everyone learned a new concept.
Here are some more related hands on learning games we'll be doing the next day or so:
TIP: Here's another game, plus some extra resources you can use if you want to do these activities with your child:
If you have an older child who’s interested in more details about how the mail gets delivered, visit this site, written by a mailman: http://www.mailmantips.com/mail.htm