It seems as though when my children were smaller, I was a lot more creative with their lessons. I would make up my own unit studies and find the books to go with them. I would create crafts to go along with the subjects, as well as board games made from poster board and cardstock. We also went on lots of field trips to reinforce what they were learning.
But these days, with a high school student, a middle school student, and two elementary-aged children, we’re taking fewer trips and doing a lot more workbooks. Some of them they can do on their own; some of them I have to help them through. One of the books my fourth-grader was working in was a handwriting book. That is, until she lost it a couple of weeks ago.
“Go find it,” I instructed. “It’s here somewhere. And don’t stop looking until you do.”
“What if,” she replied, “I write a book instead.”
“What?” I asked, unsure what she meant.
“I have an idea for a book. What if I write that instead, and it will count as my handwriting?”
“Okay,” I said, and she went off to write, happy that she didn’t have to look for the book.
And she wrote. And wrote. And wrote. She carried her little notebook around with her everywhere for the next week, writing a story about a cat and its adventures. Every time she finished a chapter, she would read it to me.
What a great assignment! Not only did she get in her handwriting practice, but she worked on reading, spelling, and grammar, not to mention the imagination and thought processes that went into creating the story.
Now I’m once again reconsidering those workbooks. While I still like using them when my attention is being pulled from one child to another, I’m thinking of other ways the kids can get the extra writing, reading, and math practice. My daughter’s book was a good reminder that learning can be fun.
Article by Samantha Bell
Picture by Sarah Korf