Updated: Mar 30
Hey, Families. I’m Dr. El, a mom and professor of Early Childhood Education. ❤️🐻
In the midst of this pandemic and quarantine, let’s talk about young, school-age children learning at home.
First things first...you don’t have to turn your home into a classroom because your home is already your child’s first and most important learning environment.
And you don’t have to become a teacher because you are already your child’s first and most critical teacher.
And lastly, you don’t have to move differently through your day for your child to learn because there are teachable moments within your everyday activities.
For example, today your family must eat. Therefore, today, someone must prepare a meal. So, make cooking or baking your learning theme for the day.
Let me back up...
In early childhood education (up to third grade) themes are an effective method for teaching and learning because multi-genre projects allow for an array of skills to be addressed under one topic.
Now, let’s go back to cooking and baking. While, I know you may know your favorite recipes by heart. However, if you are using cooking as a learning activity, break out the cookbook or look up the recipe online and print it out.
With this everyday chore, that you were going to do anyway, you have your reading activity for the day...reading a recipe with your child.
Your vocabulary lesson is explaining words that your child doesn’t yet readily understand, as you read the recipe together.
Your math activity is measurement, fractions, and time lapse. For example, if we must leave it in the oven for 30 minutes and it’s 12:25 now, what time do we need to open the oven and take it out?
It’s your science activity...did the property of what you baked change from a liquid to a solid? If so, explain and explore.
It’s social science. Is this a food that is specific to your culture? If so, discuss your experience with this food with your child. If not, what is its culture of origin?
It’s geography. Is the culture of the food’s origin representative of a particular part of the world? If so, let’s find it on a map.
It’s reasoning...we have a family of four, how much does everyone need to get to have an equal amount?
It’s social justice, does everyone need the same amount to have what they need?
It’s writing. An opinion piece...write about what you liked or disliked about this food item or experience. An explanatory or non-fiction piece...describe the process of the cooking or baking activity. A fiction piece...write a story about a family cooking or having dinner together.
It’s life skills...learning to cook to sustain one’s self through food preparation.
And most importantly, it’s social emotional. You just spent time loving and pouring into your child during a time of uncertainty. This bonding experience helps your child feel secure.
Now, you’ve cooked a meal for your family and you have done your teaching for the day. Class dismissed! BOOM!!!!
Tomorrow, we will pop popcorn and watch a movie. And that movie will be our theme. We can discuss plot and story arc...beginning, middle, and end, as well as concepts such as prediction, characters, settings, and main idea. Then, you all can write your own script and act it out!
Learning should be fun for your child and teaching your child should be like breathing for you...just let it come natural.
You are already your child’s first, favorite, and most loved teacher.
You Got This!!!
Now, go enjoy your children and this valuable gift of family time. ❤️🐻