Saturday, September 29, 2012

Little ones class at Co-op

The idea of participating in a homeschool co-op is for parents to take turns doing a class or activity. This year I volunteered to do the "Little Kids class".  This is the class for the little brothers and sisters that attend co-op that aren't even school age yet. So I have 3-5 year old mainly in my little class.  In the past we rotated parents, each week a different one of us would come up with something to do with this age group.  We used the theme of letters of the alphabet last year to try to unite or give continuity to the class.  But things often didn't go according to plan, parents forgot what letter they were assigned or were assigned other things at the same time they were supposed to be in charge of this class. So this year I took over the little kid class and do a short 30 minutes or so lesson with these kids.

I decided we would do some geography this year. Each month pick a new country to visit through books. I always like to apply lessons to a children's book. And my years of doing FIAR should help me come up with a few simple lessons and activities to do with these young children each week. We have three weeks each month where I need to prepare a lesson.

September was spent in France. After finding the country of France on a map and pointing it out to the kids I started by reading Madeline. Every kid was already acquainted with this story but we took a little time to look at the different landmarks around Paris in the illustrations.
We also read through a rather silly story called The Cows are going to Paris where we found many of the same landmarks.
I had some Eiffel tower pictures for the kids to color and some rectangles of Red, White and Blue for the kids to glue together a Flag of France.  That was it for week one and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

The next week I decided to focus on French food. We started by reading Bon Appetit Bertie.
This cute book has all sorts of french food and is just a silly story. The kids did get to point out any landmarks they remembered. They all got the Eiffel Tower!
I also picked out a great book calle Crepes by Suzette to read.  This was is so great on many different levels. It has actual photographs collaged into the background of the illustrations. There are also characters on each page portraying images from French paintings. I didn't point this out to the little kids but for older kids it would be fun to point that out.

After reading about french food we of course had to sample some so I followed the recipe at the end fo the Crepe's by Suzette book and the kids all got to put something into the bowl and all got to mix the batter.  We then proceeded to make crepes for everyone.  The kids loved this. I poured and swirled the batter on the pans but the kids took turns flipping them over. And of course they got to eat them too.  I only brought a little strawberry jam to top them but nobody complained.
 My kids now request crepes quite often. They are actually quite easy and I make them right on my cast iron skillet.
 They still enjoy them with just strawberry jam but they keep talking about one day trying them with pudding or chocolate syrup.
That was quite a hit on week 2. No other activity. We just read, cooked and ate.

On the third week we focused on French art. I read Katie meets the Impressionists. The kids loved this book! They loved how Katie goes in and out of the paintings and leaves flowers and such on the museum floor that she picks up in the paintings.

We also read Chasing Degas which actually talks a bit about many of the impressionists as well as Degas.

And since you can't talk about art without getting to do some I decided we needed to paint. But I didn't want this to get messy so I brought water color pencils and a few paintbrushes and the kids drew a bit and then used water to paint. 

That was it for that week and it for France. While there are plenty more books and many more subjects we could cover with this country I figured a month in one place was plenty. We are off to another country in October. 

My goal is to simply introduce these countries to this group. Share a few fun stories and hopefully they will pick up some of the landmarks and culture from that place.

We will see how well my plans go over the next few months.

1 comment:

Desiree said...

Oooh, I want to read that crepe book to my kids, and try crepe's. I've never done those before! I love your simple ideas for the littles class.