I have to admit, I'm often a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants homeschooler. In fact, I remember being the same way when I was an elementary school teacher. Not so much that I'm not prepared, as much as I'm often struck with an idea when we're in the middle of something else, and I scramble to pull it together.
That happened this morning when we were reading a (very boring) thrifted Science textbook, while we waited for the mobile veterinarian to make a visit to our little farm. The first chapter talked about how we learn about the world around us and discussed using our five senses.
It gave me the idea to let the girls play a little blind-folded guessing game, using all their senses except sight, to figure out what all the items were on my mystery tray.
While they played in the other room, I wandered around the kitchen looking for things that had texture and smell, sound, and even flavor. (I clued them in when they were safe to taste something. Though I did let them taste the clothespin, just for fun!)
I blindfolded both girls and sat them down at the kitchen table. We worked through the tray of objects and I had them whisper in my ear what they thought each item was. (Whispering was key, because Mary tends to just guess whatever Emma guesses. And I was anxious to see how well she'd do at this game.)
They loved it and it was fun to see how well they did with their guessing, and what clued them in to what each object was.
Later this afternoon, while Emma was drawing at the dining room table, I gave her a few small circles and asked her to make some observations in each circle based upon her five senses. She was in "a mood" at the moment and gave me a head slumped down on the table, "when can I get back to what I want to do?" kind of effort, but I think I'll try it again tonight, when I'm in the kitchen making supper.
So now after all this, I'm not sure if my girls know more about their five senses, or more about how much fun it is to blindfold each other and make them stick their hands in unknown bowls of food.
Hopefully, a little something was learned along the way.
22 comments on “five senses”
This sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to trying it with my son.
Some of the best lessons I taught as an elementary teacher were “inspired” while I taught another lesson and whipped together. Some of them I used year after year.
You know, I don’t have any kids but I did teach for a number of years and I believe they learn a lot more than they lead you to believe. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes, weeks later they’ll surprise you by saying something connected to what you taught them and you’ll think “Oh, they were listening!”
I love, love your tray and your house in general always looks like such a cosy environment 😉
I taught first grade in public school by the seat of my pants as well. I do the same thing as a homeschooling mom, although some of my creativity is squashed right now (colicky three-month old). Can’t wait to get back into that free-style mode.
I always enjoy your blog – especially your homeschooling posts, and your nature posts!
I think that’s what good teachers do: constantly re-evaluate their thinking based on their current activity. Teaching the same old thing year after year is BORING! I couldn’t understand how the teachers I taught with, did it! I was a totally fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of teacher. It made the classroom much more interesting!
this is the best kind of learning! i was the same way when i taught second grade- the text books were so boring. towards the end of my illustrious career i started hiding the text books in my closet.i find that i’m the same way with homeschooling. but my daughter LOVES her workbooks. oh well…
That’s the best kind of school! Sounds like you’re doing a great job.
Adriana, I totally agree. Especially with Emma, I notice this all the time. I think she hasn’t picked up on anything that I’ve been trying to teach her, and a few weeks later she spews something back at me that totally surprises me.
and thank you… 🙂
thanks, Pam. And good luck with that poor baby. I can’t imagine how hard it is to have a colicky baby. hang in there.
my kids really like their workbooks too…most of the time. 🙂
What’s wrong with flying by the seat of your pants? As long as you’re getting the basic stuff done… I’d say most of us creative types get our ideas in synergy with other things. You either have to go with it or write it down for use later, but then who knows if you’ll ever get to it? Sounds like you’re doing a super job.
Doing something always helps reinforce a concept rather than just reading about it.*************************************I must say that the blindfolded cowboy is charming!
This is great. It reminds me of when we were in third grade and both classes came together for an “experiment”. The teachers blindfolded David E. and Greg S. and probably a few other kids. The one thing I remember was one of them held his nose and unknowingly ate an onion but thought it was an apple!
Oh so fun!Some mean girls made a bunch of us do this when we were 10… Only their items weren’t so nice :-(I think my guys would love your version though!
This is a great activity!I think we will try it here in the next day or two.Thanks for sharing Molly!!
these are such great ideas…i think i am going to have to try them out on my daughter. Thanks for sharing
can I come to your homeschooling sessions, they look like super fun….
Great ideas – thanks for sharing! My suggestion is to have the girls create a “senses” test for you. Let’s see how well you can do! (For the record – I’m convinced that they would blow me out of the water!)
I’ve always been in awe of mothers who homeschool – all that work & determination & planning & discipline…wow! I take my hats to all of you!
oh fun! i’m so going to steal this idea for the kids next week. i’m so glad it’s spring break – more time for fun stuff.
i want to come to school at your house.
I am so inspired by this post! It’s two days before Christmas, and I wasn’t looking for any homeschool projects, but now I can’t wait to do this after the holidays. I’m so glad to see that you get that ‘when can i get back to what I want to do?’ reaction. That seems to happen a lot around here. Good to know I’m not alone.