After a busy weekend with guests staying and lots of time spent at the pool and beach, it was no surprise when Heike woke up on Monday morning with a runny nose. I sent her off to school but she came back exhausted, and by 6pm was in bed crying because of a sore throat and ears. SIGH. Life with small people.
Yesterday morning, after climbing into our bed with a fever in the middle of the night, the first words that came out of her mouth were “I’m too sick to go to school”. Because let’s face it, she’s a clever girl and not one to miss an opportunity. J and I debated the extent of her sickness but at the end of the day, she is FOUR and I am a full time Mum. So she stayed home, which I secretly loved because it meant I didn’t have to change out of my pyjamas.
But by about, oh, one hour after the school bus would have left, madame was suggesting we go to the playground or the shops! At this point I was beginning to feel conned.
I suspect I’m a bit of a soft touch with sick days. I guess because I am a bit of a soft touch in general, plus I don’t work so I don’t have that need for her to go to school. I think I am also extremely lazy and love the idea of all of us just hanging out in our trackies reading and playing and possibly making scones. Until about 2pm, when I desperately wish I’d packed her off, sick or not.
Anyway, feeling like I’d been had I decided to put my school teacher/primary school tutor cap on and actually do something educational with the kids. Every now and then I do scold myself a little for not teaching the kids more, given it is what I get paid to do with other people’s children. I feel like I could definitely do more phonics with Heike, but that is SO boring and let’s face it, they learn that at school.
I did a quick scan of our collection of educational books, and put together three little piles that the kids could choose from. The themes were space, insects or dinosaurs (I was really hoping for dinosaurs). Of course Heike chose space, the one topic she already knows everything about.
I conducted it as I would a typical lesson, first asking questions to establish what the kids already knew about space. Heike proceeded to give me detailed information on all the planets in our solar system plus one pink exoplanet while Walter screamed “MOON! MOON!” repeatedly.
Then we read a story about space which was a bit pointless because, again, Heike had read it fifty times before but I tried to make it a bit more challenging for her by adding on some more challenging concepts like gravity and dead stars and the speed of light. Meanwhile I asked Walty to simply repeat words back to me and identify pictures. He was loving feeling like a big kid!
We then searched online for some worksheets and found a perfect one on the Scholastic UK website. We spent ages colouring in the planets which was just as fun for me as it was for the kids. Okay let’s face it, Walter was not interested by this point and was drawing on the coffee table (I thought I banned textas from the house!? They keep reappearing).
Then we cut out the planets and I mixed them up and had Heike arrange them in order on a piece of paper. It actually turned out pretty cute and is now hanging on her bedroom door.
All up this took us over an hour and Heike was really engaged the whole time. While it was kind of redundant except that it taught her about gravity, we could have done the same “lesson” about anything – she has already told me she wants to do bugs next time and we spend a lot less time talking about bugs so that will be more enriching!
This would be a perfect little rainy day activity for a three or four year old who is interested in learning about the solar system.
Happily, Heike was back at school today! Where she managed to split her toe open…never-ending I tell you.