Posted by Sarah in Homeschooling on February 22, 2012
I lead a preschool group at our church called Junior Jivers. It was a big decision for me to take it on, bearing in mind I have four children tagging along with me wherever I go. Four children for whom I bare the sole blame if they grow up to be uneducated heathens. It may have been more sensible to decline, I’m sure no one would have thought any less of me for saying the work was too much and I didn’t have the time. But groups like this are so important, I really believe that.
My three older children grew up in this same group and they learnt so much, not just physical life skills but they learnt of the love of their own creator, both taught to them in weekly themes and expressed to them through the caring attitudes of a gaggle of loving mothers/grandmothers/dads/grandads. I wanted Sabrina to have this too. Who was I to deny her something the older ones still talk about just because I was a little busy. So I took it on, I was hoping to have another leader by now but God will provide in his own time. To get by I dragged my Mum in and I beg help from the leaders of the second Junior Jivers group run on a different day.
In the meantime God has taught me to see that a ministry that I once thought could really interfere with our schooling is actually benefiting it.
Each term we choose a theme, at the moment we are working through the days of creation. This week was day two: the sky and the sea. The kids in the above photo are catching falling feathers, that were blowing in the wind, while the playschool song ’Like a Leaf or feather’ plays. The big arm is Lilly showing the little kids how to put the feathers they have caught into the bucket. I have noticed that both Lilly and Lani are learning to become servant hearted, they help me set up, pack up, hold signs for me and love looking after the babies.
After singing and dancing to water and sky songs we ended the morning with water play which the big girls refused to be left out of even if they barely fitted in the paddling pool.
There is always a craft too, this week we brought home rainbow clouds.
Eli doesn’t come with us unless its a week he thinks is really cool, like when we went to the fire station. Instead he goes to Granda’s house and learns wood working. Granda is building his own shed (it’s as big as my house and so very cool) and Eli is very proud that he cut and put in some of the noggins. We got Eli a set of working tools scaled down to kid size for his birthday so he could be just like his Granda. Last time he went there he also came back with a wooden Zombie that he designed and made himself.
Anyhoo back to Junior Jiving and schooling. Instead of trying to jam too many different concepts into their heads I chose to work off what we were doing in the first half of the day in the pre-school group. So till the next theme is introduced we are looking at the sky and sea for our science unit as well. Today we focused on clouds and the water cycle.
I could see Lilly especially just wasn’t getting it so we headed into the kitchen for an impromptu experiment.
Our pan became a water catchment and the hot plate the heat from the sun causing evaporation, turning the water from its liquid state to a gas.
Then I held the pan lid (so cool that it was glass and we could see what was going on) over the steam. I asked the kids what was happening.
“Nothing…nothing…oh oh water, look I see water!!!” (gotta love their excitement)
We talked about the water vapour condensing in a cooler environment then Eli calls out “that’s what happens in the clouds, then the droplets get bigger and heaver till they fall out”
“Yep that’s it, brilliant, can you remember what it’s called”
“It’s rain but you want me to say….cloud preparation?’”
ooo so close but he’s getting it.
So we waited to see if our cloud/lid would produce any precipitation, and if you look closely it rained!
We have also listened to and made up a groovy wavy arm dance to go along with this really cool song. The songs they write introduce so many amazing things to kids and are so fun to listen to, this one shows the three states of water. They Might Be Giants are just the bees knees really.
We’re not finished with water yet but it’s a pretty decent start.