Our Play Bakery

Hello folks and welcome back to Lydia's Handmade Life. As I mentioned in my most recent post, there has been a lot shifting for me, especially in my work/professional life. During my long winter hibernation from blogging, things have shifted a lot in our home school life as well.

The Worksheet Wars of 2015
As you already are aware, I like to take a laid back approach to homeschooling with a lot of room for creativity, self-directed play, and art. Leaving the traditional type academics to be taught as my children begin to show interest. Well, that was until I started reading the common core standards.

It was innocent enough, when I began my initial Google searches. I just wanted to get an idea of where a kindergartener would be mid year in a public school. But then, well learning all the math and science concepts seemed like great ideas. Not to mention all of the cute little worksheets I could get from Teachers Pay Teachers! And how about these ones from 3Dinosaurs to go along with our Bob Books?

I have fond memories of dot-to-dot worksheets. I felt so grown-up filling in all my letters on the railroad paper in kindergarten. Worksheets are fun! Right?

Three reams of printer paper later, I found out that Chobie really doesn't think so.  

Maybe he just needs to get into it, I thought. Maybe it's okay to struggle a little to reach a worthwhile goal. Learning to read, do arithmetic or write legibly, like anything else we might learn, isn't always easy. So I got pushy with the worksheets. I even rigged up this whole sticker reward system as an elaborate form of bribery.

I think I was so excited for him to get excited about worksheets and earning stickers, like I had been (coerced to) as a child that I was missing his cues during our homeschool time. You know when your kid gets to that point where they are mentally spent? They can't focus any more so they start to wiggle (writhing on the floor is Chobie's preferred method) or find something to fidget with? Yeah, normally I know to stop or switch it up at that point. It was just that the worksheet wasn't done. We couldn't stop then!

In the end, after several wasted hours of frustration and exhaustion, I surrendered. I switched the focus back to imaginative learning and play.

The Homemade Bakery
In the last few days we've been working on a play bakery. I initiated the project, and Chobie has been enthusiastic from the beginning. We printed out some play money from Donna Young and whipped up a batch of salt dough to make our baked goods from.

Here are the kiddos "frosting" the goodies they made with paint.

As usual, I got over-involved and created my own little tray of salt dough treats.

Chobie, always interested in mechanics and "inventing" as he refers to the process of creating anything (as in "Look at this sign I invented!"), used some cardstock and a box to make an oven for our bakery. I love that Chobie invests himself in these kind of projects and adds his own ideas. It feels so much better than worksheet bribery. And he is still learning. Right now, our focus in math is on learning addition and how to recognize and count money. As we place orders and total up the amount owed, then count out money to pay for it, he is learning all of these.

What kind of homeschooling activities have you been doing lately? Feel free to leave a comment or link below, I'd love to hear about it!


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