These products were gifted for the purpose of this post. All opinions remain honest and our own
Of all of the plans I had made for this year, becoming a full time teacher to my children was most definitely not top of the list – let’s be honest, it wasn’t even near the list.
Now that we are a few weeks into this home learning malarkey I am not exactly finding it easy but there have been a few tools that I have picked up along the way which seem to be really helping.
- I have my schedule written out and stuck to the fridge. That way everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. A good thing about being at home is that the schedule can be loose. If we wake up on a Wednesday and its hot and sunny then we can make that our Saturday if we want to. I quite like that part of home learning and so do the children!
- On an average day we do PE with Joe at 9am to wake us up before we launch into any kind of learning. With everyone being at home so much more I think it makes a massive difference to how our day goes if we do something physical first
- I keep the snacks coming. I am led by my stomach and my offspring are no different. If they are hungry then nothing is going to go smoothly
- Most importantly:
Make learning fun
This is basically the most important thing I try to remember by far. Moose just responds so much more positively when we make learning into a game. A really easy way to do this of course is by actually playing games and nobody does educational games better than Learning Resources.
Learning Resources offered to send us a couple of their games to review and I jumped at the chance! I had seen both Sight Word Swat and Sum Swamp in the shops and I was interested to see how helpful they could be with Moose’s learning.
I love the idea behind this game. At first glance it is a fairly typical board game but this one has a twist! To play the game you have 3 dice to roll rather than 1. The 3 dice are 2 numbers and then one instruction dice with +/- on it. You roll all 3 and then you have to complete the sum shown on the dice to work out how many spaces to move.
There is a bit about halfway along on the board where you can get caught in a bit of a loop (which I do) but Moose finds this utterly hilarious.
The game itself doesn’t take long to play. It is suitable for 5+ which I think is about right. The game board is designed in bright colours with fab illustrations. It’s clearly laid out and we picked it up within 10 minutes of beginning to play. Moose asks to play this game everyday and we have actually begun to use the Sum Swamp dice for other games too!
Sight Word Swat!
Before my children started school I had no idea what a sight word was! It turns out that there is a list of words that our kids are expected to be able to recognise instantly and effortlessly, i.e. on sight. Some of these words can be sounded out phonetically, others need to be learned off by heart as they sound different than they look. The game – and our school – refers to these as ‘tricky words’. Sight Word Swat! aims to help your child to learn to do exactly that in the form of a fun game.
In the box
you will find 150 double-sided cards in the shape of flies featuring 300 different sight words. The cards are colour coded for five different phases, each with increasing difficult, and in addition all the harder ‘tricky’ words have been highlighted in bold and yellow.
We tend to play this with a mix of levels just because I find it helps Moose more. Plus it helps build his confidence! To play the game simply select your fly cards and lay them out on the table so that all players can see them. Then an adult would call out one of the words and the first player to find and swat that word wins. The beauty of this game is that it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Set a time limit or a number of words. At the end of the game the players can read out their sight words to help reinforce that they know those words.
Moose did so much better at this than I had expected! He managed to find a good range of words and I think if he had kids his own age to play against it would have been fantastic fun. Unfortunately for him he played against his big sister. She didn’t go easy on him. Nonetheless he loves the game and I love how simple it is to play.
Learn more about Learning Resources
As well as creating some fabulous STEM toys and games, Learning Resources also have a website which offers a massive amount of boredom busting activities and ideas to keep your little ones focused both indoors and outdoors long after this Corona virus business has left us https://blog.learningresources.co.uk/free-resources-for-home-learning/
We are definitely going to be making good use of this weblink over the next few months I think. So many fab ideas and most using things we have laying around at home!