Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Making the Fads Work for You

You'd think that, since my kids don't go to public school, we'd avoid all of the fads and crazes that kids get obsessed with and parents and teachers love to hate. No fidget spinners, slime, dabbing...good luck, other parents!

Famous last words.

We've missed a few (probably more because the girls are young), but yeah, that didn't happen. I'm not sure how they manage to pick things up. I'd say TV...but most of the shows they watch are pretty old. If they'd picked these things up over the summer when we're hanging out with kids of every age at the pool...but nope. I really don't get it. I swear, these fads drift through the air and implant themselves into kids.

Anyway, the big ones around our house are the fidget spinners and the slime.

The fidget spinners I can actually get behind. I mean, it helps that I only have two kids, not a class of twenty plus. I can also get away with making my two particular students mad at me without worrying about what their parents would think, so if I need to take them away, I do.

Plus, I can make them work for me. Scrolling through Pinterest gave me some great ideas to use them in school.
  • Beat the spinner - Madison HATES timed fact practice. We had a brief period where she liked using the timer on her phone, but that passed fast. But when we take the timing out of it, and she challenges herself to do as many facts as she can before the spinner stops, or she sees how much reading she can get done, she's game.
  • What do I do next? - Every day, I fill a binder with the day's work. Handwriting, math, grammar, etc, and they get to choose how they'd like to order it. It can take them an hour of dedicated time (my preference), or all day (sadly, we've done this too). Whenever they get "stuck", it helps to have something to get them "unstuck". We turn our fidget spinner into a game spinner, and whatever subject it lands on, they do next.
  • Popcorn reading - When we work on reading that is just out of Madison's comfortable reading level, she gets very hesitant. We do "popcorn" reading out loud, where we take turns "popping" the reading back and forth, but when she's feeling particularly concerned, she'll read a few words and pop right back to me. We started using the spinner - you spin and read until it stops, then the partner spins and does the same.
The slime? Harder. Once we got past the initial science of it all, and the math of the measuring, and the reading of instructions...yeah, that's it for homeschool help. Then they want to do it again...and again...and again...and then you end up with a lot of slime and start wondering what to do with it.

Turns out? I can use it. Slime is the perfect balance of sticky and not sticky (if you made it right). You can press it into almost any crevice and pick up dust, lint, and crumbs without leaving a trace. Then, because you have so much slime, you throw the dirty stuff away.

And that is why I have a can of slime in my car.

The fads. It's all about the fads.

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