January 12, 2010

Sugar Spelling

A fellow Baha'i, homeschooling momma and facebook friend of mine, Sabrina, recommended this fun little spelling activity. When she said to pour some sugar into a cookie sheet and let Hannah Jane spell her words in it, I have to admit that my first thought was NO WAY! The thought of a thin dusting of sugar being all over the kitchen and having sticky little hands running all over the house (because you know that the boys are going to want in on this) had me scrubbing counters at just the thought of it. I pondered ways to do it without sugar. Flour, maybe? Equally messy, but without the sticky.

Finally, when the boys seemed adequately occupied, I told Hannah Jane to run grab her stack of index cards for the week and sneak into the kitchen. In a moment of We haven't done anything exceptionally more fun than public school kids get to do for a long time desperation, we went for it. It went oh, so well. Hannah Jane thought it was awesome in part because she was being sneaky, doing something that the boys weren't getting to do, and partly because it is just plain fun anytime you get to drag your hands around in food of any sort. If you loved the French film Amelie like I do, you might recall the joy of plunging your hand into a barrel of dry lentils or beans (I love that scene!) and this is much the same experience.

Because I love, love, love that movie and because it's my blog and I can wander as far off topic as I want to,I'm going to toss in a clip here even though it isn't the bean scene (I couldn't find that one) so that you can all share in the Amelie enchantment before we get back to spelling !

Now that we've gotten that snip-it of joy out of the way (wasn't that cute?) we can get back to the activity. Hannah Jane could fit each of her words except for "because" into the pan and had a blissful time doing it. This reminded me of the sandpaper letters that Maria Montessori used to help children "feel the sounds." I wonder if this counts. It is totally something a Montessori class would do.

A warning, though...the boys did eventually arrive on the scene and make a mild sticky mess. It wasn't as hideous of a clean-up job as had flashed before me when I first heard of it, though.

So thank-you, Sabrina, for bringing joy to our spelling lesson today! Maybe next time we'll do math facts in flour or something else that is totally fun and crazy! You are always an inspirations!

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