Turn your child’s interests into real learning experiences! It doesn’t matter what the interests are–baseball, Minecraft, horses, Star Wars. Think outside the box! In fact, we had a conversation on the Brave Writer Lifestyle Facebook Group recently, and here’s an example of how it might be done with a child who loves gymnastics:
Gymnastics is fabulous! Go to the library, find a few books, make sure she is watching YouTube videos (you’ve got the Olympics coming this summer—find the top gymnasts in the world to research and watch NOW so she is prepared to love the in August). Have her figure out how to teach one tumbling trick to someone (you, sibling, her dad). Take notes. Create a “how to” for/with her.
Other activities to try:
- Put tape on the floor that is the same width as a balance beam. Have her measure and draw it out and then tape it. Then try doing some beam movements (walking, leaping, one-foot turns, forward rolls). See how well she can stay “up” on the beam.
- Draw gymnastics costumes. Create a template for a leotard (online I’m sure) and have her color hers in the way she wants it.
- Look at flags from countries that have major gymnasts. Find the countries on a map.
- Explore the scoring system used for each piece of equipment. Find examples of routines at different scoring levels (lots of math here!).
Is she a gymnast? Is she taking lessons? If not, take her to a gym to watch a class. Perhaps let her take a series of lessons. If she is, then have her watch a more advanced class.
This IS school—it’s everything you want to do with her at her age: reading, writing, calculating, physical education, even the science of gymnastics could be explored (bodies, injuries, physics of vaulting and uneven parallel bars, geography through world renowned gymnasts, Olympic history of gymnastic competitions). She can do copywork from a book about gymnastics or she can make a list of the top gymnasts or all the tricks she wants to master in tumbling…
Above all else: enjoy.