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HELP! Need ideas for a lesson please...

(45 Posts)
Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 10:05:41

Rightly or wrongly, I have agreed to tutor a 4 year old. I thought I would be doing some phonic stuff, numeracy etc, but it turns out the parent wants me to do Geography/History etc. She wants formal learning but for it to be fun????

Last week I went armed with some All about me type activities, but all he really wanted to do was to play games. We had a lovely time, but it's not really what the parent is expecting.

Do any of you lovely MNers have some lovely ideas for activities I could do with him, which are fun and exciting and he thinks he is playing? I keep thinking of things, but the costs of resources would use up what I'm being paid...

Aaaaaagh, don't know why I agreed to do this. It's making me really doubt myself.

All ideas gratefully receivedsmile

slug Mon 18-May-09 10:14:32

Do you have a globe or a map book? You could look up countries and have a little chat about the history/interesting facts about a different place each lesson.

saadia Mon 18-May-09 10:14:40

Perhaps you could start by having a look at the library for geography/history books aimed at young children. IME, based on my own dss, it is hard to teach such young children formal subjects because their concept of time and space are so unformed.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 18-May-09 10:17:19

Can you base your "lessons" sorry PLAY around V tech fly and learn globe ?

Starbear Mon 18-May-09 10:19:01

Find out if the family have family and friends aboard and use them to explain!
It works for our Ds (4yrs too) as we (wait for it!)
His has friends whose parents are American
,Indian, Italian, Polish
His Granny is Spainish
His granddad was Pakistani
Uncle in Canada
Great Aunt & uncle in Spain
dad's Friends in France.
That's just for starters.

Starbear Mon 18-May-09 10:19:41

starting from now 10.20am.

Bucharest Mon 18-May-09 10:22:39

Little Einstein video based stuff?
Nutty parents.
(says she who is teaching English grammar to a 2.5 yr old on her parents' insistence....sigh)
I have some websites bookmarked, I'll go and have a look...

Bucharest Mon 18-May-09 10:25:45

kids.nationalgeographic.com/

Also check out the Usborne sites, which are usually linked to the Usborne learning books...dd (now 5) obsessed with sharks, volcanoes, planets etc and the books all have website links in the back...I think if you put Usborne.com into a search, you get to the back up sites.

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 10:27:28

Thank you so much for your ideas.

I love the VTech globe - looks wonderful - but too expensive really. I do have a globe which I'll take along, and he has a gorgeous huge fabric map of the world on the wall, which is interactive, so we can do some talking about that, but really he just wants to play.sad

His parents seem to think he's very able, they are both hugely academically gifted, and want to stretch himhmm It would be so much easier with a class, I'd have no problems then because you can generate a lot of discussion, but with one wee chap it's a bit harder.

I will ask his mum if she has any family from far-flung places. I thought I'd start with the UK. Look at capital cities, flags, maybe take in some shortbread from Scotland, welsh cakes etc, listen to some bagpipes....

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 10:29:44

Oh that website looks great! thank you!

Bucharest Mon 18-May-09 10:34:51

Here's some more:

www.thekidzpage.com/learninggames/learningonline.htm

www.kidsknowit.com/

www.childteaching.com/

www.kidsites.com/

www.bbc.co.uk/learning/subjects/childrens_learning.shtml

pbskids.org/

(totally agree about it being easier with a class....I tried to suggest to the mother of my almost-3yr-old that she find at least a couple of chums to study with but she won't have any of it as in that case her PFB won't get the necessary intensive attention!)

ruddynorah Mon 18-May-09 10:38:32

spend the day playing with dinasours. that's history init? wink

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 10:40:25

Oh god! Poor child! How to put a child off learning for life sad

Anyway, things my children have loved doing that you could probably say to the parents are in some way educational (can he read, btw?):

Get a large map of the world (we've got one of those lovely ones for children), and then go and look at all their toys/clothes/shoes/anything round the house and see where they were made. Write lists for each country. It's quite interesting. Most things are made in China, Crocs are made all over the world. Embarrassingly enough, we had on the list under India "Mummy's knickers" grin

Make a plan of your house to introduce maps. Then make maps of child's walk to the park/shops.

Look at google earth together.

We've got a DK book about maps which is interesting with activity ideas

History's harder - how can they have a concept of history at four? hmm

My DD who is 4 is fascinated by Victorian Farm, but I guess parents who hire a tutor for a 4yo aren't going to be keen on tv-watching! Anyway, we've been watching it and that's spurred her on to want to learn more about how cheese is made.

OMG, the more I think about this, the more I can't get my head around people wanting their chidlren to have private tutors to learn about history and geography when they're FOUR!!! shock It's madness! Poor child sad He's going to be completely put off it all. Why not get them reading some stuff by John Holt so they can understand how children really learn?

Anyway, that doesn't help you. What about castles and knights for history? That's always fun. Not sure what you could do with a 4yo about it though? Make a playdough castle?

What about making some victorian toys?

OMG, poor boy sad He should just be playing all day long at this age!

ruddynorah Mon 18-May-09 10:44:56

oooh yes google earth is fun! find the pyramids, or find places he's been on holiday, find grandma's house etc.

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 10:48:05

Oh yes, dinosaurs for history :-)

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 10:50:22

Thank you Bucharest for all those websites. Will go and have a proper look in a minute.

I know. Poor wee boy. However, I'll give it a good go and try to make it as fun based as possible. If it's not good enough for the parents, then they don't need to keep me on. TBH, if I didn't need the money it would be a no-brainer. It doesn't sit easily with me, but I'll see how it goes. He's a lovely chap and is keen to spend time with me, so that's half the battle. But it definitely needs to be play based.

I love the idea of checking where his clothes etc come fromsmile

I thought I might read him a story and then we could make a map of the character's journey. Three little pigs or something.

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 10:52:12

Definitely dinosaurs! Can suggest he's taken to local museum where they have fab fossils. Oh, and we could do some fossil rubbings too. Won't have access to computer while I'm with him, which is a shame, will have to print out stuff to take to session. Only an hour to fill...

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 11:21:56

No access to computer? why not?

mistlethrush Mon 18-May-09 11:39:36

History - some ideas that my just 4yo is/would be interested in...

castles - what happened, why they are there, why the battlements are like that, why there are funny shaped windows. We've had quite an interesting discussion with my just 4yo about the fact that soldiers would attack castles - and there was a discussion on whether there were 'good guys' on the inside or attacking (of course the good guys win!!! [grin)

Vikings - could do both history and geography with this one.

Romans - where they started out, what their armies did - Hadrians wall, straight roads, forts, aqueducts etc etc etc...

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 11:48:13

Can you take a laptop along?

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 11:54:23

Sorry. Just walking the dog!

Um, no computer, because I don't have a laptop, and where we 'work' in his playroom doesn't have a computer. Did mention a computer would be useful, but none has been forthcoming.

Thank you Mistlethrush - lovely ideas. Castles may well be a good start. TBH, I'm so used to just following ideas with my dd when they come up in conversation, I'm struggling to formally 'plan' a lesson. It all seems so contrived. As a family we visit stately homes, farms, castles, bridges. It's all real and touchable. In a room it's out of context and dry somehow. I wish I could at least start with a visit somewhere to get the juices flowing.

Hey ho. Will just have to go armed with pictures etc

ruddynorah Mon 18-May-09 11:59:08

will they let you take him to the library?

flamingobingo Mon 18-May-09 11:59:13

how long are your sessions? what about bombarding hte parents with information and research about how children learn and say 'to this end, I'd like to suggest that, if you want him to learn about history and geography, we go on some 'field' trips during our sessions, and I'd liek to use the ocmputer for some of our sessions too.'?

Hotcrossbunny Mon 18-May-09 12:03:41

It's only an hour. There just wouldn't be time to go anywhere, even if I was allowed. It's all mad, isn't it? TBH, if the parents just spent actual time with him he'd learn a whole load more, but they'd rather just throw money at it instead. In fact, they'd be better with some sort of nanny/governess type person really, who could teach him about the world, while they were out and about...

Bucharest Mon 18-May-09 12:15:19

"only" an hour is a fecking long time to make a 4 yr old "study" in the way his parents seem to be wanting.....Will they at least be "elsewhere" while you're with him, or are they going to be breathing down your neck (like the mother of my 2 yr old is...as we play with Barbie in English which is about all we do do.....)

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