We have tried this year, as a Co-op, to be more relational focused as opposed to replacing the school room. The main benefits have been not as intense preparation, quicker acceptance when things don’t go as planned, relaxed time and the best of all is we have had a few times where the Dad’s have been involved.
Yesterday we had a Family Fun Sports Day. We started our time with Oral Presentations session. For the first time the kids were divided into mixed age groups for this. This created quite a challenge for the older kids who were more used to speaking to their peers. One of the first things we have taught the kids in their public speaking is to know your audience. Josh had quite an age range in his; a 5yo-6yo-8yo-10yo. The one lesson they learnt was that they could still choose any topic but they needed to choose their words and style carefully. It was a good exercise.
We then joined all together and did a quick Character Lesson. I introduced the character trait of Gratefulness by working on a simple poem. We then divided into age groups where myself and another mum took a closer look at an aspect of Gratefulness. I looked at the definition of Gratefulness with the older kids: Letting others know by my words and actions how they have helped my life. We had opportunity at the end of our day to thank those who had organized and ran the sports day as well as a local business for allowing us to use their facilities.
Then came the sports. We were all divided up into mixed ages and family groups were also mixed up. We had been assigned a team colour so everyone started to enthusiastically encourage their team. We started off with stretches; lead my one member of each team. We then played Tunnel Ball, Sack Races, Egg and Spoon Race, Three Legged Race, Wheelbarrow Races.
The focus for the day was to have fun not so much on winning but each team who won an event was recognized but there was no end score. The MC issued red and green cards throughout the day – green for displaying good sportsmanship and red for bad sportsmanship. Those who received a green card received a sticker and those who were given a green card had to do 5 pushups. There seemed to be a propensity towards the adults getting red cards and the kids getting the green! But it was all done in the spirit of fun – but at the same time teaching the kids to be aware of each other.
The night closed with the men cooking a BBQ and sharing dinner together, just after sunset.
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