Daniel is 7yo though many of his skills are at a 5yo level due to several factors the main one being him having dyspraxia a speech difficulty. We have found ourselves relating to him at the level he can speak. This hasnt been a good thing and we are working on raising our expectations to the level he can think!
Recently I have pulled in his freedoms, set some boundaries to deal with some of the behavioural challenges we have been facing mainly arguing (instead of being obedient) and lack of focus.
Table time has been one of the time slots I have started to insist on for him. The goal of table time is to sit still, to focus on an activity, predominately independently. The time slot for Daniel is ½ hour though my older children have anywhere between 1 hour and 3 hours (depending on what they are working on and this is totally independent self inflicted as Josh calls it!)
Here is a list of activities I have thought about for Daniel in his Daily Table Time. During this time I am basically unavailable as I am working with the girls. This isnt to say I cant give him instructions and encouragement but my focus is elsewhere.
- TOP Science Lentil Science (this is actually done on the floor, not the table!!)
- Worksheet type books – I am not big on workbooks though my kids do like them occasionally. These are more creative than fill in the blank type worksheets for example he may have to draw an amazing dream, design a stamp for people living on the moon, cutting exercises to make a mask or movable bear etc.
- Discipline Studies Worksheets he has worked on handwriting exercises before doing loops, and twirls and basically getting the flow of the pencil. Now he has a phonics workbook that I pull out when I need some independent work from him. It isnt from the programme I am using to teach him to read, and it is work that he has done a while back so it is purely practice and revision for him. He likes his math workbook too though we are going slow on math as we are focusing on his language but he would get a math worksheet occasionally.
- Drawing we do a lot of drawing in our place – free drawing and copy drawing. Copy drawing for us started with copying black line drawings in connection with our Character First studies. As the kids skills developed they are now able to copy draw a picture of a bird for example for their nature journal. They still draw it as a line drawing but the original may be a filled-in, colour drawing or photograph. We also have a lot of how to draw books which focus on breaking down an object things like animals and vehicles into shapes.
- Art activities such as cut and pasting, collages, watercolour paints (the round disk ones as these dont make a mess), watercolour pencils, pastels, blackboard & chalk
- Nature Journals I may send him outside for 5 minutes to find something interesting he would then draw it and observe it under a magnifying glass or loupe. We may read about it from a reference book later on in the day (or may be not!)
- Reading is allowed at table time though I generally keep this to when the prescribed activity is finished but the time slot not yet over.
- Games occasionally you can get a game that they can play by themselves. I would love to have more of these. Currently we have Rush Hour which is fantastic. Occasionally I would get him to play a game with a sibling during table time.
- Sometimes table time is just not going to work and we move to more active things like darts (magnetic), 10 pin bowling (down the hallway), building with junk (boxes of boxes, masking tape).
We have Table time at other times of the day and this is when they do their notebooking for Daniel this is recording his lessons after Five in a Row. It would include cutting, pasting, labelling maps, colouring in, narrations, copy drawing etc.
The kids love Table time after Dinner (evening meal) and much to my surprise they often do their best work then. The older ones continue with their research and recording or creative writing at such times, Daniel often colours in and draws or finishes things he started during the day.