Wednesday, July 22, 2009

homeschool: block puzzles

For Christmas, I bought the children a simple block puzzle from Plan Toys that they absolutely love. What I love is that this puzzle keeps the children engaged because there is more than one solution. Once they find one solution to the puzzle, they challenge themselves by mixing it up and trying different configurations. For instance, if they move the black rectangular piece in to the middle of the puzzle, versus either end, or midpoints along the way - they will get a different solution, each time.

To add another component of learning, I cut out rectangular pieces of paper and have the children color with their crayons, the various solutions that they have found. At a later time, I will give them the "solutions" that they've drawn to see if they can use the "key" to solve the puzzle the same way.

Although they might think that they're just coloring, they are actually learning shapes, order, problem solving and spatial dimension. And, it's a lot of fun.


  1. That's so cool! Are you planning on homeschooling into elementary grades? I'm so lost right now on my girls' education and trying to consider all options.

  2. I really don't know what we're going to do. We're taking it one step at a time. But I will say, we've really enjoyed having the kids home.

    (Most days.)

  3. So up until now I never thought I would ever home school. Ever. Ever. But since we recently moved and learned that our school choice are poor, I have been contemplating it... still very reluctant.

    Looking at your blog posts makes me think I could do it, and that everyone would have fun while learning in a great way.

    So, my question is, what advice would you have? What was your biggest obstacle to home schooling? How did you overcome it? (ok, that is more than one question)

    btw, I love your blog! It is a beautiful and hilarious story about life. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I've been reading for a long time (pre-Henry :) but never I thought I would now! We are starting to homeschool kindergarten our 4 year old daughter this fall, and she LOVES the logic puzzle/game "Royal Rescue" that is a wooden block set, and I thought your kiddos would too. There are 48 levels of increasing intensity. I bought it locally, but I'm sure amazon or other places have it too. Can't wait to see what you've been doing for school too!

  5. tarapetty: We are so new to this, I don't really have a whole lot of advice.

    But, what I have discovered is that you need to have a plan for the day. If you don't, it's very possible the whole day will go by and you've done nothing but sit around in your PJs. Not that it's bad to spend a day sitting in your PJs ... you just don't want to do it all the time.

    So, that's my advice. And it also happens to be the greatest obstacle that I have on any given day. Developing a plan and sticking to the plan, for at least a portion of the day, so that I feel like we've accomplished something.

    All in all, I think that this has been an awesome experience and I've loved it.

  6. Hi! I'm from New Zealand, and I've been lurking on your blog since before Henry was conceived!

    I just wanted to tell you that you're the BEST mother ever! Lucky, lucky kids! :)

    (I hope you don't think I'm creepy... although I wouldn't blame you if you did!)

  7. Aw Steph, thanks. I can't say that I always agree - but I appreciate the vote of confidence!! :)