Friday, September 3, 2010

Step Seven: Family Time and Play Dates -- Group Time Space with Creative Curriculum ® for the Home

Today, I am very grateful for friends and family aplenty and space that, although limited, is accommodating enough to enjoy time with guests.  For, since Jack has been born, we have had our fair share of folks swinging by to meet our newest student as well as to help Mama out a bit by watching the kids while I attend to a few things or by having me watch their kids so I don't attend to anything but enjoying witnessing children's play and learning unfold.

As each visitor comes, our “large group” areas get crowded quickly.  The kids and their friends spread out in our small living room with toys to play as we adults talk over and around them.  In the midst of the ensuing chaos, I smile, thankful for having space to host.  I cringe a bit too though, realizing continued reorganization might make everyone a bit more comfortable.

And with this in mind, I have decided it is time to pick up our Creative Curriculum ® for the Home series again with a focus on Group Time Spaces:

Beyond establishing interest areas, the Creative Curriculum® (CC) asks practitioners to identify spaces for group time, for displays and for storage, adapting these areas to children’s special needs.  It also asks that all areas be as comfortable and attractive as possible.

It suggests educators define a space to gather to talk about and plan the day, listen to stories, transition between activities and participate in music and movement.  For us, as a family group space, the kitchen, the deck, the stoop and the living room serve well.  In the kitchen and on the deck, we chat around a table.  In the living room, we enjoy music and movement.  In almost every room, we enjoy story times.  (Yes, even in the bathroom, where the kids have specific potty-time books and, occasionally, tubby time ones!) For company “group times”, however, space becomes more of an issue.  Both our office/play-n-learn space and our living room get crowded quickly.  So, the basement family room – if we ever unsurface and fix it up – may become the group space for play dates and entertaining guests.  It’s all a work in progress.  (Okay, a work stalled for the moment as we get used to having another member in our family and begin to think more seriously about moving toward homeschooling Kindergarten come December.)

Wherever the group time space ends up in our home, we hope to follow these guidelines that the CC suggests that it have:

-          sufficient floor space to accommodate everyone – check, once we are in the basement!
-          comfortable floor seating – check – foam squares and floor pillows for us.
-          space for charts, such as a job charts, daily schedules or charts for graphing  – We plan to actually spread these out in our home in order to keep them less visible to guests while still accessible for us.  Granted, our daily rhythm fridge chart is pretty visible to all!
-          an easel or chart stand to document group discussions or display big books – While we have an easel, I have no intention of placing it permanently in our living room, nor kitchen at this point.  (Maybe later in the basement family room...)  Indeed, notebooks do just fine for recording in our home environment and big book displays are unnecessary as we use few of these.
-          cupboards for storing materials such as CD’s, scarves and instruments and electrical outlets for CD players, etc. – Check.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we rededicated part our living room storage to musical enjoyment.

And, so, our Group Time Space has its own shape and that shape will continue to evolve -- hopefully stretching a bit so things don't feel so crowded when we are welcoming others into it!  How about yours? Where do you host family and friends in your home? How do you make the space work? Do you have favorite tips and discoveries for seating, schedules and charts, etc.? Do share! And, as always, keep checking back. I will continue posting the CC for the Home thoughts and summaries as time and inspiration allow.

In This Series:

Step One: Declaring Areas for Interest in the Creative Curriculum® Home

Step Two: Spaced Out -- Thinking about Space Planning Guidelines in the Creative Curriculum® for the Home

Step Three: Music and Movement Area Creative Curriculum® for the Home

Step Four: Materials Madness -- Basic Principles for Equipping Interest Areas Using the Creative Curriculum® at Home

Step Five: Outdoor Area of the Creative Curriculum® for the Home

Step Six: Displaying and Labeling Materials with Creative Curriculum® for the Home

Step Seven: Family Time and Play Dates -- Group Time Space with Creative Curriculum ® for the Home

1 comment:

Alison @ Educational Creations said...

I have emailed you all your files! There are two emails from a gmail address, please check your spam file if not in your inbox.

Thank you again for taking the time to host a giveaway for me, and mentioning my site on your blog.

It is very much appreciated.


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