Caspar is five. After reading and learning about a child in the second plane of development I can tell that he is not there yet. It feels like he's transitioning. After being asked about what activities Caspar does at home, it was very easy to write a post about it.
As many of you know Caspar goes to a Montessori school. After school he generally likes to be by himself. I think this is his way of dre-stressing or 'coming down' from school. He likes to play with cars, run around the house and loves jumping on beds and rolling around. But after this what does he like to do?
Science: Above, these aren't just carrot tops this is regenerative growth. Caspar has always loved science experiments. Most of them are made up (mixing coloured water with chalk and soap) but he often uses science experiment books and those with pictorial experiments are very useful. Although he's almost past the stage now he went through a period of observing the weather and moon phases and taking measurements such as rain and temperature. Occasionally he will keep a journal on his observations but this usually only lasts a day or two.
Research: Caspar has been interested in this for a while. Often it's copy work where he will simply copy the words from a research book and draw some pictures. Sometimes he will take a topic further (such as making a model
or adding photographs
) but often it's one topic per sheet of paper and then filed. Sometimes it requires a trip to the library and on occasion a field trip.
Art: Caspar likes to experiment but tires of any one medium quickly. Most of his creating still comes from his making box which usually develops into large box building activities. Most recently he used a hot glue gun independently which added a new dimension to his collages. Clay, paint and markers are all used regularly.
Building: In addition to creating box structures from his making box Caspar will build. If it's with blocks he will only build with these large blocks
, always adding new elements and props such as cars, road signs, people
or just sticks.
Care of the Environment: Caspar is responsible for caring for our pet Hermit Crabs. While this requires him to be responsible for their basic welfare (cleanliness, water, food) it gives him the perspective of being responsible for another living being and being able to support the life of that being.
Care of Self: Caspar can very much shower, dress and feed himself (sometimes make his bed and washes his own clothes/puts away laundry) but we have been focusing on Caspar preparing his own lunch and continuing to support me with meal preparation. It's essential that although he has lost some interest in cooking (unless it's cake or cookies) he remains empowered, skilled and recognised as a contributing member of the family at meal time and responsible for the preparation of his own lunch.
At this stage it's not enough to simply allow the child to choose their own activities. If given the choice Caspar would choose screen time very often. So he has freedom within limits. We ensure he has lots of stimulation, time outdoors and mostly unstructured free time outside school. He needs to have space to move and lots of basic materials to use (recyclables, tape, sticks, blocks, books, library visits, note books). He needs some level of responsibility (think pets) the the cues to be responsible for himself.