One of the hardest things to do in getting started with RDI and even homeschooling is establishing the master-apprentice relationship between parents and children. We managed to figure this out in our first four years of homeschooling (1995-1999), and I wish I would have had Awakening Children's Minds when I first started teaching Pamela at home! One key element is how to respect what Pamela wants without letting her take complete control. One way to do this is to keep in mind your objective and reframe it! In the following clip, we were taking turns building a house with index cards (an idea from 365 TV-Free Activities). Pamela wanted to shop and told me she was tired of the task. I realized that I could reframe turn-taking around writing a shopping list and picking out items at the store.
The activities we did on this day revolved around reciprocating (turn-taking patterns). We either share from a pile or perform a task, alternating between Pamela and me. Here is a short list of some of the things we did:
Moving dining room knick-knacks
Dusting dining room
Working on puzzle
Putting kitchen rugs in wash/hamper
Sweeping kitchen floor
Putting away clean dishes
Wetvac kitchen floor
Putting gemstones on magnets
Washing and refilling hummingbird feeders
Building index card house
Guess the objects
Pamela enjoys drawing, something she did not enjoy when we first started homeschooling. Actually, she hated it. She kicked and screamed at the sight of pencil and paper. Another idea I found in 365 TV-Free Activities is chain drawing: we take turns drawing a picture together. The first time we started going back and forth with different shapes and no plan. When finished, Pamela called it "Christmas Tree Machine." On different day, we started another chain-drawn picture, but Pamela had a plan, unbeknownst to me. When she did not like what I was drawing, she cried, fussed, and SCRIBBLED OVER my drawing. I was glad to see how she communicated her ideas well and we flipped over the paper and started again. The following clip is another example of playing "Who's the Boss?"
Pictured are really cool capsules for productive uncertainty--I found them at Wal-Mart in packages of twelve capsules for three bucks per package and saw the potential for RDI lifestyle activities. First, you place a capsule in warm water and watch the gelcap slowly melt away. Little shapes and parts start popping out, unfolding the shape of the item made out of foam. During the minute it takes for the object to emerge, you have plenty of time for guessing what it is. Pamela LOVED it!
Then, we took all twelve sea creatures (that was the theme) and played a guessing game. I closed my eyes, picked out a sea animal, and guessed what I was holding. Pamela could tell me if I was right or wrong. Then, we switched and she had to guess. This activity also worked on separating self and other because she could see the object and I could not. Then, I could see the object and she could not. The clip below shows our guessing game.