When teaching multiple ages at home, especially if you do a lot of group lessons and activities, it can be easy to fall into the trap of teaching a subject once, and thinking you "have it covered". Of course, what you've really done is "teach" to your older students, and allowed the younger students to tag along. They will most likely not remember the entire lesson, and will need to have it retaught as they get older.
That is how, even though we've had a few fairly thorough lessons on countries and continents through the years, that I could find myself in a conversation about the continents this week, and discover a large hole in the learning of my youngest.
"What continent do we live on?" I asked, for some reason that escapes me now, but went with our conversation then.
I received blank stares as an answer from my youngest two.
"Okay what country do we live in?
That one they knew. "The United States of America."
"Good, and what continent is the United States a part of?"
Blank stares again.
"Can you name any of the continents."
At that point one of the teens yelled, "Oh come on!" from the the living room, and I realized it was time for another lesson on the continents. Looking back, I realized the last time we'd really covered the continents in earnest was the better part of four years ago, when E was 6 and C was 4. A review was in order.
I dug our Ravensburger Discover and Learn Continents Puzzle (non-affiliate link) out from the back of the game cupboard...
...and had the girls put it together, and trace the map included with the puzzle...
...to make wax paper templates for cutting sugar cookie continents - again. In fact the two pictures above, and the one below were from our 2011 cookies, but the process was just the same this time, so I didn't bother with photos.
This time around, the younger girls did all of the tracing cutting, frosting...
...and arranging. And, just to shake things up a little, I had the them watch a BrainPop clip on the continents, and found a terrific (and free) online mapping game for them to play as well.
T (age 17) wandered through the kitchen about the time the girls were arranging the cookies on the table, and asked why we were making "those" again. I assured him it was them and not we who were making the cookies.
At any rate, the moral of the story is when teaching multiple age groups at the same time, don't forget to cycle back through the lessons as younger children grow up.