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“Make Believe” is the fantasy world of childhood; where crazy things can happen and silly things usually do, where imagination runs wildly in pursuit of reality. Children “become” when they play make believe. Using the basis of make believe in the academic classroom is a wonderful way to encourage play while learning, allowing for the stigma of such subjects as science and math (yuck! How do they learn this so young?) fall to the wayside when dressed up as a crazy math magician or mad scientist. Hang up a picture of Einstein and provide crazy hats and wigs, plastic eye glasses and long white men's dress shirts make perfect “mad scientist” coats. Discuss with your child what a mad science might look like, then fill it up with plastic beakers, magnifying glasses and other scientific props (often picked up at Goodwill), you can create a science lab for little or no money at all. Science experiments with non-toxic items can make a marvelous display of color and bubbles without cause for worry about a youngster ingesting anything harmful. If your science lab is lacking science experiments, go online, enter the keyword children's science experiments or some other variation of the phrase, and see what the Internet delivers. As you progress into your make believe science world take the time to discuss scientific concepts and ideas that are being studied in a playful manner so that the mood is not disturbed but introduction to scientific language and concepts are explored through play. As your child imagines other fantasy locations and activities to enhance and extend the academic learning in your homeschool kindergarten, don't be afraid to follow where the road leads. You never know what you will learn in the land of “Make Believe”.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|