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Thoughts on Creating Your Own Group Activities (or adding them into the mix of your learning life)

Group activities:

Group classes and activities are wonderful. If you find routine meeting spaces, awesome. If you take group activities to different places, some parents create Science clubs where they travel around but say, do a consistent structure such as an experiment collected and reported in a club journal, following the scientific method. Nature clubs are also popular and following a group meeting structure, travel well too.

A few thoughts:

 

Group activities and formal co-ops tend to dive into to more writing intensive and reading intensive, multi-step activities.

To better prepare for any written assignments and group activity projects, ideas to ponder would be daily handwriting options or more regular writing.

These can be journal-ling the day’s activities or thoughts. It can be copying favorite quotes or lessons gained after media viewing, it could be sharing an opinion discussed in a philosophical debate, etc.

Brave Writer has some wonderful ways to introduce and prompt writing in a logical and low stress manner. There are also many workbooks or other programs folks like, or creating your own writing protocols.

When my daughter Josie progressed further in Girl Scouts, her developmental skills in reading and writing began to lag so far behind her peers that the program no longer served her with a comfortable ease. Her peers and leaders were outstanding but we sensed it was becoming too overwhelming for her. To ensure group activity success, I always throw out the ideas of boosting communication skills- articulating ideas, writing answers if worksheets are given, and also being strong in reading if reading directions are required independently. Some coordinators are wonderful of pairing students together who can work cooperatively with strengths and challenges. Some have other talents and strengths so adaptability is often limited.

Dictation might also be a balancing option when their minds and thoughts race faster than they can write (or type) ideas. Josie likes to dictate to Siri on my Iphone and write in the iNotes. I think other software such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word might also have dictation options (I’ll be exploring these for us too and keep you posted when I learn more).

I find that group activities can be successful if we keep reasonable expectations, healthy boundaries in what is okay and not okay, and have a consistent structure so folks know what to expect (even if the location changes or a different leader is leading that day). Group activities fall apart when egos clash, there is a lack of working order, and the activity either has too many steps or people get lost in the process.

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