Friday, January 14, 2011

Red Light Green Light

I stumbled upon a great idea that another homeschool mom came up with and thought I'd share it with everyone.  There are so many ideas that moms come up with that amaze me.  This would work really well for an elementary age child.  It was written by  Heather L. Sanders at

Remember the elementary school game “Red Light, Green Light”? I loved that game with its scrambling starts and frantic stops. I have vivid memories of morning recess – the sound of the running, stomping feet, grass still wet with dew, the giggling when you didn’t get out – the pouting and fisted frustration when you did get out.
I admit, I was much better at “Red Light, Green Light” than my other favorite, “Simon Says.” A natural born talker, LISTENING was always a challenge. “Red Light, Green Light” was active, competitive, straightforward”, a perfect match for me.

I was reminded of the game Sunday evening; as I unpacked all our boxes of curriculum here in the new house, little red and green post-it style tabs sticking off pages made it easy to locate and pull out our current texts.

I can’t actually remember the point I stopped buying and using yellow post-its to mark our places, but I do remember seeing the red and green on these tabs and having a “lightbulb moment”; they have proven to be an excellent way to visually assist my kids with start and stop points in all their daily books.

Emelie, my oldest, helps me ready the curriculum for each school day. After breakfast, she reads the reading/work schedule and moves the tabs to the correct pages of her and her siblings’ readers, workbooks, and textbooks before stacking the day’s books on the table.
An easy system, it allows even young children to work independently. Kenny knows to look for the green tab to BEGIN the Exercises in his Singapore Math workbook and to STOP at the red tab.
Green means go.
Red means stop.
It’s “Red Light, Green Light” all over again.

This type of planning ahead also helps me work with 3 children at once with less interruptions. They KNOW what they need to do, they know where they need to start, and these red and green tabs give them the independence to do it on their own. When they reach the red tab and can STOP that particular subject, they don’t have to interrupt my work with another sibling, they can simply GO to the next green tab. These tabs are a simple, effective tool – they aren't costly, but have proven to be priceless in our homeschool.

To see this article in it's original form follow the link:

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