Gnomes and Gnumbers

When I first saw the Serendipity blog I thought, “That’s really sweet but its not me, too crafty” and happily accepted my own limits. However I have a soon to be seven yr old daughter who had different needs, needs that were not being met in the teaching approach I was using. Isn’t it amazing how our children are always ‘encouraging’ us to stretch and grow;) So by a little trial and error and of course discussion with said child I realised that she craved beauty, poetry, something that spoke to her soul if you like. She was happiest when we took an approach that resembled the beauty to be found at Serendipity and never seeing the need to ‘re-invent the wheel’ I took a closer look.

Along the Alphabet Path didn’t really appeal as Princess can already read, in fact she reads far better than any of her siblings at the same age. So I looked at Gnomes and Gnumbers and decided to trial its approach and see how Princess responded. Well she loves it:) not only that, Michelangelo and Jelly Bean love participating, in fact all the older children have raced ahead and read the stories. There is something so gentle, so appealing about this approach that I can’t quite explain but I can see works, even I am touched by the gentleness. In many ways it takes me back to the years before life with many children to a slower time when I only had a couple, this is a positive occurrence, Gnomes and Gnumbers are showing me the way back, to re-visit those days and ways with my current young ones.

Well on a practical note the setting up of our gnomes was a challenge, here in Australia we simply do not have the resources available in America. So it all took a bit of investigating as to what to use, Winterwood are the only place in Australia (that I could find) who sold bases for gnomes and I felt that I couldn’t justify the price. I already owned basic dolly pegs from Spotlight and thought to add heads and stands but couldn’t source them either. So I decided to go ahead and make my gnomes with just the basic dolly pegs. I’m very happy with the result. So far I haven’t added faces or beards as I’m not too certain that would be a good idea considering the smallness of the gnomes head.

The gemstones were also a challenge to find we certainly don’t have the lovely colour range in the Gnomes and Gnumbers story however I managed with the aid of a friend to find packets in a singular colour at a ‘cheap’ shop. Yesterday we came to Lesson Three and found that we needed to make a rainbow tray I cast around for a ‘tray’ when I remembered my recent op-shop find.

turning it over I found it was perfect to glue strips of felt onto. I just love the finished result!

What a perfect way in which to teach place value.

I have gone from skeptical to very keen, seeing that love of learning on my daughter’s face has been inspiring:) Thank you Elizabeth and team:)

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  • Fe

    Most interesting:-)

    I keep reading Serendipity—so this is very helpful if I decide to look at that path:-)

    Just checking in to see if Spring Baby has arrived yet:-) I keep thinking of you:-)

  • Jessica

    Thank you also for posting about this! I too was very skeptical about these teaching styles for the longest time, but I too was presented with a child (my oldest) that learns best this way, and the plans at Serendipity have been such a blessing… And SO MUCH FUN at the same time! 🙂

  • pinewoodcastle

    Hi there – my email to you in response to the comment you left on my blog i snot going through so I will try to copy and paste here:

    Wow, Erin, you read my blog? This is so fun to know who is out there!

    I’ve seen your blog before and have run across your blog name many times. Now I know to add it to my google reader.

    We have followed Serendipity. Mostly. I tended to blog more about where we diverged, such as some of the picture books, fairy tales and the addition of composers and artists. We were pretty faithful to the fairy, saint and ABC Museum book. So, I hope that comes across and I tried to link to Serendipity as much as possible.

    Well, there are so many more moms doing AP this year than last and I can’t wait to see what other creative ideas come up. It was the best thing we’ve done so far with homeschooling (FIAR being runner-up). We just finished Z week by drawing zebras Draw Write Now style.

    Have fun with it and I’ll being checking in to see how it’s going.

    Oh, and my kids loved the Gnomes and Gnumbers too. We are still doing them on Fridays – not ready to ditch math textbooks yet!

    And, oh my (!) congratulations on your new little bundle of joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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