Today’s post is by Katie. I just love this idea and I know you will too!
What would happen if we dressed backwards, walked backwards, ate in reverse order, stood on the tables, and ate on the floor? Sounds like a scene from Pippi Longstocking, doesn’t it. Here is how an English discussion resulted in great memories made and delightful fun on our self-proclaimed Backwards Day.
What do you Know?
It all started with a K-W-L chart. We were brainstorming our daily routine. What do we know about what we do each day? We have our before 9am “to do” list (make your bed, get dressed, brush your hair, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, etc.). And we have our morning educational routine (math, phonics, reading, handwriting/copywriting, science & history, read alouds, etc.). Then lunch, then naps and quiet time, then… There were lots of suggestions about what to put on the know side of the chart.
What do you Want to Know?
Then moving on the the What to you Want to Know? section, out of nowhere came the brilliant question:
“What would happen if we did our whole day backwards?”
My 5 year old wrinkled her nose at the idea. My four year old’s eyes grew larger than they normally are. My 7 year old’s hair almost stood up on end imagining the possibilities. I knew we had to do it. Right then and there we proclaimed the following day to be Backwards Day, and oh the fun we had!
The morning of Backwards Day dawned bright and sunny with expectation as we all donned our clothes backwards and proceeded downstairs (without making our beds) to enjoy dessert first: ice cream for breakfast! We went through our school work positioning ourselves wherever we wanted to study (hammock, front porch swing, sitting on the tricycle, anywhere but the school room), ate our lunch pic-nic style on the floor under the kitchen table in true Pippi Longstocking fashion, and laughed at the hysterics of trying to walk backwards everywhere we went. Naptime standing up just didn’t work so we had to make an exception there. Dinner was breakfast, of course, complete with homemade pancakes, bacon and fruit smoothies. And to finish off the day, the kids made their beds just before getting in them to sleep backwards, with their feet where their heads usually go.
Reviewing our Backwards Day together, we decided it was a great success. We laughed about the fun we’d had and discussed the hardships and unique challenges of doing things backwards. I then had a chance to share with my children some practical, educational, and spiritual applications about how following directions is important for things to go well, and how there is an order to things if you want a certain outcome. Last of all we filled in our K-W-L chart with what we learned from our experiment:
- Not making my bed in the morning was nice, but my room looked messy all day.
- It was silly to wear our clothes backwards.
- ice cream for breakfast was awesome! But I was really hungry by lunch time.
- I liked to eat lunch on the floor.
- I liked to do school sitting on the table.
- When I walk backwards I couldn’t see where I was going and I bumped into things.
- Sleeping backwards in bed is ok.
And my favorite:
- Backwards day was fun Mom! Can we do it again sometime, like maybe tomorrow?
Here are some things we’d like to try on our next Backwards Day:
- painting a picture backwards
- riding a bike backwards
- swinging from the jungle gym backwards
- reading the last page (or chapter) of a book first
What kinds of things do you do to spice up your homeschool days? What kinds of things do you want to learn together? Have you tried brainstorming or using a K-W-L chart with your kids? Here’s a free KWL chart to download and print.
May your learning adventures be glorious!
Katie and her family live in Mexico where they minister through through church planting, Bible training, bookstore ministry, and homeschool curriculum development. Katie can be found homeschooling her 4 children in the school room, under a palm or snuggled into their Mayan hammock. She blogs about marriage, motherhood, and ministry at Paradise Praises and about Home Education at Educando En El Hogar.
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