Rachel has lately been enjoying playing school with her younger siblings. It's really sweet--they have backpacks, and she packs them lunches like they're really at school, and plans things above their normal lessons, like recess or gym class, parties (like yesterday she made green frosted cupcakes and made St. Patrick's day goody bags), or special art classes--and homework! She takes my lesson plans and teaches them everything I would, only she's far less distracted because she takes each one down to the family room, which she has set up like a school room, including the blackboard! The other kids stay up here with me while one is in school....how come I can't get them to leave ME alone while I try to focus on one kid??
My only complaint about this game is that I wish it would involve everyone. She spends so much time individually with each sibling that her own schoolwork waits till mid afternoon. Which is fine as long as it gets done--yesterday and today we didn't have outside activities, so it was fine for her to spend all sorts of time with them, but the rest of the week we are busy in the afternoon, so she can't do that. If anyone asked me, which rest assured they didn't, I would suggest playing pioneer school, where all ages work together. This could go even further and Rachel could be part of the school some of the time, doing her own work, and teacher some of the time--pioneer teachers were, after all, practically students themselves! Sometimes it's hard to keep Ben and Emma upstairs when Rachel is working with someone else; they want to go down and be part of the action. But since Rachel is doing work for me, I have been coming up with things for them to do. And that's nice, because usually on a school day I don't have time to just be with them because there's too much to do. So Rachel is doing everyone a favor.
I know she wouldn't be willing to play these kinds of games if she spent the day in school!