Saturday, September 25, 2010

Can I really be in two places at once?

Using a tape recorder:

Although my children are relatively young yet (5 and 7) I find that it can be difficult to address both of their needs at the same time. I can only imagine that this feeling multiplies for those parents with more children.

I've tried to help my children develop independence, but it is a slow road. To help bridge the gap I've sometimes used a tape recorder so that I can truly be two places at once.

Here are a few ways I've used the recorder:
*I record spelling words for my 7 year-old to write.
*I record instructions to go along with a paper-and-pencil activity that would otherwise raise questions. (Sometimes they listen better to my voice on tape than to the "actual" me!)

Here are a few ways the kids can use the recorder:
*My 7 year-old who is a bit of a reluctant writer can sometimes record his answers instead of writing them. For instance, he can record the word meanings for a list of vocabulary words.*The 7 year-old reads books on tape so that I can check his oral reading skills. It also gives the 5 year-old a ready-made listening center.
*He can clap out the rhythms from pre-made musical rhythm cards.
*They can "talk through" a story that they're composing and then use the recording to type it later (or have me type it for the younger one).

This idea takes a bit of extra time on my part. But it's worth it because then I can maximize the time I have with one student while the other is also working on their schoolwork. When used sparingly, it seems to hold their attention. I love having this as one of the "tricks" I have up my sleeve.


  1. I like your tape recording idea! I was thinking that with a digital recorder, you could download and save some their recordings as a neat memory.

  2. That would be really great! Someday we won't be able to play such a thing as cassettes (kind of like records and 8 tracks)!

  3. What a great idea! I may implement this, too, even though I am really only doing one this year. I love the idea of having them tell the tape recorder here stories. My daughter always has a ton. Not to mention, if it is digital it can be shared with the grandparents who live so far away.

  4. I love your ideas...never even occurred to me to use a recorder this way. I need to do some serious thinking and see if I can use this in my homeschool. Thanks!