Pat Fenner, from Breakthrough Homeschooling, and Tracey Hagerman, author of The Happy Homeschooler, candidly discuss all things homeschooling: the good, the bad, and the brilliant. Go ahead and grab your favorite drink, find a cozy spot, and join this week’s lively discussion. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon, IHeart Radio, and please leave us a review! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/you-can-homeschool/support
When our kids were young, remember encouraging them as they played? They explored the world around them and learned oh-so-much. When “school starts,” that doesn’t have to stop – but how DO we keep it going? Listen in!!
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Remember when your kids were young? Conversations with them were mostly play-centered…exploring was fun…playdates with friends…
And then “school” started, and the “trouble” began 🙁
Think about it: most of us do better with learning when some sort of play is involved. It encourages interaction and movement, which also naturally stimulates brain functioning.
Also, if your child is inclined to move, finding a way to occupy their hands while listening to read-alouds or a lesson can actually help them to focus and stay in the moment.
Some ways to encourage play:
- * For little kids, Tracey offered some easy-peasy ideas to add learning activities for the young ones (so you can ditch the curriculum concept for kindergarteners…)
- * Forget about typical “readers” and look for living books from the library… Even a good comic book (one that follows a story arc) can be inspirational and educational.
- * Don’t forget the play-doh! Make some with the kids and then run with it! Your teens can even use homemade clay to make figures to use in dioramas.
- * Word games with teens: Scrabble, BananaGrams, travel games, Rubix cube,
- * Get your tween or teen an exercise ball-type desk chair. It allows movement while doing desk work.
- * Teaching writing? Have your older kids take a history lesson and turn it into a play, complete with scripts, costumes, props – the whole shebang!
- * Make a board game! Turn a lesson into a board game…or just do this for the fun of it! There’s lots of learning going on in the process of creating them, and so much fun to share with their friends. They’re learning math skills, design skills, creating thinking skills, teamwork, and more. Plus, what a great memory and keepsake from their homeschool days.
Want to dive in to this concept? Here are some books that you can use in your homeschool mom professional development to explore the role of play in learning:
- * Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators – While definitely written for school settings, there is a lot of information, primarily about mindset, that home educators can use in here!
- * Forest School in Practice: For All Ages – This is one of a series of books that talks about a program available in the UK. The authors believe that Forest School “exemplifies ways of being in and with nature that are essential for the health of individuals, society, and the planet.“
- * Exploring Mathematics Through Play in the Early Childhood Classroom – Another book written for classroom educators, but, hey, we’re educators, too, so just grab the nuggets you can use!
- * Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art – “Free Play is about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do.“
- * You may also be interested in this You Can Homeschool Podcast, episode 34: The Link Between Primitive Reflexes and a Child’s Ability to Learn, and interview with Kokeb Girma-McDonald
- * And this is Kokeb’s book: Integrating Primitive Reflexes Through Play and Exercise