When people think about home education, I think they assume that home educators are replicating school at home. If not, then how do the children learn at home?
(hint – NOT by replicating school at home!)
There are many, many, MANY, every day things that provide a learning opportunity. Almost everything we do and every place we go is, or can be, educational. Most of the time the children don’t even realise they’re learning.
But How Do Your Kids Learn at Home?
Let me give you an example. A fantastic example.
(bear in mind whilst reading, that my twins are only almost five years old at the time of writing this)
I recently took the boys to a playground, something we do almost every day (sometimes twice a day!). They played on the slide, I pushed them on the swing, they pushed each other on the swings.
We didn’t plan to be there for a long time, because I’d been unwell all morning. So I gave them a five minute warning and suggested they may want to go and run around on the grass hill for a few minutes before we headed home.
Off they went to play dinosaurs on the grass. I sat on the bench and watched them playing, content in myself that my children are always happy, having fun, and generally enjoying life and their childhood.
Just because we ‘learn at home’ it doesn’t mean we are always home. Far from it actually.
I never question whether I think they learn enough, or what they should be learning, because quite frankly they’re still too young to worry about that.
Play. Play is all they need to know right now. So here’s the thing – playing IS learning.
So, back to the park – I had taken some photos of them, and was looking through them on my phone. When I looked up they were playing something new.
They were collecting piles of cut grass from the hill, and spreading them out by the bench. Back and forth, back and forth – like ants.
Why were they doing it? Who knows! It didn’t matter.
Because what I saw, was multiple variations of learning.
While they discussed and executed their plan, going back and forth collecting piles of cut grass and depositing them neatly on the floor next to me, I saw the following skills in action:
- Planning skills
- Motivational skills
- Organisational skills
- Listening skills
- Creative skills
- Physical activity
- Team work
- Leadership skills
- Negotiation skills
- Counting skills
- And probably more that I can’t currently think of
And it occurred to me, these are the skills they use every day in their games and play. Today is just the first time I’ve actually broken down the skills they use. These are also transferable skills. Skills that, used often, will see them well in their future.
My children have every opportunity to use these skills. For now, just by playing.
And that my friends, is learning. Through play. Learning, developing and implementing valuable life skills, whilst having fun. Free fun. Freedom.
Nope, I don’t need to question how they learn at home. They do it naturally every day.
Here they are in action. The last two photo’s are ones they took of each other in front of their work.
They were very pleased with it!
Got any questions? Hit me up in the comments.