When you hear the word “school”, often times you think of books, paper, pencils and a desk. What more do you need, right?
Well, the thing is, there are many different ways to learn and a big benefit of homeschooling is that you can help your child learn in whatever way is fun and interesting for them!
I want to take a moment today to share a few times when my family has done “school”, but it might not have looked like “school. These are the moments when delight-directed learning has taken over.
Most homeschoolers will have their kids help them cook. We all know it helps them with their math skills, right? It also helps them with life skills, in general! Everyone should know how to take care of themselves by cooking.
Another way you can use cooking in your homeschool is by cooking the meals that come up when you are studying a place in history or geography. When my kids hear about a meal that someone eats in another country, they want to try it!
Of course, I think my kids like to eat more than most.
Either way, by cooking the meals made in another country or time period, we are learning more about that place and time.
Your child will be more apt to remember the things about a country or time period when they eat the meal from it. It just takes the learning to a deeper level.
Animals we’ve found
I think one of my kids’ favorite things to do is to look up animals online that we have found outside.
By the way, when I say animals, I am including insects.
We have learned about praying mantises, flies, bees, wasps, black widows, hawks, raccoons, skunks, sugar gliders, and many, many more!
The kids will ask me a question about something they have seen outside or maybe heard about from a friend and we will dive into it on the computer. They have learned more about things in nature from our time on the computer together than they would have ever learned otherwise!
The things is, when you learn about those things as part of a curriculum, the kids know it is “school” and may become bored with it. It’s not their choice to learn it at that moment, so it’s not as interesting.
When it is their choice to learn it, then it becomes something really cool that they learned about that day!!
Toys and Games
Some of the things in my “schoolroom” in our home looks like it should be in the playroom.
Sometimes people can get so caught up in curriculum, they forget that kids can learn an awful lot from “play.”
One of my son’s favorite things he did during school when he was younger was this set of dinosaur dominoes. They were big cardboard dominoes… about 2 inches by 4 inches. There was a number and a dinosaur on each side. I would tell him to put them together and make the numbers go together.
He loved it. He would make fun shapes and he was working on his math, but didn’t realize it. He was working on number recognition, but instead of it being from a workbook, it was through dominoes!
Another fun one that all the kids loved was making pictures with shapes (tangrams). We have a set I got years ago from Discovery Toys when I used to be a representative.
There are many other games you can get for your homeschool. I encourage you to get some new ones this year!
Life is school . . . what does that mean?
If you are familiar at all with the Montessori method of teaching, then you know what I’m talking about.
If your child were in a Montessori school in his or her younger years (at least until age 8), most of the learning would be done through play. Not just play as most people think about it, though.
There might be a baby doll that needs to be washed. There would be a broom and dust pan near by for them to clean up messes. They might be able to fix their own snack at the snack station.
All of these things at the Montessori school are considered lessons.
Life lessons are important. Learning how to clean up after themselves, make a meal, wash and care for a baby doll, clean their rooms, setting the table and so on, all help a child learn to be a productive person in society.
When they are older, these things will just come naturally to them. (In public high school, they call this Home Economics)
It may not seem like school, but in a way, those things are just as important, if not more so, than any of the book work they will do in their school years.
I hope these few things will help you understand a bit more about what can be school that may not seem like school at first glance. And most of all, I hope that you can see that delight-directed learning can take on many different forms, including making chores like cooking a fun way to learn!
Nicole is a homeschool mom of 3 kids and is not good at writing bios. What do you say about yourself?? She blogs at Some Call It Natural about natural living, homeschooling, parenting, recipes, and just family life in general. Join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and be sure to say “Hi”!!
I would also love to invite you the community inspired by this series, as we strive to inspire, encourage and empower our readers in everything homeschooling.