The schools are catching up with the home educators. They’re beginning to realise the benefits to other activities than those stuck in a classroom, pen in hand, nose over book.
Here’s a great little report about the educational benefits of taking children out of the school environment to develop their learning.
As home educators we knew that already. I quickly latched onto the fact that as soon as we got outdoors all the little irritations we’d been griping about when trapped inside seemed to disappear. (See my recent post ‘mending moodypants’). But as well as the physical activities don’t forget you can do almost anything educational that you’d do indoors out of doors too.
During our home educating days we’d often pack up a picnic and our books and take whatever we were learning about that day to another venue. We took the history books to the site of an old castle. We took the geography subjects we were studying like settlements, population, rivers, estuaries, especially the coast, into the real situation. We did the same with Science; we went out and found different natural materials, we examined the natural world whilst in it, we took experiments into the garden. And you can do creative things pretty well anywhere. And reading of course.
Break out of the boundary of thought that keeps education restricted to indoors and you could surprise yourself how much your kids learn.
Whatever the topic you can usually find some relevance to an outdoor location through discussion. Talk about everything you see. And even if you’re using workbooks there’s no reason why the kids can’t lie on the grass in the park and do them. It’s all learning. The nicer it is the better experience it is and the better experience it is the more learning takes place.
Home education gives the opportunity to think and learn beyond the confines of a desk and four walls so don’t forget to use it. It makes the learning more relaxed and pleasant. It makes the kids happier. It’s pretty enjoyable for the parents too. So try taking advantage of every opportunity to be outside. You may find it’ll change the nature of your days.