Saturday, September 26, 2009

Make Learning Fun!!

Yesterday I had a visit from a new homeschooling mom and I asked her how her new adventure was going.  She commented that her developmentally delayed daughter just wasn't interested in learning and was very difficult to get motivated.  I asked what type of curriculum she was using and upon hearing, I was not surprised that her child was not interested.  She was simply doing a single worksheet each  for reading, spelling, math, grammar and reading comprehension.  There isn't a daily time of reading out loud or learning together as a family.  Just sit down at the table and get your work done.   I wouldn't be interested or motivated and I don't think this mom was either.

Now I know that children need to learn whether they are interested or not, but sometimes motivation is vital.  For most of our 20 plus years of homeschooling we have used a wonderful unit study.  We have dressed in costumes, made various crafts and decorations, done tons of hands-on learning, taken fabulous field trips and vacations  and just had plain old FUN while learning about this wonderful world that God has created!  And along the way we have developed some wonderful family traditions and memories.

One such memory that I shared with my new friend yesterday was a time when my youngest daughter was six years old.  We were studying the character trait of determination and the sub-topic was undersea exploration.  One of our activities was to create an underwater room, so Kaelan and I took the afternoon to turn our school area into an underwater wonder.  We hung light blue and green crepe paper streamers from the ceiling, lined the walls with  blue and green crepe paper, created jelly fish that we suspended with fishing line from the ceiling and made over 100 origami fish that we hung all over the room.  It was quite a sight!!  My friend wanted to know what the educational benefit of that activity was... and well, there probably wasn't much in the academic line.   We had a grand time and it made a wonderful memory for the both of us.  But the hug Kaelan gave me when we were finished and her thankfulness that I had spent the time with her were even more wonderful.  Time was what she needed from me that day and our simple work together has provided memories that I hope will last a lifetime.  This kind of learning doesn't happen in a textbook.  It happens in real life, by living, learning and working together.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like so much fun! I'm so glad you are sharing your tips/advice here now. I could always use them!

Disney for Boys said...

Thank you for this post. I was your friend just a couple short years ago and I could not agree with you more.

I did not think that I was the creative type to come up with creative ways for them to learn so that they would not have to just sit in front of worksheets all day.

We are living and learning together now and my boys love to be home and homeschool and they actually really love to learn!

Love your blog!!

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