I know I have said it many times, but I will say it again. There is no one way to learn—learning has many different looks! Learning is not just about sitting down at a desk in a public school building and reading a history book. Learning is LIVING! Learning is EXPERIENCING everything around you! Learning can be done ANYWHERE in any number of ways!
A key component of learning is exposure. It is about getting out and trying new things. Reading a book by an author you have never heard of before. Looking at paintings by artists you have never heard of before. Learning is finding out about or trying out something you have never done before.
Anyone who has children or works with children in any has a unique privilege of being able to share anything and everything with children. Most children love to learn, especially if you share the information in a fun and entertaining way. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. A little bit of imagination is all you need!
Our family was stationed in England about the time that they were putting in their bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The excitement was tangible! It was a once in a life time experience just to witness the pride the British people have for their country. It was fun to see all the ideas and plans being that people had about what they wanted or did not want to see their country do for the Olympics.
Now here we are! It is 2012 and the Olympics have started! Our son was a little young to remember all the talk and speculation back then. He barely recalls standing on the very streets of London that we are now seeing on TV, but the great thing about technology is that we get to share it all with him and his baby sister (who was not even born yet!) again. We made sure to DVR the opening ceremony and watched it as a family. We got to point out all the places we had been, what we remember about those places, some of the people, and some the history we remember learning on tour after tour of those historical places!
Another amazing thing is that the resources at our disposal are limitless and amazing. If he asked a question, we got online and looked it up. The number of websites that came up with each search we did was limitless. We got discuss Great Britain and the difference between it and the United Kingdom. We got to talk about the history and traditions that go along with the Olympics Games themselves. We talked about our very own Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team and which players are participating in the Olympics and that not all of them are on Team USA! We got to talk about the amazing scenes in Great Britain’s history that was re-enacted in that amazing stadium in London.We got to watch his face light up with amazement at all the technology used to make that ceremony the spectacle that it was!
Learning at home can be fun, impromptu and in this case FREE! It cost us nothing, but some time, to sit down and experience this amazing event together as a family!
One of my favorite parts of schooling at home is being an active participant in my children’s learning. My husband and I love actually being present to see the joy and awe on their faces. Do you remember your children first learning to count or recognize colors at 2 and 3 years old (or younger in some cases)? Remember how proud they were to show you what they learned? Now just imagine them being about 10 years old and what they learned was something amazing about their own lives that they don’t remember, something about the history of another country, something that is happening in their world right now. It doesn’t matter how old they or what topic they are learning about—the joy is still amazing to witness. As they get older it does take a little more work to stay ahead of them and be able to keep up with this every changing world, but it is so worth it. Plus I get to learn lots of new things, too!