If you were to ask any of my younger children what learning looks like to them, they would tell you learning looks fun. Children learn best by interacting, and using their senses in the world around them. They like to feel, taste, push, pull, etc to learn, and that is how we feel our children need to learn. We also teach them to do things themselves because that is really what kids want to do, learn how to become independent!
This is the reason that we incorporate many different hands on learning ideas for kids. When I homeschooled our other 5 kids though the early years we did many different hands on activities including sensory bins, Montessori trays, arts & crafts, and keep the kids moving as we were learning.
This is one of the reasons we are loving the Mother Goose Time Curriculum. MGT offers many different ways for children to learn about the environment around them by using their senses and keeping them moving. They also provide all the materials that are needed to do these explorations, so I don’t have to put the lessons together or search for all the materials to complete our day. This makes it possible for me to give Gabe a learning environment that I wouldn’t be able to provide otherwise at this time in our lives.
I am finally starting to experience the joys in and benefits of teaching my children using hands on learning and teaching them the ways they learn. I now have older high school and middle school children that love to learn! Don’t get me wrong, they still complain some days about the things they have to do or about certain subjects. But for the most part it is very apparent that they are different then children who were not taught using the main learning method and hands on learning activities.
Here are some examples of our our hands on learning, learning in the environment around us, sensory learning, and more:
We learn how to safely use tools starting with simple things like styrofoam, moving onto drywall, then wood. As the kids get older they learn how to use many bigger power tools. Of course after learning the rules and how to use it and after being supervised for a while before being trusted to operate the tool without supervision.
We learn about topic by seeing them in real life, reading books about them, doing hands on projects and more. You would be amazed what kids take from a topic when being taught this way!
A couple years ago we were learning all about pumpkins. We read lots of pumpkin books, went to the pumpkin patch and seen where they grow, picked out pumpkins, and then brought them home to carve them open to see whats inside.
Learning responsibility by learning how to help with everyday chores.
Helping in the kitchen to make food and learn how things are made.
Learning to make orange juice.
Learning how to make a special birthday treat for a family members birthday.
We spend many hours a year at Nature Centers, Local wildlife trails, Nature preserves, and anywhere else that is a good pace to get kids energy out while also learning about the environment around them.
The kids exploring, and investigating wildlife in their natural environment. We always release them back after observation.
Some years the kids will observe praying mantis for a few days. During this time she laid a couple egg sacks. One accidentally hatched while we were making Christmas cookies for the neighbors in the winter lol, but the other was hatched in the spring. The children now have seen every lifecycle of the praying mantis. They have examined many other insects in our area like the Katy-Did, Grasshoppers, Cicada, and more.
Tree toad found in one of our trees.
Using real life situations and hands on ideas for teaching 1-1 correspondence, counting, patterns, and many other math concepts.
Spooning and counting hearts for valentine’s Day. Not only great fine motor skills but also great themed counting activity.
Building letters, writing letters in sand, flour, rice, or on a marker board.
Dustin learned how to sew and now can make many things with the sewing machine it is a talent that has been very useful to learn.
Not only are sensory experiences great for my kiddo with SPD, but they are great for practicing fine motor activities, that daily sensory diet, teaching concepts, pretend play, math, and more. You can see our full page on sensory bins for the sensory bins that we continuously rotate around for sensory play.
Making learning a sensory experience is something we regularly do just like learning about outer space.
Keeping cool during the summer excavating toys from ice was very fun sensory experience for the kids.
I have 2 High School children now that clearly enjoy to learn and will actively seek out the answers they are looking for.
Right now my daughter has had a love foreign languages and is taking 4 different foreign languages just because she wants to. She knows how to bake, cook, teach, write, and many other skills she really enjoys due to the different experiences she has had by having a learning environment that can be tailored to her.
My other high schooler isn’t into reading anymore then he has to, but he has learned to do mechanical work and oil changes on vehicles and our tractor, he regularly offers to help with the yard work. He takes things apart and makes new things out of them (unfortunately this even means taking things apart that were not broken to begin with and making some people pretty upset.) For example, he has taken a few broken radios apart and made them into a speaker for his iPod to plug into that actually worked.
What does learning look like to your child? Leave a comment letting me know I would love to hear your ideas!
I am linking up with these linky parties.
Disclaimer: As a Mother Goose Time Curriculum Blog Ambassador I share our experience and different topics each month here on the blog. I am not required to write positive comments, or told what to write on each topic other then the topic itself. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. You can read my Full Disclosure for more information about my disclosure.