With the unfortunate situation we are facing worldly, so many children have found themselves out of school for the next few weeks. With the fear of them missing out on education, I’ve seen many parents talk about wanting to try homeschooling. I was homeschooled myself, or rather unschooled, and plan on unschooling the girls. In my opinion, unschooling is less stressful. Being that it is child led, seems to be Montessori-inspired, not so much a curriculum like traditional homeschooling. Thus making unschooling easier to incorporate and, often times, more engaging for both the child and caregiver.
I thought I could give examples of what unschooling can look like. You can take the child’s love of a topic or everyday questions and expand upon them. This can be as simple as going over math and reading while baking, or as intricate as using the love of trains to go into geography, weather, engines, etc. Much of this depends on the child, their age and development.
In this post, I wanted to share popular activities that were inspired by Ty’s love of the story “The Three Little Pigs” and how they evolved as he grew. Sharing how this activity can be shared by children of different ages and stages.
For mouthing infants, like the girls, I recommend a variety of blocks that are not chocking hazard size. (The blocks we use and a similar set.) Just one of each block in a basket to explore as they wish. For older babies and young toddlers who are able to stack, we add more blocks, that are easier to stack, while still having a few blocks of different variety.
For an older toddler or young child, tray work could include a close-up picture of a brick-wall along with blocks and play dough. (The dough we use, a recipe to make your own, and a gluten-free option🙂 We learn about how bricks and mortar are used to build walls and we can use the blocks and play dough to build our own wall, perhaps a simple building.
Tray work for an older child could include some pictures of different building structures, like Greek and Roman columns. We would learn about how they are different (example: Roman columns were more for decoration while Greek columns were for structure), although they may look similar. We can build our own colosseum. We could also learn the history that happened during the time these structures were built.
Being that, for Ty, this was inspired by “The Three Little Pigs”, we needed to examine, hands-on, why one building material was better than the others. Once the structures are built, see how they would withstand different types of weather: wind (blow on them), rain (dribble water on them), etc. See what happens to each of the structures if you grip them tightly. Discuss why certain buildings, and certain materials (another example), are best suited for certain climates. You can also research how buildings have an impact on climate. Depending on your child and their ability to read and write, you may have a paper with a list of examples for them to try, such as I listed above. This could encourage them to do this activity, or parts of it, on their own and also to come up with their own “what-ifs”.
They could then go on to design their own buildings, maybe even using legos. What location would the building they built best be suited? This could lead into the study of climate and weather in different states, countries, continents. It could also lead into blueprints and engineering, designing on paper before building the physical structure. This may even lead to the study of biology, like how the shape of a person’s nose is determined by climate. (Can you tell I’m rather passionate about unschooling, haha.)
This is just one example of encouraging an interest in one thing grow with the child and blossom into so much more.
Education is the fertilizer for the mind, the seeds for success, and the eye opener for life. – Debasish Mridha M.D.
How do you feel about homeschooling / unschooling? Are there any topics you’d like me to cover?
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