Saturday, January 20, 2007

Doing School Without Worksheets

How do you do school with a little one without sitting still doing worksheets or other traditional schoolwork?

You can focus more on handicrafts, learning to do useful things with your hands like finger crochet, or on games (marbles is a good one for developing the hands).  Teach your child to play a simple card game like Go Fish or simple board games or dominoes.  With my dd, when we started going outside more it was a struggle for both of us, but now she loves it and will go out in the rain to dig in the mud!

I was a child who read early and read constantly throughout childhood, and it was not a good thing overall.  I put limits on how much time my dd can spend reading now that she reads alone, and during this past year I’ve cut back on time spent reading to the kids in favor of time spent *doing*.  They get so much more out of the doing than the reading, truly.

When we "do school", that includes sewing, cooking, cleaning, drawing (we use a curriculum for that), building (with a hammer–this one doesn’t happen much yet), lifeskills (like tying shoes or learning phone numbers), and handicrafts.  It includes art study, classical music, folk songs, rhythm activities, Spanish (learning folk songs right now), and more.  You can do all these things with a young child, and many of them can be done outside when you are able to go outside.

Think outside the box about what "doing school" means so you can introduce a variety of rich experiences instead of limiting it to books and worksheets.

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