I’m going to let you in on a little homeschool mom secret. There is a way for your kids to learn what you want them to without forceful lessons or worksheets. Yup, I kid you not. Our homeschool day has completely changed thanks to this magical thing called strewing.
How I started strewing for our homeschool and what is strewing?.
Before I started strewing I would set up pre-planned unit studies for my twins, themes that I decided on and they hadn’t really asked to learn about usually. Sometimes it would be geared around areas that they were interested in. After a week or two the novelty wore off and more than half of the time I was met with groans and whiny I don’t want tos. This just wasn’t how they learned best, I knew this and so did they. After a while, I decided I was done wasting my own time and getting more and more frustrated day by day so I just stopped planning themes for them altogether. Around this time I read another bloggers post about strewing and it was as if the sky suddenly lit up on a dark day.
Strewing by definition means to scatter or spread untidily over a surface. Hmm untidily..this I could do. So I started out with a topic I knew already interested them, animals. I set out a few interesting animal books from the library, along with some of their animal Toob figures and viola like a moth to a flame they were drawn in. Not only did they enjoy these new books but they loved matching up their figures to the pictures in the books. The next step was to try it with a subject they may not have normally been drawn to on their own. I chose Maps. This time I set out our Usborne Picture Atlas and a big map of the world as well as our Leapster pen and map set. They loved it! That day they spent about 30 mins exploring the flaps of the book and playing with the map games. The funny thing is we’ve had these things within their reach for months and they sat unused. With my older children strewing has helped them pick up many books that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
I’d love to share some ideas for strewing in your homeschool. Give some of them a try!I think you’ll love that your kids are learning at their own pace and they’ll never know that you set it all up with your ninja mom skills.
-Set up a beautiful picture atlas, like this one , and a map of the world puzzle or game.
– Put out a magnifying glass and some different polished and unpolished rocks with a book or two on geology and rock identification, we love this one. A fun addition would be a do it yourself gem dig kit. They’re pretty inexpensive online.
– Throw together a basket of some recycled materials and a maker book don’t forget to add lots of duck tape.
– Pick an animal that they’re interested in and set out a few books about it. Find a nice printout or flashcard of the animal and add supplies to make a habitat for it.
– Gather some math manipulatives with a dry erase board and some math prompts and let them have fun with numbers.
– Set out an anatomy book, we love this one , with a puzzle or diagram of the body.
– One of our favorite strews is a great nature book, some kid tweezers, a magnifying glass, a few leaves or other materials collected from the yard, and a notebook. Watch them compare what you’ve set out to the pictures in the book and maybe they’ll even do some nature journaling.
– Take strewing outside with some binoculars and a bird watching book.
– Put together a tray with some playdoh, a few laminated activity sheets and watch them mold and create. Add in some fun beads or googly eyes that they can enjoy also.
I could keep going but I think you get the idea. There are so many combinations of materials you can strew. Of course its great to buy new things but what I try to do is keep things set aside in a closet so when I pull them out they are as good as new. You could also try hitting garage sales, online marketplaces and even trade with friends to keep the materials fresh for your kiddos. Have you experimented with strewing in your homeschool? Has it worked out well for you?