Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year, New Homeschool Lessons

We went to this park in Tulsa after church on New Years day. It struck me, watching the girls, that so often schools teach kids about subjects in a vacuum. I remember learning about pulleys and levers and fulcrums sometimes near the end of elementary school. They showed us pictures and explained the ideas, but we never actually got to see an actual pulley, lever, or fulcrum in class.

Yet here were my girls, playing with these very tools at a park, figuring out how they worked and what they were good for. They worked as a team to get the sand scooped into the buckets, and then pull them up to the top. Then they poured the sand into tubes and watched it come out the other end and slide down a ramp and back to the ground. And later when we all got onto the giant teeter-totter together, they didn't hear the word "fulcrum" but they understood how it worked and enjoyed it.

So the first homeschool lesson of this year was actually learned by me, the mom, the teacher. I'm going to make my New Year's resolution be to keep my eyes open more for learning opportunities in the world around us, and to remember that learning can happen in play and in life, unplanned. Just because I haven't sat down with worksheets, a prepared craft activity, and a library book covering a certain topic, doesn't mean my girls aren't learning.

Happy New Year!

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