Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Take Homeschool Learning to a New Level by Stepping Outside the Home

When you set out to educate your children at home, you're given the chance to mold their minds in a way that would be impossible to attain in a larger classroom. Sure, you can give each child more attention than they'd normally get in school, but you also are uninhibited by outdated curriculum's and the requirement to sit at a desk for hours on end. While most students are lucky to go on three or four field trips a year, you have the power to introduce your little ones to the world day after day for a comprehensive and enriching education. To gather ideas about how to use excursions outside the home to expand one’s learning experience, read the top picks below!

1) Musical expression is like “miracle grow” for a child’s brain and spirit. Foster your little ones’ curiosity and appreciation with plenty of concerts and performances. These can range from the symphony to high school recitals to local theater productions. Music is a great vehicle for children to learn about foreign cultures as well, whether it’s through attending an African drum circle, listening to a CD with Spanish guitar playing or taking Irish river dancing lessons. Encourage younger pupils to establish their own musical voice by having a box full of play instruments; percussion will be easier for children that struggle to have their lungs will with air or don’t quite have the dexterity for strings, so consider purchasing toy xylophones, miniature keyboards and drums for kids, like the ones found at child-friendly West Music. On the other hand, if your student is older, consider having a music teacher provide weekly instruction; you can find plenty of instructors through databases like Take Lessons. Let your child have significant say in the instrument he or she will be playing and, once again, consider exploring different options through live music performances!

2) An observatory is a bridge between our eye and outer space, and it may just serve as a bridge between your child’s imagination and a future career. Freed up to take your children on fieldtrips long after traditional schools close, teach your kids about the different planets, and then quench their curiosity by allowing them to behold the stars. If there isn’t an observatory in close proximity to you, consider laying out a picnic blanket and using a telescope to identify the stars. Not only can this lead to further intrigue about science, but your youngsters may be fascinated by such topics as the mythological characters the star constellations are named after.

3) To a nursing home or Grandma’s house. This selection may strike you as strange, but older generations are a wealth of modern day history. Instead of simply having your children learn about the Great Depression or Pearl Harbor in a book, you can have the events brought to life with firsthand accounts by individuals who witnessed it. With the permission of the caretakers, have your children ask aging senior-citizens preplanned questions and have them take notes or tape record the oral accounts. Of course, there’s the added bonus of having your kids develop an appreciation for older generations, as well the possibility that your efforts may brighten the day of an elderly individual.

These are just basic ideas that are intended to spur your own. I’d love to hear your own experiences about what educational opportunities have helped your children to expand their appreciation for learning. Share in the comment section below!

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