|Celebrating Child-led Learning||Vol. I, issue 9 October 2010|
Autumn means my return to child-led classes. I am fresh with new theater games, ideas for multi-genre projects, and new stories to share. Learning is a never-ending adventure! Feel free to share your learning adventures with me. Send them to Laurie@homeschoolNYC.com.
Is Education Work or Play?
Do you remember being scolded for playing? Perhaps you were told to straighten up
and sit still, or to stop "being silly" or stop "fooling around" (demeaning
terms for play). These are common
experiences in a society where grown-ups hardly play at all. It is as if we have forgotten how to
play, and play is reserved only for the very young, often only at recess, or
only in sports. Adults are mostly
game watchers instead of game participants. Yet we remain aware that the spirit of play, which often has
no obvious purpose or goal, is a magical ingredient that makes every experience
more alive, and makes learning memorable.
If play is so elusive for adults, when does it stop for us as children? Does it stop with school?
According to Dr. Stuart
Brown (author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul), if children have
not played -- used their hands to create and build and repair things, activated
their minds in imaginative play, and indulged in fun physical pursuits -- then
they will lack problem solving skills as adults. In order to be happy, smart, and successful, we need to
play! In fact, Dr. Brown asserts
that we can improve ourselves at any age, if we just engage in play. Read more...
Autumn is Apple Season
An apple a day is said to be good for your health. For me, it is also the symbol of a happy family life. Nothing makes me feel cozier than the smell of an apple pie baking in my oven or spiced cider warming on my stove. One of my happiest memories is going apple picking with my children. Every year our kids would ask if it was time --
if the apples were ripe yet, or if the fruit was still hanging from the trees and it wasn't too late to go. On a perfect autumn day, with the sky a bright blue and the air as cool and crisp as a new apple, we would pack a lunch and drive upstate. Farms provided ... Read more...
| |Apple Books and Activities
It might surprise you to know that there are 2500 varieties of apples grown in the US, 7500 in the world. Have your kid do apple math by halving or doubling a recipe, finding out how much a bushel or a peck is, how much the average apple in your basket weighs, and the round-trip mileage to a u-pick farm. Find out where some of the many apple names came from, read legends and stories about apples, and make apple recipes. You can even make an apple doll from a dried apple. And of course, you can go apple picking!
Make a Sculpture from Recycled Objects
Save your recyclable garbage for a month and then put it out on
the kitchen table, all your cardboard cereal and soap boxes, foam peanuts,
bottle caps, bits of wire and string. Then
add to the pile: scissors, glue, paper clips, Q-tips, spare buttons, old
ribbon, paper scraps, and tin foil.
Let the kids come in and play and see what happens. For inspiration, try looking at
pictures of found-object sculpture, such as the work of American sculptors
Louise Nevelson and David Smith.
Figure by Adina, made from found objects
More Found Object Sculpture made by kids...
Quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce
"Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold."
~Joseph Chilton Pearce, 1926 - present, author of Magical Child and other books
Available now at HomeschoolNYC.com
Laurie Spigel is a
leading educator in the New York City homeschooling community, teaching popular
group classes and inspiring parents to create their own curriculum. Her approach is informal, creative, and child-led.
Here she shares her innovative ideas and original techniques for every subject. She explains why our current educational system has it all backwards and shows
how exciting learning can truly be. A real source of inspiration as well as a practical guide, this is
an eye-opening book for every parent and teacher.
Price: $12.95 plus shipping & handling
E-mail comments and suggestions to Laurie@HomeschoolNYC.com.