Turn Play into Learning
by Nita Preston
So, how can I turn play into learning? Now that we are well into the year of our homeschool journey, I ask myself - is Learning Meant to be retained?
My kids have been bombarded with a lot of information. A lot. I mean the boxed curriculum we use is nothing to sneeze at, those DVD teachers leave nothing out.
Not to mention my kids usually get at least 2 quizzes and 1 test every other week in each subject (both the 4th grader and formerly 7th grader that I skipped a grade have this schedule).
I've heard other homeschooling moms say it is way too much information.
But my kids hardly ever complained since they did double the work in public/private school and didn't retain much of it.
PLAY instead of WORKBOOKS, TEXTs or TEST
I've switched things up with my kids and introduced some ways to 'play' and work at the same time.
We've added online math games, reading games, language games and the kids don't even realize that they are LEARNING and RETAINING the information.
However, those tools were selected because they do TEST the kids knowledge to make sure that the method is working for them and is mastered.
RETAINING? and ACCOUNTABILITY?
So, I also tried other ways to PLAY and LEARN that the kids explored things they wanted on their own, and we went on tons of field trips where I had them write about it.
But sadly, for my kids, after the event was over, they'd only retained or remembered a portion of the 'point' or learning specific subject matter the 'trip' was supposed to validate.
HOW TO DO BOTH?
Well after several trips, play activities and hands on task, I realized for my kids I have to do the following for them to really capture and hold onto that teaching moment.
1) Spell Out - Write out a List of what we are planning on learning
2) Point those things out during the activity
3) Have kid do a project or invest in writing about, reflecting on the activity
4) Go over activity with kid, point out the List of Learning Points
5) Test or Quiz the kid either with a game, or questioning them on their past projects
This way we have a way of (1) pointing out what child should gain from activity (2) seeing if kid retains the important facts of the activity (3) make learning FUN and ACCOUNTABLE.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?