Looking at Self- Guided Discoveries Through Play Based Learning

 I just love self- guided discoveries.  I love to see the joy in the kids faces as they figure something out and hearing them excitedly tell me all about it.

Sure, sometimes their discoveries are not really of any interest to me or sometimes their discoveries seem very basic and simple TO ME, but to them it's amazing.  They're so proud and so excited that I can't help but share in the joy with them.

We try to rely on self- guided discoveries or self- guided learning as much as possible in our homeschool.  I know that learning is most memorable when it's of particular interest and is relevant to the person learning.  I feel that there's no point in teaching something they aren't going to remember later anyway.

I try as much as possible to let them lead.  I like to sit back, observe and tie what they are doing into learning & school work.  It's not always possible since I do fear that there are some subjects that are just to important to ignore but I do try to let them lead.

Other days, like today I put them fully in charge.  I told them to grab something school-like to work on in the car as we ran errands and went to Karate.  Ian chose to bring his extreme dot to dot books and work on some math/ problem solving while Alec and Evan devised a way for them to play Hangman on the Kindle (I say devised since Evan still can't really spell yet).  They brought a Pok√©mon book in the car and Evan was allowed to look up names and spelling when inputting a puzzle for Alec to guess and he used the book to help him try and guess the words Alec made up for him. 

It was a nice, albeit, windy day and the boys just wanted to play outside.  As soon as we got home from karate they changed and headed outside.  I felt a bit guilty letting our schoolwork slide but I know the weather will be changing soon and it's nice for them to soak up the fresh air and sunshine.  They only came in long enough to eat lunch and then they were right back outside playing.  They were all working together to build in the sand and then I heard my younger two playing Percy Jackson.  They went up into the woods and took a pen (Percy's sword), a protein bar (ambrosia) and Evan's sword with them on their quest.  I just love that they enjoy acting out books through their play just as much as they enjoy acting out movies and TV shows.  That's when I know that they love what we're reading.

Ian spent a part of his day watching his new Mighty Machine videos.  He was so excited that they finally came in and reminded me that it's a documentary on machines and trucks so it was educational.  I certainly couldn't argue with that logic!

While he was busy watching TV, Evan and I played Jenga together.  As the other boys heard our fun they came into the room and wanted to play too.  We spent our afternoon playing games.  We played Jenga until Evan lost interest and both him and Ian wanted to use the blocks to build.

getting taller...

intense concentration

building and making up their own game with Jenga pieces

Alec and I then played a good 3 rounds or so of Zeus on the Loose.  He just loves this game to much and I love all the math involved in playing!  We ended our afternoon with Alec, Ian and myself playing 8 or so rounds of pitch.  They're still learning the ins and outs of the game but they're catching on fast.  Ian won our game and they both can count for game already too.  It was lots of fun!

Playing Zeus on the Loose



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