What benefit is there to strewing in your homeschool?
Isn’t that just for unschoolers?
As with anything in life, we want to know what the benefit is to something before we jump in with both feet. Why go to the time and trouble of strewing if it’s just another thing about which we will feel guilty?
Should you strew only because you’re told it’s something you should do? Of course not. There has to be a positive result in your homeschool, or it’s just another thing you feel like you “have” to do to be a good homeschooling mother.
So let’s talk about some of those positives and see if they are enough to get you strewing.
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Happens on Your Timetable
You don’t have to get out the nature tray because it’s listed in the curriculum. You don’t have to follow a strewing scope and sequence. And you don’t have to assign a grade.
Strewing happens on your timetable and follows your families interests.
Why is this such a benefit?
You can’t be behind. You don’t have to stay “on track,” and there is no grade level assigned. These are all requirements of the highly structured educational system and rarely translate well into your homeschool.
They create artificial pressure on you as a homeschool mother and on your children.
Child and Interest Led
It’s the 105th day of first grade, so naturally, your child should be learning about the weather. It doesn’t matter if they would prefer to learn about butterflies, today, cloud types are on the agenda.
Does this make any sense?
Doesn’t a child retain and digest more information when she’s interested?
Maybe he’ll be interested in clouds next month, why is that not allowed?
Strewing allows your child’s interests to be the focus of their learning while also allowing you to expose them to other subjects in a gentle manner. The benefit of this is that you have their buy-in. They want to know more about this subject; they’re not just cramming their heads full of information they will quickly discard after the test.It becomes a two-way street where everyone participates. No longer is learning and education seen as a top-down, one-way endeavor, but a web of ideas building upon each other layer by layer.Click To Tweet
Giving our children the opportunity to explore their interests on their timetable protects their curiosity. Children are born curious, and it is up to us to encourage their inquisitiveness and not deaden their enthusiasm to all the wonders of life.
Strewing gives our children the opportunity to be curious on their terms. They can engage and interact with what we have strewn, or they can pass and say they’re not interested right now.
Both are acceptable, which is such a compelling benefit of strewing.
Integrated Into Life
Another benefit of strewing is that it becomes integrated into your life.
At first, it may seem cumbersome, and maybe you forget to add something new for a while. But before you know it, you’re grabbing things on the clearance aisle and picking up odds and ends at the thrift store all in the name of strewing.
That box isn’t just hoisted into the recycling bin; you first wonder what the kids could make.
Then you spend half an hour checking out Youtube videos of marimbas, steel drums, and timpanis with your 12-year-old.
Next, your 10-year-old helps you put together a nature collection and your 15-year-old is sending you a pin on Pinterest.
It becomes a two-way street where everyone participates. No longer is learning and education seen as a top-down, one-way endeavor, but a web of ideas building upon each other layer by layer.
Simplicity and Enjoyment
I love to simplify my homeschool in any way possible, and strewing allows for great simplicity and tremendous enjoyment.
My girls have unknowingly learned about trade, economics, and budgeting all from playing Settlers of Catan.
We’ve learned history while playing Timeline.
And they know more about animals than I ever will, all from watching Wild Kratts.
Does this “count’, there was no rubric followed and they had too much fun? I’m not one for dividing my life into things that count and don’t count. Learning can be simple and fun. It all counts.
The Many Benefits of Strewing
As with all things in life, there are positives and negatives regarding strewing.
The only negatives I can think of are time and expense, though I have some ideas on controlling the cost and it’s certainly cheaper than most boxed curriculum for six children.
The time you put into planning and organizing your strewing ideas at first will be more than recovered later when strewing becomes the natural way you live your homeschool family life.
Other posts in the Strewing Series:
This is part of the 5-day iHomeschool Network Hopscotch. Go check out all the wonderful encouragement and inspiration.
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