So you think strewing sounds like a great idea to add to your relaxed homeschool, but where? And when?
The beautiful thing about strewing is that there aren’t any rules. You can use strewing anywhere, and at any time you’d like.
Let’s brainstorm all those places and occasions you can strew you maybe haven’t considered.
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In Your Home
Obviously, the first place that comes to mind as a possible location to strew when you homeschool is in your house.
We live most of our homeschooling lives in our home, and they often reflect our experience of learning. I know I won’t be featured in Architectural Digest, but that isn’t high on my list of priorities.
Tables are the most obvious place: the kitchen table, the coffee table, an end table, or the dining room table. They all provide that flat surface at an appropriate height to leave something interesting.
I have a table in my kitchen that holds my succulents in winter. There are aloe and cactus plants for the kids to take a closer look. Our coffee table is often scattered with different books we are reading and is an excellent height for sitting and coloring.
If you don’t have a toddler in the house, the dining room table is perfect for starting a puzzle that everyone can work on when they wish.
But where can we strew beyond our tables?
The walls are the next obvious choice for strewing. Maps, artwork, and calendars all make excellent additions to the unused vertical space in your home.
I have my favorite, massive calendar on our kitchen wall and it not only helps to keep this family of 8 organized, but it also helps the younger ones visualize time. Here are some ideas for the walls:
- Art Calendar
- Periodic Table poster
- Free National Poetry Month poster from the American Academy of Poets
More Ideas for in the House
We’ve always had a table and cd player set up with our music and some from the library where the little ones can play. I find it a little harder to do with playlists and technology, but CDs for perfect for the younger kids.
Another great option is to add items to your Netflix or Amazon Prime watch lists. One of my favorites was the BBC show Escape to the Country. We learned so much history and geography from this show, as well as enjoyed the beautiful countryside of Great Britain.
Taking Homeschool Outside
Strewing happens everywhere, even outside. Some of my greatest homeschool memories are from strange happenings in our yard.
Previously, we lived in a slightly more urban area. It was an older, highly developed suburban city, but it was the habitat for so much wildlife. Bobcats, hawks, coyotes, possum, and raccoons were all familiar.
Even now, we have deer, coyote, hawks, and chipmunks, which provide endless entertainment and education.
But how do we add even more interest outside? We recently added a bee house to our backyard to help support their dwindling population. I’m working up the nerve to add a bat house, and it would undoubtedly help with mosquitos.
However, I can’t imagine our backyard without our hammocks, They are the big kid version of a swingset, and as soon as the weather is pleasant, they’re on them. Call it playing for teens.
Ideas for strewing outside:
- Little ones always love a sandbox
- DIY worm farm
- Fairy garden
- Tools (shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, and let them use them)
- Birdfeeders – this one attaches to your window
- Play some music with an outdoor speaker
Strewing in the Car
I’ll be honest; I don’t use my time in my car to it’s fullest advantage. Our time in the car has increased slowly over the past few years, and it’s snuck up on me.
We don’t have a DVD player in the car, but if you do, it’s the perfect time to play some documentaries, Magic School Bus, or Wild Kratts.
We have listened to audiobooks on longer trips, but find the stopping and starting of shorter drives distracting. It would be a good investment of time to create some different playlist to have available for our local trips.
Ambleside Online has composer and folksong collections created for each year. I did create a folksong playlist one year we enjoyed using their list. We particularly liked Wild Colonial Boy by Jed Marum, who we were able to see at a local restaurant on St. Patricks Day. It was a wonderful experience for all, he was happy to see children who knew these songs and the girls were excited to see him in person.
So my car strewing hasn’t been a total flop.
Podcasts also offer an opportunity to strew while in the car, though finding something appropriate that all the kids will be interested in is difficult. The BBC has an interesting one about the history of the world in 100 objects.
Another great one is Myths and Legends, but this is most certainly for the upper teen crowd. My husband finds this one fascinating and will often ask our older girls to listen.
Ideas for strewing in the car:
- We’ve loved all out Putamayo Kids CDs
- Portable DVD player
- Kindle Fire HD, we use my hotspot for the kids to play games or watch videos
- Audiobooks are great for all ages
- Trivia games are always fun to play while driving
Don’t Restrict Strewing
As you can see, strewing isn’t restricted to a certain time, place, or circumstance. It is as open-ended and unstructured as you would like.
If you’re more of a Type-A person, this might make you uncomfortable, but it can truly change your mindset and help you realize that learning happens all the time.
Don’t let your idea of education be limited to scheduled hours, checklists, and textbooks.
This is part of the 5-day iHomeschool Network Hopscotch. Go check out all the wonderful encouragement and inspiration.