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Old 04-25-2007, 08:08 PM   #1
SonshineMama
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Default Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

I was discussing this with a relaxed homeschooler at the zoo on Tuesday and thought it might be fun to share ideas.

Here are some of the things we do to have a Learning rich environment -- I am sure I am skipping many of the obvious ones

*read lots of books and types of books (poetry, living books, encyclopedias, whatever they are interested in). Toss books on the couches or end tables regularly to catch their eye
*count everything in sight (from shoes to how long it takes water glasses to fill). COunt by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s 10s, etc.
*Point out things to "catch their interest" in in an excited voice not your teacher voice "wow the buds are forming on the trees, next will be flowers. Spring is here!"
*study things yourself and share what you are learning with the entire family
*talk as you cook explaining measurements. Get kids involved in cooking
*leave school supply catalogues with bright pictures and fun "kits" lying around the house to spark interest.
*board games
*instruments
*play dress up
*use felt boards
*color, paint, modeling clay
*play the sound game regularly
*have toys pared down and organized into "centers"
*Play verbal games like I spy, how many people have blue on in the room, how many pairs of shoes do you see in the room (leading to how many shoes is that?)
*take them to the library
*zoo
*observe nature (get a bird feeder!)
*garden and teach them things about garden as you go
*carpentry skills
*montessori activities


SOME WRITTEN RESOURCES THAT HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO ME
*Games for Reading, Games for Writing, Games for Math (Peggy Katz
*the 3 R's (great suggestions for "living math" and for sounds games)
*Ready Set Read (Barbara Curtis) -- this is really a method for teaching reading in a relaxed way but has fun games

I can't think of any more right now
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Thanks for posting, I got some cool new tips
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

take advantage of free days or discount days at aquariums, Ren fests, museums and the like.

play great music throughout the day- classical, jazz, folk music, etc.

get book lights and let them read (or look at books for those too young to read) at night after they are in bed

put maps up on your walls-- mark the places you have travelled

use their natural interests as a starting point (once my kids wanted me to buy a coconut-- and we talked about where coconuts grow, and looked it up in the atlas --talked about lines of latitude, and the tropics. We talked about rainforets and plants and animals that live there)

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Old 04-26-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Here are things we did/do even though we do not consider ourselves unschoolers. This is just our approach to life, we still "do school" on top of it.

*Read,. A lot. Aloud, to yourself, books on tape, etc.
*Watch TV (it's not all bad) and videos
*listen to different types of music (steel band, classical, spanish style, etc)
*take walks and talk about what you see (trees, flowers, cattails, etc.)
*celebrate differnt cultur's holidays (cinco de mayo, chinese new year) and talk a bit about those cultures
*speak a few words of spanish and learn how to say hello and thank you in three or four languages
*point out art. We go to family day at the museum, we watch museum show on pbs, etc. Also picture books with Van gogh and so on, plus we have van gogh and mozart prints hanging in the house
*take your kids everywhere you go. My oldest has gone to my dr appointments, hair cuts, pedicures,church, shopping for church food pantry food and so on. These are great learning opportunities.


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Old 04-26-2007, 11:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

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Old 04-26-2007, 12:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

[size=10pt][size=10pt]Jodi and Everyone Else,

Thank you for starting this thread. Even though I don't have any kids of my own yet, but hopefully in the future I will have. Still, this a good thread no matter what.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Coming back later to add my list. Great thread!
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

*puzzles
*blocks
*make a book--My kids like to make their own books. I fold some paper in half and staple it and they color pictures in them...Belle sometimes writes short sentences on each page.
*abacus laying around...and such things...just fun for the kids to play with
*old measuring cups/spoons...can use them for lots of things...playing with rice, water, sand...when pretending to cook...
*card games....Go Fish, Crazy 8's, Uno, Memory, Old Maid...
*collections...my kids love to make collections...rocks, stamps, shells....and let them find why's to categorize them...they may find very interesting ways...by feel (soft, smooth, rough...), by color, by shape...

Are a few that I didn't notice on the list (could be there though....)

I agree with leaving lots of books around for them. A variety of books and magazines. My ds's favorite book to look at is the Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Animals. He just loves it! He can't read, but he loves the pictures.

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Old 04-27-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Great ideas!
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

--having play/learning centers around the house from the sandbox to the book corners
--keeping beeswax crayons and main lesson books low and right next to the kitchen table
--our backyard....full of all sorts of learning environments...my kiddos are always working on some sort of project
--tools for ds to use along with lots of wood scraps
--Balls, bean bags, balance beams, trampoline, lots and lots of places to move
--children safe things so they can work alongside of me in the kitchen
--nature games
--lots and lots of great, beautifully illustrated books around
--getting rid of clutter and yucky kid's stuff...like cheaply made books, plastic toys, any sort of trendy cartoony cheap stuff
--watercolor paint always avail on the kitchen counter
--a table avail. to set up in the yard for painting, a painting board for each child, great painting paper
--a membership to a rec center for family swimming. My dd taught herself to swim all on her own.
--strollers, wagons, family walks to the parks
--buckets of all sorts for collections on the walks
--deep inward control to not stop my children from touching dirt, picking grass and stuffing it in their pockets, digging holes in my yard and filling them with rocks, jumping in large muddy puddles, picking up worms, filling my cup holders in my car with smushed danylions, walking into the bay with tights on in January to get a nice rock , ruining every pair of shoes in a couple of weeks, and *to* read, cuddle, explain, nurture, create boundaries and structure around their day so they can learn best, encourage, pretend to eat sand meals a million times a day, not mind too much when the same sand meal is dumped on top of you , let them run in the rain, get muddy, clean my entrance floor a million times in a week, fill up watering cans as I try to wash the dishes, let them water weeds b/c it was a good idea to let the pretty flowers grow , go through 2 boxes of band-aids in a month, kiss lots of boo-boos, watch and catch and duck and run and roll alongside of them.

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Old 04-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

More please!This is great!
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:15 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

these are really good, along the lines of leaving books around, does anyone have one of those bookshelves that "display" the books... I forget what they are called, but I have been tempted to get one. Any clever ideas about a make-at-home one would be cool too
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamatoto

--deep inward control to not stop my children from touching dirt, picking grass and stuffing it in their pockets, digging holes in my yard and filling them with rocks, jumping in large muddy puddles, picking up worms, filling my cup holders in my car with smushed danylions, walking into the bay with tights on in January to get a nice rock , ruining every pair of shoes in a couple of weeks, and *to* read, cuddle, explain, nurture, create boundaries and structure around their day so they can learn best, encourage, pretend to eat sand meals a million times a day, not mind too much when the same sand meal is dumped on top of you , let them run in the rain, get muddy, clean my entrance floor a million times in a week, fill up watering cans as I try to wash the dishes, let them water weeds b/c it was a good idea to let the pretty flowers grow , go through 2 boxes of band-aids in a month, kiss lots of boo-boos, watch and catch and duck and run and roll alongside of them.
I really needed to hear that!
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katydid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamatoto

--deep inward control to not stop my children from touching dirt, picking grass and stuffing it in their pockets, digging holes in my yard and filling them with rocks, jumping in large muddy puddles, picking up worms, filling my cup holders in my car with smushed danylions, walking into the bay with tights on in January to get a nice rock , ruining every pair of shoes in a couple of weeks, and *to* read, cuddle, explain, nurture, create boundaries and structure around their day so they can learn best, encourage, pretend to eat sand meals a million times a day, not mind too much when the same sand meal is dumped on top of you , let them run in the rain, get muddy, clean my entrance floor a million times in a week, fill up watering cans as I try to wash the dishes, let them water weeds b/c it was a good idea to let the pretty flowers grow , go through 2 boxes of band-aids in a month, kiss lots of boo-boos, watch and catch and duck and run and roll alongside of them.
I really needed to hear that!
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ideas for giving them a learning rich environment.. . . .

that really does take my self control too (thinking about yesterday when ds tracked mud in through the kitchen to his bedroom to get his dump truck to take outside before I even noticed)
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