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Finding Learning Value in Family Life - Live life with your kids - Issue 056
May 30, 2008
Hi! ....

This week:

What a lovely week we have had. Last week was full, overfull, of commitments and incidents. This week I worked very hard at staying home as much as we could. Though is is hard work to say no to opportunities the benefits were worth it. We were able to re-establish some routine (you can’t have routine when you are dashing out of the house all the time). We reconnected with each other enjoying each others company (instead of looking at other people for our social needs). We had time to work on some creative projects. Now the trick is ... Can I do it again this coming week?

Live life with my kids!

Finding Learning Value in our Family Life

Previously published on Homeschoolblogger Company Porch

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt that has helped me switch over from school-type learning to a lifestyle of learning is seeing the educational value in family life activities.

Educational value is where there is an opportunity to learn in an everyday activity. As homeschooling mums, we hope learning is going on when we set our children down to do school work. We work hard for learning to happen in a lesson we plan for our children and yet there are so many learning opportunities happening in our family, right under our noses, and we just don’t see them, or we don’t give them the value they deserve.

Another definition I like for lifestyle of learning is to be mentoring our children in life. I see my life with having my children along side me in all that I do. As I face situations, my children face them too. In this way they are involved in real life activities; they will glean wisdom, grow in character and learn skills and knowledge that is required for their life.

We just have to see these opportunities – we have to put on “lifestyle learning” glasses.

Have you ever learnt a new hobby? I remember learning Paper Tole. You cut out layers and layers of the same picture and reconstruct them to make a 3D picture. It is time consuming but it is also addictive! When I started out with this craft I saw everything around me as potential Paper Tole – As I looked at a picture I saw all those layers in my mind; I could envisage a cut here, and a bend there etc. I had paper tole “glasses” on.

Finding educational value in our family life is much the same – I start seeing learning in every activity.

I remember when my children were little and I looked out the kitchen window and saw them playing in the sandpit – I was struck with the Math lesson that was happening out there. They were comparing their sandcastles, they talked about going around, over and then they dug a tunnel so they could go under. We are so familiar with these terms as adults, we don’t always stop and see that our 4 year old is discovering concepts that are going to be with him forever.

We have to put on lifestyle learning glasses
and see the learning opportunities in our family.

A year or so later I was reading a book that I had borrowed from a teacher. It was all about Learning Centers. Learning Centers are where schools, generally in the younger years, set up for example, a Kitchen in their classroom so the kids can learn about cooking and stove safety in their play. They set up a Post Office so kids can learn to write a letter and post it and have the joy of receiving a letter. They set up Nature Center so that the kids could touch, feel, explore various leaves, rocks, insects etc. I was so excited about this concept. I was planning on creating one of these incredible learning opportunities each school holiday for the kids to then use during the term. The idea was that over the course of a year I would have 3-4 different Learning Centers that the children could rotate through. Then I was in town one afternoon, doing the banking and it hit me! I don’t have to create a bank for the kids to learn banking – they are here – right here with me, in the bank! I returned the book, and focused my creative energies into something else!

We have to put on lifestyle learning glasses
and see the learning opportunities in our family.

These lessons have continued for me over the years as I look at my life, and see that the things we experience in our every day family life are teaching my children something.
  • We learn character by interacting with each other.

  • We learn to work by looking after the things that God has given us.

  • We learn to communicate by sharing our lives with each other.

  • We learn to care for others by serving each other and others in the community.

  • We learn to study because we have questions that need to be answered.

  • We learn to be productive and create by participating in family projects.

  • … And the list could go on.

The challenge is to not cram out these learning opportunities by taking up all of our children’s time with book-work and our time with planning lessons. We must make room in our family for discovering, working, praying, playing, sharing, giving, celebrating, reading, building, and so forth. When we give time to these family activities we will start to see our children grow in all areas of their life – a great education!

I encourage you to go and find a pair of lifestyle learning glasses and see the learning opportunities in your family life.

Website Updates

There have been no updates this week. Though over at my Homeschoolblogger blog I invited all to a visit with us. You may like to pop in!

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

Keep up with future additions with the Lifestyle Homeschool Blog throughout the week.

Until next week
Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you. Make your comment here.

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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