A question I get asked a lot is “How do you take a real world experience that isn’t a visit to a museum and turn it into a learning experience? How do I make life a learning experience?” Well, it’s easier than you think and linking knowledge to an experience will boost retention, especially if that experience contains exercise. One of my biggest factors in deciding to homeschool was to be able to give my kids experiential learning opportunities and create fun memories at the same time. My oldest will never forget our visit to our local Toad Suck Daze Festival where he got to ride all the rides and learned about the forces of motion like inertia and momentum (and experience them, too!). It was really easy to take that experience and stretch the learning into the realm of safe driving and riding in cars. We had science topics to explore for weeks.
My parents were active outdoors people, and we spent much of my childhood summers on Lake Ouachita (Wash-it-TAH; Osage word) in Central Arkansas. While this included lots of swimming and watersports, it really centered around fishing. My parents seemed to know everything about it. Where the fish would hide, how to maneuver the jig or bait to catch one when no one else was, even how to rig a fishing pole out of nothing but a sturdy stick and extra line. They constantly gave us science lessons without actually realizing it, and I am going to show you how to do it, too.
Harnessing the power of experience sounds so difficult. But it’s not. It does require creativity. It may take some preparation, and it definitely takes the effort to find an opportunity. However, the rewards are a hundred fold. Your child will remember better, will see the world as a place of wonder, education and knowledge as a jumping board for fun, and you will make a memory that will comfort both you and your children forever.
For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Summer in the Outdoors: A Homeschool Series of Gardening, Foraging & Nature Studies.