Do you strew? What is strewing and how can you incorporate it into your homeschool?
Strewing can be a wonderful support for any homeschool method. Homeschool strewing is the art of laying out items or resources of interest for your children to interact and engage with. Strewing is a particularly marvelous technique if, like us, you follow more of a child-led education.
Homeschool Strewing as Part of a Child-Led Education
For our family, strewing has been the delightfully delicious dessert to our otherwise educational meal. Our tables are covered with books, games, owl pellets, and seeds. Modeling clay, paint, and maps fill both our living room, homeschool room, and dining room. Sure, I could have a sparkling clean home…
But where is the fun in that?
I much prefer rubber egg experiments, and color changing flowers on the kitchen counter to seasonal decor.
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My goal is to provide loads of great literature, intriguing documentaries, plenty of fun games, and tons of learning and creative opportunities that coincide with my children’s interests.
Sure, we use curriculums. But not exactly in a linear fashion or from chapter to chapter. You can read more about how we use and schedule curriculums in our annual curriculum post and my scheduling for your homeschool post.
We love to tumble down rabbit trails of learning and discover new sites along our map of education. Sometimes we get completely turned around and on the opposite side of the map. But we love learning and are always excited to discover something new.
What is the Art of Strewing?
I’ve been practicing the art of strewing for years, as part of our child-led education, to keep my kids exploring, engaged, and full of ideas. I want my children to know that the world is full of wonder.
The art of strewing is leaving out anything and everything of interest. Inspiring your children to dig deeper and even take the wheel in their own education.
Strewing isn’t just about items at home. But also, through experiences by providing interesting places to visit:
- nature preserves
… any place where there are engrossing experiences and conversations to be had.
I want my children to know that there is always an answer to their questions if only they know HOW and WHERE to look.
What to Strew?
So, what should you strew? Well, that all depends on your child’s interests. When my kiddos were obsessed with catching tadpoles in the cow pond I took that interest and built on it so long as their interest lasted. I incorporated books about frogs and frog documentaries. We visited the herpetarium at the local nature preserve. The children learned about habitats and different species all over the world. We even kept tadpoles as pets and observed their metamorphosis!
Homeschool Strewing Ideas
If your kids aren’t interested in frogs, that’s OK too! Jot down a couple topics your kiddos show interest in. Maybe it’s Minecraft, or horses, or history. Use your child’s interests for inspiration. Choose items that you think will interest your child, not because it is something educational. Here are a few ideas to get you strewing in the interests of your kids:
- books – large picture books are fantastic, but so are any interesting storybook, poetry books, or books specific to a single science or historical period.
- games – I love snagging a new game that I think the children will enjoy. We have two closets full of our Favorite Games! There are so many options to choose from, but cooperative games are a favorite in our home.
- puzzles – my kiddos love puzzles of dinosaurs, dragons, sea creatures, and insects!
- craft and supplies – I have a seriously crafty girl. I must keep her in craft supplies if I want to keep her from painting murals on my walls…I’m only half kidding. These craft and art supplies include paints, brushes, canvases, glue, tape, different types of paper, stickers, pipe cleaners, glitter, and scissors.
- kits/hands-on activity – We get monthly kits like Tinker Crate and Koala Crates for the kiddos to explore, but we also keep our own version of a Tinker Crate. By keeping all our recyclable items in a container for the children to explore. Think toilet paper tubes, milk cartons, straws, boxes, broken electronics, etc.
- nature items – garden tools, seeds, and soil are great places to start. We also keep a nature table that may contain items from nature walks or current seasonal items such as fossils, leaves, nuts, flower press, our ant farm, butterfly habitat, and nature journals.
What Strewing Is Not
When you strew materials in your homeschool. You MUST leave your expectations at the door. Expectations and strewing simply DO NOT fit together.
Strewing is not about controlling your child’s interests or the direction of their education.
Not every interesting item you strew will be met with delight and excitement. Some pieces may be met with indifference or completely ignored.
Don’t take it personally.
Homeschool Strewing Encourages a Learning-Rich Environment
Strewing in your homeschool can help encourage a Learning-Rich Environment by inspiring your kiddos with out of the box ideas and creativity.
Strewing takes your child’s natural curiosity and introduces them to new topics, ideas, and materials. They may discover new passions and interests.
Create an inviting environment that your children want to explore. I find my children gravitate toward neat lovely areas of our home. The less crowded and attractive, the better.
Observe what Works
Does a stack of fresh books pique their interests? How about a rock digging kit? Maybe a historical toy from the time period they are most interested in? Perhaps a combination of books and games on coding?
Sit back and observe what interests your children. This is the best way to discover what you want to consider strewing.
Let your kiddos explore and be curious. Follow their natural curiosity and encourage their ideas. Homeschool strewing offers all of this no matter your preferred homeschool method. Strewing allows for open-ended curiosity and discovery. I think we could all use more of that!
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