BLOG & NEWS
Work-from-Home Education Can Encourage Independent Learning and Play
While many students are doing their learning from home these days, the hope is that they are becoming more self-directed in the process.
Work-from-home education offers the opportunity for students to be more self-directed, as long as they’re not struggling with tightly structured, time-in-seat methods of traditional schools, which is more about crowd control than independent learning.
The change to work-from-home offers a positive disruption and one in which students can engage in more self-directed, authentic deep learning. Less severely structured methods offer a more playful, fun approach that can be aligned with the student’s development. Parents benefit, too, because it’s better than dealing with stacks of paper worksheets.
Flexibility to choose topics to study is a great way for children to become more independent and creative, allowing them to discover what interests them about real-world situations, research solutions, or building models. Helping children discover new and productive ways to use their time while working and studying from home instills self-direction and independence.
When children don’t have the worry of too much testing and standards as they do in traditional school, they feel free to explore their world. It also helps them develop critical thinking skills that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Independent play is equally important as independent learning. Independent play encourages time management, executive function and organizational skills, and emotional and physical awareness and regulation.
For younger kids, free play with open-ended toys like blocks, scarves, blanket forts, and cardboard boxes is an adventure of play and learning combined. For older kids, let them take the lead in doing a scientific experiment followed up with a written lab report.
Fun Ways to Learn
Nature is an education in itself and when students spend time in the backyard or at the park they see natural things like water cycles, ecosystems, and food chains. There’s plenty to be learned about wildflowers and birds, learning names and how to identify them.
Reading is always a great learning tool, especially if the student chooses their own book. Discussing what they learned and why they liked the book helps to reinforce consolidated learning. It reinforces concepts so they stick for the long term.
Visual arts and music enhance brain function and a sense of well-being. These activities also promote motor skill development, creativity, and problem-solving. Creating a musical instrument from household objects is a creative, fun way to learn and play at the same time.
Physical activity is important, especially if you’re stuck at home for any length of time. Choices such as yoga, dance, or martial arts will give kids an opportunity to get some exercise and be creative while they’re doing it.
And while the family is hanging out at home together, don’t forget to include all those daily chores in the routine. Make doing the chores a problem-solving activity with younger kids and with the older ones, get them involved and invite them to share ideas how to tackle the chores together. In both cases, kids are learning improved motor skills and work ethics.
At Yorktown Education, we believe these methods and processes are proven learning enhancers. And whether our students are on campus or at home learning online, we know the value of engendering independent learning and independent play.
If learning from home is a new experience for you, there are plenty of new ideas here for future use. And remember, as long as the kids are moving, creating, discovering, or playing, they are learning, so let exploration and fun be your guideline.
Call our office and see how Yorktown can help your child’s learning experience. Our students advance by ability not grade level. We make a difference in your child’s education.