Learning by Doing
by Dianne McLean
Children learn best by doing. That is an undisputed fact. Sitting them down with textbooks and videos and worksheets will only teach them to regurgitate information. However, when they can learn with hands-on activities the retention is unparalleled. Homeschooling offers the chance to take learning to higher levels and have that unparalleled retention.
One way to do hands-on learning is through simulations.
Simulations are like pretend play. One example is setting up a post office in your home, with neighbors, or in homeschool co-ops, and having your child sort "mail" and deliver it to the proper box. They will be more excited to read and get the information right than doing this on a worksheet.
You could set up simulations for nearly every topic you are learning. From history to science to math and English - think of ways to set up a pretend scenario so your child can act out the details in the topic. They will certainly remember that experience much more than a paragraph read out of a book!! Simulations also help with speech elocution, self-esteem, and confidence. So they are a great tool for children with social challenges.
But simulations are actually more than child's play. Afterall, we are training children to be adults. So during a simulation, the child learns to actually take on various roles. They learn to problem solve and to really analyze situations in much more detail than merely pretending. Older children can take part in sophisticated debates and behavior situations. Nothing prepares us for life better than simulations!
How do we learn how to create effective simulations for our children?
One expert in simulations is Martha Levie. We have invited her to share some really great ways to do simulations as a family in our 2014 Not Back to School Summit.
Martha Harsh Levie is the wife of Allen Levie, and the mother of 7 little Levies (pronounced like the jeans, Levis). Martha was educated at home and at a private school, now she teaches her own children at home. She graduated in Statesmanship and Literature from GWU in 1999. She is not only an expert in simulations, but she is also an expert in elocution (the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone.) Martha is crazy about books by Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Louis L’Amour. She loves to celebrate birthdays and holidays, climb trees and mountains, read, cook, travel, act with her children, study political philosophy and when September rolls around she has weak spot for fall leaves and college football. Martha and her family live in Provo Utah.
She taught TWO incredibly eye-opening seminars, which are now available for upgraded Plus members (you will need to be logged in):
aired Sept. 24th – http://hecoa.com/elocution
“Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” –John Adams. We teach our kids to read, think and write, but speaking is often missed. Speaking changes the way you read, think and write. Let me teach you how to model transformational speaking with your children using a special formula. This presentation includes training in the art of elocution, but it goes much deeper. When you speak, you want to be able to affect the people with whom you are speaking. And Martha teaches you how to do that in this amazing seminar. Come, dare to speak.
Family Simulations: Learning by Doing -
aired Sept. 29th – http://hecoa.com/family-simulations-learning-by-doing
Education at home is not just about teaching children. It’s about the whole family learning, changing and experiencing life in a new way. Simulations are “pretend play” for the whole family - only much, much deeper. Instead of just reading about things why not experience it as a family. From pretending to be a city council, a bakery or even the President of the United States, there are endless possibilities. When you take learning beyond the pages of a book and make it real your family will see an increase in desire and change. Come learn how simulations really work and how they will change your homeschool forever.