Let Me Introduce You to the Idea of Strewing as a Homeschooling Solution
Homeschool strewing is defined as scattering or spreading (things) untidily over a surface or area. But what the heck does that have to with homeschooling?
Well, a lot, actually.
Have you ever noticed how your kids always start playing with every toy in the house whenever you start organizing them or unpacking? Why is that?
The toys are no longer hidden and become easily accessible to your child, thus drawing them in.
Some of us have children that LOVE worksheets, unit studies, or curriculum. I was THAT KID. I loved school so much that I would play “school” at home. It was one of my favorite games. But not all of us have kids like that.
Trying to force your child into a mold that doesn’t fit is only going to create stress, unhappiness, and shame in your household. Many of us homeschool to relieve those things in our children’s lives, so why make things harder than they need to be? What if there are homeschooling solutions that fit your child and their particular learning style?
I know a ton of families that have children who do not do well when they are controlled or forced to do things against their will. I mean, honestly, would you? Anything that resembles forced learning or curriculum is an immediate fight. If they don’t see the purpose, they will not participate.
Homeschooling and Self-Direction
Homeschool strewing is a term coined by Sandra Dodd, which is the art of allowing your child to discover something you have casually left out. It is a sneaky solution to educate kids that are differently-abled or who have a different style of learning. Strewing is meant to spark their curiosity and interest, to inspire them with something that you think that they would enjoy. It doesn’t need to be something educational, because anything can be turned into an educational opportunity.
Homeschool strewing works best when set up in areas where the child will easily see the items and become engaged. It helps in an uncluttered home where things will really stand out to them! It doesn’t have to be expensive, you can use items from your home, the library, or even peruse thrift stores. If you find that your child isn’t interested, start playing with the items yourself and see if they get involved. This is meant to be fun and not forced, so if they aren’t into it, don’t push it. Take notes and see what works for them, so you know what to set out next time.
Here are 58 Ideas for Items that You Can Strew:
1. Leave books in the bathroom
2. Leave a basket with activities on the table where they eat breakfast
3. Put magnet letters on the fridge
4. Put flashcards in the cupholder of the car
5. Leave a notebook and paper in the backseat
6. Store recyclables with glue, paint, and scissors so that they can build things at their leisure
7. Leave board games out
8. A basket of books with blocks and figures so that they can create their own scenes
9. Magnet tiles
10. A sensory bin with assorted activities that you change frequently
11. Playdough with popsicle sticks
12. A math book
13. Cardboard boxes, tape, scissors, and markers
14. A magnifying glass with items from nature
15. A map on the wall with push pins
17. Garden tools and seeds
18. Crystals and magnifying glasses
19. Rocks with paint
20. Scissors and paper
21. Legos with math flashcards
22. Letter cards with a basket of items, so that they can sort the figures into the correct basket
23. Craft supplies
24. Blocks of wood with screws, screwdrivers, nails, and hammers (for older kids, of course!)
26. Coloring book and crayons
27. Audiobooks in the car
28. CDs in the car
29. Appliances with a screwdriver to take apart and rebuild
30. Needle, thread, and fabric
31. Old jewelry, yarn to rethread.
32. Leaves, flower petals, and tape
33. Leave a clock out with a book about time
34. Set up a box with pencils, paper, stickers, envelopes, stamps, and an address book.
35. Put out an old school tape deck with an audiobook and earphones.
36. Put out a wallet with change or play money and label items in your home with prices.
37. Leave out a scavenger hunt with items from around your home.
38. Clipboard with paper and pen.
39. Leave out story cubes
40. Set up a chalkboard or dry erase board.
41. Put out a basket of seashells.
42. Leave out stamps with paper.
43. Leave out sheets and elastic bands for fort making.
44. Leave out a tray with salt, glitter, and a pencil to write with. Use it for sensory writing.
45. Flashcards with various topics.
46. Use an Evernote or Symbaloo account to organize online activities
47. Leave out quiz cards.
48. Put a deck of cards out for various games.
49. Buttons with string
50. Books on every subject: Math, geography, science, art, etc.
51. Clay with stamps
52. Playdough with googly eyes and pipe cleaners
53. Aluminum foil and straws
54. A strainer with straws
55. Matchbox cars, tape, and toilet paper tubes
56. Toy cash register with play money
58. Scissors and playdough
The benefits are amazing for kids, especially right-brained children who love to learn, but hate to be taught anything! Why fight who they are and how they learn??? Isn’t that why we chose to homeschool? So that we have more autonomy over their education and can structure it to their needs?
Have you tried homeschool strewing? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Add in the comments! I’d love to hear your ideas.