Have you ever heard of strewing in the context of homeschooling? I discovered I was doing it before I learned it had an official term such as the art of strewing. I think strewing is a valuable concept that can do a lot to re-energize your homeschool, especially if you currently have a very mom-centered or mom-driven approach to homeschooling.
Strewing in Homeschooling
My definition of strewing is leaving out things for Caroline to discover and explore on her own. It could be anything I think she would find interesting… seashells, rocks, a book of poetry with lovely illustrations, flash cards of famous places, a magazine, or a new type of craft.
For example, a few weeks ago I got out the various Calvin and Hobbes anthologies we have and put them in a pile on the coffee table in the family room. No comment by me or David. But I knew she would be drawn to them. Sure enough she was and now most mornings before and after breakfast she sits down and reads them, often regaling us with retellings of what is happening.
That’s strewing in action.
Strewing is also rummaging through my craft stash and leaving some new supplies on her table in the learning room where she will discover them the next morning.
Purpose of Strewing in Homeschool
Strewing, in my mind, serves a few different purposes.
One, it takes the onus of Caroline’s learning off me to a certain degree. While I am her mother and her teacher, I want the responsibility of her education to gradually shift more and more to her. This is a small step in helping her become responsible.
Two, it reinforces to her that she can explore without me and learn in the process. I’m pretty sure we’ve already made this point clear over the past few years, but it certainly can’t hurt to give her lots of examples of how she is empowered to learn on her own.
And, perhaps most importantly if you have a right-brained child who loves to learn and hates to be taught, it fits perfectly with her learning style. Sitting down with a right-brained child and saying, “Let’s look through these flashcards of the U.S. landmarks” can be a bit of a risk. Leave them out for the child and she’ll be telling you all about the interesting facts she’s reading on the cards. It just works for kids who are wired this way.
The Downside of Strewing?
The downside of strewing? It can be expensive, to be totally honest. I’d love to do more strewing than I do, but buying stuff to newly engage Caroline on a regular basis is a costly proposition.
Other than the cost and taking the time to remember to strew regularly, there is no downside to strewing. It’s really a simple but powerful way to influence your child’s learning in a hands-off kind of way.
If your homeschool needs some re-energizing, I highly recommend doing some strewing.
This post is part of my series 5 Days to Re-Energize Your Homeschool.