Strewing is all about providing opportunities for learning through creative exploration. It’s a great way to encourage independent learning in your homeschool. Plus, you can use strewing to discover what your kids are passionate about. Then, build lessons that match up with their interests. It’s ideal for interest-led learning!
Curious about how to use strewing in your homeschool this year? I can’t wait to share my strewing ideas, tips, and everything you need to know to get started strewing in your homeschool. Keep reading to discover how you can use strewing to take your interest-led learners to the next level with my own guide to strewing successfully.
What Is Strewing?
If you’ve been following The Waldock Way for long, you’ve probably heard me talk about strewing. The definition of strewing is subtly leaving items out that will encourage your kids to interact with them. Carefully chosen items placed in the path of your homeschoolers can encourage them to explore, get curious, and be creative and inventive.
Strewing isn’t just throwing toys and resources around your home in an effort to recreate your own children’s museum or toy store. Strewing isn’t about letting your kids blow through items in the name of exploration while creating a giant tornado of parts in your home. In fact, at its best, strewing should be helpful not only for your kids but for you too.
When you’re practicing strewing, it’s important to let your kids discover and explore, but that doesn’t equate to making a mess. If you’re avoiding strewing because you’re concerned your homeschoolers will turn the house upside down, there are things you can do to ensure that doesn’t happen. Limiting the number of things you strew each day helps cut back on messes. In fact, clutter can actually make strewing difficult.
I would encourage you to choose items that match up with your kids’ interests, things they’re curious about, or topics you’re currently studying in your homeschool lessons. Place the items in a designated area or use fabric bins to make strewing resources look tidy when they’re not in use. In this way, strewing can become a tool you use to spark curiosity and encourage independent learning.
If your kids don’t go for the items you’ve used for strewing, don’t lose hope. Try not to take it personally and resist the urge to give instructions or direct invitations. Remember, you’re trying to encourage independent learning so your kids will need to come to the items on their own.
Strewing And Interest-Led Learning
Strewing is all about creating opportunities for your homeschoolers to learn independently through exploring carefully chosen items. If you’re carefully choosing the items, how can you line strewing up with interest-led learning? Afterall, interest-led learning is all about letting our kids take the lead.
Strewing and interest-led learning actually work fabulously together! An important part of practicing interest-led learning with your kids is figuring out their interests. Before you can plan lessons, unit studies, or activities, you have to figure out what your kids are really curious about or passionate about.
Paying attention to your child’s interests is essential to success. Strewing provides a unique opportunity to discover what our kids are interested in. You’ll be able to see quickly which items they gravitate towards, which items ignite their curiosity, and which items they’d rather not engage with pretty quickly.
How To Successfully Strew In Your Homeschool
First, I choose items for strewing that match up with what we’re learning about, items I want to introduce to Emily, or items I think she will really love. Then, I do my best to step back and let Emily explore the items on her own, without my input or instructions.
Strewing is a great time for me to introduce new topics in a fun no-pressure way. I might choose to leave out some new math resources I’ve found or something related to an upcoming unit study. Emily loves when I choose art supplies or craft kits for strewing! Once, I chose to strew beads and string thinking she could make her own jewelry. Instead, Emily surprised me by creating her own birds’ nests. I was surprised, in a good way.
It’s important to remember not to set strict time limits when you’re strewing. You want your kids to feel free to explore and invent in their own way. It can take time for your homeschoolers to let their imagination run wild and you want to be careful to give them that time. If you know you’ve got a tight schedule that day, you might want to save strewing for another day.
Speaking of timing, strewing is something we really love, but we don’t do it every day. You can of course practice strewing every day in your own home. However, if strewing really only works for your homeschool schedule a few times a week or a few times a month, that’s okay too. You don’t need to practice strewing every day to get any of the awesome benefits it can provide.
Everything You Need To Get Started Strewing In Your Homeschool
If you’re ready to try strewing, but unsure where to begin, I’ve got just the thing to help you get started. I’ve put together a guide to strewing complete with pro tips, a hundred strewing item ideas, and strewing planning pages.
You’ll find tons of fun ideas for items to strew including video games, art activities, STEM play, loose parts, and board games. Then, use the planning pages to line your strewing activities up with lesson plans or holidays throughout the year.
Strewing has all kinds of amazing benefits! We love the opportunity to begin our homeschool day with curiosity and imagination. Plus, it’s an excellent way to help your homeschoolers begin learning independently.
This strewing ebook is filled with pages of helpful tips, advice, and ideas I’ve discovered over the years. I hope it encourages you to give strewing a try and helps you successfully practice strewing in your homeschool this year.
Do you practice strewing already? What are your favorite items to use for strewing? What excites you the most about strewing? I’d love to read about your experiences in the comment section.