Strewing has become such a fun and integral part of our homeschooling journey. Emily loves it and I appreciate all the wonderful benefits. There’s a popular misconception that activities like strewing are just for preschool or elementary homeschoolers, but that just isn’t true!
There are lots of wonderful ways to practice strewing in your homeschool with middle school students too. I’m excited to share how we make it work and tell you all about the advantages and benefits we have experienced with strewing here at The Waldock Way too.
Keep reading to discover how and why strewing works so well for middle school homeschoolers. Plus, get some tips for strewing with your middle school aged homeschoolers and resource ideas you’ll love!
What is Strewing?
Strewing is all about subtly leaving out items that encourage your children to interact with them. Carefully chosen items in places where your homeschoolers will naturally see them and want to investigate is a wonderful way to encourage them to continue being curious, exploring, inventing, and creating even in middle school.
It’s not just about throwing toys and resources all over the place. You aren’t creating a toy store or children’s museum in your living room. Strewing isn’t about letting your kids blow through lots of resources in the name of exploration.
In fact, when strewing is appropriately done, it’s not just helpful for your homeschoolers, it’s helpful for you too! When you practice strewing in your homeschool, it’s important to give your kids the opportunity to discover and explore, but that doesn’t mean making a big mess. If you’ve been avoiding strewing because you don’t want the house turned upside down any more than it normally is, don’t worry.
There are lots of things you can do to make sure that’s not the result of strewing in your homeschool. For example, limiting the number of items you strew will definitely help. Keeping clutter to a minimum can also be helpful when strewing.
Fortunately, strewing for middle schoolers often involves more books and technology resources which make less of a mess than the manipulatives and loose parts you might use frequently for strewing with elementary learners. Be sure to choose strewing items that line up with your kids’ interests, including things they’re curious about or seasonal items and topics they can get excited about.
The Advantages of Strewing in Your Homeschool
There are lots of advantages to strewing in your homeschool! Fortunately, strewing isn’t just for preschoolers and elementary learners. Middle school-aged homeschoolers can also benefit from strewing resources and activities that foster independent learning and encourage engagement in their lessons.
Strewing Fosters Independence
As our kids get ready for middle school learning, they’ll be taking on a more independent role in their learning. Homeschoolers in this age group can already do many lessons and activities without added help from mom and dad. For kids that need encouragement to dive into new lessons and topics, strewing can be a great help.
Strewing is all about giving kids the space to figure out what to do with the materials on their own. Leave it out and let your child discover and explore independently. This puts them in charge of their learning experience, a role they’ll be taking on more frequently as they continue their homeschool education.
I know it’s hard to let go and let your kids decide what to do and how to engage with the items you’ve set out, but it’s important not to micromanage this situation. Step back and watch as giving them the freedom to explore and be curious pays off in your homeschool.
Encouraging Interests and Passions
Strewing is also a fantastic way to help your homeschoolers pursue their own interests and learn more about things they truly love. Practicing strewing with young learners often involves lots of guesswork. You have to observe and ask questions to discover which things they might be interested in exploring or learning more about.
When you’re strewing for middle schoolers, you have a better idea of what they’re interested in learning about. This gives you the opportunity to really hone in on their interests and passions. If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate more of the things your homeschoolers are interested in into your homeschool lessons, strewing is definitely the way to do it.
Homeschool Strewing for Middle Schoolers
The reality is that homeschool strewing will change as your child gets older. In the early years strewing often looks like placing loose parts or art supplies along with a few “suggestions” in a carefully chosen place for your homeschooler to discover. Once your child reaches middle school, strewing changes.
Strewing for middle schoolers involves more books, more technology, and fewer learning toys. Games still play a big part in our middle school strewing activities, but many of the games are new apps on Emily’s tablet or more complex logic games and puzzles she must solve.
I know technology sometimes gets a bad rap. Many homeschool families are worried about the repercussions of adding too much technology to their lessons and activities. While there’s definitely a balancing act involved in adding screens to your homeschool plans, I think the benefits are worth it.
Learn more about how we use technology in our homeschool and why I think it’s worth adding to your homeschool lesson plans this year. After all, we all need to practice discipline when it comes to using technology and embracing it in our homeschool is one way to ensure our kids can learn to practice discipline from the start.
The Best Strewing Ideas for Middle School Homeschooling
The good news is that strewing isn’t just for elementary school. There are many ways to add strewing to your homeschool days with middle schoolers too! Check out some of the best ways for middle schoolers to practice strewing below.
Books are definitely a great resource for strewing during the middle school years. Big colorful books that demand to be explored will encourage your homeschoolers to dive deep into new subjects. There are so many excellent books for middle schoolers!
Lately, we have really embraced journaling in our homeschool. Journaling is an activity we like to do together at the table. I break out our pens, stationary, and journals while we spend time together quietly writing.
Journaling supplies can be bright, colorful, and creative. It’s a great way to encourage reluctant writer or practice proper letter writing. Get more tips on how we Teach Writing Without a Curriculum for ideas on how you can strew journaling activities and other writing activities too.
Strewing brain teasers is a great way to start the homeschool day with your middle schooler. The Summer Brain Quest books are a lot of fun and a great way to encourage learning without making it a requirement.
Strewing logic games is another great idea for middle schoolers. These games are often single player which means they’re perfect for strewing.
They make a great brain break for the middle of the day or an ideal warm up to get your kids thinking critically before the school day begins. Check out my list of Top 10 Logic Games for homeschoolers to get some ideas for your strewing resource list.
Does your homeschooler love Minecraft? Check out the Minecraft Math Mystery Book from Fun Schooling. It’s filled with Minecraft challenges your kids can build in the game and activities that incorporate grade level math skills with a fun Minecraft spin.
There’s also a Minecraft Writing Book from Fun Schooling to prompt your kids to write stories about their favorite characters or creations in the Minecraft gaming world. It’s filled with vocabulary exercises to help kids build important language arts skills in middle school too.
New Apps & Videos
I’m a big fan of using technology to help our homeschooler dive deep into her passions and interests. Technology gives kids updated information about topics they’re truly interested in and curious about in a way that library books just can’t. Plus, they combine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning in a way that’s fun and engaging for middle schoolers.
You can add a new app or video playlist to your child’s device to encourage them to explore a topic you’re planning to study soon or learn more about their favorite things. It’s also a great way to get extra practice with concepts they might find challenging, like geometry or pre-algebra. Discover Our Favorite Apps for Teens and Tweens to get ideas.
Jigsaw puzzles can be so relaxing! They’re also great for cognitive development. Strewing jigsaw puzzles and other puzzles for your middle schoolers is a great way to encourage stress-relief, self-care, and teach problem solving skills too.
We really love opening subscription boxes together as a family, but there are so many options that are fun for just Emily too. Who doesn’t love getting mail? Take advantage of your middle schooler’s desire to get their own mail with some great subscription boxes with The Ultimate Guide to Subscriptions for Your Homeschool.
More Homeschool Strewing Resources
There are so many great ways to incorporate strewing in your homeschool! Strewing isn’t just for preschool or elementary students. Discover more ways to incorporate strewing and more fun homeschool strewing resources in my Ultimate Guide to Strewing.