Strewing in our homeschool made me a better mom. It made me a better homeschooler, a better person, and also gave my daughter an outlet to be creative and curious.
You see, I am not a morning person like not even a little bit. I need to be left alone and allowed to wake up quietly and peacefully. If not I become cranky and to be frank a bear to be around.
The last thing I want to do in the mornings is engage Emily in a way that allows her to creative and curious. Maybe you’re thinking that makes me a bad mom, I personally think it just makes me human.
Fortunately for both of us I found out about strewing and it saved our revolutionized our mornings!
How Strewing Saved Our Homeschool Mornings
I struggled our first year of homeschooling. Every homeschool blog I read told me to wake up early and get started with our day. And while I wanted so badly to do that, it just was not something that I could make work.
Then, I read about strewing in Collen Kessler’s Strewing Series. It appealed to me because she talked about being a night owl and her kids playing while she drank an extra cup of coffee.
The thought of being able to catch a few extra minutes of rest in the mornings was very appealing to this tired homeschooling mama. I knew that this might be something that would actually work!
We tried it for a week. I would set something out that I thought would interest her on our coffee table. Since I am a night owl anyway it was not that much more work to just set something out before I headed to bed.
Each morning Emily would wake up and look what the surprise I have strewed. She would find it and play with it for about 15 or 20 minutes.
That 15-20 minutes each morning means I’s a better mom. I am not cranky or short with her. Instead by the time our day starts I am ready, awake, and kind. This has also helped our homeschool days go better because I am more mentally prepared to teach each day.
After a week of trying it we were sold. I was able to wake up slower and more peacefully while she played and explored.
What to Strew in Your Homeschool
The best part about strewing is you can use anything. You can strew books, games, puzzles, crafts, kits, hands-on activities, etc. Strew things you already own. Find a way to present them in an interesting new way or breathe new life into it.
I didn’t and don’t buy anything specifically for strewing. Instead I just use things I already have on hand and added new life to them with free printables or by setting it up in an enticing way.
I like to strew things based on what we are learning, Emily’s interests, or what I think she may be interested in. For example if we are learning about sea turtles I like to leave something out related to sea turtles.
What Strewing Is and What It’s Not
Strewing a a way to leave things out in your child’s path for them to willingly discover and explore. Strewing is not a way to force your expectations onto your child. There are no expectations when it comes to strewing. You leave things out for your child to do whatever they wish.
Sometimes the items I strew don’t get touched at all and that’s okay too. I’ll leave an item out for 2-3 days. If it is not used by then I will put it up and try something else. Othertimes items I have strewed are left out for days. If she’s still exploring the items I don’t take them away or put them up.
The key thing I am trying to remember is to let her engage with no input from me. This is the hardest part since I have a TYPE A personality. But, I have found that by being hands off she has come up with things I would have never thought of. Seeing her curiosity sparked by strewing has been so much fun!
For instance when I strewed strings and beads thinking she would make bracelets or necklaces. She made a birds nest instead. It was such a creative way to use the materials and I love seeing her creativity.