Joyful Learning

During this time at home, many parents are worried about their kids falling behind in school or forgetting the school material.

As unschoolers, one of our core principles is that joyful learning is not easily forgotten.

In conventional schooling, a student will take in information just to pass the test and then often forget the material because it was being done for someone else.

However, when learning is coupled with feelings of joy and satisfaction it is much more likely to be retained by the learner. This is another reason why anxiety inhibits learning and learning through play multiplies it!

For example, when we gather around a meal, one game we like to play as a family we call “the alphabet game.” We go around and take turns, each taking a letter of the alphabet and trying to make up the longest sentence with only words starting with that letter. “Ally Alligator ate an awesome apple and almost achieved another.”

In this simple game, the littles practice their alphabet and basic phonics and the older kids stretch their vocabulary and creativity as they come up with these crazy sentences. It’s a ton of fun!

One time, our oldest Ilijah got to the letter Z and said something about a zeppelin. Dad interrupted, “That’s not a word.” To which Ilijah replied, “Yes it is Dad. A zeppelin is a type of airship created in Germany.”

We all laughed in amazement at our 11-year-old’s vocabulary and Dad has never forgotten what a zeppelin is.

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