Sunday, December 9, 2012

Using Advent Opportunities

One thing that I really love about home education is the constant stream of opportunities to incorporate learning into real life. The opportunities are endless!

For example, cooking really is a wonderful way for young children to learn math! I thought that was impossible when I first heard it - after all, don't you know that math can only be learned from worksheets?? But it is true! Cooking is wonderful for teaching order, ordinal numbers, fractions, doubling and halving, etc. - not to mention reading practice. There are so many possibilities!

One real-life learning activity that I'm doing right now is our "Elf on the Shelf" Advent activity! I must admit that I have never looked up "Elf on the Shelf" to find out exactly what it is, but I heard about it randomly and thought it sounded like fun, so for the past few years we have had our December morning elf hunts to find where I have hidden our "elf." This year, I've added a hand-written note for our son to read (reading practice!) as well as a new Christmas book every day, courtesy of our collection and our local library (more real-books education!). Such an easy way to incorporate more learning into a fun Advent activity. 

With home education the possibilities are truly infinite. I love all that I am learning - and that our children are learning. As one speaker at the homeschool convention said this year, "Look around! Be amazed!" The world is an amazing place, and there are so many things to learn - and ways to learn them. I love it.

Okay, so it's a gingerbread man rather than an elf. He has identity issues. 

Note the creative name we gave our "elf," not to mention my stylish backdrop for my photography efforts! 

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