It’s that time of year again! Time for the Holiday Gift Guide, especially for your adventurous, curious natural learners! Instead of scrambling at the last minute, fighting the crowds, or worrying about picking out that “perfect gift” for the natural learner in your life, check out this carefully curated list of my favorite gifts that you’ll find under my tree this year! This is also a great link to pass along to grandparents or family members who are asking for ideas for the kids.
This list is broken down into some “must-haves” for all of your natural learners, tons of other gift ideas, and even gifts for the parents (the holidays aren’t just for kids, after all!). Even better… most of the gifts that you’ll find on the list this year are from small, family-run businesses, who literally do a happy dance with each order and item that are purchased. As a small, family business myself, I know how special it feels to be supported in the work that I do.
With many of the families and classrooms that I work with, one of the biggest things that the adults want to find solutions to is the way children are interacting in the learning/play environment. Children are being aggressive with each other or with the toys and materials they have. Children seem generally unhappy or have unusually short attention spans. Children aren’t showing any real interests or don’t want to participate in the activities that parents/teachers are setting up for them.
And almost always this can be traced back to one thing – clutter in the environment.
Writing seems like the hardest thing, doesn’t it? It’s the last big leap into full-blown literacy, and as parents we want nothing more than to watch our young ones blossom into happy, confident writers.
Unfortunately, most of the advice and activity suggestions that you find out there encourages you to stick workbook pages in front of your child, have them trace letters until their hands go numb, or force writing activities on your older writers that they really, REALLY don’t feel confident doing. And sadly… the statistics about writing are clear that this approach isn’t only developmentally unsound, but is causing a significant problem with how our children feel about writing and how often they choose to use this skill. An astounding number of children, teens, and even adults have decided that they don’t enjoy writing, aren’t good at writing, or actively choose to avoid it at all costs.
Today in our Month of Magic giveaway, we’re talking about one of the easiest ways to bring more nature into your learning space – bringing in some indoor plants!
If you don’t already have plants in your learning space (or all around your home, for that matter), this is one of the most important things you can do to increase your child’s exposure to nature. When they have a chance to care for plants in their own environment they are more likely to take responsibility for nature. Not to mention, when you bring plants indoors you are *literally* growing fresh air!
Welcome back to Day Two of our Month of Magic here at Your Natural Learner – where we’re giving something new and awesome in natural learning away every single day of October! 💫
If you missed yesterday’s giveaway – an Autumn Activity Guide – make sure you head over here to grab it!
Today I’m giving away something brand new and super exciting! A Learning Beliefs Workbook.
It’s FINALLY October…. which is pretty much the best time because it officially ushers in the holiday season – my absolute favorite time of the year. When thinking about how to celebrate this glorious month, I was inspired by a lovely lady, Leonie Dawson, and a similar “Month of Magic” that she did last month – giving away something to her audience every day to help them on their journey. I knew as soon as I saw this that I was something I wanted to do for you!
“Natural learning” is a phrase you’ll see all over my site, my social media, and in my courses, curriculum, books, and live videos that I do… so what EXACTLY does that mean?
If you’ve been a follower of mine for any amount of time, then you know that learning through nature and using Mother Nature as a resource for knowledge and joy is something that I talk about frequently. Today though, I’m going to get super clear on the definition of “Natural Learning” because it goes far beyond simply using nature as your primary resources for learning!
Natural learning is a philosophy that encompasses two major beliefs:
If you’ve been following along with our art space series, then by now you’ve determined why your children really need an art space in the home, and some super simple tips and steps to getting one set up and introducing the right materials at the right time. In this final post in our series, I want to introduce “Invitations to Create,” which are meant to inspire your child to expand their artistic and creative abilities in a variety of ways!
This is a series of posts designed to help you create an open-ended art space that will inspire your child to be creative, expressive, and to share their ideas and interests through visual art.
If we want our children to be creative, open-minded,problem solvers, and freely themselves, the best way that we can do that is to provide them with an environment in their space where they can freely access materials to create at any point. This post will give you pointers into setting up an art studio in your home (if you’re in a classroom, the info is the same, just on a larger scale). Make sure to check out the post about Why Your Child Needs an Art Space to understand the incredible benefits of doing this – it’s some serious motivation to make this happen! Setting up an art space in your home might seem overwhelming if this is something you haven’t done before, but if you follow some of these guidelines, this will help make it seem a bit easier and get you started on creating this wonderful free art space for your kids to enjoy.
Art is one of the most important forms of self-expression for our children. As parents and educators, our hopes and goals for our children are that they grow up to be independent free thinkers, always curious, and looking for problems that they can solve. When they are younger, the best thing that we can do to support all of these traits is to create an open and inspiring art space in our homes or classrooms for our children to create in! “Art has the role in education of helping children become more like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” – Sydney Gurewitz Clemens
So often I get asked some form of this question: “I love the IDEA of homeschooling, but my biggest fear is socialization. How will my child learn to connect with others his/her age?”
It’s an age-old joke. Homeschooled kids are weird. Awkward. Don’t know how to fit into society.
So naturally it’s something that crosses every new homeschooling parent’s mind – what about social growth? How do I make sure my child knows how to talk to other kids? What about participating in events? How do I find local things for them to do…. So I CAN SOCIALIZE THEM.