Next time you hear someone on their high horse telling you that homeschooling can’t always be fun and still be successful, it’s time to think about who you’re taking your advice from.
Welcome to the internet, where anyone can pretend they know everything about something they just started doing. 🙄
Guess what? You actually don’t need boredom and grit to equal success, growth and resilience!
That’s the mindset of those still stuck in the public school matrix that are just looking to prepare you for the boredom of working in a cubicle, helping someone else achieve their goals and their dreams.
The beauty of homeschooling is helping our children find their true passion and interests without the monotony of boring curriculum or grueling schedules.
The “real-world” they think you need to prepare for might not be the world YOU want to live in. How many adults are desperately working to escape that boring 9-5 rat race that “school” prepared them for? Maybe there’s more to life… 🤔
Turns out, you CAN have it all.
- Both fun and growth.
- Adorable sensory play and success.
- The magic of discovery and building resilience.
- The freedom of learning through play and the benefit of knowing how to push through.
I’d rather have adult children who are happy and thriving over ones with a fancy title or prestigious job that makes them miserable, sick, and depressed.
In the hustle and bustle of homeschooling, it’s easy to underestimate the transformative power of play. As a seasoned homeschooling mom with over 15 years of teaching experience, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact that play-based learning can have on a child’s development.
Today, let’s delve into the importance of play-based learning and explore some evidence backed by experts that highlight its significance.
The Importance of Learning Through Play:
- The Power of Play – A Cognitive Boost: Research conducted by Dr. Alison Gopnik, a renowned developmental psychologist, emphasizes that play is not just about having fun; it’s a vital component in cognitive development. Play encourages problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking, fostering a rich environment for learning.
- Social and Emotional Growth: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is crucial for the social and emotional development of children. Through play, kids learn to navigate relationships, regulate emotions, and develop empathy – essential skills that will serve them well throughout life.
- The Role of Play in Faith Formation: As a homeschooling mom focused on passing on the Catholic faith, incorporating play into our learning routine has been a game-changer. Studies, such as those highlighted by the National Institute for Play, suggest that play can enhance spiritual development by nurturing qualities like compassion, kindness, and a sense of community.
In a world where the understanding of play as a powerful learning tool is growing, more and more parents are embracing unschooling as a liberating educational approach. The appeal lies in the freedom it grants to explore subjects aligned with a child’s genuine interests rather than adhering to a rigid, monotonous curriculum.
Unschooling recognizes that authentic learning happens when children are engaged and passionate about what they’re discovering. By allowing our kids the autonomy to delve into topics that genuinely captivate them, unschooling becomes a pathway to cultivating a love for learning that extends far beyond the confines of a traditional classroom.
The signs are clear – play is the ultimate way for kids to learn and thrive. Right from the start, play is how we explore the world and connect with others. When kids get plenty of chances to learn through play, they’re just doing what they do best: following their natural curiosity.
play is learning
Why We Choose FUN Over Grit:
Unlocking Developmental Milestones Through Play:
Numerous studies underscore the profound impact of learning through play on children’s development. Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a renowned developmental psychologist, has delved into the cognitive benefits of play-based learning. Her research, in collaboration with Dr. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, emphasizes that play provides a unique and natural setting for children to explore, experiment, and internalize complex concepts. Through play, children engage in activities that stimulate their brains, enhancing neural connections and laying the foundation for future academic success.
Effortless Learning and Improved Retention:
The phenomenon of “play is learning” is championed by the LEGO Foundation, which advocates for the integration of play into education. Their research indicates that when children are actively involved in play, the learning process becomes more enjoyable and engaging. Importantly, this heightened engagement translates into improved retention of information. Concepts learned through play are not only grasped more easily, but they are also retained for more extended periods, creating a solid knowledge foundation for future learning endeavors.
Holistic Development and Play’s Enduring Impact:
As parents and educators, we cherish the notion that children are sponges, absorbing information effortlessly. Dr. David Whitebread, a leading expert in developmental psychology, affirms this belief through his extensive research on the importance of play. His work underscores that play fosters holistic development, impacting not only cognitive skills but also emotional, social, and physical well-being. Accordingly, the joyful, immersive nature of play ensures that children are not only learning, but they are doing so in a manner that enhances overall growth, creating a harmonious balance in their developmental journey.
let children play
Source: Karen Purvis, Institute of Child Development
Incorporating these insights into our homeschooling approach allows us, as mothers, to witness the magic of play-based learning in action. Additionally, as we guide our children through educational play experiences like sensory play, we are not only shaping their academic prowess but also nurturing well-rounded individuals ready to navigate the real world with confidence and curiosity.
Harnessing Faith-Focused Play
We can’t deny the benefits of play-based learning. The question becomes how can we infuse our homeschooling journey with the richness of our faith? In our family, play has become just another opportunity to weave the teachings of the Church into our everyday activities.
Whether it’s through imaginative play with bible figures or faith-focused crafts, we can seamlessly integrate faith and education. Homeschooling for Heaven.
As homeschooling mothers, our mission extends beyond academics. It’s about raising saints, instilling values that align with God’s teachings, and nurturing a deep connection to our faith.
To support fellow homeschooling moms on this faith-focused and play-based homeschooling journey, I will compile a list of our favorite toys and resources that seamlessly blend play with Catholic teachings. Stay tuned for the list!
Embrace the joy of learning through play! Every moment of fun is an opportunity to draw our children closer to God. Together, as a community of homeschooling moms, we can raise saints who carry the light of faith into the world.
In His love,