We love stealth schooling here.
Except of course that our kiddo doesn't know the term or that we do it as often as we do.
Our roots in stealth schooling--or "sneaky teaching"--go back to his preschool days, when we wholeheartedly embraced the Reggio-Emilia approach, a child-led educational method. ("R-E" is a basis of the popular "project-based learning.") Back when he was a preschooler, I would make a point to listen and look for what interested him and then make materials related to that topic accessible to him for exploration.
This is how, when he was 5, he came to love a pretty sophisticated app on the human immune system designed for much older children. He'd voiced an interest in the topic, and I kept providing him resources on it. Eventually he became proficient at explaining things like how T-cells work, making a short video on the subject by using the Show Me app.
Remember: our children's brains crave information and if we pay attention to their words, actions, and behaviors, we can tune into what they seek. Stealth schooling builds upon our awareness as parents, creating meaningful, lasting learning for our kids!
Here at home, I find that when I listen to what my son's interests and try to meet that demonstrated "need to know," then he is not only more receptive to the information but also more likely to remember it.
If you'd like to incorporate stealth schooling strategies into your homeschool or afterschool setting, here are some simple ways of so doing.
Make materials accessible: Books, art supplies, media, and other materials on topics of interest can be selected for their age appropriateness and made readily accessible for independent exploration.
Conversation: While one doesn't want to inundate a child with too much information on a topic, conversation--free-flowing, two-way chat as opposed to a one-way lecture--is a marvelous way to determine what a child knows about the topic already. (You might be surprised!)
Show and tell: When it comes to topics like character development or basic life skills, children learn by watching us. So, if your child shows an interest in cooking, get in the kitchen with him or her and collaborate on a project.
Can you think of other stealth school tips?
If so, I'd love to hear them in comments.
More About the "Stealth Schooling" Blog Hop
Be sure to check out the other bloggers writing on the topic of "stealth schooling" this week. A complete list can be found here, but I will continue to add links to this page as the posts come online.
Mommy Bares All
Little Stars Learning
A Voracious Mind
Cedar Life Academy
Facebook Office Hour TOMORROW Night!
On Tuesday (May 7, 2013), I will be taking
your questions about working while homeschooling. Details are on my Facebook page.