{Homeschool Tips} Simple Stealth-Schooling Strategies

This post is part of a blog hop sponsored by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. (Links to other blogs appear at the bottom of this post.)

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.

Wenda Sheard
Building Wingspan
Mommy Bares All
Little Stars Learning
A Voracious Mind
Chasing Hollyfeld
Cedar Life Academy
Thea Sullivan 
Buffalo Mama
Sprite's Site


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.


  1. I don't homeschool, but I stealth school all the time. Anytime the kids have a question, I'm there on the internet looking it up.

    Now, I don't know if this applies as "stealth school" but it certainly applies as "stealth discipline (or just annoyance management if you will). Kids often like to play the "I'm going to repeat everything you say game." Can get annoying. So instead of telling them not to...I just repeat math problems, or spell out words I want them to learn, or start talking in Spanish (helps their pronunciation even if they don't know what I'm saying). They either A) get bored of repeating me really quick or B) get a lot of rote learning done before they even realize it or C) both of the above.

    1. Thanks for the note. One of the reasons that I like discussing this way of educating children is that it proves ALL parents are educators. There are no hard lines between school and home. I think that helps non-homeschoolers appreciate how people can indeed "teach their own." And it reminds homeschoolers that non-homeschool parents are teachers, too.

  2. Lauryan RitlzmayrMay 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Stealth things we use:
    Broken telephone game - teach something in a short 5 sentence description and let it get passed along the family.
    "Let's look for" game - while driving or on a walk or whatever we search for something specific, and then we show each other and tell each other all about it
    Weekly grocery shopping - each kid wants a list like mom, so I make them each one, pictures for toddler and simple words for 4 year old and more complex stuff for 6 year old. They need to compare brands and prices, consider quality and if they want to change our regular brand I need to be convinced there in the shops. They tick off, they count, they find shop assistants to ask for more stock if needed, they follow specials brochures in local newspapers. They have to record their prices which are added onto the next list when required for inflation and price increase notification. It's a fun way to shop with three busy kids and they learn so much!
    Outings! The favourite of everyone, we go on outings and then discuss after if it was a good/bad one, what we will do differently next time etc.

    1. These are fantastic, Lauryan. Thanks so much for sharing. We do previewing before outings, to clarify expectations (and hopefully keep them in check).


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