By Cathy Huggett
‘Education happens every day and it happens all day. It doesn’t just happen when a child walks through the school gates in the morning and nor does it finish when they walk back out at the end of the day’
The above quote is by none other than me. At this time of the year I find myself feeling slightly annoyed that we are bombarded with back to school messages from retailers, current affairs programs and print media. While the classroom is a place where formal learning occurs, there is no greater classroom than the world around us and there are many ways to ensure that your child’s time spent outside of the classroom is filled with opportunities for learning and engaging with concepts that will increase their understanding of many key learning areas, all without a textbook in sight!
Nothing teaches a child more about diversity than experiencing the food, fashion and traditions of different cultures here in their own back yard. Take a weekend trip to the markets and buy five foods you’ve never tried before. Take home some unusual fruits and vegetables and research ways to eat or cook them. Visit a museum or an art gallery and look at the different artworks and displays and discuss the times and places they originated from. Read the artist’s statements or information cards that go with each piece and encourage your child to discuss their impressions of what they see.
Take a road trip, but before you set off, spread out a map and explore where you are heading. Discuss north, south, east and west and how to work out how many kilometres you expect to travel using the legend. Discuss with your child how long it might take you to get to where you’re going and what you might need to take. Encourage them to write or draw a list of essentials and allow them to help you prepare a picnic lunch or snacks to take. They’ll need to work out how many people you are catering for and how much of each item they will need to prepare and pack. And don’t forget to pack the most important items of all (after water, hats and sunblock), the art journal and pencils! No road trip is complete without a record of all the fun that was had!
Back to school? We never left!
Until next time: SEE MAKE DO!