"Out the Classroom" Learning Opportunities

Monday, January 30, 2023 by Catherine Gilliland | Unique Learning Opportunities

Learning opportunities that take place "out the classroom" are some of the most memorable experiences for students. When children are seeking after a topic that motivates their learning, their thinking skills naturally grow stronger, void of resistance.

How could you design a personalized learning adventure about a topic that sparks delight for your child?  When children are led into these types of learning experiences, what first began as parent-led learning quickly passes into student-led learning. This style of learning works well for children of all ages and for multiple aged children in one family if a family decided upon a learning project together.

Any parent can create a unique unit of study for their child. First, determine a topic that interests your child. As a parent, complete investigative learning about this topic yourself to determine which aspects of the topic could be tangible learning experiences for a learner that is your child's age. You may want to begin at the library checking out and reading books on the subject to help your child become more familiar with his or her area of interest. Ask your child if they would like to visit the topic, make a model of their subject, or design another hands-on experience. Determine associated information that the child could learn to widen their general understanding. How can this be accomplished? Let the delight-driven learning begin! Be intentional and and scheduled, refraining from stringing the learning on for too long a period of time. 

A possible learning experience about the Oregon Trail could include reading literature about the topic, handcrafting a model of a prairie schooner, creating a relief map of the trail itself, designing a diorama of what a typical Oregon Trail camp may have looked like, studying about buffalo, calculating the mileage travelers covered between camps and in total, learning how to build a campfire and cooking a meal outdoors, drawing the box size of a covered wagon with sidewalk chalk and trying to fit belongings into the space, visiting an Oregon Trail museum, and taking an all day walk along a trail. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

What do members of your family want to learn? I hope that you enjoy delightful memories with your family that will not only foster topic learning but draw your hearts closer as you complete the learning experience together.