Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our World is a Classroom

I'm sure you have heard of the Summer Slide.  If you haven't, it is simply how much a child slides backwards in his/her academics over the course of a summer when s/he is not in school.  There are many ways that families can prevent this phenomenon with their own children and it is NOT by skill and drill flashcards or sitting your child down for formal lessons every day. 
I use our world (along with every day fun) during the summer to continue my own childrens' learning throughout the summer.
My boys (ages 5 and 7) and I went for a walk in the City Forest on the bog walk and here are just a few examples of the learning situations that arose naturally during our expedition.
Signs are everywhere and children are naturally drawn to them.

Children love signs and, luckily, in our world they can be found everywhere you go.  This set of signs pulled my two little ones right in, so I jumped on it!  My little one found all of the "nos" and used the pictures to guess what the rest of the sign said and my big boy (who can read all of these signs) got to tell him how close is guess was. 
Science was everywhere during this trip.  Take advantage of your surroundings to teach your children about their world using (as in this example) informational text.  My boys love nature and were very interested in finding out more about the animals and plants there in the forest, many that they'd seen before, as well as many they hadn't.  You could always pull up web sites of some of the creatures or plant life your children find in their surroundings on the internet to introduce your child to informational text.
The boys made a game up that they couldn't step on any of the "new" boards.  This led us into a discussion about why the new boards were there and how they decided which boards that would be replaced.  Yes, simple concepts for us, but not so much for young, inquiring minds.  I am always planting seeds and trying to get them to wonder and think creatively and sensibly.
On the 88th pallet, my big boy noticed these little number plates labeling each one.  He, of course, started identifying the numbers sporadically while my little one identified numbers he knew as well (8-8 vs. 88).  They noticed that numbers increasingly got larger and so I asked them guess how many pallets there are on the entire boardwalk and they came up with 500 and 600.  I thought these pretty great estimations since the number ended up being:
Obviously, some summer fun will lend itself much better to learning than others, but no matter what you are doing there is something to be learned everywhere you go and in everything you do.  Help a child stay off the summer slide by inviting them into our worldly classroom!


  1. Hello! You make some great points here! I think it is such a joy to realize that children learn - all day long- in everything they do! The fun part is, once you see this you can expand on it as you have shown here. Thanks for sharing - such nice photos too! -Melissa (

  2. Love, love, love it Mrs. Miner! I think in this day of technology we often forget how much learning can take place if we just GET OUTSIDE or look around us. With that being said, I'm being called to the garden, my 4 year old is busy doing his daily counting of my roses. He's up to 37 but he's "stuck" so I think it's time to get off the computer and go PLAY!

  3. Natural learning experiences are always some of the best! Great ideas, Krissy! I pinned your post to my Outdoor Classroom Pinterest Board at


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