SchoolFamily Voices

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Take Advantage of Real-Life Learning Experiences

Boy with BugThere is nothing like a real-life experience to make you want to learn something new. In the education world, we call this "authentic learning." My grandsons found a pill bug (sowbug, roly-poly bug) under the house where we are vacationing. "Can I keep him for a pet?" one of the children asked.

Within thirty minutes we had learned:

  • Pill bugs are in a family of woodlice and they can roll themselves into a ball.
  • Pill millipedes can roll themselves into a ball, too, but they are not related to pill bugs.
  • Children often keep pill bugs as pets. Some people who have tarantulas for pets keep pill bugs in the same cage, because they clean the tarantula's cage.
  • Pill bugs need a very moist environment.
  • Pill bugs can live up to three years.

My point here is that when you have a real-life experience that excites your children, you can use the opportunity to learn something new. What they learn will stick with them for a long time... possibly forever.

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#1 Connie McCarthy 2011-07-28 00:44
I so agree! The best kind of learning is "hands-on."

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?