Five Ways Learning Happens Even When I'm Not Teaching

It's break time around here again in our homeschool!  We homeschool for most of the year so it isn't uncommon for us to have breaks scattered throughout the year.  We had a our first break about a month ago and much like that one this week's break isn't falling on the exact week it was planned. But, that's a perk of homeschooling and year round schooling- flexibility of time.  Our break came early because I went on my first mom's getaway which left me a bit more tired than I expected. 

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5 ways children without a teacher

When I am tired I tend to need to spend more time alone versus interacting; this means full lessons aren't going to happen.  But, more relaxed learning can happen.

5 Ways Learning Happens Without Explicit Teaching

  1. The girls take the time to read more when they have less on their schedules.  Each day I've walked passed their room, I have seen the girls curled up with a book of their choosing.  My oldest daughter has taken to reading The Babysitter's Club .  My friend took her to the bookstore this weekend where she was able to grab several titles of the series for her collection.
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  3. When we are on break there isn't a to-do list, but both of my daughters decided they would log on to CTC Math to work on some of their weaker skills.  I love the fact that having resources readily available allows them to have more control of their education even when the teacher isn't teaching. 
  4. The baking bug ignites.  As I write this post, the girls are baking cookies.  I just went to take them out of the oven for them to find the cookies have run together and have formed into one big cookie. :)  The girls are learning the how and why to baking for themselves.  I am not lingering over them.  They found a recipe and adapted it to their needs because they wanted to use the all the Hershey's Kisses that I brought back from the conference.
  5. Observing is learning.  I am not heavily engaging them, but they are observing my every move.  If I relax, then they will relax.  I know that having some calm in your life is healthy.  When life becomes hurried, we all feel the effects of it so teaching them to take quiet time as needed is just as important as teaching them how to do more physical or cognitive things.  They are observing the things around them too, and determining how each element fits into their life including how they can use a particular element to challenge themselves or create something new.
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  7. And of course, they are using more of their time to learn through play.  My daughters are in 4th and 6th grades, but both of them still use their imaginations.  Play is encouraged in our home.  They are enjoying their PLAYMOBIL Playsets and Calico Critters Set.  They are designing their own enhancements to make their people and animals have a more enjoyable experience by recycling cardboard into a new car and using scraps of fabric to make new clothes. The conversations are often entertaining, but some offer deeper thought. As of now, I can't recall a particular conversation, but I can remember laughing as I listen in to their stories. They are also practicing conversation skills, sharing, and being patient. 
As a child, I thought learning could only happen from a textbook with an adult.  As an adult, I know that learning happens all the time using the world around us. 

As a child, I thought learning could only happen from a textbook with an adult.  As an adult, I know that learning happens all the time using the world around us. 

How does learning happen in your home when you aren't directly teaching?