Am I a “bad” homeschool mom if I don’t use hands-on projects?
And the answer is no, you are not.
- I’m crafty, and I think they are fun.
- My daughter is Miss Creativity. She enjoys doing artsy projects.
- Motivation for homeschool increases when we add hands-on projects.
- They are a wonderful use of free time.
If reading a living book and looking at a diagram are enough to solidify the idea, what is the purpose of a craft?
- What concepts or skills are most important to you?
- How will you know if the lesson has been successful?
Amy once said , “Though it might seem crazy, a child doesn’t really need a lot of hands-on activities to learn things or make connections when reading living books!!”
No, that’s not crazy, Amy. That’s correct.
As I commented on Amy’s blog post, for very small children, using hands-on manipulatives is essential for understanding abstract ideas. That’s why doing science experiments and experiencing nature first hand are so important. In math we also want to provide many concrete, hands-on examples of what the Arabic numerals are representing.
What if the living book and the diagram were not enough to solidify the learning?
Then you can evaluate whether a hands-on activity would truly help the concept to come alive for the child. You have to be ruthless here and honestly consider whether the activity is busy work or actually demonstrating and reinforcing a key concept.
More food for thought about hands-on and hands-off.
- Hands-on or Hands-off Learning, a video hangout with Bright Ideas Press
- Teaching History to Hands-off Learners
So, let’s talk. What are your thoughts on hands-on projects? Have you ever found yourself doing a project that turned out to be more busy work than real learning? How do you evaluate your hands-on projects? Have you ever felt guilt about not doing hands-on projects?