Tips for Project Based Learning At Home
At the heart of project-based learning is the concept that the project itself is the lesson. These projects have real world value and purpose, while teaching skills highlighted in the Connecticut Core Standards. IEA has made transitioning to this type of curriculum a priority in the coming years, and you’ll see students doing more of this type of work every week. While many things you are doing at home are likely to be centered on project-based learning, here are some ideas if you’re looking for some new ways to incorporate learning at home:
- Start a garden. A garden allows students to learn more about the growth cycles of plants, but also opens the door for further learning. Hypotheses can be tested as different variables are altered (light, watering, plant food, etc.) and children learn how to create the healthiest plants. Once the flowers grow, students can pick them, create bouquets and share them with friends. A note accompanying them can work on literacy skills.
- Host a yard sale. What better way to teach children the basics of commerce than to allow them to start their own small business? Children will see economic theories at work and learn the basics of money management. Take the project a step further by having children select a goal (perhaps a trip or purchase), research the goal, then create a budget. Use the proceeds from your yard sale to pay for it! Still short? Brainstorm additional opportunities to raise the needed funds.
- Make dinner together. Let your child select the recipes, plan the menu, then go shopping together! Learn more about nutrition to ensure you’re including all the food groups. Look for sales, stay within your budget, and let your child pay for the purchase. Once your home, use your math skills to follow the recipe and again to divide out portions when you serve! Make notes on which family members enjoyed which recipe, and what changes you might make, for the next time you cook together.
All of these options give you the opportunity to focus on social skills, life skills and literacy, but even more they’re the basis for some fun family memories! Enjoy!