Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is Natural learning?

Today I was watching The Bug create a world in the game Little Big Planet, she was telling me about creating the flowers then dressing up her sack puppet as a flower to blend in. I casually told her that was called camouflage…she then went on to show me how she could camouflage her character as many different things each time using the word properly and repetitively to master it and add it to her own vocabulary.  Over the course of a half hour game session we talked about camouflage in the natural world and how animals, plants and people camouflage themselves for survival and various other reasons.  We touched on multiple subjects from Biology to Psychology and covered content that would be considered way beyond her grade level and by the time she was done with the subject she had a diverse and thorough grasp of the word and multiple examples to refer back to and use in the future.
This is a perfect example of how we learn…..we call it Natural learning. My definition is…being mindful and present in your child’s world, being able to recognize and seize the opportunities to expand their knowledge using their own world and interests.
I know it seems really simple but it really isn’t, you have to arm yourself as the parent with a wide variety of knowledge and really pay attention to what your children’s interests are. Then research if need be and be creative in presenting what you can to add to their experience without pushing to much on them and either overloading them or boring them out of a genuine interest. You have to be able to see things from many perspectives and find ways to intertwine those interests with other subjects so you can to foster other learning experiences. Now you can’t always do that but nine times out of ten it works and it is best if you can do it all with out being obvious. In our world it has become so much more than a learning style it‘s a lifestyle. 

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