Benefits of Experiential Learning

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers. Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers.

I’m a big proponent of being structured in our house so we can finish our academic work and be out experiencing the world. Here are some reasons I love experiential learning:

  1. Fosters Innovation and Creativity–New and unusual experiences wire our brains to think differently. They stimulate original thinking and trigger a broad range of thinking strategies which can’t be garnered from books or lectures.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade-school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet. Technology is eradicating many jobs causing employers to seek out creative and innovative individuals.
  2. Learn From Mistakes–With hands-on learning, students learn from trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Instead of seeing a mistake as a failure, it can be viewed as an opportunity from which to learn and build upon.
  3. Memorable Learning–Experiential learning is usually far more engaging, fun and memorable than sitting through a lecture and being in the same classroom day after day. These hands-on experiences in varied and interesting locations will be seared into the students’ brains for many years to come. This is the opposite from the brain dump that occurs after taking a test about information that seems irrelevant to the student. Much of what a student learns sitting in the classroom he sees as irrelevant.
  4. Increases Neural Connections–The coupling of theoretical learning with real hands-on learning increases connections between neurons. Homeschool parents are intimately involved in our children’s education.  We are able to assist with making connections between things we are learning in our academics and books and tying those in with real-world experiences and experiential learning. The more connections that are made, the smarter the student will be!
  5. Builds Collaboration and Teamwork Skills–When engaged with experiential learning, a student is often working with a partner or team. Not only does this mean working with different personalities and backgrounds but in homeschool this also means collaborating with students of various ages. This mirrors the real world working environment.
  6. Joyful For Our Family–As a homeschool family, we often engage in experiential learning jointly. We have a blast growing in knowledge together. This really fosters a love of learning and creates strong family bonds.

I am so grateful for my freedom in homeschool to provide these wonderful experiential learning opportunities for my kids! What an amazing life we have!

Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

Here were our curriculum choices last school year:

An Example of an Eclectic, Academic Homeschool Curriculum

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