The kids are running around the house screaming like banshees. There’s spots of sticky syrup all over the floor from the pancakes eaten for breakfast. The phone is ringing someone is knocking on the door, and the baby is wailing. Thankfully no one’s shoved a toy down the toilet today.
Have you ever tried to homeschool your kids in such an atmosphere? It’s just not going to happen.
Principle of Embodied Learning
This year Tonia, Chelli, and I are working our way through Dr. Christopher Perrin’s Eight Essential Principles of Classical Education. Over the last couple months we’ve discussed Festina Lente, Multum non Multa, and Repetitio Mater Memoria. This month we’ve reached the principle of Embodied Learning.
Embodied Learning is all about the atmosphere of our homeschools. After all education isn’t just a rational, intellectual pursuit. It’s also about reaching children’s hearts and souls as well as their minds.
We reach children’s hearts, minds, and souls not simply through great ideas but also through the sounds we hear, the things we touch, the smells, what we see, and what we taste. a beautiful atmosphere draws everyone closer. It encourages us to pay attention to our surroundings, to participate in the daily rituals, and to enjoy our work.
If we’re wanting to encourage children to enjoy a lifelong journey of education, we also need to pay attention to the atmosphere surrounding the children.
But how do we do this?
After all there’s so much a homeschool mother has to do. We need to sit down to teach our children to read, write, and do math. There’s Latin and Greek to teach. History and science to learn. Art, music, and dance to master. The kids need social time, time to play with their friends. We need social time as well, even if it’s heading out for a walk with a friend or going out to coffee.
Where do we have time to pay attention to the atmosphere of our homeschools?
Thankfully our homeschools and our homes are closely entwined. Charlotte Mason herself commented that schools should be more like homes.
First embodied learning means we shouldn’t try to replicate the sterility of the public schools. We don’t need to have desks lined up in neat rows with a teacher’s desk in the front. There’s no need to line the walls of our houses with all sorts of charts.
Instead we should concentrate on keeping our homes a shelter from the world. Keep our homes radiating with good smells, good food, laughter, and music.
- Block out time daily to clean the house. You don’t need to spend hours. Simply plan to spend a few minutes after breakfast and dinner running through chores with the children. Small children can dust and pick up toys, you can run a load of laundry, and everyone can help clean the kitchen. I enjoy using Motivated Moms to give us a guideline of chores for each day.
- Toss some cookies in the oven as you begin a long discussion. The aroma will make the discussions that much pleasant, especially after the cookies come out of the oven.
- Make tea or hot chocolate as you’re beginning the daily read aloud. Everyone can enjoy their drink while listening.
- Ensure the chairs are comfortable and well-lit to encourage children to curl up and read. Toss a few blankets over the back and pile some pillows on the chair and you have the perfect reading spot.
The principle of embodied learning reminds us that education is about more than simply the knowledge we drum into children’s heads. It’s about reading children through their senses. Paying attention to what they’re experiencing.The smells, sight, sounds, taste, and touch all matter in education. Click To Tweet
Make your home an inviting place to homeschool so kids want to learn. They’re excited about discussions and read alouds. They can’t wait to curl up and read about the adventures of Hercules, King Arthur, or Robin Hood.
Embodied Learning invites children into the wonders of education.
Be sure to read what Tonia and Chelli have to say about Embodied Learning!