How to Use Embodied Learning to Improve Your Homeschool

The principle of embodied learning will improve your homeschool.

Have you ever tried to homeschool when the kids are running around the house screaming like banshees leaving 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. Homeschooling isn’t happening in this type of environment! This brings me to the concept of embodied learning.

I’m working our way through Dr. Christopher Perrin’s Eight Essential Principles of Classical Education. So far I’ve chatted about Festina Lente, Multum non Multa, and Repetitio Mater Memoria. Now it’s time for the principle of Embodied Learning.

Principle of Embodied Learning

Embodied Learning is all about the atmosphere of your homeschool.

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.

You reach your children’s hearts, minds, and souls not simply through great ideas but also through what they hear, touch, smell, taste, and see.

Because a beautiful atmosphere draws everyone closer. It encourages you to pay attention to your surroundings, participate in the daily rituals, and enjoy your work.

And that’s what embodied learning is about. The principle is a reminder that children are more than a mind that needs education.

Children have a body that enjoys smelling cookies baking or hot cider simmering.

Children have a soul in need of beauty.

So the atmosphere of your homeschool should reflect the beauty, truth, and good of scholé.

But how do you do this?

After all, you have a lot on your plate!

You need to sit down to teach your children to read, write, and do math. Latin and Greek need to be taught. History and science should be studied. You need to cover art and music.

The house must be cleaned. The children fed.

Plus you and your kids need time with your friends, even if it’s heading out for a socially distanced walk or a chat on the phone.

So when do you have time to pay attention to the atmosphere of our homeschools?

Thankfully, your homeschool and home are closely entwined.

First embodied learning means you should not replicate the sterility of the public schools.

You don’t need desks lined up in neat rows with a teacher’s desk in the front. Nor do you need to line the walls of your houses with all sorts of charts.

embodied learning mattersInstead, concentrate on turning your home into a shelter from the world. And keep your home 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 use 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 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.
  • Turn on beautiful music on a rainy afternoon.
  • Hang classic artwork on the walls.

The principle of embodied learning reminds us that education is about more than simply the knowledge we drum into children’s heads.

Education is also about reaching children through their senses. And paying attention to what they’re experiencing.

Use Embodied Learning to invite your children into the wonders of education.

And make your home an inviting place to homeschool.

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6 Comments

  1. Great Post! I really enjoyed your article. From my own school days, the teachers that I found the most memorable were excited about education and went beyond just lecturing each day. They wanted us to experience whatever it was they were teaching. That is the foundation of embodied education – moving beyond lectures to find ways to make learning a full experience – education that shapes the heart and mind. We don’t need to just hear about things in a lecture, we need to experience it. The same principle can be applied to homeschool.

    1. Embodied learning is perfect for homeschools. We can easily move beyond the lecture and the house to create the full experience for our kids. 🙂

  2. “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.”

    Are you spying on me? LOL!

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