Foundations of Learning

Learning We believe that wonder and wisdom are worthy pursuits in every family (and every classroom), that they provide an overarching framework for life-changing, life-giving, and life-preparing education. #learning #homeschoolblog #wisdomwonderproject #teachinglittleones #teachingkindergartenFoundations of Learning

“WISDOM BEGINS WITH WONDER”

–SOCRATES

We believe that wonder and wisdom are worthy pursuits in every family (and every classroom), that they provide an overarching framework for life-changing, life-giving, and life-preparing education.  When they are woven into our lives, they have the power to shape our story in breathtaking ways. The daily practice of them, however, requires us to slow down and hold various paradoxes in tension, as we grapple with and embrace all that life brings our way.

This first paradox is captured by Socrates’ quote above. The journey towards wisdom is wonder? True, good, and beautiful knowledge can only be attained through awe, play, and questioning? This often seems counterintuitive. But as we know, young children learn so much through play and exploration. Their natural propensity to tackle new subjects and spaces with curiosity grows with them as they begin asking questions. Encouraging learning in this way, through play and curiosity, sets a foundation for loving learning in children and directs their course toward a lifelong pursuit of learning.

It is for this reason that our curricula respects the age of the child and teaches to their stage of development. This not only optimizes learning, but maximizes enjoyment by engaging and meeting the needs of the whole child. We draw on the classical trivium––grammar (first-fourth grades), rhetoric (fifth-eighth grades), and logic (high school)––stages of learning as it models a developmentally appropriate education. Though classically-inspired, we add our own twist, so that our curricula can fit in and pair with any educational approach.

But we knew that foundational learning begins even younger, which is why we started with our Preschool through Kindergarten. We like to call this stage the pre-grammar stage. Children at this age see memorization as an enjoyable task, so we attend to setting a strong foundation for reading, writing, math, poetry, and literature––with ample time for play and exploration. For example, in our Block Play units, each month centers around a picture book (we love reading aloud!) from which the lessons and activities stem. Here’s a fun example from one of our Junior Kindergarten Block Play units, based on Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a little summary: Armed only with a purple crayon and his imagination, Harold went for a walk one evening. Along the way, he goes through woods, over seas, and past frightening dragons until he finds his way home and crawls into his cozy bed at last. This story offers twists and turns that keep your children wondering what is going to happen next.

BUILDING ACTIVITY: Build a City Using Loose Parts. The materials you need for this activity are Harold and the Purple Crayon, masking/painter’s tape, a Sharpie, white school glue, construction paper, and various building materials, such as milk cartons, cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, etc. You might also want clear packing tape. Gather all the materials, invite your child to join you, and find a place at the table to work. Bring out the book and open it up to the pages where Harold built a city. Talk about the shape of the buildings, windows, and doors. 

Invite your child to choose one of the boxes you have collected. Using masking tape, help them tape the top closed. Work with your child to decide on how they want to add the windows and doors to the box. Do they want to cut them out of construction paper and glue them onto the box or wrap the box in construction paper and draw the windows directly on the box? Offer to help with drawing if your child needs it. This activity provides your child with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen and develop their muscles that help them with fine motor skills. Once they are done with that first building, have them choose another box to use for another building. When that one is done, help your child tape them together with tape balls/loops or clear packing tape so they can start to see their city take shape. Let them continue to make city buildings out of the boxes until they are happy with the scene they have taped together. When they are finished, save this for your child to play with again later. 

We at WWP hold to the truth that every child (and every adult) is a born learner and should have the world of wonder and wisdom opened up to them.  We believe that all should have access to quality, life-changing educational opportunities regardless of personal belief systems. We also believe that together, we truly are better, and that diversity within our worldwide online community can only serve to enrich, grow and develop us all.

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Wisdom Wonder Project makes the power, magic, & mystery of learning accessible to the modern homeschool family. We offer homeschool curricula filled with rich and beautiful, hold-your-hand lessons that will spark wonder and wisdom in your children. Available as monthly and annual subscriptions, you don’t have to pay a lot for a great education. Accessible worldwide, wherever you are.

https://www.wisdomwonderproject.org/ (sign up for their daily newsletter here)

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