To strew means to scatter things about. How does this relate to unschooling, or organic learning? It’s the idea of leaving interesting books, projects, movies, and other materials scattered around for children to discover. For younger ones this can mean setting out bins of blocks or legos, and for older ones this can mean new exposing them to new “how to” manuals, etc. Sometimes I find articles of interest online and I”ll text the link to my older kids in hopes they will follow through and read it. It isn’t about forcing an activity, but it allows the child to have a choice in the matter.
It is helpful to know the interests of your child. This makes it easier to find things to strew about the house. If I go to the library and I know Perry is currently fascinated with the Periodic Table I swing by that area and see if I find a book I think he might be interested in reading. If I see a good deal for a microscope on Amazon, I may buy it and let the kids open it and see where it leads them. It helps create a spirit of curiosity in the family. A house filled with interesting things will leave very little time for boredom.
Strewing doesn’t always mean your child will pick up and read voraciously the book you’ve put on the dining room table. I’m sad to say how often books I find are simply returned to the library without being read. That is part of the process, you just keep going and see what strikes their fancy. It’s easier to enjoy the process of strewing by not having any expectations. As a parent this can be hard if we really want them to be excited about something that we are excited about. This is a lesson I am still learning. My kids teach me lessons daily.
We love to explore when we travel and find new places to eat and unique shops and museums. I find deal sites like Groupon to be awesome for trying new experiences such as concerts, restaurants, and museums on a budget. I enjoy strewing when we try a new restaurant, especially those of a different ethnicity than we normally eat. I like to order many dishes for everyone to pick and choose from. It’s so fun to see our different tastes and learn more about each other this way.
Do you strew? What do you think of the idea of strewing?