I have been homeschooling my children for twenty nine years and have just discovered the new (well, at least it’s new to me anyway) unschooling concept of strewing.
What is strewing? Most of you young whipper snapper unschoolers today will undoubtedly know more about this than I, but bear with me. From what I understand, Sandra Dodd invented strewing. I remember Sandra Dodd from way back when during my John Holt and Growing Without Schooling days. I don’t remember ever hearing anything about strewing during that era though.
Apparently Strewing is the technique of leaving toys, manipulatives, articles, books, information, and other such learning materials laying around for the children to discover on their own and then delightfully learn the lesson that each item offers! Taking advantage of natural learning experiences such as nature walks, trips to the beach, visits to museums and zoos, and going shopping, and such where children are exposed to and can discover the educational value of the experience is also considered strewing, I believe.
I think strewing is a great idea! I’ve been strewing for years. I just didn’t know that what I was doing actually had a name and was a technique! Bethany has been very receptive to strewing. However, if I didn’t also deliberately teach her, she wouldn’t learn. Because of her disabilities she has always needed more structure than my other kids did.
Strewing has rarely ever worked with any of my other children, though. Somehow they have never been interested in anything that I’ve chosen to strew! That might be because I tend to strew when I am feeling less than confidant that they are learning everything that I think they should know. Then the educational seeds I’m trying to plant becomes coercive education with an agenda, and that’s not unschooling in my humble opinion!
To see strewing in action click here!