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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is a learning environment at home? What kinds of environments promote learning in a preschooler, for example? Just having books lying around? What propels a child towards learning?<br><br>
Just curious to see how you all describe it.
 

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I hope you're not grading my response. . . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> A learning environment is filled with age appropriate materials - book shelves filled with available reading material, crayons, paper, pencils, computer (not necessary but is in our house), globes, maps, cookbooks, playdough, legos, trains, board games, animals etc.<br><br>
The environment changes as the child changes and grows. Pots and pans with a spoon could be a learning environment for a little one. When I hit it makes a noise. Different size pots make different noises. For an older child, they can still learn from it but are certainly not as likely to use it or experiment with it.<br><br>
A learning environment gives children the opportunity to try different activities and come to new conclusions - driveway chalk washes away in the rain, even if you blow a bubbles through a triangle or square it will still become an orb (a great insight ds had the other day).<br><br>
The "stuff" should be available, easily accessable, and hopefully orderly enough that it can be found and used. A simple rotation method brings back the "newness" to items that may have been forgotten.<br><br>
A learning environment does not have to be expensive. My kids love tape and cardboard.<br><br>
Rules have to be lifted in a learning environment - except for safety rules. It is ok to get dirty. If he really wants to put food coloring in milk and freeze it to see what happens then ok. If they want to store a snowball for the summer in the freezer that is ok too. (As you can see my children have a fetish with the freezer.) Noise is ok.<br><br>
It is not a very good definition and would not fit in the dictionary very well but that is it a learning enviroment is exploration - seeing what things do. It is ever changing, fun and safe. The best propeller is your interest for little ones. For older ones it is their own interest, although they love when you play too.<br><br>
Can't wait to see how others describe it.
 

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I talk about this a lot, so I figured I'd respond.<br><br>
In our house we have a room that is full of bookshelves. We have puzzles, books, workbooks, coloring books, games, all types of manipulatives, paper dolls, card games, blocks, art supplies, paper, and dress up clothes.<br><br>
My kids have always been able to access the things on the shelves. They play with them daily. Its what entertains them when other kids would be watching TV.<br><br>
Speaking of TV, we limit their viewing to about 1 hour a day.<br><br>
They also have educational computer games that they love to play. I like them because the kids are learning and they don't even know it.<br><br>
We make weekly trips to the library(usually on the day that they hold story time) to get new books to read. We read several times a day.<br><br>
Mostly, I think what makes a "learning environment" work is that the kids have access to all of the tools that make learning fun, but they aren't forced to use them. I don't tell them that I want them to color right now. They are free to fill their day with the activities they choose. I have found that my children have learned to explore their interests, and they really enjoy learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The reason I ask is there was an article today about the youngest kid in elementary school (in my host country) - just completed first year, which I'm not even sure if that is the equivalent to first grade. Anyway, the dad said that it is important to "to aid the child systematically in its development. It is necessary to establish an educating atmosphere at home and the children would become eager to learn themselves. There are no other special secrets for training prodigies simply." And I wondered what that could look like, especially with limited resources.
 

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We don't have a lot of stuff - the environment is more me reading to them, spending time outdoors year-round. Nature is so vast- there is plenty to spark learning right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tend to agree Monnie. But I like everyone's ideas.<br><br>
I also think that parents encourage learning by learning themselves. Dd saw me re-learn the piano; she see me read and look things up on the computer; she sees me trying out new types of music, etc.<br><br>
BTW I am in no way interested in producing a prodigy! Just to clear that up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think a learning environnement is more about attitude than material <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Being open to new experience, being curious, allowing the child to get dirty will exploring his environnement...<br><br>
In fact, too many material can impair creativity <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br><br><br><br><i>Hum... I guess I should apply my own ideas and purge some clutter <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/whistling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="whistle"></i>
 

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Perhaps he is in a way agreeing with what we all have said - that if you set up a home full of fun and interesting things the children will enjoy them and develop appropriately - you do not need to add flash cards and "educational" toys to "make" them into prodigies. Children will develop as they are set to as long as we allow i.e. the white furniture with the sterile walls and lack of toys probably will not stimulate a childs learning.<br><br>
Well, off to horseback riding.
 

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The best learning enviroment is one without a tv on all the time. Of course that being said ,my kids are in front of the tv right now. LOL<br><br>
I find that a proper learning enviroment needs very few rules. Example , the playdough can be taken outside to experiment with. The catepillar can come inside to see if it can walk on hardwood floors. I do draw the line at any experiments with food though. It's simply too expensive for us to be playing with it. But that's a personal conviction. Wait , we did do popcorn once. We plugged in the popper outside without the lid on so we could 'feed' the birds. Did you know birds don't like the sound of popping corn ? heehee
 

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I think a good learning enviornment is one of attitude. That you question everything, keep your curiosity, that there are no such things as "school" book and books for pleasure reading, that learning happens all the time and you never stop, not even the grown-ups. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 
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