Importance of Content, Imagination and Play

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watergunThere are two things I had forgotten and then recently remembered about homeschooling.

One is that the kids need content to spur their imagination. When my now eight year old was five and six we used to study history and science constantly because afterwards he would be more likely to go off by himself and play, drawing pictures or re-enacting the topic with his toys. Over the past year we’ve spent more of his school time focused on practicing writing, treating history and science like luxury topics we’d get to if we got the rest of the work of the day done in time. While his writing has drastically improved he struggles to find topics to write about.

Then last Friday we started with history, reading a bit more from the book A Little History of the World and then watching a youtube video about Greek theatre. When I turned off the video I mentally steeled myself for him rebelling against doing his writing but to my surprise he was already rushing to the cupboard to get out a pencil and paper. Inspired by ancient Greek theatre he wanted to write a play set in the minecraft world. By noon he had completed that as well as his math and piano practice. I was stunned. Content matters. Content gets a kid excited and gives them something do schoolwork about. We will go back to starting the day with history or science.

The second thing I had forgotten and then recently remembered is to get the kids doing more crafts. I was cleaning the craft cupboard out today and the eight year old found some plastic tubing. Half an hour later both boys were running around shooting each other with homemade water guns. They used tape and elastics to fasten balloons onto the ends of pieces of tubing. After a lot of running about and spraying each other my eight year old wrote up this description:


Water gun cons:

  • Harder to reload than a waterballoon (wastes water)
  • Big, heavy and hard to use.


Water gun pros:

  • Can soak more than one area.
  • Isn’t as delicate as a waterballoon.


Water balloon Cons:

  • Puts too much water in one area.
  • Can’t be reused.

Water balloon Pros:

  • easy to handle
  • can be thrown further than the gun shoots.



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  • Paul R. Hewlett

    Great post! Content is very important and it is wonderful to hear your children taking such active roles in crafts and creating such neat things. Hope all is well.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  • Carissa Houston

    “…Treating history and science like luxury topics we’d get to if we got the rest of the work of the day done in time.” — it happens! I fell into that trap the last half of the school year. My 6 year old has requested “Potions Class” for summer because she feels short changed on science. I love that you found your way back!

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