After 3 years of home-schooling our 2 boys, we have come to firmly believe that SO much can be learnt from being outdoors and having fun. The research backs this up too. Everytime I had a wobble about whether we were doing the right thing by home-schooling our children, I would come across article after article about studies that showed that outcomes for home-school children were at least as good, if not better, than children attending school.
|Climbing trees on holiday|
For various reasons, the boys are both now back in school. They re-entered at well above the average national curriculum levels for their respective year groups which bears testimony to just how much they learnt from their holidays and days out. If you want to see a glimpse of some of the amazing things we got up to on our holidays and whilst homeschooling we made a video for D here and one for J here. Even though the videos are still quite a few minutes long - this is only a fraction of the things they did, the experiences they had and the things they learnt.
As this challenge is in conjuction with Visit Wales, I just have to mention to one of my best memories of all. We had visited Legoland for the day and as it had taken us ages to get there in bad traffic, I couldn't face going all the way home in that traffic so we spontaneously decided to head the other way instead on an impromptu holiday.
|The Alliance Sculpture: Cardiff City Centre|
We drove on until we got to Cardiff. As much as I would have loved to see the beauty of Rhossili and the Gower Peninsula, by then the kids were tired so we stayed in Cardiff. I didn't know quite what to expect, but I was SO impressed. Cardiff seems to be a city that really has it all.
|Cannons at Cardiff Bay|
I only wish we had found it sooner as it was incredible. The boys got to hold some ancient artifacts - some of the oldest stone tools known to man. They were told in detail by one of the museum experts about how the discovery of metals evolved and how early man was able to move on from making stone tools to metal tools. They got to see and hold some old coins. Then in the other sections were amazing paintings by famous artists and the stunning sculptures by Rodin. A truly incredible experience.
We loved Wales so much that we pledged to go back and sure enough the following year we headed to the Pembrokeshire coast. The National Park is beautiful and perfect for the children to explore nature and get outdoors rain or shine.
|Pembrokeshire National Park: Lots of fun come rain or shine|
You can find pebbles that are smooth - like the type that may have been used to grind grains many thousands of years ago, and some that are sharp edged flints that could have been used to skin animals or chop wood.
|Our beach art sea horse.|
So I hope that I've shown that holidays are for learning...children can learn history, geography, art, nature, science, geology, maths, physical education, culture, and all this learning happens by default when on holiday. Learning by having fun, exploring and adventuring and absorbing the environment around you.
|Rope making at the ropery|