Monday, September 30, 2013

Using Lego In Home Education - The Middle Years

lego homeschool
Lego is a huge part of my boy's lives and their love for it continues to change and grow in complexity as they get older. My kids loves the free play of the normal Lego blocks but are also developing an interest in the assemble kits. "Mum, Can I please get the Lego star wars deathstar? It's only $400...."
I've always known that Lego is 'good' for kids, for their developing creativity, problem solving and more. These reasons are more than enough motivation to encourage the use of Lego in our homeschool.
Why Use Lego In Home Education?
1. Kids love Lego, it's fun and motivating!
As delight-directed homeschoolers, I love using my children's interests and passions to impart different skills and knowledge. Lego is something I have used many a time to teach mathematical concepts, physics, engineering and even literacy. When a child is interested in a topic they have a motivation, a desire to learn and will readily accept and absorb what is being taught. Sometimes it's just me who needs to get creative and think of new ways we can use Lego in our homeschool!

 2. Lego Develops Creativity

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that children have more time and freedom to develop their creativity and imagination through play and free time.

3. Lego can be used across all academic areas

I'm slowly learnt to relax and trust my kids are learning through play even as they get older but we do often use Lego as part of our structured learning.

- Lego in maths
- Lego in literacy
- Lego to teach and explain physics
- Lego in engineering

Just this week I was told my 16 year old nephew who has always been a huge Lego guy is scoring top marks at school and wanting to pursue a career in engineering. He kindly donated all of his 'old' Lego to his young cousins (my boys) who's heads nearly exploded with joy when they saw the box full of assembled police cars, castles and people. It was like Christmas had come early! He is a great example of a child who clearly was not only learning through his Lego play but developing skills that are helping him academically and leading him to a hopefully, fulfilling career.

lego homeschooling
Ideas For Using Lego In The Middle Years......
Obviously the Lego kits are great for teaching kids to follow instructions and order....but there are plenty of other ideas that we have used.
1. Lego Ideas Books
lego homeschool
My boys LOVE these. There are 2 available. We borrow ours from the library but you can buy them at Target - they would make a great Christmas present!
You need a pretty big Lego collection to attempt some of the ideas in the book. We found a Lego specialist store in our state - the toy corner where you can buy individual pieces such as doors, windows, people etc as well as the bigger, more advanced kits if you are looking to expand your Lego collection.
2. Lego Documentary
I discovered this documentary about the Lego mega factory by accident on the national geographic channel - it was really interesting. Some of it is a little advanced for the middle year but the frequent images of Lego products being churned out of machinery held my boys attention for the most part!

3. Lego Social Events
Lots of homeschoolers love Lego and it's a great opportunity to help kids connect with others with similar interests.
- Lego playdates
- Show and tell Lego gatherings
- Lego technic groups (where kids can work together to build things..)
- Lego expos and shows - keep an eye out for Lego events in your state!
This is only the tip of the iceberg - there are so many great ideas out there for homeschoolers to use their child's natural love for Lego's to their learning advantage!

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