Sunday, 4 September 2016

Handbook and Seasonal Journal - detailed information

There has been so much interest in the Adventures In Natural Learning Handbook and Seasonal Journal - but I haven't done a very in-depth post on them.  

So, if you are wanting more information before you make a decision on whether or not to purchase these books, hopefully this post will help you decide if these books could help your family.

Available on our website:  Willow Cottage NZ

 Adventures In Natural Learning 
was $40 - new price from 2017    $30

Contains over 400 games, activities, skills to work on and lists of things to expand your knowledge.

Natural Learning to us means no contrived or forced learning, and allows a child to engage in topics, going deeply into areas of interest.

Many, many parents and children are weary of the traditional of methods education - and often the ineffectiveness of it leaves children with negative feelings of themselves and the world around them.

And so, as more families turn to natural education, or unschooling, it is often the adults who have the hardest time "letting go" of the traditional methods, and difficulty trusting the children that they WILL learn, they WILL want to deepen their knowledge in areas of interest.

And along with the difficulty comes a cry from the adult of 
"Well - what DO I DO?!?"   

So I've made this book for families to use:  suggestions for games, activities and lists of interesting topics, it's totally chock-full of years of research and trying things out.  Hundreds of nuggets of fun and interest neatly formatted in ONE book!

 An example of the contents page showing some of the games listed in the book.

 The start of the introduction.

 Some of the pages showing games you can play.  No flowery details - just the facts and good clean fun.

So many people recommend that our children should be encouraged to play outside more - but what exactly does "play outside" mean?  Whilst some children will happily find their own entertainment and games, others need a helping hand.   I have a section devoted to the wonderful world of "Outside Activities".

And another section devoted to arts and crafts ideas.

Some families are confident that their children can learn mathematical concepts without the use of a curriculum, but they'd still like a check-list to see if there are points they can look at to fill out the child's knowledge.   I have included lists for younger and older children.

Next is the area that a lot of naturally educated children will find really interesting.  There are lists of "potentially interesting things" to study.  "Study" might mean reading something or discussing it - every child will have their preferred method of study.   Often looking at one of these topics will invite a whole wonderful rabbit trail of learning new things.

These lists have taken me years to compile - but still, they are just a spring-board for your family to take in whatever direction they want.

And near the end of the book is a lovely little section for the youngest members of the family - or for someone who intends studying early childhood/effective babysitting.   Once again, nothing flashy, no studio pictures or lists of skills a child will learn, or expected outcomes - just the facts!   

When a child starts to do things for themselves it can be assumed that they know the correct way to do it, but then an adult can become cross with a child slamming a door, or ripping a zip down roughly.  If the child is willing to listen and receive instruction (if you wisely pick your moment) you can work through this list with them.


Adventures in Natural Learning:
Seasonal Journal 

Inside the Seasonal Journal you will find the contents page:  

An introduction:

And then one page per season for a child or a family to complete month by month.  Nothing overwhelming, no expected outcome.

Here's an example of a page we have started

At the back of the Seasonal Journal are lists of lovely things to look at during each season.  I have put so many choices of things to look at, and I wouldn't like to think that a family feels under pressure to study everything in one year.   The idea is that next year you'll get a fresh Seasonal Journal to complete and revisit favourite seasonal ideas, or study something that you didn't look at the year before.  In this way the learning will go deeper and deeper, and wider too as many more rabbit trails are discovered and enjoyed.

For example "Collecting rocks and shells" in the early years may mean just walking along the beach and making a collection of lovely shells.  The next year when this topic comes around again the adult might like to look at a shell guide before you go to the beach so when you find a shell you can say "I love the lines on this oyster shell".  Or a child may become fascinated by classifying rocks.   If an adult supports and encourages an interest (but doesn't kill the joy) then a child will naturally want to learn so much about the world around them.

If a family are worried about covering the "major curriculum areas" then rest assured, these topic lists will easily give your children an amazing education.

If you would like to order 1 x Handbook, and 1 x Journal the price is just $45!   

Postage $6.50 flat rate within New Zealand.

Available for purchase, along with lots of lovely items to help you in your journey, on our website:

Willow Cottage NZ

or visit our facebook page on:
Adventures In Natural Learning and message me there.

Thanks for reading!

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