“What is project based homeschooling?” you might ask. That’s a loaded question with a variety of answers. Simplified in my own terms: Project Based Learning (or PBL) is combining academic subjects to solve a real-world problem and showcasing your solution in a unique way. I bet (no, I guarantee) most homeschoolers are already doing this (just without the fancy lingo).
Here are a few reasons we’ve loved PBL in our home and why it works for us.
With project based learning , students feel more productive and learn more.
When you give your child a problem scenario and ask him to solve it, immediately his wheels start turning. How can I fix this? What resources do I need to solve this problem? Who do I need to help me solve it? How long will it take me to solve it?
Now it’s all a matter of having all the right tools at hand, since at this point the main idea is to jump in and begin solving the problem. While problem-solving, our kids are learning the process of finding or creating solutions. They feel productive because- well, because they are being productive!
A lot of the project based learning fun my kids are involved in stems from their STEM experiences (no pun intended). That’s why we love the maker movement so much- you get to roll up your sleeves and get dirty and learn all at the same time.
PBL gives our kids a taste of the ‘real world’.
Kids are pretty smart- and they know when their curriculum starts to feel lifeless, monotonous, and dry. No barres held back, they’ll let you know when it’s starting to get boring.
The really cool thing about PBL, is that there is no such thing as a boring project (especially if it’s a task they’re motivated to complete). Students are learning how to solve real-world problems through play (or game-based learning), and that makes it doubly exciting. Coding is an example for my family. This summer my kids want to learn Python and tinker around a bit more with Minecraft and coding. Learning to code sets up kids to solve real world problems in that field, should they choose to work in computer engineering.
Project based learning is fun.
Just to reiterate: this whole “PBL thing” really can lead into the ideas of game-based learning (which you can read about more over at Edutopia, one of my favorite educational resources, by the way). Project-based learning is fun because it is centered around a core problem your student is interested in.
If you want to spice up your homeschool a bit, try implementing some PBL into your school day and see if that makes a difference. Maybe even set up a maker space and see if that helps!
So, how do you implement project based learning in your homeschool? Share some of your fun projects, blog posts, etc. in the comments.
(This article was originally published in TechieHomeschoolers.com)