Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Educational Resources for All Learners from Junior Scholars

About to be 4, Lara has suddenly reached a stage where she is desperate to learn all the time, and has become a real little sponge, soaking up facts and information from dawn to dusk.  Although this can sometimes be challenging for Steve and I, (answering questions such as "What's God for?"), seeing her amazing capacity and interest in learning is such a delight.  And makes our decision to home educate feel completely justified, as all too often this desire to learn is the first thing that goes when a child starts school.

But home educating, even with an unschooling approach, does require a certain amount of resources at home, from books and toys to equipment.  The library is of course a fantastic way to get the books we need, and has come up trumps recently with the girls' current interests: jungles and wild animals; and how trees grow and change during the seasons.  We also amass potentially educational books at car boot sales and jumble sales as and when we see them, a fantastic cheap way of boosting our own library.  Our biggest and best resource, the great outdoors, is now finally accessible again after the recent deluges, so Lara has been out this morning collecting and investigating the fallen branches, and the last of the acorns and pine cones.  Now we just need to come up with some arts and crafts projects to make the most of them.


We have also recently been acquiring lots more educational toys and resources for the girls to tap into, all of which we try to have accessible in baskets and on shelves.  This Montessori-style approach to organising our home works because they can pick up a teaching clock or number puzzle whenever they feel like it, and almost learn by osmosis.  At just two, Sophia can readily count to ten, and Lara is beginning to be able to tell the time already, at not yet 4.


Our favourite website for this kind of equipment is Junior Scholars, who offer a huge variety of educational resources, games and toys.  They have handily divided their shop into age ranges, starting from 0-2 years, and they also have a fantastic Special Educational Needs section, which offers left-handed equipment, products to develop fine motor skills, and much more.  Sophia loves threading cords through holes at the moment, so something like this Lacing Set would be perfect for her.


For older children, there is a huge range of phonics, spelling and maths resources.  I have invested in a collection of bits for when the girls are older, such as the fun Writing Prompt Cubes and Dienes base Ten equipment, both of which will be invaluable for future learning.  Of course, such equipment isn't just for HE kids, and all children benefit from having useful resources available to them at home.  I often used to recommend the range at Junior Scholars to parents whose children needed some extra support in their learning too.  What better way to give your child a boost than by engaging them in some fun learning at home?


Junior Scholars also offers a great collection of 'how to' videos on its YouTube channel, for example, why not make a model cat out of cardboard and newspaper; or a miniature Tudor-style cottage from clay?  Great projects for your next at home day or a rainy afternoon.  Just make sure you stock up in advance on all the crafty bits you need from Junior Scholars.

Finally, if you're looking for something to do at the weekend, have a look at Junior Scholars Events for fun activities.  For example, there's a Treasure Island Craft Event coming up on 8th March.  Great fun!

You can also find Junior Scholars on Facebook.  Like their page to keep up to date with product promotions, giveaways and events.


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