Project Approach to Learning

by Sharon Haag1

Try It…You May Like It!! The Project Approach to Learning

Experiencing a bit of the doldrums after the holidays? Seem like a looong road till the end of the school year? Need something to spice up life a bit? A short-term theme study could be just what you need to rekindle excitement and motivation for learning! Why not try one for a couple of weeks, then decide if you’d like to include more in next year’s plan?

It’s been a while since we have devoted any articles to this style of teaching/learning (February & August ’97). However, I am still convinced it is one of the best, most motivating ways for children to learn. I thought it might be good to revisit the topic because I have come across and used several great resources since then. More and more already-prepared theme studies are becoming available for homeschooling families.

Why it is worth a try…

How to go about it (with limited planning time and resources)

You don’t need a lot of preplanning to do a two- or three-week study. A key is to involve your children in the planning process. The planning itself is an important process to learn. Here could be some simple steps to follow:

Remember that very important learning comes out of the process: the decision-making, the planning, the organizing, and the evaluating. Of course, facts will be learned as well and probably remembered much better since they were actively sought out and worked with by the learners.

If your children get excited by this kind of active, hands-on learning, you might consider ordering for next year some of the resources listed in this publication. The process above is thoroughly explained and expanded in the Scholastic Professional Book, Theme Studies: A Practical Guide, by Penny Strube, which is no longer available.

To learn from other families’ experiences and tips for doing themes/ projects, you can read the following articles:

Permission to copy, but not for commercial use.