How to Use Homeschool Strewing to Make Life Interesting

If you only take one idea from unschoolers, this should be the one. Strewing was coined by Sandra Dodd many years back and is used to define the act of leaving interesting things around for your children to encounter. Maybe you set out a new puzzle, book or game.

Here’s more of Sandra’s thoughts of strewing:

But there’s another element which isn’t physically “strewing” but involves instead taking the children out and about with the idea of their seeing (hearing, tasting, smelling, touching) things they might not have come upon otherwise and that you can’t lay casually about the house…………….Sandra Dodd

I think of all of these things as just leading a life of curiosity.

How to Use Homeschool Strewing to Make Life Interesting

This post may contain affiliate links, you can find my disclosure here.

Physical Homeschool Strewing

Physical strewing is all those interesting things we bring into our homes. We often think of books, games, and puzzles, but what about food, music, and movies?

By paying attention and looking at things in a new light, we can access an endless supply of strewing material.

My husband loves to watch John Wayne movies with our girls, and they’ve learned an incredible amount of history with The Duke. The knowledge my girls have acquired from Wild Kratts is astonishing and we also use Pandora to set the seasonal atmosphere.

One of my favorite ways to strew is with subscription boxes. It’s a pricier option, but they make great gifts from family members. Here are some of our favorites:

There are so many things to possibly strew and so much to be learned by the entire family.

Virtual Homeschool Strewing

Have you tried Symbaloo? This is the perfect way to do some virtual strewing.

On Symbaloo I have created a page for each child, and those pages contain links to programs they use, things they would find interesting, and some internet shortcuts.

For example, my nine-year-old has Reading Eggs, PBS, and a link to the Draw So Cute Youtube channel as a few of her links.

My eleven-year-old has links to one of our favorite art programs,, and some Youtube videos about Jane Goodall.

By using Symbaloo, I can drop some virtual hints about interesting Youtube videos that align with our history reading or online games.

Another great thing a few of my girls do is This is a fantastic website that has different “badges” the kids can earn in various categories by completing activities. They have everything from ornithology, animation, drawing, and gymnastics. The one I’ve meant to do with the girls is the cartographer’s badge. Implementing DIY is an excellent homeschool tool.

How to Use Homeschool Strewing to Make Life Interesting

Experiential Homeschool Strewing

Experiences are probably my favorite kind of strewing; the possibilities are limitless.

Usually, we think of the zoo, museums, and theater productions, but there are so many more options when we get creative.

One of my favorite things to do is check out international markets. We once lived near an Asian Superstore and went there for Chinese New Year. The kids had such a great time seeing all the unusual food and home items.

Here we have an International Megamarket that has items from all over the world. My 14-year-old has been begging to return.

Another example was when my 13-year-old was younger. She was fascinated with the construction of roads and homes. One day we visited a new subdivision that was just getting ready to have streets laid and she loved seeing the process.

Within your community, there is a multitude of possibilities.  My younger daughters attended four free classes at our local library sponsored by Bedtime Math where they learned about probability, measuring, and a little physics.

Our local watershed stewardship program has hosted classes where the kids have gone on a creek walk and dissected rotting plant material looking for organisms. It takes a little work, but there are unlimited opportunities if you look.

Homeschool Strewing: Adding Interest to Life | Strewing can add so much to your homeschool and educating life. Whether you are strewing things, books, or experiences, strewing allows your child to take an interest on their own and be self motivated
Strewing Homeschool Experiences at Kitty Hawk National Park

Being Open

The key to strewing is to have minimal expectations; some things will catch their interest and others will not.  That’s okay.

Also, step back and see how they interact with the thing, idea, or experience.  Heavy-handed “teachable moments” usually fall flat and can interfere with your child’s ability to form their personal connections.

Look around your house, I’m sure there is something interesting your children have never explored before.  Pull it out, place it somewhere, and observe.

Join my Facebook Group, Homeschool Mindset | Create a Life of Learning, for more homeschool strewing inspiration.

Want more Homeschool Strewing Ideas?

How to Guide of Relaxed Homeschool Strewing

Fantastic Free and Frugal Homeschool Strewing Ideas

Homeschool Strewing: An Atmosphere of Curiosity and Exploration

3 Reasons Homeschool Strewing is Rejected and How to Overcome Them

Homeschool strewing

Homeschool Strewing: Adding Interest to Life | Strewing can add so much to your homeschool and educating life. Whether you are strewing things, books, or experiences, strewing allows your child to take an interest on their own and be self motivated.

(This post contains affiliate links, see our disclosure policy here.)




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About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

12 thoughts on “How to Use Homeschool Strewing to Make Life Interesting

  1. This was so great! I love all the differentiating between types of strewing, and that it’s not just “leave a few books on the coffee table”.

    Beautiful blog, my friend!

  2. So many great, tangible examples! Thanks!

  3. This is a great article, I forget about strewing because i’m sort of doing it by default but doing it deliberately is so much more exciting for some reason. I definitely want to check out the Kitchen Passport thing – do you love it?

    1. Yes, I’m trying to become an affiliate, so I’ll let you know. Your girls might still be a little young, my 14, 13, & 11 really love it. Have you seen Little Passports? We got that one when my older girls were younger and I think I’m going to get again for my younger two girls.

      I’m hoping to do a post about all these soon : )

      A lot of my strewing is by default, too! And years of accumulating stuff.

      1. The Little Passports is great! Our kiddos loved those boxes!

  4. Avatar Amy Collier says:

    What a great post, Bethany!! I love the concept of strewing as “adding interest to life.” Too often it can start to feel like just another chore to do. Reframing it as part of life rather than a homeschool task puts the fun back in. 🙂 I’d never heard of Kitchen Table Passports and am already in contact with them about a Jamaica box. Thanks!!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I think your kids will like Kitchen Table Passport. It’s just enjoyment and appreciation, no contrived project : ) They send you an email with a playlist via Spotify that’s fun.

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