12 Fun Ways To Learn In The Park

Explore the trails. As you walk through the trails, look around at the wildlife and plants, and try to identify as many as you can. You may find the free app Shazam for Nature helpful for identifying local plant life. Bring a pocket microscope or a magnifying glass along with you to get a better look at things!

Count how many times it takes to swing really high. Pump your legs at various speeds and count how many times it takes to swing as high as you like to go. How much force does it take to get to a comfortable speed?

See who’s hanging out at the pond. If your park has a pond, or a body of water within it, identify who’s hanging out in it or visiting at the time. Observe, take pictures, or draw what you see. Supervision suggested.

Draw or take pictures/videos of the things you see and do. Bring your sketchbook and colored pencils or painting supplies along with you, or a camera to record what you see.

 Start a game of tag with some of the other people in the park.

Take sporting equipment with you. Bring a Frisbee, tennis equipment, a playground ball, basket ball, baseball equipment, or a kite, with you to play with and invite some other people to join you.

Find a couple of sticks and have a race with someone else. Bring a friend and a stopwatch and see how fast you can run from one stick to another. Think of some other fun games you can play with a stick or two.

Bring chalk to draw with. Make a hopscotch board and invite someone to play with you.

Bring your skates, bike, or a skate board. Ride the bike trails if the park has one or skate in the skate park. Don’t forget your safety gear!

Bring a friend or a pet to play with.

Bring some toys to play with. Consider bringing sand toys, dump trucks, dolls, action figures, etc..

Play on the playground equipment available.

People watch. Sit on a bench and observe what other people are doing.

Don’t forget to pack water and a snack or lunch to enjoy when you take a break from having fun!

What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit the park? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Sharing Your Knowledge With Others

You’ve come to the point in your learning journey where you’re ready to begin sharing all the interesting information you’ve been learning about. Sharing is one of the most wonderful and beneficial parts of the journey, and can be done a lot of different ways. As a matter of fact, you may only be limited by your imagination!

Here are just a few of the many ways you can share what you’re learning with others:

Start a blog or a website. You can start a personal blog or website for free, and invite selected people to view and contribute to it, or share it with the world. It’s a great place to share your questions, experiences, thought processes, favorite sites, videos you have viewed or taken yourself, pictures, book summaries, reviews, opinions, dilemmas, and other information. It’s a great way to collaborate with others as well.
Note: A Photoblog, or Photolog, can also be created if your topic is visual in nature, or you happen to choose photography as your sharing medium. Pictures can often convey what words alone can not say.

Create a vlog or video channel. Share your thoughts and experiences with others via video. Instead of, or in addition to maintaining a blog, you can create a video journal about your learning adventure.

Create infographics. Infographics are a group of words and pictures or sometimes just pictures that offer information in a creative way. It’s a great way to share information quickly and easily, and it can often overcome language barriers.

Start or join a discussion group. If you’re really into what you’re learning, or just starting out, join or begin a discussion group on the topic. This group can be online, physical, or both. It’s a great way to share knowledge, brainstorm ideas, swap resources, network and get new leads and perspectives.

Start a publication. There are quite a few different types of publications you can start such as: a book or booklet, magazine, fact sheet, newsletter, comic, pamphlet, guide, etc.. Other people can benefit greatly from what you know, so get the information out there in some creative way!

Design a game based on the things you’ve learned. You may be able to market it for others interested in the topic when you’re done.

Write articles for a publication related to your topic. Many publications are looking for articles and stories about the topic you’re interested in. Consider contributing to them because what you know can help or be of interest to others.

Plan a program or class. Clubs, libraries, small museums, and schools are just a few of the places you can share what you know with others. Get in contact with the event planner, administrator, curator, Children’s Librarian, Friends of the Library event coordinator, or a teacher to find out how you can offer them a class or a program about your favorite topic. If you choose to do this, it’s a good idea to have a well formed plan ready to go, as they may not consider your request without one.

Sharing what you know with others can be a really exciting part of your learning journey and I highly recommend it. I personally do not think you are ever too young or old to share what you’re passionate about with others.

This concludes the tip series: Creating A One-of-a-Kind Study
I hope you enjoyed and benefited from it in some way.
Thanks for reading!
Fran W.

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Documenting Your Personal Learning Journey

You’ve decided on a topic, designed your own study, and found great learning resources. Sometimes being able to take all the information in is satisfying enough. There are other times when you may want to begin documenting what you’re learning, the resources you used, the places you went, and where and how you learned what you know. You may also want to have a place to store your questions, knowledge, thoughts, and designs. There are a lot of enjoyable and creative ways to do that. 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Keep a sectioned notebook or binder primarily for the topics you are currently learning about. Include the names of the books and periodicals you read, websites visited, videos watched, places you went, people you spoke to, pictures, designs, and any other information you deem important enough to include.

Start a word document. Open your word-processor and type in any information you want to include. Add pictures too!

Dedicate a file folder to your topic. Create and name a file folder on your computer, and add all the information you want to keep in that folder.
Include: Pictures, videos, sound files, word files with thoughts, things learned, summaries of the things you read, new questions, etc..

Start a blog or a website. You can start a personal blog or website for free and keep it private, invite selected people to view it, or share it publicly. It’s a great place to keep the sites you’ve read, videos you’ve viewed or taken yourself, hold onto pictures, jot down notes, write book summaries, process your thoughts and opinions, and other information.
Create a vlog or video channel. Again you can keep it private or share it with others. Instead documenting your adventure via writing, you can create a video journal of your journey for the same reasons you may keep a blog or site. You can also create your own videos and keep them on your computer or in a cloud.
Draw or take pictures. In some cases it is easier to draw or document what you’re learning with pictures. Pictures and drawings can be uploaded to a computer and made into a digital scrapbook or a Power Point Presentation. 
Design a game based on the things you’ve learned. Games are a fun way to help you remember information and test your knowledge.
Make audio files. Document your journey using an audio device. This is a great way to record a quick note or reminder, capture a thought, event, sound, a feeling, or an observation.
Start a personal publication. There are many different types of publications you can start such as: A book, magazine, newsletter, pamphlet, a guide, etc. for your personal reference.
Some other ways include: Scrapbooks, portfolios, an efolio, fact/information cards, etc.. 
How something is recorded really depends on the topic and how compelled you feel about documenting your journey. Having or being able to refer to material later on may prove to be really valuable someday, so take a little time before, during, or after each learning session to document what you’ve learned in a way that appeals to you most.

In my next post, I’ll offer some tips about sharing your knowledge with others.

Thanks for reading!
Fran W.
Connect with FranW.com

Finding Informative Learning Resources

If you’re planning to design a personalized, one-of-a-kind study, you are going to need informative resources, and ways to gain the greatest understanding possible about your chosen topic. When you’re learning in ways that best suit your needs, the options are almost limitless!

Here’s a list of some of the resources you can use to design your study.

Observation – Observation is a very powerful tool and a great deal can be learned by watching something or someone. It can also lead to some excellent questions.

Books & Periodicals – Look for books, articles, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, journals, blogs, and any other written material available to you, about your chosen topic.

Videos and Vlogs – If you want to learn about something, there’s bound to be a video about it somewhere on the Internet! Do a quick search and don’t forget to bookmark your favorites! If you can’t find what you are looking for, consider making your own, based on your own experiences. It will help you connect with others interested in your topic.

Personal Experiences – Experience IS the absolute best teacher, so if you can get some first hand knowledge about your topic, go for it. Consider volunteering, getting or making a job in that area, helping someone who’s already doing what you would like to do, or paying someone to show you the ropes. Depending on the topic, you can also go to museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, take tours, attend classes, and any number of other opportunities can open up to you.

Attend Programs & Events – Check your local paper, community calendar, groups, websites of interest, museums, reenactment societies, cafes, adult education facilities, science centers, societies related to your topic, and friends in the know, about programs and events being held on your topic of interest, and attend as many as possible. You’ll begin making connections and finding new leads and directions to go in.

Open Courses – The Internet is filled with formal and informal courses on a wide variety of topics. Search for what you need or ask someone if they have any leads. If you want to go at your own pace, look for courses that don’t have any time constraints.

Trial & Error – Good old trial and error will have you knowing the ins and outs and dos and don’ts in no time flat.
Note: Please stay safe. Get to know the safety rules and laws before hand if your chosen area is potentially dangerous.

The Internet is one excellent place for finding learning resources, but don’t forget your local library and their inter-library loan programs.

Look for apps in your favorite app store as well.

In my next post, I’ll offer some tips about documenting your personal learning journey.
Thanks for reading!
Fran W.
If this topic interests you, I invite you to connect with me via:

Design Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Study

You’re really passionate about a certain topic and want to learn all you can about it. You know you can do it on your own, but you’re not sure where to begin.

Any topic can be turned into a one-of-a-kind study designed to fit your personal needs. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your way:

  • If you have specific interests about your chosen topic, write down what you want to know, and any questions you may have, and move on from there.
  • As you’re learning, jot down any questions or thoughts you may have. They will help to direct you when you’re ready to take on another area of your chosen topic.
  • Learning on your own doesn’t have any rules, you get to start anywhere you want, and go in the direction that best suits your needs.
  • There aren’t any time constraints when you’re in control of your own learning journey, so spend as much time as you need satisfying your curiosities.
  • Go with the flow by allowing the learning process to take on a life of its own. Doing this will allow the topic, or topic area, to take you on a learning adventure designed just for you.
  • You’re only limited by your resources. Thinking out of the box and being observant can be your greatest allies when finding resources to learn from.
  • If you don’t know where to begin, watch a video, read something such as an article or a book, or talk or listen to someone. You may begin to form questions, or get curious about some of the things you read or hear, and be able to go on from there.

In my next post, I’ll offer some tips about finding resources that can be used to suit your learning needs.

Thanks for reading!
Fran W.

If this topic interests you, I invite you to connect with me via email, Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  Google+
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll address it as soon as I can. You can also send me a message at learningisnatural@gmail.com.

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Note: If this, or any other post on Fran’s World of Discovery, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found!  Thank you!

7 Ways Your Library Saves You Money

Your library can help you keep learning costs low!

Check out your local library’s website to see what they have to offer online, or take a trip to the library and ask about the free services they offer their patrons within the library and online. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find out!

What does your local library offer online?

Downloadable eBooks – Free
These days most libraries offer their patrons downloadable ebooks that can be chosen online, and expire in a period of time. This helps to keep learning costs low while your family stays current on the authors, books, and topics they find the most interesting.
Online Program Subscriptions – Free
Some libraries subscribe to a variety of programs such as, language programs, programs where children and adults can read books online or have them read to them.

Test Practice & Courses – Free
If a patron needs to study for the SAT, GED, or a similar test, check to see if your local library offers practice exams online. While you’re at it, check to see if they offer any online courses!
What to check for within the library…
Ancestry Information – Free
If you’re interested in learning more about your family tree, some libraries offer computers, set up within the library, to help with genealogy research.
Programs & Events – Free
Check to see if your library offers story-time or activities for young children, book clubs for adults and children, summer read programs, craft programs, movies, speakers, and/or any other special programming or event.
Learning Resources – Free
A great way to set up your own personalized learning program, is to use the library! Many libraries offer a variety of learning resources for different needs. In addition to the online resources and books, many libraries have music CDs and videos you can borrow for a period of time, games and puzzles you can play within the library, exhibits, reference materials, braille and talking books, and much more. Don’t forget to look for an audio book on a topic of interest while you’re there!
Book Sales = Deep discount
Many libraries have books sales and/or a used book shop where you can get seriously deep discounts on fictional and non-fictional books, cds, movies, dvds, and audio books your family may enjoy. It’s a great way to start a home library or add to it.
One last tip: Stay Informed!
If your library has a membership program such as, ‘Friends of the Library’, sign up! You’ll have to pay a small fee to become a member, but it’s well worth it because they will send you a monthly newsletter letting you know about all the great programming and events they have to offer.

What does your library have to offer?

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