Home-based Early Learning Program

Added Advantage 

Serving London, Ontario 

Phase Two: 
Field Work, Investigations & Explorations

This is the meat and potatoes of the work, where children and educators can get down and dirty in their explorations, discoveries and experiments!

  • Educators, parents and family members network to provide access to books, photos, hands on materials, and other resources for setting the stage during classroom exploration.
  • The children are involved in close, first hand observations / investigations on their own.
  • Educators parents and family members network to arrange for in house experts and field site visits to stretch children’s understanding and introduce new information.
  • Children seek to answer their "I wonder" questions from phase one and create new ones through asking experts questions, looking into books, materials, trying out their theories and examining the discoveries, etc.
  • Children represent their learning through a variety of mediums, drawing, clay, dramatic play, block play, etc.
  • Educators look for natural ways to enhance charting / graphing / researching and compiling data skills throughout the project, how to explore and create new things as they explore the project concepts and challenge children to represent their ideas in different creative mediums - this help in trying out their theories.
  • Educators probe children further as they engage in exploration through asking and creating new 'I wonder' questions and documenting and bringing children back to their discoveries. For example a scenario might go like "Yesterday I remember that you noticed an apple turns brown on the table, then you were wondering what would happen if you left an apple outside in the sun? I brought some more apples today, what else do you think we need to compare what happens to the apple outside compared with what happened yesterday when it accidentally got left on the table?"
  • Educators still help to set the stage offering materials that provoke investigations, hands on exploration, stimulate new observations and help children form new I wonder questions.
  • Children engage in self initiated discoveries manipulating materials in new and different ways! Making their own observations, engaging in conversations about their own understanding - helping each other to learn. Project explorations are rich with natural mathematical opportunities. A chance to offer hands on opportunities to for example explore different parts of the apples they have seen in books provided and give a chance to give a concrete experience to a previously abstract one.
  • Project work allows children to build on their own interests... it allows children to collaborate and build on each others ideas! Project work offers lots of opportunity to incorporate new vocabulary, enable a print rich environment as well as opportunities for children to enhance creative expression.
  • During project work children begin to represent their understanding and explorations in a variety of mediums! Ursela Kolbe has written two great books about the role of representational drawing and childhood development. Listening and recording their stories around creative expression builds self esteem and desire to create bigger venues and tell more complex stories around them. Strategically placing materials of inspiration into the room help children to learn to represent their thoughts.
  • Project work builds on physical skills both large and small. Providing lots of opportunities to practice with real tools.
  • Field site visits offer children a chance to see their interests hands on in the real world, cant access off site visits, try having people come into the centre or accessing via internet.

Phase Two be covered in an afternoon or occupy six months worth of curriculum depending on the interest of the children, creativity of the educators, parents and community members setting the stage and the variety of materials available to stretch and provoke new wonderings and ideas to go deep and further for the children!