BigLearning.org is the offical home of Big Learning, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to supporting children's school and life success through real-world, hands-on learning opportunities. We offer innovative after-school curriculum and workshops for families, kids' clubs, and after-school programs, and free family activities via BigLearning.org.
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About Big Learning
Big Learning means learning new ideas and skills while doing a fun or meaningful activity. It's learning math when fixing a bicycle, science during a hike, or geography during a charity project. Big Learning is an effective way to help your kids do better in school and prepare them for success in life.
Hands-on. Real World. No Boundaries!
Big Learning is also a short-hand for describing learning activities with some or all of these characteristics:
Hands-On: Big Learning is active - you are making or doing something. Often the activity includes creative or design elements.
Real World: Big Learning can happen in school or out, but it is driven by a real-world activity that means something to the learner.
No Boundaries: There are three kinds of boundaries Big Learning doesn't have.
Brain-Boosting Family Fun
Big Learning is easy to incorporate into your family life. It just means adding a little sparkle of new learning to the things you do every day with your kids, from errands to family outings. If you ask your kids to count the change at the store, and stop to teach them how, that's Big Learning. If you find a pretty autumn leaf, and look together on the Internet to see what kind of tree it came from, that's Big Learning too. By showing your kids that life is more fun when you explore, find answers, and solve problems, you're setting them up for a lifetime of learning success.
Because learning new things with kids is exciting and invigorating, Big Learning makes family time more enjoyable. Compare that to supervising extra workbook pages, and you'll see that Big Learning is a more enjoyable way to support your child's education - without pressure, drills, and carpools.
Big Learning at home helps kids do better in school. When kids have already encountered concepts like fractions in their everyday lives, their school learning becomes a simple matter of filling in the details of things they already understand.
How Does it Work?
Baking cookies together is an example of an activity that's full of Big Learning. When the topic of measurement comes up, the parent can show the child right then and there how to measure one and a half teaspoons, even if they've never learned about fractions before. Right away, the child learns important things about measuring fractional amounts: how to do it, why you do it, how you know you've done it correctly, and maybe what happens if you do it incorrectly.
In Big Learning, the real world makes learning easier. For example, think about learning fractions in cooking. Your child hears the words "half a cup of milk" at the same time he sees the liquid come half-way up in a measuring cup, and at the same time that you point out the number "1/2" printed on the side. The real world has provided three different ways to understand the fraction ½, within just a few seconds. Big Learning is like that - it comes through all the senses, and the knowledge is important to the task at hand. It's easier to learn that way, and the learning sticks.
It's all here
On this site, you'll find gobs of fun activities that are full of Big Learning potential. That means they're activities that kids and adults can enjoy together. They don't feel like school learning, but they expose kids to concepts that help them succeed in school and in life. In every activity, we let you know what kind of Big Learning you might encounter, and we suggest ways to bring it out. That way you can jump right in with your child.
So explore the treasure troves , check out our picks for great children's non-fiction , explore our math activities , sign up for the newsletter for free activities every week, and check out the newsletter archives , and have fun learning!