I have a curious mind and a passion for learning. True, I am yet to conquer bike riding and driving but hey, we all have our limits. When I became a mum it was important to me to instil in my children a similar love of learning. They’re both in school, but I’ve often wondered how differently they would feel about education if I was brave enough to home-school. They’re not always as ‘enthusiastic’ about school-set tasks as they are about learning in the outdoors or online. Surprisingly,  they seek out sciences and wellbeing content online. They enjoy sharing what they’ve learnt with me. My children are curious in their own way and have an explorer’s soul. Hence, I was excited to hear about the Family Learning Festival. It’s fitting that the theme of the Family Learning Festival this year is Inspiring Curiosity.


Barriers to Extracurricular Learning

My family and I have always done learning activities together. During my children’s early years we did courses at the local children’s centre. Then, as they got older we had museum trips, woodland walks, cooking and so on. It’s key that we learn together. As I mentioned before, I can’t drive, subsequently, we usually go to easily commutable places. I believe there are three potential barriers to extracurricular learning:

• Affordability
• Proximity
• Time

Online learning helps to alleviate those barriers. Although we have never done an online course together, I’m intrigued by the prospect and supporting Campaign for Learning with their annual Family Learning Festival. All learning starts from that spark … curiosity.


About the Family Learning Festival

The Family Learning Festival is nationwide and has been developed to inspire a love of learning in family life. It launches across the UK this week.

A range of organisations coordinate local activities and online workshops that are fun, informal, and promote a culture of learning as a family.

Now, here’s what’s on for families this October. Remember, these online, live events are free and fun, so don’t miss out!


Howard the Average Gecko

The first online family event is on 19th October, Howard the Average Gecko – Chemistry of Colour, 10AM. Run time is approximately 45mins. It’s FREE. Register here. The event is suitable for children 3-7 and their families. It’s a fun-filled exploration of the chemistry of colour.

Join the live event from your home, school, or nursery at 10am to explore the chemistry of colour with a special reading of Howard the Average Gecko by author Wendy Meddour. Then, learn some Makaton, sing along to the gecko song, and join in as resident chemist Harriet shares some colourful chemistry experiments involving saltwater solutions and exploring the colours of Smarties.

The list of materials and instructions will be provided to enable participants to  try out the experiments. It is advised that you join for the whole event, then try out the experiments afterwards. A recording of the event will be available through YouTube so that you can watch the experiments again.


The Gingerbread Man

The second online family event, The Gingerbread Man – Chemistry of Cooking, is carded for 25th October, 10AM. This event is also FREE. Register here. The event is suitable for children 3-7 and their families. Join the live event online from your home, school or nursery for a fun-filled exploration of the chemistry of cooking! It’s only 45-minutes.

Chemistry is at the centre of everything we can see, smell, touch, and taste! Hear the story of the Gingerbread Man from storyteller extraordinaire Elena. Then, learn some Makaton, sing along to the gingerbread song, and join in as resident chemist Harriet cooks up some chemistry experiments: making square eggs and showing you how cakes rise with a fizzy surprise!

Both events are run by Campaign for Learning and the Family Learning Festival. I truly hope you have the opportunity to try these events and that it will be the start (or continuation) of lifelong learning together as a family.



This is a sponsored feature in collaboration with Campaign for Learning

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