More families are homeschooling than ever before. Whether you’re a parent (or grandparent) doing this for the first time or a seasoned homeschooler, you are aware that things might get a bit boring for your little one without the usual stimulations of a typical school day.
To make sure your routine doesn’t become too dull for them as the school year goes on, we’ve put together a list of five ways to liven up your homeschooling that will keep them happy and engaged.
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be all work and no play.
This is a unique time and method of learning that can understand the importance of play without wearing a child down with the grind of a typical school day. Play isn’t always a waste of time; it can be a brilliant opportunity to explore a child’s imagination and view of the world.
Set aside what would typically be lesson time once a day to let your children play alone or together. If you can, encourage them to play with particular toys and see what stories and scenarios they can create. You can even tie this into your lessons, such as English or Art, using their creations and play activities to explore new ideas and themes.
Toys can be a fantastic source of inspiration. Not just cheap pieces of plastic or plush, they can be the lead into a world of adventure with a concrete moral at the end. There are hundreds of toy developers out there producing inspiring STEM and play toys perfect for breaks in between homeschooling, indoors or outdoors. There are even kid’s subscription boxes that will keep these collections updated monthly without you having to worry.
Make room for creativity
Inspiring creativity is essential for keeping young brains engaged in homeschooling. You should look to vary your lessons from hard, factual sessions to more openly creative ones.
By creative sessions, we don’t just mean letting them go wild with some crayons and paper, but use your lessons as leads into creative sessions. Rather than simply teaching them about history and literature get them to create their own visual interpretation.
Creativity can come in so many more forms than just traditional art. Your child might want to show their creativity through acting, so promote putting on family productions together. They may be more musically inclined, so teach them history through having them learn a common song of the time on their instrument. There are so many ways you can blend creativity and learning so they get more out of both sessions.
If you’re finding it hard to get your kids to concentrate on words, give visual learning a try.
Pages and pages of textbooks can be incredibly dull after a while. Thankfully YouTube, and other streaming platforms, are full of free educational videos to give your children a break from listening to the parents talk for once.
This gives you the opportunity to take a break and makes them feel like they’re experiencing a treat. Some children learn much more effectively from video and audio explanations of topics than through reading it themselves. This is particularly effective for hard texts.
You don’t even have to turn to screens to provide this alternative form of teaching. Younger kids will appreciate and be enthralled by the bright colors and characters of a homemade puppet show. While older homeschooled children will benefit from visual puzzles to test their brains and problem-solving abilities.
Make your teaching seasonal
Kids are fascinated by the changing of the seasons. Semesters can feel like a lifetime, with Christmas and summer seemingly an age away. To break them up and keep things interesting, let the seasons guide your curriculum.
Try collecting conkers and crunching leaves between lessons about the harvest. Engage in snowball fights in the backyard to explain how and why the temperature changes. These are great ways to cover new topics by integrating what is happening in the world around your children.
Learning should never feel linear and restricted, especially in the home. Don’t be afraid to go off-course and let the seasons guide your teaching every now and again.
Being trapped in the classroom all day can be very irritating, even if it’s your house. I’m sure as a teacher you’d love the opportunity to step outside with your kid as much as they would, so why not take the chance to incorporate it into your curriculum?
It’s hard to learn about the world without living in it. What better way to learn about nature and the ecosystem of bugs than stepping into the garden and digging around in the dirt a little? Can you truly understand lessons about the constellations if you don’t set up some chairs and stargaze one evening?
These are great ways to break the pattern of a regular school day by giving kids a much-needed change of scenery and the opportunity to experience learning outside of the formal context of your classroom.
Your homeschooling experience is an opportunity to make learning different every day and give your child the maximum attention they deserve. These tips help afford them that chance without becoming bored, frustrated, or resentful.
Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.
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