Yes, school must be consistent…..Yes, we, legally, need to put in a certain amount of hours per semester/year…..and Yes, book learning should be involved – but who says it has to be boring and humdrum?
Homeschool can be a difficult undertaking – not just for us, but for our kids. When we take our average, and consistent schedule, and shake it up a bit, by throwing in a little fun here and there or doing things slightly differently, it makes our kids excited about learning…and when they are excited about learning, then it makes our homeschool a success!
Here are 10 ideas that will take you in the right direction:
1) Plan a surprise field trip. Don’t tell your kids. Just have them get dressed to go out. Keep it a secret until they arrive at the destination and see for themselves where they are. You can use this idea in so many ways…. as a surprise park day, a picnic day, a mall day, etc…
2) Instead of regular math/spelling/history drills, use educational board games (grammar bingo, math tic-tac-toe, scrambled states, brain quest, etc…) Amazon.com has a slew of them.
3) Switch roles. Let your child be the teacher for 1 or 2 subjects, and you be the student. (And make sure you make some mistakes, so they can correct your work).
4) Create ‘just because’ holidays in your school year (once a quarter or semester) and mark them on the calendar so everyone can see and look forward to it. Here are some examples: ‘Dad’s Day’ (Dad plans the day, and everyone does what Dad wants)……Birthdays (these were always an ‘off school’ holiday in my school)……’Video game Day’ (everyone picks a video game they want to play, and everyone must play it with them)…..Educational Movie Day – Everyone chooses a couple of things (the previous week) they want to learn about, and the day is spent with popcorn/lunch/dinner/blankets cuddled up watching (and discussing after each video) informative, interesting movies.
5) If your child is old enough, let them cook dinner once a week. Before hand, go to recipe.com and choose a couple of instructional videos of dishes you think your child could handle, then let them watch and choose which one they want to use. Take them to shop for ingredients (with your help). This is a real self esteem booster.
6) Design t-shirts for yourselves. At any craft store, you can find blank t-shirts and fabric paint. Sit down together, design and paint! And make sure you WEAR them!!
7) Take an educational walk with your child. While you are walking, there are soooo many games you can play. (I spy………spell everything you see….. rhyming games……nature trivia…..etc…)
8) Surprise your children with a quick lunch date at a fast food restaurant. Work all morning, but when lunch time comes, tell them to get into the car. Go to a restaurant where you can have a quick lunch, then, get back home to finish school.
9) Do school at the library. When they finish their work, they can enjoy other library books. A change of scenery can be therapeutic!
10) Use incentives, stickers, and sticker charts. Invest in numerous shapes, colors and sizes of stickers. Put together a reward system. Reward excellent test grades, Perfect pages of work, ect… (not chores well done – please)
There are so many other things you can do to spice up your school life. NOTE: points 1-10 are (NOT) to be used frequently. The more you use them, the less exciting they will be…so be spontaneous!
“Sometimes the best moments are the ones you didn’t plan at all” – Unknown