Injecting Genuine Fun Into Your Homeschool DayLinda Rose
Once the newness of a new school year wears off, it can be hard to keep everyone excited and engaged with their learning. Sometimes we find our homeschool in a bit of a rut. When the doldrums hit, I like to switch things up and inject genuine fun into our day with these suggestions.
Invent a Game
Put away the pencils and worksheets and play a game. You can make anything —yes, even the most hated subject — instantly fun by turning it into a race, a game, or a friendly competition.
Learning the states and capitals? Make a matching game out of it using index cards. Write states on one set of cards and capitals on the other set. Shuffle them together and lay them out on the table or the floor and take turns finding matches. Work with just 10 states at a time and before you know it, you will have them all memorized!
Having trouble remembering the multiplication facts for the 7s? Turn it into a relay race! Place multiples of 7 randomly around the room. Call out the multiplication fact and have children run to the correct answer.
Get a Fresh View
Take your learning to a new place. We like to pack things up and go to grandma’s house to learn. The kids jump on the trampoline between subjects to help burn off the energy, and grandma enjoys having us visit.
Another great place to go is the library. Besides being a quiet place to study, there is the added bonus of having access to reference books!
On a warm day, take your books to the park. It’s not likely to be crowded during the day when other kids are in school, and you can enjoy reading aloud from your history books. The kids can lie on a blanket on the grass as they listen. An excellent reward for listening well could be some time spent on the playground.
Take a hike, run a race, or go exploring. Physical activity will energize your children’s brains, and you can also call it nature study if you are being active in a natural setting. Have your students keep a journal where they can draw their findings or press some leaves that have fallen to the ground. When you get back home, try to identify your observations that you collected.
When we start feeling bored or overwhelmed with our current curriculum, I add something new:
- notebooking pages
- coloring pages
- folder books
- an engrossing novel
- a new workbook
- a seasonal unit study
We may add that change permanently to our routine or use it only for a short season to maintain variety.
Take a Field Trip
When all else fails, take a field trip. Field trips can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like and can either match something you are currently studying or not.
Visit a local museum. Studying animal habitats? Go to the zoo. Learning about famous composers? Listen to the orchestra. Reading about community helpers? Tour the fire department or police station. Looking for art inspiration? Find an art museum. Classifying plants? Visit a botanical garden.
There are hundreds of ways to connect your learning to a field trip—scavenger hunts, local museums, state parks, grocery stores—all provide daily learning challenges and refresh as well as cementing your studies.
Master a New Life Skill
Cooking, baking, sewing, cleaning, babysitting, and car repair are intensely practical skills that your children need to know! Plus the hands-on aspect is usually appealing to most children. Take some time to learn a new craft or hobby. Learn how to grow a garden. Devote a small part of each day to working on the chosen project. Start small to help build up your confidence. Pretty soon your children will have a vast knowledge of a variety of skills to complement their book learning. Plus your child may discover a future career interest through these life skills.