Sticking to a schedule is great, but if too rigid, schedules can suck the life out of learning.
Sometimes our kids begin to look enviously at other children, whose lives seem packed with action, friends and fun.
So, what's a homeschooling parent to do?
This past December, while listening to my teens chat with friends at church, I overheard one girl sharing all the things that were happening in her life and at school.
As she enthusiastically shared her exciting eventful schedule, my teens listened quietly, and I rolled my eyes, as she ended her long list with "Spirit Week".
My first thought (I am being honest here) is that Spirit Week sounded like a complete waste of time. Just another reason to get out of school work, shorten the academic week or dilute educational learning.
As this brown eyed, public-schooled bundle of joy skipped away, I wanted my girls to be as excited about their home school experience as this girl was about her life in public school.
There are many benefits to homeschooling, but if your kids are feeling a little left out, here are some creative homeschooling ideas to liven up any lifeless home school.
Make Your Own Home School Spirit Week.
This December we did just that!
Everyday I planned some fun activities and educational excursions, getting us out of our regular and sometimes monotonous routine, and bringing our family closer together.
We went to the Nutcracker Ballet, a wonderful museum in Detroit, Christmas shopping, ate special meals and more! We kept each day’s activities under wraps. My kids didn’t know what the day would hold, or where they were going until we got there.
Spirit Week added mystery, surprise, anticipation, excitement and wonderful memories to our home school – definitely a creative homeschooling must do!
Sometimes you just need to do things different. Once in a while go to school in your pj’s!
Warm up during those cold winter days with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book to beat those winter blues. Family reading time creates close family bonds, strengthens relationships, makes learning fun and relieves stress.
For a change... listen to your favorite book on CD or tape. Some series like the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter are masterfully done and will provide sheer enjoyment to children of all ages.
Take a break from your book work and gather around the tube, for some fun, educational learning and creative homeschooling.
Old movies, cooking shows, documentaries, sports, and news allow for some interesting and different ways of learning.
Do School Somewhere Different.
Spend the day doing school in another area or room of your home.
Let your child pick their favorite place and if it’s warm... let them go outside.
When we had a tree house, we loved to read our historical read-alouds together up in the huge tree in our backyard.
It’s a memory that my kids (and I) will never forget.
Let Your Kids Teach.
Turn the tables, for a little creative homeschool teaching and let your kids teach you or their younger siblings. Your child will love pretending to teach and having real students in their class.
Best of all? Nothing reinforces learning, like teaching what you know to someone else.
Practice raising your hands and taking turns answering and asking questions to develop patience and deference and to strengthen group and listening skills.
Dress Up Day.
Discard the everyday clothes and become your favorite figure for a day.
Take some time to make a costume of a historical figure from your lessons and enter into a day of living history.
Make special meals and play some games of that time period.
Or just wear your favorite super hero costume and do school at lightning speed, in super-hero style!
Don’t forget to take pictures while out on your educational excursions and have your children write or share what they learned when they return home.
When finishing a unit, have a day filled with hands-on learning.
Schedule a presentation night and take turn sharing projects, reports, and new things learned during the week, for some creative homeschooling fun.
Presentation nights provide the perfect ending to your homeschool unit studies.
My eighth grade daughter just finished her study of Ancient Rome. I was ordered "Out of the kitchen!" and she prepared a fantastic night of family feasting and fun, featuring foods and facts that she discovered during her unit study.
Creative homeschooling ideas are as vast as your imagination. Take some time today to plan some fun, educational and inexpensive homeschooling activities to encourage your kids and add excitement to your home school learning.
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