Homeschooling in the Busy Season
In my last post I talked about the insane times in your life that can test your very commitment to homeschool. The times when you feel like your life is out of control! When you ask yourself, why you ever thought homeschooling was possible?
We talked about why laying the foundation for independent homeschooling is so important. Vital, if you’re going to continue to homeschool on any sort of long-term basis. We talked about the basics of that ever so essential foundation. If you didn’t read that post you can check it out here.
But what about the practical. What can independent homeschooling look like for you?
Every family will do it differently, these are just some ideas we have used. Some of our school year is more independent than others. We do not school like this all the time.
Throughout the year I teach new concepts and train towards the goal of independent learning. If I work diligently on these things, my kids are able to do much of their schooling independently.
Only you know your child and his/her abilities to work on their own. Here’s some of what we’ve done:
- leaf collection and identification project
- explore symmetry and have them make a leaf collage that is symmetrical
- leaf collages made to look like animals or for the younger crowd just simple leaf collages
- Clay modeling- have them model something from a book they are reading or subject they’ve been studying
- Artwork, based on books they are reading, or have them illustrate stories or reports they are writing
- Write letters to grandparents, cousins or friends
- Teach them to mind map/brainstorm and build a story outline from there. From the outline have them complete the story, this project could take a few weeks to complete working on it a little every school day.
- If building an outline from a mind map is overwhelming to them then how about a story starter instead? Here’s a great book for story starters. Your child reads the story and then has to complete it. I would still encourage some brainstorming of ideas to complete the story though:)
- Let them play educational games- boggle, scrabble, tangramino, architecto .Which ones do your kids enjoy? Let us know in the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.
- Get a math program that’s independent, this only works if they’re reading and already comfortable with basic math facts. We love “Life of Fred” It makes math fun and gives great reading practice. We’ve also used Teaching Textbooks. The auditory explanations were better for my dyslexic child, Life of Fred does not work for those who struggle with reading.
- Watch educational movies or documentaries
- Listen to historical audio dramas- we love Lamplighter Theater as well as Under Drake’s Flag and other audio drama’s by Heirloom Audio Productions. These faith based audio dramas are highly entertaining while teaching history at the same time! I highly recommend them!
- Read stories aloud as a family and do projects related to them.
- Read poetry aloud as a family- I like to pick one poem, for an entire month we recite it with actions in the morning. We don’t dissect or analyze it, we simply enjoy it and work on memorizing it.
Do you have a Grandma or Grandpa, an Aunt, cousin or a good friend who might be willing to listen to your child over the phone once or twice a week? These can be done over the phone.
- Reading aloud to someone
- Oral Spelling bees
- Math problems or quizzes
- Foreign Language- if you know someone who is fluent in another language they can speak simple sentences or nursery rhymes and songs over the phone
Let them Play
- Playing is learning, especially for the very young child
- Let them make puppets and put on puppet shows. Here is an amazing book about puppets.
- Give them a sandbox. Let them do sand sculptures and make whole cities with road systems and bridges etc
- build walking beams low to the ground with lumber and tree stumps
These ideas are also great for keeping your kids busy during the summer.The list could go on and on, but I’m really excited to hear about your ideas!
Oh please do share! What kinds of projects do your kids do on their own? What things do they really enjoy? I love to hear new ideas and fresh takes on educational activities for kids!
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