How to Make Homeschooling Fun
Whether your children are preschool or high school age, it's always good to think of how to make homeschooling fun. I have come up with a bunch of ideas that should help you. Believe me, I need this list just as much as anyone else because it's easy for me to get stuck in a rut too.
1. Smile A LOT! - This is such a simple suggestion but is so easily overlooked as a simple idea on how to make homeschooling fun. As moms we often stick our noses in our lists and agendas that we forget to look up and smile and enjoy the children God has given us. Think about the happy teachers you had in school, the ones that were always smiling, didn't you enjoy learning from them and spending time with them? We want our children to enjoy learning and want them to enjoy the time they spend with us, so smile a lot!
2. Take Walks - Whether you live in a city or in the country, there are always places to walk and observe the world around you. Just talk about what you see and observe with your children. This is a simple and inexpensive way to discover how to make homeschooling fun.
3. Go to the Library - a trip to the library always sparked an interest in learning at our house. I love ordering books online from my library and other libraries and being able to pick them all up at my local library when I walk in the door. I let my children pick out some books too. When they get old enough to use the computer, they can order the books that interest them and have them ready for pick up when we go.
4. Play Games - Children learn so much from playing games. Not only do they learn math and thinking skills, they learn how to take turns and work with others. For more information on how to use games and to see our favorite games, head over to Homeschool Games.
5. Send Letters to Family Members and Friends - Your children will probably enjoy sending letters to people they know especially if they have something new going on in their lives. Pen pals are another option you can use too.
6. Use Building Toys - Legos, Ello, Kinex, and Lincoln Logs are all great building toys that help your child build thinking skills. If you are studying France, you can have them build the Eifel Tower. There are so many interesting things children can build with these toys. We used these toys a lot when I was reading out loud to them. They were able to pay attention better when they had something to do with their hands.
7. Art Projects - If you provide different kinds of paper and different types of media (like markers,paints, etc.) to use to draw or paint, you will be surprised at what your children can create. Here again, this can be related to something you are studying or just for fun. If your child needs some help, get some books on art and guide them along a bit if you need to.
8. Meet Authors, Scientists, and Engineers - Sometimes libraries will invite authors of children's books to come in and give a demonstration and talk to kids. My children have always enjoyed these. One year NASA opened up their facility one weekend and let people come in and look around. Just keep your eyes open for opportunities to meet with real people in different fields of study. Your child doesn't necessarily have to be interested in the area that they work because meeting the person might spark your child to want to study in that field too.
9. Exercise - Exercising with your children can be fun. You can get a DVD like Fit Kids or Denise Austin's Fit Kids and exercise together. You can choose different types of exercise equipment and rotate every few minutes, or you can just run around and dance together with some fun music playing. Taking a walk with your children is also a great form of exercise. If you have a letter to mail or just need to pick up one thing from the store, you can walk there with your children (provided it's not 10 miles away!).
10. Play Store with Real or Play Money - My children always enjoyed playing store with fake or real money. Sometimes I saved empty boxes and canisters for a while and then set up a little fake grocery store and let them pretend they were purchasing real food. This method helped me see how to make homeschooling fun while my children learned about owning a business, marketing, and counting back change.
11. Cook - Several of my children really enjoy cooking. If they want, they can pick out a recipe that looks good to them and make it with you or you can provide a fun recipe to make together. The easiest thing to start cooking are eggs. They are readily available and they cook really fast. Your child will feel like an instant chef after they see how fast an egg cooks in their pan. Pretty soon they will be making dinner for you!
12. Find Out What They Enjoy - Whether you use a homeschool learning style assessment or just observe your children a little more closely for a while, it's important to know what your children enjoy. There are so many things that children can be interested in - cooking, building, sports, hunting, chemistry, nature, caring for others, creating art work, and much more. Sometimes if you include some of what your child enjoys, you won't have to worry about how to make homeschooling fun, because it will come easily.
13. Mix in Online/Computer Learning Games - There are many Internet resources for homeschooling that will help you know how to make homeschooling fun. Some children respond well to computer games and others don't. My son enjoyed Hooked on Phonics Master Reader and Spellquizzer. These are both computer driven activities that still teach your child different language skills but are enjoyable for them too.
14. Go to the Zoo - The zoo can spark so many interesting learning opportunities and will show you how to make homeschooling fun just by watching animals. The zoo membership passes used to be better in the past, but even if you only go 2-3 times a year, they are a good deal. You can't help but learn something when you walk around a zoo!
15. Go Swimming, Ice Skating, or Roller Skating - Depending on what kind of facilities are in your area, you might be able to find a place to do these activities. You can use it as an incentive or just go to be able to do something different for a change. Sometimes homeschool groups or coops will be able to rent these facilities for a discount and sometimes it is fun to just go as a family.
16. Songs!! - This is one of the best ways to discover how to make homeschooling fun. Even if your children don't respond much to music as much as my children do, they can still learn a lot from the various learning songs out there. Some of our favorites include Geography Songs by Audio Memory, any of the Steve Green Hide Em In Your Heart series for Bible memory, and any of the classical home school history songs included in Classical Conversations (a coop method of homeschooling that meets once a week). We also made up our own skip counting songs to various children's songs. The 3's were sung to Jingle Bells and the 6's were sung to Jesus Loves Me. My son knew all his multiplication skip counting songs by the time he was 6 even though he didn't know what multiplication facts meant yet.
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