Many of us enjoy the idea of homeschooling because it grants us the space to be ourselves creatively, to get out more, and to discover new ways to learn effectively. However, it is not all fun and games.
Homeschooling can become overwhelming. There's so many things to think about, curriculums to organise, children to engage and excite (so they are happy learning, not miserable sitting at their desks!) as well as the hundred other household chores to get done during the day.
There's a secret there, though. It's about engaging your kids in learning, so it isn't a chore for you. And discovering the outside world, outdoors, and getting hands-on with life is a fantastic way to excite and engage minds, young and old alike.
Here are five of our favourite tips to have fun while learning:
1. Enjoy the Wide Outdoors
Nature is often used as a way to spark and strengthen children’s artistic abilities. For this reason, you should spend time outside weekly. Bring your materials outside, find a spot that you and the child(ren) all agree is best to learn in, and enjoy the outdoors as you embark on your learning journey.
Don’t forget to bring along some paper and coloured pencils, markers, or crayons. They will be quite handy when the creative juices start flowing. Keep in mind those supplies aren’t just for the kids. You can draw, sketch, and flex your creative muscles too!
2. Get Active
How often do your children get tired of doing school work? If you find that it is often, put all of your material away and start moving! If the children are younger, you can practice defining words or simple addition/subtraction while doing jumping jacks or playing catch. Blow bubbles and chat about circumferences or fly a kite to sneak in some talk about angles! If the children are older, plan active and timed breaks between subjects. Finished the social studies requirements for the day? Go walk the neighborhood for 30 minutes, or play basketball outside before starting the next subject.
3. Cheer On Creativity
Break out the crayons and paints! Provide your child with art materials and have them create. Maybe while you were outside earlier in the week, you all brainstormed a way to make puzzles or board games to help them study. This is the perfect time to put that to use. They can draw, they can write, they can even take pictures of things that remind them of the lesson. Whatever it is, just make sure it is creative!
Extra Tip: You don’t have to create something elaborate to add play and discovery into your classroom or homeschool. Check out our Pinterest @MathsAustralia for some more fun ideas.
4. Use Manipulatives
Incorporate manipulatives into your curriculum. There are programs (like the Math-U-See program) who incorporate manipulatives, and they can help kids visualise concepts. You can also use manipulatives in other subjects – build words with tiles for spelling, use modelling clay to understand science concepts, and act out historical stories with plastic figures.
5. Ask Your Kids!
When all else fails, take a step back. Kids are often much more creative and energetic than we are as parents. If you are struggling to find ways to bring more play into your homeschool, ask your kids for ideas!
Here's our favourite list of 100 Maths Activities to use outdoors and outside the classroom to engage your students. You can download it here: