How to enhance your child's homeschool learning
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 and colourful rainbows.
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. And, if you need some inspiration to keep you going, here's 121 Best Maths Quotes for Homeschoolers from incredible people all over the world.
Here are five ways to enjoy your child's homeschool journey:
5 Ways to Enhance your Child's Homeschool 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 children 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.
You can check out The Ultimate Stay at Home Activity List for some great ideas for getting active outside with your kids.
3. Encourage 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!
You don’t have to create something elaborate to add playfulness and discovery into your at-home learning. Check out the 67+ Maths Games and Activities that you can start using in your homeschool right away.
4. Use Hands-on Tools for Learning
The benefits of using hands-on tools for learning are astounding! By incorporating specific manipulatives to teach maths, your kids will be able to understand and engage with numbers in a whole different way. Even kids who are bored or hate maths have huge turnarounds, and their maths results are much higher. By building confidence in maths, you will supporting your child in the way they need and this positive effect will ripple out to all other subjects.
This is especially important if your child is still finger counting, struggles to understand Place Value or has learning differences. By using a hands-on approach to learning maths, you engage neurological pathways that make understanding, retention and knowledge of maths much easier for your child. If you aren't sure where your child is at with their maths, or how much they actually understand, you can take our free diagnostic test here.
Using hands-on manipulatives also has loads of research behind it and is proven to work many times over. Parents, teachers and tutors across Australia are using our multisensory maths approach for wonderful results.
5. Ask Your Kids!
When you've tried everything you can and can't think of any more ideas, take a step back. Ask your kids what they want to do! Most kids have a great imagination and lots of energy so you can get a whole ton of good ideas from them. Plus, if they are the ones deciding what to do, they will definitely be more involved in the activity.
Here's our favourite list of 100 Maths Activities to use outdoors and outside the classroom to engage your children. You can download it here:
Plus, if you're a little bit curious and looking for other curriculums and programs that support your homeschooling journey, you can check out the Best Homeschool Curriculums on the Market here.
If you want to know about the state laws and requirements for homeschooling in Australia, you can check them out here.
What are some of your favourite ways to add a bit of play and discovery to your at homeschool learning? Let us know in the comments below
The Team at Maths Australia