Are you starting to homeschool and suffering new-venture jitters? These are the same kids who whine, “There’s nothing to do” on rainy days: can you possibly find enough projects to keep them entertained and learning, week in and week out?
Actually, one look at one homeschooling book or website may be enough to change your worry to, “How will I ever choose the right projects?” If you’d like to start with just a handful of ideas, try some of the following.
If you’re wondering whether it should be finger paints, modeling clay, crayons, or collage—why not all of the above? With the kids’ help, collect supplies from the art closet or around the house; then lay it all out and see what their young imaginations can do with the pile.
Instead of reading to your child(ren) or just taking turns reading, encourage melodramatic tones. Let the audience ad lib sound effects. Pass the book to the next reader unexpectedly, rather than always stopping at the end of a chapter/page/paragraph/sentence!
Use geographically themed categories like State Capitals, African Countries, or World Languages. Take turns seeing who can name the most “category” items that begin with a specific letter—or are located in a specific part of the world, above a certain elevation, etc. Remember to let the kids choose some of the categories!
Or if your family isn’t quite ready for that, make your own lunch or your own midafternoon snack. Just make sure the menu is group-approved, and more challenging than just transferring things from refrigerator to plates.
Don’t limit your creativity to flashcards, word problems, and magic squares. Let everyone brainstorm ways math is useful in “real life” (constructing a building, baking a cake, estimating drive time). Then pick one item from the list, and work together to turn it into a game (building a perfect cube with Legos, guessing which jar holds an exact cup, trying to score closest to fifteen minutes for walking around the block).
Pick out a fun routine and turn on a video clip (or hang up some diagrams). Guide (don’t rush!!!) your “class” through it. For a bonus, discuss how each stretch (and its name) was created.
You don’t have to actually “scavenge” anything: pointing out items to the group is just as enjoyable, and kinder to the environment. Your list can include a blue jay, an igneous rock, a hollow tree, or anything else nature-related that might show up in your area (and, of course, throw in a few hard-to-find items!). This gives a whole new meaning to “walking to school.” Even more important (and like every other project here), it helps your family grow closer through learning. Yes, homeschooling means that while your children are learning—you’re learning, too!