Put Some Fun in Your Homeschool
During the fourteen years of homeschooling our three kids, I struggled with the idea that we could all have fun and still really learn. It seems strange to me now that I was so uptight, but thankfully, I loosened up, and we had fun in our homeschool.
These are three of my favorite fun learning activities:
The Mighty Manipulatives
My kids loved anything that they could hold in their hands and play with. The boys loved Legos (still do at 23 and 19) and my oldest attributes his math and abstract thinking abilities to playing with Legos. All the kids played with mosaic pattern blocks while I read to them aloud. This was a family favorite activity after lunch. I knew that they were listening and playing, because they could repeat the story back when I asked them to.
Spell For Your Supper
Nothing seemed to be working for our struggling spellers until we found The Phoenetic Zoo by Institute For Excellence in Writing. The student listens to the daily lesson on CD, then verbally repeats the word and the spelling. Next, your student takes a spelling test, and if they miss even one word, the lesson is repeated the following day. This builds the expectation of mastery before moving on. Far from being discouraged, my struggling spellers saw that passing 100% meant mastery and confidence. I cannot recommend this program enough!
If you want to use this activity, but you don’t want to spend extra money on story starter cards at the store, just open your favorite book (the Bible even works well!) close your eyes, and put your finger down on the page. Read the first word, phrase or sentence your finger touches. Your students need to take the word or phrase and start telling a story as quick as possible. The results are hilarious! We usually had each child take a turn making a funny sentence or story without writing anything down. It made them more likely to participate, and to think creatively. Don’t require too much in the way of seriousness, though. The funnier the story, the better for all! We did eventually work up to writing the stories down, but at first you just want to get them comfortable with thinking quickly and without inhibition.
As fun as these activities can be, the most important think you can do to bring fun to your homeschool is to relax. When we put the stress of unrealistic expectations on our kids, the joy is sucked out of learning.
So relax, pick up a camcorder, and film those silly stores! Kids grow up fast, so enjoy them while there is still time.
Lynn Schott will show you how to complete U.S. Government and Economics in Half the Time, and Without the Tears with her courses for homeschooling for high school students. View this FREE informational video, and learn about this revolutionary homeschool curriculum online.