As much as we thrive on routine and being able to anticipate events in our day, sometimes we all find it refreshing to change things up a bit.
Homeschooling lends itself to doing things differently every once in a while. Why change it up? Perhaps to keep your kids guessing---help them stay engaged, wondering what surprises the day has in store. Perhaps to foster learning in a slightly different environment. To avoid boredom, same old, same old. Maybe for Mom’s sanity! Just to be different. Here are 5 ways you might be able to put some oomph! Or Wow! in your homeschooling day!
Sometimes just surrounding yourself in a different environment while doing the same activities can help breathe new life in an old activity. Horray if you have a beautiful school-room set up with all sorts of visuals around, but sometimes we all need a change of scenery. For us, it means going outside, and literally breathing in fresh air, and listening to the outdoor sounds of Madagascar. Or cuddling in mom’s bed during read-alouds. Maybe for you it could be your public library, a quiet park on a nice day, or even McDonalds and reward everyone with treats for a job well done!
2-Play a Game
4 -Go to Work with Mom
Skip the book-work today and play some games. Games often foster learning in a fun/hands-on environment: attitudes, encouragement to others, counting and math skills, problem solving techniques and strategy building, even team-work!
I don’t encourage lots of tv-watching in my household, but sometimes I find tv a helpful tool to re-enforce a concept we are learning in a book. Sometimes my kids are found watching Magic School Bus, or Bill Nye the Science Guy that corresponds with a science topic we are studying.
This takes a bit of pre-planning and preparation, but you can even record yourself reading onto an MP3 player or your Iphone and upload it to a USB stick and play it for your kids in the car while you’re driving around town doing errands. Entertain the kids on the road with the read-alouds, and teach them important shopping/reasoning skills throughout the day too!
As stay-at-home moms we all know that there’s plenty of work to do in and around our homes. Take your kids on a “work-date” and have them follow you around and help you out more, cooking or baking in the kitchen, doing bathrooms, scrubbing floors, organizing closets, and doing some of those jobs you’ve been putting off for several days or weeks. Help them understand how important it is to do jobs well, and offer plenty of positive affirmation.
In the early years of homeschooling, (e.i. before high-school exams and credits for college prep) we are taking advantage of flexibility. Don’t get so caught up in your curriculum that you don’t feel like you can’t take a day off for no other reason except to surprise your kids!
Have you found ways to surprise your kids in your homeschool? How have you done it?