Happy Homeschooling

It’s that time of year when homeschooling starts limping it’s way towards the end of the year. This is not good because we have a long year ahead of us due to our relocation. (We will be schooling through July at this rate…don’t tell my kiddos 🙂 ). I am trying to add a little creativity to jump start our homeschool motor, and I thought I’d pass along a few things that are working or have worked. I would looooooove if you would fill the comment box (or write a post) on your own methods for keeping homeschool happy.

Pick a Card, Any Card. I have used this from time to time over the last few years and for whatever reason it adds fresh “fun” into our homeschooling. First, write each subject on an index card. I also include a 15 minute break, chores, and silly stuff like: make a funny face, bark like a dog, get up and boogie, etc. Each child chooses a card and that’s what he/she works on. They are allowed to put their break card back if they aren’t ready for it yet.

The kids love the randomness of it. I love that they are freshly motivated to do school. There are certain subjects that we do together, so I finish the day with those subjects. I am actually discovering that it is a good thing to not be doing math at the same time because I am not spending an hour jumping from kid to kid answering questions. It also seems to have helped all of us see that the boys can be more independent than I thought. Oh, and I don’t do this all of the time. I just do it for a few days here or there. Otherwise it will lose it’s novelty.

Next time I’ll tell you about another way I use index cards.

What is one of your “jump-start” homeschooling strategies? (even if you haven’t home schooled, can you think of something?)


8 thoughts on “Happy Homeschooling

  1. Working outside when the weather gets nice would probably be counter-productive, huh?! I used to like to take my class outside for a reading assignment or easy worksheet or bible or something like that…probably more b/c I wanted to be out there than anything else. 🙂

  2. Hi – I’ve never commented here before and you don’t know me but I have been blessed by reading your blog. I’m also a homeschool mom of two boys and one girl and recently felt like we needed to add some fun to our homeschooling. So two weeks ago we spent a whole week doing nothing but studying the human body. We included lots of experiments and hands on stuff. It was something I had planned on doing over the course of a few months but we all really enjoyed the break from all our regular work.

  3. My husband and I are debating between private school and home schooling (with a home school school 2 days a week). I have worked with my daughter this year to get her ready for kindergarten this fall. We do stuff daily, but took a break over winter b/c someone in the house was getting sick. Starting up again had a few grumbles for her, so I created the treat bag after school. We learn a Bible verse at the beginning of study, and then do math, reading, phonics, and throughout I remind her of the Bible verse. At the end, if she can repeat it back to me (or give a practical example of the verse in action), she can reach into the grab bag for a treat (things like Hershey kisses, a granola bar, fruit snacks, etc.). She loves this. Your kids are older and may not be so easily wooed. I’ll look forward to other tips.

  4. reenactments were always fun. For example, if we were reading a book in literature or history that involved, let’s say, some one going down a river on a raft, then my mom would have us “Build” a raft and act out going down a river. And as the weather got nicer… which with all the snow you guys have, isn’t the case at the moment, we could do it outside… which made it feel more realistic.

  5. 1. The Spinner. We used a spinner from anold Chutes and Ladders Game. The kids came up with easy, cheap rewards that motivated them to finish by my deadline (noon in the early years). REwards like “get to pick next family movie”, get an ice cream 2x this week<” spend the evening out with Dad, etc. If they finished by noon, they got to spin. Not a minute after.

    2. Let them double up. Finish 5 days in 4.

    3. Do school on the deck.

    4. Sit and listen, only listen, to the sounds otudoors and write a poem. Haiku, limmerick, free style. It’s invigorating.

    5. Take a field trip.

    6. Have them plan a little lessona nd present it to the “class”, complete w/ review games or quizzes. They learn far more than if you do all the prep work.

  6. Not that I am a homeschooling mom, but I do teach boys who are your boys’ ages. One thing they love is when I find online activities for them to do. They have a ton of math games online for every and any concept. But they also have interactive websites that take you inside a volcano, or where you become a slave and have to make decisions traveling on the Underground Railroad. Last week we were reading about earthquakes so they went to the computer lab and my kids were enthralled reading about it online and looking at simulations and videos being recorded. It takes some time on your end to find appropriate websites, but once you find them, they last for awhile!

  7. I am still new at this so don’t have much to offer but I love your ideas and everyone else. We enjoy doing some work outside on the deck. We are also taking more field trips soaking in what we have been studying. I have put together several fun holiday/seasonal crafts and activities that we are doing here and there when the days main school is done. I am trying to remember Seth is only 1st grade and all the fun crafts and things that centered around holidays I did growing up. I want to make sure he gets that kind of stuff in addition to regular studies. It is so hard sometimes because I just want to get it done and finish what I have to do for the day. Forgetting that he needs other types of stimulation and interaction besides math and reading etc etc.

    I am loving all these posts

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