This is the first “official” year of homeschooling for our family. One of the reasons we’ve chosen to homeschool our children is because we want our children to be excited about learning. We want to make homeschooling fun, because if they enjoy learning, they will retain more of what they learn.
My husband and I both remember many days of sitting bored in a classroom and worse, we don’t remember a large portion of what we “learned”. What we do remember are generally the things we enjoyed learning about.
This year, Maggie is in kindergarten and Jacob is doing a very mild preschool program. We’ve worked hard to excite our children about learning. Here are 5 ways to make homeschooling fun for your elementary-aged child.
My kids love crafts, how about yours? While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about education and children, it is something that should not be overlooked! Your child might not have any interest at all in learning about the solar system, but when you head to Michael’s and purchase some Styrofoam balls, paint them, then hang them on a mobile, learning about the planets suddenly becomes exciting and fun.
It will be so much fun actually that your child won’t even realize that while you talk about the planets as you paint them, they are actually learning them. There are some great craft blogs out there, like See Vanessa Craft and Gluesticks that can give you some great ideas for things to do with the kids!
I love books and my children love books too! They are a great educational resource! Some of my favorites series are:
- The Bernstein Bears series for social studies
- The Magic School Bus series for science – these Magic School Bus Science Kits are a great additional resource for fun learning!
- The American Girl series for social studies
- Dr. Seuss for learning about rhyming words
You can also find individual books for teaching just about everything from ABCs to numbers to shapes, colors, and more! We try to take our children to the library every week. They are each allowed to choose 5 books then I choose 5 books based on subject matter I’d like to teach them about that week.
Like it or not, your child is going to need to know how to use electronics and they are going to want to use electronics. Our children ask us daily if they can use our tablets. Rather than just tell them no constantly, we use tablet time as educational time for our children. Thanks to modern technology, educational games & shows are just a download away.
Some of our favorite educational apps are:
Sometimes you just need to get out of the house. We live in an area where there are fabulous, educational field trips all around us. In fact, just this week we took the family to the zoo. The kids learned so much about animals and had a fantastic time. Plus, they probably walked 2+ miles, so great exercise as well! We also live close to Washington DC, so we plan to take full advantage of all of the Smithsonian museums we have access to. Visiting an aquarium, like the Atlanta Georgia Aquarium, is a great way to teach your children about aquatic life.
Do you live in the middle of nowhere? You’d be surprised at the field trips you can still find in your area if you just try. For example, place a call to your local fire station. Our fire station let me bring our children in to learn about fire safety and see the fire fighter dressed in his suit, so they won’t be afraid if we ever had a fire in our house. They even sent them home with coloring books and plastic fire fighter hats. You could also call a local farm and see if they would allow your family to come and help with chores for the day or search for a children’s museum within driving distance.
Play is one of the most underrated ways to get children excited about learning and make homeschooling fun! Are you teaching children about money? Set up a play store and let them shop. You could even go all out and make this adorable Target Dramatic Play Center.
Puzzles are a great way to teach children critical thinking skills and play food is a great tool for teaching children about the food groups. Board games are a great way to teach your children numbers, counting, colors, etc.. Don’t limit education to be only about reading, writing, and arithmetic. When children are young, it’s just as important that they learn about life. My son loves to play with action figures and it’s a great way to teach him character skills, like protecting those who are in trouble. Playing with siblings and friends is a great way for them to learn how to interact with others.