There is a wide range of discussions dedicated only to how homeschooling versus other formal education systems can be either beneficial or disadvantageous to children. But, given the present day’s situation where the global pandemic, Covid-19, remains life-threatening and unresolved, homeschooling undoubtedly becomes the most viable option.
Even before the breakout of this whole virus fiasco, many parents have already found homeschooling more effective and cost-efficient, citing various reasons for how homeschooling can be an excellent alternative for public and private education. For those accustomed to educating their kids at home, the job is now less complicated.
Nevertheless, not surprisingly, many of us parents are still getting our kids to learn the day’s lessons. Some of us may be thinking about what we were doing wrong. Some of us may be getting a little bit stressed when our kids show disinterest and lack of focus. Well, you are not alone. Many of us are first-time teachers, and having trouble teaching our kids is to be expected. We need to know how to get into our kids’ heads by letting them have fun while learning. Fortunately, we have here a list of fun activities that will spice up your homeschooling session with your kids.
1. LEARNING BY PLAYING
Looking back to our childhood, we realize that we learned most of what basic stuff we know today by interacting with the world as we play. When flashcards and oral reading do not work in the meantime, throwing in some games in the field can be your saving grace. According to research, engaging in games is an effective way of letting your child absorb knowledge, whether consciously or not. If the person is interested in doing something, he puts effort into it, making the whole thinking process a worthwhile experience. When educating your kids at home, you can do some of these games.
Let’s say you want your kids to learn his literature. But, literature might bore the kids of you would simply read it to them aloud, right? So what do you do? Well, you can let them embark on a mini-treasure hunt inside your house or outside if you have space. Treasure hunting is an engaging game where your kids are ought to find clues where one leads to the other until they find the grand treasure. You can incorporate literature to this by making the clues point to several references found in the books that you currently read with them. This way, they can go over each of the books and unconsciously be familiar with their storyline.
By the way, you can also try this activity for teaching arithmetic!
Important: You must know what books and literature are appropriate to your kids’ age. You may opt to check resources online for your reference.
This classic game never gets old and is still played during family reunions and even on ordinary boring afternoons. The good thing is, you can also use this fun activity when letting your kids retain and remember new vocabulary. Kids tend to forget new words and all other things that they don’t find a connection with. But, allowing them to act the words out through a game of charades can help them keep these new vocabulary words through the process of association, where they visualize and connect them with actions that they created themselves.
It may not be that early to teach your kids the board game Scrabble, where they can learn to formulate words. This game is an excellent way to enhance their vocabulary skills as you play and guiding them to spell words correctly. Moreover, it improves their critical and strategic thinking skills as they advance further. Don’t forget, though, to reward their achievements as rewards spice up the learning activity, making it ‘worth their time.’
2. GO CRAZY WITH ART
Sometimes words and numbers are too much for our kids; sometimes for us, too. Some days we just needed a break, and we can avert letting a great day go to waste by exploring our kid’s artistic nature. Art is an expression, and we can use it as a medium to allow our kids to expand their imagination.
When things get messy, treat it as part of the process – let the kids go as freely as possible as they work out their art. The output doesn’t have to be pro-quality – remember that art is not about what your kid did, but how he did it. You can reward the experience by framing his artwork and displaying it somewhere visible in the house so they can take pride in it.
3. GET THEIR HANDS BUSY
When the kids seem to be more active than average, maybe it is time to let them work with something. We can allow them to solve puzzles, build legos, model clays, knit, and create other crafts to keep themselves busy. Learning by doing is a pillar of learning. When we allow kids to do things by themselves, we will enable them to have experiential learning. With little guidance, it is incredible how they can come up with something through imagination. This activity is also a great avenue to educate them about taking care of nature and everything in it.
You can never have dull storytelling with role-playing. Toss in some fantastic improvised costumes for you and your kids, and you can have a unique and fun learning experience with your kids. Role-playing allows the kids to imbibe the characters’ nature and familiarize them with the story they are learning. It also makes the learning process engaging for the kids, as they try to mimic what happened in the story. Having selfies by the end of the role-playing to compile in an album can also be a great takeaway, as you not only made homeschooling fun for the kids and created a great memory with them.
5. EMPOWER TECHNOLOGY
In today’s generation, technology has become an inevitable part of our kid’s life. We can deny it from them. And when our kids are more inclined to use their gadgets than in today’s lessons, we can make use of that as an advantage. There are learning applications available online which can boost different aspects of our child’s learning. For example, the language app, Duolingo, allows learning a new language through series of exercises. Many apps teach other essential stuff like shapes and color, arithmetic, astronomy, biology, etc. – all of them are available online, mostly free. The only catch here is setting boundaries, especially in terms of how long they are allowed to use their gadgets.
Homeschooling can be challenging for us, parents, but it can too for our kids. Being fun while educating them at home does not make us less authoritative and respectful; on the contrary, it strengthens our bond with our kids and allows them to see that side of ours that also cherishes fun and play from time to time. The trick to an excellent homeschooling experience is to make our kids feel open to all kinds of learning, like doing things by themselves and even making mistakes.