As fall gets into full swing, you and your teen are also finally settling back into the homeschooling routine. Arguably the most difficult part of homeschooling your child is coming up with non-traditional ways to drive home points and make certain information more interesting. As challenging as it can be sometimes, it also offers a unique ability for your teen to dive deeper into the things they find interesting.
Autumn can be a busy time of year in many senses, but this also means that it can provide a plethora of opportunities to break out of the traditional education regimen to try some new and innovative ways to teach your teen and make that knowledge stick. If you are brainstorming ideas for themed homeschooling activities, this article on fall activities may be a good place to get started!
A great aspect of teaching in the fall is all of the holidays that can be intertwined into lesson plans. Doing this can put a fun spin on old topics and help build up the holiday spirit in your teen. Who knows, you may end up developing a new family tradition or even becoming more like the Addams Family because of the whole process.
There are plenty of ways to make educational activities fun during the holidays. For instance, work on coming up with and making your own Halloween costumes rather than purchasing them from the store for a lesson in both math and crafting, or working on a history of how Halloween came to be the holiday that it is today. Nearly every task can be easily rewarded with trick-or-treat candies.
The most important thing when developing these holiday-oriented ideas, or any lesson plan idea for that matter, is to consider your teen’s learning style. Some students are auditory-focused learners, while others learn best by seeing things. Homeschooling offers a unique ability to cater exactly to your teen’s learning style, so be sure to take advantage of that when planning fall activities.
Incorporate Life Skills
Not everything your teen is focused on during homeschooling hours needs to be explicitly school-focused either. While fitting all of the necessary information to help them pass exams and get into college are important, there are also a lot of other life skills that can really benefit your teen. Learning these in a safe space can make a huge difference.
For example, nearly every teen is deeply invested in learning how to drive. There is quite a bit you can do to help them out, such as making sure their eyesight is up to par, reviewing road rules, and practicing difficult maneuvers, especially in a safe and controlled environment as the roads start to get a little more slippery. This is also a great time to instill your personal expectations for safe driving, like not texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel. If you’re really creative, you may even be able to incorporate a physics or mechanics lesson into the mix.
Teens can also greatly benefit from some general information on safe online practices. This includes tips such as how to identify a phony website or a scam, how to clean up browser cookies and other basic browser maintenance, and how to avoid or respond to any sort of online bullying. Skills such as these can help your teen far more than you would expect in today’s online world.
Get Back to Nature
Fall also provides an incredible opportunity to take the classroom outside for a bit of an adventure. Whether it is going out for a walk around the neighborhood, hitting a nearby trail, or going on a family camping trip, there is much to be learned just from getting outdoors. Not only can you capitalize on natural lessons, but it can also be a great way to make lasting family memories.
Outdoor lesson plans can vary widely too. You can focus your teen on fall activities such as plant and tree identification, writing an essay on the changing of the seasons, examining the engineering concepts that go into trail construction and erosion control, developing an understanding of the movement of water through an ecosystem, or delving into the historical background of your local area.
Being outdoors also provides an opportunity to teach your teen outdoor survival skills. These skills can include things such as how to use a map and compass to navigate, identifying plants and animals that can be used for food or medicine and how to safely prepare them, survival first aid, how to start a fire, and how to find water. These skills are essential, especially if your teen is interested in the great outdoors.
Autumn is a great time to make going back to school fun for your homeschooled teenager. There are numerous fall activities that can spice up lessons and make learning more of an adventure. Whether it is holiday-oriented, a non-traditional lesson, or an outdoor adventure, you will find a way to reach your teen on their level and keep them interested in learning.