Whether homeschooling out of necessity or by choice, you probably have felt from time to time the nagging thoughts, “Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Is my kid enjoying learning? Is he bored?” When you reach a point of feeling like your homeschool routine is too blah, here are a few ideas to restore a creative and fun spark into the learning process.
Toss the Textbooks
Okay, maybe not forever, but at least for a little while, set aside the textbooks and the standardized learning and replace them with fun, interesting, or practical activities that your child will enjoy while still learning valuable lessons. For instance, if you are struggling to get a younger child started with reading, replace his textbooks with comic books for a while. Comic books can be a great place for young readers to start developing a love of reading. Not only do the pictures help them to figure out the words via context, but they also usually enjoy the funny stories and jokes. For an older child, if reading classic literature is dragging her down, why not ask her to pick out a project that requires researching and reading about how to do something. Maybe she wants to give beekeeping a go. In order to find the best hive and build it, she’s going to have to do a lot of reading and research. Find a way to engage your child in math, reading, or other core subjects that will keep him or her hungry to learn.
Take a Trip
Travel is no doubt considered a great learning experience in and of itself. Just look at how many colleges offer study abroad programs, and think back to your own life. If you’ve been fortunate enough to do some traveling, you probably found that travel had the power to alter your worldview and teach you much about yourself and the world in which you live. You don’t have to plan a huge trip, just consider a weekend getaway to the Embassy Suites Charleston SC, to see a city of historical or cultural interest might be enough to keep your homeschool routine fresh and engaging. You might even find some hotels offer great rewards or homeschooler programs that make your visits to various cities more affordable and comfortable. Take creative modes of transportation to arrive at your destinations. Try to arrange travel by train, bus, or maybe even by boat as you pick some locations you would like to visit.
Find a Group
As more and more people find themselves homeschooling their children, there is a rise in the number of special interest groups dedicated to homeschoolers. Social media is probably the most usual way to find such groups, but you may just ask a few other homeschool parents in your area, and chances are you will find a group or two that are fun for you and your children. Homeschool hiking groups offer a great way to get exercise and spend time in nature while meeting other homeschoolers and discovering some unique and beautiful parks in your area. Other homeschool groups are dedicated to arts, crafts, sports, cultural outings and field trips. Find one that makes your homeschooler’s heart sing.
Volunteering is a wonderful way for a homeschooled teen to learn valuable life lessons as well as lessons that apply to core curriculum concepts. If your kiddo is wild about animals, why not see if a local animal shelter or wildlife rescue center could allow her to volunteer once a week? Or, maybe social justice is his thing; find a soup kitchen, shelter, or other social welfare organization that could use his help. If your child is not old enough to volunteer on his own, you can go along with him, and many agencies will be thrilled to have both of you helping out.
Learning should be fun and enjoyable. Use some of these ideas to help spark a lifelong love of learning in your homeschooler.