Homeschooling, Parenting

Using Hands-On Activities to Include Dad in Learning

It’s no secret that homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular. Moms and Dads are deciding to home educate their children for a number of reasons, realizing that it’s not so bad.

For most families the question isn’t necessarily, “Should I homeschool?” The question has now become, “How do I do it, and what should I use?” Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling isn’t just for moms. And families shouldn’t feel forced to choose one set method or style.

One method that every homeschooling family can benefit from, which includes dad in the learning process, is using hands-on activities (also known as the hands-on method). The hands-on method caters to several aspects of learning,*  including:

  • increases retention
  • increases engagement
  • provides extra practice
  • accommodates to different styles
  • improves problem solving

Four Ways to Boost Learning with Hands-On Activities

Find a family-friendly resource

Whether you’re homeschooling one child or multiple children, finding resources that encourage learning for everyone is a plus. History Project Kits by Sonlight is a resource that we personally use as a way to add extra learning fun to our schedule (especially in the summer months). When you’re looking for hands-on activities, always keep unique family dynamic in mind.

Schedule a day and time to do the activity

If your family is like ours, things can get pretty busy and sometimes just down right hectic. When Bryan and I establish a set day and time to do something as a family, the plans are least likely to fall through. It also builds excitement and gives the children something to look forward to doing as family.

Improvise when necessary and have fun

Often times homeschooling parents get caught up in thinking they have to do everything by the book. Give yourself some leeway and don’t be afraid to switch it up a bit. For the medieval catapult activity we did, Bryan used a huge saw to cut one little piece (which was super funny), while I used a serrated knife. The younger children couldn’t participate in much of the building, but they were able to hold pieces. And throughout it all, everyone had a fun time!

Stretch the learning

As I mentioned before, there may be times when you’re homeschooling children who stretch across a wide age range. If you have younger children who may not have been able to participate much in the hands-on activity, consider outsourcing and using other resources to stretch the learning fun. We personally incorporate YouTube videos, Netflix, and Usborne books.

Ways to Incorporate Dad in Learning

Discuss the hands-on activity with him

Dad may need help with choosing an activity, but given the opportunity, he may just surprise you. For inspiration, give him a few choices to choose from. The History Project Kits offer a great list of activities to choose from with easy-to-read instructions and everything for completing the activity included.

Put him in charge of the activity

Men are already built with a sense of leadership, headship, and control so what better way to give dad the reigns than by putting him in control of implementing the hands-on activity for the family.

Invite him to take the learning further

This is where outsourcing comes in. Perhaps dad would like to take the children on a trip to the library and read books geared toward the topic of the hands-on activity. There is also the idea of watching a good movie or documentary with the children.

Hands-On Activities are Perfect for any Homeschool

Hands-on activities, such as Sonlight’s History Project Kits are perfect for any homeschool. If you are looking to:

  • solidify history learning
  • break up your homeschool day
  • homeschool special needs learners
  • incorporate more crafts
  • include dad in learning

then I invite you to look into the hands-on method. Use the tips and tricks listed above and you’ll be well on your way to having a hands-on learning good time… as a family.

CHIME IN: What are some ways you incorporate dad in learning? Do you use hands-on activities? If so, how and what kind?

A Look at The Huddlestons Using the Medieval Catapult activity from
World Cultures History Project Kit

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6 thoughts on “Using Hands-On Activities to Include Dad in Learning”

  1. One year, we incorporated dad when it came to 4th grade history. My husband already had a passion for history and enjoyed a hands-on project with our son. We decided to do a flip book for Colonial times. In the book included coloring pages, art activities, and worksheets of all things our son learned about this era. In the end, the book became a keepsake because it showed all the things he learned wrapped up in a nice book! Those will be great memories whenever they look back at the book they made together!

  2. This is great! My husband is absolutely amazing, but when it comes to our daughter, I feel like most of the learning and activities fall on my plate. I love your ways to help incorporate dads. Thanks!

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