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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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