Home Education

Quick Tips for Hands-On Activities to Teach Your Children

We’re all on a quest to homeschool our children using activities to help make learning enjoyable, right? We also want to give them all the skills and information they’re going to need to tackle the world around them. So have you considered taking a hands-on approach as part of the curriculum?

Perhaps you’ve never considered it because the amount of work that’s believed to be involved. However, there’s nothing like taking a practical approach to some of life’s most common problems, and using hands-on activities in the process. Believe me when I say that you’ll end up having some pretty handy and responsible kiddos!

Not to mention, kids love having their attention taken up by something they can be involved in. Think about all the times you’ve been in the kitchen cooking and they want to have a hand in there. In hindsight, this gives you a chance to have some more help around the house too (*wink wink*)!

Here are a couple of great ways to add a twist to your homeschooling all while making sure no one involved gets bored! Oh, and don’t forget to actually count this as schooling! 😉

Try Out Some DIY

If you don’t already know, I love some DIY! When it comes down to doing anything yourself, don’t forget to include your kiddos (when you can)! They will have an absolute blast! Whether you’re making some sensory bottles or building a treehouse, including your kiddos come with some major benefits.

Think about some of the challenges out there in the world that take some technical know how… so why not introduce this from a young age? Being able to apply school taught skills to the real world is something homeschooling does better than any other institution! Not to sound partial but it’s the true! We get the opportunity to include real life scenarios every single day.

Sure, they’re probably not going to need the skills for a good while yet, but it’s still a good start. Yeah there is room for professionals (https://www.mrrooter.ca/toronto), but even that can turn into an amazing hands-on learning opportunity too! If you show your kids the basics when they’re young, they’re going to be able to build their skill a lot better. They’ll also have a lot more experience by the time they’re older and ready to put it all to use!

Go On Field Trips

Going on field trips was always an exciting endeavor when we were at school. So why not open your kids up to these opportunities as well? It makes a change from the routine, it’s never a boring idea, and there’s so many places you could head out to!

There’s nothing like a bit of hands on history, especially if there’s an activity day going on at your local museum. I’ve heard of some towns offering events that allows kids to dress up as historical characters or even take part in a battlefield routine! There are also some pretty cool science museums that can show your kids some amazing hands-on activities.

I’ve been recently looking into virtual field trips to help add some more jazz to our homeschooling. How awesome would it be to settle down in some comfy PJ’s (our school uniform, LOL), pop some popcorn, and sit back while the field trip comes to you?! I’m gathering some great info about these to share with you in the near future.

Regardless of what your homeschool looks like, the point is to not stress and try to have fun with what you’re doing. Yes, learning needs to be taken seriously, but children are a good reminder of how much fun learning can be!

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Lapbooking & Notebooking

These two homeschooling methods are making it to the top of the charts when it comes to hands-on learning. I recently wrote a post about incorporating unit studies into your homeschool routine, and adding lapbooking/notebooking goes hand-in-hand with it. Using the notebooking method is one way to allow your kiddos’ creative juices to flow all while helping them retain the information being taught. At the end of a particular study, your child also has a keepsake notebook and something that can be used to showcase work completed. Its a win-win!

If you’re stuck on thinking that homeschooling looks like a bunch of textbooks, workbooks, and a strict schedule… I invite you to consider switching it up a bit with some hands-on learning filled with DIY opportunities, field trips, and notebooking!

CHIME IN: Share some of your hands-on learning tips in the comments below!

 



Home Education

Looking for a New Approach to Homeschooling? Try THIS One!

Finding an Approach that Works

Finding an approach to homeschooling that works for you and your kiddos can get overwhelming at times. Trust me, as a mama who is homeschooling multiples, I totally get it. Attempting to sift through the many styles and methods may leave you dazed and confused. But don’t worry… let me help ease your worries (and stress).

After homeschooling for five years, I can finally say I’m okay with my not-so-ordinary homeschool. I decided on an approach that isn’t anything new. In fact, it is exploding in the homeschool community. It is super versatile and works with just about any and every style you can think of!

Whether you are on a traditional schedule, year-round homeschooling, or doing the four days a week type of schedule, the approach I want to pitch your way is one that fits it all. If you have a hands-on learner, this is perfect for them. If you have a bookworm, he or she will love this. If you struggle with creativity, this will help.

Perhaps you’ve already tried this approach before, or maybe you need a refresher… regardless, this is one that is a must-try. So if you are looking for a new to approach to homeschooling, keep reading to find out which one I highly recommend!

 

This blog post is part of a 15-day blog party – Ready, Set, Homeschool! – hosted by All the Homeschool Things and fourteen other bloggers. Together, we want to help you get ready for the new homeschool year with advice, tips, free printables, and more! Whether you are looking for organization suggestions, field trip ideas or activities, keeping track of digital curriculum, deschooling, unschooling helps, or high school explained, we will have you covered. Be sure to check out what all these amazing bloggers have to offer!

Home Education

3 Genius Ideas for Homeschooling Multiples

One of the neatest trends I see in the homeschooling community is that majority of us are homeschooling multiples. Whether the kiddos are close in age are spread far apart, figuring out how to homeschool effectively can be overwhelming.

I totally get it. I started this homeschooling journey with only one kiddo in tow. Fast forward five years and now we have four! On top of that, the youngest three were all born within 18-20 months of each other. Can we say Irish triplets?!

About a year or so ago I decided to trade in chaos for calmness, especially because we were expecting another blessing. I wanted to have a grip on this homeschooling multiples thing without losing my mind. What I want to share with you today are three genius ideas for homeschooling multiples!

Together Time

You’ve probably heard this called several things, from together time to circle time and everything in between. Basically, you spend a chunk of your homeschooling time with all of your kiddos together. Don’t panic! I promise it’s super easy no matter how old your kiddos are.

I personally have a couple sessions of together time. We all come together to kick off our day with prayer, Scripture reading, and a short devotional. I also take the opportunity to read a book that helps with learning about character traits, and we go over our Hebrew letters, numbers, shapes, and vocabulary word flashcards.

After this, I typically split the kiddos up to work on individual activities (more about how I do that later). After a round of that, I will bring them all back together for a Netflix show, YouTube video, and/or a book (or two) pertaining to whatever unit study topic we are currently learning about. This is also prime to do some sort of hands-on activity, experiment, art and/or craft.

Together time can be used for whatever you want, but the whole idea is to take the stress off of you trying to keep the kiddos separate according to age and grade level. You’d be surprised of how much the kiddos enjoy being together, learning the same things. Not to mention, there are tons of free resources to help you study the same topic/subject but also meet the individual learning levels!

I mentioned a little earlier about breaking from together time to allow the kiddos some individual and personal learning time. The next two tips are what I use to keep the other kiddos occupied while I work with each one individually.

My Time Baskets

If you haven’t picked up on it from reading previous posts and watching my videos, then let me tell you how much I love homeschooling on a dime. I have yet to spend over $100 in a given homeschool year on curricula, supplements, and resources (not including supplies like printer ink, laminating sheets, etc.). It can be done!

I’m telling you this because making my time baskets for your kiddos takes less than $10! Everything I’m about to list for you came from the Dollar Tree:

  • 4-pack of small white baskets (with handles)
  • flashcards
  • 6-pack of mini plastic bowls
  • manipulatives (pom balls, buttons, popsicle sticks, etc.)
  • sand timer

I also include a small book in each basket. For the older kiddo, I also include a math manipulative like this learning wrap-up from Usborne Books. The idea is to give each child a few activities that vary across several learning domains, not nothing overwhelming or new. In my homeschooling multiples video series, I showed what I put in each of my kiddos’ my time baskets.

Consider your child’s attention span as well as things they like and go at it! Here’s a little disclaimer, don’t think it’s not working if your child doesn’t show much interest in their my time basket. Keep at it and they’ll get used to it. Also, it’s okay if they only spend five minutes with it. This where the next tip comes in…

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My Time Binders

My time binders work similar to the my time baskets. Each child has their own binder with [reusable] activities in them. These are easy to make and work wonders even beyond using them for homeschooling. I give you a sneak peek of my kiddo’s my time binders in this video.

Here are some suggestions for my time binders:

  • doodle pages
  • trace and/or writing practice
  • copywork
  • foreign language practice
  • journal pages

My time binders come in handy when your kiddos is over the my time basket (or vice versa). The same concept applies by keeping the pages/activities few and familiar. It is best to keep it narrowed down to things your child has already mastered and have taken a liking to. Save the concepts that are currently being taught or that need extra practice for the one-on-one times.

Extra tips for incorporating the itty-bitties…

At the time of writing this I have a seven month old, which is the age between super dependent and let me explore. I can’t expect my seven month old son to sit quietly while doing together time, let alone individual time. So, here are some activities I give the youngest of the bunch to help aid his exploration:

  • Sensory bottles. I only give him one at a time but I made several different kind to spark his senses (water, rice, beans, etc.). Check out my video showing how easy it is to make 5 sensory bottles ALL the kids will love.
  • Textured manipulatives. These are sponges, wash clothes, crunchy paper inside a smooth fabric, and so on.
  • Books. Although he’s nowhere near reading (that I know of, LOL), he is still getting visual stimulation with books like these.

If you’re wondering how I keep him from crawling all over the place and attempting to snag whatever his brothers and sister are working on, I use the high chair, a laundry basket (yes, they work!), and/or the pack and play.

How easy is that?

Super easy, right?! As with introducing anything, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t seem to be working right off the bat. Give your new routine/schedule some time. It will take some getting used to but with consistency, everyone will be on board. Ways to help introduce the tips I mentioned are:

  • Explain to your children that you are going to start together time (or whatever you want to call it). Tell them what this time will consist of and how it will work.
  • Sit your children down and show them their baskets and binders. Label them so they can clearly see which one is theirs. I personally chose to not give my children the liberty to grab their binders and baskets at their convenience. Rather, I pass them out when I want them to have them. Whatever you choose is up to you.
  • Reassure your children through the process. Commend them on how well they are doing during each phase. And most of all, be consistent!

Before you go, I have a freebie for you!

As part of the Back to Homeschool Helpers Roundup, I have a free resource to help you plan together time as well as some activity printables to put in your my time binders. And that’s not all, I also included an idea page filled with ideas for together time, my time baskets, and my time binders. Enjoy!

Snag your freebie below, and scroll down some more for another freebie…


Now that you’ve gotten some genius tips and resources for homeschooling multiples, head on over to Minnesota Country Girl’s blog to learn the importance of establishing an effective reading foundation. I hear she’s giving away a 16-page reading portfolio pack!!