Homeschooling should be a fun and exciting journey of discovery. I keep that crucial fact in mind when homeschooling my three grandchildren. All learning should be approached in this way, but such a concept is rarely ever found in public schools these days.
Homeschooling is not merely schooling at home. Nope, not at all. You the parent or grandparent are completely in charge of how the kiddos learn – the sky is literally the limit.
There are copious amounts of ways to make homeschooling fun. The list below highlights the top 15 ways I make homeschooling fun for my grandson and two granddaughters.
Each one has their personal favorite activity, but they each love them all and look forward to the activities instead of dreading them as far too many children do when handed yet another printed worksheet to complete.
Where you live and the age of the child or children you are educating will play a significant role in how you teach, but the myriad of ways you can infuse a premium level of fun into the homeschooling day can work for any family… Anywhere.
Use both straightforward educational games, homemade learning games, and simply fun board games as part of the homeschool routine.
Reading or following verbal directions, learning to take turns, comprehending the concept of play, and being able to both win and lose with grace are both educational and character building.
Games help introduce and hone early literacy, critical thinking, cooperation skills, verbal communication, and problem solving skills.
Let the children get their hands dirty learning how to grow what they eat, and to preserve and prepare it as well. Incorporating reading, science, and math – even history into this vital and skills training make growing your own groceries a multi-subject learning unit.
Have a morning dance party to get everyone up and moving, and – or allow children to sample a variety of instruments, and even make their own to explore the sounds, rhythms, tempo, and flowing language of music.
Introduce the children to music from different historical eras and composers or bands that they would not normally encounter on their own by playing the radio.
Making up your own songs on a homemade instrument or a musically-inclined relative helps them build both enhanced musical awareness, and lasting memories.
4. Field Trips
You do not have to spend money and hours in the car to travel to a worthwhile field trip, even if you live in a deeply rural area.
Tying in what you are learning with an outing can be as simple as going to a nearby state park to search for wild edibles to identify, tree bark identification, or to learn about the natural history of your region.
Visits to the library each week to go on a book scavenger hunt to find a specific book or type of book to expand learning on a specific academic study unit or special interest can be followed by a picnic lunch (made by the kids) on a park picnic table.
Historical society tours are usually free, as are touring statues and historical markers in your region to learn about local history.
Teach children about the value of giving back while they help with a project that matters to them – or you want them to learn the value of as a part of not just their homeschool activities but as a life skill.
Children from preschool age through senior high can find a way to contribute to the society in which they live.
Commonly available volunteering activities could include: animal refuge center, veterinary center, venters center, senior center, trail maintenance, community garden, or even just spending time reading to our helping an eldery or disabled neighbor.
If you live near some type of attraction, like a zoo or a PathFinders school, there are often volunteer programs or events designed specifically for youth.
Do not look at art as something you have to “work into” your homeschool day, but as a crucial and fun part of the education at home experience. Art is a superb way to dig deeper into any subject that you are learning.
Make a volcano, create slime, build a diorama to demonstrate knowledge about dinosaurs, a book the children just finished reading, or a period in history – for starters.
Making beads out of clay and painting them to turn into wearable works of art or making your own makeup out of natural ingredients are projects that can get a smile out of even the fussiest of teenage girls.
Reading directions and following them, working together, creating your own design, and seeing a project through from beginning to end are just some of the skills homeschool children will develop and expand during art projects.
Learning how to use crafting and mechanical tools, measure, weighing, and counting ingredients are a fun way to work math into art “class” at home.
The value of art for pure joy and learning is often underestimated in both government schools and even in the far more flexible homeschool environment.
Which is why I spent weeks putting together an art projects education unit detailing how it can be linked to academic standards as part of my The Homestead Homeschool curriculum.
7. Gym Class
Combine physical fitness with socialization opportunities by signing your child up for baseball, karate, tumbling, etc. programs in the community or through the local school district (many states permit homeschool students to participate in local school district extracurricular activities) to fulfill state educational standards.
Involve the children in making their own food both for homeschool fun and as a learning experience. Children engaged with “cooking science” who are also growing or raising at least some of their own food will garner an important understanding of the farm to table concept.
Purchasing or better yet, allowing the children to make their own cookbook, will personalize the experience and create a keepsake the children will cherish for years and one day pass down to their own children when allowing them to help in the kitchen.
Children can make their own breakfast or help you make breakfast by creating pancakes in special designs or spell out their name in a delicious edible.
Making animal or fun shapes out of vegetables and fruit is another fun way to create a healthy and tasty snack together during the homeschooling day.
9. Building Blocks
Blocks are not just for rainy day down time anymore. Blocks can be used as an ever changing learning tool that truly brings the fun. Children from preschool through early junior high can participate in learning games, activities, and challenges using Lego or Duplo-style blocks.
Not super creative? Don’t worry, Pinterest and other websites offer pages galore of free building block printables and learning play ideas using blocks you are probably already stepping on every time you stroll through the playroom.
10. Join A Group
Find a homeschool group in your town or county to connect with other parents – grandparents and their children. Weekly or monthly meet-ups and resource sharing helps the adults to connect with other like-minded people, and relieve stress.
It also gives children a chance to expand their social circles while having fun at pizza parties, “class” birthday parties once a month, and going on field trips as a group – even if its a hike at the local park to study grasshoppers together, followed by snacks and free play.
12. Learn Outdoors
Embrace the Charlotte Mason mantra, “Never be indoors when you can rightly be without.” Take the learning outside, especially during reading time.
Throw a blanket in the back of the ATV or backpack, allow the children to pack some snacks, and read the book under a tree in the woods or inside the backyard playhouse.
Something as simple as a change of scenery and a lighthearted environment cannot only make reading more fun for kiddos who do not naturally embrace up, but reduce distractions that do not allow them to fully absorb the information being shared.
13. Book Report In A Bag
Instead of putting pencil to paper, give the children a brown paper bag and task them with drawing, printing, or finding items around the house that relate to their story and have them pull each one out of a bag and give an oral report using the token items as a guide to their retelling of events.
14. Felt Boards
Go old school for a day (or every day) and use a felt board to help teach the children. Buying or making felt letters, numbers, and weather, season, or general storytelling elements in a fun hands-on way for the children to demonstrate their comprehension of a subject or to practice math facts and spelling words in a non-typical manner.
You can print images, letters, numbers, and symbols on regular printer paper and then glue scrap felt onto the back to make them temporarily adhere to a felt board.
Older children who might not like using the felt board can still join in the art class style fun or making the elements that will be used during interactive learning sessions.
If you have a tech loving child or a natural performer, allow them to make video “commercials” to share their knowledge on a subject or to give a “report” about a volunteer activity or field trip to show what they learned.
The children can create stage props, make signs, etc. and do a 60 second to two minute commercial advertisement to highlight all the positive elements and fine points on the subject matter.
Whether you have one child or a whole house-full – or want to include children from a homeschool group – work with them or follow their lead to create simple one act plays or an entire array of performances to “report” on a history lesson they are learning, a science lesson about dinosaurs or a famous scientist, or to predict what will happen next in a book they just finished reading.
Large paper bags can be turned into simple costumes or the children can glue, sew, or makeshift their own attire, make a scene setters and other props to bring their knowledge to life for a crowd of just mom, the homeschool group, or have it video recorded for their entire extended families to enjoy.
I hope this list inspires you to try these ideas out little by little – or maybe even use to adapt your entire homeschool routine. Some will be messy, not all will provide success all at once, but the laughter and joy that will be produced as part of the homeschool fun will make all of the effort worthwhile.
Homeschooling is a learning process for parents too. Some things will work and others will not be embraced at all, no matter how well planned the activity or event.
Sometimes, the laughter provoked by a failed art project or amateur jam session with homemade instruments will be the ones that create the deepest and most cherished family memories that will be told and retold at Thanksgiving dinners for decades to come.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more.