When beginning homeschooling, you likely have many great ideas and a million different thoughts of fun things you can do in your classroom. But just like with anything, many of us fall into a routine or being comfortable, and many of those excellent homeschool schedules never get put into action. Because being home brings a whole different level of being comfortable, the activities themselves (even more so) need to be engaging and fun. We put together a list of our favorite activities to make homeschooling fun and interactive.
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10 Ways to Make Homeschooling More Fun
Your homeschool curriculum likely looks a whole lot like the curriculum you would see in traditional public schools. However, you have the freedom to do SO MUCH MORE with it. Make homeschooling fun right from the comfort of home is what this flexibility is all about. Here we have ten great hands-on activities that will make the home learning experience unforgettable.
1 . Play A LOT More Games
It is no surprise that one of the best things to make learning fun is to play games. Luckily, there are many educational games available on Amazon that will reach the youngest of children through high school age.
Mastermind Game: The Strategy Game of Code maker vs. Codebreaker
This game is great if you want to exercise the art of strategy. With over 2000 different code combinations, this game will certainly be something that you can use when your child needs a brain break, but you still want them to be productive. Mastermind teaches STEM and STEAM principles and promotes deductive reasoning.
There is no better game to teach than Scrabble, learning both basic math skills and strategy and literacy. This game promotes learning new words and strategic thinking using the letters they have and using math to add up their points. If you have middle to high school-aged students in your class, this is a great way to make homeschooling fun.
Often, whether you’re a homeschool teacher or a public school teacher, writing assignments usually elicit an “ugghhhh” response from kids. However, there are ways to make writing assignments fun. I absolutely love the Rory’s Story Cube set. These little cubes make writing lessons into a game that generates storylines and ideas for your students to write an amazing narrative. Roll the dice, read the etched images, and start creating a unique story.
2 . Take Field Trips
One of the best parts about homeschooling is that you can literally learn from anywhere, and field trips are one of the best ways to promote memorable learning. One of the best things about a field trip is that you can take your student out of their element for a while, increasing attention. Explore new areas around you that have educational value and free resources. For example, see any good art museums, zoos, aquariums, or science parks within a day’s drive.
Also, don’t discount those virtual trips. With this pandemic still underway and many different places being closed, taking a trip where you live may not be possible. Make homeschooling fun and interactive with a virtual trip to the Anne Frank House or maybe explore Buckingham Palace. It is easy to make learning fun when kids get to explore places halfway across the world right from the comfort of homeschool.
3 . Play Music
It is one thing to listen to music for fun, but it is an entirely different feat to incorporate music into the curriculum. There are so many great (and free) resources available to help teachers find ways to make lessons exciting using modern-day music. For example, if you teach Shakespeare to your high school student, find a lesson to help your student learn rhythm and rhyme through the artist Tupac. Possibly, have your student find songs from several different decades that all sound the same.
4 . Involve Cooking
Involving cooking into your homeschool day is a great way to teach healthy eating habits and nutritional value. Plus, you will be helping your child learn the valuable lesson of being able to cook for themselves later in life. Teach your kids different ways to make their favorite recipes into a healthier option, and then spend the time cooking that together. Incorporating a cooking activity that you can do together as a family is not only educational but encourages valuable and much-needed family bonds.
If you’re stumped on recipe ideas, get online and do some Googling or let your kids learn how to cook with videos like Zoe’s cooking class:
Different websites and youtube channels like the video above provide free recipe printouts, free food and health curriculum worksheets, and educational ways to practice healthy eating habits. Involving cooking in your curriculum is a great way to teach young, middle, and high school-aged students.
5 . Do Science Experiments
Science exists in everyday life, so that means there are many ways to make science part of your homeschool day. While there are many great ideas available online for free, if you don’t want to mess with the hassle of finding a project and purchasing all of the different components, check out these great science education kits.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Ultimate Volcano Kit
Whether your a homeschool student or a regular school student, few things are more fun than learning how to build your very own exploding volcano. Kids will love this National Geographic Volcano kit. This activity kit comes with all the tools needed to build a lifelike volcano, has enough power for three different eruptions, and has two different volcanic rock specimens. This kit allows for hands-on education and will certainly turn a typical homeschooling day into a lesson they will remember for a long time.
Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments
This great Amazon find has 50 different hands-on games to allow the whole family to participate in interactive homeschooling activities to make science fun. What is better than just experimenting? Being able to eat the experiment after. Homeschooling has never been more fun (or tasty) than with this STEM-linked Kitchen Science Kit.
6 . Turn Reading Into a Play
Turn a typical homeschool day into a live theater. Learning through acting out a story allows kids the ability to learn through action. Turning a story into a play is a great way for the whole family to get involved in whatever they read in the homeschool class. This interactive activity teaches close reading skills and provides a whole lot of laughter. I have done this play activity in my classroom with middle school-aged kids all the way up through high school. Time and time again, this homeschooling activity is always fun and interactive and brings reading to life.
7 . Make an iPad Movie
Another fun and interactive homeschooling idea is creating a movie trailer for a story the kids wrote. These activities promote creative thinking skills in kids while also helping them learn to think critically. Allow your child to brainstorm some story ideas, create their storyline and script, then put all of it into action by creating a movie trailer with the Apple iMovie app. This activity is about as interactive as you can get. It’s even better if you make a big deal out of it and have everyone sit down with some popcorn and show the movie trailer.
8 . Get Artsy
If there is one thing I have learned in my almost decade in education, children of all ages love art. The older they are, the more you will hear excuses for why they can’t (mostly because they think they lack the skills); however, once started, they can’t stop. Learning through art is a wonderful, hands-on way to help children learn various artistic concepts. From learning primary colors to the various brush stroke methods, they will like and possibly use it differently in the future.
9 . Celebrate Obscure Holidays
Learning doesn’t just have to include activities for basic subjects like reading, math, and history. Instead, have fun with the strange holidays that most children would never know about. For example, did you know that February 9th is National Eat Pizza Day? Or that August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day? It may be worth your time to explore some of the new and obscure holidays. Incorporate them into your class by reading a new story to match the day, play some games, and have some fun.
10 . Become a Film Critic
It is always fun to sit down and watch a movie with some popcorn and your favorite juice box. However, it is even more fun when part of the homeschool day is to watch a movie. There is SO MUCH learning that can occur through the use of media. The use of film is grossly underestimated and can be sued to teach things such as character archetypes, symbolism, genre, and more.
Whatever activities you used to help your child learn, make sure that the learning is fun. Your child will most certainly love any of the games or activities listed on here. Our goal is always to help you make the best of your child’s learning experience while growing together as a family.