Here are a few tips to keep your Homeschool fun, days exciting, and Enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling!
Let your child choose what subject to do first (math, art, ELA, reading)
I try to keep a structured homeschooling program in my home but I also leave a lot of room for flexibility. This is something that didn’t come easy for me in the beginning. I created this FREE printable below to use each day of the week. You can at this link sign up to join our community to download your copy or sign up on the right sidebar.
It’s kind of like a weekly homeschool planner with a week-by-week checklist for the most commonly used school subjects. The homeschool planner can be used in various ways. You can add check marks in each box or you can add high-level detail with bullet points. I add bullet points for each lesson done in the subject box.
This homeschool planner helps me track goals, attention challenges, and specific lessons completed. I manage my time and to keep sane! Most of all, I have a sense of control about our Homeschooling program. The best feeling ever is to have some sense of control even if that means being flexible to change our homeschool schedule. I like when I can look back at all the weeks prior to seeing what lessons we did. Sometimes, I can’t remember what we did the previous week or the past month.
I like to write down weekly achievable goals. This homeschool planner helps me stay focused and to be intentional. If I don’t complete the goal, it gets carried over to the next week until it gets done or it does not need to be done. In that case, I will delete it. And just a side note, I add a tick mark under the day of the week box each time I have to repeat or explain something over and over again if my child was not listening. It helps me track where my daughter struggled for the day.
I will be honest though there are some days I wake up and just feel tired of doing the same thing. Sometimes my daughter (7-year-old) feels the same way and she doesn’t want to do math or she’s bored. When needed we change our homeschooling schedule. This is the beauty of homeschooling. My daughter loves picking the subject to start with and subsequent subjects. She likes doing that and seems to enjoy her lesson because its what she wants to do. There’s something magical that happens when she gets to pick her subjects. Mia is more engaged in the lesson and more likely to recall information. It helps break up the monotony in the day. It is slightly different aside from doing our normal routine schedule.
Choose a theme that your child loves (apples, trucks, legos, princess)
I decided to try a theme-based approach this year for second grade. And so far it’s been a hit! We used Moving Beyond the Page curriculum for Kindergarten, which totally gave us enough to do without needing to add a theme. First grade went so fast mainly since we homeschooled only the last half of the year, so I didn’t have time to integrate a theme.
Well, now I have to say this year I am more prepared than ever before. By using a theme this year, I really found myself feeling excited and researched a bunch of Bloggers’ free printables. Now, I have found a handful of my favorite Bloggers who offer free homeschool curriculum and free printables. I printed a bunch of worksheets related to our theme. My goal was to print out enough to cover all themes for this year only. What I will do next time in December is print out our worksheets for the remainder of the year.
I planned the first half of the year and picked a theme for each month. September was an exception since we focused on apples the first half and butterfly’s the last half of the month. We purchased a Butterfly Garden, which made our theme super exciting and homeschooling fun. Pumpkin is our October theme and leaves and Harvest will be our November theme. In December, we will celebrate snowflakes and a Christmas theme that will include Jesus.
Oh, Homeschooling is fun when it is a thematic approach. This is an activity you can do together. Once you decide on the themes, start researching in Pinterest or Google to grab all those theme packets, free printables, and free homeschool curriculum. If you go to Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), you will find amazing theme packets at such reasonable prices. TPT has sales going on all the time.
Themes are fun because any lesson can be created. It adds a splash of homeschool fun learning! Also, it breaks the monotony of doing boring mundane work. The kids love it when they can learn about whatever it is you choose.
For example, let’s take the “Apple” theme we discussed earlier to see how it could be taught in different ways and this is a free homeschooling curriculum!
- Dissect an apple.
- Conduct an apple experiment and put them in different glasses with different liquids to see how each apple slice would react.
- Color worksheets with cut and paste labels of different apple parts.
- Use playdoh mats.
- Do copy work and copywriting from an apple book.
- How about reading stories of apple books?
- Re-enact a play about Johnny Appleseed.
- Turn an apple lesson into a spelling lesson.
- How about baking an apple pie?
- Children can measure parts of an apple or compare apples.
Themes just make learning fun. I love it so far and highly recommend introducing themes!
Colorful rainbow of Homeschooling fun!
Use your child’s favorite colors (rainbow, red, blue and green) and integrate them in all of your lessons to make learning more fun and engaging. My daughter loves all colors so she calls them the rainbow colors. I mean this literally. She loves all of the colors. She will color one section of her color sheet with 5 different colors.
That’s just how she colors and I thought it was interesting. Since she loves rainbow colors so much then why not use them in homeschooling to make it fun! So when we did, she was so excited and quickly started working on her lessons.
This is very simple to do just pick your child’s favorite colors and use them any way you can. You can get creative!
Here are some examples:
- Use special colors when writing or correcting spelling words.
- Pick a few colors to complete math worksheets.
- Circle parts of math worksheets with a specific color. Circle the tens column with a green color and the hundreds with a red color.
- Complete writing journals in two colors.
- When using a chalkboard you can use special colors.
I like to have mini buckets for each of the markers, colored pencils, and crayons. When they are separated it is easy to grab the bucket and go. Mia sets the bucket on the table or wherever we are coloring. But it’s amazing to see her eyes light up when she picks up her markers or color pencils to color.
Include your child’s input for creative homeschool ideas such as fun homeschool curriculum, manipulatives and books (books on bears, fairies, rocks).
Our children are the ones doing the work, right? When it comes to how to homeschool, why not include them in the journey when ordering books, curriculum, and manipulatives? I have to say that when I thought Mia liked a certain book, I was surprised to find out she liked something totally different. I was surprised. I didn’t think she liked something other than what I was going to pick out for her. After all, I am her mommy!
By including Mia in the process of choosing a homeschool curriculum, online homeschool programs, homeschool activities, manipulatives, and science kits, she was super grateful and excited! As a mom, it was a relief to see my daughter excited about homeschooling! Mia knew about all of the homeschool curriculum materials we purchased so she was counting the days until they arrived! Mia was better prepared and knew what we will use in our homeschool program.
Usually, Homeschool programs are shipped right away too! She also knew what homeschool fun projects she was going to learn and use as part of her education. It really helped her to get involved and feel important because she was a part of the process.
Also, moms please do not feel you have to know everything. How to homeschool the best way is just the fact that you are teaching towards your educational goals and not that you have to be perfect. I promise each year will get better and easier.
Christine the Joyful Mom is a stay at home-homeschooling mom with a passion for child advocacy. Christine has a home in the city and the mountains while doing life with her child, step-children, adult children and grandchildren. Visit her at www.ChristinetheJoyfulMom.com.