Have you ever noticed how the elderly often look back on their difficult seasons in life with a hint of sentimental whispiness and a twinkle of pride? Imagine your kids one day reminiscing about the “Great Pandemic of 2020” with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What will you want them to remember about it?
Most likely they won’t recall exactly what they learned for school during that time, but they will remember many of their thoughts and feelings about it. As their parent, you have a huge influence on how they learn to react to difficult circumstances (such as mandatory homeschooling during a global pandemic!). Are you cultivating a learning atmosphere of drudgery or of motivation? One that is a battle or one that is fun?
Here are some suggestions that could make your day-to-day homeschooling more fun during this season and more fun for your kids to relay to their future grandkids.
Make it a game.
Photocopy some blank bingo pages with 25 squares (remember the “free” square in the middle!) and use them to practice math concepts, vocabulary words, foreign language skills, history facts, science discoveries, etc.
Set a timer for an hour. Each hour of “impressive scholarly behavior” earns a ticket for a drawing at the end of the day.
Have your kids invent a game that demonstrates what they are learning in a given subject.
Check out my blog post about “WORD-Z.” It’s a great (FREE) game for grammar and sentence structure!
Use unconventional methods.
Try doing math on the driveway using sidewalk chalk. Take a picture of it for your records.
Do school in your backyard.
Build a fort with sheets and blankets and do school in it. If you have a tent, set it up in your yard and call it “the schoolhouse.”
Have your students “talk to text” their answers instead of writing them for an assignment.
Just for good measure…
Have your kids create a youtube channel where they can share what they’ve learned so other students their age can benefit. (There’s no better way to learn something than by teaching it!)
Studying ancient Rome? Wear togas for school that day.
Studying French? Have your kids turn your kitchen into a French restaurant, create a menu, and make some French food.
Studying a work of literature? Have your students keep an interactive journal with you, pretending they are a character from their book. (Refrain from marking any of their spelling, grammar, etc. here.)
Allow your kids to decide what their “homeschool uniform” is each day for a week (anything goes!) and take a picture of each outfit. At the end of the week, let the family decide their favorite “uniform.”
Let your students work ahead so they can “take the day off” from school on their birthday.
So, HAVE FUN, and build great memories that your kids will take with them into their adulthood!