No matter what our method or style of homeschooling, there are several things we can do to provide an education for our children that is individual, interesting, in-depth, and full of life. Here are 8 ideas, but you’ll likely have a few of your own to add:
1. Reading aloud.
From infant to adult there is nothing more critical than reading aloud together. Read alouds:
- Develop reading skills.
- Develop writing skills.
- Develop vocabulary.
- Increase attention spans.
- Encourage conversation.
- Encourage curiosity.
- Foster deeper understanding.
- Highlight the importance of reading — for life!
- Create a family bond.
- Show our children how important they are to us.
2. Books to go along with what is being studied.
Any study can be better understood when augmented with rich living books on the subject. As Charlotte Mason said,
How living would Geometry become in the light of the discoveries of Euclid as he made them!
3. Writing every day.
The writing assignments found in most textbooks typically fail to motivate a child to write. Those assignments also typically lack the depth and focus needed to develop a writer.
In contrast, if no matter what style we are using, and no matter what the book says, we encourage our children to write something each and every day we can provide daily individual instruction — focusing on helping them develop their writing one day at a time.
Rather than consuming workbooks, our children can produce their own sources of information. Notebooking encourages our children to draw from what they read, digest what they read, make decisions as to what information is important, and record those pieces of information they find most valuable.
Notebooking provides students with one way to interact with what they read — developing deeper understanding and retention.
And guess what you do with all of those things written every day (see #3 above)? Put them in a notebook, of course!
5. Time for projects and research.
For something to come out, something has to go in. For a child to write each and every day, he needs to have something to say.
One way to foster an interest is to provide time each day when he can work on his projects that interest him. Feed the interest by providing the necessary resources. You’ll be passing along the message that learning doesn’t just come from a textbook during school hours!
6. Time for eye-to-eye discussions.
- What interests your child?
- What did he read?
- What are his concerns?
- What would he like to do?
Don’t know? Ask!
7. Outdoor time every day.
One thing we tried to do at one point in our homeschool career was to take a walk each day — even in the rain. Admittedly, this is not my favorite personal activity! But there is always something to see and do outside.
There are many benefits of spending even a small amount of time outdoors each day:
- Increases fitness.
- Lowers stress.
- Provides a change of pace from seat work.
- Increases concentration.
- Encourages observation.
8. The serendipitous.
What awesome opportunities we are given…if we just see them! The easiest time to learn something is when the topic is relevant. Now obviously that is not always going to happen! We WILL learn that 2+2=4 no matter how relevant it may seem! 😉
But sometimes those opportunities do arise and, though our schedules may not completely agree, there are occasions when it is best to flex and pursue learning while it is fresh.
The benefits of seizing the moment and teaching to learn when it’s relevant include:
- These lessons are typically well remembered and stick.
- Learning is seen as something that happens outside of “school.”
- Children observe that even adults are learning all of the time.
- Concepts taught earlier are reinforced.
22 Ways to Love, Do & Think Every Day
Another way of looking at things from our DIYHomeschooler site.