9 Ways to Recharge Your Homeschool Classroom and Avoid the Mid-Winter Slump
- Jessica Parnell HomeschoolingHelp.com
- 2015 23 Jan
The holidays have passed us by, yet spring is still quite far away for many of us. Has your homeschool classroom tumbled upon the dreaded mid-year slump? It’s a difficult time of year – even many of us “grown-ups” have grown bored and restless, and ready for a new season. But there are ways to generate some energy and enthusiasm in your classroom, today! Here’s how.
9 Awesome Homeschool Activities to Recharge and Excite Your Students
1. Make it Spirit Week
Let your children pick the theme and get busy planning for some fun activities and educational excursions. Break up your regular routine, and EVERYTHING – even meals – can be geared around your theme. Brainstorm together! For example, if you are studying medieval history, get into character. Have your husband as Lord of the castle, and you as the Lady. Have an honored guest, and don’t forget to offer them the upper crust! (That’s where that expression came from). One child can be a Court Jester reciting poems. Another child could be a Minstrel playing an instrument. Fun for all!
2. Make a Homeschooling Pinterest Project Board
Although such sites can burn up time, they can also be an excellent resource to find some great projects to work on. Starting your own project board can help you prioritize and keep everything organized so that you can easily access the information on days that just aren’t’ going so well!
3. Have a ‘Kids Teach Mom Day’
Turn the tables for a little creative homeschool fun and let your kids teach you or their younger siblings. Your child will love pretending to teach and having ‘real’ students in their class. Most importantly, nothing reinforces learning as does teaching what you know to someone else. Practice raising your hands and taking turns answering and asking questions to develop patience and to strengthen group and listening skills.
4. Get into some Down and Dirty Artwork!
Tactile art projects are a great way to spark enthusiasm. Raised salt painting is a personal favorite, but there are many others out there to chose from.
5. Re-Arrange a Room
Rearranging furniture in the school room or another area of the house can provide an opportunity for a homeschool activity using the concept of measuring. For example, older students could create a graph paper model of the room and paper furniture made to scale in order to explore different furniture arrangements without any heavy lifting involved.
6. Bring out the Animals
Most families have pets that children hold quite dear. Pet care can be a homeschool activity tied to instruction in zoology, as students explore taxonomy and the characteristics of different classes of animals. Pretend to be a vet for a while. How would you diagnose? What would your treatment be? If you don’t have pets, bird watching as well as other animal observation (squirrels, deer, and neighborhood cats) can lead to discussions on animal behavior and ecology.
7. Design a Self-Contained Skyscraper
Have one of those long rolls of art paper? Design an alternate living place that includes all the essentials of living so that people would never have to venture out. Spark the imagination. What would you need so survive – and happily? Let your children come up with the ideas…hospital, park, shopping, exercise, etc.
8. Put a New Spin on the Old Game “Mother May I?”
Pick a unit, or multiple ones, such as history, science, spelling, or math facts. Have your children stand at one end of the room and you at the other. Whoever gets a fact correct takes one giant step forward. If the fact is wrong, they must take one little step backwards. The game ends when the child gets across the room. A prize for completion adds to the fun!
9. Got Bored Teens or Tweens?
Have a Zombie Apocalypse Day! Get your survival thinking caps on. Build an apocalypse survival doll, and bring out your heavy duty science discussion of viruses, mutations, and the spread of contagions. Critical thinking and science skills can make for a fun afternoon – especially when zombies are involved!
Hopefully, these ideas will get your spirits up and your children’s brains humming with imagination and excitement for learning. After all, a few more weeks and spring will be around the corner!
Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and president of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success.
When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
Publication date: January 23, 2015