Read a textbook, complete a worksheet, test and repeat. It becomes a vicious cycle. Instead of forging ahead and falling into a rut, use one of these 10 ways to spice up boring homeschool curriculum.
One| Turn a textbook lesson plan into an easy hands-on activity.
There is no need to give up what is working for you. And if you have a textbook, there is no need to buy more. Read ahead to get familiar with the lesson plan for the day, search the numerous number of ideas for hands-on activities on Pinterest and add in an uncomplicated hands-on activity or two. The change is subtle, but simple and fun.
Two| Meet up with another homeschool family for a week or so.
Keep it stress-free by homeschooling with only one family that you and your children enjoy being around. Let the other homeschool mom lesson plan one week and you plan the second week of activities. Depending on how long you want to meet up with another homeschool family, it not only gives you a break as the teacher, but your children will treasure the memories.
Three| Open the day with a read aloud.
It’s easier to open the day with a read aloud when the kids are little. As the kids reach the middle and high school years, teens seem to have a growing list of subjects to cover. Reading aloud together as a family then becomes a challenge. Get back to your roots by starting the day off together with an age appropriate read aloud. Reading aloud not only ensures a lifelong reader, but strengthens family ties.
Four| Take it outside.
Especially in spring or fall, we pack up the curriculum and head to the park. It doesn’t hurt either to drive through and grab a pizza to go or bring a picnic lunch from home.
Creative Ways to Give New Life to Old Curriculum
And no, I didn’t worry about how many lessons were completed if my boys wanted to watch the leaves stir on the trees or the birds sing. The change in our routine was the focus.
Five| Start the day with a completely different subject, mix the order up.
While it’s true that when a child is rested and fresh, he should start the day with a subject that he struggles with the most. However, starting the day the same way every day can become drudgery. Kick off the day with a different subject that your child is passionate about.
Six| Begin with a movie.
With all the free educational movies on Netflix, YouTube, National Geographic and Annenberg Learner, surprise the kids by beginning the morning with a movie. The smell of popcorn popping in the morning doesn’t hurt either.
Seven| Skip an assignment or two.
Also, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every assignment has to be completed. Even a subject that a child likes can become repetitive. Skipping a few assignments and moving on to ones your child likes can revitalize a subject.
Eight| Do a skit.
When the kids were younger, I would look ahead at our lesson plan to find a history or science concept that could be turned into an acting or theater lesson. One time, we began our day by having the kids act out a science concept like how the earth orbits the sun. Did I mention as the boys “orbited”, it let off some of that bridled energy?
Nine| While he knows everything, let a teen teach for the day.
Feedback and criticism as a homeschool teacher is especially fond when it comes from your know it all teen. Okay, not really, but I turned the teen feedback into a useful tool. One morning, I told my oldest son that I thought his feedback was certainly worth considering and asked him if he could illustrate it to me while teaching his younger siblings. This could have turned into chaos, but it ended up being a fun twist to our morning. My teen learned that while learning is hard, teaching is equally challenging. My younger children savored an energetic teen teaching for the day.
Ten| Plan an all day ________ (you fill in the blank).
Language arts can hold a stranglehold on your day and that can mean subjects like hands-on science, geography, art and history get pushed aside.
How to Chase the Homeschool Blues Away
As the kids made volcanoes, did lightning activities, made a mini electrical current, crafted a salt dough map, made historical costumes, or cooked a meal from a geographical location, it not only reignited the spark for learning, but caught us up when I felt we were behind. Boring homeschool curriculum doesn’t always mean it has to be banned. With a bit of imagination, initiative and a tip or two here, homeschool curriculum can go from tiresome to terrific.
Do you have a trick or two to add to this list?