How we add FUN into our homeschooling days ~
Written by Lusi Austin of That Homeschool Life
I have 3 homeschooled grads and 2 children still homeschooling. What I’ve realised (with the benefit of hindsight) is that the things that made homeschooling most memorable for my older kiddos was FUN. Not just ‘fun’ in the way you normally think of it, but F.U.N as an acronym.
Around here, FUN stands for freedom, uniqueness and novelty.
This has been a great long-term anchor for me. When our days become monotonous, or the kids seem discontent, I’ll often return to this and see how we can add FUN to our homeschooling.
FUN helps us to connect with each other. It includes me creating a tailored education. This acronym helps me to seek out ways to encourage our kids to fall in love with learning.
It reminds me to be flexible, infusing our lives with enjoyment, and deep-diving engagement into learning. Here’s what I mean.
I have the freedom to pick and choose resources that will work best for my child. And the freedom to work out our own learning rhythm and pace. Freedom is about working learning into our life so that it best fits the needs of our family.
We have the freedom to take stock and work out what is no longer serving us. And we have the freedom to change things up to suit us in more meaningful ways.
We are able to tailor learning to suit our child’s unique interests, learning style, abilities, challenges and family culture. Taking uniqueness into account, we are able to focus on the things that we deeply value as a family.
We are able to work around limitations that might otherwise be a challenge, such as chronic illness for our family.
Our homeschooling style and flavor doesn’t look like another family’s might and that’s okay! We walk to the beat of our own special drum. 😉
I love that we can use novelty to encourage creative expression. We use novelty in learning to reduce boredom.
We infuse novelty into our days to ignite passion which helps our children to fall in love with learning.
This in turns helps them become a life-long learner!
3 Practical ways we add FUN into our homeschooling day
1. Ask first
Ask your kiddos for their input when it comes to what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. In our home, we practice negotiation!
Allowing our children to have agency over what they want to learn and how they’d like to experience that has helped us grow independent young adults who are able to practice self-autonomy.
Of course, we know that homeschooling often takes us into museums and galleries. Visiting places like farms, botanic gardens or adventure playgrounds can also be great opportunities for children to learn.
Sometimes in our family, we take a drive with a packed lunch, an audiobook, and see where the road takes us.
The adventure is a learning experience on its own, let alone the content covered by listening to the book, discussions that arise from the trip and perhaps having a child note down their favourite memory of the adventure.
Think also about changing up location for learning. Read a book aloud outdoors and set up a poetry tea time. Or if the budget allows, take the book and read aloud session to a local café. Just changing locations can help change our outlook and provide some novelty.
3. Involve the senses (and use technology)
Our senses tell us so much about the world around us. Some kids love learning via taste. I taught my children many lessons through their tastebuds!
You can read my post about some examples we did HERE. Some children are aural learners so audio books and podcasts are fabulous tools for them. Others love to watch documentaries and take in things more with their eyes.
Observe your child and write down the ways they seem to favor learning.
Here, we use board games, lapbooks, podcasts, audio books, documentaries, puzzles and word games to help hit learning outcomes. Hands on learners will thank you for this (especially reluctant writers!) Your child may not like putting pen to paper for a spelling list, but they may LOVE spelling the same words out on a fridge using magnets.
They might even love writing their words on a glass door with a whiteboard marker. Or spelling out the words using junior Boggle or scrabble letters. There are so many ways to ensure your child is learning.
It’s our job to engage our kids by finding out which way suits them best! Keep offering and trying different approaches until you find the best way for that child.
Creating a stimulating and enjoyable learning environment can be a reality with a little time observing, encouraging and experimenting. Hope this has been an encouragement to you to add fun into your homeschooling for the upcoming school year!
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