Friday, July 15, 2011

Using Holidays in Homeschooling

Most families use a planned curriculum of some kind, or at least plan their own several weeks in advance. But you’ve probably got a little time here or there where you can fit in some activities about upcoming holidays, and doing so will add a little spice to the day for your kids.

The big holidays are easy enough. Spend an afternoon making Christmas cards or valentines with your kids, or maybe preparing some green food to eat on St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone will appreciate a change of pace from the usual math, reading, and science, and a short activity interspersed with regular schoolwork can really help to make the day pass more quickly. Arranging a few arts and crafts projects around holiday themes is a great way to mark the time, and even teach the kids about calendars. Counting down how many days until Easter gives everyone something to look forward to.

Some often-overlooked holidays are the smaller ones, and they can be even more fun! How about Flag Day, Columbus Day, or Presidents’ Day? There’s lots of potential there for craft projects and learning activities. Kids will also enjoy celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday and reading his books while eating a breakfast of green eggs and ham! Sometimes the more insignificant holidays can be the most fun!

Some sites have great seasonal or holiday learning resources.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Homeschooling with a baby or toddler in your way!

How can homeschooling mothers still accomplish their goals for the day with a baby or toddler needing their attention? If you have several children, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with this issue. You can either choose a curriculum that requires very little input from parents, or you can find ways to keep your little one(s) occupied during school time.

You could try conducting lessons with a baby or toddler in your lap, while they perhaps play quietly or eat a snack. There could also be a special box of favorite toys that are only allowed out during school time, to keep little hands busy.

Scheduling your day with the hardest subjects for your older kids occurring during the little one’s nap time may also work. If they take several naps a day, take advantage of it, even if only temporarily. This idea could also be combined with an early bedtime too, by doing math with your 4th grader during the baby’s nap and sitting down for a quick spelling lesson after the baby is in bed, for example. Some desperate parents may opt to put on a cartoon for toddlers, at least for a little while so you can accomplish something with an older child before turning your attention back to the younger set. Used in moderation, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!