Ideas for Homeschooling Parents - Part Two

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Below is a continuation from Ideas for Homeschooling Parents – Part One, where I listed homeschooling lesson ideas for art, English language arts, and science.  Here’s the second part, with ideas for math, social studies, physical education, and drama + music.  Pretty much any of the suggested activities from either list can be adapted to incorporate one or more of the other subjects.  Be creative, let your kids share the decision-making, and be a part of the discovery alongside with them!

MATH

  • Meal and grocery planning – have them pick out meal ideas and make a list for how much of each item to buy at the grocery store.  Want to make it harder?  Give them a budget and let them loose in the grocery store to actually find the items and adjust their lists as they go. Oh, and if you trust them, have them cook dinner for the family – you know, as official follow-up.
  • Baking – use recipe measurements (as written, doubled, halved, etc.).
  • Make tea/coffee at home for guests.  The more guests, the more math!
  • Make surveys and ask neighbourhood kids or grownups their opinions about things.
    • Ex) If a new playground were to be built, where should it be?  What features should it have?
    • Ex) What’s the best flavour of ice cream at _______ in our neighbourhood?

Create corresponding bar graphs, pie charts, etc.  You could incorporate fractions, percentages, and averages.

  • Have a dandelion problem in your yard?  Have a race to see who can pick [insert random number here] first.  With each weed pulled, count by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.
  • Find a sewing or craft project pattern to follow and make something fun and unique. The feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort!  (I make crocheted things all the time, sometimes with patterns and sometimes without – either way, math is always involved.  You can get some project ideas here: www.prairiethings.weebly.com.)

SOCIAL STUDIES

  • Have them plan routes for errands.  Give one of them a map and have him give you driving directions.  Worried about getting lost?  If you have the time, get lost!  It will give them more work to do if they have to plan a reroute for the car.  Don’t feel like driving?  Take them on a bus adventure – same rules, but this time they have to count out bus fare first and bring along bus route maps instead.  Time-management skills can be built this way, too.  You can also do this by walking.  Really, there’s no reason not to try this at least once.
  • Give them a hot-topic issue, such as what to have for supper, where to go on a mini-vacation, how to rearrange the living room, etc.  Let the children-led debating begin.  They must reach some sort of resolution together.  Then let them help carry out whatever was decided on.  They don’t like their decision?  Send them back to the debating drawing board.
  • Have them research where your water comes from, and how much your household uses.  Try to bring the water bill down 2-3 months in a row.  (See, this brings in math, too.)  It’s all about water sources, uses, and conservation.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

  • Playground obstacle course.  ‘Nough said.  You should probably demonstrate first.
  • Go for a walk down a long sidewalk with telephone poles.  Every time you pass a pole, switch from walking to running (or vice versa).   Turn it into a game.
  • Swimming, biking, soccer, frisbee, tag, free play in a kids’ gym, kids’ activity classes at a local community centre, walking around the community, etc.  Really the possibilities are endless.  Make physical activity into a game.  Have them set goals and try to reach them each day, week, and month.
  • Dance party.  Borrow an instructional dance video from the local library.  Put it on and watch them learn!
  • Weight-lift with soup cans.

DRAMA + MUSIC

  •  Make songs on a new instrument.  Make rubber band guitars and kazoos and play according to various rhythms.  Get a metronome app for your phone and turn it up so they can hear it.  Teach them to play along with the beat.  Record the audio and add it as a track to a homemade movie (maybe for the puppet show?).
  • Fill glasses or bottles with water for different pitches.  Try to match a pitch given ahead of time (use an app or real instrument for initial pitch).  Have them add or subtract liquid to adjust the pitch so that it matches the given note.  Want a challenge?  Have them make all the notes for a simple song, and then play it with proper rhythm.  Add percussion, too – I’m sure the kids will be able to figure this part out on their own.
  • Call out animal names.  They have to act like this animal until hearing a new animal name.  Play fast, slow, energetic, erratic, soothing, etc., music to help create each appropriate atmosphere.
  • Have them dress up like and impersonate you.  Or their other parent.  Give them scenarios you would normally be in (waking up before coffee, getting in an argument, doing housework, getting excited about something, talking on the phone, addressing the kids, reading the newspaper, leading a work meeting, etc.).  Try not to get mad.  It’s cute!  If they don’t understand what to do, impersonate someone as an example to get their brains going.

Do you have some ideas for homeschooling parents?  Add yours in a comment below and share the homeschool love!

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