For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Adding Fun in Homeschooling - And a Giveaway

This month The Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team is looking at "How we have fun in homeschooling" . You can find all the posts' round up over at Lisa's blog: The Canadian Homeschooler.

When we think of homeschooling, of course we think books and workbooks. Especially in my case, since we homeschool with a classical bent, the general feeling is bookwork, and in a very real sense it is. We seek to be quite rigorous in our schooling.

That said, homeschooling does not need to be all bookwork. It is really more about learning, and learning can take many forms.

Today let me share with you a few of the ones that we consistently use in our homeschool:

Games: I love games and my kids love games. So games is a very important part of our daily routines. When they were younger we did a lot of subject-oriented games, such as Number Binfo, or  flashcard games. Now we do more strategy games. Our favorites are:
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Risk
  • Kings of Israel
  • 7 Wonders
  • Dutch Blitz (not so much strategy but lots of fun, and good for learning how to work with negative number :-)
Let's not forget the classics as well: Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivia and memory games. one of my sons loves doing puzzles and Sudoku as well.

Outside schooling: I have one child who loves being outside and exercise, so as much as I can, I try to go outside and give him that chance to enjoy the outdoors with a ball in hand or in feet. My other son, when he is outside, loves to play imaginary battles. When they were younger we would go on nature walks and be on the look out for those birds, and animals, and creeks, seeking to ignite this wonder to God's beautiful creation. Whatever they do outside, enjoying the outdoors can be one way to add fun in homeschooling.

Field trips: This goes without saying, Field trips are one of the best ways to add fun to homeschooling. Whether it is when we go the Aquarium with friends, or to the Science Center for discovery, or to the Zoo as a family trip, field trips are inevitably lots of fun for kids.

Day out: Our family loves road trips, so anytime we have a chance to drive out, we do. We did this more when they were younger, but even now, we are always on the look out for day trips. We only live 1 1/2 hour from Niagara Falls, so this is a regular destination for us, but this goes also for Ottawa, or Montreal. Picnic days would fall in this category as well.

Videos: Videos, through TV, Netflix, You Tube, or DVDS can be ways to add fun to schooling as well. My boys love learning through videos, and for them that's a break from bookwork, and is very enjoyable. Again, I used this much more when they were younger, but from time to time I still use this to add a change of pace to our school routine. These can be movies, or educational productions. One of my boys' favorite to watch is History Crashcourse.

Kids naturally know how to have fun, and homeschooling should not kill that in them, but harness it. My boys always have fun in their homeschool. They play ball all the time, play with each others, and are able to turn any learning occasion into a fun time, if I let them. As a parent and homeschooler, it is our responsibility to have fun with them, to laugh with them, and help them enjoy the learning process and journey.

What are some ways you have fun in your homeschool?

Now for the Giveaway:

5 winners, each to receive 1 Picaboo Yearbook - softcover - 20 pages - 8 1/2 x 11.
Opened to Canadians only, and ends May 13th@ 11.59pm EST

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