Homeschooling has one distinct edge over public schools, the freedom to be creative. Parents who teach their children have more freedom to be spontaneous and creative with their teaching methods. The curriculum is adhered to, but the way and the place in which learning occurs can change or be altered in such a way to refresh and rejuvenate an otherwise boring and tedious routine.
For all its advantages, homeschooling allows for distractions. Without a structured program, kids can get sidetracked by things going on around the house. It makes it hard to think of a room in the house as a classroom. That’s why making learning fun helps to re-establish the classroom concept. The focus is put back on learning and taken off of the surrounding environment.
*Change the daily routine. On exceptionally nice days, Put off class for an hour or two to go for a walk or a bike ride. It’s like a 2 hour snow delay in the winter except its a 2-hour sunshine delay to burn off some excess energy.
*Take the classroom outside. If you’ve already started the day outside, there’s nothing wrong with doing the classwork outside too. Textbooks can be just as easily read on the patio as they can be in a classroom.
*Use field trips for different lessons. Going to a history museum can teach children of all ages about the area you live in and its past. History and art museums are located in most big cities, while smaller towns have local museums that focus mainly on the area around them. Field trips can be for almost any type of lesson. Kayaking down a river would include physical fitness, with biology and the living world around us. Many times, factories and other places of business will give personal tours to families and members of homeschool associations.
*Invite guest teachers. Say a student wants to learn to play the guitar. Invite the teacher to speak to the whole family. Maybe more than one sibling would like to learn. The same can also be done with someone who is exceptionally talented in other subjects. Allow for the opportunity to meet and speak to people who have something in common with the children. If one child is drawn to writing or illustrating an a well known author comes to town for a book signing, take the child to meet them.
*Use study groups. Study groups can be held at home or library or anywhere the kids are comfortable working. This allows for fresh ideas on topics children can sometimes find boring. Kids in the group can pool their resources. This will allow them to use resources they not have had otherwise.
*Implement a reward system. It’s not to be considered bribery in anyway. Bribery suggest getting something for each small thing that is accomplished. Set things up so that the child knows that the smaller parts of a lesson, result in the culmination of several successful outcomes to reach a goal. An example of a good rewards program, is setting a weekly goal. If everyone meets their objective for the week then the kids can pick something fun to do as a family on Sunday. If all objectives are met for the semester or school year, then the reward could be a family vacation or camping trip.
*Use games that encourage interactive learning. Many of the new game systems have learning games that can be played on them. One game system has an entire fitness program that can be used by all members of the family. Have a game day where interactive learning is the weapon of choice.