Common Activities that fulfil Common Subjects
Everyday we do things that are a type of schooling. When we encounter a problem, we figure it out. That is schooling! There are many activities that fulfill numerous common subjects such as Math, Science, etc… Here are a few.
Cooking incorporates math, motor skills, geography, reading, problem solving, and social studies. Never thought there was that much in just spaghetti dinner or pancakes for breakfast, eh? When we make a recipe, we first read the recipe. If it is something special from another country or region, we talk about from whence it came! When you help your child or if siblings are helping, it is Team Work. If you don’t have the correct measures, what can you use? Or how big does it need to be for the family, portions per person. Problem solving and lateral thinking is utilized. Math is achieved through the measures used and the amount of times you use it. Let alone the temperature of the oven with degrees and time to cook! Finally, motor skills are used to accurately pour, spoon, and stir the ingredients. Any recipe can fill these objectives and as the children get older, they can give you a break on cooking some meals!
Trips to Lakes and Rivers
Really this can be a trip to anywhere! For lakes and rivers, there is life science all around you. You can be more formal and bring a science set for gathering life or you could make it more informal with just observing and enjoying. Also, this would be a good time for fishing, crawdad hunting, and frog/tadpole hunting. Some other activities could be skipping rocks across the lake or calm river; there is a world of lessons there. Deciding which rocks work best according to size, shape, and weight! Also, how does throwing rocks affect the fish. Does it scare them away; will they hit the fish? Gives them critical thinking skills on how one action affects another. How about ecosystems? What are the surrounding ecosystems? How do they depend on each other? There are so many lessons, that this is where home schooling puts public school to shame. You can give your children schooling that will last a lifetime rather then summer to summer.
Camping teaches children those ever-important survival skills. Even if it is just in the back yard, children love to camp. From setting up camp to starting a fire to making food last for a period of time to having to wash up and use nature’s restroom, camping is FUN! Again you can make it a formal lesson or just make it a fun lesson, either way you can make a fun way to school! To make it formal, try to do everything without using electricity. Discuss how our Ancestors used to live, how to live in the wilderness and how it is important to keep these skills. Camping is just an amazing lesson in itself!
Re-find the lost art of letter writing. You could incorporate your entire English and Writing lesson in just writing letters. Kids love to write and receive letters. A pen pal list or family would be great! The best route is to do regular writing techniques such as brainstorming, rough draft, and final draft writing. The idea is to make it so the letter looks polished. When the child comes to a word he or she
does not know how to spell, make them look it up in the dictionary. When you proof their rough draft, go over punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. After a while they will learn all the rules to writing. Make it a special day ever week to send letters. Grandma and Grandpa or Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins LOVE to receive letters. This is a great way to communicate and children learn the value of family contact.
Chores are a great way to learn teamwork! Motor skills, social studies, and health practices are so very important to learn. Although there are many ways to divide up the chores I am only going to give you a small sample. Parents know their children and can figure out what works best for your family. We have 5 children, and we all do the housework and yard work. What we do is all get a job, such as kitchen. That is their job for a long time (about a month). They do not get another job until that one is mastered. The idea is that in the real world we don’t change jobs every week, but we do move on once something is mastered. Then they get a whole new job. What ends up happening is that they start doing a good job right away because they don’t want to get stuck in a job forever…a good lesson! Payment is up to the parent. We pay our kids for chores. If they were working in a job they would get paid for doing work, especially for jobs that they really don’t want to do. The pay gives them a sense of accomplishment and they are able to buy their own things. Now we are in Math and Economics! My oldest daughter figured out QUICK that she can buy more at a thrift store then at a department store. I took advantage of the moment and talked about why it is better to buy second hand: recycling, over production, over consumption, and stopping slave labor in other countries, these are valuable lessons that stemmed from simple daily chores. Also, family teamwork is priceless. They all share rooms so they all share room cleaning. Also, they enjoy the fact they can get it done fast and can have more time to play.
Looking at Pictures
This is a great Social Studies lesson. Look at pictures from all the different time periods in your family history. Pictures spark so many questions, it is hard to say what they will ask, but guaranteed they will ask. If the parent can’t answer them, take the opportunity to call or write that family member or someone who does know the answer. Enjoy this time with your children the family bonds you nurture are with them are forever!
Gardening is one of those fun ways to learn about Nature and Self-Reliance. Gardening teaches children how our food is grown, how we depend on Nature for nutrition and how we are intimately tied to Nature. Whether you only have a window or a whole acre, Gardening has so many valuable life lessons that it is a must for every child AND adult! From planning to planting to maintaining a garden, it is one of the best Science and Social Studies lessons available!
Riding Bikes, Jump Roping, Hop Scotch, and Sports!
These are things that children have done for eons. Children have a way to discover games that have been played for years without being taught! The above activities are what they do on their breaks and lunch recess or just when they are on their free time. Riding bikes strengthens their body and motor skills. Jumping Rope builds stamina, balance, rhythm, and rhyme (just listen to the rhymes they pick up to go with the jumping rope). Hop Scotch teaches: balance, counting, and throwing.
Sports teach: competition, teamwork, strategy, balance, fine motor skills, and fair play! You could either sign them up in a sport or let them play stickball in the street; it is up to you. All of these could fill a year of Physical Education.
These are a time to discover the nature we live in. This, again, can be formal or informal depending on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are doing tree identification, then it would be formal with work sheets for recording and something to help identify the trees. For looking at shapes in nature, it may be less formal. Either way, you need to take a bag with you because kids love to collect things. When you get back always Journal write to keep the memory of the walk. Let the children discover their place in the Natural Order of things!
There are many activities in your daily life that can fill your curriculum or add to it. Look at your days, weeks, and months. Be creative, your children will enjoy home schooling and so will you!