All school and no play makes Sunshine a dull girl, right? One of reasons I like homeschooling is that we spend much less time on school and have more time to pursue other things that are a lot more fun. Here are 5 ways we have fun in our homeschool.
1. Extracurricular Activities
The other day, my husband asked Sunshine if Lily should go to Kindergarten (like she did) this year. After a moment’s thought, she said no. We were both surprised and my husband asked her why. Sunshine’s answer was that if she was in Kindergarten, Lily wouldn’t be able to go to gymnastics or dance class. Very true!
When Sunshine was in Kindergarten (which is full-time here in BC), that’s all she did. Every morning, we had to be out the door as soon as we’d woken up and eaten breakfast, and she got home around 4 in the afternoon—just in time for me to start supper, serve supper, and run bedtime routines.
This year, she’s done swim lessons, violin lessons, two dance classes, and gymnastics. Several of those happen during school hours and I wish more lessons would be offered for homeschooling students in the morning or early afternoon rather than after school hours.
2. Field Trips
We’ve participated in several field trips this year, whether organized with other homeschoolers (like going to the Raptors in Duncan or the salmon run in Goldstream) or simply by ourselves (like the Vancouver Zoo or Maplewood Farm). These are a lot of fun and I’m always watching for more field trips to join or trying to plan some with fellow homeschoolers. For some of the venues, it’s nice to be able to go during weekday mornings when the places are quieter, rather than dealing with crowds during the popular days and times.
3. Board Games
My daughters both love playing boards and I’ve noticed that there’s a lot they can learn in most board games too. Nearly every game teaches them about taking turns and being a good sport whether you win or lose.
Monopoly teaches basic math skills (we have Junior Monopoly, which is so easy even Lily can manage her money no problem). Battleships teaches grids and strategy (and a chance to talk history and war if the girls ask lots of questions). Junior Scrabble teaches words and spelling. Quirkle teaches patterns. Even games like Candyland and Snakes & Ladders teach counting skills.
4. Read Aloud Together
The girls have always loved it when I read to them. It’s an instant way to have everyone sitting together, listening. I read Sunshine’s religion and science to her. We’ve also been working through the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The girls absolutely love it and always clamor to have another chapter, and our homeschool teacher is using that as our social studies curriculum for the year. They’ve been asking to go on a train like Laura and Mary did in By the Shores of Silver Lake, and we’re going to surprise them with that next week!!!
I’ve been thinking looking up other crafts or recipes to dig deeper into Little House, or to check out the TV series, but haven’t done that yet. Bonnie Landry also talks quite a bit about the benefits of reading aloud to children, so I try to make sure we read at least a chapter or two a day.
5. Create a Homeschool Yearbook
Another way we had fun in our homeschool this year was to create a homeschool yearbook! It was a great way to capture our memories from the year and to remember all the fun we had. And Sunshine loves showing her book off to friends and family too.
Now, Picaboo is giving away FIVE homeschool yearbooks just like Sunshine’s! Enter to win using the giveaway form below (open to Canada only).
Plus, check out more ways to have fun homeschooling with the Canadian Homeschooling Bloggers!
Contest details: 5 winners will each receive 1 Picaboo Yearbook (softcover, 20 pages, 8½x11 size). Open to Canada only. 18+. Ends May 13th @11:59pm EST.