We are living through some crazy times right now. Most schools across the USA are closed for a minimum of 2 weeks and I’ve seen some closed for as long as 6 weeks. I know some areas have moved to online learning or sending assignments home but not all districts have that availability. I thought I’d share some tips on things to do when your kids are stuck at home.
I am a veteran homeschooling mom, we homeschooled our boys from pre-school through high school. I also have my BS in Elementary Education and I am here to tell you, its not that hard to continue your child’s education at home, even without the support of your local school district.
Many times on this blog I have shared that my belief is that a parent’s job is to raise well-rounded, self-sufficient, productive citizens who love Jesus. Notice that academics aren’t specifically listed in that definition. Yes, academics are a large part of being well-rounded but this unique time in our world is a great time to focus on other things in addition to academics.
Learn Home Management Skills
Children ages 2 and up are able to help with home management aka chores. I had no problems when my sons bought houses and got marries young because I knew they both knew how to manage their homes, even if their wives didn’t. Home management really goes beyond basic chores of washing dishes, laundry, sweeping, etc and into true maintenance. Middle and High Schoolers can learn how to change the air filter, how to use a plunger, how to change the vacuum bag etc. Teens need to know how to change a tire, how to change the oil in their car and other basic vehicle maintenance.
Don’t forget cooking, baking and menu planning. Let the kids help plan and prepare meals. Kids love to bake and practice math skills at the same time. Let them organize and approved snack list including approved snack time windows so they won’t spoil their meals. Giving kids control of some things helps them feel safer and with all that is going on right now, we all want to feel safer.
Enjoy Self-Directed Learning
Is there a subject your child is passionate about? Do they love dinosaurs, horses, wars, coding, knights, art, music, cooking or just about anything? This break from structured schooling can allow them to dive deep into subjects that truly inspire them. They can read books, watch documentaries, create projects, teach the rest of the family about their topic. Kids learn a lot when they are studying something that really excites them. We just have to facilitate that learning by going to the library, helping them find appropriate videos etc and then watch them soar.
What about Preschoolers?
Preschoolers are easy practice sorting, counting, colors, shapes, number recognition, and letter recognition using items you have around the house. Let them color and create, do puzzles, sing and dance! If you want more ideas, checkout my Preschool Homeschool Pinterest Board.
Enjoy Family Time
Read a book out loud, no matter how old or young the kids are. Pick a book that is appropriate for the median age of your family. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to develop vocabulary. Stop and talk about new or different words. Have one child keep record of these new words so that you can really learn them.
Some of my favorite read aloud books for families with Elementary kids:
Play table games. Table games require strategy, patience, taking turns, and following directions. Games for older kids may also require money management and more math and reading skills. Family board games are a great screen free way to spend time together.
Some of my favorite family board games for families with kids 8+:
Work on large jigsaw puzzles. I just purchased a few large jigsaw puzzles and created a sturdy puzzle mat out of foam board and adhesive black felt. I can have the puzzle on our large ottoman when we are working on it and it can be stored in the spare bedroom when we aren’t working on it.
Play LEGO, have a daily dance party, do karaoke, family movie night…be a family!
Spend Time Outside
Soak up some vitamin D daily by being outside. These activities are for places where spring has already sprung like it has here in Florida.
- Take a walk
- Ride bikes
- Play with sidewalk chalk
- Play tag
- Look at the stars
I hope some of these ideas have helped you figure out some fun and educational things to do with your kids while they are home on this extended break.