Looking for homeschool activities? Keep your children excited about learning and education with activities that extend the curriculum. This article has great ideas for reading, math, and science activities for homeschoolers.
When you’re getting started with homeschooling, you may find that a lot of the materials you have to work with are worksheets and textbooks. In order to break up the day, integrate activities with the paper and pencil exercises.
One approach to both enliven the homeschool classroom and create coherence between the school in your home and your family life is to find creative ways to use family life activities to further school curriculum. Read this article for ideas about how to get started.
Reading Homeschool Activities
With beginning readers who are either learning the alphabet or beginning to sound out words, there are many activities that can further their learning. Here are some ideas:
- Make alphabet soup, encouraging children to identify letters, form words, or even make simple crosswords as you prepare the soup.
- Play the alphabet game while walking or driving. This game entails all players working as a team to find the 26 letters, one-by-one in alphabetical order in signs that they pass. Some letters, like Q, X, and Z, can be tough. You can skip these, if children are frustrated. When children have more experience, increase the competition in this homeschool activity by having each child create his or her own alphabet, with a letter being off limits to others after one child has claimed it for his or her count.
- Take turns reading in a favorite book. The turn taking can take several forms. For the newest readers, you may select several words that they know and have them be responsible for reading those words whenever they come up. You can help them find the place by pointing to your reading location. For more experienced readers, you can take turns each reading a page.
Math Homeschool Activities
- Setting the table is a good opportunity for a counting homeschool activity. Everything that goes to the table-plates, cups, silverware, napkins, even condiments-can be counted. For more advanced students, you can easily devise multiplication problems (There are five in our family and we each have a fork, knife, and spoon. What multiplication problem could your write to find out how many pieces of silverware there are in all?)
- Shopping is an obvious choice for a homeschool adding activity. A child can use a calculator to keep a running total of the grocery cost. Alternatively, you can have a child begin calculations with the total amount of money you have, and deduct the cost of each purchase, determining how much you will have left, if any, when you’ve completed the shopping trip.
- Baking recipes often involve measuring and counting fractions. To extend this homeschool activity, you can provide extra flour to play with and measure and/or make homemade playdough (it’s easy to find online recipes, for example, in my article here: wisegeek.com/how-can-i-make-play-dough.htm)
- Rearranging furniture in the school room or another area of the house can provide an opportunity for a homeschool activity with measuring. Either a ruler, a tape measure, or a yardstick can be used. Older students could create a graph paper model of the room and paper furniture made to scale in order to explore different furniture arrangements without any heavy lifting involved.
Science Homeschool Activities
- Gardening provides a great opportunity to explore botanical concepts, including nutrients that plants need, names and categories of plants, and the parts of plants. This homeschool activity can be done either with houseplants or in a yard.
- Pet care can be a homeschool activity tied to instruction in zoology, as students explore taxonomy and the characteristics of different classes of animals.
- Bird watching as well as other animal observation (squirrels, deer, neighborhood cats) can lead to discussions on animal behavior and ecology.
- Reviewing the family water and electricity and/or gas bills as a homeschool activity can prompt discussion about resources.