Every homeschool family is different. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. But it is so fun to see what other families are up too and share ideas to keep your school alive and fun! Here are the top-rated (by the kids) activities that we did in our homeschool last year.
1.) Theatrical Performance
The kids loved this activity so much that we’re going to do it again (using different mediums) this year. Last year we chose to do a short play (about 5-10 minutes in total). My son was in charge of the setting and plot and his own costume. My oldest daughter was in charge of the other costumes, hair and makeup. My youngest was given a role in the play and enjoyed making things “interesting” as most 2 year olds do. I really did very little other than turn the video camera on and off and guide my son in helping him include a beginning, middle and end. The result was fun, entertaining, and creative!
2.) Egg Incubation Experiment
My husband raises pheasants. The children have been included in much of the care, including daily watering and feedings and have grown to love the birds. So when our chicks reached an age that they were able to reproduce it seemed natural to talk about the process. We looked up all the ins and outs of egg incubation for each breed and answered all of the kids questions and then they were able to choose an egg for their own to incubate. We do not have an incubator, so the kids were left to their creativity and recent findings on the subject to create what they thought would be the best method to incubate the eggs. I provided tools and guided them with questions, but the results of lamps, blankets, socks, setting them on the dryer, etc., were their ideas. They named their eggs and we set up times and days to check and rotate and observe. The kids loved being “little parents” and even though none of the eggs hatched, they were able to reach the correct conclusions as to why and they are ready to try again!
3.) Seed Germination Experiment
My kids love growing things. Any time they encounter a seed they have an urge to plant it. Our back yard is dotted with various “gardens” as they call them. So it was very natural to lead them into an experiment on germination and the interest was high. We used bean seeds and talked about seeds, germination, etc. We also discussed terms such as hypothesis, control, etc. We “planted” all of the beans in plastic see-thru cups, within wet paper towels and put them in a sunny window sill. However, we watered one cup with water, another with vinegar, another with oil, and another with grape juice. We checked the beans each day and added the selected liquid if they were dry. The kids were very interested and reached hypothesis and conclusions with very little guidance.
4.) Question of the Day
This is one that may have gone overboard. We are still doing it this year but not every day because the kids (and mom) are so curious that we were losing a balance and neglecting other areas of study. This activity was simply that each child could ask whatever question they wanted about whatever subject they wanted and then we would try to find the answer. Sometimes we would use books but most often we found the internet most helpful, especially since it often had video explanations as well.
5.) End of Year Olympics
We did this on the last day of school last year and the kids have been asking to do it again ever since. First we talked about the Olympics, the whos, whats, whys and hows. We talked about the subjects of brotherhood, competition, sportsmanship, etc. Then we made our own Olympics flag and held our own opening ceremony (without a torch, maybe this year?). Then we played games that I snuck some reviews into without them even noticing. We did the usual track and field events like long-jump, discus, and javelin and measured and tried to beat our own records. Then we did some phonics relay races and alphabet badminton. We ended with water-balloon volleyball where they had lots of fun and didn’t even realize they were counting and doing simple mathematics to keep score. Of course we had special snacks and water bottles handy and at the end of lunch celebrated with “Olympic Rings” (donuts).
Keep reading and following us so we can give you our reviews on some new twists we’re adding to the above activities and some other activities we’re trying out this year like: Reading Campouts, Author Your Own Book, My Favorite Book Week. As always, we’d love to hear what you think and what is working for your homeschool family!