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Are you looking for some homeschool encouragement to finish your homeschool year with fun?
Spring is calling…..
Once the warmer temperatures arrive, we are all ready to enjoy the beautiful weather! It is easy to fizzle out before finishing your homeschool curriculum.
Actually it’s easy to fizzle out and need a little fun at any point in your school year, so keep these ideas in mind for adding some fun to those days!
If you happen to find yourself struggling to stay focused toward the end of the school year, I want to offer 5 easy ways you can help your kids (and you!) finish your homeschool year with fun.
Let’s talk about curriculum for a sec…
I will be the first to admit that we do not finish every single curriculum every year – even those we enjoy!
I purposely save some activities for summer because I want us to “do” a little school each week.
That being said…sometimes we just need a break- especially when the weather is gorgeous!
The solution for us is using a few time-savers to first complete our “have-to” curriculum (which are reading, math, and writing at our house).
Here are 5 easy ways to finish curriculum in less time and in fun ways.
1. Let them answer orally.
Often times, the physical handwriting is what takes more time. While it is great to practice handwriting, it doesn’t have to be with every single lesson.
Let your kids share their answers out loud, rather than write them down. It is so much faster!
You can get their lessons done and still have time for a picnic lunch at the park.
2. Let them test out.
Yes, test (GASP!). 🙂 Before you start a lesson, see if your kids already know how to do the basic assignment.
If so, challenge them to do one of the harder problems. If they are successful, ask yourself if they really need to keep practicing.
Often times, I just consider children to “test” out of needing more practice if they can show they have mastered that skill. Once a skill is mastered, your kids are ready to move on to the next lesson.
3. Put them in charge of the minimum assignments.
Let your kids know the assignments for the week. Maybe set a minimum number of lessons to do a day before screens come on.
It is a terrific way to practice responsibility (and also frees Mom up from having to remind them again…and again).
4. Give yourself permission to play.
Some days, no matter how hard you try, learning just isn’t going to happen (and neither is the laundry). On those days, it is completely OK to just let it go.
Sometimes we just need permission to PLAY.
Days like this are a good time to play with the kids and do whatever it is that we need to do in order to recharge. For us, that is usually to get outside, turn on some music, give hugs, and watch a movie together.
Besides, even activities involving board games, puzzles, nature walks, and bird watching all are wonderful brain-engaging activities!
5. Reserve time for child-led learning.
When your “have-to” curriculum lessons are done, your kids have time to study something they want to learn!
One option is to finish your homeschool year with child-led learning activities.
An independent study is a terrific child-led learning activity. The kids each choose a topic to study. Then, they present what they have learned to a real audience (your family, friends, or even social media if you want).
Bonus Benefits of Child-led Learning Projects
- By inviting your kids to choose an independent study about something they want to learn, they instantly become excited and motivated to “do” school.
- When your kids study in areas of interest, they naturally move beyond basic knowledge to higher levels of brain-engaging activities.
- They will often be curious and motivated to extend the knowledge to an expert level of thinking skills. Cool, right?
- Independent study is a powerful way for your kids to fuel their own strengths and become experts in a topic they enjoy!
Doing an independent study is also a terrific way for your kids to extend what they already know:
- Reading skills are used to research
- Writing and spelling skills are needed to communicate his findings
- Vocabulary often increases as your children learn new information
- Math and art often need to design how to present the information.
BTW – It can actually replace the curriculum if your state gives you the option to do that!
The ONE secret to finishing your homeschool year with FUN – make it about them!
- Get them involved in finishing the homeschool year. Checklists work wonders at our house, btw.
- Invite them to plan your Fun Fridays (Pinterest is our favorite place to find inspiration).
- Kids LOVE to take ownership, so ask them what they really want to study.
- Ask them what they would be excited to spend time learning each day.
To make it easy for you, I have a kids’ action sheet where they can write down what they want to learn.
We do this activity a few times a year, and their answers reflect what excites them at the moment. It is perfect for their scrapbooks, too. 😉
Why making it about them works:
Each of us have unique strengths and weaknesses, and we naturally want to spend more time where we are strong. No one likes struggling, right?
When we let them say what they want to learn, homeschooling extends waaaaaay beyond the curriculum.
When the kids are directly involved in planning to study things that motivate them to learn, we can all finish the homeschool year in fun ways.
Now it is YOUR turn:
What is a topic your kids would want to study next? Tell us in the comments!
Amy Michaels inspires kids to enjoy reading great books with fun activities. Learn more at BookBrilliantKids.com
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Don’t miss the rest of the posts in the series!