Homeschool Classroom Game to Improve Expression

Children love to draw and the homeschool teacher can use this to improve their ability to express themselves. By giving homeschool students a variety of opportunities to be artistic, the homeschooling parent can ensure that the children are able to put forth their views in a safe and healthy environment. Plus this activity gives the homeschool teacher some time off to plan for the next lesson or activity scheduled for the day. It can be played anytime once it has been established with the homeschool students.

The Game

Playing is always much more fun than studying. So make the experience a game and you will have a lot more learning happening. Have pairs made for this game where one homeschool student can see a picture while the other can not. The second homeschool student is the one with the art supplies to draw the picture. The game is simple, the first child guides the second child with descriptions as the second child draws. You can reverse the roles of the children for a second round of the game.

The Learning

The first lesson is that of cooperating with each other. The two homeschool students learn to work as a team. Each understands that they depend on the other for the final outcome and both give it their best shot. The second lesson is sharing in detail. The child has to figure out enough words to explain exactly what he is seeing. The third lesson is understanding what you listen to. The second child needs to formulate a picture in his mind based on all the inputs the first child is giving him.

The Skills Developed

The homeschool children have an improved vocabulary as they search for new words to describe exactly what they have seen. They work at the new words together and make for better conversationalists. The drawing and sketching skills of the children will also improve as they struggle to get the texture and tone of their images just right and as close to the original as possible. They get to express themselves both in words and via the medium of art.

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Homeschooling with Grandma

Having Grandparents involved in the homeschool schedule is a good idea on many fronts. While legally the grandparents have to be guardians of the child to homeschool them independently, they can always be invited into the homeschool run by the parents as additional teachers. If you are lucky enough to live close by to the grandparents of your children, do take advantage of the help and expertise that they have to offer. Here are some things to consider.

Have Them as Backup

At times parents are unable to meet their homeschool teaching requirements on their own and need some help. Having a grandparent come in regularly once a week to take a specific class or topic is a good way to get started. This way when they need arises, the homeschool students are already used to grandma or grandpa teaching them in the classroom. It’s a great idea to dedicate specific days in the regular course of the week when the homeschool parent and grandma can switch places in the homeschool classroom.

Encourage Them to take Field Trips Together

While an outing to the grandparents home is a good break from the homeschool classroom, getting them actively involved by having them take the kids out for field trips is even better. The homeschool parents get a break. The homeschool students get an educational outing. The grandparents get to spend quality time with their grand kids. The kids also get to learn something new that can be made a part of their study requirements. It’s a total win win situation for everyone.

Have Them Share their Experience

From collecting coins to stories of the family history. There’s a lot of experiences that the grand parents can share with the homeschool students. Why not set up an educational project for the team to tackle together. The children can learn about the many different hobbies and interests of the grand parents as well as gain new knowledge as they present them to the parents in a report. Plus the additional advantage will be a closer relationship bond developing between the grandparents and grand kids.

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Two Homeschool Socializing Icebreakers

Part of getting your homeschool students to interact with peers is making new friends. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get in touch with other homeschooling families in the area and set up a play or study date for the homeschool students. Ideally one family will travel to the other family’s homeschool classroom and everyone will learn together. If you are meeting everyone for the first time, it would be handy to have a few games and icebreakers to ensure everyone gets to know everyone in a fun and relaxed environments.

The Unique Me

Everyone stands up and a single person makes a statement like “I brushed my teeth this morning.” Then whoever did not brush their teeth that morning gets to sit down. Another statement can be I ate cereal for breakfast, or I drank a chocolate milkshake today. The idea is to start with saying something common that a person has done and moving on till it leaves just the one person.

If you have teenagers you can make it even more of a unique game. For instance the statements could include things like I play the guitar, or I play chess. Sometimes a unique statement can even include something like I have four brothers. Each child gets to use one statement to proclaim their uniqueness. The longer they get to stand in the game, the better.

The Counting Game

The participants have to count the numbers from one till twenty. The only rule is that they can not go in order. They have to shout out random numbers like 8, 15, 3 and so on till all the twenty numbers have been called out. If at anytime two homeschool students call out a number at the same time, the game restarts. It can take an extraordinarily long time to count till twenty.

Do ensure that one of the homeschool parents keeps track of the numbers called out in each section of the game. It will avoid clashes and actually help the game to end on a positive note. By the end of the game you will have a class full of enthusiastic and energetic children.

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Games to Help Homeschool Students Express Themselves Better

Word games are a great way to get homeschool students to increase their vocabulary. Here are a few that can be played to raise the energy in the homeschool classroom while continuing to teach the kids something new. They are also great for ice breakers with other homeschool families.

The Adjective Game

The homeschool student says an adjective followed by a name. For instance Lucky Luke. The next one in line must repeat the first adjective and name combination and add his own. So it becomes Lucky Luke, Bright Betty. Each person in turn must continue adding to the list. The ones who miss out or get the sequence wrong are dropped out. The game continues till only one person is able to get the entire list correctly. It may help for the first person to drop out to keep a list of the names and adjectives to ensure that the sequence is recorded. The homeschool teacher may also opt to do this task and sit out the actual game.

The “I Know You” Game

We need at least three participants for this game, the more the merrier. One homeschool student asks another a question. This could be something like, “What’s your favorite color?” The person asked the question does not answer, however the person sitting to their left must say, “I know you, your favorite color is ….”. Then they check with the person and if the answer is right, the person who answered correctly gets to ask a question. Should the answer be wrong the person will say, “You don’t know me” and then proceed to ask the next question in the game. This one can continue till everyone has had a chance to ask a question, or till the homeschool parent decides is enough.

The Compliment Game

Stick a piece of paper on the back of each member in the homeschool classroom. Now hand over pens to everyone. Each person must write down a compliment for the person on the paper on their back. They need not write their names on the paper. Wait till everyone has written down the compliments for everyone else. They can take off the papers from their back and read their compliments.

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Starting a Weather Station in your Homeschool Classroom

The weather man always gets it wrong. Have your homeschool students start a project in the classroom to keep a track of various features of the weather and make informed predictions.  Here’s what all they can keep a track of.

Temperature

Get them a thermometer and hang it in the weather station corner. Have large sheets of paper sectioned off for record keeping for all the features that your homeschool students will be keeping a track of. Each paper can handle the month’s details. Record the temperature at the same time each day.

Rainfall

The number of inches of rainfall can actually be accurately taken from the internet, but it’s a whole lot more fun if you can get the homeschool students to place a glass out in the rain and then measure the amount filled up when the rain ends. The number of inches in the glass should co-relate to the number of inches rain experienced in the area.

Wind Speed and Direction

A windsock is a great way to tell wind direction. You can take anything from an actual colorful sock to a bit of heavy linen to create your own windsock. Just make sure that it’s long enough to show from a distance. Then tie it up to a high area. A tree branch, an electrical pole, make sure this is done by the homeschool parent. Now it’s easy to monitor the wind direction. Wind speed can be measured using an anemometer. This is a small device that can be invested in. Ensure that

Barometric Pressure

Air pressure can be measured by making a homemade barometer. Place mercury in a bowl and invert a narrow glass tube over it. The higher the air pressure, the more mercury will climb up in the tube. It’s a simple science experiment and will be easy to replicate each time readings have to be taken.

 Humidity

While a hygrometer is the ideal way to measure humidity, it is also possible to do without one. All you need is a dry and a wet bulb thermometer and subtract the difference in temperature to get the humidity level. Now put all the readings together and you have your in house Weather Station.

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Fall Activities For Homeschool Families

If you’ve got the leaves to prove it’s fall, here are some activities to get your homeschool students interested in. The range is wide and you can always add or adapt them to suit the needs of your homeschool family better.

Pick Apples and Make Pie

A number of orchards have sales with the plentiful bounty. You can take a field trip with the homeschool students to one and personally pick up the apples that will be needed for pie making off the trees. It can also be considered an educational trip and added to the homeschool schedule.

Baking is a great way to use mathematics and baking apple pies also ensures a healthy and tasty treat at the end of the lesson. Have a simple recipe printed out and ready for the young homeschool students to follow. They can even decorate them once they have finished baking the pies.

The Tree Study 

Now’s a good time to get in to the biology lesson on plants and trees. Showing the clear effect of the weather on the leaves is a great way to study the changes that plants undergo. You can study a single tree near the house, or take a trip to the park and get in a number of different tree leaves for the collection.

Leaves can be stuck in a herbarium with information about the tree accompanying them. Also if the children are old enough, the homeschool students can be tasked with finding out the most effective way to preserve the leaves. They can experiment with glycerin preservation and silica preservation techniques.

Leaf Art

With so many leaves available for the taking, it may be a good time to use them as raw material for art projects. Leaves can be pasted together to make roses. They can be dried and used as decorations. Cards can be made with leaf designs. Leaves can be stitched together to make costumes. It is even possible to make bowls, plates and eating utensils from sturdier leaves by layering them together. The possibilities are endless. Just have fun playing  and learning with them.

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Standard Operating Procedures in the Homeschool Classroom

Are you constantly wishing for a the gravel from the court scene of the movie you saw in order to bring your homeschool class to order? Is the noise level becoming too loud for you to handle? Then you need to take a look at these ideas. Keeping the peace in a homeschool classroom can become a daunting task if the homeschool teacher does not have standard operating procedures in place. Here are some suggestions.

Three Before Me

This quite literally means that the homeschool student has to try three sources of information before coming to the homeschool teacher to ask for any clarification. It could be their peers in the classroom, a book that can give them good references on the topic, or even an internet website that may have articles on what they seek. Only when they have tried three sources and still not understood what they need to know can they approach the homeschool parent.

This is a system that works well with the slightly older homeschool students who have a good idea about how to access information from different places. It serves to make them more independent as well as giving them the confidence in learning on their own. It also gives them focus and patience when they really want to know something and realize that they need to speak with the homeschool parent to sort this out.

The Attention Seeking Tap

The younger children in the homeschool classroom can be more prone to making a racket and demanding attention. For them the homeschool teacher can institute this standard operating procedure. If they have a query and the homeschool teacher is busy with another child, they can come and give the parent a tap on the forearm. The parent will give them a tap back on their forearm to acknowledge their need.

The child must then wait by them silently till they are addressed. This allows the homeschool teacher to finish what they have started with the other homeschool student, while being aware that the younger sibling needs their attention. It will cut down the temper tantrums and noise level in the homeschool classroom.

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Reducing Interruptions in the Homeschool Classroom

There’s a number of ways that your homeschool classroom can get disrupted. The more interruptions in a day, the less work gets done. The less work completed, the more likely the daily schedule will be met. In order to ensure that you have the least number of interruptions, the homeschool teacher needs to insulate the classroom to ensure least number of distractions make it through.

The External Distractions

The doorbell and the telephone are the two biggest external distractions that a homeschooling parent will face. It’s a good idea to let the friends and family know that you will not be available during school hours. Of course there may still be occasions where the class in progress will be interrupted for unplanned visitors. In this case have a back up plan for the homeschool students to study or work on while you deal with them. You could have a video lined up to show them which can be followed by a quiz. This will not require you presence, but still have them learning something while you are away.

The Internal Distractions

The children themselves can become disruptive when you are trying to teach one kid something and the other one wants your attention at the same time. Here is a good place to instill a system like them touching you on the arm and asking when can you help me with this? Then you can give them an effective time frame, or set a timer for them to see when you will be free to be with them. It will avoid having a free for all argument that leads to absolutely no productivity.

Handling Interruptions Easily

The important thing to remember is that life is always going to have distractions and interruptions. Your attitude as you handle them will ensure that you still get stuff done. Keeping cool under fire can help the homeschool teacher get a whole lot more done, even though having a temper tantrum and yelling at the children may make you feel a lot better. Practice deep breathing to make it second nature to hold the right attitude with ease.

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More Games for the Homeschool Classroom

There’s a number of games that can be played in the homeschool classroom for a few minutes that can rev up the energy of the sagging students. Here’s a few suggestions. You can try them out and add variations that suit your homeschool students better. The idea is to have fun and suspend formal learning for a while.

The Pink Toe Game

This is a simple game that even pre-schoolers can join in. The homeschool teacher calls out a color and a body part – Pink Toe! Now the homeschool student must find something of pink color in the classroom and touch it with their toe. Brown Finger would involve finding something of brown color and touching it with their finger. You can revise both the colors and the body parts with this fun game. It also gives the kids a chance to get out of their seats and physically do something.

The Sports Mime Game

This is more action oriented and your primary grade homeschool students will love it. The sports announcer, or the homeschool teacher, announces a sports skill, such as dribbling a basket ball. As soon as the announcement is made the kids have to mime the action for ten seconds. Then the next announcement is made. Possible sports skills that can be mimed include shooting a jump shot, batting a baseball home run, skating a figure eight, skiing down a hill, a ballerina making a twirl, playing a tennis volley, and you can let your imagination go wild.

The Keyword Musical Game

For your older homeschool students with a musical inkling, this game will be super fun. Use a list of random words and write them down on individual chits of paper. Now as the homeschool student picks a chit, the keyword on the paper becomes the cue to as many songs as he can think of. For example if the word is walk, the songs can be walking like an Egyptian, only thing about me is the way I walk, etc. The idea is to sing out songs which include the verb walk or walking. The kid to get the maximum number of songs from his keyword is declared the winner.

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Cure Homeschool Classroom Boredom

There’s always so much to do in the homeschool classroom and never enough time. A homeschool teacher may wish to rush through the lessons to stay on track with the schedule for the day. However there are some days that just don’t want to adhere to the schedule that has been painstakingly put together. That’s the time to have some fun in the classroom to break the monotony.

The physical energy booster

Near the end of the day the energy levels of both the teacher and the homeschool students are low. Playing a game can serve as a quick and simple energy booster. We have the classic sit and stand game where the kids need to pay attention to what order is given and perform the action. So the adult can call out the two commands in rapid succession and random order. The idea is for the students to follow them correctly. If you get it wrong, it doesn’t matter. We start all over again. Doing this for a mere five minutes will energize the whole classroom.

The mental energy booster

There may be times when the children are too tired to even move. That’s when these mental energy boosting games can come in handy. Pick a number, say 5. Now make the kids start counting regularly like 1, 2, 3, 4, but when they come to 5 or nay multiples of 5 they have to say Buzz. So it goes like 1, 2, 3, 4, Buzz, 6, 7, 8, 9 Buzz, 11 and so forth. If the children are too young to understand multiples, you can simply have them count the number and any number with a digit five will be buzzed. For instance numbers like 15, 25, 35, 45, 50, 51, etc will not be spoken but replaced with Buzz.

The dynamic energy changer

At times you just need to change the ambiance of the class completely. This is possible when you add some music. You can simply develop a set of dance moves that can be easily adapted to sitting and standing positions. Then teach them to your homeschool students and let them follow you around. It’s an instant energy shot, especially if you can set out some nice and peppy music that everyone loves to listen to.

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