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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Healthy Snack Time with Homeschool Students

The food that your homeschool students eat, is the fuel that runs their bodies and brains. Having a balanced diet may not always be possible when you are rushing around trying to homeschool, run errands and keep pace with chores at home. Here are some ways to ensure that snack time and food going into your homeschool students is relatively healthy with minimal effort.

Have Fruits Always Available

Fresh fruits are a fantastic source of minerals and vitamins. Having a range of fruits readily available is a good way to stay on the healthy eating track. Bananas, apples, grapes are always good for a quick snack with no effort. Have citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit cut in half and arranged on a plate for regular snack time. Pomegranate kernels are a time consuming snack which little fingers love to eat. Don’t forget to wash hands before and after fruit time.

Salads Are a Quick Fix

Have sprouts, nuts, and salad leaves like iceberg or romaine lettuce at home. Along with a bunch of dressings that can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.  Dips made of yogurt and nuts also make a good addition to these impromptu salads. Having these items ready makes it easy for your homeschool students to fix themselves a salad whenever hunger strikes. It’s not going to come as a surprise that the more popular fixings will need refilling more often. Still when you consider that raw and healthy food is going in to their mouths, it’s an easy bug to bear.

The Proteins Come From Meat

It’s having grilled or shredded meats ready that allows a quick sandwich fixing. Yes the best way to have them ready may seem like having frozen foods in the fridge, but it’s not quite as healthy as getting the raw meat and cooking it at home yourself. Not to mention that it will have less preservatives and taste better as well. Cooking at home is all about having the ingredients ready and at hand. A little bit of organized grocery shopping can go a long way in ensuring that your homeschooling family eats healthy!

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More Fun Homeschool Activities

The freedom and flexibility of a homeschooling environment are conducive to creating some great memories with your homeschool students. With just a little planning, it is possible to get a lot of learning done even as your homeschool students pick up new skills and have fun. Here are some ideas for activities that you can add to your homeschool experience.

The Poet-Tea

Make tea time an interesting cultural experience. Have your homeschool students pick a poem each for sharing with everyone at tea time. It’s reminiscent of the cultural gatherings of old times. It also helps create new learning opportunities for your kids. They can start with their favorite poets and then move up to creating their own poems to share with the family. They will also discuss the reason why they chose the poem and the significance that it holds in their mind. Literary appreciation will get a major boost.

Mad Libs Templates

This is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story. The story is then read out loud and can be quite comical. Have fun with your children creating a mad libs template in the homeschool classroom and then use it on unsuspecting friends and family members. Encourage your children to get as creative as they can get. Try using templates of popular stories they are familiar with such as a morning at Hogwarts or maybe something out of a Dr Seuss book. Improves self expression and creates major opportunities for fun!

The Dance Playlist

Introduce different styles of dancing with a short playlist of five songs. They can have everything from ballet to salsa. The idea is to get the children familiar with the different types of music genres. Plus find the few steps in each that can be easily performed. It will help them be more comfortable when they have to actually attend a social event that involves dancing. Plus it’s a good excuse to cross PE off the homeschool schedule. Let the music selection be taken over by the children once in a while for even more fun.

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3 Ideas for Homeschooling Fun

All study and no fun can make your homeschool students dull. So here are some ideas to add fun in a reasonable and cost effective manner to your homeschooling family. Maybe these will spark your imagination to come up with more activities of your own that are better suited to your homeschool students.

The Food and Drink Bar

Have a table set up with snacks and beverage fixings in the homeschool classroom once a week. It can be accessed as a reward for a job well done, the homeschool student can place an order for something on the food and drink bar. This is in addition to whatever snack for the day is already being provided. You can add some cookies, crisps, or homemade favorites to the items on the bar. Setting it up is a weekly fun activity that everyone can look forward to. You may even ask the kids for help in the kitchen to make the more popular items ordered often from the bar!

The Ambiance Setting

If it’s a special occasion such as an upcoming festival or birthday, it may be fun to decorate the homeschool classroom for it. The art class could be used to make handmade decorations. Make the decorations festival appropriate, for instance black cats and orange pumpkins for Halloween, painted eggs and bunnies for Easter, and so on. The balloons and streamers can never go wrong to help cheer up a room, so keep some on hand for an instant transformation. Get the kids involved and ask for their ideas. You will be pleasantly surprised at what they come up with.

The Homeschool Vision Board

This is not to be confused with the notice board that displays scheduled lessons and productive art work. This is a space where homeschool goals are displayed in visual form. So if there’s a plan to go to see a specific monument, it can go up on the board. If there homeschool teacher wants the kids to do well in their studies, a mock report card with their names and all A+ grades written next to the subjects can go up. Think of what else can go on your homeschool vision board and update it regularly once a month.

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