Seriously, though, I labored long and hard on this sweet thing, and I'm happy to introduce you to What Will We Learn Today? — an ideabook of more than 550 quick and simple homeschooling activities.
Language Arts: Have your child help you shop for groceries. Hand the list over — for a pre- or beginning reader, draw little images of all the items you need next to the words. Have your child read the list to you as you go and cross off what you've found.
Why homeschool activity ideas?There are days when you want to do something fun — and educational — but you can't quite figure out what it is. I have good intentions of natural-learning activities to do — but then I don't always remember them.
Mathematics: Take the cover off an (unplugged) electric fan. Tape a different number to each blade, and put a piece of tape marking the top of the fan. Spin the fan by hand, and have your child make bets on which number will be at the top. Keep track of which number actually makes it to the top each time. Work out the probability of which number will be at the top — and the advisability of gambling on roulette…
So I wrote this ebook to be a collection of idea-joggers. You can keep it on your computer, phone, or tablet (it's a PDF, so easy-peasy) and then anytime you're having one of those "What should we do now?" moments, just pop that puppy open and choose an activity.
How? I recommend closing your eyes and jabbing randomly at the screen. Failing that, you could browse, and maybe highlight your favorites to come back to (you can do that with a PDF!). I've also organized all the activities by curricular subject, so if you really want to do something mathy or sciencey, or if you're dying to attack a different language or social studies, you could just hop to that section of the book. (I hyperlinked the table of contents, so it's an easy click!)
Science: Make raisins dance. Fill a glass with water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and stir until it dissolves. Drop in 3 or 4 raisins. Slowly pour in 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and watch the raisins dance! Mixing baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction that causes carbonation (carbon dioxide bubbles) in the water. Normally raisins would be too heavy to float or dance in the water, but the lighter-than-water bubbles adhere to their surface and carry them up. When the bubbles reach the surface and pop, the raisins sink again. Once the raisins are too soggy with water, they'll be too heavy to keep dancing.
Obviously, there's plenty of crossover between the activities (life isn't divided into key curricular subjects, after all, but is all of one piece), but it's helpful to consider what sort of variety you're using to spice up your children's educational life.
Life Skills: Walk or drive somewhere while letting your child navigate with a map or GPS device. Your child can tell you which way to turn and help you look for signs and landmarks.
What am I getting for the moolah?These are fun, easy activities. I tried to keep most of them home-based, quick, and using little in the way of supplies (and nothing fancy). So if you have money to blow, that's great; you can buy kits and curricula and equipment and whatever you want. But for all of us who need to keep things frugal and simple, I've got you covered. I've even included bonus tips for home learning on a budget: keeping museum costs down, using libraries and other resources to their fullest, and even finding like-minded community (so your kids get socialized, dontchaknow).
Social Studies: Pretend you're from a different decade or century. Go through your house or neighborhood marveling together at all the newfangled things you can spot. Try to compare them to objects familiar to your own time.
I also was surprised when I counted to find I'd come up with over 550 activities (and am still thinking of more — I'm guessing a second edition will be in the works at some point!). Originally, I was trying to get to 100. Then I thought I was on track for 200 and was so proud of me. Then I counted the final version and was gobsmacked. But that's good news for you! Lots and lots of fun ideas!
Health & Fitness: Toss a raw egg back and forth to each other outside as gently as possible, taking a step back with each successful catch. Try to get as far away from each other as possible before the egg drops or breaks.
Are these only for homeschoolers?Not at all! We're unschooling, so I wrote it for people who've chosen a home-based method of education. But, seriously, as parents we all want to facilitate our children's learning. Even if your kids are pre-preschool or in regular school, you're still guiding their education and want to give them learning opportunities. These activities fill the bill. They're aimed at the primary grades, but you can adapt them to a variety of ages.
World Languages: Learn the body parts for the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" in your target language, and get singing and moving!
Plus, I love that when you do activities like this with your kids, you're really connecting with them, which you'll both appreciate.
Arts & Music: Visit an art museum and head first to the gift shop. Let your child choose a postcard of one of the artworks from the museum, and then go on a scavenger hunt to find it. Read any information about the work to your child, and talk together about what you like about it.
All right, you've got me. How do I buy it?Right now, What Will We Learn Today? is available exclusively as part of the Mindful Learning eBundle Sale at an incredible 75% off the list prices of 6 learning resources! Read more at my review post, or purchase the bundle through my affiliate link.
After the sale ends, I'll have my ebook available for $5.99, but I highly recommend getting the bundle while you can! (It ends TOMORROW, so hurry.) It's like buying 2 books but getting 6. Sweet deal, hey?
I also plan to release a paperback version for those of you who want to mark up a hard copy with a real highlighter, so you can stay tuned for that! For now, enjoy the full-color, lots-of-pretty-pictures PDF version, and check out that Mindful Learning eBundle!
P.S. Fun trivia: We had to pay Mikko $10 to get him to pose with that globe. True story.