Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The World Is Our Classroom

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We are a very on the go, busy family. I often have friends ask me how do you fit in homeschool when you are so busy? Well as our blog motto states, "The World Is Our Classroom." We use EVERYTHING as a learning experience.

We are a very eclectic, relaxed, delight-directed, almost unschooling homeschool family. I don't plan anything out (well except for fieldtrips maybe). Every week we generally have a couple fieldtrips planned, have a speech therapy appointment for Rowyn, run several errands (including a trip to the library) and right now we also have to drop off and pick up my husband from work. There's also all the household chores, dinner preparation, etc to do. And I also work from home managing my personal blog and social media for A+ TutorSoft Interactive Math. I put in about 20 + hours each week working from home. But even with all of this stuff going on we still manage to cover every subject, everyday, by simply taking advantage of each and every learning opportunity that arises. Very rarely do we sit down for 4 + hours with our various curriculum and learn. Instead we sneak in the homeschool lessons, often without the children even realizing it!

Here are 10 things you can do to sneak in homeschool on the busy days....

First and foremost you will need to think outside of the box, be flexible and be creative. Everything can be turned into and educational lesson. Seriously I have not found one fieldtrip, errand, resource, etc that the kids have not been able to learn something from. A trip to the grocery store can cover math, reading, health, social studies and more.

1) The internet can be your best friend. There are tons of educational websites where children can have fun yet learn something at the same time. If your child is able to work a mouse and a keyboard on their own set them up with an educational website (PBS kids is one of my children's favorites) and let them do some independent, fun learning. We do have NetNanny protecting the computer.
2) Keep crayons, pencils, paper, books etc in the car. If your days are often filled with running errands, attending appointments or driving your husband to and from work then this will really help you sneak in some school on the go. My children will get writing, art, reading and more done during our travels. Also know what curriculum is good for "on the go" learning so you can throw it into a bag and take it with you at a moments notice. For example when we take Rowyn to speech therapy my daughter takes along her Classical Conversations Cursive workbook and her ABeCeDarian workbook to get in reading and writing. Both of these curriculum's are easy to transport and have quick lessons making them perfect for "on the go."
3) Invest in a tablet or smart phone. The tablet that I purchased for myself for on the go blogging and social media work has been a huge life saver. I downloaded several great educational Android Apps so the kids can learn on the go.
4) Encourage your children to use their senses ALL the time. Let them touch, listen, taste, smell and observe. If you do this they will get excited about everything and want to learn about everything, making your job a lot easier. I love watching my children get excited about the littlest things like a bug hitching a ride on our windshield. That little moth on the windshield turns into a mini science lesson.
5) Just READ. There is no need to get out all the homeschool curriculum on a busy day. Simply reading a few good books for an hour with your children will cover several subjects and I guarantee you they will learn something new (most of the time I do too).

6) Put on some music and dance! One hour of dancing and playing music can squeeze in a few subjects (music, social studies, geography and more).
7) Get crafty! If you have a busy day and only have an hour to spare for some learning, make it a fun hour. Get out all the craft supplies and encourage your children to express their creativity. Give them a theme like make something from the Egyptian time period or make something that you would find in nature.
8) Get the children involved. Moms I know that some days you can get really busy with cleaning, cooking, doing laundry,etc and you feel like there is just not enough time to get in a full day of homeschooling. Well get the children involved and have them help you. Guess what? They will be learning very important life skills and maybe some science too!
9) Send them outside. We finally have a yard now and on very busy days when I have bills to pay, phone calls to make, chores to do I simply send the children outside. And they learn and explore all on their own. They build tepees, catch bugs, build squirrel traps.....
10) Play educational board games.

Relax, have fun with your children and watch them learn! Homeschooling doesn't always need a strict, routine, boring schedule. Sometimes the busy schedules can be the most fun!

Be sure to visit The Blog Cruise to check out what the other Review Crew members have to say about sneaking in homeschool on the busy days!



Brittney said...

"Homeschooling doesn't always need a strict, routine, boring schedule. Sometimes the busy schedules can be the most fun!"

This was my favorite part! I'm not an unschooler, but I had a hard time with this theme at first, because I don't feel like I'm ever "sneaking" school in, since LEARNING happens ALL THE TIME! Thank you for confirming what's been on my heart lately! :)

Nicole said...

I am way too rigid--I know that! But I'm getting better, and I love your reading and board game ideas. If only I could get them to not cheat at the games...lol!

Michele Pleasants said...

These are great reminders...ones I needed to hear! I am way too rigid too, Nicole...working on it as well. Thanks for the post Kathy!

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