When using a delight-directed approach to homeschooling, there will be days or weeks when you’ll ask your kids what they want to learn about next, and in return, you’ll get a blank stare.
These are the times when being prepared with a simple Mason jar full of ideas will help save the homeschool day.
The concept is simple. Brainstorm now so simple ideas that can mostly be done at the drop of a hat, write them down on slips of paper and place them in a Mason jar. You can even make a cute a label for the jar, so everyone knows what it is.
Then on one of those days when no one is feeling very inspired or creative, you will have ideas all ready to go.
We used this concept one year nearly every Friday. We also included a lot of field trip ideas in our jar, and we chose the idea the week before so we knew ahead of time what next week’s “Friday Fun School” activity would be. For most of these ideas, you don’t really need a lot of notice though.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, but you will want to brainstorm many more with your children!
- Go on a nature walk with a list of items to look for (leaves, moss, animal tracks, acorns, flowers, etc.)
- Create art
- Do messy science experiments
- Collect an insect or other creature in your backyard (butterfly, moth, ants, spider, turtle) and observe it for a couple of days before releasing it. We have a box turtle that lives in our yard. Ben loves to keep him around for a couple of days now and then for observation. He can tell you more about box turtles than most kids, I think.
- Learn about how to use Word or PowerPoint
- Grab a camera and look for interesting things to photograph. Learn about digital photography while you’re at it
- Visit a nursing home with a list of questions to interview one of the residents
- Bake cookies and visit your local fire house. Call ahead and you might even get a tour
- Plant a garden. Even if you live in an urban area or apartment, you can grow herbs in a container or use root vegetables to make a table top garden
- Head to the library and let the kids choose 10 books on a topic of interest for their book baskets
- Get a head start on creating Christmas ornaments — salt dough or quilted ornaments
- Grab your iPhone and make a fun video about what they’re learning in history
- Construct historical buildings from Lego
- Create sculptures from toothpicks, raisins, and mini marshmallows
- Write and illustrate a story together
You’ll find even more Fun School Ideas on my eBook, Delightful Planning.
I would also love to invite you the community inspired by this series, as we strive to inspire, encourage and empower our readers in everything homeschooling.