Enjoy a guest post from Jenny. She has created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.
Waiting for the Sun: Homeschooling through the Winter Months
It’s that time again, the days are just starting to get longer but night still creeps in before we’ve had a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Waning daylight hours on top of a seemingly never-ending cold snap and bad weather means us homeschool moms have to get a little creative. Here are a few fun ideas to zap boredom until the cold weather withers away.
Digital dance party
No matter your child’s age, most kids love to dance. There are numerous websites, such as FitForAFeast.com that offer entertaining and educational dance lessons. And if you have a smart television system, you can move the furniture around and have a great big dance party in the living room. A word to the wise here, make sure you have a good home theater system. Do your research and buy something that will fill the room with a dynamic range of sound so that your children aren’t constantly pausing to hear instructions. Younger kids may also like GoNoodle.com, which is used by thousands of public and private schools to supplement indoor recess when it’s too cold for the playground.
Do you believe in magic?
While we know that wizards and warlocks aren’t real, science still offers plenty of magical experiences for your young Einstein. This rainbow magic milk science experiment utilizes items you already have around the house to create an intriguing burst of color while showing how fat molecules interact with other substances. You can use this as a lead-in experiment to discuss everything from the difference between whole and nonfat milk to food dye allergies. In addition to science and technology, you can also have your children research interesting aspects of mythology and find links between real science and the beliefs of ancient man.
Hey there, Picasso
It’s been more than 20 years since the great Bob Ross flew up to that happy little cloud in the sky. But this hasn’t stopped the soft-spoken soldier-turned-painter from offering a whole new generation the opportunity to master the art of oil and acrylics. His company, Bob Ross Inc., which is headquartered in Virginia, offers free online lessons along with painting supplies, coloring books, and teaching certifications. Art is an especially important subject to teach kids these days, as it not only offers an education, but provides an outlet for stress and anxiety. A quick art lesson before a big test may actually help your child perform better and without apprehension that is so closely associated with testing.
Music to my ears
Even if your kids don’t enjoy the music, this is also a skill that can help allay anxiety. And considering that music is not largely taught in the public school system, an education that involves tone, melody, and instruments will put your homeschooler that much further ahead. Many musicians, such as Nashville’s Cesar Montecristo, offer Skype lessons in 30 and 60 minute sessions, which are ideal for those who need a little guidance. For those who do best when self-directing their actions, YouTube is a great resource for online piano tutorials. You can even find unusual instrument lessons with a quick search…Didgeridoo or pan drums anyone?
Well, here you have it. Exercise, science, art, and music-based activities. There are few things you can’t find online. And while no one suggests using the internet as a substitution for your own parental involvement or group social activities, the net is a wonderful resource for parents and students alike when you’ve been stuck indoors for months on end.
We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Till Next Time,
Jennifer and Jenny