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50+ Life-Schooling Ideas for Sudden Homeschoolers

If you find yourself suddenly homeschooling, whether by choice or amid this current pandemic, it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to quickly sort out what it could look like and what sort of resources you will use. Add in all of the teachers out there telling you that only they are the experts who know what your child needs and you can be doubting yourself in no time! (Hint: YOU are your child’s expert!). Homeschooling is much more about the home than the school, and what takes 6 hours of sitting at desks and changing activities at the bell while at school can be done in an hour or two at home.

So I’m going to tell you what I tell anyone who is planning on homeschooling: Take a break. Let yourselves reset from the routines of school that just don’t work at home, and start creating a rhythm that meets all your needs and lets them know what’s coming. Tune into the interests of your kids and the cadence of your day and you will soon see learning opportunities in everyday life. Here are over 50 ideas that I’ve come up with to get you started:

  1. Start seeds for the garden.
  2. Let your kids help you with gardening.
  3. Start a food forest.
  4. Learn about Permaculture together.
  5. Learn about a new culture and cook a traditional meal.
  6. Read a picture book and learn about the places and periods it takes place.
  7. Make cookies or scones and have a tea party.
  8. Go for a hike.
  9. Set up the trampoline and jump!
  10. Make a map of your house or property, hide “treasure” where you’ve marked an X, and see if the kids can find it.
  11. Play hide and seek in the dark.
  12. Play a board game like Sequence or Sum Swamp.
  13. Play a card game like Phase 10 or Sushi Go!
  14. Build a bird or bat house.
  15. Plant a garden.
  16. Play Pick-up-20 in a messy room and see who can put away their items the quickest.
  17. Paint with watercolors.
  18. Use chalk pastels to draw a sunrise.
  19. Make a Dutch Baby for breakfast.
  20. Go for a walk and pick wildflowers for the table.
  21. Have a candlelight dinner.
  22. Call or FaceTime with Grandparents and have them tell stories of when they were kids.
  23. Have family sleepovers in a tent in the yard.
  24. Find some puddles to jump in.
  25. Bake bread.
  26. Make stone soup.
  27. Shake cream into butter.
  28. Read aloud a great book.
  29. Teach the kids how to clean and maintain their bathroom.
  30. Make paper airplanes and learn about flight.
  31. Create a mud kitchen.
  32. Play volleyball with a balloon and the couch.
  33. Find a local pond and look for tadpoles and duck nests.
  34. Do random acts of kindness for each other.
  35. Create a nature scavenger hunt with things found in your yard or along local trails.
  36. Paint the kids’ bedrooms with their help.
  37. Decorate baskets or boxes to make cars and have a drive-in movie in your family room.
  38. Have an egg drop competition – who can build something that protects an egg when dropped from 9+ feet up?
  39. Do a Cosmic Kids yoga workout together.
  40. Have a dance party with music or Just Dance.
  41. Create a secret handshake.
  42. Write letters/draw pictures for grandparents or neighbors.
  43. Start a family band or choir and film and post to share the fun.
  44. Make a book about this time and what you did together.
  45. Start a gratitude journal as a family to see the gifts we have all around us.
  46. Create a Rube Goldberg machine to perform a simple daily task.
  47. Write and make your movie (look up stop motion or do live action!).
  48. Play LEGO spelling or reading – every time they read or spell a word they can add a block to their creation.
  49. Turn the living room into a giant fort.
  50. Go for a drive and listen to audiobooks while you stop and wave at friends and family.
  51. Check out one of the museums, zoos, or aquariums with a live feed.
  52. Learn to draw with Mo Willems or Art for Kids Hub on YouTube.
  53. Learn how to maintain or fix bikes and start biking around the neighborhood or on trails in the area.
  54. Set up a Breakfast Invitation for your toddlers and preschoolers {from Days with Grey}
  55. Teach them the games you played as a kid.
  56. Create a marble run out of household objects like toilet paper rolls and funnels.
  57. And most importantly, make time to cuddle and talk about your kids’ fears and worries, and let them know that you are stronger as a family and will get through these tough times together. ❤️

Once you’ve got a routine down, you can add in a read-aloud at lunchtime, a few math games, some copy work, and language arts or phonics, but don’t stop finding everyday things to explore as a family!

I’m going to try and keep adding to the list above, and I will be adding a link to the pdf of the list as it was published if you’d like to print it.