Tuesday, March 24, 2020

5 Homeschooling Ideas to Keep Children Engaged & Happy at Home

We’ve been homeschooling for the past two years. What started off as a temporary situation as we were living out of a suitcase in a hotel room for three months, turned into a full time, long term schooling option. And let me tell you, it was Not easy in the beginning.

homeschool life
Homeschooling in India
Like most moms, I yearned for alone time, when I could think my thoughts, work and do whatever it was I wanted to do without keeping an eye on the small person in the house, or a small boy trailing me and peppering me with questions every waking hour. But as we forged on, things became easier. In fact, now I can list out several pros to the homeschool life.

Now with children at home and exams on hold because of the shutdown worldwide, I’ve been getting questions for other moms about what they can do with their kids to keep them engaged and learning.

Here are some of the things we do with our son to encourage his interests and introduce him to new skills.

Read books together. We have a big box of storybooks that I read to my son or he reads on his own. It’s never too early to introduce a child to the world of stories and books. I like the bright and beautiful and budget-friendly books by Pratham Books. They have tones of interesting titles to choose from and the stories are relevant to kids in India. I also like buying books from Scholastic, Usborne and Tulika.

kids who love to read
Offer kids a buffet of books
If your children are older, you can order box sets or chapter books online. Reading on Kindle and using the Kindle Unlimited subscription to the fullest is a great way to spend a big chunk of time every day.

Paint, draw and collage. There’s something special about connecting over art projects. Whether you’re creative or not, you can look up some DIY art lessons for kids on the Internet and try them out with your children. Art is a very important part of our homeschool days and we enjoy using the projects at www.deepspacesparkle.com.

I also enjoy using a few art books like “Draw, Paint, Sparkle” or the drawing books from Usborne to create our art lessons.

Do stock up on paper (normal paper is fine), some thick watercolor paper, colored paper, child-friendly scissors , glue, crayons, oil pastels and poster paints.

Play board games: Most of us grew up playing board games and outing together puzzles. But how often do we get the time now to sit down and play together as a family? Board games are also a good way to teach math or finances to children. We enjoy playing Uno, Pictionary, Monopoly, Snakes & Ladders and Ludo. Now with the whole family at home, it’s a good time to break out those games and play together.

Trash to toys: Often kids don’t need expensive DIY kits to make things. My son collects cartons, cereal boxes, plastic bottles, bottle caps, and string in his “junk box” (an old suitcase turned into his treasure trove) and turns a combination of these materials into robots, cars, traffic lights, planes and what not. For some of the projects, where he uses small solar panels (these can be ordered on Amazon), he takes his father’s help. 



We also show him DIY videos of how materials are recycled into all kinds of toys to spark his ideas. I’d recommended the trash-to-toys expert Arvind Gupta’s You Tube channel. If you put together a stash of materials from around the house, and add a big bottle of glue and a roll of tape to it, you’ll be surprised by the things your child might whip up. And you can always help him with the steps that need an adult to step in.

Audio Stories: Instead of always watching cartoons or animation movies, my son also enjoys listening to audio stories. We listen to stories on long drives or while enjoying some quiet time at home. These stories help improve a child’s vocabulary, imagination and storytelling techniques. We are a big fan of www.sparklestories.com and use a monthly membership. You can also find plenty of story podcasts and storytelling sessions on Youtube for free.

I hope you find these tips useful.

You can watch my video on my Youtube Channel about 5 Homeschooling Tips to Keep Children Engaged & Happy at Home tomorrow. Feel free to subscribe to my channel & click on the bell to get a notification when it's up.

And hey, if you have any questions about the homeschool life here in India, do write a comment below or connect with here:

Twitter @ChandanaMilSpo

Instagram @chandanamilspo



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