Field trips are a very important part of learning. They teach hands-on learning and learning through experience and observation. As a homeschooling mother, I have planned many lessons that also involved utilizing trips outside the home. Learning how to integrate field trips into homeschool lessons gets easier as you go.
Consider the lesson topic. Look up places in your area that center around that Subject. For instance, if your child is learning about the heart, find out what museums in your area have coordinating exhibits. Some museums also have IMAX theater showings on various educational themes. Keep up to date on the listings so you can incorporate field trips for those into appropriate lessons. See if local hospitals have any related tours or classes they offer to students. If none of those work out, there's always the library. Every lesson has an extra place you can go to in order to learn more.
Be inventive. Think of hands-on things that require leaving the house, but may not necessarily be a formal field trip destination. This could be area parks and trails, the beach, an animal shelter, and more. Any place that can involve hands-on learning and is related to a recent lesson can be considered field trip. Be creative and versatile with your choices. Plan trips to these locations in accordance with the lessons or curriculum.
Research museum, library, and community classes in your area. These are the perfect destinations for field trips. While some may be just like a classroom setting, it is a chance for your students to do something different. Sign the kids up for classes and be sure to teach related lessons in the same timeframe. This may require some shifting around.
Check event schedules, local listings, and local organizations. Most communities have festivals, expos, free days, and other events that would be useful in teaching kids various things. For instance, zoos and museums often host free days. Libraries often have classes and story time. They also might hold book sales. Animal shelters may host fun events with the animals or have free classes on animal care. Kids can even volunteer if they are the right age. The same is true for some nursing home and rehabilitation facilities. Check calendars and other local listings to see what is going going on in your area. Some of these will be repetitive or ongoing and can be worked into the lesson schedule as needed.
Pulling it all together. When looking over the classes and events scheduled, you may see that some don't align well. If you're teaching your child about the brain, one museum has a related lecture, and another has a hands-on lesson, but they are not scheduled together, this can be an inconvenience. It's ideal to keep as many related lessons together as possible. But don't miss out on good lessons if they are available. Any opportunity to learn should be taken advantage of.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
How Can I Help My Homeschooled Child Stay Focused on Schoolwork?
What can you do when your homeschooled child won't focus on schoolwork? Staying on task is important during school time, regardless of whether a child attends home school or traditional school. In my years of experience as a parent and homeschool teacher, kids always like variety in education. The idea of doing schoolwork all day isn't exactly appealing to many of them when done the traditional way. But there are several things parents and homeschool teachers can do when kids aren't focusing. Here are some homeschool tips and advice for when kids won't focus.
Books are a necessary and amazing source of knowledge for kids, but a well-rounded curriculum will include variety. Utilize books, worksheets, the computer, videos, manipulatives, board games, outdoor activities, outside classes, field trips, experiments, and more to create a varied curriculum. Doing the same thing day after day can create a lack of interest in studying and learning. If a child is disinterested and unfocused, he or she is not going to learn anything, no matter how many times someone tells them.
Take a Break
Sometimes a few minutes of downtime can help an unfocused child regain some interest and composure. Children in homeschool have the advantage of being able to attend school at any time of the day. If your kid just is not cooperating at all, wait until later. Find that perfect moment when your child is interested in something and use that as learning time instead. This flexibility in homeschool can help avoid parent (or teacher) and child frustration.
If the kid without focus has recently transitioned to homeschool from traditional school, respect that. Perhaps your child has moved on to the next level or you've changed the schedule. Because the environment has changed, the child's mind may need some time to adjust. Ease the child into the transition by starting with smaller lessons and increasing study time to the ideal amount as needed. Because you are homeschooling, you can always add extra lessons to catch the child up later, if needed.
Add Some Fun
Does your homeschool day consists of all books and paper? Add some fun to the curriculum. This is not to say that books can't be fun, but they shouldn't be the only source of lessons. This falls in line with adding variety. But it also means you can use games and things the kids enjoy to enhance their interest, as well as their educational experiences. One example of that is in an article I wrote recently entitled “Use Basketball to Enhance Study Time." In that instance, I explained how parents can use the game of basketball to help their kids study and learn.
Get Some Exercise
Fitness has long been a proven method to get that brain working. As mentioned above, certain sports can be used to enhance study skills. Fitness can be used during any time of the day. Start off the day with some brain power yoga, like what I mentioned in the previous article "Using Yoga for Concentration and Focus in the Homeschool Classroom." Anytime anyone is frustrated or unfocused, take a fitness break. Go for a nature walk, head to the park, play a family sport, do some yoga, go for a bike ride - whatever your family enjoys. Remember to rotate between activities to keep it interesting.
Boost that Brain Power with Puzzles and Games
Brain boosting activities are a fun and exciting way to keep kids focused. Did you know that solving puzzles and playing memory skill games can help increase focus skills and even your kid's IQ? Reading is the only activity that causes new brain cells to grow. Combine that with puzzle solving and (such as with crossword puzzles, logic games, and word searches) you not only are increasing study skills and focus, but actually causing new brain cells to grow. Since these puzzles are fun for the kids, why not integrate them into the curriculum. That's part of the homeschool advantage. You have the ability to use innovative learning methods. Use them to boost your child's brain power and ability to focus.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Having trouble teaching your kids vital skills? Try going on an adventure.
When homeschooling my kids, I use many methods for getting them inspired to learn. One very useful one is to turn learning into an adventure.
When kids are struggling in certain subjects -- or just learning new concepts -- their confidence can be low in those areas. Sometimes traditional forms of teaching those skills can be downright frustrating and defeating.
Build your child's confidence by finding things to do around your neighborhood that are related to the lesson at hand. Child struggling with counting? Go see a juggler and help him count the tossed items. No juggler in your area? Visit the local pond and count the ducks.
When two of my kids were having trouble counting money, I took them on several fun adventures where they could practice using it. There were normal locations, such as the grocery store. But I also threw in things like area festivals. I let the kids purchase souvenirs and treats. They considered this to be fun. Therefore, they were inspired to learn the lesson over and over.
Sometimes just getting out and doing things without a paper and pencil can help your child connect the dots. On top of that, it doesn't seem like work. In fact, you should be letting your child have fun during the adventure as well. Don't make it all about the lesson. Just fit it in during the right moments.
Once your child realizes that he is doing the lesson he thought wasn't possible, he will likely be inspired to do more and more.
Does your child play with a pet regularly? If your answer is no, I can give you plenty of reasons to start that habit. If pets are not allowed in your place of residence, consider taking your child to visit shelter pets or those belonging to friends.
Research shows that having pets reduces anxiety, which is very good for a positive learning environment. That information can be found in many places. But did you know about these other educational benefits?
LAST UPDATED 8/31/2022
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