Is your homeschool in a boring phase?
Are your kids’ eyes glazing over as you just go through the motions of your curriculum?
Do you want to be the “fun homeschool mom,” but have no idea how to make school fun?
In fact, is it even possible to make homeschooling fun??
I mean anybody can make the first day of homeschool fun, but…what about all the days after that?
To answer your questions – YES, you can have fun with homeschooling!
It does take a little bit more effort and time, but it is beyond worth it!
Kids who have fun learning are much more likely to love reading, love learning, and even become lifelong learners – the holy grail for homeschool parents everywhere!
15 Ways to Bring the Homeschool Fun!
1. Routinely Change Up Your Homeschool Routine
Some kids like knowing exactly what is going to happen every day.
They love the routine and it is comforting to them. But you may start to notice that doing the subjects in the same order every day can cause your kid’s eyes to glaze over as they go through the motions.
Something as simple as shuffling the order you do your subjects can have a huge impact!!
They still have the routine of when you do school every day and the curriculum you’re using, but they don’t know whether they’ll be jumping into math games, science, a journaling exercise, or literature read aloud first!
I will often list two or three options and then let my kid pick!
2. Plan a Monthly Homeschool Field Trip
Confession: I am terrible about planning field trips in my own homeschool.
But I know that it is an integral part of what makes homeschooling fun and special!
This year I have found a wonderful way to get my homeschool butt in gear: a co-op that does all the field trip planning for me! The large group gets special rates and uses positive peer pressure to get me to show up at the apple farm with my kids on a Wednesday.
If you have a strong co-op in your area, I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to tackle field trips together!
If co-ops aren’t your thing, you can still have a great time just putting together a group of homeschool mom friends and taking turns planning monthly field trips. This will give you accountability to follow through with making your homeschool fun – AND you will only have to actually plan a few field trips for the year!
3. Teach with Games
If there is any reasonable way that you can turn a lesson into a game – do it!
I know you already know that, Homeschool Mama, but it is still so easy to get caught in the grind of workbook page after workbook page.
Buy a deck of cards and play simple card games like “War” with your younger kids to teach numbers and greater than/less than.
I have even hid my kid’s reading words on little post-its around our living room. She had to go on a scavenger hunt for them and then read each word as she found them! She enjoyed it so much that she asked me to do it again!
Putting in just a little more effort and time to turn a lesson into a game will go a long way to making your homeschool fun and exciting for your kids!
4. Supplement History, Science, and Geography with Youtube
Whether you are learning about historical figures, science, or geography, there is most likely a fantastic YouTube video to help bring the material to life!
The energy in our homeschool definitely goes up a few notches when I turn on “Homeschool Pop” for U.S. state geography, “National Geographic Kids” for world geography, “Liberty Kids” for U.S. History, “Operation Ouch” for anatomy lessons, and “Brave Wilderness” for all things zoology!
We have even watched videos of the best of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey when learning about how the diaphragm and lungs work (those women have some of the strongest diaphragms in the world to hold those notes!).
Kids enjoy the 10-15 minute change of pace and listening to a different teacher explain something. It’s like the cherry on top of any lesson!
****It really pays to watch YouTube videos in advance to make sure it is appropriate for your kids. I also opt for YouTube premium so we can skip the random ads.
5. Schedule in a Daily Recess & Go Play With Your Kids!
Having a mid-morning recess is a fun way for any kid to get their energy out during the day.
After our morning time, I usually dismiss my kids to brush their teeth, get dressed and ready for the day, and then go enjoy some recess time until I call them back.
Yes, sometimes I need this time for myself to get ready for the day, clean something, or prepare a lesson. But my kids are so delighted when I take a little bit of time to go jump on our trampoline with them, go outside and see the “treasures” they’ve discovered, or even just play a couple of rounds of cards with them.
It can be a real balance to be both homeschool teacher and mom to your children…every day. Remember to set aside the “teachery things” from time to time and just have fun with your kids! I promise you, they will light up like a Christmas tree when you offer to come play with them for a few minutes!
Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, having a little “recess” with your kids will go a long way to improve your kids’ attitude, help them bond with you, and see homeschooling in a fun light!
6. Adventure Journal Assignments
We were having a little bit of a low-energy week in our homeschool.
I knew I needed to do something to shake things up!
I told my girls we were going to start our day off with a walk in our neighborhood. During that time, they needed to come up with a journaling topic based on what they saw or thought about on the walk. When we came back from the walk, I could see such a spark in them as they hurriedly grabbed their journals and started buzzing about their ideas.
I loved to see them excited and having fun with a homeschool assignment!
My younger ones also illustrated their sentences and had great fun standing up to present their journals and pictures to all of us! Little did they know that there were working on their handwriting, grammar, language arts, spelling, creative writing, and public speaking by doing this little activity!
What adventure journal assignments could you assign for your kids?
Maybe go on a hunt around your house with a magnifying glass for a lost treasure?
Search for any hidden creatures that might be in your garden?
Whatever it is, adventure journaling is a great time to get kids outside, engaged in the world around them, and learning!
****When looking at the journals, find four or more positive things to say and only allow yourself to make 1-2 corrections. Speaking from experience here, ripping your kid’s journaling apart is a surefire way to make it not fun and just another chore for your kid. Remember that it’s a supplemental activity and there will be other opportunities and subjects where you can make those corrections.
7. Documentary Days
Making time for documentaries is new for us this year, and my kids are loving it!
No, we don’t spend an entire school day on the couch watching them, but I do schedule time each week to sit down and watch 20-30 minutes of a kid-appropriate documentary.
The first one we watched at the beginning of the year was “Unstoppable” – a documentary of the life of Bethany Hamilton. My kids were captivated with this amazing woman who just refused to quit on her dreams, no matter what obstacles she came across. I would pause the video frequently and talk to my kids about what was going on, how Bethany was reacting, and what we can learn from her experience.
My kids have really internalized the “Bethany Hamilton attitude” of grit and hard work. Highly recommend!
Here is a list of high-quality documentaries that are perfect for kids and full of homeschool fun!
8. Really Commit During Read Aloud Books
If you want your kids to lengthen their attention span, increase their listening comprehension, improve their writing skills, and enjoy great literature – daily read aloud sessions are where it’s at!
Choosing high quality books is a great start, but how you read them to your kids is what takes them from “ho hum” to homeschool fun!
When you are reading, make every effort to have the stories come to life for your kids. Think facial expressions, different voices for different characters, actually yelling when the character yells, whispering when the character whispers, and trying to make the noises from the book (knocking on the table when there is a knock, etc.).
Read aloud time for your kids should feel like magic and a huge treat for the day! You will know you’re doing it right when your kids learn to read fluently and they still want to listen to you read chapter after chapter!
9. Set Up a YearBook Committee
I wish I could claim to be the fun homeschool mom who came up with this idea, but I actually picked it up from another mom at our co-op.
She said that she wanted her kids to remember all the things they did when the end of the year came around. So she started taking random pictures during field trips, science experiments, art projects, and even just pictures of kids writing in workbooks.
She compiles them in a yearbook every year and the kids love it! I mean what kid wouldn’t love a yearbook that has their face on almost every page??
We decided to update our yearbook on Shutterfly at the end of every month, so it doesn’t get to be too much of a project for me. I also have a lot of fun yelling out, “This is for the yearbook! Come on, smile!”
Eventually, I think it will be a lot of fun for my homeschoolers to be on the “yearbook committee.” One of them will be a photographer, another doing layout on Shutterfly, and another working on captions!
10. Always Choose Laughing Over Yelling
Is your homeschool struggling in the fun area because you have a bit of a hair-trigger temper?
No judgment here! I have had some anger struggles myself.
I have learned over the years though that yelling, snappy attitude, and eye-rolling NEVER gets me the results I am looking for.
Instead, I have found that it is tremendously helpful to swallow that anger (and deal with it somewhere outside of my homeschool) and choose to find a way to make my kid laugh.
Laughing so quickly breaks the ice in tense situations and helps to bond you and your child together when you’re working through something hard!
You might be wondering, “What does that even look like? What is she talking about?!?”
Here is an example:
Your kid is throwing a fit over their math workbook and refusing to keep going.
You are tight on time and patience and just want to scream that they they need to get this done or else.
Instead of giving into that steam release valve of yelling, I usually like to say thing like, “Yes!! I was hoping you would want to quit school and just live with me forever! I am so happy my plan is working! If you did your math, you would probably end up going to college and doing cool things like curing cancer, becoming president, or going into space. Don’t do that! Stay with me forever!”
I can be pretty dramatic, so my kids are usually cracking a smile at this point. I then say something like, “Oh, don’t smile. You know I prefer sad children. What did I just say?! Stop smiling! Unbelievable! Why are you smiling?!!”
They are falling out of their chair in peals of laughter at this point. The tension is gone and then I can say something like, “Alight, let’s look at this mathbook and show it who is boss. Which part is giving you trouble?”
Yes, that approach takes a little bit of time and effort, but producing a fun, positive homeschool is so worth it!
11. Search for Fun Homeschool Supplements
I have found that bringing in fun, interesting supplements can make a huge difference in any homeschool!
Even if you picked the perfect curriculum, your kids (and you!) can start to get bored with it. The days start to stretch out in front of you and the feeling of monotony can creep in.
You don’t necessarily need new curriculum, but you may need to switch some things up!
A fun supplement to your curriculum is a great way to keep kids guessing and engaged!
Here is a list of some of our favorites:
- Code Spark Academy
- Math Facts that Stick (math facts taught with game boards!)
- Times Tales
- Once Upon a Pancake
- Rip the Page
- Music in our Homeschool
You could also supplement reading with comic strips once a week – a great idea for the resistant reader!
I am sure there are many more! Whatever your kid is slogging through, find a supplement that helps brings it to life and make it fun!
12. Make Time for Art Projects Sacred During the Week
It is rare to find a homeschool kid who does not love art projects, but it is all too common to find a homeschool mom who just doesn’t have time for it.
Guilty as charged.
Art projects can be messy, time consuming, and expensive, so they can fall to the back burner of our homeschool days.
In order to keep that from happening (and because I know my kid have so much fun with them!), I now schedule an hour for art every Tuesday morning. Right after morning time, my kids know we are jumping right into our DVD-based art curriculum and the craft closet is busting open!
Do not allow art to be an afterthought or a thing you do IF you have the time or energy left at the end of the day.
Make it a priority that is even with with math and reading. You know it will enrich their education, but it will also help them see your homeschool as more than workbooks and drills.
Art not really your thing?
I love our DVD art curriculum, but we have also loved using art subscription boxes like We Craft Box and Kids Art Box. I break the projects up over a month, so we have something to do every week and all the supplies are included!
No weekly art supplies shopping = no stress and happy homeschoolers!
13. Do the Science Experiments!
I know it is so tempting to just read the experiment to your kids. Weeks get busy and you forget to get to the store to get the things to do the experiment.
Or maybe you just don’t have the energy to get all the things out and actually do whatever it is.
Let me tell you, Homeschool Mama, science experiments are a lot like exercising. Nobody wants to do it, but once you get started, you’ll be so happy you did!
Science experiments inject curiosity, energy, excitement, and fun into a homeschool that is over run with worksheets and predicability.
Glazed over eyes start to shine when mom starts getting out the things! You gain credibility as a fun homeschool mom who is the Pied Piper for learning in the house!
Make it a priority to do science experiments with joy and the learning will bleed over into the rest of your homeschool!
14. Sign Your Kids Up for Classes/Lessons They’re Interested In
The fun activities in your homeschool don’t always have to come from your actual homeschool.
My kids really appreciate that our flexible homeschool day helps them to participate in activities during the day – while most kids are in school.
For example, my oldest daughter was able to take horseback riding lessons at 10:00am on Thursdays because I can make that work around our schedule.
I have another daughter who is taking an acting/dancing/singing class at 11:30 on a Tuesday because I can make that work for us.
The ability to let them peruse their interests is a huge part of homeschooling culture and what makes it fun!
Look around your area and see what businesses offer “homeschool hours” for their lessons, activities, or classes. There are usually discounted prices and your kids will love the break in routine during the week!
Your local library may even offer free classes and clubs!
15. Don’t Push Them To Validate Your Homeschool
Another reason you may not be having any fun in your homeschool is that you are pushing your kids beyond their capabilities in order to make you feel better about your decision to homeschool.
They are overwhelmed, and you are frustrated on the regular.
How do I know that about you?
Um…because I’ve done it! And I think most homeschool moms have gone through a phase like that.
In the pursuit of finding the most challenging curriculum to prove all the naysayers wrong…you may accidentally prove them all right.
If your kids are drowning in the “advanced curriculum” you purchased…if your school day goes longer than the public school day so you can check off every little thing…or if you find yourself constantly comparing their progress (or lack thereof) to anything else – you need to take a Homeschool Mom Chill Pill.
Put yourself in a time-out.
Remind yourself that homeschooling is all about letting your kids go at their own pace. That may be faster in some areas and slower in others – and that is okay!
Some of the best homeschool advice I ever recieved was from a group of homeschool moms with high school aged kids. All of them unanimously told me they regretted not spending more time doing the fun things with their kids when they were elementary level. They were wound way too tight, and wish they knew how unneccessary it was at that age.
Avoid the burn out and make homeschool fun your focus!
Recap Homeschool Fun
There you have it, Homeschool Mama! 15 fresh ways to bring the homeschool fun!
Obviously don’t try to make a ton of changes at the same time – just pick 1-2 things to add into your normal routine and see how it goes!
I have to tell you though, it’s a little addicting to see your kids laughing, learning and having fun!
What do you to for fun in your homeschool?
Drop a comment below and share you wisdom!