Are you ready to make learning fun? Let’s make homeschool learning something we can get excited about and something our kids can be excited about too. Kids work harder and learn more when they’re having fun, in fact, we all do. We can create lifelong learners if our kids are excited about the process and having fun along the way.
Today, I’ve put together 5 simple tips on how you can avoid boring or monotonous homeschool lessons and make your learning experience fun this year. In this article, I’m going to share my top 5 secrets to making learning fun.
Giving your kids incentives can be really motivational! Incentives don’t have to be anything expensive or over-the-top. Small incentives to help your kids look forward to lessons, especially subjects that are less interesting to them or challenging for them. So, if you have a lesson that has to be done that you know won’t be exciting or intrinsically motivating, try adding an incentive.
For example, when my daughter was learning to read, we used miniature chocolate chips as an incentive. I arranged the chocolate chips down the side of the pages for reading fluency. After reading the word or sentence, Emily was allowed to eat the chocolate chip. It was encouraging for her to get that little chocolate chip as she worked on learning to read. Because the chocolate chips were so small, the most she ever got was 12 miniature chocolate chips. In the end, the miniature chocolate chips made reading fun for her and it became an activity she looked forward to rather than avoided.
Incentives don’t have to be food. When we practice writing, I let our daughter chose a special pen from my secret “stash” of pens. She doesn’t normally get to use “Mommy’s special pens,” so it’s exciting and motivating for her.
Another idea is to let them bring a friend to the table to work with. Having a special toy or stuffed animal with them while they tackle challenging school assignments can be very motivating. Any little extra incentive that your kids get excited about can be used as an easy incentive to make challenging or “boring” assignments fun.
Make it Interactive
Make the lesson something your child can interact with. Don’t be afraid to step away from lessons that are simply pen and paper, textbooks, or worksheets. Add hands-on elements and engage your child’s senses in their lessons. Interactive lessons that kids can physically touch make learning a lot of fun, and they don’t have to involve tons of planning or preparation. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
When Emily was learning addition, we used Lego bricks. I wrote numbers on the bricks for her to practice solving addition equation. I wrote the addends on 2×2 bricks and the sum on 2×4 bricks. This meant she needed to physically build the sum to solve the math problem. It provided a fun and easy way to make our math lessons interactive and fun for my daughter.
You can use this method or similar methods to help make math practice worksheets with a large number for equations fun for kids. It’s a great way to make the curriculum you’re already using fun and interactive. Another idea would be to write the equations on index cards and hide them around the house. Have your child search for and find the cards, solving the equations along the way. As they tell you the answers, you can write them down on their worksheet. It’s a fun way to complete the assignment that’s interactive and exciting for kids. Plus, it’s easy for you to implement. These are ways you can make your lessons leap off the page without ditching your curriculum or planning elaborate projects every day.
Don’t be afraid to put on a silly costume! The more invested you are, the more excited your kids will be about the lesson. Wear a lab coat for science. Put on the safety goggles. Get a silly hat that’s relevant to your lesson. Remember Ms. Frizzle’s dresses? They always matched the lesson and gave clues about what the kids would learn that day. You can do it too! If you’re excited and showing that excitement, your kids will get excited too. It’s a great way to encourage engagement from the very first moment of your school year.
Get your kids in on the dress up fun too! Learning about dinosaurs? Make dinosaur masks and let your kids wear them during lessons and table work. Let them roar out the answers to questions. One roar for a yes and two roars for a no. It might seem silly at first, but your kids will love it! Dressing up and acting out lessons is so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re doing school work.
You can substitute games for more boring or less fun lessons. For example, using Mad Libs to learn parts of speech instead of just sticking to the textbook. We love Professor Noggin games because there are so many different topics. It’s a trivia game, but rolling dice and playing a game makes it much more fun. If you can see that your kids are losing interest or the curriculum is a bit more dull in certain places, skip those lessons and play a game instead.
Create an Experience
Finally, you can make lessons a lot more fun if you can make them an experience they won’t forget with field trips. Museums, zoos, and farms can help bring lessons to life. I know field trips are hard right now. One solution would be to try a virtual trip. There are so many virtual field trips and tours! It’s one way to help it feel like you’re almost there right now and a break from the book work lessons.
Celebrate Whenever Possible
A bonus tip is to celebrate as often as possible in your homeschool. One way we do this is with Holiday Fun Around the World. It is the perfect was to learn and celebrate at the same time! Another way to do this is by celebrating the obscure everyday holidays like National Puzzle Day or Talk Like a Pirate Day. To find out when these holidays are grab the 365 Fun Days & Activities printable from Amy at Rock Your Homeschool.
Do you have more tips for making learning fun? Share your ideas in the comments, so we can all add a little more fun and excitement to our homeschool days this year.