There are all kinds of homeschool methods and techniques out there. If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, you’ve probably tried a few. After all, there’s more than one way to homeschool!
If you’re looking for ways to adopt a lifestyle of learning that fits with the interest-led learning approach, there are lots of ways to do that too. You can get creative with homeschooling and even a little weird. Want to learn more about all the weird ways to homeschool that really work?
Check out how we’ve created a lifestyle of learning for our whole family. Plus, get tips on really weird ways to homeschool that actually work including homeschooling in the pool, at an amusement park, and even on the treadmill!
Creating A Lifestyle Of Learning
One of the things I knew I wanted to do when we began homeschooling was to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in our home. I discovered quickly that Emily learned more through activities like making lunch together than she did from completing workbooks. Since protecting and fostering our connection was most important to me, it didn’t take long for me to adopt all kinds of techniques aimed at creating a lifestyle of learning for our family.
We take an interest-led approach to homeschool to give Emily some decision-making in what we learn about and fuel her natural curiosity. We play lots of games together to build a stronger connection and create opportunities for hands-on application. We also really love going on field trips and hosting family movie nights to bring our lessons to life!
Weird Ways To Homeschool That Really Work
Creating this lifestyle of learning isn’t as simple as cracking open a workbook, but we have come to see the benefits and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes learning happens in the strangest ways! Check out some of the weird ways we homeschool that really work below.
On Your Treadmill
Getting our kids up and moving is important. Encouraging activities that require movement help our kids establish healthy physical activity. Plus, the cognitive benefits are amazing!
This year, we’ve been homeschooling on the treadmill with some very cool technology. Our Nordic Track allows Emily to go for walks through Zimbabwe or on safari in the Serengeti National Park. As she walks, she gets to meet cool animals, explore their habitats, and learn about different predators and prey.
With a basic treadmill, you could add YouTube point-of-view videos for your kids to explore all kinds of unique and amazing places while walking. Check out a few of my favorites below.
- National Park Trail Hikes
- Washington D.C. Virtual Walk and Tour
- Santa Fe, NM City Walks
- Nashville, Tennessee Virtual Walk
- Anchorage, Alaska Downtown Virtual Walking
- Aspen, Colorado Winter Walking Tour
- Venice, Italy Walking Tour
In the Pool
We live in Florida and it can get really hot in the summertime! On hot days, we like to start the day with time in the pool. Sometimes, we just aren’t ready to go inside.
On the days when we all just want a little more time in the pool, I don’t have to be the bad guy forcing anyone to sit at the table for school assignments. Instead, we have a pool school day with waterproof games and activities. Want to learn more about it? Check out Pool School: Summer Learning in the Pool for all of our favorites!
If you want to see pool schooling in action check out my Summer Homeschool Day in the Life video to discover how we incorporate the pool school games and activities into our school days. Plus, get tips on how to keep learning going while you cool off and chill out in the pool this summer.
In An Amusement Park
Naturally infuse and follow their interests. When you see the fire go for it!
It all started one day at an amusement park when Emily was disappointed about not being able to ride at the front of the roller coaster. The attendant convinced her to ride at the back because “it’s faster.” After the ride, Emily had a lot of questions about how it could be faster and that led to experiments!
We spent the day testing roller coasters by riding in the front and the back to see which would feel faster. Emily learned that as a coaster tops a hill, the front car hangs over the edge and the rear car whips over much faster. Amusement parks are a great place to experience physics first-hand!
There are lots of opportunities to learn while shopping for souvenirs too. Give your child a budget and watch as they plan how and when to spend their money. It’s a hands-on way for kids to learn about budgeting, calculating taxes, and making financial choices.
Over the years, we’ve discovered lots of ways to homeschool at Disney World! Rides that explore history. In the Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA is a kind of living museum for kids to see the world 100 years ago by listening to the Dapper Dans or hopping aboard a vintage main street vehicle.
The Animal Kingdom Park in Disney World introduces children to all sorts of amazing animals like Kilimanjaro Safaris through Africa featuring giraffes and elephants. The Asia section of the park features jungles, tigers, and mystic ruins. Then there’s the opportunity to become wilderness explorers in your homeschool with a special quest through the park where your kids can earn badges as they learn about wildlife conservation.
Attempting to homeschool in an amusement park isn’t as challenging as it might seem at first. However, resist the urge to turn the whole day into a learning event. If you’re not sure how to homeschool at the amusement park without taking all the fun out of it, remember this tip: wait for the fire.
Enjoy the day and naturally infuse learning when it makes sense by following their interests and natural curiosity. Then, wait for the fire in their eyes. When you see it, you’ll know it’s time to feed that love of learning while you’re at the park!
Zoos, Museums, and Aquariums
Zoos, museums, and aquariums make it easy with homeschool days and learning activities everywhere you look. Taking a field trip to a fun museum, nearby zoo, or aquarium is a great way to add fun to your homeschool lessons. Kids can experience the things they’re learning about firsthand in a way that’s exciting for the whole family.
Resist the urge to bring along worksheets or textbooks and let your kiddos explore what the museum has to offer. Take the time to really enjoy your favorite exhibits and read the informational plaques along the way.
While You Drive
If you live outside of town as we do, you probably spend some portion of your day in the car. Driving to appointments or doing errands in town can really suck up some homeschool lesson time. To help get lessons in, I’ve adopted some carschooling techniques.
Homeschooling on the go is a great way to sneak in extra lessons, make road trips more fun, and keep kids busy in the car. We love audiobooks, trivia cards we can do in the car, and children’s podcasts. Check out Carschooling: How To Homeschool On The Go for more great advice you can use to homeschool in the car.
Another weird way to homeschool you might not have thought about is to use video games. There are actually some pretty amazing video games you can use in your homeschool. For example, Minecraft is amazing! Minecraft can teach your kids about the periodic table, geometry, chemistry, and lots of math.
Kids can learn coding skills with video games they build and play on Scratch. Scratch is a coding community for kids that uses a simple interface to teach them to design and develop games using problem-solving skills and creative thinking. They can even collaborate with other kids to make games better together.
Another fun game is GeoGuessr, it’s a virtual geography game. This game drops kids somewhere in the world with a Google Maps panoramic street view. They get clues about the geography of the area and use those clues along with what they can see to guess where they are in the world.
Roblox is a video game that offers kids the opportunity to code and create their own games too. Plus, there are tons of educational games available for kids to play with their friends or independently. For example, BRAINIKA Math is an educational math obstacle course inside Roblox that teaches number sense, word problems, and order of operations.
More Resources And Support For Your Homeschool
If you’re searching for more resources and support you can use to get creative with your interest-led homeschool this year, check out some of the articles below. Then, reach out in the comments.
- Yes! You Can Homeschool Without A Curriculum
- Getting Started With Unit Studies In Your Homeschool
- How We Use Technology In Our Homeschool
- The Ultimate Guide to Strewing in Your Homeschool
- My Top Tips For Homeschooling On The Road
- 4 Ways To Make Your Homeschool Field Trip To The Zoo Awesome
Have you got a “weird way to homeschool” that I didn’t mention? Share your great ideas in the comments too. I can’t wait to try some of your awesome weird ideas in our homeschool!