Learning and Engagement Activities for Families New to Homeschooling

Family cooking together

Are your kids flying through homeschooling and distance learning activities in no time flat? Tired of hearing that they are “bored”? Check out some of our favorite activities for ending boredom and increasing learning and engagement during homeschooling and distance learning!

Learn about the family

To me, one of the most appealing things about homeschooling has always been that it affords me the time and opportunity to teach my children about who they are and where they come from. The lessons they learn about their ancestors and their customs and traditions give them pride, courage, and confidence that they carry with them everywhere they go. Those lessons are just as important as math and language arts lessons in my book.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.

Aristotle

If you’ve been wanting to share stories and information about your family, ancestors, home country, etc., now is a great opportunity to do it! Lessons about family and sense of self don’t require any fancy worksheets or extensive prep. Here are a couple of ideas for helping your child learn more about themselves and their family:

  • Interview a relative- allow them to call or video chat with a relative who can share interesting stories about previous generations in your family. If you really want to spice it up, record interviews with a few different family members and turn it into a home documentary.
  • Make a family recipe- Dig up (or ask a relative) for a special family recipe. Share memories related to making the dish or the family getting together for a meal.
  • Create a family tree- this is another great opportunity to interview relatives and learn about people on the family tree that you don’t know.
  • Create a scrapbook- Ask family to send you pictures!
  • Research your family’s country of origin- sites like CultureGrams have a ton of information on many different countries (check with your local library about free access)

Share a favorite hobby

In addition to teaching them a little more about themself, give your children the chance to get to know you even better during this time by sharing one of your favorite hobbies with them. Practically any hobby is fair game. Like working on cars? Teach them what the different parts do or how to change a tire. Enjoy cooking? Let them help you prepare your favorite dish. In to music? Have a listening party with some of your favorite tunes? Sports enthusiast? Show them highlights of your favorite athlete. By sharing your hobbies, you are sharing a part of yourself and creating an opportunity for a deeper relationship.

Connect through playing games

Who doesn’t love a good game? Games aren’t just fun, they can be a great opportunity to connect and get to know each other better. Take turns with the kids picking which games to play. Ask them what they like about the games they pick and who they would typically play the game with. Try to teach them a game from your childhood and tell them about who you played with as a kid. They will learn a bit about your past and you can learn about their present. Win-win!

Games are also a great way to teach social skills, like turn-taking and being a good sport.

Engage in an activity of their choice

Families connecting with children during homeschooling
Family playing video games together

Let them choose an activity to do with you. Their choice may or may not be very educational, but engaging in an activity that interests them is a surefire way to connect. For example, when I let my 7-year-old son choose our activity, he chose race car videogames. I was absolutely terrible! But he had a great time being the “expert teacher” and we had some really good laughs together (mostly at my expense).

Homeschooling isn’t a new concept, but for many, it is a new experience due to COVD-19 school closures. While teachers and school administrators work furiously to come up with ways to teach and engage students virtually, much of the experience is left in the hands of parents. Parents can use this time to teach their curriculum. Engage with your kids by teaching them about their family history, share a hobby, play games, and do something that interests them. The life lessons they will learn are priceless.

And for tips on how to support your kids academically during this time, check out this article.

Have more tips for how to connect with your child during homeschooling? Share them in the comments section!

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