At the time of this post, homeschooling is the most common form of education in America (imagine that!). Fortunately, many are discovering how efficient learning at home really is. The question now is what to do with your kids when they are not homeschooling.
I’m the mom of 15 and have been homeschooling for 31 years, so I understand the challenge quite well! Here are some suggestions:
Get them to help around the house.
This takes a bit of time at first, but it will be fruitful in the end. Even tiny kids can enjoy taking a spray bottle of water and a rag and going around and “cleaning” the appliances.
If kids start bickering or say they are “bored” give them an extra chore.
This could be scouring the tub or folding a load of laundry or cleaning out the fridge. Even if they don’t do a good job, you have kept them from being ornery for a short while and helped them reset their attitude.
Let them play.
Mostly open-ended, non-screen passtimes; things like blocks, magnetics, Legos, and playing house and spaceship with cardboard boxes.
Turn on music and dance until you drop.
No explanation necessary…Here is a link to some getcha-moving praise music.
Let them “arrange” your plastic food storage.
Or fill up a tub of water and give them a few plastic cups and bowls for hours of fun.
Have them help you clean out and organize their rooms.
Now here’s something all moms can love, but it goes down much more smoothly if you can make it as exciting as a game show (tip: candy rewards help!).
Read aloud from a great book.
There are so many choices out there you can go dizzy deciding which one to choose. For your first book I suggest something captivating, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which everyone from toddlers to teens seems to enjoy. Truly some of the best, most enjoyable family memories have been our read-aloud times. (It may be that one of the reasons I kept homeschooling through the storms of life is just so I could make time to read–but don’t tell anybody.)
Take turns making dinner with each child.
This is great bonding time and teaches them loads of stuff books never can. You start out talking about canned peaches and end up discussing the meaning of life…
Have them sit and brainstorm things they want to do when the crisis is over.
Where do they want to go? If homeschooling and staying home as a family is new to everyone, what new routines and practices would everyone like to keep? Who would they like to visit? Who needs to be visited (think elderly and shut-ins)? Would they like to throw a party?
Make them write down 10 questions (or you write them down as they dictate them to you).
These could range from why do you lose your teeth to where do frogs go in the winter and spiritual questions such as, “How does God hear all of our prayers at once?”
Then take one question a day and find the answers together. Imagine the adventures you will take together!
Have you checked out my YouTube channel? I just finished a series on child training you might find interesting: