It appears more and more families are turning to homeschooling. We are going on our fifth year as a homeschooling family. It has been a huge blessing but there have been struggles. For example, my daughter is an active one! Sitting still for too long leads to her “zoning out”. We tried having her sit on a balance ball but she fell forward and whacked her chin on the table so that was not a hit, at least not as it should be.
If we take breaks to get energy out before school (and in between longer lessons, like math), she does significantly better. Truth be told, so do I! Getting the blood circulating is always a good thing.
Here are some tricks we have tried with success.
(Bonus: many of these items have been deals I snagged viaSimply Sales!)
Yoga/stretching before we start: We take turn on who leads the stretching and the bizarre names we call the moves. A standard move for us is the “chill monkey” where we bend over at the waist and just let our arms hang down in front of us. I actually use this time to mentally prep myself. This is when I do the following self-talk “Forget the To-Do List. Focus on homeschooling. Relax. ENJOY.” This activity requires no equipment but I have found it to be a great opportunity to transition into the task at hand, while my Little is having fun and moving her body.
Hula Hoop Contests: This is our current favorite activity. I purchased a weighted hula hoop and she uses a standard (aka cheap) one. We have gotten so good that, if the contest goes over 10 minutes, we have to call a tie. If one of us actually beats the other, that person gets to decide what’s for the snack or lunch.
A Swat Game:These fly swatters and bugs have come in handy for multiple lessons. We obviously use them on spelling but also math. For example, she is working on memorizing multiplication facts so I will write numbers on each bug. When I call out “5 x’s 5” she has to find the bug with “25” and whack it! I am sure these will be used in other areas too. It comes with several levels of Sight Words already on the bugs. We tend to use the blank ones and customizing the game.
Number Darts:This game comes with 10 Velcro balls. Again, we use this for multiple things. It is great for math but we tend to use it more with competitions. If she gets a spelling word right, she gets a ball to throw. If she misses, I get a ball. Same with pop quizzes for Phonics (“What is the subject in this sentence?“). After, we throw the balls and add up our scores. Sometimes the winner picks the next subject, sometimes she gets a “puff” (more on that below), other times, winner picks the story to read.
Cup of Movement: I found these descriptions on a Pinterest Pin years ago. We use these when boredom is setting in and I can tell she needs to refocus. I’ll have her reach in, grab a paper and follow the instructions.
Gorilla shuffle and Bear walk
Flash Card Hide and Seek: I will hide 3-4 flash cards. We play “hot and cold” until she finds each one. Then, she either has to make a word with the cards (like Scrabble) or give me an item that starts with the letter, etc. She loves finding them and I like having her think creatively. We usually play this game on Mondays so she has something to look forward to after the weekend ends.
Disc Swing: We homeschool in the basement. This swing is a great place for reading together. It’s not the comfiest thing for adults to sit in though. (P.S. there’s a $25 coupon to clip too!)
BLUE ISLAND Tree Swing Children’s Outdoor Large Size 40″
We also have a Reward System that works very well for us. I buy inexpensive toys (under $5 – Simply Sales deals help with this!) to keep in our School Store. She earns puffs for doing well on Tests, having a good attitude, writing neatly, etc. Each size is worth a different value. This is been HIGHLY successful. In fact, she is also learning “credit”. Several times I have let her pick out a toy before she has earned the puffs leaving her to “pay back” puffs.