When I first began homeschooling, I had a difficult time teaching one student at a time. I felt as though I was being pulled in many directions, not to mention having a nursing baby in the mix as I struggled to go over each lesson individually with my children. This went on for several years until I realized that even though my younger students might not fully understand and grasp all the details of what we were learning, they would get something out of it.
Following the birth of my eighth baby, I became interested in furthering my education: I went back to college! It was then that I began to come up with unique ways of integrating what I was learning into my own children’s education.
We started by visiting a local planetarium and observatory and exploring dinosaur fossils in our area. My older students were required to write observation papers while my younger students were simply asked to draw what they saw and did on these field trips. It was a great way to expose them all to the same topics and lay the foundation for further achievements academically.
We once even took the train from Denver to Glenwood Springs and used that as part of our learning and discussion about what trains were like when they were first invented, the history of trains and tunnels, how tunnels are made, and on and on.
We do a lot of child-led or life-led learning in our schooling, so we are intentional about getting out and away from the house to learn. This is not necessary for everyone; in fact, many of these things can be found and explored online. It really depends on what will work well for your family.
So next time you are looking to break away from the normal, everyday textbook learning, consider what you can do to add some variety to that lesson or chapter or unit of study! Your students will engage, thrive, and be more eager to learn when you change it up.