How to Homeschool With Online Resources

There are so many options available to homeschooling your children today, and the online resources are growing all the time. I would love to help you learn how to homeschool with online resources to supplement and teach your children with just what you are needing and know how to locate some great options for your family.

How to Homeschool with Online Resources - Learning to take advantage of online resources to teach and supplement your child's education can be easier with online resources. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Homeschool With Online Resources

I'm sure you have seen a lot of online resources that could be used for homeschooling, but maybe you just aren't sure how to implement them into your curriculum or how to supplement with them to actually use them in different ways. I love to ‘bookmark' or ‘favorite' online resources that I can search through to find exactly what I'm working to include in our homeschooling.

GAMES

I love using online resources that have games to make learning fun and entertaining, while being educational. From early learning during the preschool years, and even solidifying concepts for elementary grades, online games can be really helpful to those struggling to learn through just books or need a little reinforcement to get faster with the concepts.

I love having one day a week where we focus on adding games to at least one of our subjects to keep our children excited and motivated in their learning.

WORKSHEETS

Worksheets are one of the online resources that are growing in popularity within the homeschooling community. Worksheets from learning to write the alphabet, to word finds, to labeling the body and globe, to a number of ideas to get a child working on a theme or subject and demonstrate what they know.

I use worksheets all the time to supplement many subjects. If my child needs a little extra work on a math fact or quizzing on geography, I love printing out a worksheet and see what they retained, and where I need more focused learning, as the worksheets help me gauge where they are in their progress.

ACTIVITIES

Hands-on learning is one of my favorite ways to teach, and some times it is hard to keep finding new activities to introduce new concepts.  I love saving the ideas that I come across, and scrolling through these resources when I need new inspiration and activities to inspire learning with things I have around the house to teach what we are doing in homeschooling.

We do hands-on activities several times a week, so having fresh ideas are really important for me and my children.

WORKBOOKS

With digital products becoming more popular, online resources can also include workbooks with theme learning for all ages and grades. I enjoy using these to supplement our living books, when a subject needs a little more attention, but I don't desire to buy a full curriculum to teach it.

LESSON PLANS

Lessons plans are becoming more and more available online, so bookmarking them when you come across them can really help when you decide to add that topic to your homeschooling. Having someone else pull together the what and how of your homeschool can really eliminate a lot of the behind the scenes work, so you can focus on the actual learning and get more out of each subject.

SCIENCE PROJECTS

Kids love to do experiments to see how science actually works. The more you can add this to your homeschooling, the more interested your children will become in the reasons because how, and apply themselves more to their learning because their interest has been perked with an experience.

Having your child participate in science fairs can also be a great way to add science projects, and get your children having fun with experimenting on their own and enjoying writing papers to explain it.

 

How to Teach the Election Process to Your Kids

The American Presidential elections are always a great teaching opportunity, however many times, children aren't taught about the entire election process, as the main focus is usually on the final part of the election process, between one candidate for each party. There is so much more to teach the election process to your kids, and maybe even learn how to be more active in your own decision, as a voting adult.

How to Teach the Election Process to Your Kids - Learn how to teach the entire process to the Presidential Election, including a free printable election vocabulary sheet and lesson ideas. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Teach the Election Process to Your Kids

There is so much learning opportunities for your family long before the final stage of the Presidential election begins, and these learning opportunity can also be a great way to teach about the issues that you value most.

Here are some lesson plan ideas that will help you to teach the election process to your kids, while allowing your family to evaluate the candidates and narrow down the one(s) that have your support.

  • Learn the Vocabulary of the Election Process – The election process can be very confusing, unless your child understand the top vocabulary commonly used during the process. Here are some top vocabulary ideas to get you started: republic, democratic, democracy, candidate, incumbent, nomination, elector, independent, minority, majority, delegate, House of Representative, Congress, caucus, primary, convention, inauguration, poll, precinct and politician.
  • Identify the Top Issues that Matter to Your Family – Learning about family values and how politicians stand on these issues, can be a great opportunity for your family to learn how to stand up to the values that matter the most to you, and help you identify the best candidates.
  • Learn What the Different Parties Stand – Identifying what it means to be Republican, Democratic or even Independent, and then deciding where your political beliefs line up with each of these parties to identify what party you will be wanting to win the final stage of the Presidential election.
  • Identify Where the Candidates Stand on Your Top Issues – This lesson idea is a great way for you to teach about how different thinking can be for others, and why it is important to vote for those who stand on your side of the issues. Each candidate has their own website, and list where they stand on the most popular issues.
  • Learn about the Primary Process – The primary process is done prior to the actual Presidential race between parties. This process is so important and often times, overlooked be Americans. This process narrows down the candidates to one for each party, and if you aren't aware of the issues, where the candidates stand and how the national party conventions are the first step to the most popular part of the elections.
  • Watch Debates between Candidates – Debates are done for the opportunity for all candidates to give their own timed response to questions about popular issues today. These debates are very important to the election process, as it will give a person the concepts of not only where a candidate stands on an issue but also be able to read their expression, hear their tone of voice and get a visual feel of how the candidate presents themselves under pressure.
  • Go on an Election Field Trip – Learning all the facts about the candidates can be more interesting when done on a field trip, where children are engaged and seeing things as real as they really are.

 

Explore Robotics

Does your child love the mechanics of how things work? They would love to explore robotics in their free afternoon activities, and you will love to watch their imagination and creativity expand, as their knowledge of how things go together and work.

Explore Robotics - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Robotics

Many children who are natural at math and science are also showing interest in learning how to explore robotics. I have been watching this activity grow within the homeschool community, and have even seen robotic clubs form in our area.

For our family, we love to just provide tools and time, in way of free afternoons, for our children to explore their interest and expose them to others that may become things they really enjoy, like robotics!

The best way to introduce your children to creating robots is to purchase a kit that has instructions of how to put them together, and that have several options for all the pieces.

A word of caution… 

If you have younger children, I would highly recommend that you store all the pieces for the kits in one box and have the box stored in a place where they can't reach or that is off limits to them. Having something important to an older child lost because a younger sibling was able to get it and play with it, is often times very discouraging to a budding hobby and can easily lead to resentment if a parent doesn't help to protect what is important to a child.

We learned this lesson the hard way with our son's lego creations that he would spend all afternoon creating, without directions, and his younger brother would take apart before he could get a picture or show his daddy when he returned home.

Here are some kits to get your child started to explore robotics:

As with any of the other free afternoon activities, I would recommend helping the child learn the key parts of robotic, how to take care of the pieces and storage, and then step back and allow them to explore robotics on their own.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Technology

Children love technology, so you may wonder how I would encourage you to allow our children to explore technology in their free afternoon activities, when they naturally gravitate toward it anyways.

Explore Technology - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Technology

Technology can be a big waste of time for anyone, including adults, however it doesn't have to be that way. Technology has many opportunities that are only a click away, and can provide hours of free afternoon activities to further a child's interests or even help them overcome struggles or find new interest.

One word of caution about technology: do not hand over a device that has internet connection to a child without safeguarding them from the dangers of the internet. I recommend using Covenant Eyes to protect their innocence and to keep an eye on their online activities.

Learning apps are always the first step where parents introduce technology to children, from learning letters, sounds, numbers, counting and much more.

There are far more opportunities that can interest a child and benefit them when using technology.

Here are a few of them:

My best advice about how to explore technology is to take their current interest, and their enjoyment of technology for a way to grow their interest and further their skills on technology. Of course, you will need to decide how to balance their time on technology with how they spend their free afternoons, and how they spend it.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Home Decorating

There comes a time in a child's life that they out grow their room decor that has always found them enjoyment or even comfort. Allowing a child to explore home decorating when that time comes would be a great way to introduce this fun way to explore free afternoon activities.

Explore Home Decorating - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Home Decorating

We have been a family that has always enjoyed watching home improvement shows, so it was only natural that our children would develop the interest to explore home decorating, as well.

As a family, we seemed to always have a home project going on, and we would encourage our children to fully participate with several of the wood projects, even roofing, flooring, complete gutting of the kitchen and bathroom, and the fun of shopping for the remodeling on a budget.

When my older child reached this age to explore home decorating, and we gave them the opportunity to choose colors that appealed to them for accents in their rooms, while keeping the paint natural.

Our son wanted to just accent with black and grays, where our daughter really explored home decorating with projects like making her own head board out of 100 year old barn wood, and refurnishing her desk for the second time.

Here are some ways that we encouraged our children to explore home decorating:

  • Find ways to add functionality to small spaces, often times with organization being the focus
  • Encourage color schemes to be what is used to accent a natural room color, to allow their personality to shine through
  • Bargain shop at yard sales, or even Good Will to find furniture that they can refurnish to meet their needs and desires
  • Encourage sewing projects to add a personal touch to their home decor

Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Marksmanship

Our children have loved to explore marksmanship in their free afternoon activities. Of course, the first step of this activity started with safety guidelines when our children proved responsible and obedient.

Explore Marksmanship - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Marksmanship

When our children proved to us that they were responsible with their belongings, and obedient to our guidelines for other things, we entrusted them to several tools that would provide them the opportunity to explore marksmanship.

Some of the safety guidelines that we provided to them would include how to properly hold any weapon, how to care for it, how to use the safety and the proper way of using it by keeping the space between their target and their weapon completely clear.

Tools for exploring marksmanship:

In addition to the tools, you will want to invest in some kind of targets, like paper targets or targets for archery practice.

We like to be sure our children enforce what we have taught them about the safety guidelines and help them work on the skills to using each of the tools to master marksmanship.

Once we know they have the key things, we step back and allow them to work on having fun and improving their aim.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com