School isn’t the only place for children to get an education. In times like these, many parents have quickly learned that when children are at home, you’re their teacher. But that doesn’t mean home needs to feel like a classroom or that everything should be a lesson.
Both you and your kids can get excited about learning when you disguise education as entertainment. Try these engaging and effective at home lesson plans.
Writing is not only the foundation to education, it is also the best way to develop critical thinking skills. Everything stems from this—not just the ability to read and write words, but the ability to understand them. Teach your little ones writing by letting them get messy and explore different textures, colors, paints and tools. Try these at home lesson plan ideas:
- Messy Alphabet: Have your kids get a feel for writing by giving them paint and letting them finger paint letters.
- Painting Letters with Water: Practice fine motor skills by painting letters on concrete with water.
- Color Free Alphabet Printables: Print out shapes and letters, and let your kids explore them with color.
It’s not uncommon for writing to be challenging for some kids, especially the tech savvy ones. Older kids can be drawn into comprehension by taking storytelling to new levels. Explore at home lesson plans like:
- Pictonary: Writing phrases and drawing them so others have to guess the original phrase.
- Write Thank You Cards: Practice writing while expressing gratitude.
- Online Creative Writing Games: Give your little tech wiz kid the chance to get creative with writing on a computer, tablet or phone.
Science can be one of the most fun activities to do with your kids at home. From homemade lava to DIY elephant’s toothpaste, there are tons of science experiments that are fun for the whole family. For kids who love biology, try the following science related at home lesson plans:
- Extract DNA from a banana. Discover the basic components of life with this easy, at-home science experiment.
- Raise your own butterflies. Follow the beautiful and exciting life cycle of a butterfly while raising your very own at home.
Many older kids transition quickly into chemistry and physics. The concepts may seem too abstract to turn into a DIY experiment, but these can be a lot simpler than you might think. Believe it or not, you can explore these advanced sciences at home by:
- Making colorful milk that erupts.
- Creating oobleck.
- Powering a house with a shake weight.
- Experiencing air resistance.
Learning math in the classroom can sometimes take away from the practical elements of math we use every day. Many kids have a hard time understanding math because so much of it is taught using memorization over application. You can get your kids experiencing math by trying these at home lesson plans:
- Let them do the measuring while mixing cake batter, preparing dinner or choosing recipes. Cups, tablespoons, ounces—there is a lot of math in even the simplest dishes.
- Build a small craft that requires measuring, like a bird house or picture frame. Practice power tool safety to teach your kid how to use them responsibly.
- Play online games that don’t even feel like learning math, like money games and KenKen puzzles. These games can help kids who love being online feel more confident.
- Teach basic math skills with exciting toys like Legos and playdough. Use what you already have—math is everywhere!
In light of recent changes in many school systems, students are doing much more at home than ever before. That means you have to be a greater support to their learning—and you can start by taking a proactive approach to getting them engaged with learning. Plus, with these fun at home lesson plans, you can learn a thing or two yourself!