Covert Approaches to Helping Your Kids Learn
Teaching kids can be difficult, especially when they are burned out with traditional homeschool curriculum. You want to teach your children, but they are not ready to learn. Don’t fear! Every day is a learning lesson, and our children can benefit from education beyond learning in a traditional school class environment. This is why we’ve got to think about subtle ways that our kids can benefit from learning on a regular basis, but what are ways to do this? Let’s show you some suggestions to subtly homeschool kids without curriculum.
The benefits of homeschooling are numerous, but no matter what your child’s grade level or learning style, sometimes parents need to be a little more creative in their homeschool lesson plans especially if your child was in a traditional school environment. There is a term you may have heard called deschooling. This process allows your child some time to decompress from any trauma or overstimulation caused from the local school district.
While each child learns differently, and if you don’t already understand how your child learns best, eventually you will begin to understand what makes your child get excited about learning. But first, give them some time off from books, teaching, and school days. This unschooling allows you and your child to explore a child’s interests while focusing on real-life experiences. It is a different approach to teaching and may require some time for both mom and children to adjust.
Sit back and relax. Let your child relax and enjoy being together without the pressure of formal lessons.
How to Subtly Homeschool Kids without Curriculum
Using Their Bedroom as a Classroom
Rather than installing a desk and getting them to do lessons during a homeschool day on a regular basis, you can start thinking about the little things that are going to stimulate their imagination. It could be something as simple as plush single letters of the alphabet cushions that gives them more colorful and sensory ways to learn how to spell, which can be great if your children are really struggling with this.
We have to remember that learning is not just about the things we read, but it’s about using the right learning style for our kids. If they are kinesthetic learners, where they are more receptive to touch, this is a very simple thing that we can put into their rooms. Of course, there are other things that we can help them with, for example, making a reading nook. However, you’ve got to decide whether they would benefit from this type of isolation. High school students may need the alone time, but too much time away from people may be isolating.
You could also incorporate toys and games that have an educational slant, like puzzles or word games, to engage their minds. Consider a bedroom wall dedicated to their favorite artists, or charts and diagrams that a scientist would enjoy.
Make sure you have bookshelves in their room to encourage reading.
It is also important to remember that creativity is key to developing imagination, critical thinking, as well as problem-solving skills, and we can do this in several ways. For example, giving them musical instruments, music lessons, or art supplies that are in tune with who they are.
When we encourage creativity and provide them with some different outlets, it slowly helps them tap into their abilities to self-educate and function for themselves. This will give them an invaluable array of tools not just to progress in terms of learning and development, but also to foster the skills necessary to overcome challenges.
Think Outside the Box
As a homeschool parent, your job is so much bigger than selecting a curriculum and developing lesson plans. You need to create a learning environment in the home. Maybe you have a child who loves language arts. Make sure to include ways to encourage their love of language into everyday conversations, such as a new word a day at the dinner table. This learning can be fun for the entire family. In fact, the two places we do the most learning are the kitchen table and the van. I used to read aloud while Dad was driving.
Make sure to read together as a family. Pick a book that corresponds with a movie due to come out at the theater. Read the book out loud with the promise of going to the theater when the movie comes out. As a homeschool family, this encourages children to enjoy the family unity that develops from group activities. If you are new to teaching your kids at home, it may seem your children can’t get along, but homeschooled students soon find that their siblings are their best friends and begin to appreciate having a “best friend” close by at all times.
Field trips are much more than visiting a science center or local history museum. In fact, fields trips are necessary to homeschool your kids without a curriculum, and they are probably a great idea with a curriculum.
There is a vast world out there that can help homeschool families tap into what makes their child tick. Go to a bakery and see if the baker will show you behind the scenes. Call another homeschooling parent and see if you and your child can job shadow the working parent to find out what they do for a living.
Traveling is a great way to get in plenty of hands-on activities and learning. Some families buy an RV and take a year exploring the world. If you can’t do that, you can still find creative ways to get in lots of adventure.
Ideas to encourage the exploration of foreign languages include: visiting an area with people who speak a foreign language, such as EPCOT, Little Italy, Little China, or other areas in major towns with a high foreign-speaking population. Or even seeing if your local library offers classes in other languages. (Remember, your library may be a great source on your homeschooling journey).
What Subjects Can You Homeschool Without Curriculum
I encourage you to find as many ways to teach without a formal curriculum. Obviously, some subjects have a better outcome with a curriculum, such as Algebra, Geometry, or Physics. But you can create your own curriculum with board games, card games, great books, and documentaries. Don’t discount the value of discussions. This is becoming a lost art. The founding fathers of America and great philosophers used this method to teach and to change values and minds. We are so accustomed to learning with a curriculum that we forget there are many ways to learn.
Science is a great subject to teach without a curriculum especially in the younger years. Make sure to have a great science library and lots of hands-on activities to engage your children.
This is something that is arguably the best way to educate our children in the ways of the world. When you are helping them take those steps towards being independent, the best thing you can do is to not guide them as much. It is such an important part of education to stimulate discussion because this encourages them to think for themselves.
When we’re homeschooling children, we have to get the balance right between being parents and being teachers. If we encourage them to do things for themselves in as many different areas of life as possible, they will slowly see the value in overcoming obstacles but also realize that education or learning is not to be feared.
Helping our children appreciate the value of learning is very tough. Sometimes we have to take a covert approach, which means subtly introducing them to practices or tools that will educate them in every aspect of life. Remember homeschooling your kids without a curriculum can be fun and very rewarding.
Reviewing movies for parents from a Christian perspective since 2005. Know Before You Go!
Christian Homeschooling mom – 30 years and counting
Autism Mom & Disney enthusiast