Saturday, August 9, 2008

Homeschooling on Difficult Days

Home Schooling on Difficult Days

On some days, organized school is just not going to happen. The baby is sick, there are two doctor visits scheduled, you're in the middle of getting ready to move,...the list is endless. Somehow, there isn't time to organize lessons or plan bookwork while dealing with the crisis at hand

Right now, we're dealing with such a crisis. My mother had a minor heart attack (on the treadmill during a stress test, which is much better than having it at her house in the middle of nowhere!) and, after spending the better part of two days there, I'm making daily trips to the hospital to check on her and cheer her up. Between the long trips and the normal functions of the household, we get school in however possible.

I've learned not to think of them as lost school days, but instead to think of them as opportunities for my children to learn on their own. Some kids are perfectly capable of handling their own education, while others need a little help.

For those under 12, the simplest way to handle days in which school will not be done in an organized manner:

Yahooligans

This site allows them to search safely for kid-friendly sites about nearly anything they're studying. There are nice summaries of each site, and any child who can read beyond primer level can figure it all out.

Another useful game site is:

Funschool

Educational games for the 3 to 11 set. Need to review multiplication? There are several games available. Spelling? Many levels to choose from. It's a fun site, and it's free! Teach them how to skip the flash ads, though.

For older ones:

Free Learning on the 'Net

Some younger ones can use these pages also.


A few other options:

Let the kids pick a page for each subject out of your worksheet folder

Play educational games : Scrabble, Payday, chess, etc.

Let them play school with old textbooks and workbooks.

Pass out the puzzles and puzzle books. Sudoku and kakuro (cross sums) are excellent for math skills, and crosswords are great for vocabulary and spelling. Logic problems are good brain builders.

Watch science, nature and travel shows and DVDs. Mythbusters, Crocodile Hunter, Nova, the Science Channel....

One of the great things about these experiences with semi-unschooling is that sometimes children find new ideas and interests...

Things will probably go back to normal sometimes...if your family actually has a 'normal'! In reality, much of a child's education can be based on these activities, especially if you throw in a few library trips!!
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