Easy homeschool ideas are what every parents is desperate for they experience school closures due to coronavirus. As a veteran nine-year homeschooler, I’ve got lots of ideas.

The #1 question I’ve been asked this week from parents is:
“How do I get my kids to do schoolwork, now that the school has told them it’s “optional” or “ungraded”. My child isn’t motivated. (And between you and me, it kind of looks like busywork to me, so it’s hard to tell them it’s important.)”

My answer: I would lovingly suggest you’re asking the wrong question.

The REAL question is “How do I give my child something educational and worthwhile to do?” (without a ton of work and research on my end, because I’m still trying to work from home, plus housework, plus kids at home!)

We are all doing the best we can.

The schools, the kids, you, everyone. But if your child isn’t motivated to do what’s recommended by your school, perhaps this is a time to be their ally and find something else that they ARE interested in. Something that will spark their desire to learn and won’t be such a struggle to get them excited about. Something that aligns with your family values and gives you time to connect together.

That’s what is most important right now–connecting with your child and giving them a place of safety and understanding. Their whole world changed overnight. They need routines and relevant activities to look forward to and provide structure.

Need some ideas about a daily routine that works. Here’s our daily schedule. What I like most about it is that it’s based on our family values and starts with a check in and some gratitude.

Here are some easy homeschool ideas that are educational and creative and can be adapted for all ages. Try these if your child isn’t motivated by schoolwork or “busywork”.

ACTIVITIES KIDS CAN DO:

Here’s a link to our popular 100+ Fun Activities for Kids. Feel free to stick it on your fridge and point to it when you hear “I’m BORED!”

OUTDOORS:

Make a flower or veggie garden in containers or in the ground. Research heirloom seeds and order seeds online, then start growing them inside now. Learn what plants attract butterflies and beneficial insects. Learn what plants “like” each other and which plants prefer to be far apart.

CONNECT:

Even though we’re not physically touching people, we can connect with a loved one. What about a special dinner with Grandma via zoom video?

NATURE:

Buy a few painted lady caterpillars to your area and watch them eat, grow fat, make a cocoon and emerge as butterflies. This process takes about 21 days and is so cool. You can build a habitat yourself or purchase one. You’ll release them at the end (check to be sure they’re native). This kit comes with foodOr this one has the habitat included

REAL LIFE SKILLS:

Balance a checkbook, take a college course, learn a language online, file papers in an organized folder system, read financials statements, pay a bill, dispute a bill, bake bread, make sourdough starter.

RESEARCH:

Have them research the Spanish flu. Or what supplies go into an earthquake emergency kit and create a list for your family to gather supplies. Or if your family needs a new appliance, which refrigerator is best (Consumer Reports). Or how to make a vaccine. Or how to build a skateboard. Or how to start a business. Or how to design graphics that tell a story. The library has tons of free online research databases available.

JOURNALING:

We are in a unique moment in time. Why not have your kids keep a journal about their lives during the pandemic?

My 11yo and 14yo have daily journaling assignments.

Younger kids can draw their thoughts or narrate their ideas as you write them, then they can copy your words.

Some paragraph topics:
 What are 3 things you want to do when we can go out and about again?
 Whose day can you brighten today?
 What are 3 things you’re grateful for today?
 Name two feelings you have today about all the changes in the last month. Be specific.
 Find an inspirational quote and write what it means to you.

My friend Mary Anne Radmacher is teaching a class on journaling and what types of things you might want to include in a daily journaling practice. You should check it out!

BECOME AN AUTHOR:

Go to mystorybook.com and have them write and illustrate their own story, then have it printed and sent home. If they are too young to type, have them use google voice mic on google docs and narrate the story, then docs will type it and you can proofread it, then input it into the story format. It’s easy to be an author!

Here are some fun activities and a homeschool schedule that works, as schools close unexpectedly and families are suddenly homeschooling in isolation.
What are your favorite educational activities that are easy homeschool ideas?

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