Learning Ideas

Here you can find quick ideas, look deeper into specific topics, peek at some more activities we’ve liked doing plus book suggestions, download some free PDF printables, consider what you might want to add to your homeschool experience, and see how I feel about learning.

Grab and go! Get the ball rolling with one of these lesson ideas:

Looking for more? Try some of these ideas grouped by topic:

Check out some featured activities and books here

Whether inspired by a holiday, a story, or spur-of-the-moment fun, here are some more ideas we’ve enjoyed, plus selections of books that have stood out from some of our library hauls. Find these and more on the Features page:

Get the whole family involved in personalizing your homeschool

Inspire your kids to write with these colorful fold-&-go card designs

Scour the house, transform your yard and travel the world in an afternoon!

Help kids grasp some nutrition basics in this accessible activity

Download some free printables

Here’s a couple to start with – for the rest… It was time to move! Find the growing collection of downloads on the Printables page now.

The Extraschooling 7-Day Four C’s Challenge: Take a little time to roll a few of these questions and ideas around and see where they lead you

Take It Outside! A Nature Expedition Packet: Head off for a day of exploration, from planning to observing to answering questions about the surrounding environment

Homeschool Supply Checklist

My Two Cents –

I have the great fortune to mother and teach a kid who is a lover of nature, an avid reader (well, listener!), and endlessly curious. Luckily, children tend to have these and other such characteristics, because they pop out into the world eager to learn – all we have to do is nurture that natural desire.

Think about it: no one has to send their baby to Sitting Class or Walking 101. Kids arrive in this world ready and willing to expand their repertoire. It isn’t a chore they grumble about (“Darned old folks assigned crawling homework for the third time this week!“) but rather an innate drive they’ll pursue with or without suggestion, direction, or even permission.

The same inclination holds true for what we call “school,” even though it sometimes doesn’t seem that way. The problem tends to lie more in the way it is portrayed or presented in the world around them. Think of how work is often looked at: as a mindless job done simply to bring home a paycheck. That sounds as thrilling as a force-fed ration of time-filling material is to learn. We grumble about those jobs the same way our kids learn to grumble about school. In both, doing what we love is key.

So let’s dump that ‘school’ term and focus on a better one: learning. Learning is something we can stay passionate about. It can happen anywhere, any time, regardless of what ‘school’ looks like. Learning should always be engaging, creative, dynamic, fun – you know, that stuff that makes you want to do it without anyone telling you to. Honestly, without those qualities, there likely won’t be much retention going on anyway. That’s why we know our hobbies inside and out: because we enjoy them.

My formula is a pretty simple one. I recommend presenting something you are personally passionate about and/or well-versed in, then seeing what interest it sparks in them (being prepared for it to not necessarily match what you started with). Use several mediums (books, videos, websites, discussions, field trips, games) to expand on that spark and then watch where it goes – does it sputter out, hold steady, blaze wildly? From there either race to keep up, or drop it for now and see if it fits better at a later date.

This can be done in virtually endless combinations; it’s easy to get the hang of and requires no step-by-step, detailed instructions. However, if you want a cheat sheet of ideas & resources to save on research and planning time, check out some of the project starters above.

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