Disclaimer: there is a great deal that I don’t know. I do know that every family is different and that the things that help my family are not universal. Hopefully this series will be a blessing for some. Any links to amazon are affiliate links.
My kids are extremely active. Wildcat has been that way since the womb, sitting still for school would make him miserable. So, we don’t do that. I have him do a lot of his lessons verbally, and he often stands when writing. We have a mini trampoline and small dance area they can utilize while listening/reciting. When we recite the definition of a noun: Wildcat jumps while Sparkle Girl practices her pliés.
I usually introduce new math standing at the whiteboard. They can write the numbers at whatever size they want and draw pictures to help if needed. Action figures are also a big part of math. We build regiments and use them as our manipulatives. Thinking Putty is a great help for times I need one child to be patient while I’m helping the other one. For example, when I am going over phonograms with Sparkle Girl, and Wildcat finishes his letter writing, he can play quietly with his Thinking Putty until I can review his work.
A change of atmosphere can really help keep prevent monotony. When the weather is nice we try to work outside, and this year I want to walk to the library, at least once a week, and do book work there. Even going into the living room to sit for family worship, story-time, poetry, or music is a welcome change.
It took me years to learn that the type of curriculum is not as important as the implementation of it. I changed curriculums frequently. Some of them genuinely didn’t fit our family, but with others I failed because I tried to do them based on the public school model. Today we use Singapore Math, First Language Lessons, and Spalding Phonograms (along with other things). My husband teaches history using stories, hands on activities, and reenactments. It helps that he is a veteran history teacher, and he has a lot of facts memorized (we are going to make lessons available to you starting September 1st).
Prioritizing is also important. I learned the hard way that trying to make everything fun left me an exhausted mess. I aim for one fun thing a day, and I am very liberal with my idea of a fun homeschool activity. For example, giving the dog a bath can turn into a great zoology lesson, multiplication and history can be taught while doubling a bread recipe, and it is amazing how many subjects homemade play-dough can be utilized for. When I’m not feeling well I use documentaries (as a chronic migraine sufferer, I have more bad days than most).
What do you do to keep school interesting? Please comment below.