Demystifying Homeschooling Series: Taking Online, Offline
As the weather begins to allow for more fun in the sun, here are a few ideas to take your kids outdoors and enjoy the cool weather, without missing out on their lessons.
GO TO THE GARDEN – AND INSPIRE THEIR ARTISTIC SIDE
Subjects – Art and Biology
Using the backyard for something a little more sedate than play will give your kids a chance to recharge their batteries and enjoy the calmness that nature can bring. Mindfulness and positive psychology can be enhanced by encouraging your kids to take a pause, and to draw something they can see out of doors. Keep you kids sun-safe of course with a nice big hat and sunscreen, but give them the time to come up with something creative and beautiful in a quiet space. If your children are not ones for sitting still for too long, give them a camera and challenge them to photograph as many different species of flora and fauna as they can.
GO TO THE BEACH – AND MAKE A VOLCANO
Subject – Science
There is nothing finer than a trip to the beach when the weather is good. But there is no reason this can’t also be an educational experience for your kids.
Get them to pile the sand as high as they can into a mountain shape and make a crater in the top. Place a small pot of bicarbonate of soda into the crater and get the kids to pour some sea water on top of it. Watch their eyes light up as they are rewarded with an exploding volcano. If they are old enough, you can go ahead and explain the chemical reaction behind the explosion (H2O + NaHCO3). You can also get the younger children to go on scavenger hunts to see all the different things you can find at the beach or indeed devise mathematics lessons round the shells they collect from the shoreline. Think on your feet and you can have a great day out, keeping the children thoroughly entertained while they learn.
GO TO THE MOUNTAINS – AND LET THEM GO WILD
Subject – Pastoral and Physical Education
Let it never be said that physical education is not an important part of learning. Keeping your children active is a fantastic way to help their physical and emotional development and should not be overlooked. The Middle East has some fantastic hill and mountain trails which are ideal for a nature hike, perfect for getting your children away from their computer screens and into nature. This is great for kids because by changing their environment, you are giving them the chance to see something new. This will inspire them to devise their own lesson for the day. Let them go and make discoveries and you can build on these, dropping in some lessons on the fly. This will foster fascination and wonder in your kids while letting them enjoy their environment. Remember though, that to get the most out of this exercise, devices should be left behind.