Homeschool families often struggle with finding back-to-school activities that fit their special circumstances. This post offers five activities to brighten up back-to-school time and prepare your child for another productive year in the homeschool classroom.
A New Homeschool Year: Breaking the Ice
Just like students at a traditional school, homeschool students need back-to-school activities that help them transition from summer vacation into the new school year. But in a homeschool setting, ice-breaking activities like classmate introductions don't really work. Instead, try these five back-to-school activities especially designed for homeschool families.
Activity #1: 20 Summer Questions
''What I Did on My Summer Vacation'' is a classic back-to-school essay. Yet, as a homeschool parent, you already know what your child did last summer.
Instead, try this revamp of 20 Questions: Ask your child to describe a person, a place, or an activity from this past summer vacation without naming names. For example, your child can use simple adjectives and other clues to recount a specific part of his or her summer vacation.
From a trip to an historic site or a visit to Grandma's, your child can keep you guessing as you relive these summer experiences from his or her perspective. Feel free to take turns and give your child a chance to guess your mystery person, place, or event!
Activity #2: Parent-Child Press Conference
Pretend you're a reporter, asking your child questions about the life and importance of a person he or she has chosen from one of last year's lesson plans. For instance, your child may have studied Madame Curie or Albert Einstein in science class, Leif Erikson in history class, or Mark Twain in English class.
For a variation on this activity, you could ask your child to talk about a significant event covered in the previous year's homeschool studies, like World War II or the invention of the telephone. This back-to-school activity will reinforce last year's learning and help prepare your child for related topics in the coming year.
Activity #3: Recap Theater
Ask your child to come up with a creative project—such as a song, skit, drawing, or short video—that sums up a topic he or she studied in the previous school year. For example, your child might act out a brief skit about the first Thanksgiving or the California Gold Rush.
If you taught a lesson about the different kinds of triangles last year in math class, have your child create artwork featuring pictures of isosceles, equilateral, and scalene triangles. Depending on your child's age, these drawings might include comic elements such as cartoon facial features.
If your child enjoys working on the computer, he or she might use a tool like Renderforest video maker to create a short ''recap'' of last year's homeschool lessons, similar to recaps summarizing the events of a television cliffhanger.
Activity #4: Field Trip Travel Agent
Give your child an overview of some of the topics you'll be covering in the coming year. Together, you and your child can brainstorm places to visit that will help you explore these topics in more depth.
For instance, you and your child might decide to:
- Learn more about electricity at a local hydroelectric plant
- See endangered species up close at a nature preserve
- Experience an orchestra at a live concert
For older children, you can include planning concepts such as:
- Calculating the cost of tickets and other fees
- Finding the best route to the field trip destination
- Confirming the site's hours of operation or visitor guidelines
Activity #5: Back-to-School Quiz Show
Want to see how much your child still remembers at back-to-school time? Take turns quizzing each other on last year's lessons using a game show format. Get a feel for your child's grasp of upcoming homeschool topics by including a couple of questions from the coming year's curriculum.
For a ready-to-go game show format, use resources such as the online quizzes or flashcards available on Study.com. Award prizes like extra play time, screen time, or a special treat for correct answers.
For more back-to-school and homeschool activities, check out the homeschool resources available on Study.com. You'll find dozens of dynamic video lessons, interactive quizzes, and support from Study.com's staff of trained educators.