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Home education can be a bit of a minefield to start with and even with having prior experience myself, I still felt a little bit like I’d thrown myself in the deep end at the beginning. You can end up getting so caught up in the national curriculum thinking you must follow it when in actual fact, it’s a bit rubbish. There are so many useless things and so many gaps where important life skills are left out and replaced with the answers to countless exams children are expected to sit at such a young age. Home education allows you to filter out topics that aren’t useful and allows you to focus on the things your child is actually passionate about.
I’ve chucked together a list of 20 ideas to get you started, most of these can be adapted for various age brackets, enjoy!
20 Home Education Ideas
01. Photography – Give them a little digital camera, an old phone, anything that takes a photo! Not only is it fun to see what their little eyes are drawn to but their photographs create lots of prompts for future lessons!
02. T-shirt designing – Whether they want to design it my hand or digitally this is a big hit. You can even have custom t shirts printed with their design on so they can wear their artwork with pride!
03. Acid and Alkaline testing – You can get a little booklet of litmus paper off eBay for a couple of pounds and dip it into various different household substances like ketchup, water, juice, that sort of thing and record the different levels. Most booklets come with a colour key but if not they can be easily sourced online. I loved using litmus paper when I was a kid!
04. Alphabet hop – Draw the letters of the alphabet in chalk on the floor and ask your child to hop or run to a specific letter.
05. Video games – Yes really. These help with problem solving, improving reaction time and quick thinking as well as socialisation, spelling and typing skills.
06. Story sacks – For younger children having toys which match the characters in their book can help grab their attention and result in them being a heck of a lot more engaged in story time.
07. YouTube – Again, YouTube can be educational! There are a tonne of documentary style videos, maths and even online lessons all of which you can use to your advantage.
08. Fruit & Veg exploring – Get a selection of veg, get your child to investigate the textures, smells, etc. Chop them up, investigate again and the perhaps some painting with them! This is a huge hit for younger children. We have also collected seeds like this and planted them!
09. Cooking – Cakes, biscuits, even just getting them involved in family meals whether that be cooking from scratch or just reading instructions off the back of a packet! Both are life skills which will at least keep them alive in the big wide world (unlike algebra).
10. Film a music video – Not as difficult as you think because you don’t need to go all out. Just a karaoke backing track off YouTube if you or your child doesn’t play an instrument, a phone and a basic editing app like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.
11. Food bank challenge – Give your child £1 and see how many items they can get for the food bank basket at the supermarket. Helping people and a bit of maths at the same time!
12. Ice play – Freeze little plastic animals, different materials, pom poms, that kind of thing into a tupperware container and use different household materials to try and melt the ice faster.
13. Nature painting – Use leaves, sticks, twigs, flowers, grass, pinecones, anything you like from nature (without destroying it) and use them to make different marks with paint, ink, even mud!
14. Record an audio book – Record an audio version of your child’s story or even just a chapter from their favourite book, find items from the house for sound effects!
15. Signing – British Sign Language is a fantastic language to learn which can also support the speech of babies and toddlers! There are courses and videos online with a plethora of signs to learn! Fingerspelling is a good place to start for older children, click here for a free printable BSL Fingerspelling worksheet!
16. More elaborate or unconventional PE lessons – Rock climbing, swimming, trampolining, bike riding, scooting, roller blading…So much more interesting and way more fun than conventional PE activities.
17. Life skills – Something most schools don’t actually teach. Reading clothing labels, working washing machines, microwaves, tumble driers, etc. These skills will be invaluable.
18. The National Trust – We have been members of the NT for a couple of years now and out membership has been invaluable for days out and we have saved a lot of money! They have a lot of history lesson opportunities and the gardens are always beautiful.
19. Gardening – Whether that’s weeding, planting flowers or even growing your own fruit and veg from scraps, gardening is another brilliant life skill to teach your children.
20. Play shops – Collect random food or packaging and create a shop in the house or garden. Children can use play money to buy and sell teaching money handling and maths through play (which is the best way to learn!)
I hope these have given you some inspiration for your home ed lessons or even just learning at home, you certainly don’t need to be a home educator to really get stuck in with your child’s learning!