Guest Blog post by homeschool guru, Anna Dusseau.
Anna has worked for over 10 years in education – secondary school teacher, examiner, Enotes contributor, TES article contributor – and now has a popular homeschooling blog www.homeschoolguru.org for which she has a book contract. Anna now lives between Bedfordshire and Bordeaux, but grew up in Devon and went to St Peters School and the The Maynard School for sixth form. She loves Devon and places like Timepiece and Boston Tea Party in Exeter! “I wonder if they still exist.. “ she said. Oh yes!
11. Spring clean. Why not get them stuck into a big organisational task? Tip out all the toy boxes in the living room and let them spend as long as they like looking through everything and sorting the items into the correct places, as well as a box for the charity shop and, probably, a rubbish bag.
12. Language immersion. If you want your children to speak another language, now is a golden opportunity to kick start the process. Why not begin every morning with a short TV episode such as Peppa Pig or Dogtanian, available on YouTube in the language of your choice?
13. Dance performance. Choose one of your favourite songs and let them listen to it on repeat. Give them say 20 minutes to prepare a dance recital. They can make it extra special with costumes and props if they want to.
14. Pen and podcast. We do a lot of drawing or writing while listening to a podcast. From scientific shows such as Wow in the World, to ethical debates like Short and Curly, or even podcasts in another language such as Les Odysees which we listen to in French; the choices are endless!
15. Walk and talk. During your hour of exercise in an open space, why not squeeze a bit of learning in? From talking about nature, to discussing the news, listing favourite movies or quizzing each other on tricky Maths questions, walking can be the perfect time to get your brains buzzing too.
16. Flip book. Watch an old Disney such a Snow White or Fantasia and explain how these animations used many thousands of hand-drawn images. Use the corner of a notebook to create a flip book for a moving image. You could go on to look at stop time animation if they are interested.
17. Giant cardboard modelling. Don’t throw away those big cardboard boxes! You can spend a morning making a castle, pirate ship or space rocket. Go ahead and paint or decorate it if you are feeling creative. To develop the task, why not encourage the kids to plan it in advance on paper?
18. Home made marble run. There’s nothing you can’t do with some toilet roll tubes, empty cereal boxes, sticky tape and a few books (they make great tunnels and stairs). This is satisfying brain work and can take 5 minutes or most of the day, depending on how the kids take to the task!
19. Write a book. We make books out of folded paper, usually no more than 20 pages. Prolific writers might want a ringbound notebook. Help them with a title, page numbers and chapters, then just allow them to work on it when they want to. It might take several days or weeks to complete.
20. Exercise schedule. Trapped in the house all day, what better time to give your kids the autonomy to arrange the family exercise schedule? This can be informal or written down on a timetable and can include looking up new ideas like yoga and martial arts on YouTube for inspiration.