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!
41. Free writing. This is a hit in our house and always good for a laugh or some real imaginative flow. Just tell them they have 5 minutes, for example, and the only rule is they must keep writing and not stop. Give regular indications of remaining time (‘3 minutes left’) to keep the pace and energy up.
42. Star gazing. Why not make the most of the fact that you don’t have to get up early and, on a clear night, see if you can spot some of the constellations in the night sky? It’s worth prepping them about constellations beforehand and, even if you’re in the middle of a city, it’s definitely an experience!
43. DIY weather station. Pinterest is all over this. All you need are some empty bottles and a few other bits to create something really unique which will mean there is now officially no need to be tuning into boring BBC weather forecasts, because your little helpers are on it!
44. Gaming genius. Sites like Buildbox and Sploder all provide the basic software to enable your kids to try coding their own game. Why not? This is much more relevant and useful than allowing them to spend hours just playing video games. Set aside a day for it and see what they can achieve.
45. Pot plants. Everyone is doing this at the moment, although it looks to be a chilly week. Order seeds or small shrubs for your pots and spice up your garden for spring, or even start growing herbs and other edibles to throw into a salad or sauce at some point.
46. You be the teacher. After covering a topic with your kids (could be a discussion, or from a magazine, or TV program) ask them how they could teach the information in a lesson. When they are ready, sit on the floor with your legs crossed and play the student.
47. Charades. A fun family game but also great for thinking skills and dramatic expression. Do it in a pair or teams if you have a larger family. If you don’t have a box of charades, you can invent them as you go along, or create a longer task by making your own box of charades.
48. Balloon tennis. Grab your rackets, find a bit of space and knock a balloon about for a bit of exercise. Can be just a bit of fun, or rules can be established and scores kept, with younger ones volunteering as ball boys/girls and some epic Wimbledon-style grunting!
49. Body painting. So messy but tonnes of fun! If you don’t mind a bit of craziness, spread out a load of newspaper and do full head-to-toe body painting with non-toxic paint. Limit it to tattoos or face paints only, if this seems a bit daunting.
50. Play dough modelling. Make an imaginary world from play dough and use your camera phone (even better if you have a Polaroid or printing option) to try out a short stop time animated story. Don’t be too ambitious! It’s really tricky. Then watch Wallace and Gromit.