Welcome back to this week’s Homeschooling Tips that Begin with the Letter “O”.
If you missed any of the other alphabet letters in this series, just click on the appropriate letter below.
Homeschooling Tip #1: Organization
I’ve always enjoyed having all of my “ducks in a row”. Being organized just helps my head stay clear. The house may not be perfectly clean, but I do like it organized!
What does a new homeschooling family need to know about organization? Well, in my Homeschool Tips – L post, we discussed how to organize your home library, that’s always helpful, especially if you love books.
There’s also other things that you may want to keep organized.
- Art/craft supplies
- Math manipulatives
- Science experiment supplies
- Timeline pictures/labels
- Office/school supplies
- Device charging cords
- Flash cards
- Bulletin board supplies
- Educational posters/visuals/charts/maps
- Wall space
- Daily schedule
- Mom’s planner
- Lesson plans
- Field trip information
- Book lists
- Homeschool area
How do you keep it all organized, you ask?
Well, I can’t go into each topic individually in this post, but I will give you a list of common items that I have found helpful to use.
- 3-ring binders, assorted sizes and colors
- Colored school folders
- Colored spiral notebooks
- Notebook dividers
- Sheet protectors
- Post-it notes different colors, sizes, and shapes
- Label machine
- Cupboard or drawer space
- Supply caddys
- Clear storage boxes of all sizes
- Clear storage bags of all sizes
- Filing boxes
- Colored file folders
- Colored pencil boxes
If you’ve been following along with this series, then you know that I really like SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and so I am an affiliate for them.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com did not disappoint me with their supply of organizational helps, especially for parents.
Once you become a member of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you have access to these five books.
- Inexpensive Organization
- Organize Your Homeschool
- Dreams and Designs: Homemade Supplies to Compliment Your Homeschool
- From Chaos to a Symphony of Routines
- How I Homeschool: Twelve Families share Their Lifestyles of Learning
Homeschooling Tip #2: Online Classes
Online classes are becoming more and more popular. It’s because you can access your classes from almost anywhere.
The publishers don’t have to spend so much money to make hard copy books, and their online content can be interactive and engaging.
Do you feel like your child might be too much alone with homeschooling? With online classes, teachers can have group class time where the kids get to meet each other, and/or they could all sign in and watch the teacher do a demonstration and chat in the chatbox with other kids.
With the capabilities of sending class assignments to the teacher via email, some classes offer that the grading be done by the curriculum company. Some curriculum software has even been created to check the schoolwork while the child is actually doing the assignment.
It’s pretty neat what our technology can do these days and the opportunities that our kids now have.
Homeschooling Tip #3: Outdoors
There’s plenty of benefits, as we all know, of being outside; the fresh air, the exercise it promotes, the Vitamin D from the sun, etc., but the best benefit is because it is fun! It also creates wonderful memories and opportunities for picture taking.
You don’t have to have any fancy supplies. A blanket would suffice, if that’s all you have.
If you have a picnic table or some other outdoor table and chairs, that’s great too. Lawn chairs, hammock or even a swing is great.
A word of caution though, it’s very easy to get distracted, so you’ll want to know ahead of time what you want to get done, while you’re outside.
Outdoor Homeschool Ideas
One of the most popular homeschooling reasons to do school outside, is to do a nature journal. Chareen from Every Bed of Roses has two different posts about nature journaling that you should have a look at. (The links are at the end of this post.)
Scavenger hunts are a great way to learn things outside. Here is a free, printable outdoor scavenger hunt that has the children looking up Bible verses to identify the item that they need to find.
Obstacle courses are also educational, practice creating, measuring, and building the coolest course around. It doesn’t have to be for people, it could be for a well-loved pet to do!
Gardening provides plenty of learning while outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s vegetables, fruits, or even flowers, keeping notes on seed varieties, fertilizers, weather conditions and more is an excellent outdoor learning experience.
Camping. Does your child know how to prepare for a camping trip? How about the safety of a campfire? Have your child study the do’s and dont’s before going and they’ll be well on their way to having a great time outdoors.
Life skills. Do you live around a lot of wild vegetation? You could always learn about the plants and the plant’s parts that are edible or that could be used medicinally in some way.
Hunting is a good thing to learn too. Not just trying to catch a fish, but learning gun safety to shoot for your own food. Maybe shooting an animal is not your thing. How about animal trapping?
Local nature parks provide a wealth of knowledge that the staff just loves to share. In my area, they have a whole schedule of events and classes for kids to attend. They learn about animals, go on nature walks, identify trees, etc. There’s plenty to look at and to do right around the corner.
National parks is another great way to learn while being outside. It could be a park centered around a historical event or a park centered around a scientific or natural phenomenon.
Last but not least is your own backyard. Take a magnifying glass, clipboard, paper and pencil, and choose one square foot of your backyard. Start at the top where the grass is, and identify it. Then work your way around the square, very slowly, and see what you find. Once you’re done with your observations above ground, maybe you could dig a little bit and see what’s under the soil.
Have a microscope? Is there any microscopic activity going on inside the dirt? Any little critters that you didn’t see with your naked eye? It’s a real world of wonder out there, even in your own backyard.
Read a book. Remember that blanket, lawn chair or picnic table that you have outside? Getting comfy and reading a school book, makes it even more fun.
Writing assignments. The outdoors can give us all sort of inspiration for writing assignments. Start with some of your senses. What do you hear, see, or touch? How are you feeling at the moment, being outside?
Science experiments. There are some science experiments that you have to do outside. I’ll never forget the experiment where my kids created smoke. I forget what materials were used, but it created so much smoke behind our house, that it stopped traffic. People thought our house was on fire. It was really cool to watch though, we had a great time.
Outdoor Classes from SchoolhouseTeachers.com
Can you think of any other homeschooling tips that begin with the letter “O”? If so, just let me know in the comment section below. I always love to hear from my readers.
Also, don’t forget, that if you missed any of the letter “N” posts just click on the link below for the post that you would like to read. See you next week!
N is for Ninjago: Lego ABC’s from Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
N is for Names from Kristen at A Mom’s Quest to Teach
N is for Saying No from Annette at A Net in Time
No Longer Wanted from Annette at A Net in Time
Discovering the “N” Bunnies of the World from Annette at At Home Pets
Keeping a Nature Journal from Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Nature Journaling Resources from Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Netflix in Your Homeschool from Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Nelson, Ron: Composer ABC’s from Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens