Are you that perfect homeschooling mom? The one who is always organized, covers every subject with ease and poops rainbows?
Me neither. Nope, I’m not even close.
I’m more of your “activewear” wearing, “let’s all eat ice cream and beef jerky for lunch” saying, “it’s okay if we count washing the car as art today” kind of homeschooling mom.
And I am totally fine with that.
Whenever I get the urge to turn my garage into a homeschooling room, or buy organizers to color coordinate our Legos…
I simply lock myself in the bathroom and yell, “STAAAHHP IT!” Eventually I realize that becoming a perfect homeschooling mom is like being able to do the splits. As much as I want it, ain’t gonna happen. And who wants to do the splits anyway? TOTALLY overrated!
We’ve all got talents, and if you have a talent for color coordinating your Legos, then by all means go for it, homeschooling mama! You get your glass of wine and you coordinate those Legos every night if you choose!
For those of you who would like to incorporate more learning into your everyday life, here are some tips for creating some situations where learning will happen naturally. Call it unschooling or call it homeschooling hacks, but either way, it will MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER as a homeschooling mom.
Who knows? It just may give you more time to now organize your Legos into SIZES as well. Whoa. Gettin’ crazy over there at your house!
Homeschooling Hacks: Simple tricks to make homeschooling a breeze!
(A HUGE shoutout to the moms in my homeschooling group that helped me come up with these ideas! You know who you are, and I love ya’!)
Homeschooling Hack #1 | Teach geography by using a world map shower liner.
Dude. This is my favorite ever! I mean, who doesn’t want to learn where Greece is while washing their behinds? You can purchase your world map shower liner here.
Homeschooling Hack #2 | Using teaching place mats on your kitchen table.
They make place mats for all sorts of things, from history timelines to periodic table elements. Many moms I know SWEAR by this method. Sure, they may not match your dining room table runner, but, ah… who am I kidding? I’m pretty sure homeschooling moms have given up on perfect table decor ages ago. You can check out this company’s learning place mats here.
Homeschooling Hack #3 | Play “find the state license plate” in the car.
“Give each kid a map of the United States to keep in the car. They can mark out-of-state license plates they see on the map.” Download a free printable United States map here.
Homeschooling Hack #4 | Turn the decor in your home into learning artwork.
“We have skeletons on our walls with all of the bones labeled too. I love the idea of ‘art work’ in the house being comprised of homeschool based projects that the kids can learn from. It’s almost like learning through osmosis.”
Homeschooling Hack #5 | Subtitles on TV to teach reading.
You may be laughing, but I’m not even kidding with this one. I have a friend who’s preschooler learned how to read “on accident” because they had a rule that if the TV was on, the subtitles had to be as well.
Homeschooling Hack #5 | Keep that artwork revolving!
“Frame a white board for ever evolving art work! and plastic paper holders that you can use as a place mat and insert math facts sheet etc. My boys have loved both.”
Homeschooling Hack #6 | Baking time becomes “math time”.
“I’ve been working with the little one on baking and cooking I’ve had her cut recipes in half, double, 1/3, etc to work on math skills and you can convert the recipe to metric measurements and have them convert it back while they are baking.”
Homeschooling Hack #7 | Use car rides for philosophical discussions and critical thinking experiences.
Research shows that kids talk more in the car. Or at least that’s the research I’ve gathered from my experience. Use this time to get into deep discussions about the world, current events, and philosophical studies. The book I keep in the car is Philosophy for Kids, which helps us go through questions and possible answers/thoughts that spark discussion. I’m also reading Raising Freethinkers, which helps teach kids to question their world!
Homeschooling Hack #8 | Listening to books/talks while doing chores
One of my favorite parts of chores is the fighting. It’s just so awesome to hear the clang of dishes amid shouts, isn’t it? Turn on some fun books/inspirational talks/stand up comedy (we love comedians Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan for kids) and you’ll have kids who keep working and don’t fight while they’re doing it. It’s amazing!
Homeschooling Hack #9 | Never pay one more library fine.
I have a saying. It goes like this: “Don’t ever ever check the library, worry about books or care if they’re late.” That’s right. Our kids are completely in charge of all things library, from placing holds, to checking due dates and even reminding me to go (Tuesdays after archery, and if I forget there’s hell to pay). How did I get the kids to do this? By making them pay for the fines when they forget. A few $20 fines should be enough to keep your kids on top of it. Aren’t natural consequences amazing?
Homeschooling Hack #10 | Integrate Lego building into history lessons.
Homeschooling Hack #11 | Have a once-a-week “Home-Ec” day.
If your kids are good at cleaning their rooms once a month and that’s it, it’s time to break out “Home-Ec” day! At first it’s hard because you have to teach HOW to fold the laundry, HOW to use the washer and how to use the iron. But it gets better. Oh man, it gets SO much better. Because then your kids not only know how to clean the house, do the laundry, iron, sew, garden, bake, meal plan, prep, etc.. They do it well. It’s great.