What are some ways that you can supplement your child’s homeschool education? Even if you already have a curriculum there are a lot of ways to expand learning opportunities and provide extra support in areas where your child needs improvement.
Here are some ways that we have supplemented our home learning over the years.
Field Trips: When you’re homeschooling, almost anywhere you go be turned into a learning experience. In fact, I’ll go even further than that. Your children are learning all the time! So tie this into your lessons when you can.
- Volunteer at your church or in the community and use this to reinforce a civics or social studies lesson
- Involve your child in the next grocery trip by preparing the list together, estimating prices and helping count money at the checkout.
- Visit the zoo, a botanical garden, planetarium or nature center while studying biology, astronomy or zoology.
- Visit a history museum when your lessons correspond to current exhibits.
- Take your children to the state capitol or court house. Try to be there when elected officials will be available, or when guided tours are held. Also check into opportunities for teens to work as Pages in the state legislature.
- Go to the fire or police department. Call ahead and see if they will do a presentation if you can bring a small group.
Online Programs: Online education and support has quickly become one of the easiest and most effective ways to supplement your curriculum. FutureSchool is just one example. A comprehensive math and English teaching system for American students and their families, FutureSchool utilizes a variety of tools like customized lesson plans, live teacher support and detailed progress reports.
Books: Think outside the textbook. Having your child read a novel that follows a textbook lesson (i.e. reading The Red Badge of Courage while studying the Civil War) is the most obvious strategy, but you can get even more creative. Use Egyptian paper dolls to supplement an ancient history lesson. Recite and/or act out parts of the Illiad while studying the history of Rome. Enjoy a book about constellations and the mythology behind them while studying the solar system.
Household Items: Toys, tools and even your digital camera can all help to expand your child’s education. Here some examples:
- Help your child take pictures of plants and leaves with your digital camera for a nature journal.
- Use tools from the garage to teach concepts like motion, force, gravity, magnetism, energy and simple mechanics.
- Make a grocery store out of canned goods and let your child price and buy items for math.
- Play a game of Monopoly to teach about interest, investing and mortgages.
Writing: Find a pen pal for your child to write to. Growing up, I had a pen pal from China that I corresponded with. Her beautiful and delicately written letters were something I looked forward to every month, as were the pictures and mementos she would sometimes tuck inside. Other opportunities for your children to learn through writing include: letters to the editor, entering essay and poetry contests and corresponding with local elected officials (yes, they are eager to hear from young people who are not of voting age yet).
Tutoring: Think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be an expensive private teacher. A “tutor” might also be the local mechanic that your son works with a couple of times a week or your daughter’s grandmother as she passes on her crocheting skills. And don’t forget, online education can be a form of tutoring, too.
I’d love to read about the ways that your family has provided enrichment and additional learning opportunities to supplement your homeschool experience. Have you ever used resources like online learning or tutoring?
This post was sponsored by Future School.