We enjoy hands-on learning. I have always taught my children this way, probably because that is how I learn. Ever since my oldest was in Kindergarten we have done science, art and history projects to learn about new things.
Over the years I have found ways that make it easy on me to keep up with all the activities for five children. They really enjoy the hands-on portion of our schooling and I know they learn from these experiences and make some memories to hang history or science facts on.
Make it Simple
My first tip for moms that want to include hands-on activities is to make it simple. Planning a separate activity for all five of my children daily would drive me bonkers. We all do the same activity on the same day of the week. Mostly, we choose one day a week to do them.
We study the same history and science time period together so no matter where someone is in their learning ability they will be able to relate to the science experiment or history project that the other children are doing.
Planning ahead takes a little time and effort but pays off in the long run when you may be running out of steam or creative ideas. I like to take a history kit such as Hands and Hearts history kits or an activity book and spend a weekend plotting out the activities we are going to do and making a list of materials.
In the case of the Hands and Hearts kits, all the materials are already there for you which is a BIG plus in my book! I love these kits for that reason.
If I have a list, then I begin buying supplies and keeping them all together in a bin labeled with the time period on it for history such as “ancients” or the branch of science such as “chemistry” or “biology”. I’ve been known to stock up on sale items for four years in advance on materials because I have bins labeled this way.
I know that I will be returning to each time period again and each branch of science again because I cycle through them every four years.
When something is really important to me, like hands-on learning, I find it helpful to have some sort of accountability. Sometimes, I’m tired and I just don’t feel like getting everything out and making a mess. (Imagine that?)
One of the best things that we do is that we have joined another family for a history co-op. They are in the same time period as we are and we meet together to do hands-on learning. The kids have fun and we split the work between the two moms. It has been our best history year to date!
Another way that I have decided to hold us accountable for doing projects is by starting a blog-hop where other bloggers can link to my blog with their history projects. This has been fun to see what others are doing.
If you are looking for a way to showcase your history projects that you are doing in your homeschool with other families then please join us every Tuesday.
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.
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