I have concerns.
One of these many concerns is my kids’ lack of exposure to other adults. I understand different kids connect to different adults differently. “Teacher Mom” might not be as impactful as the building full of trained personalities they might otherwise have access to.
To combat this, I enlisted as many adults-without-children in our world as possible to help tackle this job of educating. These beautifully selfless friends and family members will communicate with our kids this school year in a variety of socially distanced ways.
I’m grateful for their help and I don’t take for granted their willingness to participate.
I sent them this list of potential homeschool activities that could be fun and semi-rooted in the state’s educational standards. I don’t know how many of them we’ll actually complete but the list has generated some good conversation about what our version of homeschooling could look like.
It suddenly seems a bit more manageable and potentially even…fun? We’ll see.
These ideas are geared toward lower elementary but they could easily be adapted and extended for older kids.
35 Homeschool Activities Guest “Teachers” Can Do With Your kids
- Read a book to the kids, either on a video call or recorded ahead of time. Listen to them read to you.
- Share a story, video, or pictures of your pets in action. Bonus points for adding your own narration.
- Sing a song. It could be an original or a favorite. Lyric analysis can be great too!
- Send an article (or a paragraph of an article) the kids might like. Podcasts work great for this, too. You could include questions they might answer after.
- Start a pen pal program. We love the USPS!
- Share a poem you love and talk about why you love it.
- Have a discussion about a topic of your choice. Give the kids the topic ahead of time so they can think about it before you chat.
- Volunteer to be an audience member for a prepared presentation. Or just let the kids talk to/at you about something they’ve learned.
- Ask a question that requires kids to “research” and report back. For example, which princess really IS the most fashion-forward?
- Ask a question that requires a short piece of opinion writing. You could provide your own opinion as an example.
- Share your favorite grammar lesson. Some of us nerds have pet peeves when we see the same grammatical error made over and over. Now’s your chance to save the next generation!
- Create a story problem involving the “student” and some of your other favorite people.
- Provide a graph and ask questions about the data. I’m thinking something that has to do with the family’s favorite desserts?
- Create a budget with the kids. This could be project-based (for example, how can they budget for Mom’s upcoming birthday?) or just general money-saving tips.
- Help them create a poll (which you will probably have to take part in) and work with them to analyze results. Maybe you want to take votes on the extended family’s (fictional) dream vacation? This data could also be graphed.
- Create a list of random household objects for them to measure and report back. Compare/contrast these with your own home’s measurements or send them to Zillow to find measurements listed in other homes.
- Find a picture of your favorite piece of artwork and write or explain why you love it. Artist background information would be great!
- Talk current or past fashion. Kudos for sharing your best ’90s pictures.
- Just sit and color while chatting (we have some of our best conversations when we’re sitting together and coloring).
- Discuss current events. This could start with a paragraph/podcast about what has happened.
- Write or tell about a time you were civically engaged. Maybe you attended a protest, launched a letter-writing campaign, made a phone call to your local politician, or joined the neighborhood watch. Why did you do it and how did you do it?
- What are your favorite ways to serve your community? Why do you do it?
- Talk about a controversial local government decision that impacted you.
- Talk about primary and secondary sources. For example, you could talk about your 1960s-era love letters versus a Wikipedia entry about peace, love, and Woodstock.
- There’s an election coming up (in case you didn’t notice). There’s plenty to talk about with the election process, the voting age, your voting experience, and favorite presidents throughout history.
- Talk about your family’s ancestry. Where do they come from? Maps would be good here.
- Speaking of maps, talk about the best trip you’ve ever taken and why it was so good.
- Talk about the birds or other animals in your yard these days. Further bonus points for giving these creatures narration. (We currently have two stray cats prowling our front yard. We’ve provided each cat a backstory.)
- What are your favorite ways to help the environment?
- Work on predictions, data collection, data analysis. This could be very doable using pictures of that big Maple tree in your front yard as fall progresses.
- Write or videotape a description of your job.
- Submit to an interview. About anything. You could model this first by interviewing your student.
- Describe your educational journey. Was it traditional? Nontraditional?
- Talk about your problem-solving process. When you have a big decision to make, how do you go about making it?
- Create a top 10 list of your favorite movies from childhood. Now is a great time to introduce our children to some “classic” films.