My Homeschool Hacks



Hello, TulsaKids! I’m back with a few homeschooling tricks of the trade to share. Everybody has their own way of approaching homeschooling and that is one of the best things about it. You can customize your experience to what works best not only for the kids, but also the teacher!  Here are a few “hacks” I’ve found helpful on my homeschooling journey. 

When I started homeschooling I was so worried about the kids missing out on certain things and went a little crazy researching different activities they could be involved in as homeschoolers. Turns out, there are more than enough ways in this town to keep your homeschooler engaged in activities that teach things that aren’t necessarily a part of your home curriculum. A little insider advice, I have found that many places such as dance schools or whatever it is your child is into, are often willing to open their doors a few hours early to accommodate a homeschool group. So if the class you are interested in doesn’t have something that works for you, just ask! They might appreciate a new group of customers they hadn’t realized were there.

Penny and River enjoying the Gilcrease homeschool art class at the Zarrow Center downtown.

 

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a museum junkie and I love using our days out visiting somewhere interesting as part of our schooling. One thing I’ve found to really enrich these days is looking ahead to see if the museum offers lesson plans on their website. Many of them do, but they are often directed at school groups and tend to be in the less obvious sections of the websites you would only visit if you were trying to coordinate a school field trip. So look around and see if you can find them. Or you and always call or e-mail to see if they have curriculum not available on the web. I’m a big believer in the benefits of preparing kids ahead of time for all kinds of different situations and museums are a good example. It’s amazing how taking the time to dig into what you are going to be learning about before you arrive helps children to engage in a much better way once you are there. It can take the visit from a random walk-through to a personal experience. The lesson plans are a great way to get kids in gear before you head out the door. We recently visited Woolaroc, which offers great lesson plans on The American Bison and the Cowboy to enhance your visit. 

Here’s my last little hack, any time you can, take it outside!  Pretty early on I realized I could squeeze at least another half hour out of my little learners by letting them recite to me while they were on the swing set. Also in homeschool land, where it’s really easy to spend more than you wish you had on curriculum, using Mother Nature when possible is really cost effective. I have realized that there are quite a few concepts that can be covered with a simple nature journal. If you are familiar with the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, you know that nature study is an important component and I feel like I am always finding new things to cover using this concept. Of course, outside also has the added benefit of being good for mom, too! Sometimes just exiting the building where my kitchen and laundry are housed is just the boost I need to keep going. You can catch a little vitamin-D and maybe even burn a few calories too. Nature is a win-win! 

Natalie Hanson 

Natalie Hanson became a Tulsan fourteen years ago when she moved here from Georgia to marry her husband, Taylor. Together they have five children with whom Natalie loves exploring Tulsa. She writes about her adventures on her blog natonthewall.com. Natalie is a home educator, history lover, and name enthusiast. Her blogs have been featured on sites such as Nameberry and People.com.

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