Updated: Sep 9
When we decided to home school I knew I wanted to make lots of memories, and have lots of unique opportunities to learn. After all, what is the point of homeschooling, if you just plan to stay locked up inside all day. You might as well just be in a classroom. We came up with the idea of Fun Friday while we were still distance learning.
I had read a lot about people using four day school weeks in order to do co-ops or because parents schedules. We thought why not do that and have Friday be our day to do something fun. Thus Fun Friday was born. What is Fun Friday you may ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. A day where learning is still happening but fun reins supreme!
Here are a few ideas to make your Fridays fun too.
1. Weekly Field Trips
You would be amazed how many places there are to go in your town or just a short drive away. All with a multitude of learning opportunities or things you can tie into your lessons for the week. We love going to the zoo, museums, nature trails, theaters and the space station. There are still dozens and dozens of places we haven't yet explored. Often these places have home school rates or a membership that can make these outings more affordable.
It is amazing going during the day while there aren't as many kids so your children really get to explore and see those animals in areas that are always over crowded or play with that exhibit that always has long lines.
Homeschooling allows the world to be our classroom so why not go out in it and get hands on. Field trips are amazing opportunities to make lasting memories and make learning fun.
2. Bounce House P.E. day
Those weeks where its been raining or maybe it has just been a harder academic week get the kids out to burn off steam at the local bounce house venue. These places often offer home school hours or monthly memberships that make this a really great and affordable option. We love going to our local bounce houses and I even join in on the fun.
Don't be afraid to let your hair down and just be a kid again. It is a great chance to bond with your kids and get in some really good exercise while your at it. I love jumping with my kids and showing them mama's still got it and even showing them a few tricks. Put the phone away and live in the moment. Yes, pictures are nice but you'll be creating a memory they will never forget.
3. Games, Games & More Games
Did you know that play based learning causes synapses to form 40 times faster when learning a new skill?One of the most important things I learned, was play based learning is vastly important for kids of all ages. We all know that for Preschool and Kindergarten play based learning is essential. What new research has shown us is that it is just as critical for older kids as well. Games and puzzles serve a great purpose for kids and are marvelous tools if you are brave enough to let them.
I mean when something is fun you are more likely to want to do it right? When a child is willing and receptive to learning they will learn faster. This is why games are a big part of our home school curriculum.
Why do a worksheet on money when you can play a game like Buy It Right, where you learn how to count money and make change. Why stare at worksheets of a map of the USA, when you can do a floor puzzle and be hands on touching all the states subconsciously learning the states by their unique shapes.
So often because of time constraints or nerves Science is glossed over or regulated to tiny windows of time to make more room for the "more important" subjects. Science doesn't have to be scary and you can pick the projects with a mess level you are comfortable with, just please don't skip it. You will miss out on that look of wonder and awe that goes along with a really cool Science experiment.
Science is my sons best subject so we do it everyday along with plenty of Science projects throughout the week, we save the big stuff for Friday when we have more time to explore as long as he likes. We also like to add extra enrichment projects and building sets like Fischer Profi Hydraulic. We love to do projects that involve critical thinking as well, such as the egg drop challenge, bridge building and tin foil boats. It has caused great competition between my two kids and drives them to work harder and think outside the box to come out victorious.
In a world where Science and Technology are ruling the day the ability to expose them to all these extra materials is invaluable.
5. Movie / Book Compare And Contrast.
We love to read together especially books that have gone on to become movies. On the Friday after finishing our current book we will get the movie to watch. We all take mental notes during the movie and once it's over we discuss it over lunch. By making it something fun that they enjoy they don't even realize they are learning skills to compare and contrast different ideas and viewpoints. They are learning to analyze and retain information both written and visually. They think we are just goofing off watching a movie, but that often times is when the real learning happens.
There are countless activities you can choose to have real world learning and still have fun. Homeschooling gives us this option. One that we not only get to really educate our kids, but we get to learn along side them and have fun while doing it. Even if you are not a homeschooling family you could plan these types of activities on the weekend as family fun times together.
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