You probably guessed it already that we tend to teach in an unconventional way. As I read on a homeschool blog called “The Encouraging Homeschool Mom” the other day by Jamerill Stewart and she called it “homeschool in a box”. Yes we had tried that route and it did not work for us with our youngest son. Now after years of homeschooling, research, chats with other moms and great blogs like the one I will link below…..we found some good tips and tricks that I hope will help you on your Homeschool journey.
I will let you know that we homeschooled our oldest (he is now 27 and excelling in his career, which we contribute a lot of his skills to things he learned in his homeschool days), with some of the more traditional lessons but always adding a bit of a homeschool twist. This worked for him…he needed more structure with how things would be done in a regular school setting. After a few years of this style of teaching….we did find that he needed some more creative outlets for learning his lessons. Now that we are schooling our youngest that has very distinct special needs, we see at least for him, that not only “one on one” teaching is needed… but very creative techniques and a constant change of styles is needed too.
Gavin is 14 and technically in 9th grade. He does fall a bit short on keeping up academically with the other kids and at his grade level. Putting all that aside….we as parents need to make sure he is taught the best he can be and with or without special needs. Each child is different whether they have trouble learning or not. We have been gifted with these children in our lives and they in turn have been gifted to have us as their teachers and mentors!!!! As a family we can minister to each other and we can share learning, teaching, gifts, skills, abilities, life lessons etc…..as we guide these young hearts to grow in the Lord and in their maturity. As parent we need to equip them in every way so when they leave the safe haven of home….they can be ready for what comes their way. Homeschooling does not just know what 1+1 is or how to spell…..yes that is a major part of learning but so is teaching them how to live life is too. Especially if you are a special needs parent then you would really get this point.
Here are just a few tips and tricks that I can share with you today that we have used and have worked well for us.
We take UNO cards in a pile with only the numbers and wild cards. You then pick from the pile…the first 2 cards on top. Next you add these two cards (you can use addition, subtraction, division or even multiplication). If you draw a number and a wild card…your child can pick any number he/she wants to replace the wild card (which can make the math game even more fun). Now of course I said we do everything with a twist. Our son does not like using pen and paper. So we use a whiteboard, chalk board…..writing in sand in a box etc… Today, I had a bunch of leftover cd’s from a VBS project this year that we will not use again. So we took the cd’s and allowed him to write on them for each pair of numbers he picked. He could draw counting sticks, counting dots on the cd to help him do the math problem etc…to a help him add the UNO card 7 + 9 etc….IT WORKED GREAT!!!
Cereal Box Reading
This is one of many ideas. Our son would not read a book. As a matter of fact when we pulled him from public school in 4th grade he would not read at all. I saw him trying to read a fortune cookie one day, at a Chinese restaurant and then it got me thinking….what else would he read? He loves Nerf guns and power rangers….ok then….what could we use to make reading fun and to incorporate the things he loves and likes. So, off we go with this idea now and when he buys a Nerf gun he reads the box, as he gets his favorite cereal he reads the box, you get the picture. He is now reading more and more (including books) and he is surprising us all the time with his reading skills. He also loves to use the “closed caption” on the TV and read the lines as they speak it out loud on the shows he watches. Who would have thought that watching TV can be a great reading lesson!!!
Go Fish Spelling
Spelling is a something that was never fun!!! Ok what could be done…..well again schooling with a twist. I found an old set of playing cards, and put white labels on them with our spelling words. Then use them just like you would for a regular game of “Go Fish”. Do you have a “dog”….no go fish. Then when you get the matching pair….you lay those words down. Of course as the mom/teacher in me we needed to repeat the word, sound it out and spell it out loud before moving to the next word. We then found a set of cards with words and used it the same way.
These are only a few of my tips and tricks I use to teach our son. They are not new to some of you and to some of you just starting out and or needing a new idea… I trust this will increase your creative juices today to come up with some of your own fun ways of teaching some very basis things.
Write below in the comments and tell me what ideas you have. I would love to hear from you and what worked for you and also what did not. These tips….are great for special needs but all in all they are great for anyone who needs a little fun and creativity in their homeschooling.
Follow me on my blog for more fun tips and tricks, other ideas for special needs kids and just some all in all…..wonderful encouragement for moms.
Feel free to email me….I would love to hear from you all. Also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for other tips, tricks, ideas and pictures @resumeofamother
Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother