Since committing to sharing a weekly activity back in January, I have been amazed at the results.
My son loves having a “thing” to plan and look forward to each week.
I love having him engaged and having something that is hopefully helpful to share with all of you.
In fact, one of the best parts about completing these activities every week hasn’t been the hands-on learning itself. It has been it’s impact on our overall sense of routine and focus. Because our schedules and routines can often be a bit chaotic, this weekly commitment helps frame our learning with something fun and engaging – every single week.
That said, many of you have asked how to really be able to incorporate this type of hands-on learning into your weekly plan, without the overwhelm that so typically seems to accompany it.
Today, in addition to sharing our Friday Fun-Day Activity below, I wanted to share a bit about how I approach this type of learning, even in a season that doesn’t seem to allow for any “extras.”
Adding Hands-On Learning To Your Week Without Losing Your Mind
Let Someone Else Do The Work
My number one suggestion for the mom with a desire to add more hands-on activities to her family’s week is to let someone else do all the work. Seriously. There are some amazing sites and super creative moms who do this kind of stuff all the time. They have wonderful ideas and are happy to share all the details.
As I said above, one of the best parts for me about doing this every week, is feeling like I might be helping another mom complete an activity with her little one, without having to do the leg work. Although I am committed to sharing every week, here are some other moms that will give you an activity for every day of the year if you are so inclined.
Swap The Hands-On Activity For Another Lesson
I firmly believe that the best way to feel some success in adding hands-on learning, is to not add it all. Rather than it feeling like another thing to do and an “extra,” I have found the easiest way to pull this off every single week is to use it as a substitution for another lesson. If it’s a history activity, then we read one less history chapter. If it’s science, we don’t do science on the day of the activity and so on and so forth.
Utilize Amazon When Needed
Oh my goodness, yes. Although I love a good trip to Michaels, I find a spend a ton more time and money than I was planning – every single time I go. For me, one of the best ways to stay on track with the commitment to actually pull this off every week has been using my BFF – Amazon Prime (affiliate link). I go on and order the glue, construction paper, mason jars, etc. They arrive two days later and we are ready to go.
Incidentally, I am finding that almost 4 months in, I am ordering less and less because I already have leftovers to use from previous activities. In the long run, I am saving so much more money than a trip to the craft store!
Go Outside Or In The Garage Or The Barn Or Basement
For the love, don’t be a hero. Trust me – the best place to complete a hands-on activity is always, always, always NOT your kitchen table or couch. You do not want to add a massive clean-up effort to your already crazy week and lose all the good feels you gain from doing this type of learning with your kids. Outside and/or in an area not easily seen nor really cared about by anyone is the BEST place to complete any of these activities.
The only exception is cooking. You kinda have to do that in the kitchen. So if you choose to do a cooking experiment, plan for the time to deep clean (pressure wash?) your kitchen after. (You will notice that I have not done any cooking activities to date on the blog.)
These are my best tips and tricks for incorporating hands-on learning into your week, without wanting to scream and claw your face!
Now, onto our Friday Fun-Day Activity for this week!
Friday Fun-days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities
After completing our final study in our human body unit, my son still had tons of interest and tons of questions.
My son was shocked to learn that the body’s largest organ is our skin! After completely our activity a few weeks ago learning basic facts about our skin, I decided it was time for a little extra, hands-on fun.
What better way to celebrate the uniqueness of our skin than to learn more about our unique fingerprints and palm prints?
Hands-on Detective Work: An Investigative Study Of Our Skin
Enjoy and Happy Friday!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.