Older Kids Need Hands-On Learning Too!

Hands-On Learning for older kids is hard to come by. But why? Many middle and high schoolers still learn best with multi-sensory activities. Older kids need hands-on learning too!

I first noticed it when my oldest entered the middle school years.

All of sudden, activities designed for multi-sensory learning were increasingly hard to find. The resources on blogs and Pinterest continued to point me to hands-on learning designed for the mid-elementary years. As my children entered into middle and high school, the options became less and less, and I became busier and busier trying to create my own.

I know my children require an element of multi-sensory learning in order to best work with their learning differences and needs. It is simply not an option to just move into more formal, textbook style learning. The only thing we have proven really works for us is a strength based approach with tons of hands-on, experiential learning. 

Unfortunately, this has become harder and harder to find.

chemistry

The Value Of Hands-On Learning for All Ages

Educational research supports the value of experiential, active learning for all ages.

Students who went through active learning saw much higher test scores and improvement rates. Another study found that students who didn’t engage in hands-on learning were 1.5 times more likely to fail a course than students who did. – buildyourfuture.org

The good news is, homeschooling makes it easier for us to incorporate hands-on learning, if and when we find the right tools and support.

hands-on learning

Top Resources For Hands-On Learning With Older Children

Here are a few of my favorite options for hands-on learning in our homeschool:

hands-on learning

Hands-On Homeschooling: A Look At Our Week

Because last week had a ton of hands-on learning, I thought I would highlight the activities as part of sharing my weekly lesson plan recap.

Monday

THE PLAN

  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Government – Midterm Elections
  • Current Events Discussion
  • Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

  • Pumpkin Science For Halloween
  • Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours
hands-on learning

Tuesday

THE PLAN

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Voice class – 1 hour

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

  • Audiobook and Discussion – Banned Books
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Voice class – 1 hour

Wednesday

THE PLAN

  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • CTCMath
  • Banned Books Study
  • Creative Writing – Poetry

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Email Etiquette Practice
  • CTCMath
  • Banned Books Study

Thursday

THE PLAN

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Music Technology – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Music Technology – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours

Friday

THE PLAN

  • Hands-On Chemistry With Friends
  • Rock Climbing
  • Current Events Discussion
  • Audiobook and discussion

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

  • Chemistry with Friends
  • Current Events Discussion
  • Audiobook and discussion
  • Reading Out Loud Practice
  • CTCMath
  • Drivers Ed Practice
  • Rock Climbing

You’ll notice that we accomplished a ton on Friday (far more than usual). I think the hands-on activity helped him feel more confident and engaged. As a result, he was actually excited to keep learning!

high school

Our Nontraditional Homeschool Lesson Plan For This Week

Week 42Lesson Plan
Monday1. YouTube Video or Google Search About A Preferred Topic
2. Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours
3. Current Events Discussion
4. Government – Midterm Elections
Tuesday1. Audiobook and Discussion
2. Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
3. Art class – 1 hour
4. Voice class – 1 hour
Wednesday1. Physical Therapy – 2 hours
2. CTCMath
3. Banned Books Study
4. US History – The Civil War
Thursday1. Audiobook and Discussion in car
2. Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
3. Music Technology – 1 hour
4. Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours
Friday1. Chemistry Experiments with Friends
2. Rock Climbing
3. Audiobook and discussion
Reference Note: Every Monday, my son has subcutaneous immunoglobin infusions. This means we typically keep learning to a minimum for the day.
Reference Note: My son attends classes on both Tuesday and Thursday at a specialized private school. This is for elective classes like art and music, as well as social skills.

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    Additional Resources For Strength-Based And Interest-Led Homeschooling

    Take a look at all of our past lesson plans and recaps.

    Research has shown that a learner who spends the most time studying in areas of strength, tends to perform exponentially better in all academics including the areas of weakness.These resources are a great place to start!

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