Inside: Free 70 Creative Ideas for Homeschooling when the Kids would rather JUMP on the sofa
Now, when I say “Indians” I mean my three youngest sons, not the wonderful Native American people of this country.
The boys were bouncing off the walls.
I tried to get them to sit and listen to the story of Native Americans from a book they affectionately called the Boring Book, but they would much rather pounce on each other like cats with those red “pointing lasers”.
Desperate to get their attention, I said…
“Let’s make ketchup cookies!”.
They were all in the kitchen before I finished the word “cookie” we began the great ketchup cookie experiment.
Related: Food really helps focus a child’s brain and prepares them for learning. But make the food weird? Now you have their full attention!
An hour later, we jumped in the car armed with warm cookies and the native American book.
School wasn’t happening at home, so we took our class on the road.
A short 10 minutes drive, I parked the car.
“I know where there’ a great big boulder to sit and eat our cookies.”
The boys picked up acorns along the short walk. Yes, they were throwing them at trees, rocks and each other, but I had a secret plan.
I stopped short and gasped, “What’s that?”
We are loving learning about our Native Americans!
We are exploring all of the various regions of our North American Continent and learning about the brilliant and amazingly resourceful people who inhabited that land long before we were here.
We are going through a fabulous book called
Make it Work! Native Americans: The hands-on approach to history
I’m not a naturally crafty and fun mom, so I rely on Pinterest and great books.
The kids and I “hiked” about 50 feet on a small dirt trail.
Just as the trail takes it’s first sharp turn we “stumbled” upon a very special rock…
“That stone above is a grinding stone used by our very own Native American Tribe the Kawaiisu People.”
Without being prompted, the boys set to work grinding acorns into flour.
Warning: Acorn flour is toxic and must be treated before consuming.
I then opened the “boring book” and sat on a rock and read a story that the local people used to tell to explain how “California came to be”.
Then, we enjoyed our Math Lesson (The Great Ketchup Cookie Experiment).
We all want to be that fun, creative, amazing homeschool mom.
Sometimes we’re just too darned exhausted and overwhelmed to come up with more than
- Sit down
- Be quiet
- Do this assignment neatly.
That’s where a community comes in.
I had learned about Native American grinding stones from a homeschool mentor of mine, and fully intended to organize a field trip to go see them…
But that didn’t happen.
Instead, On a whim and in a moment of desperation, I had the boys bake cookies and we hopped in the car.
I knew we’d implode if we tried to finish our day in a typical school-like way.
I didn’t tell them where we were going or what we were doing.
All they knew was the had warm cookies and I grabbed the “boring book”.
When we arrived, they excitedly explored.
We talked, they guessed, and we marveled at the work of the people who once lived within 10 minutes of our home.
When I pulled out the “boring book” they enjoyed cookies, ground acorns, and listened with eagerness.
It was a homeschool grand slam.
To make homeschooling memorable
- Be a collector of ideas and locations of interest within a few minutes of your home.
- Collect materials and keep a stash of fun art supplies
- Think, “how can I have the kids see, hear, touch, smell and taste this topic?
- Experience first, then teach. This is golden homeschooling advice. I am forever thankful for to the teacher who taught me that skill…
Related Reading: Experience First: Flight
Looking for a community of homeschool moms to glean ideas?