Monday, 2 March 2015

Real Life Learning: Teach Your Kids While Getting Stuff Done

It can be hard to find balance when you're a homeschooler.  You have to teach your children.  You've also got meals to cook and a house to care for along with whichever other tasks you have to complete.  It can often feel like more than a few full time jobs!  Luckily for us homeschoolers, you can combine those things that you need to get done with your kids' education.

Giving kids real life situations in which they can learn is not only more interesting but also more effective.  Real life gives us a ton of teaching opportunities if you stop to think about it.  And if you can get your house cleaned and errands completed all while teaching your kids math and geography?  Well, I am going to call that a win!

Here are some of my favourite "to do" list items that we regularly use to teach:

Grocery Shopping
Yes, I am the crazy lady who brings all of her kids to the grocery store (it's actually getting to the point where I need a second cart.  One for food, one for my little people).  My kids love coming with me and I love seeing those math skills in action.  

The grocery store is ripe with opportunities to practice math!  If 1 pound of beef costs $4, how much will 5 pounds cost?  How many apples do we need if all six of us will eat 3 apples this week?  My preschoolers love to help me count the pears as we drop them in the bag.  And let's not forget the financial aspect.  Another great opportunity for math practice AND you can teach your kids about budgeting and financial responsibility!  

If you want to take it a step further, check out these awesome printables that you can take with you:

Cooking and Baking (and, obviously, eating!)


Most kids love to help in the kitchen.  Even if they don't love the cooking part, I'm betting they love the eating!  
Cooking and baking are another great opportunity to teach math.  Measuring ingredients, doubling recipes,  figuring out how to evenly divide up portions among the family.  And of course, the classic learning fractions by cutting up a pie!
Baking is also a great science lesson.  You and your kids can learn about how different ingredients react with others, like how baking soda vs. baking powder affect your cookies.  
This post shares some great ideas for how to teach math and reading through baking.
Building Language in the Kitchen if you're looking for some inspiration!


I am not a very good gardener but I try!  Two years ago we successfully grew 23 2 inch long carrots!  Even though our garden wasn't super successful my kids learned a ton in all that time we spent out there.  They developed a fascination with worms and wanted to know everything about them.  We learned about weather patterns as we eagerly waited for rain and why the sun doesn't stay in the same place in the sky.  They learned about the life cycle of a plant and how to make healthy soil.  There's a ton more but this paragraph is getting long...
Honestly, of all the things that we can do with our kids, I think that gardening is one of the best.  Nature is one of the best teachers!
Here are some great resources for gardening with kids:
Your everyday life is full of teaching opportunities if you're willing to let your kids to work a long side of you.  There are so many things that they can learn and skills that they can develop and they'll enjoy spending quality time with you and contributing to the running of their home.  

What to do list items do you use to teach your kids?

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