Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't let schoolwork be a drag...Make it fun!!

Christmas break is over and school is back in session. Which for me means back to work. I am a homeschool mom and as rewarding as it is, it can also be challenging. Now, the curriculum we use is a self taught, workbook format. It works very well for us because it allows McKenzie to work through each subject at her own pace. However, she craves interaction and hands on activity so sitting at the table all day doesn't exactly do it for her. That's where mom comes in and saves the day! It's her responsibility to complete her assigned pages each day. It's my responsibility to make it fun and to keep her love of learning alive. 

How do I do it? Games, of course!

I know the majority of you are saying I don't homeschool so how does this apply to me? Homework! Before I started homeschooling McKenzie went to school so, I know the amount of homework that gets sent home. In Kindergarten my daughter would bring home 5 worksheets front and back in one night! Not to mention weekly book reports, in Kindergarten! After being at school all day and then having to come home and do more schoolwork, they get burnt out. Use these games to make it fun and not so much like a chore.

I came up with these based on what McKenzie was learning each day in her schoolwork. So, they may be above or below your child's grade level. If that's the case, you can tweak them to make them more suitable for you. Just use this as a base and build from it {or simplify if need be}. McKenzie loves them! It gets her excited to do her other schoolwork because she has incentive and something to look forward to.


Right now McKenzie is learning addition and subtraction and the different forms that the operations can be shown. Like adding and subtracting single digits, double digits or single digits from double digits, etc. One way to make it more interactive is using number fridge magnets to display the equations {I got mine in the dollar section at Walmart, I suggest getting more than one pack so you have multiples of each number}. They can use the problems directly from their book or worksheet, but it gets them up from the table and doing something. 

Another one we use are snacks. This is McKenzie's personal favorite {I wonder why?!}. In the picture we were using candy but I would make that more of a special occasion thing. Use other choices like, teddy bear graham crackers, goldfish or grapes during the week and use candy on fridays.

{This is just what I had on hand, but other candies work great too.
Our favorites are smarties, m&m's or skittles.}


In these particular pictures McKenzie was learning how to alphabetize. I set this up like stations around the living room. 

At the first station I jumbled various toys into rows. Each row is its own separate puzzle so here there would be 4 problems to solve. The object is to figure out the first letter of each item and put them in alphabetical order accordingly.

At the second station, I wrote words on index cards and put them in alphabetical order. Then I moved one word out of order. The object is to find the misplaced word and move it to its proper spot. Each vertical row is a separate puzzle so here there are 3.

At the third and final station, I jumbled the letters from a wooden puzzle into 4 separate problems. The object, again, is to put the letters in alphabetical order.

Word Building/Spelling

For studying spelling words, I wrote out letters on clothes pins {be sure to check spelling words for those with more than one of each letter in a word, like two e's or double l's and make 2 pins for those letters}. On an index card, I made lines for each letter. If you have multiple lengths of words, make an index card for each different length. That will add an extra step that they will have to solve in figuring out the amount of spaces they will need for the word you call out. Call out each word and see their little gears spin as they look for the right pins and spell out the words.

How did these games work for your child?
How did you have to tweak them to suit your child's grade level?
What techniques do you use to make learning fun?
I love to hear what you have to say so feel free to share in the comments!


  1. Can you guys hurry and move to Texas so we can homeschool the boys together? I mean seriously!