Imagine what life would be like for our children if instead of asking them to regurgitate an answer on a piece of paper, they explored concepts with their hands and brains engaged to discover solutions and press further into learning. That’s what using educational 30-day challenges is all about. It’s training our kids to be critical thinkers, not box checkers. Explorers, inventors, and problem solvers, not just consumers.
Don’t forget to check out these wacky and fun holidays that you can use to teach your kids.
A lot of people talk about unschooling and have a misconception that it involved rabid children not learning. In fact, it’s a term that I don’t love using because it is associated with so many negative connotations; however, the real way we love to learn at home is by exploring our children’s interests and/or challenging them to dig a little deeper in a certain area. Instead of time-consuming worksheets or boring lectures, we aim to engage the brain in a new way in order to inspire our children to think critically and outside of the box.
One of the best things about these challenges is that they can be used for children of any age from 5-18! Maybe even a little younger with help.
I have also worked with several other colleagues to put together a massive indoor activity bundle. It ends March 24.
30-day challenges: How to learn a little bit every day
These can be used in your homeschool, libraries, or traditional classrooms!
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Use LEGO, k’nex, Magnatiles, or anything you have… even cardboard boxes to make these designs. They can be small scale or even real life sizes. Do what you can with what you have! They can be real or theoretical. Let your learner decide.
Plan, Sketch, Invent, Create, and Design
What can you do with a piece of paper?
A book a day
Instead of writing out thirty books your child can read, choose a series they love or choose some topics for them to read about! if they are older, then make it a chapter or two chapters every day.
Games to play with Cards, dice, dominoes or household goods.
These are all games you can play without having to go out and buy any new board games or anything. Just round up all of your dice, dominoes, paper, pencils, and cards.
Draw and paint every day
Pick an over-arching subject like “Australia” and then identify thirty plants, animals and attractions in the area to draw. To make it even more educational, have them write a sentence or paragraph about what they’re drawing.
There are lots of YouTube videos on how to draw.
We do this as spelling practice, writing practice and art all in one.
Especially in times of crisis or transition, it’s a great idea to let our children write out their thoughts and feelings. Even if the prompt is the same every day and as simple as “how do you feel today” or “what was interesting?” it helps get your child thinking and writing. We like to ask our children every day what the best part of the day was and the worst part.
Nature and outdoor
Spend time outdoors every single day. Make it more educational by introducing gardening, entomology, botany, or other sciences.
If you have local outdoor locations, make it a challenge to visit as many that you haven’t been to as possible!
Let this be child led.
Start on day one by asking them to brainstorm with you thirty topics they want to learn more about. The best part about doing this is that as they learn more, they will either continue to be be interested in digging deeper or decide to focus on something else.
Pick a recipe book, the older the better, and pick out thirty recipes you’ve never made before! This practices following instructions, math, chemistry, and more.
Learn something new
Simply have your child choose ONE thing to learn. And spend an hour or two on it every single day. Things like Crocheting or sewing would have the ability to add new skills each day, but it could be anything. Have them document their progress with pictures or journaling so they can see how quickly they can learn and master something.
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living on a farm in New England. She believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience and has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development. She is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!