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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Homeschooling ideas for January 2021!

Homeschooling ideas

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a zoologist. When I was a teenager I wanted to move to Sweet Valley High and be a surfer chick. When I was an adult I wanted to be a journalist. One thing I never, ever wanted to be was a teacher... and yet as we head into 2021 it looks like I am going to have to jump into homeschooling once again. These are some of the tried and tested tricks we used at our dining room classroom first time around...

Horrible Science Really Rotten Experiments

With 14 pretty disgusting and hugely fun experiments to try at home, using stuff you'll likely already have in your cupboards, we've had hours of fun making cockroach soap, creating the contents of a stomach and concocting fake poo, all in the name of science. Horrible Science Really Rotten Experiments (pictured above with our own small scientist) has been a homeschooling lifesaver for sure.

Scratch Art Paper

Homeschooling ideas
We've used this scratch paper for all kinds of projects. Photography: Tracy Tristram

When our eight-year-old got a big pack of this scratchy paper for his locked down birthday, we had no idea how useful it would be for homeschooling projects! We've used it for everything from creating a poster for Earth Day to creating cool scenes for Ancient Greek history lessons.

Geethanjali Kids YouTube videos

Talking of Ancient Greece, we've been looking at Greek mythology for a school project, and came across this really informative and fun series of YouTube vids by Geethanjali Kids. It doesn't just cover Greece either: we're also loving its fairy tales and Indian legends.

The Usborne Write Your Own Story Book

Homeschooling ideas
Unleash that inner author in the kids! Photography: Tracy Tristram

This has been a huge success for the Year 4 dude in da house, and we've had quite a chuckle at some of his more outlandish stories. It's packed with all kinds of story ideas and prompts, and is brilliant for extracting that vivid imagination out of the kiddos.

English with Holly

English teacher Holly King-Mand from Leighton Buzzard, has become an internet sensation thanks to her awesome daily lessons in all things, well, English. Tune in for her spell-a-thons, grammar lessons and funky necklaces, and the kids will be brainstorming everything from metaphors to homophones. Holly, we love you!

Toilet roll craft

Homeschooling ideas
Craft time! Photography: The Best Ideas for Kids

Having whipped up this guide a few weeks ago, we've actually been working our own way through it and having a blast turning old loo rolls into spiders, cars and butterflies! Homeschooling is all about winging it in our house, after all.

Isolation History Lessons by Western Approaches

We've been exploring a World War 2 bunker and finding out about rationing, war strategies and evacuation, all without leaving our dining table classroom! Western Approaches HQ in Liverpool have put together a series of live lessons to take the kids back in time to life during World War 2, and it's fascinating. There are also some great worksheets to go along with the learning which you can print before the lesson: we loved making our own ration books!

Mister Maker Doodle Drawers Bumper Craft Kit

Homeschooling ideas
That time we met and interviewed Mister Maker for real! Photography: Tracy Tristram

We bought this sanity-saving craft kit just before lockdown commenced, and we're so happy we did. It's come in super handy for our crafty experiments and project work. We've also been doing our own 'minute-make time' which has had some hilarious outcomes.

Documentaries for kids

Homeschooling ideas
If this sloth's ventures in trying to find a mate doesn't entertain the kids, nothing will. Photography: BBC

We'll be honest, it wasn't all smiles and easy, breezy homeschooling adventures during the summer: there were plenty of tantrums (the kids AND ours) and moments of sheer "I can't do this anymore!" (also the kids and ours). And in those moments? We whacked on one of these documentaries for kids and grabbed a cup of tea.

Kudos to the real teachers! You lot are awesome (and we can't wait to see you again!).

If you enjoyed this read, here are some more you might like:

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures over on Instagram and Facebook!

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