Daily Homeschool Schedule

10 Ways to Add More Fun to Your Daily Homeschool Schedule [Infographic]

Daily Homeschool Schedule

From getting to spend more time with the kids, to hitting the snooze button as the school bus rolls by, the joys of homeschooling are many. But aside from all the perks of homeschooling your children, stay-at-home parents know it’s not always rainbows and butterflies!

There are quite a few challenges that come along with homeschooling. Parents have many different roles aside from just teaching, and one of those tasks is administration. It takes a lot of organization and creativity to plan an effective and engaging curriculum for your student(s).

This school year, try adding a few new activities into your week to make learning more fun and interactive. Incorporating any of these 10 ideas into your daily homeschool schedule will not only add variety to your routine, but many of them will also give you a much-needed break!

Daily Homeschool Schedule

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10 Ways to Add More Fun to Your Daily Homeschool Schedule

1. Invite a Music Teacher Over

Once or twice a week, schedule music lessons in your home so your child can pick up a new, beneficial skill. Music lessons can range from 30-60 minutes and many local teachers have their own studio, if you’d prefer to take a trip outside the house.

Learning an instrument isn’t all fun and games. The right instructor will teach your child discipline and perseverance. There are also numerous physical and mental benefits of learning an instrument, such as improved math and reading skills!

2. Have a Pre-Lunchtime Cooking Class

Home economics, or household management, is an often overlooked but necessary subject for any growing child. And what better place to teach valuable culinary skills than in the safety of your own home?

Take the 30-minute time block before lunchtime and use it to teach your child basic cooking techniques. Depending on your student’s age, you can show him or her how to properly peel vegetables, slice different kinds of fruit, read a recipe, or measure out ingredients. Who knows – maybe your child will become the next family chef!

3. Learn About Art at a Kids Museum

Add a museum visit to your daily homeschool schedule

If your child is a visual learner, this fun activity will be the highlight of their week! Get your student’s creative juices flowing by taking him or her to a kids museum. Most children’s museums offer free or discounted admission on certain days of the week.

Museums present the perfect opportunity for a hands-on art lesson. Make sure to browse the museum’s website ahead of time and discuss the exhibits with your child. After the trip, help your student recreate one of their favorite works of art!

4. Picnic at the Park

It can be easy to stay indoors all day when you homeschool, but never neglect the importance of getting some fresh air every now and then! Break up the day and take a trip to the park for lunch. Let the kids roam or play on the playground for a little while. They’ll get some PE time in, and you’ll leave feeling refreshed.

SEE ALSO: 14 Hilarious Signs Your Family is Ready to Go Back to School

5. Read at a Local Library

There’s something about visiting a library that makes reading more exciting as a kid. Take your child to the local library and let him or her choose from a seemingly limitless number of books in a variety of different genres and themes – it’s language arts paradise!

Having a library card is also an excellent way for your child to learn about being responsible and considerate to others. Pro tip: most libraries offer weekly storytelling programs or puppet shows where the pages really come to life!

6. Mix up your Math Media

Math can be a challenging subject for many children, but here’s an effective solution: try using a variety of media to boost your child’s progress while making learning fun at the same time. Use math games, YouTube videos, and catchy songs as teaching tools. You’ll be surprised how much mixing up your media can help your child more easily master tricky math concepts.

7. Take a Field Trip to the Zoo

Trips to the zoo are a blast for children of any age (parents included)! There are many learning opportunities at the zoo as well. Your child will have the opportunity to explore different habitats, learn about the environment, and pick up some new vocabulary. Many zoos also offer educational programs and discounts for kids.

SEE ALSO: 5 Must-Have Back to School Apps

8. Sign up for Online Language Classes

There are countless benefits of learning another language for young minds. Aside from learning to respect and appreciate other cultures, studying a foreign language has been found to increase attention spans, improve the memory, and boost problem-solving skills.

Other research shows that bilingual students score higher on standardized tests in the areas of reading, social studies, and math. Try the online language classes at TakeLessons Live. They’re free for your first month, and you get to choose from a variety of experienced instructors. It’s easy to find a class at any time of the day that works best for your child!

9. Do a Nature Walk in the Great OutdoorsAdd a nature walk to your daily homeschool schedule

Looking for a new science activity to engage the senses? Try doing a nature walk with your child in your community. Prepare a scavenger hunt, go bird watching, or see how many different types of plants your child can spot. For a list of great places to take a nature walk near you, check out TrailLink or NatureFind. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

10. Check out Indoor PE Videos

“PE videos” might sound a little contradictory, but in cold and rainy seasons, YouTube can be your new best friend! There are dozens of kid-friendly YouTube channels designed with the sole purpose of facilitating indoor PE sessions.

Just because you can’t leave the home doesn’t mean your child can’t get some much-needed exercise in. For starters, check out the GoNoodle channel to get your child dancing, stretching, and jumping.

Add any of these activities into your daily homeschool schedule and you’ll set your student up for a successful and fun school year! Looking for a way to organize all the details of your routine in one convenient place? Check out The Frugal Homeschooling Mom for free resources like customizable spreadsheets that will keep everyone on track!

Do you have any other ideas about how to add variety to a daily or weekly homeschool schedule? Share your suggestions by leaving a comment below!


Japanese vocabulary

Back-to-School Vocabulary: 10 School Supplies in Japanese

Japanese vocabulary

Ready to go back to school? As you and your family prepare for the upcoming school year, continue your Japanese lessons and learn back-to-school vocabulary with language teacher Carol Beth L... 

As the school year starts, it’s time brush up on your vocabulary to talk about school supplies! Here are some Japanese vocabulary words that may prove useful as you head back to class.

1) Empitsu – Pencil

Hiragana: えんぴつ Kanji: 鉛筆

Because you’ll definitely need a pencil when you go back to school!

Use empitsu the same way you would use other nouns, especially tools.

  • Kanji: 鉛筆と 宿題を 書きました
  • Hiragana: えんぴつと しゅくだいを かきました
  • Romaji: Empitsu to shukudai o kakimashita
  • English: I wrote my homework with a pencil

2) Pen – Pen

Katakana: ペン

Although the word for pencil is a native Japanese word, the common word for “pen” is borrowed from English, and is therefore written using katakana.

You can use it similarly to the way you use pencil:

  • Kanji: ペンと 名前を 書いて下ださい
  • Hiragana / Katakana: ペンと なまえを かいてください
  • Romaji: Pen to namae o kaite kudasai
  • English: Please write your name with a pen

3) Kami – Paper

Hiragana: かみ Kanji: 紙

Paper-making has been in Japan for hundreds of years. It was brought over from the Asian mainland, and has traditionally been used by students, even before pens and pencils were used for writing.

You might use this Japanese vocabulary word as follows:

  • Kanji: 紙 と 鉛筆を 出して ノートを 取って下ださい
  • Katakana: かみと えんぴつを だして ノート を とってください
  • Romaji: Kami to empitsu o (take out), no-to o totte-kudasai
  • English: Please take out a piece of paper and take notes.

4) Hon – Book

Hiragana: ほん kanji: 本

The kanji for this word is, interestingly enough, also used in the Japanese word for Japan: 日本 (Nihon). In the context of school, however, it just means a book.

For example:

  • Kanji: 日本語の 本を 取りました
  • Katakana: にほんごの ほんを とりました。
  • Romaji: Nihongo no hon o torimashita
  • English: I took a Japanese book
  • Kanji: この本を 読みます
  • Katakana: このほんを よみます
  • Romaji: Kono hon o yomimasu
  • English: I’m reading this book

5) Tsukue – Desk

Hiragana: つくえ Kanji: 机

  • Kanji: 貴方の 机を 友達の 隣に あります
  • Katakana: あなたの つくえを ともだちの となりに あります
  • Romaji: Anata no tsukue wa tomodachi no tonari ni arimasu
  • English: Your desk is next to your friend

6) Teeburu – Table

Katakana: テーブル

Unlike desk, for which the native Japanese is usually used, the English word, written in katakana and pronounced with Japanese phonetics, is commonly adopted for table.

For example:

Kanji: 英語のクラスで 机が ありません。テーブルが あります
Hiragana / Katakana: えいごのクラスで つくえが ありません。 テーブルが あります
Romaji: Eigo no kurasu de tsukue ga arimasen. Teeburu ga arimasu.
English: In English class, there are no desks. There are tables.

7) Keshigomu – Eraser

Hiragana / Katakana: けしゴム  Kanji: 消しゴム

The written form of this Japanese vocabulary word is interesting because it contains both hiragana and katakana for the kana only form, and kanji and katakana for the kanji form.

Since hiragana and kanji are used for native words and katakana is used for foreign words, we can conclude that this word contains elements of both origins.

Here’s an example of how it might be used:

Kanji: 良く書きませんでした!消しゴムを 使います
Hiragana: よくかきませんでした!けしゴムを つかいます
Romaji: Yoku kakimasen deshita! Keshigomu o tsukaimasu
English: I didn’t write well! I’m using an eraser

8. Fukuro – Bag / Sack

Hiragana: ふくろ; Kanji:

This word means “bag” or “sack.” So if you’re looking for a native Japanese word to describe what you use to carry books, this is one option.

Don’t jump to any conclusions about the most appropriate word, however, until you read number nine.

9. Randoseru – Backpack

Katakana: ランドセル

This word came from Dutch, and is commonly used to describe the sturdy little backpacks that have been used by Japanese school children since about the 19th century.
Backpacks in other parts of the world are similar, and you could probably use this word for your own backpack, also.
Some people specifically use it to describe the particular style of Japanese backpack.
Kanji: クラスのまえに ランドセルを 買います
Hiragana/Katakana: クラスのまいに ランドセルを かいます
Romaji: Kurasu no mae ni randoseru o kaimasu
English: I will buy a backpack before classes

10. Shukudai – Homework

Hiragana: しゅくだい Kanji: 宿題

As the school year starts, you may receive some assignments!
  • Kanji: 今年は 宿題をしてください
  • Hiragana: きょねんは しゅくだいを してく下ださい
  • Romaji: Kyonen shukudai o shite kudasai
  • English: This year, please do your homework!

Japanese Vocabulary

Good luck as you head back to class. Make use of your new Japanese vocabulary, practice regularly, and がんばります (do your best)!

Carol BethPost Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches French lessons in San Francisco, CA. She also studied Japanese in high school and college.  She has her Masters in French language education from the Sorbonne University in Paris and has been teaching since 2009. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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Should You Rent or Buy Your Child’s Band Instrument?

flute Do you have all of your back-to-school shopping done? Sometimes that list can seem never-ending – books, pencils, highlighters, new uniforms, etc. – and the stress can get to the best of us, especially if you’re on a budget.

If you know your child will be starting a music program this year, or if you are thinking about signing up for private music lessons outside of school, a decision you’ll inevitably have to make is whether to buy or rent your instrument. So how do you make this decision? The right answer will depend on a few different factors.

A common path for new musicians (and children, in particular) is to rent the instrument for the first couple of months or even the first year, in order to get comfortable with playing it. Once the student is committed or gets to a more advanced level, then you might start shopping around to purchase. High school is a good time to upgrade to a new model, especially if your child is getting more serious about music.

The amount you pay, of course, will depend on the model, condition and type of instrument, so you’ll want to shop around and find one that suits your budget but is also still quality. If the decision is between renting a higher-end instrument, or buying a cheaper model, it may be better to begin with renting. A good instrument can save your child from a lot of frustration, as well as help you avoid repair costs on an older or used model. Many rental contracts will cover you for things like routine repairs and maintenance. Some may also allow you to switch your rental to another instrument with no penalty, in case your child wants to learn something different.

Of course, there are also advantages to buying your instrument, whether new or used. First, you’ll avoid costly monthly fees, which will save you money in the long-run. Second, owning an instrument can also be a source of pride for students, and drive home the fact that playing an instrument is a commitment. If you’re purchasing a used model, consider having your band director or music teacher take a look at the condition, to point out any potential defects or issues.

Take some time to think about your lifestyle, commitment level and budget as you decide which option is right for your family. Whether you end up buying or renting, make sure your child also knows the importance and basics of instrument maintenance, and you’ll set them on the path to musical success!

, TakeLessons staff member and blogger

Haven’t booked your lessons yet? We’re offering one free lesson to new students who book in the next week – call us at (800) 252-1508 to find out more!

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Soccer, Homework and Music Lessons, Oh My! Staying Organized for Back to School

scheduleFor parents and kids alike, the back to school season can be a stressful time. It’s a time for new responsibilities, new routines and new activities – and sometimes simply getting back into the swing of things takes some preparation! If music lessons are part of the mix this year, consider making family life a lot easier with a few preemptive actions:

– Lock down your schedule.
Most kids respond well to consistent schedules, so use a calendar to ensure everyone knows what activities are expected each day. This includes both lessons and practice times! Also, consider including a rewards system as part of the schedule; for example, when your son’s Tuesday piano lesson is over, encourage him to add a star to the calendar. If he practices for 30 minutes after the lesson, add another star. He’ll be able to see his progress and make the connection to consistent practicing and hard work.

– Set expectations for practicing.
Sometimes, a busy schedule may mean choosing between bass guitar or baseball. If you leave this decision up to your child, make sure he or she knows the expectations that will be set.  For example, do you expect him to continue his lessons through the end of the school year? Will he need to set aside practice time on Saturday morning before playing outside? Be firm with your expectations, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

– Stay organized.
Don’t get caught at your teacher’s studio without all of the essentials! Everything your child needs for her music lessons (pencils, sheet music, practice journal, and of course, her instrument) should stay organized in one area. If your child is especially forgetful, consider creating a checklist and posting it on the door.

– Befriend your child’s music teacher.
Starting music lessons for the first time – especially with a new, unfamiliar teacher – can be a scary experience for some children. Most teachers encourage parents to sit in on at least the first few lessons, which will help ease the anxiety, and also allows you to get a feel for their teaching style. Communication is key, for everyone involved!  Your instructor may have the music expertise, but ultimately you know your child best. If you’re worried that your daughter is losing interest because of the repertoire involved, for example, talk to her teacher about adjusting the material.

– Don’t forget the practice journal.
A practice journal can be an incredibly valuable tool, when both student and teacher are using it effectively. Sit down with your child and review the journal each week; encourage her to share what she thinks she did well, what she should work on, and what the next step is. It may not be clear at first to her, but as she progresses and gets older, she’ll be comfortable with the process of setting and reaching goals.