How do you keep your little one’s attention during homeschool? We use a combination of modules and several curricula for our kids’ schooling. We did tons of research before we made our decision to homeschool our 9th grader and 1st grader. It took us just about the entire 2020 to make tables of pros and cons.
We did comparisons between traditional school, online school and several homeschool curricula. After all that hard work, we talked to our kids to ask for their opinion. Our 9th grader provided us more light about why we needed to homeschool.
Our first grader has been homeschooled since she was two years old. She also went to an early childhood program for few weeks. She did not like it. She wanted to stay home and continue what we have been doing. Yes, we started teaching her early but we did not force her. She lead us.
We used our observations of her during play time to guide us in teaching her. We realized that she was interested in language arts even before her 2nd birthday. Since then, we focused on what sparked her interest most. Now that she is five years old, she is into science. When she gets tired completing her workbooks in her other classes, she will ask for a break.
When given her break time, she would request for a quick science experiment. It is a good way to keep her attention and focus in our homeschool activities. A quick science break always give her more energy to finish all of her daily homeschool tasks.
Science lessons does not have to be extremely serious. It does not have to be boring. Kids love to play. Let them play and learn. Example, for this science class, we made sure our girl uses all of her senses. The topic was about animal homes and habitats. We incorporated sensory play to keep her attention span longer.
Research studies have proven that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain which aid a child’s ability to accomplish complex learning tasks. That is why we use sensory items in almost all of our activities.
For this lesson we used:
1. Animal figurines from Amazon.
2. Play sand from Blain’s Farm and Fleet.
3. Kinetic sand from Target.
4. Leaves from various trees that we picked from our nature walk the day before.
5. Wood cuttings from Hobby Lobby.
6. Rocks and stones of various size, shape and texture from Dollar Tree.
7. Brown and green artificial moss from the arts supply at Dollar Tree.
This activity was fun for Esperanza. She did not feel the pressure of learning. We loved that we were able to teach her by telling stories as we went through the lesson. She thought she was just playing. She paid attention to the facts we presented as she played.
When asked about the different animals that live in certain habitats on a later date, she was able to remember everything. Getting positive outcome from our activities make us feel that we made the right decision to educate our kids at home.