Make Homeschool Fun by Applying Academic Principles to Real Life

Homeschooling families learn English, Math, History, Science, Social Studies, and a host of other necessary homeschool subjects that contain incredible amounts of information. Yet, just like most public school students, homeschoolers don’t often know how to adequately apply what they’ve acquired until the situation calls for it. It’s for that reason I devised this simple activity to help teach our homeschoolers some basic principles and how to use them.

I generally used this activity in our homeschool with those children who were reading well and had a good grasp of math percentages and decimals. For those who were younger but still homeschooling, I’d include them in the exercise by designating them as helpers who would give their opinions to the older children throughout the activity.

To begin, I would present a hypothetical situation to our children such as redecorating their bedroom. I’d give them a large catalog and tell them they could order anything they wanted to use to redecorate their rooms. The rules were: they were allowed to use their own color scheme or style, but that each only had $75 to spend. Of course, I’d reiterate that we weren’t actually going to redecorate but that I wanted to see how well they could do it for themselves. Obviously there were excited giggles from each of them as they got started paging through all the possibilities.

After only an hour, most had made their selections and came running to show me. Next I told them to fill out the catalog order form and bring it back for me to check. However, I purposely neglected explaining any additional charges that would apply such as tax or shipping.

Again, it wasn’t long before they had neatly filled in their choices and were proud to have stayed below their $75 budget. Thinking they were done, they handed their forms over to be checked. When I showed them they had forgotten to include the tax and shipping, they were stunned to realize the total would now exceed the maximum budget amount and they’d need to start all over.

As they reviewed their list of items, they began to prioritize to eliminate one, and then another of the things they’d selected so as to incorporate the tax and shipping. When it still didn’t meet with their allotted budget, they’d continue to delete and add articles until it did.

What they discovered in our homeschool was that they could actually get along very well without many of the things they’d first chosen simply by making them, or shopping somewhere else. They used their math skills repeatedly while figuring their totals and their English to learn about fabrics, and the care instructions of each like washability. They also used their individual creativity in color coordinating their items and found what types of styles they were drawn to.

They learned how to get the most from their money, which products were most durable, and how to work together as a team or in a group. Our homeschoolers gained a great deal of knowledge in many areas, applied principles they’d already learned, and had an exciting time doing it!

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