Family Time Tips for Learning
by Shirley M.R. Minster MS.Ed.
About the author: Shirley Minster is a long -time friend to homeschooling families. As Founder and Director of Home Education & Family Services and Royal Academy, she has worked with families world wide to help parents ensure the best educational experience for each child. Shirley and her staff help parents tailor-make a homeschooling program for their children and offer ongoing K-12 homeschool consultation and services year round. Visit Home Education & Family Services/Royal Academy web site page: http://www.homeeducator.com/HEFS/royalacademy.htm
Many families want to spend time with one another, but have forgotten how to have fun learning together. The following activities are memory makers that will help parents continue to guide their childrens’ education.
Reading / Literature
1. Review the alphabet regularly with young children by playing letter and word games.
2. Have your child read books and magazines of interest to him to read to you.
3. Read the classics to your family at least two to three times a week.
4. Make a weekly trek to the local library.
5. Visit bookstores that sell used books, enjoying discoveries together.
6. Play games like Boggle, Scrabble, and Bible Trivia.
7. Spend time investigating the variety of magazines in a local bookstore.
8. Take field trips to newspaper offices (large companies and hometown offices).
1. Count and categorize items found in the home and/or garage.
2. Hunt for geometric shapes in the home and make a list.
3. Use ordinal numbers regularly.
4. Measure liquids, solids, lengths, widths, and weights.
5. Play games like cribbage and dominoes, letting the child keep score.
6. Play board games like Monopoly, Life, and Chutes and Ladders.
Family History / Social Studies
1. Make a family history timeline.
2. Discuss family while looking through family albums together.
3. Interview older relatives and younger relatives to gain perspective
on the same events.
4. Read family diaries, journals, and books.
5. Plan a family party. Include foods from specific time periods and
6. Make a family newspaper to send to the extended family.
1. Learn about the plants, trees, birds, and flowers native to your state.
2. Take a trip to the library for books and videos about nature in your state.
3. Purchase nature guides, sketchbooks, and colored pencils for forays
4. Hang a map of your state on the wall. Point out bogs, game preserves, mountains, lakes, and rivers.
5. Learn how to use a compass.
6. Spend the morning or afternoon in the woods exploring.
Travel at Home and Away
1. Explore your hometown: tiny streets, alleys, cemeteries, historical
society, town hall, post office. Read plaques and signs around town.
2. Open a map of your state and pick an area that's relatively unknown
to your family. Pack a lunch, extra drinks, extra snacks, a blanket,
inclement weather clothing, and a camera.
3. Plan an overnight trip. Map out the route together, make reservations, and pack wisely. Keep a family diary of your adventure.