Homeschool Hacks

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by Kim Jaworski, Homeschool Resource Specialist
You’ll see many, many “hacks” articles online. Getting Organized hacks, new uses for old things hacks,
and now Homeschool Hacks!
 Need math manipulatives that click together to demonstrate ones, tens and hundreds? Grab the
bin of legos!
 Want to make your own abacus? String pony beads on pipe cleaners and make a frame from
cardstock, an old cereal box or foam core.
 When you need craft supplies, check your dollar store first.
 In mid-winter when you feel stuck and lessons are dragging, drop everything and head out to a
field trip destination. If you can’t GO somewhere, fire up a travel video to somewhere warm and
talk about how the seasons are different in different parts of the globe.
 In the heat of summer, tour caves (they are a constant 48 degrees). In the dead of winter, tour a
conservatory and bask in the warmth.
 When you travel for any reason, research ahead of time to find historical sites, museums and art
centers to make the most of your travel time. State tourism offices are a great place to start. Be
sure to note their days and hours of operation.
 Get great craft and project ideas by doing a quick search on Pinterest.
 Use the experts in your life. A carpenter can build bird houses with the kids. Someone who knits
or sews can share that talent with a kid friendly project. An Aunt or Uncle who plays an
instrument or speaks another language (even if they just share a brief introduction) is a great
opportunity to explore something new.
 Watch for interesting classes around your community. Home Depot, Michael’s, Jo Ann’s and
others offer classes for kids, as does Community Ed, Parks and Rec, your YMCA, and maybe even
your credit union.
 You can introduce the parts of speech and basic grammar with madlibs and videos from
schoolhouse rock.
 You can save money by using your library instead of buying textbooks for everything. You’ll get
information from a variety of sources and the kids will learn to use the library.
 For kids who like to read, but struggle with math concepts, try math stories like Even Steven and
Odd Todd, or Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, or Sir Cumference and the Round Table.
 Keep these catalogs handy to browse when you need a new idea or resource for your next topic:
Rainbow Resources, Nasco Arts & Crafts, Nasco Science.
 Half Price Book Stores are another great source of ideas. Spend just 15 or 20 min browsing and
you’ll walk out with tons of ideas to jump start your days.
Like my facebook page for daily ideas to pop up in your newsfeed, or scroll the page for a long
source of options!