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Ever have one of those days when you wake up and just don’t want to homeschool? Yet at the same time, you’re not ready to take a vacation day? You need a plan B day!
Plan B days use alternative education activities that don’t involve sitting down at the table and working through a pile of worksheets. You need creative homeschool ideas that allow you to homeschool while still taking a break!
I’m going to call these alternative creative homeschool ideas your Plan B days.
Plan B Days for When You Don’t Want to Homeschool
See, plan B days give you alternative educational activities when you don’t want to homeschool. They give you activities that are fun. Activities that are a change of pace. And activities that will refresh your body and soul!
1. Reading Days
Have you ever heard of a reading day? That’s a day where you pop some popcorn, curl up on the sofa or on pillows, and enjoy a pile of good books. The goal is to read.
Each child can curl up with their favorite book. You can sit down and read-aloud children’s classics to your children. Or you can catch up on some of the books you’re reading aloud as part of homeschool but somehow never have the time to finish.
Reading days are amazing. Your children spend a day practicing their reading skills and relaxing. And you spend a day finally getting to enjoy some guilt-free time with your favorite book as well.
The secret is to make it special. Bake cookies. Make hot chocolate. Order pizza.
Your kids will love taking a day off just to read.
2. Educational Games
Educational games are games that help kids solidify skills in a fun way. For instance, Monopoly helps kids learn about money and math. If you have a child just learning how to calculate change, make them the banker. They’ll practice making change for hours without complaint!
You can find educational games that feature history, science, and language arts. And you can’t go wrong pulling out an educational game for the kids to play.
My suggestion is to spend time playing several different games over the course of the day. My kids can never agree on which game they’d like to play, so by playing different games, I can make everyone happy!
Again, it helps to pop popcorn or bake cookies. Make the day fun and relaxing so you’re ready to hit the books again tomorrow.
3. Nature Hikes
You don’t have to stay home on plan B days. Instead, when you don’t want to homeschool, grab your kids and head outside for a nature hike.
Bring your backpacks and take along colored pencils, crayons, a drawing notebook, and a book on birds and head outside. You’re going on a nature hike!
Head off to a favorite trail. The goal isn’t to race down the trail at top speed. The goal is to take your time. Look at your surroundings. And take periodic breaks to sit down and draw what you see.
Now the biggest issue I’ve found is that some kids sit down for 30 seconds, scribble, and are ready to move on. Other kids sit down and are still trying to finish their drawing when everyone else is ready to head home for dinner.
So take along a camera. This way you can take a picture for people to take home and finish their drawings.
Nature hikes are a great way to head outside, enjoy a change of pace, and get some fresh air.
4. Field Trips
Another option for plan B days is to take field trips. Some field trips need to be planned in advance such as getting a tour of the local grocery store. But other field trips don’t and allow for a spontaneous trip when you don’t want to homeschool.
Head down to the local museum and spend the day wandering the halls. Challenge the kids to find their favorite piece and to tell you about it.
Head out for some local trips that you never seem to get around to. Spend a day at the beach. Head into the mountains. Take a trip to a local amusement park.
Visit a reptile museum or a pet store. Hop on a boat for a whale watching tour.
Use a plan B day as an opportunity to head out of the house. And spend the day exploring your local area.
5. History Project Day
How many history projects have you made the time to complete lately? If you’re anything like myself, not many.
So take a day to focus on history projects! Built a salt map to show Hannibal’s route over the Alps. Mummify a chicken. Re-enact Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.
Pull out a book filled with old games children used to play and spend some time playing these games. Dress up as medieval knights. Build a castle out of cardboard boxes.
Build a pyramid out of sugar cubes.
Spend a day focusing on those fun history projects that make memories yet always seem to be too much of a hassle during the regular school days.
Make a mess!
6. Science Experiments
Have you been skipping the science experiments in your science curriculum? Then take a day to complete the science experiments!
It’s a great way to catch up on this neglected area of your children’s education and have a change of pace at the same time.
The trick to making a science experiment day work is to keep most of the supplies you need on hand, although you may still need to run by the store to pick up some supplies such as red lettuce, apples, and more balloons.
My kids love to grab balloons and straws from my science box for some reason. They think they’re awesome!
Then head home and spend the day checking acid levels, observing slugs, or experiments with levers.
You and your kids will end the day refreshed and ready to hit the books tomorrow!
7. Art Plan B Day
Another much-neglected part of homeschooling can be art. Art is messy. Art is time-consuming. And art requires you to plan on cleaning up the kitchen when your kids are finished painting.
But at the same time, art helps creativity.
So spend a day focusing on those messy art projects you avoid like the plague.
Pull out clay and make a sculpture. Pull out the acrylic paints. Make paper mache and make puppets.
I’ve found it helps to have a dedicated time for these messy art projects. The kids love spending the day creating art. And we have the time to spend cleaning up the kitchen when we’re done.
Because yes, I do require the kids to help clean up the kitchen when we’re done!
The secret to homeschooling when you don’t want to homeschool is to use one of these plan B days.
And focus on activities that you don’t normally do. They can be activities that you skip. Or activities you’ve wanted to try but just never quite find the time to do.
It doesn’t matter. The goal is to spend a day relaxing and doing something different. Something educational that’s a change of pace.
So tomorrow you and your kids can wake up ready to hit the books again!