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10 Ways to Bond With Your Kids Without Technology

10 Ways to Bond With Your Kids Without Technology

In today’s world technology is everywhere. Kids no longer venture outside to play; instead they spend their time sitting in front of a screen, hands glued onto their sophisticated gaming mouse. While our lives have become more digital, this is not a good thing. Spending too much time sitting in front screens can cause kids to gain weight, develop concentration issues, and sleep poorly. On the other hand, time spent as a family without technology can help relationships. Even though spending quality time as a family has fallen by the wayside, family bonding is still important. Here are 10 things you can do to bond with your kids without technology.

1. Cook a Meal Together

Cooking a family meal together can build a sense of togetherness. Kids can help by doing jobs like grating cheese, stirring a pot, or shaping meatballs. Children will love to be a part of the dinner making process. This is a good way to keep them busy and gives you time to bond with your child.

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2. Biking

Go out on a biking adventure around the neighbor or a local biking trail. Taking time to exercise as a family will help you stay fit while also allowing your children get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Consider your kid’s size and preferences when choosing a folding bike or any other type of bikes that are available.

3. Do a Science Experiment

There is nothing better than getting to blow something up, and kids love it when things blow up. One of the easiest science experiments to do is the reaction of vinegar and baking soda. Keep in mind that this is strictly an outdoor activity. To do this you will need an empty 2-liter soda bottle, vinegar, and packets of baking soda. Here are some things to keep in mind:

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  • For the launch pad, you will need a corkscrew, long screw and a piece of wood. Creating the launch pad is an easy task. Put the screw through the piece of wood. Then twist the cork onto the screw. Make sure that the cork fits securely into the bottle.
  • Pour vinegar into the bottle. Quickly pop the paper baking soda packet into the bottle. Place the cork into the bottle and flip it over. The baking soda and vinegar will mix together. This will cause the bottle to fly a few feet up in the air.

4. Play a Family Board Game

Having a weekly family game night can help bring families together. This is a great activity if you have children that are a little older instead of letting them play all day long with their phones, PSPs, or unblocked games room over the internet. If you do not have any board games, you can borrow them friends or sometimes libraries will have some that you can check out.

5. Fly a Kite

Flying a kite on windy days should be something that every child gets to experience. You can choose to make your own or buy a cheap one at the store. Either way, your child will get to spend time with you in the outdoors.

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6. Read a Book

Take time to read to your small children. They will love hearing your voice and spending time with you. You can take them to a local library and let them pick out their own books.

7. Arts and Crafts

On a rainy day, staying inside usually means sitting in front of a television. On these days, pick out a craft project to do instead. The age level of your kids will help determine which project to do. Something as simple as jewelry making or sewing for young kids can keep them entertained for hours.

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8. Bubbles

Playing with bubbles can be a fun summertime activity. You will need a few containers of water, pipe cleaners, bubble bath or liquid soap. Mix water and soap together, and shape pipe cleaners into different shapes. Blow bubbles in the backyard. For even bigger bubble, fun pull out the small kiddie pool and a hula hoop.

9. Going to the Zoo

Take a day trip to the zoo to see all the animals. The walking around outside will give them some time to exercise. Plus, they can see all of their favorite animals up close. If you are somewhere in San Diego, take your kids for a fun-filled whale watching cruise activity. You could also visit museums and exploratorium in lieu of the zoo.

10. Build a Fort

On days where it is too cold to go outside, build a fort inside. Children of all ages will love to build forts. You can make a tent out of sheets draped over chairs or build a fabulous fort out of cardboard boxes. Allow your child to get creative with your fort.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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