The phenomenon of home schooling is gaining popularity with modern parents. In a survey carried out between 1999 and 2016, the number of homeschooled students increased from 850,000 to 1.65 million and still growing.
When you choose to home school, you need the experience to be just as engaging as a classroom but way funnier, pleasant, and comfortable. Your child’s needs should come first. As you choose the activities and lessons, his interests and passions are a great place to start to ensure that the fun he enjoys while he learns increases his interest in learning and reduces learning frustrations.
Parental Concerns of a 6-year Old
Kids in middle childhood undergo physical, mental, and social developmental changes. He may outgrow that favorite dress or pair of shoes, grows chubby and tall, and wants to fit in the big kid squad. The child needs to build on his social network through acceptance from friends and family. Homeschooling keeps him close to assess his interactions and guide him on healthy social practices.
At this age, kids are developing mental skills; they become critical thinkers and learners. You may find him talking less since he now understands the impact of words, and he wants to leave a good impression. He understands terms and their deeper meanings; it won’t be a surprise if he now gets the old joke. It becomes easier for him to say sorry or point out to his peers who are doing or saying something wrong. He now recognizes right and wrong.
The child wants and works for praises when he catches a ball, improves reading, wins a race, and so much more and may even become argumentative; it’s okay. He is experimenting with all angles at the same time. He notices his abilities and needs to display his prowess. As a parent, your attention and praises will help him build his confidence and curb arrogance if he thinks more of himself and less of others. Compliments can get to his head sometimes.
Relationships with friends and family help him develop social skills, sharing, and tolerance towards others. At this age, he’s fond of sharing a toy or a meal with a friend or sibling; he wants to play with others and not alone. He wants to belong. Although they may sometimes fight over toys, with your guidance, he’ll know how to solve conflicts and settle differences even without your interference. It’s the right time to develop problem-solving skills.
As the child favors spending more time with friends, pick the right friends and the right environment for interaction to make sure the exposure has a positive influence on him. Encourage and cheer him on as he starts to notice what his talents and strong attributes are to help build and develop his skills.
Kids spend almost eight hours in schools, which takes away the opportunity to watch and supervise a child. So, you may choose to home school your child at this stage to supervise and guide him closely.
Benefits of Home Schooling
Academic excellence is one benefit of homeschooling because a child has complete attention in everything he learns. But there exists other benefits besides academic performance that could contribute to a parent’s preference for homeschooling.
1. You Customize Learning According to Your Child’s Needs
Kids are different and unique. One could be good at math, but lacking in languages and arts. When you choose to home school your child, you must first know his strong attributes and areas of weakness. You’ll then plan on the areas to allocate more time and attention. A child’s needs determine the pace at which learning moves such as a gifted kid, a slow learner, or a kid with ADHD.
Focused learning aims to make learning enjoyable and interactive since you dwell on books and other activities that entice your child’s interests. Unlike schools, homeschoolers don’t follow a specific calendar to measure progress or a particular time to complete a syllabus. This approach lessens the pressure of progressing to the next level within a particular period. The speed at which a child moves from one grade to the following could be faster or slower depending on a child’s ability. No rush.
2. Homeschooling Allows a Kid to Have a Healthy and Safe Social Network
Homeschooled kids get to interact with both adults and their peers. They learn how to behave with people of different age groups. This mixed-age interaction helps them to learn relevant adult skills such as respect and tolerance. They take part in community programs that will introduce them to new people and activities that help in social skills development.
There are no cases of bullying and negative peer influence for homeschooling kids. A kid who suffers from bullying may experience stress or anxiety. As a homeschooling parent, you eradicate these vices because you control the social environment by determining the right people to interact with the child, the proper social practices to teach, and your child’s influencers. Cases of kids influencing each other in violence or substance abuse are rare in the homeschooling scenario.
Homeschooling protects a child from social stress. Classmates who ridicule each other for failure to compete at par, or religious and racial prejudice because of stereotypes are social stresses that kids experience. This experience may affect a 6-year-old’s mental state since he is yet to learn and accept the hate and prejudice out there.
You worry less when the safety of your kid is in your hands. Parents worry over the school bus’s safety, hygiene standards in schools, and the general security of the facility in terms of fire and other hazards, and the efficiency of the school nurse in cases of injuries in schools. A thought of something wrong happening to your child in your absence might push a panic button, forcing a parent to opt for homeschooling.
3. Physical Wellness and Engaging Activities
A six-year-old kid has a brief attention span. To have him sit for hours in class without interactive and unscheduled breaks makes learning tedious and frustrating. In homeschooling, you take into consideration the ability of the child to hold his attention. You can then introduce fun activities in between learning sessions to revamp back his energy and concentration. These extra activities like a jog or a walk will keep him active and fit.
Your child doesn’t have to stick to a morning-evening schedule that may lead to poor or shorter periods of sleep. Homeschooling allows a child to learn even in the evening or late in the day. A night of good sleep leads to a healthy body.
4. Homeschooling Allows Time to Recuperate
When a child is recovering from an illness, he needs time to regain strength and heal. If he were in school, you’d worry about him lagging and catching up with the rest of his class. You may end up taking him back to class when he’s still weak. But with homeschooling, the child gets ample time to recover before getting back to studies.
When a family experiences grief, could be from losing a loved one or even divorce, they need enough time to heal and grieve. Homeschooling allows the family to bond and heal during such times without a rush.
5. Kids Get to Spend More Time with Parents
Parents who choose to homeschool their kids get more time for bonding and enhancing family unity. The child receives more attention from you, which is good for his growth. Having the kid around gives you a chance to teach him the religious and family values that he otherwise couldn’t learn in school. You get to watch his behavior and guide him where he fails.
The parent-child relationship is vital to a 6-year-old because he needs to look up to someone he adores; the child needs assurance that you’ll be there for him when he needs you and your attention. Who better to model him than his parent?
Best Interactive Homeschooling Activities for a 6-year-old
When coming up with ideas for activities to make learning fun and engaging for a 6-year-old, remember the activities should be challenging and invigorating. Choose activities that are educational, enjoyable, and interactive to help in the child’s holistic development; mind, body, and soul not forgetting academic success. The aim is to turn any opportunity for play and fun enjoyable as possible so that the process will not be frustrating to the kid. There are great ideas mentioned here.
1. Homeschool Science Projects
Science is a practical subject. Kids have an interest and curiosity to practice rather than read for science. You can satisfy this curiosity by organizing science projects for your child and allow him to experiment and wonder. The activity will be fun and educating, and cost effective since most of the materials are readily available at home. These projects are a good way for a child to explore and spark his natural interests in science and appreciate the world around him.
To figure out the suitable projects, equipment, and materials for science projects, you can buy relevant books that give ideas on the projects to practice on and demonstrate the practical steps.
2. Interaction with Nature
Allow your kids to enjoy nature: Observing the birds sing in the morning and evening, frogs croaking, the life of a fish in water, and existence of the snails and slugs. Go on a nature hunt, pick plants and insects to dissect and teach on each body part, watch micro-organisms under the microscope and so much more. Kids enjoy the rain and snow, unlike adults who fear getting wet. At night, watch the stars and moon using a telescope as you answer his questions on planets and their features.
Exploit that interest in nature by allowing your kid to explore. Take him to the zoo, tend a garden with him, go fishing, and raise a pet for an experiment, like a chameleon. Imagine his experience as he watches a chameleon camouflage. The kid will enjoy his lessons without even knowing that he’s learning.
Try various activities to make the learning enjoyable and to break monotony. Here’s a book that can give you ideas of nature activities for the outdoors.
3. Have Fun with Numbers
Most kids fear that math is complex. The feeling could be because they haven’t found a more effortless and enjoyable way to learn and work on mathematical problems. Then you have to find new and exciting methods to use to awake passion for numbers in your child to help him grasp and enjoy his math lesson.
There’s no better way to spark your child’s interest in numbers than a fun and interactive game.
4. Reading for Fun to Build on Vocabularies
At six, kids are enthusiastic about learning and building on new vocabularies. They feel great when they learn and decipher the meaning of words they once thought were problematic. They have meaningful conversations at this age since they can now manage a complete sentence of over seven words without difficulty.
It could be a good time to introduce comic books that will entertain and make the gloominess disappear as they learn new jokes that are age-appropriate. As he enjoys listening to funny and lively tales, alternate between reading and listening. You can read in turns. At one point you read as he listens and the next, he reads as you listen.
To influence your kids towards a reading culture, try joining book clubs and schedule family reading nights when each family member can present a lovely story of the book they are reading in turns. Kids will enjoy reading when they take it as fun and not work.
5. Crafting and Modeling Activities
It’s time to get crafty. You can tap on a child’s creativity by having fun with slime, modeling clay, or Lego and puzzles. They’ll come up with as many creations while playing and having fun. Crafting is an interactive way that taps into their creative minds. A knitting class will keep the tiny hands busy while gaining creativity. Make a DIY wall clock as you teach him the concept of time.
You can try to schedule a do-it-yourself session for a unique item each week. The kid will brainstorm on new ideas for each month or week. You can then research the materials you’ll need and then watch a YouTube video together to get the step-by-step instructions. A craft book may be a brilliant resource to provide more ideas on projects, and it comes in handy with instructions and the materials you’ll need to shop for in advance.
After finishing several projects, you can set a day for exhibition of his work to friends and family to build his confidence and interest in arts and crafts.
6. Teach History on the Road
Organize several field trips to a national memorial site, cultural sites, museums, wildlife reserves, and even the beach where the child will learn the various historical and artistic concepts. Most of these sites offer discounts on entry fees to homeschoolers and learning institutions, and some are free.
Take advantage and teach that history lesson on the road. Such a class lets a child appreciate the cultural diversification and historical relevance of events. You might get lucky to meet a war veteran. Who says the only way to learn history is by reading it? You can experience it.
7. Try New Recipes in the kitchen
A cooking class is an excellent idea to interact with your kid and keep him busy as he learns a kitchen skill. You never know where his interests will fall. You can bake his favorite cookies and cakes. Come up with new recipes and try them together. If it’s a flop, you’ll keep trying until you nail it. This persistence would be a lesson to the child to never quit trying to till he makes it.
There are recipe books that will guide you on recipe ideas with easy instructions and mention of ingredients. A walk to the market to buy ingredients is another interactive session for the kid as he learns bargaining tricks.
8. Allow some Music and Dance
Well, music is an inspiring way to lift your spirits in the morning. Let your child come up with a playlist of his favorite songs that he can sing and listen to, and dance if he can. A piece of hearty music coupled with smooth dance moves keeps the child active and happy. If he develops an interest in music, it’ll be a good time to nurture his talent.
9. Watch a Film or Favorite Program on TV
Learning doesn’t start and end with books and history lessons. That program on NatGeo could entertain and educate too. You can allocate a day to visit the cinema or watch from home an age-appropriate movie of the child’s choice. Create a list of the film you plan to watch on these days so that you may get or download them in advance as you inspect the content before the family film day.
Entertainment is a great way to analyze what genre or activity your child loves. For instance, if he loves watching sports channel, you’ll get the idea of the sports he favors and plan on practice and participation.
10. Organize a Sports Day
Homeschooling doesn’t take away the sporting fun that kids enjoy in schools. In fact, it allocates more time to sports. Let your child explore and enjoy various sporting activities. He doesn’t have to favor a particular one, be it a ball game or athletics. As he grows, he’ll settle on the one that interests him the most. At this age, your concern is that whichever sports activity he engages in will teach him to be a skilled player, how to socialize, and healthy competitive practices.
Be it a win or defeat, the child will learn how to celebrate a victory and accept a loss gracefully. You can organize a family sports day and even take part in community sports events. But what if your child can’t play because of a physical limitation? A sports day involves not only playing in the field. He’ll enjoy himself just as much when he sits in the stand, cheer his favorite team, and interact with fellow fans.
11. Organize Competitive Events
You can join hands with fellow homeschooling parents to organize a science congress where kids can showcase their science projects, arts exhibition, math contest, public speaking, drama festival and the list is endless.
Such events give a platform for fair competition, talent recognition and networking. The proceeds from such events can be donated to a community welfare project. The kids will have fun interacting and socializing as they complement and congratulate each other’s performance or exhibit. A good way to build a child’s confidence.
You don’t need a degree or diploma to homeschool a child. With a good schedule, positive attitude, and a healthy environment, a child will have fun learning and enhance parent-child relationship. As the child goes through the learning process, interactive activities will encourage him to develop social, physical, and mental skills. Homeschooling is a great way to personalize education as you tailor the curriculum to your kid’s abilities and interests. For further read and ideas on homeschooling, especially for the first time homeschoolers, Home Learning Year by Year is a resourceful book.
 Cook, Kathleen B., et al. “Beyond the brick walls: Homeschooling students with special needs.” Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services 32.2 (2013): 90-103.
 Mazama, Ama, and Garvey Lundy. “African American homeschooling as racial protectionism.” Journal of Black Studies 43.7 (2012): 723-748.
 Mayberry, Maralee, and J. Gary Knowles. “Family unity objectives of parents who teach their children: Ideological and pedagogical orientations to home schooling.” The Urban Review 21.4 (1989): 209-225.