Posted in Homeschool Information, Things to Do, Places to Go

I Hope You Dance in Your Homeschool

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home.

I have dance on my mind. For dancers, this is usually competition season. My daughter is usually preparing for exams, recitals, and perhaps a competition or two at this time of year. I got in on a competition myself back in 2016 and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:

dance in your homeschool

When did you last dance with your children? Whether you are a trained dancer or can only step side-to-side to the music, you can include dance in your homeschool day. There are many amazing benefits to dance! It’s also an easy way to add physical education inside the home, especially on rainy or snowy days when you don’t want to go for a walk.

Here are some ideas for having fun with dance in your homeschool.

Moving to the Music

Pop some orchestral music on and hand your each person in your family a scarf to move with to the music. You can throw the scarf, sway with the scarf, make circles with the scarf, or anything the music moves you to do. The William Tell Overture finale is excellent for this, as is Holst’s The Planets, or even your favourite movie soundtrack. This is especially fun with young children.

Enjoy Historical Dance in Your Homeschool

How did people dance from the historical period you’re studying? If you’re studying the 17th or 18th century, try a Minuet. If you’re studying Modern times, have some fun with the twist, the polka, or the bunny hop! Or put on some music from your youth and show your children how you used to tear up the dance floor in your day.

dance in your homeschool
Enjoying Colonial Dance at the Fortress of Louisbourg

Cultural Dance in Your Homeschool

Are you studying a different culture? Learn the Mexican Hat Dance if you’re studying Mexico (here’s a fun way to learn the Mexican hat dance with young children), or some Indian Bollywood to go along with your studies of India.

dance in your homeschool
Bollywood Dance at Disney World

Dance In Your Homeschool with Gaming Consoles

Do you have a Wii U or a Switch? Enjoy “Just Dance” or the Wii or Switch Fit. Parents can dance too, it’s a hoot and it’s great exercise! (We like to pull Just Dance out for birthday parties and often the parents will dance in the background to some of their favourites while the children play).

Learn a Specific Style of Dance in Your Homeschool

Do you or your children want to explore a specific style of dance? Here are some of our favourites and some online resources.

Breakdance

Check out BreakSpace NS on Instagram, where my daughter and other bboys and bgirls have been sharing some quick, easy beginner tutorials. And check out VincaniTV on YouTube which offers free breakdance tutorials. My daughter says BBoy Vincanity has been around for a long time and is the introduction to the art for many young breakers.

Tap Dance

dance in your homeschool - kimberly tap dancing

Check out this tap visual dictionary website. Click on the links and a video will show you how to do each step, starting with the easiest ones and progressing in difficulty. And be sure to join the amazing Debbie Allen on Instagram as she teaches free tap classes during the pandemic crisis.

Tap has always been my favourite – this photo is me at age 16.

Ballet

Here is a great ballet site, The American Ballet Theatre Ballet Dictionary which has definitions and photos for everything ballet.

Jazz

Jazz is one of my daughter’s favourite dance styles. She’s pictured at left, dancing in her Jazz Initiative classes. Check out The Building Blocks of Jazz on Bluprint. It’s absolutely free until April 16, 2020.

More Dance in Your Homeschool Resources

For a roundup of free online classes available during the pandemic crisis, check out Dancing Alone Together on Instagram.

Whatever the style of dance you’re interested in, there are videos and books available at the library (and on their website) or YouTube videos online. And Bluprint offers a number of online dance classes (which are free until April 16, 2020). Of course, nothing can compare to lessons at a terrific, local dance studio, whether it’s for your children, yourself, or both. Enjoy classes at the studio then have fun practising daily as part of your homeschool day (once the pandemic crisis is over)!

“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance,
I hope you dance.”

~ from “I Hope You Dance” – song by Lee Ann Womack


Do you dance in your homeschool? What online resources are you enjoying? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in April 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling History

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.

History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.

Eat Through History

What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.

Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.

Include Primary Source Material

There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.

Read Historical Fiction

Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!

Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades

There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:

Fun Schooling history

History Through Song and Music Videos

It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers  by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!

You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!

History Dress Up Time!

Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:

fun schooling history

Integrated Learning

Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.

History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!