7 Places to Homeschool Away from the Kitchen TableSometimes we’re stuck at the kitchen table nearly all day. We watch our kids drill math facts, trace maps of the fifty states, and work on spelling words from that table. Then we pull out our latest historical novel and read aloud while the kids color or play quietly with blocks. We eat snacks and lunch right there at that same kitchen table. Besides bathroom breaks and the inevitable dash to find a pencil sharpener or ruler, we find ourselves constantly hovering over our kids in that hub of our home — the kitchen.

If you've had your fill of kitchen table homeschooling, here are seven ideas for learning in other areas.

1. Read Books Aloud on the Porch

When your kids aren’t enthusiastic about reading books they find too long, too difficult, or too old, don’t take no for an answer! Grab the books and read aloud from one of these non-kitchen locations:

  • the couch in the living room
  • the hammock in the back yard
  • the swing on the front porch
  • under a makeshift bed sheet fort on the deck

2. Perform Science Experiments in the Bathroom

It’s too easy to get into the dull routine of reading about science, writing about science, and taking a science test —all at the kitchen table. Change things up and do science for a change. Head to the bathroom where it won't matter if you make a mess with baking soda and vinegar, soap and shaving cream, magnets and water. 

Do save the Mento and Diet Coke experiment for outdoors, though!  

3. Take Nature Walks Outdoors

Head outside and savor nature firsthand. Tote journals with you to document the birds and flowers you find. Search for tadpoles in ponds, watch bees gathering nectar, and follow ants back to their hills. Make notes about the weather, and gather collections of rocks, feathers, leaves, and new buds. 

4. Visit Museums

Do you make time in your weekly routine to visit the local museums? You should. There’s a lot to be learned on these field trips, and they get you beyond the four walls of your kitchen. Learn about art and local history. Grab the children and head to a science museum for involved experiments that are difficult to do at home.

Make a list of the various museums in your area and visit one each week. As the months go by, you’ll be amazed at what your children learn.

5. Hang Art in the Hall

Art is often pushed aside in favor of reading, writing, math, and drill. It’s important to make time for art in our school day. Art inspires creativity and the imagination. Don’t make art difficult with a complicated program or supply list. Simply pull out the art supplies every week and let the children create.

Frame and hang the best of your children’s artwork down the hallway for family and friends to admire.

6. Enjoy Music Throughout the House

Music can be just as neglected as art even though it’s simple to turn on the radio. Remember your kids will learn a huge amount simply from listening to music. So turn on classical music while the children are doing artwork. Enjoy jazz while cooking dinner or doing chores. Sing folk songs together in the car.

At times have everyone sit down, close their eyes, and simply listen to the music you turn on. Music can serve as a calming or energizing background to your homeschool day no matter where you choose to learn.

7. Volunteer in Your Community

There are many places that are looking for volunteers to help, and children learn a lot about their community while volunteering. See if you can sort books at the library for an hour, take food to a food bank, or visit a nursing home. Walking dogs for the local animal shelter is another fun option to consider. 

Find a volunteer opportunity which fits your family’s passions so you can get away from the kitchen table for some hands-on learning and serving.

Don’t get caught by the belief that you can only homeschool by completing workbooks at home. Instead plan to leave the kitchen table and check out the marvelous educational activities elsewhere this year.

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