Homeschooling is not cheap! Homeschooling is not all about worksheets either!
So, what can you do with your time and absolute not print-off a worksheet, as a home schooler, that is free?
We’ve collated an A-Z list of free things to do, that will count as education. As long as you write them up in your diary, they will count towards your homeschooling time. You will need an internet connection for some of activities and some will need items you already have lying around at home.
Join us for Art-pril, ever every day of the month of April you will find a word to inspire your creative art work.
Going on holiday – Leaning on the Move
Just because you are on holiday it doesn’t mean you can notch up some learning hours and reduce that 1000 hours you need to learn over the year. In fact, going away and doing things that count couldn’t be simpler – check out the blog for our Learning on the Move ideas and make art appreciation a key part of the holiday.
Visit the MoMA
A huge number of art galleries and museums around the world have digitized their collections and are now offering free virtual tours. MoMA in New York, is just one of the incredible galleries that you can visit from your own sofa, where you can enjoy the art without the crowds.
Explore the Uffizi
If you prefer Botticelli to Pollock, you can virtual tour the Uffizi in Florence, one of the best collections of Renaissance art in the world. You can take your time looking at the masters like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Caravaggio’s Medusa, and Titian’s Venus of Urbino.
Enjoy the Musée d’Orsay
Paris’ Musée d’Orsay is home to an incredible collection of Van Gogh and Cezanne’s artistic masterpieces all of which are online now.
Pop into the Tate
You can also visit the Tate Britain for free on line. Although you’ll miss out on the lovely river walk to the gallery. Alternatively, you can go to the Tate Britain as a school trip, this won’t be free, but can combined with a whole lot of London based activities that can take the whole day up.
Design and Technology
November is Design and Technology Month
Join us in November when Design and Technology is the theme for the month. We work with textiles, wood, soft metals and of course Gingerbread Houses! During August, the focus is Healthy Eating. Throughout the year would can find in the calendar national days, holidays and festivals where cooking is the key event. You can learn to cook around the world with foods in season with the Cooking Club.
Learn to Cook Health Meals and Treats from Scratch
One good thing about being home schooled is that you can spend time cooking healthy things from scratch. Join the Orchard Training Cooking Club and we will share with you some great recipes, specially designed for home schoolers and a limited budget.
Going on holiday – Leaning on the Move
Just because you are on holiday it doesn’t mean you can notch up some learning hours and reduce that 1000 hours you need to learn over the year. In fact, going away and doing things that count couldn’t be simpler – check out the blog for our Learning on the Move ideas and make design and technology appreciation a key part of the holiday.
Sew A Teddy Bear
Recreate a favourite childhood toy or just up-cycle some old fabric by sewing your own soft toy. As long as you have some fabric that you can use and a small sewing kit, you can get started.
Upcycle Old Clothes or Accessories
Got a wardrobe full of clothes that you hardly ever wear? Or lots of basic staples that lack personality? You can update, reuse, or upcycle everything from old t-shirts to shoes and garden pots. There are a number of up-cycle websites that can help you with your project.
Which Film to Watch?
Watching films mindlessly or for entertainment does not fill up your education diary but can waste a lot of your learning time during the week. However, look at joining the Orchard Training Film Club and finding out what to watch and how to use that watching time as education.
Go to the theatre
When you can’t afford go to the theatre, let the theatre come to you. Recorded performances are nothing new, but some platforms offer free trials so that you can see whether it’s something you’d want to watch on a more regular basis.
February is Story Telling Month
Join us here at Orchard training in February for Story Telling Month. Is it time for you to create rather than consuming? Apparently, Shakespeare wrote King Lear in isolation at home, so maybe you could improve your story telling skills too. If you’re not really sure where to start, we have story telling ideas a plenty, to get you on the right track. Worried about writing them down – don’t be here at Orchard Training we celebrate the art of oral story telling just as much as the written word.
Write a Play or Short Film for July and August
During the summer holidays in July and August, here at Orchard Training Film Club, we make our own short films. Why not write it and then come along and film it. Your study buddies can be your actors and behind the scene staff to bring your vision to life.
Read or Listen to a Book for Pleasure
Reading is a use it or lose it skill so while your homeschooling then now it the time to use it. You can finally tackle the huge stack of books you should have read to support your education. We have a growing selection of books in or own Orchard Training Home School Library, that you may borrow from us. If you prefer audiobooks, try out Audible for free.
Join the Orchard Training Book Club
Want to chat about your book afterwards? Why not join the Book Club for your age group and use the forum to talk about the books?
Exercise Together with Your Study Buddies
Join us, throughout the year, with our community health activities, like The River Thames Walk, The Charity Bike Ride, Swim 21 miles (the equivalent to the English Channel)
Try A Fitness Challenge
Unable to afford the gym? There are plenty of fitness challenges you can try out from home, so you can emerge from homeschooling fitter, leaner, or stronger with our Health Education program.
Going on holiday – Leaning on the Move
Just because you are on holiday it doesn’t mean you can notch up some learning hours and reduce that 1000 hours you need to learn over the year. In fact, going away and doing things that count couldn’t be simpler – check out the blog for our Learning on the Move ideas and make physical activity a key part of the holiday by visiting a National Park. Long walks and open scenery has benefits for both your mental and physical health, and you can enjoy the view whilst your there. What more do you really need?
Have a work out
Keeping active will make a big difference to how you feel during homeschooling – physical activity should help you sleep better and lift your mood, even if you’re stuck at home for most of the day. You don’t need any equipment for a good workout, and there are plenty of support materials here at Orchard Training tried and tested by home schooler before you, to take you through a routine.
Stretch Out with A Yoga Class
If you’re trying to de-stress and stay healthy during homeschooling, you’ll be pleased to know that plenty of yoga studios stream online classes for you to join in with. Perfect for some low-cost self-care.
Learn First Aid
It’s good to be prepared for an emergency. You can learn basic first aid by joining a youth group run by either the St John’s or Red Cross.
Comfort eating can be an issue for some home schoolers, particularly if you have been forced out of school by a bully and they have managed to stay in school. It is understandable, but it won’t help you be happier and healthier. Understanding nutrition and how food affects your body, health, and mood, will help you make better decisions for your overall wellbeing and even better use of your current food cupboard. Here at Orchard training, we have a lot of resource and support materials to help you with this. It is one of our most popular areas of study amongst our learners, understand what they eat and how it affects how they think and feel helps.
Meditation and mindfulness doesn’t just help people stay calm – practitioners around the world rely on it to help them focus, remain present, and appreciate what they have. It’s a simple concept that can be hard to master, but you can do this at home as part of your home schooling day and see if it works for you.
Going on holiday – Leaning on the Move
Just because you are on holiday it doesn’t mean you can notch up some learning hours and reduce that 1000 hours you need to learn over the year. In fact, going away and doing things that count couldn’t be simpler – check out the blog for our Learning on the Move ideas and make learning history a key part of the holiday.
Tour Ancient Rome
Lack of money may make you feel unable to afford a holiday abroad and cut off from the rest of the world, but you can time travel. Current technology means that you can explore other cities and even other times online, such as a virtual tour of some of Italy's historic cites.
Discover Your Roots
Wonder where your family was and why they were doing in the last century? Tracing your family tree can unearth lost memories or even distant relatives. Start by learning about genealogy and you can discover more about yourself and your background. So, on line sites are not free so be careful.
ICT Is the Focus Of July and a is Chance To Improve Your ITC Skills
Worried that being home by yourself could eroding your ITC skills? You can actually improve them by loading up Word, PowerPoint and Excel, on to your desk or lap top. This bit is not cheap but once they have been paid for they will in the end pay for themselves, and you can do all your homework using them. Learning to type is essential for dyslexics in particular. You will then have all the skills you need for college.
Learn a Language
Always wanted to speak another langauge? We use Rosetta Stone for Spanish with our learners.
May is Music Month
Join us in May for music appreciation month. Find on the calendar a different piece of music from a randomly selected genre every day of the month.
Write a Song
If you have a musical persuasion, you could channel your current emotions into a song or even an entire album of them. If you’re not sure where to start there are song writing courses on line that could get you into the right frame of mind, and you can even start making some Spotify playlists in the meantime to get inspired.
Have a Karaoke Night
Organise and hold a Karaoke Night. Sing with your study buddies and your friends. Great for your mental health too!
Watch a Gig
If you’re itching to go to a gig but cannot afford the tickets do not miss out on the festivals, you can actually watch plenty of them on YouTube. Enjoy your own personalised line up.
Visit the Opera
Immersing yourself in the drama of an opera performance. Perfect if you’re someone who’s never been to the opera but who is curious about it. At least, this way you can leave the performance without interrupting others, if you don’t like it.
The BBC have a wealth of material to look through and the BBC rotates the list regularly, so you don’t have to worry about coming to the end of it too quickly.
What’s more there is a lot of educational programmes from art, design and technology and science to dip into. Everyone has to pay a TV licences so you have already paid for this. You just have to write it up in your diary. You can learn anything from the life and times of artist Vincent van Gogh - to the importance zoology is playing in the saving of endangered species.
Experience the British Museum
The British Museum is home to incredible artefacts from around the world and is open to virtual visitors. Exhibits that are usually packed are free to roam around at any time. So, you can brush up on your knowledge or just wile away a few hours. Choose the areas you really want to visit and plan a real visit to get the best out of the day.
Try Bird Watching
If you want to get a little closer to nature, you can start with your own back garden (or balcony). Join us and many others in the Spring taking part in the Garden Bird Watch and then stay with us by joining the Garden Club here at Orchard Training.
Go to The Wildlife
It’s almost impossible to recreate the beauty and tranquillity of real nature but as homeschoolers we can get outside and in to the country side while everyone else is in school.
Go to 500 Other Museums or Galleries
If you’re still looking for more galleries or museums to visit, Google's art and culture collection has virtual tours of 500 top attractions around the world, including national galleries from around the world, individual artist museums, and even the Eiffel Tower.
And Finally . . .
Finally, there are lots of cross-curricular activities to be found on our calendar that will help you home school or free or relatively low cost. Playing Old Fashioned Board Games are useful tools for learning. As home schoolers we know that education is not all about worksheets. We have found a number of national holidays linked to Board games and the education value they have to offer. So, dust off those boxed games, just waiting for you to play them and learn about money with Monopoly, improve your spelling with Scrabble and practice your number bonding with a pack of card.