Just in time for the winter slump that seems to hit homeschoolers this time of year, my husband and soon-to-be-ten year old have come up with a great idea to freshen up our weekly homeschool routine. It’s our own “Lunch and Learn Friday,” and yesterday was our inaugural session.
On Lunch and Learn Friday, the plan is to eat lunch together, and then have one family member give a talk or teach something new to everyone else. Alternatively, there may be weeks where each of us takes a turn sharing something that we’ve learned during the week. It’s like a mini Ted Talk around the dining room table.
For our first session, even our adult son decided to join us. We finished up a lunch of gnocchi with marinara, as the nine year old presented an overview of the KeyNote app. He had started playing around with the program earlier in the week while working on a presentation about chimpanzees, and it is amazing how much he has learned.
He walked us through creating a new document, adding images and sound files, customizing the layout, and building transitions. He even showed us how we can work on a document together through the “collaborate with others” option. In all, he spent about 15 minutes demonstrating and speaking, and we actually learned a lot from his talk. It was a great presentation full of useful information.
I’m excited to keep this going through the rest of our (home)school year, and looking forward to seeing what topic is presented next. I think it’s a wonderful thing to add to our homeschooling routine — and our lives — and here’s why:
- Not only do we get to learn new things together as a family, but we also all get the opportunity to practice teaching and presenting something. Being able to present ideas clearly to a group and demonstrate what we know is a valuable life skill that we could all use more practice with.
- We also get to know each other better by sharing our interests. Whether it’s demonstrating a new app, discussing something from the news, presenting on one of our hobbies, teaching a useful skill, or anything else we’re passionate about, sharing it helps us learn about each other as much as it helps us learn about the topic.
- It’s a surprisingly easy way to get our youngest excited about learning, and build confidence at the same time. How cool is it that he gets to teach us things instead of always being the “student?!”
- Making learning part of our daily and weekly routine, something we do together instead of something that just comes from a book during “school” time, demonstrates that learning is never-ending and part of life. And that’s one of the main things we want our sons to take away from this homeschooling adventure. We learn together, we share our interests and our knowledge, and we make it a fun and natural part of our lives.
What do you do to keep your homeschooling exciting during the winter months? Is Lunch and Learn Friday (or Monday, or Saturday, etc.) something you’d want to try? Let us know if you try it out! I’d love to hear what topics you cover!