by Peggy Ployhar

 

You don’t have to be creative to take advantage of the many hands-on and out-of-the-box learning opportunities that summer affords us with our children.  Below you will find a blog round-up of some of our favorite articles that provide over 100 different ideas you can adapt for teaching your children this summer. Just click on the colored links below to get to these great articles.

 

Learning Adventures: Learning ideas to take on the road with you this summer to the campground, amusement park, and your local park.

Gardening Math: Ways to practice math skills while spending time with your kids in the garden.

Get Outside and Learn: Get outside with your kids this summer and boost their learning with these mostly free learning activities.

Field Trips and Stay-at-Home Learning Ideas: Take advantage of learning activities either out of the house or by just staying in by using these creative ideas to get the learning started.

Water Activities: Cool off and stimulate your child’s summer learning by using these creative activities.

Keep Active and Work on Developmental Skills: Keep those muscles in shape by doing some of these gross motor, fine motor, and visual motor activities every day.

Fun Family Unit Study: Create a unit study around anything your family wants to dive into learning about this summer and enjoy the theme-based learning fun all summer long.

 

Still looking for more ideas?  Check out theSPED Homeschool Summer Teaching Ideas Pinterest Board for even more creative summer learning activities and have fun this summer learning with your children.

 

 


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By Peggy Ployhar

Because I have lived most of my life in cold northern states, spring’s allure for me is the ability to get outside and enjoy outdoor hobbies I could only dream about until the eventual spring thaw.

So, for this springtime learning activity blog, I wanted to give you some ideas on how to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather coming your way while not sacrificing the incredible learning potential the outdoors can provide your children.

Whether you lean more towards gardening, science, exploring, or art these top free activities I have chosen from the SPED Homeschool Spring Pinterest board will give you LOTS of fun outside learning activities.

Gardening
An Introduction to Plants for Kids – So many multi-sensory activities, field trip ideas, and video suggestions, you could be studying plants for weeks!

Getting Your Hands Dirty Gardening Unit – This study contains everything from the seeds to literature about gardening, and even delves into learning about the critters that make gardens grow better

Plant Studies
Spring Dandelion Unit  – Use these notebooking, experiments, art projects, and recipes to learn about dandelions

Easy Seed Science Activities – 10 very creative ways to study how seeds grow with hands-on experiment links for each

Insect Studies
Ant Unit Study – Books, videos, art, and projects all centered around ants

Grasshoppers and Cricket Study – Bring literature and science together as you learn about these amazing creatures

Animal Studies
Montessori-Inspired Bird Unit – Hands-on bird themed learning activities for many levels of learners

A Frog Unit Study – Learn about frogs as you teach your children language arts, math, science, and even godly character

Exploring
Survival Themed Books Unit Studies for Teens and Tweens – Here is a great list of books and accompanying unit studies to inspire your older student to take their learning to the great outdoors.

Nature Walks & Scavenger Hunts  – Over 30 ways you can explore, hike, and hunt in the great outdoors

Nature & the Arts
 Art & Nature Study with Beatrix Potter – Look at nature through the eyes of Beatrix Potter while combining your study with her work

Claude Monet Unit Study – Use this large list of resources to study Claude Monet and how to create art using nature as an influence for impressionism

Check out all the SPED Homeschool Pinterest boards for many more creative and inspiring ways to homeschool your student with special educational needs.

 

 

 


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By Peggy Ployhar

Easter is a wonderful time of renewal and a great time to change up your homeschooling schedule to dig into the true meaning of Easter, add a fun Easter twist to your learning activities, or try something new.

The resources given below are my top free picks from the SPED Homeschool Easter Pinterest board. If you want more inexpensive and adaptable resources, make sure to check out all the links on that board. Or, better yet, check out all the SPED Homeschool Pinterest boards for resources to help you in every area of homeschooling a student with special educational needs.

Discovery Learning:
Easter Story Scavenger Hunt – Make teaching the Easter story to your children an adventure with this scavenger hunt
 Scripture Verse Easter Egg Craft – Use this free printable to create beautiful eggs to convey the true meaning of Easter
Easter Nature Lesson – Tie in parallels from nature to teach your children the Easter story
Easter in Germany Unit Study – Spend a few days, or a whole week, using these resources to study how Easter is celebrated in Germany

Therapy:
 Scissor Skills Easter Activity – See how cutting Easter grass is a great way to have your child work on their scissor skills
 Easter Egg Speech Therapy Ideas – 10 ways to use plastic Easter eggs to teach speech lessons to your child
Oral Motor Easter-Themed Game – A fun way to develop oral motor skills during the Easter season
 Occupational Therapy Easter Egg Pre-Writing – Create this fun writing activity on your own dry erase board
Visual Recognition Easter Egg Matching – Work on your child’s visual recognition skills as they match eggs with mismatched parts to their corresponding card

Language Arts:
Language Arts Egg Activities – Use these simple activities to practice spelling, grammar, and writing with plastic eggs as the delivery vehicle for the lesson
Spelling Contraction Activity – Use this free printout with labeled plastic Easter eggs to make learning and practicing contractions a lot of fun
Egg Alphabet – Practice spelling, writing, matching, and the other ideas shared on this site with this colorful, free printable

Active Learning:
Brain Breaks Easter Egg Hunt – Get your kids moving as they search for eggs during your daily homeschooling breaks
Gross Motor Basket of Eggs Activity – Use balloons for eggs and challenge your kids with these fun activities that will get them moving and working together
Easter Egg Toss Game – Get up and active while teaching math skills using this inventive idea for converting plastic cups and eggs into learning tools

STEM:
 STEM Easter Egg Rocket Experiment – Create rockets with some ordinary household supplies and plastic Easter eggs
Hide & Seek Number Recognition Game – Use plastic Easter eggs for this fun game that will help your child work on their number recognition skills
Easter Egg Math Activities – Use this simple idea doing hands-on practicing of math facts
Weighed Easter Egg Activity – Use filled Easter eggs and weighted objects to figure out the weight of each egg
Lego Easter Designs – Use these simple instructions to create mosaics and simple figures
 Racing Eggs to Teach Gravity – Sneak in a science lesson while your children race their plastic eggs to the finish line

Happy Easter! Jesus rose from the grave, so let us celebrate our risen Savior and the promise that truth holds for all who believe!

 

 


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By Peggy Ployhar

February is soon approaching and even though it is typically the month retailers have us all thinking about love and sending valentines, the cold weather and our cooped-up kids don’t always make us feel very loving about our homeschooling or our parenting pursuits.

Instead of giving into those winter blues, take some time during these next few weeks to put aside your regular lessons and try to refocus on the love of learning. And, what better way to do that than with these fun Valentine-themed learning activities?

Here are my top 20 free picks from the SPED Homeschool Valentine Pinterest board.

1Lego Valentine Learning Activities: Learning activities centered around Valentine’s and Legos

2Valentine Hearts Spelling Game: Spelling words with a fun Valentine’s Day twist

3Valentine Math Facts Game: A fun game for brushing up on old skills and practicing new ones

4Valentine Scavenger Hunt : Free printable clues for making a fun Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt

5Threaded Heart Paper Plate Craft: Cute paper plate heart craft that’s great for working on fine motor skills

6 Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Activities: 100+ speech therapy related activities for Valentine’s Day

7 Candy Hearts Unit Study: Teach everything from math, critical thinking, science, history and language arts with candy hearts

8 Brain-Building Valentines Activities: Multiple activities that work on midline crossing, fine motor skills, vestibular activities, and visual planning

9 Valentine’s Day Unit Study : Through books, videos, and art, delve into the history around St. Valentine and Valentine’s Day

10 Science Experiments for Valentine’s Day: Simplified biology, chemistry, and physics lessons with heart or Valentine’s Day themes

1125 Valentine Process Art Projects: Art projects that explore a variety of different and allow your children to express their artistic flair

12Valentine Themed Light Table Activities: 15 different activities for a light table, all focused on Valentine’s Day

13Love Your Neighbor Unit Study: Activities to help your children think about loving
intentionally this Valentine’s Day

14 Valentine’s Day Montessori Work: 9 Valentine’s Day activities that use Montessori teaching principles

15Heart Visual Discrimination Printable: A fun way to work on identifying similarities and differences

16Valentine’s Day Games and Brain Breaks: 10 activities to get your child up and moving on Valentine’s Day

17 30 Valentine’s Day Speech and Language Activities: Lots of free speech activities to use on Valentine’s Day

18Mapping the History Behind Valentine’s Day : Learn history and geography in this mini unit study about Valentine’s Day

19Valentine’s Day CVC Board Game: Fun printable board game to use with your emergent readers

20Scripture Card Valentine Art Project: 4 printable scripture-based valentine cards your children can customize with their own art

Still not enough choices? Then make sure to check out the SPED Homeschool Valentine Pinterest board containing over 200 more ideas to choose from. And, while you are there, make sure to check out the rest of the SPED Homeschool Pinterest boards.

 

 


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Peggy Ployhar

Christmas, and the holiday season in general, truly is the most wonderful time of the year…for most things.  But, when it comes to homeschooling kids who have special needs, there is a fine balance to maintaining your child’s basic daily routine while adding in additional holiday tasks.

One way to cut down on the stress of trying to fit it all in, is to ease back from regular curriculum work and add in themed activities instead.  Many times, these types of learning activities are more easily embraced by a child than their typical school work.  School seems less like school and more like fun, helping lessons get done more quickly. 

Over the years many of the holiday learning activities our family did as part of our homeschooling lessons have become wonderful yearly traditions.  We make international treats discovered through various unit studies and have favorite books my adult children have fond memories of us reading over and over again.

Here are 20 holiday-related free learning activities you can use to add some cheer into your SPED homeschooling days this season:

  1. Christmas Gross Motor and Brain Break Ideas – 14 activities for adding some holiday movement into your homeschool day
  2. Christmas Fine Motor Crafts and Sensory Play Activities – Fun Christmas sensory play activities and fine motor skill building craft ideas
  3. Elf on the Shelf Sensory Taste, Smell and Sight Activities – Use Elf on the Shelf for helping your sensory child improve their aversions to texture, taste, smell, noise and light
  4. 30 Montessori Christmas Activities – Activities covering language arts, math, sensory, and life skills
  5. LEGO Nativity Set Instructions – Build Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus in the manger, and a shepherd with two sheep out of simple LEGO blocks
  6. Christmas Counting Puzzles on a Light Table – Simple Christmas themed counting puzzles you can make yourself to use on a light table
  7. Simple Sewing Christmas Tree Decorations – Turn felt, buttons, yarn, and stuffing into an easy to sew Christmas tree decoration
  8. 8 Upper-Level Math Christmas Activities – Add some seasonal twists to geometry, algebra, and thinking skills lessons this Christmas.
  9. Christmas Skip Counting Games – 3 holiday games to reinforce simple skip counting
  10. Christmas Candy Chemistry Science Experiments – Have some science fun with all that yummy Christmas candy…it’s STEM learning made fun and festive
  11. “Santa Claus, Santa Claus, What Do You See?” Emergent Reader – This print and assemble book reinforces 14 sight words within a Santa themed story
  12. 25 Days of Fine Motor Christmas Activities – Simple themed activities focused around building fine motor skills
  13. STEM Holiday Light Circuits – Use old Christmas lights and a few common household supplies to teach a lesson in electrical circuits
  14. 30 Awesome Christmas Games – Games perfect for family time or lesson boredom busters
  15. Holiday Speech Therapy Activities – Holiday speech therapy activities that are hands on and interactive
  16. Nativity Activities and Educational Resources – A mix of 35 activities, crafts and printables all focused around the nativity
  17. A Very Merry Occupational Therapy Christmas – 25 activities that address a variety of occupational skill areas
  18. Christmas Journal – Free printable to help you discuss and capture all the special moments and memories with your child this Christmas
  19. Candy Cane Activities for Upper Elementary – Activities for writing, science, history, and math all related to the simple candy cane
  20. Christmas Scripture Copywork – Work on handwriting skills while keeping the true meaning of Christmas as your lesson focus.

If that list does not meet your needs, or you still want more activities, make sure to check out the SPED Homeschool Christmas Pinterest Board

You will find lots more free or inexpensive holiday-themed learning activities to fill your entire month of December.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 


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thanksgiving blog image

 

Fall is rushing by quickly and snow is already starting to fly up north. Before we know it, the holiday season will be upon us.

As you are thinking about how to add some seasonal fun into your homeschooling activities, here are some Thanksgiving learning ideas you can incorporate into your special education homeschooling schedule.

20 Thanksgiving SPED Homeschooling Activities

 

  1. Build Your Own Mayflower Craft and Science Activity – Easy activity for building a boat and learning the science of flotation
  2. Thanksgiving “I Spy” Printable – Observation and simple counting reinforced through “I Spy” with a Thanksgiving theme
  3. Language Arts Games for Thanksgiving – Multiple Thanksgiving-themed games to reinforce language arts
  4. Thanksgiving Dot Painting Printables – Dot Painting printables with Thanksgiving themes
  5. Building Number Sense, Turkey Style – Counting and turkeys make early math skills practice fun
  6. Sensory Turkey for Thanksgiving – Learn how to make a multi-sensory turkey
  7. “I am Thankful” Lapbook – Printables for making a thanks-oriented lapbook
  8. Color in Thanksgiving Placemats – Printables for activity placemats to use for your Thanksgiving meal
  9. K-4 Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension and Inference Activities – Multi-grade Thanksgiving reading activities, including comprehension and personal inference questions
  10. Upper Elementary Thanksgiving Activities – Reading, writing and math activities with Thanksgiving themes
  11. Visual Thanksgiving Recipes – Recipes written with pictures so they can be followed by non-readers
  12. Fine Motor Turkey Math Game – Turkey, math, and therapy all wrapped up in one game
  13. 21 Free Thanksgiving Themed Unit Studies – An extensive list of free Thanksgiving themed unit studies
  14. Thanksgiving Videos for Kids – A variety of videos for kids with a Thanksgiving theme
  15. Fine Motor Playdough Turkeys – Building this turkey is fun as well as it can help develop fine motor skills
  16. Thanksgiving Mad Libs – Kids add their own words to these Thanksgiving themed Mad Lib activity sheets
  17. 4 Thanksgiving Speech Therapy Activities – Ideas for incorporating Thanksgiving into your student’s speech activities
  18. Thanksgiving Writing Activity Packet – Writing is always more fun when it includes a seasonal flair
  19. Fun Turkey Dance for Brain Breaks – A Thanksgiving brain break dance your kids will love
  20. 30+ Thanksgiving Craft & Food Craft Ideas – Cute crafts that use a variety of different materials, even food


For more Thanksgiving SPED homeschooling ideas, make sure to check out our SPED Homeschooling Thanksgiving Pinterest Board. There are new pins being added to the SPED Homeschool Pinterest boards every day, so subscribe to all of them so you don’t miss a thing.

 

 


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