This was a post I had originally written for The Canadian Schoolhouse where I write 3 – 4 articles a month. It’s a great place to see what Canadian homeschoolers are doing and get recipes, crafts, ideas, read articles, etc. The writing I do there is more educational and less personal so you may notice a different tone to this article, but it is all my thoughts nontheless.
Sophie has been a much different type of learner than Hailey. She needs constant motion and needs to use her energy and feel like she is having fun to engage. These are all things I have tried, or currently use, in her homeschool days.
I hope you find this helpful!
Some children have a more difficult time than others to sit still. These kids can experience a huge benefit from homeschooling and being allowed to get the movement they need while still learning. If you are feeling at a loss of how to educate your high energy child, let me offer you a few tried and true ideas. My 6-year-old is never still so I have had to really be creative at ways to keep her moving and engaged while still educating her.
One important consideration is what can be done on the move and what cannot. Activities such as printing practice really do need to be done sitting, however, maybe sitting on an exercise ball would help a little. If you can do it verbally, it can be done in motion!
Energetic Learning Activities
Read and Move Activity
One of our favourite things to do on the move is to practice letter sounds and/or word cards. There are many different ways we practice this, but all have a similar idea.
The letter/word cards get spread out around the room or the hallway, and different movements happen in between each card.
Have the child read a card and then do some type of movement to get to the next one. Read it and continue on through all the cards.
Some ideas for movement are:
- Frog jump
- Hop on one foot
- Crab walk
- One big 2 foot jump from card to card
- Any other fun movement you can think of that your child will enjoy
Sight Words and Strike a Pose
We also have a floor beam that my little gymnast likes to practice her sight words on. I spread the words out on her beam, and she does her poses at each word, reading the word before moving on.
Hunt & Read
Another fun option to practice this on the move would be setting up an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt. Have them find the words scattered around the house or yard and read them as they bring them to you.
Go, Do, Read
One more we love is the “go do” game. I will say “go do 3 somersaults on your bed and come back and read a word.” They will run to do the task, run back, and read a word. Then, I will give another task and so on and so forth, having them run both directions.
Adjust Lessons for Your High Energy Child
Some other ways we learn while in motion involve read-alouds, oral comprehension questions, and mental math. As long as their minds are attentive to what is being talked about, they are welcome to move as they wish. Sometimes, I will even scribe for my daughter while she does her math bouncing on a ball. I read her the question, she tells me the answer, and I write it down.
Examine your priorities and what you are trying to get out of a certain lesson. If your goal does not involve their writing, there is no harm in doing it orally.
There are many cost free ways to allow motion in learning such as the things I mentioned above. Body movement is free. However, if you are wondering about some of our favourite “props” for young learners to move, here they are:
- Large bouncy ball with a handle to sit and bounce on
- Wobble board
- Sensory swing
- Hanging rings
- Mini trampoline
- Balance beam (easy to make at home)
Remember you have the unique opportunity to work with your high energy child and come up with ways that work for learning AND moving. Get creative and follow their lead!
I would love your feedback on some of your favourite ways to get your high energy child moving!