We’ve been home educating, or homeschooling, ever since my girls were born, basically, and while we’ve gone through various incantations of it – from themed learning to formal curriculum activities, moving from unschooling to formal education in certain subjects – one of the things that has remained consistent is that I always create resources that are engaging for my children. I can see, from the resources people download from the blog, that they appeal to other children too. The problem with creating your own resources is that it can be unbelievably time consuming, which is fine when they enjoy and engage with it, but if it looks boring, half the battle – for my kids – is lost.
While there is an absolute wealth of resources available for home education now, especially during and after lockdown, I wanted to share some of the ideas that I use to keep the kids busy and, ideally for me, off screens. (A lot of their leisure time is spent on screens, so I prefer keeping their education a bit more hands-on.) One of the pitfalls of DIY resources is that you can spend unnecessary hours looking for add-ons, like images. Having a few ‘go-to’ websites that you can rely on makes all the difference in the world. I’m going to look at a website called DesignBundles, and show you three ways that you can incorporate this service as your go-to, at home, resource companion.
In recent years colouring has had something of a resurgence, not just for children, but or adults too. Something about the repetitiveness of colouring helps ease and focus the mind 1. One of the things that I’ve found really useful with the children is giving them something to colour while I’m introducing them to new material.
For example, I read a book about Frida Kahlo to them, while they coloured pictures of her with her famous flower headband (downloaded elsewhere). If you can’t find colouring pictures specific to your theme, try some of the printable colouring pages. Whether it’s loosely tied to your theme, simple mandalas or completely different, the focus of colouring while they listen to the new material will make it a much better experience for everyone.
My girls can spend hours watching someone else play Minecraft on YouTube, but sit them in front of an educational talk for an hour and their attention span is somewhat lacking, so for us, hands-on learning is something of an essential. This means we often use lapbooks, have themed afternoon teas, or we’ll even throw a party for three – like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory party we had while learning a few essential maths skills early on. In the coming months, we might use printables from the website to decorate for Halloween, make Christmas presents, decorate lapbooks on our upcoming French learning, or even just decorate our nature journals – what you can do with DIY printable stickers without having to leave the house, search the shops or wait for delivery, is endless. That’s not to mention themed posters, images, backgrounds and more.
One of the things you’ll find on DesignBundles is a plethora of mock ups, which are perfect for seeing how things would look. From t-shirts to signage to home decor, I think this has incredibly exciting implications for young entrepreneurs. Ameli is a really avid artist, for example, and loves drawing anime people – when she’s ready she will create mockups of her art as t-shirts, tote bags and even phone covers. It’s a great way to showcase what she can do and would be a great way to introduce her to a work-from-home business.
On the subject of themes, I wouldn’t survive home education without my printer. I use the HP Instant Ink service which makes running a printer at home absolutely affordable – around £3 a month, and means I have the freedom to create resources that are relevant without worrying too much about the cost of it. Another way you can use DesignBundles is for themed days and activities. Take for example World Friendship Day which is coming up this Sunday. In the past we’ve done compliment place mats, which were very well received, but as we can’t see our friends at the moment, we could still do something nice – like send them a card or make a photo album of some of the fun adventures we’ve had together.
Download the friendship quotes bundle and either print them onto sticky-backed paper which you can use to decorate a card, a mason-jar filled with love hearts or even see-through shrinket paper, and make charm necklaces! The options are absolutely endless. You can use them digitally too, adding them into your photo collages, for example. What a precious gift for World Friendship Day.
Here are some of the friendship quotes I’ve added to a digital photobook that I’ll send off to print.
The options are as varied as your imagination, and for me there are two overriding benefits to using a website such as DesignBundles:
Options may be limitless, but time is at a premium, so if it costs me £2 and I save an hour hunting around for images, it’s totally worth it, and second, licencing is really easy to understand. As a blogger, I sometimes like to share my resources, and since I don’t get near the download limits that require corporate licencing, what I can and can’t do is very clear on their site. If you’re simply a home user, using for yourself and friends, there’s nothing to worry about.
I hope this has given you some ideas of how you can incorporate design bundles in your learning and home life.
- https://www.developgoodhabits.com/benefits-adult-coloring/ ↩