There are things we all take for granted and for me, one of those things is coffee shop school. That probably sounds ridiculous, as it does to me now that I sit here and type it out.
But homeschooling isn’t all reading by a warm cozy fire or baking bread between math lessons or impromptu piano-accompanied sing-alongs. It can be any or all of those on any givien day but there’s also a lot of routine that goes along with homeschooling, too.
Which is fine of course. It’s comforting and defining and most kids thrive on boundaries. But sometimes it’s fun to shake things up.
I’ve found that the change of venue is great for not only getting out of a rut, but also the different surroundings lend themselves to some creative school on the fly.
It can be fun to just bring your kids’ regular school books to the coffee shop and do school as usual, and if it’s your kids’ first time doing that, it’s a good way to start. Just the different sights, sounds, smells, and other stimuli are enough to change things up and challenge them to be more independent learners.
If you’re looking for a bigger change of pace though, there are lots of unique activities for your kids to do. Here are ten ideas for school assignments you can do next time you’re looking to mix things up by doing coffee shop school:
1 Write What You Observe
Have your kids write 10 sentences about what they see around them.
2 Label Parts of Speech
Once your kids write their 10 sentences, have them label the subject, verb and object in each sentence.
3 Write by Criteria
Establish some guidelines for your kids to write sentences – for example, ask them to write a sentence about what they see and use a semi colon as punctuation, or write a sentence with a properly punctuated list in it.
4 Write a Story
Have them make up and write a story about someone or something that’s in the coffee shop.
5 Write a Poem
Have them write a poem based on something they observe.
6 Document Their Senses
Have them record five observations for each of their five senses.
If you’re someplace other than your hometown (or even if you are in your hometown if you haven’t done this already) have your kids look up the history of the town you’re in, when it was established, what the population is, what some of the landmarks are, etc. and write a paragraph with their findings.
Bring paper, pencils, crayons, and erasers and have your kids draw a scene from the coffee shop you’re in.
Look over the menu and choose something to examine in depth, for example, where is coffee grown? How is it grown? What kind of growing conditions does it require? How is it harvested? How is it processed before we consume it?
If the shop isn’t busy, have your kids prepare five questions for someone who works there or the owner. If necessary, help your children politely ask them if they could interview them, and have them ask and write down the answers (or you could record the answers and have your kids transcribe the answers – transcription is a wonderful skill to practice).
All of these ideas are springboards for you adapt to what best fits your kids’ age, grade, skill level, interests, and what school topics they’re currently working on. Be creative with your assignments and don’t be afraid to change course while you’re out – you never know what adventure you’ll end up making!