Playing while you learn is always much more effective than simply memorizing by rote. One way to introduce the fun element of play into a homeschool classroom would be to use educational puzzles. The homeschool teacher can take any topic and create a quiz, or a jigsaw puzzle with ease. Here are some ideas.

The Word Search

Easy way to do this is to start with ten words in a grid of 15 by 15 letters. You can make the grid using the table feature in the software that you are using. Simply add the words into the grid and then fill in the remaining spots with random alphabet. If you want to make it easier for the homeschool students to solve the puzzle, give them the hint of words to be found below this table.

The Cross Word Clues

This works best if there is a steady theme. So take a theme like New Year in the month of January, or Valentine’s Day in the month of February. Pick something relevant. Now put together ten clues to words that are related to this theme. You can past them into the file on top of the page.

Again create a table and fit in the words five in down and five across. Blacken out the remaining spaces. Save this as the solution document. Now copy it into another file and delete the words to leave blank white spaces for the homeschool students to work out the solution in.

The Visual Jigsaw

Pick an image that may be required to be memorized. For instance the planets in the solar system for younger children, or the periodic table for older ones. Print out a good resolution picture on a glossy photo paper. Now cut up the jigsaw puzzle using a pair of scissors. To make it easier to put the picture back together, you may print out another image and give the homeschool students. Ideally do this after they have spent some time trying to figure out where all the pieces go.

Such puzzles can be made in advance and kept ready to use in the homeschool classroom when required.

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