Subject Spotlight on Social Studies: 15 Ways to Add it to Your Homeschool

Social Studies was always my favorite subject in school.  I loved hearing stories of people in our community, people and places around the world, how the land was formed and maps! There are so many fun ways to incorporate Social Studies into your homeschool day.

  1. Errands and appointments in your community – Discuss the roles of doctors, police officers, firefighters, nurses, librarians – the list is endless!
  2. Grocery store –  Not only is it great for math lessons, but take note of where your foods come from and map it out.  Discuss the process of food from a farm or factory to the grocery store or discuss the role or shipping or trucking transportation to deliver food and other goods to stores.
  3. Elections – Leading up to an election you can’t miss all the signs.  Talk about what they’re for, the voting process and the roles of different governments. City halls and Legislature buildings usually offer free tours. 

    Parliament Hill
    Parliament Hill, Ottawa
  4. Museums, historical buildings and open air museums – Take a look at how societies lived in the past.  See the tools and weapons they used, how the grew their food and how they made clothes at places like Royal Alberta MuseumHistoric DunveganFort Edmonton Park, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village  and Fort Calgary to name a few.
  5. Geocaching – Grab a GPS and get outside, or download an app that will help you find treasures in your area or on your travels.
  6. Maps – I love maps!  Different colors, graphics, fonts, subjects, historical, so much to explore!
  7. Globe and atlas – Always have one of each easily accessible.  No kid can resist spinning a globe and use it as chance to discuss neighboring countries, equator, and timezone.  Flip through an atlas to discover world climates and vegetation, topography and flags of the world.

    Nat. Geo. Student Atlas of the World is a great resource to have on hand
    Nat. Geo. Student Atlas of the World is a great resource to have on hand
  8. Postcard Swap – We arrange swaps with other homeschool families in Canada, US and the world and we ask out friends to send postcards when they go on worldly adventures.  We talk about the country and also the attraction or sights found on the postcard.

    Postcards from Hawaii and China where our friends just visited recently
    Postcards from Hawaii and China where our friends just visited recently
  9. Google Maps / Google Earth – two wonderful free sites for exploring the world around us.  From looking up directions to local playground to zooming into street view of Paris, you can visit anywhere.  Use the street view option to see buildings and landmarks in 3D. 
  10. International customs – Give the globe a spin and choose a country.  Look up how they celebrate holidays, favorite foods, sports preference and more.
  11. You Tube – We use it to browse extreme weather videos, but there’s so much you could look up!
  12. Weather Journals – track temperatures and conditions and look for patterns and predict the forecast. Lay on the grass and watch the clouds go by.
  13. Local landscape – Edmonton has an amazing River Valley, take a stroll or bike ride and talk about how it meanders and the erosion of the banks.  Or a weekend trip to the mountains can start discussions on formation, glaciers or waterfalls.  Where ever you are take a look at your rivers, hills, shorelines and discover how your area was formed.

    The meandering North Saskatchewan River from a helicopter
    The view of the meandering North Saskatchewan River from a helicopter
  14. Cultural festivals – Check out local festivals that celebrate different cultures and customs.  We have some great festivals in Edmonton, including A Taste of Edmonton that includes international cuisine and Heritage Festival that showcases over 100 countries and customs.
  15. Board games and puzzles – From map puzzles to board games like Risk, Where in the World and Geo Dice, turn your family Friday night into an educational lesson.
A simple 100 piece puzzle from the dollar store helps teach Canadian Geography

What are your favorite ways of adding Social Studies to your homeschool?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *