Making Homeschooling Fun
If workbooks are getting boring, and cabin fever is setting in, it might just be the right time for you to add some fun to your homeschool. Games, contests, and more can break up any monotony you are facing. You'll find ideas for field trips and extracurricular activities. And you may find that your kids think "doing school" is funner than anything else they can imagine!
Educational Games
Kids who thrive with hands-on learning love educational games. These are a great way to learn while having fun. Browse through our picks for the best educational games out there.
Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are a great addition to the educational experience you provide your children by homeschooling. Here you'll find resources for everything from Scouts to 4H to sports and more.
Holidays
Holidays offer a nice opportunity to enhance your child's learning experience. This listing of holidays offers ideas for celebrating in your home, along with interesting facts about these special days. You'll also find suggestions for incorporating holidays into your home education plan.
Field Trips
Who says homeschooling has to happen at home? Most homeschoolers will tell you that they spend almost as much time out of the house as in it. Field trips are learning opportunties that offer fun ways to make every life experience a learning experience. You'll also find tips and strategies for planning, managing, and attending field trips with your homeschool support group.
Camps
Is your child ready to go out, experience new opportunities, and make new friends? Are you looking for specialized instruction in a particular subject? A camp may be just the ticket. Here you'll find a listing of camps that are great for homeschoolers in Texas and beyond.
Contests
Entering contests is a fun activity for kids. They can practice their writing skills, learn about new subjects, and may even end up winning a great prize. We've collected some of the most interesting, challenging, and fun contests available for kids to enter.
Car Games
Busy homeschooling families tend to spend a lot of time in the car. Learning doesn't have to stop just because you are on the go. These ideas and games will make the most of your vehicle time, giving your kids fun things to do while on the road.
Penpals
Is your homeschooled child looking for new friends? Are you learning about a different part of the country or world? A penpal may be just what you are looking for. These resources will help your child connect with other homeschoolers in far flung places.
What's Popular
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquarium
The San Antonio Zoo is located at the headwaters of the San Antonio River -- just minutes from the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Artesian water flows through the Zoo grounds, an abandoned rock quarry where tall oak, pecan, and bald cypress trees provide cool summer shade. Limestone cliffs surround the naturalistic enclosures and make dramatic backdrops for many of the animal habitats. Along the riverbank, humid, tropical conditions prevail, while a short distance away, semi-arid hillsides dominate. S...
Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is located in Corpus Christi. Your experience begins on the walkways which feature images of whales, rays, dolphins, sharks, and the Gulf of Mexico itself. You enter the building by walking under our ignature "waterfall" representing a full submersion into the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteer guides are stationed throughout the Aquarium to explain exhibits and answer questions. You not only travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf but also have the opp...
Abilene Zoological Gardens
The Abilene Zoo is located in Nelson Park and maintains a collection of both plants and animals. The animal exhibits are surrounded by plants native to Texas. Highlights include a Discovery Center, the Hyena Exhibit, and the Black Bear Exhibit. Also offers educational programs, tours, and special events.
El Paso Zoo
The El Paso Zoo is an eighteen-acre home to more than 600 animals of over 250 species in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Paraje, Birds of Prey, American Biome, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands, Asian Endangered Walk, and an Elephant Complex.
Fort Worth Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo has more than 5,000 native, exotic and endangered animals from 435 species, all in a lush, beautifully landscaped environment. Also offers special events and exhibits, and educational programs.
The Texas Zoo
Located in Victoria, The Texas Zoo features animals exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is a visitor oriented zoological and botanical park dedicated to the preservation of nature. The Gladys Porter Zoo is located on 31-acres in central Brownsville. The Zoo's living collections are comprised of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates from most major ecosystems. There are over 1,500 animal specimens, representing approximately 400 species, 47 of which are listed as endangered. The botanical collection is comprised of over 250 sp...
Dallas World Aquarium
The aquarium features more than 85,000 gallons (321,800 l) of saltwater with marine life from around the world. Walk through the 22,000-gallon (83,280 l) tunnel to experience a panoramic view of reef life. Many animals found at the top of the food chain can be seen in the Predators exhibit. Ten 2,000-gallon (7,571 l) displays present marine life from around the world - Palau, Southern Australia, Lord Howe Island, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Bahamas, British Columbia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan. R...
Rainforest at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens in Galveston offers a rainforest in a 10-story glass pyramid. It features a 55-foot tall canopy of tropical foliage, which blocks out much of the blazing Texas sun. The Pyramid is a verdant jungle full of Tarzan-type air-root vines, vibrant flowers and luscious fruit such as bananas and papaya. Explore the mysteries of science at the Discovery Pyramid, and take a rocking and rolling ride through the universe at the Ridefilm Theater. See spectacular images leap from the screen of ou...
Ellen Trout Zoo
The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin offers animal exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
Caldwell Zoo
The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler has over 2,000 animals representing 250 different species. Visitors to the Zoo are provided with a close-up experience with lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras grazing in natural East Africa habitats. The natural rolling topography of the zoo provides a breathtaking glimpse of these magnificent animals with barriers virtually hidden from view. Visitors can dine with the animals at the Chakula Café and watch in wonder how lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras live in n...
Houston Zoo
Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.5 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 3,500 exotic animals representing more than 700 species.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Just 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, visitors to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center can observe over 1100 animals representing 50 species and from five continents roaming free over 2700 acres. It is a safe haven for some of the worlds most endangered species including a host of native animals.
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio, the world's largest marine life adventure park and family entertainment showplace, presents a splashy lineup of more than 25 sensational shows, thrilling rides, animal attractions and educational experiences for all ages. It's actually four parks in one on 250 acres: a show park, a rides and slides park, a water park and an animals park.
International Exotic Feline Sanctuary
The inhabitants include bobcats, cougars, jaguars, leopards, lions and tigers, among other species. Sixty-six felines call IEFS home, with spacious habitats, pools and houses. A visit to IEFS includes a guided tour, during which your guide will share stories of how each feline came to IEFS and fascinating facts about similarities and differences between each feline. Your guide will also assist you with the privilege of up-close photography with some of the world's most fabulous felines.
Resources
Visual Brainstorms
Children who love word games, logic puzzles, secret codes, mazes, and math mysteries will stretch their mental muscles with Visual Brain Storms. This set of 100 cards, each of which includes a humorous, full-color drawing, promises "the world's best brainteaser questions." The characters in the questions often have funny names (Professor Pith Bugby pops up often) or faces or dilemmas to solve. The answers and explanations are on the back of each card, along with a related bonus question. Many of the puzzles involve math concepts, spatial reasoning, logic, or sequential thinking, but some can be solved with plain common sense. Here's a sample: "Frank and Helen's annual singles elimination tennis tournament has drawn 18 players this year. How many matches must be played before there is a winner for the year?" Answer: "Every match will produce one loser, and every person other than the winner will lose once and only once. Eighteen players makes 17 losers; therefore it will take 17 matches to have a tournament winner." Visual Brain Storms is a humorous, painless way to improve those higher-order thinking skills. Visual Brain Storms: The Smart Thinking Game is for one or more players. --Marcie Bovetz
LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Travel around the board in this fast-paced, head-to-head game as you hit your buzzer before your friend can steal your question! Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 3rd-5th grade skills in math, language and fine arts, science, history, and geography!
Great States Board Game
What is the capital of NJ? Where is the Football Hall of Fame? These are just a few of the hundreds of questions players are asked as they adventure around the USA discovering state attractions and landmarks, capitals, state abbreviations, state locations and more. In order to answer the questions on the cards, players must look closely at the colorful USA map game board, becoming familiar with the geography of the country. Players must hurry to find the answers as the mechanical timer ticks. Contents: Game board, 100 Figure cards, 100 Fact cards, 100 Find cards, 1 spinner, 1 mechanical timer, and game rules. Duration of Play: 20 minutes. 2-6 players.
Happy Phonics
Happy Phonics uses games to teach early reading skills. Simple yet entertaining and educational, these phonics games are printed on colorful, sturdy cardstock ready to cut out. Included is a mother-friendly guidebook which contains details on how to teach phonics and reading, how to pronounce and teach the phonics sounds, how to make your own simple beginning readers, and step-by-step teaching information for each phonics sound. Happy Phonics covers beginning to advanced phonics.
Smart Mouth
Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more players

Smart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.

LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd grade skills in math, language arts, life science, physical science, and social studies!
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking

With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.

The Letter Factory Game
Teaches Phonics! The race is on! With two games in one, children play together and learn letter names and sounds with actions and music. Wacky Professor Quigley guides players every step of the way so no reading is required! Games automatically adjust to skill level, to keep children learning at just the right pace! 2 Games in 1: Counting Colors & Letters: Learn letter names and sounds by matching color cards to move around the board. Leaping Letters: Listen to the name or sound and then find the card that matches it! Includes: interactive card reader, game board, 26 letter cards and 4 playing pieces.
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Featured Resources

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