15 of the Best Hands-On Homeschool Curricula Choices

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that we can customize our curricula choices to the learning styles of our kids. Do you have hands-on learners? I have two who are pretty hands-on. They learn better from doing than from just hearing or seeing the material.

If you have hands-on learners and you’re looking for the best curricula choices for them, here are some I’ve discovered over the years. Take a look and see if they would be good for your hands-on kids.

Hands-on curriculum

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Lapbooks can be awesome resources for hands-on learners. I could write a whole post about how lapbooks work, but I’ll give you a short overview. Lapbooks include printed mini books and shapes that students complete as they’re learning material. These are cut out and attached to a folded file folder book, creating a presentation that spreads out and allows the learner to see the information at a glance. Hands-on learners really benefit from them because they are actively putting cutting, gluing, coloring, and writing information as they learn.
Here are a few of my favorite lapbooking resources.
A Journey Through Learning has lapbooks for a variety of subjects and for multiple age groups. They have holiday themed lapbooks. And they have a whole set of lapbooks that go along with the Apologia elementary science curricula, as well as a supplemental set of lapbooks that go along with some of the Classical Conversation curricula. The nice thing about most of the lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning is that all of the information needed to complete the lapbook is included.
Hands of a Child has a great variety of lapbooks as well. Their lapbook packs include a daily schedule suggestion, as well as instructions, and the material you need to be able to complete all of the mini books.

Homeschool Share is one of my favorite all-time homeschool resources. They have unit studies as well as lapbooks. Most of the lapbooks are based on good children’s literature. They come with all of the mini books you need to complete the lapbook, although you’ll find the information to complete each book in the book you’re reading or unit you’re studying.

Unit Studies

Unit studies are another great hands-on way to learn. With a unit study, multiple children of different ages can all be working on the same material at the same time. When you’re using a study, all of your learning is focused around a central theme. Hands-on learning is an integral part of unit studies because kids are learning by doing experiments, cooking, making arts and crafts, and doing and experiencing a variety of things.

Here are a few of my favorite unit study resources.

Moving Beyond the Page offers literature-based unit studies. You can find unit studies that cover language arts, history, and science. Their curriculum can be purchased as a whole year that includes a collection of unit studies or as individual unit studies that cover a book or topic. There are all kinds of fun activities that we’ve enjoyed using Moving Beyond the Page, such as our dissection of owl pellets when we read Poppy by Avi.

Online Unit Studies from Homeschool Techie Mom are unique because they are all online. There isn’t much prep work for moms, so that makes these unit studies easy to use. The unit studies are all theme-based. And, in addition to learning the subject area, kids learn digital skills.

My Father’s World offers history-based, unit study style complete curricula for all grade levels. I didn’t begin using this until my youngest were 3rd/4th grade and my oldest started high school. It’s one of those resources that I wish I had discovered much sooner. All of learning is connected- literature, science, history, and Bible (math isn’t included) and is based on reading good quality literature. There are some notebooking activities, but there are also many, many hands-on activities as well.

If you enjoy literature unit studies, I have a free ebook- 31 Days of Literature Unit Studies- that you can pick up here. There are all kinds of hands-on activities for a variety of quality kids’ books.

Subject-Specific Resources

These hands-on resources are great for learning in different subject areas.

History- Diana Waring’s History Revealed curricula covers three main time periods that take students from ancient history through modern times. There is some reading in each lesson, but there are also tons of hands-on activities to choose from in each lesson as well. The curricula is meant for K-12, so the whole family can learn the same information but be doing age-appropriate activities.

History– Homeschool in the Woods is one of my favorite resources for hands-on history. Their Project Passport studies take kids through world history with readings, hands-on activities, and audio files. And the Time Travelers packs do the same with American history. If you want to really get into your history study, kids will love all the hands-on activities here.

MathMath-U-See is math for kids who need a hands-on approach. From the early kindergarten levels on, math is learned through visual demonstration and using manipulatives. Math is taught by an instructor through DVDs or streaming video. And kids use the manipulatives to understand concepts and work problems.

Science- Janice VanCleave is the author of a variety of science books filled with great activities that demonstrate science concepts to kids. She has books for specific fields such as earth science or chemistry. But she also has some general science experiment books. We’ve loved the activities in the Janice VanCleave books we’ve used!

Science- The Christian Kids Explore series from Bright Ideas Press is science curricula designed for the elementary and middle school grades. Although reading, worksheets, and memorization lists are a part of the curricula, there are also many, many hands-on activities that keep the interest of busy, hands-on kids. We’ve enjoyed several of these subject specific science books.

ScienceScience Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers by Susan Kilbride is a book that contains ten unit chapters for ages 4-7 and ten for ages 8-13. In each chapter, kids learn science concepts through a variety of activities. The activities are simple and use supplies you’ll probably already have around the house. We used it as a science supplement, but you could make a complete curriculum out of it- especially for younger kids.

Language Arts- All About Reading is highly praised for its multi-sensory approach to teaching reading. Kids who have reading difficulties and frustration often do well with the All About Reading approach that includes hands-on activities. I haven’t used this curricula, but I have heard Marie Rippel, the developer of the program, speak about her frustration in teaching her son with severe dyslexia how to read.

Other- The For Kids series by Janis Herbert is a series of books that each contain hands-on activities for elementary aged kids. There are five books focused on historical time periods and characters, as well as a book about Leonardo daVinci’s life and work. These can make a great supplement for your history or fine arts studies or a complete curricula for younger kids.

Hands-on homeschool curricula

Hands-on curricula resources are great for busy, active kids. Do you have any favorite hands-on curricula choices?

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