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How to Homeschool with Coloring Books

Coloring books are the current rage!  So why not use them in your homeschool?  You’ve probably noticed how popular coloring books have become for folks of all ages–from young children to teens to adults. Some of us here at Hip Homeschool Moms recently had the chance to use some coloring books that were created to make teaching and learning more fun and memorable. We discovered that coloring books can make “doing school” lots more fun for both teachers and students!

 

how to homeschool with coloring books

 

12 Ways to Homeschool Using Coloring Books

  1. Find some great educational coloring books like these!
  2. Read it like a textbook, and color each page as you study the topics.
  3. Use it to review topics after you have finished a textbook.
  4. Let the topics be talking points for a unit study.
  5. Turn each fact into a “Did you know?” trivia game by taking turns asking each other about interesting facts.
  6. Let younger children focus on just coloring within the lines.  Use it as hand-eye coordination building and pre-handwriting practice.
  7. Cut out the pictures to make a collage or interactive diorama.
  8. Underline or highlight new words.  Then have your child determine the definition using context clues. Then look it up in a dictionary to see if the definition was correct.
  9. Practice handwriting skills by using the text as copywork.  After a block of text has been written, color in its speechbox.
  10. Compare and contrast topics.  Color similarities the same color and differences the different shades of the same color.
  11. Create a timeline using the facts in the history-based coloring books.  If it is a fashion coloring book, color and cut out the figures and place them on your timeline.
  12. Use facts that you learn to write an informative yet creative story.

How a Non-Coloring Kid Uses Coloring Books to Learn

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You would think that a kid who doesn’t color would not be interested in coloring books, but just the opposite is true! This is Leann’s story of her son and her experience with Dover’s coloring books.

My son is in fourth grade, and he has never enjoyed coloring. He always had such a hard time coloring within the lines. We assumed this was because he didn’t have the motor skills or interest in coloring well. This past summer, we learned that he has a binocular vision disorder called convergence insufficiency. Essentially, his eyes do not work together. As a result, his eyes struggle to focus to read and write. This also means he struggles to color.

So, why would we even consider using coloring books?

When our coloring books first arrived at our home, my son sat down and read the human body coloring book from cover to cover. From a room over, he would yell out to me facts that interested him. “Mom, did you know 7 muscles control the eye?” This one little statement led to a great discussion about whether his eye disorder is controlled by the eye muscles or the brain….something we had never even thought about!

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For the past few weeks, we’ve been using these coloring books as unit studies.  We read about a topic and then discussed the vocabulary on the page.  Sometimes we checked out books from our local library or researched online to find out more.  However, many times the information found on these pages was just enough to pique an interest!

In fact, it is rare for us NOT to use a coloring book as a supplement to our studies.  For instance, when we studied the Middle Ages,  we read through at least 1 (sometimes 2 or 3) Dover coloring books each week in order to dig deeper into the content. During this study, we used Life in a Medieval Castle, History of the Sword, Medieval Castles, Medieval Jousts and Tournaments, Knights and Armor, Illuminated Manuscripts, Story of the Vikings, and Norse Gods and Goddesses.

One of the things that I love about Dover is that it publishes more than 1000 educational coloring books over various topics for science, history, nature, art, and foreign languages — even for preschool topics!  If I need a book on a topic, I know that I can find one by Dover! Besides providing quality materials on a variety of subjects, they are also affordable — typically running about $5!

They’re great for those who love to color too!

Now that you’ve read about how Leann used these coloring books with her son–who has never really enjoyed coloring–I’d like to share a little about how I’ve used them with my 13-year-old daughter who loves to color and be creative! Mary Grace has always enjoyed doing anything creative. She enjoys coloring, crafting, drawing, and lots of other artsy/crafty activities.

In fact, at times it’s hard to get her interested in subjects (like science) which don’t typically involve lots of creative opportunities. While she enjoys science experiments to some extent, what she truly loves is making pretty things! These coloring books have given her the opportunity to take a subject that she doesn’t usually love and turn it into something that she looks forward to doing! The page below is one that she began coloring as we studied about weather. We used this page (and others that related to the topic we were studying) as a fun activity to help spark interest in the study and to give us ideas for topics we wanted to research further.

And while we’re discussing using coloring books with older children and teens, I have to say that these coloring books are NOT just for young children! While the names of the 4 books we reviewed tend to make you think they’re for very young children, they are great for use with older children and young teens too. They might even be useful for older teens who need a more simplified curriculum or those who want to use them as “jumping off” points for more research and exploration (like we did).

Dover Collage

 

The coloring books we’ve recently used:

Recently we had the opportunity to review 4 Dover coloring books.  Here’s more information about the ones we received.

brain

My First Book About the Brain

Discover the workings of the body’s most complex organ! How does the brain control the rest of the body? How does it enable the senses to function, regulate speech, affect balance, and influence sleep and dreams? These 25 illustrations to color explain every aspect of the brain’s important jobs, from communicating with the central nervous system to retaining memories. (Grade levels 3rd-6th. Ages 8-12.)

You can purchase this from Amazon.

outer space My First Book About Outer Space

Where do we live among the galaxies, what did people think before they could study the sky with telescopes, and what happened to Pluto? Thirty-nine illustrations to color answer these and other questions about our Solar System and beyond. Entertaining, easy-to-understand captions explain crater formation, constellations, weightlessness, space junk, and other fascinating subjects. (Grade level 3rd-8th. Ages 8-14.)

“My First Book About Outer Space” is a Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Medal Award winner! The Moonbeam Award is given out for books that inspire literacy and a life-long love of reading.

*Note:  evolutionary information is shared on 2 sets of pages — discussing the Big Bang Theory as well as why the dinosaurs disappeared.

You can get this on Amazon.

human body

My First Human Body Book

Here’s the most entertaining way for children to learn how the human body works: 28 fun and instructive, ready-to-color illustrations that explore the muscular, skeletal, nervous, digestive, respiratory, and immune systems. Kids will discover how their voice boxes work, how many bones they have, how thousands of “tasters” on their tongues help them distinguish flavors, how the DNA in their cells is different from everyone else’s, and more. Filled with astonishing details, this head-to-toe survey of the body is fascinating to read and fun to color! (Grade levels 1st-5th. Ages 6-10.)

This one is available on Amazon.
weather

My First Book About Weather

Everybody talks about the weather ― and now kids can have interesting things to say about it, too! What causes thunderstorms and hurricanes? How do cold and warm fronts develop, and what’s the weather like on other planets? Answers to these and other questions appear in 46 full-page illustrations and captions. The ideal introduction to meteorology, this coloring book explains blizzards, tornadoes, rainbows, mudslides, and other natural phenomena. (Grade level 3rd-6th grade. Ages 8-11.)

You can find this one on Amazon.

Wendy and Leann each received copies of the 4 books mentioned in exchange for an honest review of the products.

About the author

Wendy

Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms, Only Passionate Curiosity, Homeschool Road Trips, Love These Recipes, and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, 30 years ago, and they live in the South. Hannah, age 26, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 24, was the second homeschool graduate and the first to leave the nest. Mary Grace, age 18, is the most recent homeschool graduate. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

63 Comments

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  • I’ve never actually thought about using coloring books within our curriculum. I had no idea there were such educational books available, but glad I know now! I’ll definitely be looking into these for next year’s curriculum!

  • I never thought about educating my kids with coloring books. This is fantastic info. Thank you so much!

  • This would be perfect for my daughter! She loves to color…my son not so much…but I think this would awesome to work through looks like fun and lots of learning.

  • We love coloring books! I’ve created a couple on my own to mix things up a little and give my kids another avenue to help the information soak in. I’m excited to check these out!

  • I love Dover books. My children have several and love them as well. Learning while coloring (in their opinion “not work”) is a win-win. I appreciate the accurate information they are receiving while having fun.

  • I kept passing these on Amazon, I didn’t realize they are coloring books. These look so neat! Thanks for sharing!

  • I love using coloring books in our homeschool studies! When he was first starting to show interest in coloring, I used color by number coloring books to teach my son numbers and colors. We have also printed simple diagrams of the body for him to color, as we discussed functions.

  • We love to color! I will have to check out these coloring books for my children. I will also have to incorporate some of these idea into my lessons! Thanks!

  • I love thus we use coloring books all the time . I find it helps them listen better when I read to them . I give them a coloring page about the topic and I read .

  • My son would enjoy one on volcanoes. I hope you have one but I am also interested in the Human Body to coordinate w/something that we already have. Looks like a great option. Thx

  • I’m sad to say I don’t currently use coloring books in our school, but I think after this article, that will change!

  • I am struggling to keep my 11 year old interested and interactive. This is an awesome idea! Thank you so much ❤❤

  • How Awesome! My son sometime likes to color but mostly doesn’t. However he loves books with pictures and I believe hed learn a lot from these!

  • I like to use coloring books for supplementing in our science or history curriculum. Helps us to be able to add some extra fun 🙂

  • My 9 year old would love this! Anyway to incorporate coloring and art in her curriculum is he favorite!

  • What great ideas! My sons will absolutely love these and I get to add to my art keepsakes 🙂

  • My kids love to color. Now to figure out an everlasting crayon that the baby and dogs can’t ruin 🙂

  • I seriously thought my 3rd grader was too old for this! I’m totally going to check out the weather & human body ones!

  • Ohhh, I love those! I think we might do the human body for science next year, and that coloring books looks great.

  • I love the idea of using coloring books in our homeschool! I would select the ones that fit in with the themes we’re studying or allow the children to choose ones they’re interested in. I would read them the information in the book while they colored. This is such a fun way to introduce children to new information!

  • This is such a great idea I never thought about! Thanks for sharing how these can be used in init studies!

  • My 8 year old doesn’t like to color. But I think he will with these! I never thought about using coloring books as part of our curriculum. Definitely something I’ll be looking into! Thank you for the giveaway!

  • I’ve never thought of this, or even realized there were coloring books on such topics. What a great add-in to our day! Thank you!

  • my son is very active and i think this would help his settle and listen while I teach a lesson. Something for his hands to do while I’m teaching

  • We currently homeschool with a lot of printables and coloring pages. I really like the concept of coloring books by learning subject.

  • I have several coloring books that I purchased with the intent of using them to enhance a subject. I have a lot of books that I buy with the intent of using them to supplement a subject. Once in awhile I remember to actually get them out and use them when we get to that subject! Since we just finished learning about Japan, I suppose I should use this as a reminder to get out the Japanese motif coloring book!

  • Hmm I think these might actually be something my kids would color of it helped them retain info for things these are required to memorize and they could totally do this while I read to them!

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