Long before I was a homeschool-because-of-pandemic-mom, I was just a regular mom -- diving into creative and perhaps at times questionable strategies for getting my kids to stay academically-oriented when it was 400 degrees outside.

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But many of our hot-weather home-learning activities seem really appropriate now that "at-home" is the place to be, so I wanted to share three of my favorites.

1. Physics - Let's Learn About Cause and Effect, and Inertia and Momentum!

May I present the best $15 ever spent -- the Sumo Bumper Bopper Belly Bumper Toy (say that three times fast!). The kids physically exhausted themselves, while I yelled about concepts such as "Net Force!" and "Newton's First Law!" Also, hilarious to put on TikTok.

2. Spelling - Water Balloon Reinforcement

Now, I'm not sure if this counts as positive or negative reinforcement from a behavioral psychology standpoint, but boy is it effective. When my oldest was in first grade and the weather warmed up, I'd make him an offer he couldn't refuse. We filled up a cooler of water balloons and for every spelling word he got right, he got to wail a water balloon at me. And, for every one he got wrong, I'd throw water balloons at him until he got it right. He's 10 now and a terrific speller, but has this weird phobia about balloons and doesn't seem to trust me, idk.

3. Fine Motor Skill - H20 Go(ooooooooooo)

We have the H20Go water slide, but anything in the "slip 'n slide-ish" category is going to be just fine for this charm-school challenge. Ask your kids to runway walk slowly at first down the water slide, and then speed it up more. Look at those core muscles building! Also, a nice reinforcement of Newton's First Law of Motion as well. (PS, kiddo was fine!)