Jan 29, 2018

What About the Fun Stuff?


Welcome back to the last day of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair! The Fair is hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. We have talked about 

This week we are talking about the extras in our school: Enriching Our Learning.


When my kids were little it felt so hard to add in the "fun stuff". It seemed to take so much effort just to get math, reading and writing in, not to mention science and history, that stuff like art, music, and just learning for the fun of it seemed too easy to just leave out of our day.

Then I discovered Charlotte Mason and short lessons and free afternoons. It quickly became our goal to finish serious school by lunch so the kids had the afternoons to pursue their own passions. I took this goal seriously... I even purchased timers to make it easy for the kids to achieve short lessons. It worked well. Now, there is often a kid who lingers over schoolwork until 3pm or later, but it is rarely the same kid and most of them are almost always done by lunch. They can appreciate the benefits enough to get it done. It also helps, I think, that they are getting older and we have been doing this for a long time.

So... what do we do with those free afternoons? Well, some of them might not seem so free. We actually have someplace to be every afternoon. I do, anyway. The kids take turns getting to stay home while I ferry their siblings around. On Mondays, the high schoolers have Spanish class and the three younger ones have writing class. On Tuesdays, Kaytie used to have choir but it wasn't offered this semester, so instead we have a book club one Tuesday a month. On Wednesdays, the high schoolers have Biology class and math tutoring. On Thursdays, we have a lot of chess and another book club. And on Fridays, we don't do school at all because we have co-op.


When they are not in class, my high schoolers keep quite busy. Kaytie reads, writes stories, paints, draws,  and practices on both the keyboard and her ukulele. Nate reads, plays his guitar, works on making movies and researches his latest obsession (which currently is turtles). The boys are also currently spending an inordinate amount of time building wooden weapons in the garage. 


The younger two kids have a lot more free time. Daniel spends a good deal of time building elaborate Lego creations, drawing, and building random stuff with empty cardboard boxes. Abbie is still young enough that she spends a lot of time playing with toys. But she also draws and paints and reads. She and Daniel incorporate the four year old into a lot of what they do, so they are also learning babysitting skills. 


As far as more formal stuff, we add poetry, artist study, hymn study and literature into our Morning Meeting (circle time, morning basket, whatever you want to call it) every day. This is a quick and easy way to include it on a regular basis.

Mostly though, I try to keep the enrichment part of our school as kid-driven and interest-led as I can. It's where they learn the fun parts of learning.

This is the final week of the 7th Virtual Homeschool Fair. Our topic is:  Enriching Our Learning.

Note: All posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 29th.
Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
All of the Extras by Christy Schaefer @ Unexpected Homeschool
How To Explore Special Interests In Your Homeschool by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning outside of the box by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Putting the Heart Back into our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Adding in the Fun by Michele @Family, Faith and Fridays
The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
The Fun Parts of Homeschooling by Annette @ A Net in Time
How we add in the fun stuff. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Running - for fitness & fun by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Adding in the Extras by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
What About the Fun Stuff? by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
And the Learning Goes On, And On, And On by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Let's See What's Out There! (Electives and Extras) by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break


At Home where life happens said...

I agree that when we are able to have much of their learning interest driven that they are more invested and interested. I think you have done a great job with that and I adore the idea of being able to participate in a book club. - Lori

Annette V said...

you have some good options for your youngsters to engage in. So good you can engage so many of their interests.


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