Don’t miss the giveaway at the end!
So here it is mid-school year. Start of a new calendar year. There just might be some of us pulling along a big bag of guilt for not getting to certain things in our homeschool. Do you have curriculum still sitting on your shelf – yet to crack it open? It’s okay. There are so many circumstances keeping us from enjoying the extras. Time for me to pull out a favorite quote:
“You can’t change what you have or haven’t done over the past year. Just start where you are, ask the Lord to make you a “joyful mother of children,” pray for grace and wisdom (and strength and patience), and move forward.” ~ Vicki Bentley, HSLDA and Everyday Homemaking
How to fit in the extras is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. For example, yes, I love our curriculum but how do I work that wonderful resource work our day? How do we fit in science and history? But what about brushing teeth? What about the roaming toddler?
The first half of this year you’ve likely been concentrating on the basics. And we must do the basics well. But this week I’ll share some strategies to help you with those homeschool extras. Even if you just might be cruising along pretty well. But, first off…
What are the basics?
Let’s define them. I see the basics as the three Rs. Reading, writing and arithmetic. The three subjects we start back to school with. We have only been doing the basics well in our back to school time from the holidays for about a week now. But that’s the beauty of the homeschool schedule. We can start slowly, getting our math and language arts under our belts before we mix in any more subjects.
Pause for this thought: I must say that developing a relationship with the Lord is first and foremost in our home. Even before those basic subjects. Bible study and character training. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
When our children were all second grade and under and there was a baby in the house, it was a really good school day when we got the three Rs accomplished. If you are living the life of survival, getting the three Rs done should be your goal.
I have written at length about how important it is to focus on the basics first. And how to do that with multiple ages, babies and toddlers all in the mix:
- The Three Rs for Multiple Ages “Of course the three Rs are each subjects children need individual attention in. And each of our children have math, English and writing studies specific to their grade level that we work on each school day.”
- Helpful Homeschool Habits for Multiple Ages “For over a dozen years we’ve turned to our habits as the ‘bones’ of our day. Our habits help us accomplish a basic school day and get food on the table. We leaned on one or two more heavily when all were age 10 and under. We’ve tweaked habits to meet our needs with growing children. For me, over the years with babies, toddlers, stacks of school books, hungry mouths and now towering teens, these are the basic routes I’ve discovered for seeing results.”
Of course, as children get older and into upper grades, those basics expand to include other subjects like science and history.
Next, let’s define the extras.
What are the homeschool extras? And are they really extras?
Well, in our house we call them the extras because they are the really fun part of homeschooling. The icing on the homeschool cake. The things we look forward to. But I feel strongly that mixing in a balance of enriching subjects makes for a happy child and a happy mama. A well educated child.
My definition of extras is any other subject. Yes, science and history are essential around third grade and up. In our home, we work those around the basic subjects. So they are included in the extras.
- science, nature study
- writing and composition skills
- foreign language
- computer skills
- life skills
- music lessons
- fine arts
- robotics, photography
- ham radio licensing, computer programming
Fitting in the enriching homeschool extras can work in several ways. Be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing how we get many of the above list accomplished with one resource.
First, at Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett…
Starting today there is a wonderful giveaway full of extras! It’s Artistic Adventures week at Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett! Starting today you can enter to win the above Winter Family Fun package on the Unit Studies site. Plus there are six of her titles on sale. A simple and wonderful way to add some joy to your homeschool. Click over to enter the giveaway of our ebook plus supplies pictured above!
And here at Hodgepodge…
And speaking of homeschool extras, unit studies are such an easy way to enrich your days. I’ll be talking about this more tomorrow! But today through Saturday, here at Hodgepodge, you can enter the rafflecopter giveaway below to win this wonderful Artistic Adventures bundle pictured above! Six titles – a retail value of $53.50!
January is the perfect time to soak up some homeschool encouragement.
Hop on over and check out all the topics by the ladies of iHomeschool Network – January 2013 Hopscotch.
- Day 1: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras: What are the Extras?
- Day 2: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras with Unit Studies
- Day 3: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras: Time Management
- Day 4: The Homeschool Extras Within Sight
- Day 5: Declare an Extras Day
~Subscribe to Hodgepodge for more homeschool help!
What strategies are you hoping to gain from this series? Do you have any tips for fitting in the homeschool extras?