Electives & Extracurriculars

Electives and Extracurriculars: How to homeschool the “extras”

In our home we require just a few daily subjects: Bible, Math, and Language Arts. Beyond that we love exploring the excitement of learning with many different subjects and resources. I choose one “extra” subject each day to explore with my children so that I am continually presenting their minds with new ideas and areas to study. This is a time that should be enjoyable, because we all know that when we enjoy something we want to linger and soak up whatever there is to learn.

Watching Samuel complete the “Bonus Round” in Teaching Textbooks.

Here are a few of the extras I use during our morning times together…

Janice VanCleave’s books offer science experiments that are simple to do (and prepare for!). She offers a brief explanation of the why behind each experiment. I put together my own fill in the blank pages for my children to complete… you can also download them for free HERE. If you’d like to learn more about my views on homeschooling science, you can watch the video I shared here.

Nature study is another branch of science that we all enjoy! I talked about what nature study looks like in our home in this post. Nature study happens unprompted when children are allowed time to freely explore the outdoors. However, taking time to occasionally sit down and read from a book like Through Four Seasons, or opening up the pages of a nature journal can spark curiosity in your children that will help them look more closely the next time they are outdoors.

Exploring our Missouri woods

Art is a favorite subject with many of my kids, but for those who say “I can’t draw”, the YouTube channel Art for Kids Hub has been a fun way to build their confidence. 

Last year we got our first set of Arteza Watercolor Pencils and we all enjoy them so much! I had bought cheap off brand watercolor pencils in the past and saw them sit on the shelf, unused. It is worth it to invest in great art supplies! This year I’m using the book Drawing with Children to help me guide my children with some additional drawing skills, and we’re also going to be exploring more watercolor techniques using Arteza’s Real Brush Pens.

When you’re having one of those mornings, learning may happen best by bringing out educational games. We enjoy Bananagrams for increasing spelling skills, simple multi-age friendly games like Yatzee, Math Dice Junior, and Skip Bo for number practice, and games like United States Bingo to help your child memorize facts without even realizing what’s happening 😉 

2 thoughts on “Electives and Extracurriculars: How to homeschool the “extras””

  1. I love that you started a web page! 😀 I love watching you on YouTube too, you are always such an encouragement. 💕 Do you have a list of the “extra” subjects that you rotate through? Just curious what kind of topics you do and also if there a particular day you do them? (Like, “Thursdays we do science”) Or is the list longer than a weeks worth and you just rotate through them as you get to it, no matter what day of the week it is? Hope that makes since. I love this idea. I feel like I’m always trying to get other things done around the house and so the time to just learn together can’t happen easily anymore. I think my goal for this next school year is to just be more present in our schooling time (even if it’s just sitting at the table with them instead of running past them to switch the laundry or clean up after the littlest ones). I seem to be too distracted and not present anymore (even though I’m always home). Praying for help in this area.
    Once again, thanks for the encouragement! (Hugs!)


    1. Hi Pam! I have a list that we cycle through but I don’t stress about getting them done in a certain day of the week. So often life, in its richness, brings along something unexpected to learn, so that day we won’t worry about doing the next subject on our list and will instead embrace whatever came our way.


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