DOING ELECTIVES IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL
In our home we require just a few daily subjects: Bible, Math, and Language Arts. Science and Social Studies are covered together as a family. Beyond that we love exploring the excitement of learning with many different books and resources. I find that occasionally presenting new topics (or returning again to something we haven’t visited lately) is a great way to encourage my children to explore the possibilities of new ideas and areas to study, which could possibly lead to further independent study an interested child. 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.
Here are a few of the extras I have used 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 that for free HERE. If you’d like to learn more about my thoughts 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.
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.
There are so many benefits to learning chess! It exercises the brain and teaches problem solving skills. Our kids enjoy playing this game with one another. They initially learned how the pieces moved by playing against the computer during one of our screen times, but there are few things that can make learning easier and more enjoyable: this game teaches how to play while you play, but this board is their absolute favorite. It is a great quality and folds up neatly for easy storage. Across The Battlefield is a book that teaches chess strategies through story. This book was written by a friend of ours, and really helped our kids improve their technique (and the younger children had fun hearing it too!)
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 😉
Several of my children were interested in wood carving so their grandpa set them up with the resources they needed to begin:
Thumb guard: https://amzn.to/3xU4X1r
Wood carving knife: https://amzn.to/3y4aPoB
DIY leather strop kit (for sharpening) https://amzn.to/3ssMhEG
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.