In our homeschool, I constantly come up against the fact that time is finite, but the choice of interesting and important things to do seems to be infinite… In the end, it requires planning, prioritising…and accepting that we can but do our best!
So here are some more activities that we either strive to do, don’t always fit in, or would love to do at some point:
Recorder – I love music and had the joy of learning the recorder (yes, it can be played past beginner stage!) and piano when I was younger so I am enjoying listening to the girls take their first steps on this instrument as well as grasp the rudiments of music theory. LissaLou can actually make a pretty nice sound now, hurray!
Handicraft – I would love to see the girls learn the things I didn’t quite manage when I was younger and that I have to pass to my Mum (shame on me! but she does such a good job!) such as knitting and sewing. LissaLou is showing a talent for cross-stitch so maybe she will follow in the footsteps of her talented Grandmas? In any case, I would love to see them doing more crafts that endure rather than the paper things that clog up my living room and end up in recycling!
French – sigh, this is a challenge! For a supposedly bilingual family, we are unfortunately not very bilingual right now. I started off parenting with great intentions and speaking a lot of french, but as the girls grew older, they started correcting me (grr!), telling me not to speak in french, and developing an aversion to it. Plus the communication part of my brain has gone mushy since all those pregnancies!
Bertie still speaks french all the time to them but we have noticed that JoJo has quite limited comprehension nonetheless. LissaLou is fine at reading and does some writing, and was quite fluent after our year there, but has lost a bit since our return, whilst CassCass lost it nearly immediately!
So beyond some reading and the occasional french dvd, we aren’t doing very much and I would love to change that. I have been encouraged by JoJo and CassCass actually telling me that they would like to learn more french, a breakthrough in itself! So we shall see how four weeks surrounded by french in the summer gets them going, and then it will just be for me to follow up on that…
Physical activity – I get them all to walk. A lot. For a long time there would always be someone grumbling and I remember wondering if we would ever have a journey without a complaint? Well, that day came and now it can be a very agreeable experience!
There is also ballet, tap, tennis in the summer with our homeschool group, endless trips to the parks of our area, and the general craziness of life at home, full of running, jumping and dancing!
Chores – this is an integral part of our holistic homeschool education! What is the point of being able to add and write etc if you can’t take care of your home?! So each child has daily jobs according to their age, mainly making their bed, washing up, sorting and putting away laundry and setting the table. Not to mention tidying up after themselves. Don’t worry, I still have plenty to do myself, not least discreetly rewashing the dishes after a certain child has done their best!
Gardening – they all love digging but they haven’t really got into constructive digging for a purpose yet! Seed planting is always a popular activity and they are all helping out with the hens when necessary.
Baking – It is a bit crazy baking with all three at once so I like to take a child at a time. JoJo and CassCass are particularly enthusiastic, though it may simply be the licking of the bowl that they are after! I would love to start doing basic cooking lessons with LissaLou though.
Recitation – I was interested to read that five year olds will be expected to learn poetry by heart soon. Seems like a great idea to me, and I was moved to hear a seventy year old friend of ours reciting a poem she had learnt at school 65 years ago. Amazing how it sticks! So we are learning poems, mainly by Robert Louis Stevenson for the moment, and also a Psalm a term. The kids take it in turn to stand up and recite clearly and with expression – they all really enjoy this and clamour for their turn. Even JoJo has a go, though his attempts can be quite comical – I was rather taken back by his social commentary with “blessed is the man who does not work in the council…”! (Psalm 1v1)