Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rounding Out Our Homeschool

The past three years I have been homeschooling, we've done little by way of extracurriculars.  Some or all of my kids play soccer in the fall and spring.  We do homeschool swim lessons at the YMCA in the winter.  We have a pass to the zoo and to the children's science museum.  And this past spring we participated in a co-op science class.

I am making plans to change that this fall.  I have completely neglected the fine arts--so I signed us up to see two plays with my local homeschool group.  I bought acrylic and oil paints and a bunch of canvases so we can start painting.  And I purchased a "learn to draw" book to teach my kids how to draw.

While my kids do play soccer, I want to do more for them with sports.  I have been researching swim clubs for David and found two that look good.  He just needs to pass the American Red Cross level 4 class.  He took it in June and failed--along with his entire class due to them never even working on the breast and butterfly strokes.  I've signed all the kids up for lessons again in August to hopefully remedy this.  I also want to sign the girls up for either gymnastics or dance this winter through our local parks and recs.

All decked out for swim class

My final plan is to start piano lessons for David and Lizzy.  We bought a piano last spring and it's just been sitting there begging to be played correctly.  While the kids are excellent at making noise on the piano, I would not call it melodious or pleasing to the ear.  I look forward to the day when they can actually make music.

One time things I hope to do are field trips with fellow homeschoolers, hopefully another co-op, attend homeschool science days at the science museum, and monthly trips to the zoo where I will have the kids study a few animals through the course of the year to see how they change with the seasons.

My goal for the year is to offer my children a more well-rounded education that goes beyond book learning. I also would love it if my kids find a passion for something, and that's hard to do when they aren't exposed to that many things.  I know that Lizzy loves art, so I want to expand on that and teach her to make good art.  She makes a LOT of artwork now, but she needs skill training to make it look better.  Joy loves to dance, anytime and anywhere, so a dance class would be great for her.  David just likes to compete.  He also has a ton of energy, so something physical that he can do year round is why I am looking into a swim club.

I want to be more open to things that aren't in the teacher's manual.  There is so much more that can be learned outside of the textbook and I plan to open that door for my kids.

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