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It’s too easy to get caught up in the reading, writing, and math grind of homeschooling. We forget that classical education isn’t just about drilling our children in math facts, it’s also about introducing our children to the beauty and wonder of the world.
Begin by first adding morning time, if you haven’t already, to your day. I strongly suggest making it the first thing you do in the mornings. For some reason adding beauty and wonder tends to take a back seat to more practical concerns such as teach our children to multiply.
Start simply, but gradually add these subjects to your morning time on a loop schedule. This loop schedule can take place over a single week, or you can gradually loop through everything over the course of a month.
Remember to keep things simple and take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your homeschool is a developing work of art, not a feat accompli.
Once or twice a week turn on music at the beginning of your homeschool. It can be classical, jazz, folk songs, hymns, or your favorite band. It doesn’t matter. Turn it on, sit down with your children, and make a daily ritual of simply listening to music.
If you’d prefer a structured approach to studying music, try Zeezok for a formal music appreciation program. Older children can listen to music, discuss what they like or dislike, and write notebooking pages about various composers.
If that’s too difficult right now, don’t worry. Simply sit and listen to the beauty and wonder of music.
Take time every week or so to pull out the art supplies and let the children go wild. You can give your children modeling clay and see what they sculpt. Hand them paints and see what happens. While you’re reading aloud or listening to music, pull out crayons or chalk pastels and let the kids draw.
Create portfolios of their work, frame the paintings and hang them on the walls, or 3-hold punch the art and put it into their binder. Find ways to show off your children’s art.
Don’t worry about a formal art curriculum yet. Let the kids have fun creating their masterpieces and slowly add formal studies into your homeschool when you’re ready.
Poetry is another subject that tends to be skipped when we’re focused on the basics. While memorizing poetry has many benefits, don’t try to begin there unless you’re inspired.
Instead, spend a day every week reading poetry with your children. Pull out a book such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Children’s Garden of Verses and read it together. Enjoy the poetry and laugh over your favorites.
As time goes by you can pick your favorite poems to memorize as a family.
Nature study is another simple way to add beauty and wonder to the homeschool that is often skipped. Don’t try to make it complicated. Simply choose a topic to study each week such as tadpoles, flowers, seeds, clouds, birds, or rocks.
Pick out a book or two on the topic at the library. One morning pull out one of the books and read to the children about this week’s nature study topic. Encourage your kids to read more books on the topic.
One afternoon take a walk with your children. Look for tadpoles, leaves budding, or birds building nests. Point out the flowers you see by the trail.
Later you can add nature journals and a formal curriculum to your homeschool, but for now, keep it simple. Pick an interesting topic and then head outside on a walk.
Remember not to overload your homeschool all at once. Keep it simple and choose one way to add beauty and wonder to your homeschool this week. Enjoy the time reading poetry, listening to music, creating art, or learning about nature with your children.
What are you doing to add beauty and wonder to your homeschool?