Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Not All Textbooks



It has been a while since I posted much about our homeschooling activities.  This year I only have four children at home, which has been interesting.  People keep asking if things have slowed down since 3 area away at college.  Actually, no.  If anything, we are just as busy as always.  I finally figured out it was because the ones who aren't here, are the ones that have the most activities, all dependent upon Mom, of course.  For example, we have two sets of art lessons and music lessons.  Josiah is enrolled in two dual enrollment classes as well.  That requires me ferrying everyone.   I'm not complaining, just pointing out the reality of our life right now.  All that coming and going could very easily be my excuse to stay home the rest of the time because quite frankly, it can be exhausting!  However, I have always been in the camp that believes that there is more to learning than what textbooks have to offer.  To become a well-rounded person, you have to get out there, experience life, broaden those horizons!  Carpe Diem!

So, here are a few of our "Carpe Diem" moments so far this fall.

Since Benjamin is up a Miracle Mountain, we have been a couple times.  The first time for the annual Mud Run.  Benjamin and Josiah both ran in that and we watched while sipping hot chocolate.  The second time was for the Harvest Party. That was so much fun!  LOTS of games and activities, pony rides, trail rides, crafts, and even dressing up for a photo op.  What a fun-filled family day it was. It taught many things: socialization, family fun appreciation, creativity, and balance.

Here Dale is playing Monopoly with the kids in the Cabin at Miracle Mountain.  Josiah is bunking with his big brother in the dorm.  Surely everyone is familiar with the benefits of playing Monopoly, such as strategy and math.

Of course, fall without a leave pile just wouldn't be right!  Here Jerusha is doing a random quality control check on the raking job the boys were doing. This teaches to pay attention to detail.  Like, when its time to pick all those leaves out of your very long and thick hair!

Every year our church has a hay ride for the community.  We also have a bonfire after with roasting marshmallows, making smore's, and eating donuts and drinking cider.  This teaches socialization and how to use your brain and think ahead for crying out loud and wear a coat because it is cold at night here!  (Okay, that may have been a little bit of a mommy rant, sorry!)

I love it when the kids get creative on their own.  Caleb was experimenting with food art last week, and made this creation.  He called it "Jungle Fort".   This teaching them to think outside the box, and to come up with creative solutions to building and design. 

Speaking of art, here is a sample of some recent finishes by Jerusha (red frame) and Isaac (green frame).  Okay, yeah, they may have had a little help from the teacher, but they are still very nice.  This teaches them to take pride in their work, and to do their best since they know I will be putting their work on display.  :)

Ummm.... Tubby checking out my cleaning/organizing job?

I am doing a mini sewing class every other week with a friend.  Here you can see Jerusha and her friend and her mom cleaning their machines. This teaching maintenance and sewing skills. 

Ummm... Tubby again... checking out a caterpillar we found in the office. She didn't know what to make of it, and sniffed at it, then pawed at it.  It rolled around some because it went into a ball in self-defense. 

On days when the weather is cooler and we don't have to run anywhere in the afternoon, we like to have a proper tea.  Jerusha and Caleb set this up for me one day.  This teaches them hospitality and food preparations and presentation. 

Josiah wanted cupcakes for his birthday.  Yes, those are eyeballs made out of gumballs.  This taught generosity, creativity, food preparation, math (we had to double the recipe), and hospitality.

And of course.... applesauce making!  We did 100 quarts in 3 days.  The kids were wonderful and helped the whole time.  Dale did too, stepping in when I had to take Josiah to his dual enrollment classes.  Isn't it pretty?  We got the apples free for the picking from an older couple in our church.

Most parents recognize that there are many different ways for children to learn.  I have found that by experiencing new things, their brains just get a refreshing.   It's like shaking the proverbial cobwebs from your head when you get a little fogged over.  Sometimes it is created from being in a rut, and getting out into the fresh air and doing something OUT of the house is the way to shake things up.  


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