Saturday, 28 January 2017

Joy in Home Education

This is the last week of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair(VCF). This link, to Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, tells you all about the Virtual Curriculum Fair. Susan, at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, runs the VCF and has put an enormous amount of work into making it work smoothly.
My posts for the previous weeks are Starting the Day Well, a Poetry Feast, Maths: a Subject in Progress and History, Living Books and the Imagination.

This week the topic is about Seeking Beauty: the fine arts and everything that brings beauty to our homeschools. This,too, has been the most difficult to write because I have already written about topics which bring much joy to our days. To me, joy and beauty are closely linked.

This post is written with the risk of sounding as though all the time is easy and joyful. That isn't true. We struggle with some subjects and some days are challenging. This is balanced by the joyful times.

Joyful times include Poetry tea, Morning Time and Read alouds. I would add to this
  • discussions
  • time outside
  • trips out
  • home education groups
Discussions-spontaneous discussion is one of the joys of home education. Some days, it seems that we don't  have important  discussions and then, usually, at a busy moment we start to talk. Topics can be  about anything from the Bible, to politics, to money, to science and so on.

Time outside-last year, we used Exploring Nature with Children. I recommend this highly. This year, we have used it more loosely but still do a nature walk each week as well as going outside to cycle, walk and exercise every day. This year, one of the children has been particularly interested in taking photos of our nature walks rather than drawing. 
If we have a bad day then going out often seems to improve moods and turn things round. 
We go outside in most weathers. The children have ski jackets, waterproof trousers and wellies for when the weather is bad 

and have discovered that they have the playground to themselves if the weather is even slightly inclement. 

Trips out
Days out are one of the real beauties of home education. 

Trips out have included castles, open air museums,
central London museums, farms, art galleries, a recycling plant, a food bank and river trips.
 Some trips we do as a family, some with other home educating friends and others as part of a large group. 
London is a great place for visits but successful trips have been local: pond dipping, walks in the woods with friends or a local photography exhibition.

Home Education Groups
We currently attend one home education group regularly. We find that going to a group is something that we all enjoy. It can also give some opportunities that might otherwise be difficult to find, such as, giving a talk to a group or taking part in a book club. 
This was some French food provided by a French member of the group as part of our session about France.

This post has been a useful exercise for me, realising how many joyful moments there are in our days. I am grateful for this particularly, at a time of year which sometimes feels less than joyful!

Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool
Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres
Seeking out the beauty... by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Drawing (When You Can't Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time
Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

Please do link up your posts about Seeking Beauty: the fine arts and everything that brings beauty to our homeschools.

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  1. I really was struck by your comment about how the spontaneous and valuable conversations don't happen when you expect or plan for them. Many people talk about 'quality time' but that's actually a bit of a myth - you need to have the quantity of time to be able to capture and embrace those quality moments! Jess Connell puts it better than me here :

    1. Yes, I agree. I like Jess Connell's sentence "Quality time is experienced in the unexpected moments that crop up during quantity time."

  2. Thank you for sharing your joyful times. I admit I'm a bit jealous of some of your opportunities for trips out. ;)

  3. Joy and beauty are closely intertwined! Lovely post and we love just getting outside, too. We used to have discussions over tea. I need to start it up again. :)

  4. photography contains it's own beauty doesn't it? :) Visiting from the VCF.

  5. Oh my goodness! I'm jealous, too! But I have been jealous ever since you talked about going to see the Bastable's house!

    1. Maybe one day you will come for a trip. We drool over pictures of Laura Ingalls Wilder's farm.