Like icing on the cake, enrichment studies and activities have rounded out our education. Plus we've had a blast!
The Lord has provided so many unique opportunities to learn and grow.
I remember our children coming back from a wet walk with a homeschooling family from church. Now, I'm not a nature girl, so I was happy to provide this opportunity for my children, but I didn't want to be the provider. The idea of "wet walk" in Florida just said, "alligators, snakes, and yucky bugs" to me, but my children had a blast! And they learned a lot about our wetlands.
One year, my teenage daughters and I signed up for a course at the local community college--a hip-hop class. This was a fun way to exercise and we counted it as PE.
We have gone to seminars, workshops, and classes at our local craft/hobby shop. One year I took Shine to a Christian film festival. It was a bonding time, as well as very educational for the two of us.
Things like art, music, cake decorating, debate, foreign language, dancing, swimming, clubs, choir, team sports, and homemaking add so many fun moments to our home school experience.
So what are some areas that would be fun for you to explore with your children?
Painting, ceramics, collage, charcoals, and pastels are all ways to express creativity.
Some children have a natural artistic flair. Others don't. Treat them all with enthusiasm. Cheer them on.
Drawing is a great skill to start with . There are several "How-to-Draw" books that can teach the basics of sketching. A sketch pad and some nature walks are a great introduction to nature and art together.
I created a tote of art supplies for my children and a cabinet with a shelf of different kinds of paper inside. If my children wanted to create, they could pull out what they needed and get to work.
In middle and high school, there were some watercolor painting and ceramic courses at our homeschool co-op that we took advantage of to give more formal training.
Drama, Speech, Debate
My oldest daughter was a natural when it came to drama, taking the lead in a play when she was only six years old. She was expressive and memorized long scripts quite easily. Believe it or not, she was also painfully shy, but drama gave her away to be comfortable in front of a crowd. All my kids have enjoyed performing skits at homeschool co-ops and church as preteens and teens. Drama can be formal, or informal.
My second daughter was interested in debate so we had her dual enroll in high school at the local community college to study debate and speech. 4-H had a wonderful course that all my children took to lay a foundation for comfortable speaking.
Who knew as my children were studying speech and drama, that we would participate in hosting a homeschooling high school conference. My children would perform skits, greet guests, and speak in workshops. God used those enrichment courses in an unexpected way.
Music & Sound
Sing I lead the worship team, it was very natural for my children to explore the world of music. My children are more talented than I am when it comes to singing, song writing, sound mixing, and musical arrangement. It has been exciting to see them over the years sing in choirs, write songs, play instruments, and enjoy concerts.
Homemaking & Life Skills
When the oldest girls were young, we had a neighbor with three daughters who homeschooled. We decided to have homemaking days where we sewed, quilted, cooked, baked, decorated cakes, embroidered, cross-stitched, made candy, embossed with rubber stamps, scrapbooked, and crafted. It was so much fun!
Girls love homemaking, but many boys enjoy learning to cook and sew. Everyone loves to make candy and crafts!
It is a blessing for children to learn life skills they will need when they are living one there own. So, don't hesitate to add baking and cake decorating to your homeschool line up.
Bible, Apologetics, Worldview
Homeschooling is a great opportunity to introduce children to a deep understanding of their faith as they grow older. Children can study theology, books of the Bible, and Bible history. Children often have questions about Christianity and the Bible. Apologetics can answer their questions and later on, give them tools for sharing their faith with skeptics.
Worldview study is another excellent enrichment course. Students can learn all about a biblical worldview and how that worldview compares with other worldviews like Muslim, Post-Modern, Humanist, Marxist, and New Age.
Sports & Exercise
When my children outgrew the YMCA sports teams, I despaired of ever seeing them play group sports again and I felt sad. However, I prayed about it. A few months and many prayers later, I attended a birthday party where the activity was playing soccer--all ages playing together. Everyone had so much fun that we started Saturday Soccer. Dads, teens, young adults, and children all out on the field playing together. It was awesome! Best of all, my kids had P.E.
My children work out at the YMCA. The girls enjoyed ballet lessons. We also had tennis lessons, sports camps, team sports (football, basketball, soccer) at the YMCA, family bowling outings, and lots of swimming. My adult children run, workout, teach ballet, and play tennis. It was always my hope that my children would choose a lifetime sport.
Children learn foreign languages so easily, especially when they are very young. They seem to have a knack for memorizing and mimicking. Singing songs in a different language is a fun way to start, especially well-known songs like Bible songs or Christmas carols. My little ones learned to count in Spanish and basic words for colors, household items, and people. Next came basic conversations: "Hola. Mi llamo Julianna."
Of course, older students can take a full-blown course. There is such a variety to choose from from independent textbook courses to online courses.
Where to Find Enrichment Opportunities
Enrichment Resources from Powerline Productions