There are so many great ideas out there, but a limited amount of time to do them. I found that projects, board games, long walks, and other things were often put on the back burner when confronted with the busyness of day-to-day homeschooling. When my kids were younger and school days were less demanding, the extras were a little easier to fit in. Now that my kids are older and I’m homeschooling three with varying needs, time is more limited.
Loop schedules have been quite helpful in making sure we get to some of the extras. We tend to switch around how our days are organized every couple of months to keep things fresh and interesting. As I was attempting to come up with a unique way to organize our day, I went to Google and looked at tons of different schedules – homeschool, private school, and public school.
One of the schedules that I looked at was unique. If I remember correctly, it had students studying a small group of subjects intensively. Then they had an intersession before the kids started on another small group of subjects. During this intersession they studied an interest-based elective subject for about a week. This schedule gave me an idea that we have been implementing since the start of this school year.
This year we have been inserting an informal day into our school schedule for about every 2 weeks of formal school. This built-in informal day has been great for fitting in the extras. We have been doing baking competitions and cooking competitions, spending extra time with friends, going on a long walk (before winter set in, that is), having picnics, playing games, watching movies, and more!
With the addition of an informal day into the mix, all those things that I wanted to fit in, now fit nicely. In total, we will probably have 13 or so informal days this school year with one or two every month. This week we have an informal day coming up. Our plan this time is to do a Greek cuisine cooking competition, watch Little Women since my son just finished the book, and play games.
How do you fit in the extras? Please share in the comments.