Fridays are a mixed bag for us. I have a four week rotation in planning Fridays and so far that is working.
1st Friday: Character, Living Math, Critical Thinking, Art
2nd Friday: Homeschool Co-op which includes Character, Oral presentations, and an activity
3rd Friday: Character, Living Math, Critical Thinking, Creation Science, Science
4th Friday: Character and then we go for a picnic, go to the library or visit friends
Our Friday afternoons include a little bit of reading, cleaning our bedrooms, maybe visiting friends or relaxing at home.
I also try and catch up with Josh and Jess and their studies – or more correctly, their goals for their studies. This is to help them have some form of accountability for how they are spending their time.
It is impossible to do everything that I’d like to with my kids – there are so many good resources, so much knowledge, so many experiences to have and skills to learn. This is where Friday workshops really work for our family. We cover subject matter that I feel is ‘missing’ in our studies, does best with my involvement (as opposed to independent studies), that are short lived, and can be taught to different levels.
Resources we are using at the moment:
Character: We use Character First – you can find many references to this on my blog and on my website.
Living Math: At the moment we are reading Mathematicians are People Too*. While I read Naomi and Daniel take notes as this is a skill we are focusing on at the moment. Daniel is giving me an oral narration, and Naomi talks about what she has learnt (not that much different than an oral narration though I prompt her depending on what has come out in the story and what would be applicable to her).
Critical Thinking: We are reading The Thinking Toolbox by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn. This book contains 35 lessons that build reasoning skills. I read the lesson and we discuss the exercises and that is about it. We find ourselves referring to our lessons during the week and everyday situations which only consolidates our workshop lesson.
Art: We have two aspects to our time with Art.
- We are reading 13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know*. The idea here is to simply engage our kids in seeing different pieces of art and talking about it. Our conversations connect the art we see with different beliefs and cultures as well as historical settings.
- Daniel will use Dynamic Art Projects for Children*, and Nomi is choosing her own hands on art book to use. The goal here is to expand their skills, and the art mediums they use. For Naomi I want her to be exposed to a variety of art expressions and materials.
Science: Once again we have two things happening here
- The Human Body – we are using God’s Design for Life (AiG)
- Creation Illustrated – this resource is on trial. Today we read about language and how it was created and given to us on day 6 of creation. There was a good balance between speaking to the heart and science.
Other subjects that we may cover in workshops in times to come:
- Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally
- Poetry and other writing forms
- Plants Grown Up and Polished Cornerstones
- Board Games
The other form of workshops that we have had in the past is to just cover one subject for a couple of hours:
- Writing: using IEW
- Living Math – including notebooking, we may cover more than one math concept at a time
- Australian History
Just so you know what the rest of our week looks like
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are our main study days. We cover the discipleship/relationship subjects of Bible and Character, discipline studies of math, handwriting, music etc (this will differ for each student), and General knowledge.
Thursday Naomi helps with the Mainly Music programme in town. Daniel works in the yard and does independent studies.
Leaving Friday for our Workshops on various subjects.
* indicates books that I purchased via Amazon though you may well be able to get them through homeschool suppliers.