Make Your Homeschool Days Colorful

Does your mental image of homeschooling contain hours of sitting at table or desk laboring over worksheets and textbooks? Worse still, has your homeschool day actually started to look like that?
colorful homeschool days
It doesn’t have to be that way.

Art, music, and outside time (or a formal “nature study”) are not extras.

They should be integrated into our lives in such a way that every day has some color, some life, to it.

How can we be sure our homeschool days are colorful and not drab and lifeless?

1. Don’t save the art supplies.

Break out the “good” colored pencils. What are you saving them for if they’re not to use?

Let your children make their own notebooks (Nature Journals, Commonplace Books, Science Notebooks, History Timeline Notebooks…the possibilities are almost endless). Let them include art (their own and cut from magazines), poems (their own or favorites copied), quotations, illustrations, etc. Give general guidelines but otherwise let it be theirs.

You might have to have some things be off limits (markers are put up in our house for special occasions), but otherwise accessibility is key. Papers, pencils, scissors, glue, watercolors, modeling clay, found objects, etc., you never know when inspiration will strike and the next masterpiece will be created.
(Or just a little color added to a math worksheet. Or maybe only my kids do that.)

2. Introduce music that you enjoy.

What’s the surest way to give up on studying classical music? Make yourselves listen to something that you don’t like or don’t enjoy.

You can always go back to those things later, but it’s so much easier when you enjoy the composer’s work yourself.

I haven’t had trouble encouraging my kids to get familiar with Debussy or Rachmaninoff. Why? Because I listen to music from these composers by choice, simply because I enjoy them.

Our classical music collection is extensive because my husband loves it. Our children are exposed to this naturally, not as, “Well, it’s time to listen to this music that we never listen to any other time.”

What if you weren’t raised listening to classical music?

Try a variety. Pick up a CD from the library with the works of several different composers. Listen to it. If you like something, find more by that composer.

And then see my next point for a painless way to introduce classical music:

3. Try some Maestro Classics.

Our family owns several and our 4 year old has them on constant replay. You know something is good when your then 3 year old is riding in the car while you have the classical music radio station playing and she announces, “Dis is Handel. Handel is my favorite.” (And she’s right.)

4. Go outside.

We’re not official Charlotte Mason homeschoolers and we do not have formal nature walks.
But I’m a firm believer in kids spending as much time outside as possible.

I’m also a firm believer in not interfering unless absolutely necessary. If a child has questions, provide the appropriate nature guides or nonfiction reading to answer their questions.

You don’t have to know everything about every plant or insect they might encounter, but you have to have some idea of how to find the answers.

We have a ravine behind our house. The older girls are allowed to explore that, as long as the youngest are not outside. With a few guidelines (beware of running water, keep your shoes on, stay together), they can explore and observe without mom yelling, “Be careful!”

(Side note: kids that play outside get dirty and they may even stink. Fortunately, we live in an age of running water and good soap. Don’t freak out about dirt. It’s good for them.)

5. Display collections.

Shells. Stamps. Rocks. Coins.

Have a place for these things where the whole family can enjoy them. Let the kids sort and re-sort them. You can use stamps for studying geography or art but they’re also good for so much more.

Spring is a great time to add color to your homeschool day, if things have gotten a little drab and boring while you survived the winter.

What inspired this post today? Well, the iHN homeschoolers on Instagram have a photo challenge going on for the next few days:

ihsnetinstagram2015

If you’re on Instagram, go check out their photos and share your own. There are some great prizes too!

When I thought about taking a picture of “school supplies”, this is the first thing that came to mind:

school supplies
These are our Prismacolor pencils and they are always available to my girls. Other than regular pencils and paper, these are the supply they reach for most often. They’re great for notebooking or impromptu art projects.

They also add a nice touch to a boring math sheet. Because a rainbow on top of a worksheet is almost always a good idea. And homeschool days should be colorful.

P.S. If you’re looking for a curriculum to help you teach music appreciation, give Zeezok a peek.

More ideas for Homeschool Art:


And Homeschool Music:

Free Notebooking Pages Sampler

Linking up with:

Classically Homeschooling

homeschool days colorful

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Comments

  1. These are great ideas to add color to our day. I know my family loves our park days and nature hikes. It’s wonderful to be outdoors after a morning of study. :-)