Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homeschooling and Extra Curricular Activities: Creativity

What I often love about extra curricular activities while homeschooling, is that often there are opportunities for the children to engage with other very noble, wise and talented individuals - while Mom gets some head space.  Yes I do need it occasionally. 
Creativity is not one of my strengths but I love artistic expression in different forms.  The more varied, the better.  I don't just want my children to be limited to arts and crafts, though they do that too, but I want them to experience the joy of creating whether its from a piece of wood, beads, paper or wood.  The sky is the limit.  And so where there is an opportunity for creative expression, we do it.
Forget the fancy name - this is all about woodworking (formally - design and technology workshops).  This is a new company based in the Western Cape.  The boys have had the chance to really grow in their creative and handwork skills. So far we've got birdfeeders, plant holders and picture frames, all made out of pine wood and handcrafted.  I love the fact that they get to play with power tools without me having to be around to watch.  I don't think I could bare it.  Normally the group is about 10 large, at someone's house -and we all have turns to bring a snack.  It's a real winner - hammers, nails, drills, sander - and no mom!
Once a week they go to music lessons, where the children are given the opportunity to play all those instruments you and I used to play when we were at school - recorders, xylophones, triangles, tambourines and drums. And they learn the theory of music, playing a variety of instruments - though recorder seems to be the base instrument to learn the theory. You can imagine what practise time sounds like with 3 boys playing recorders when they are not yet fully proficient.  Let's just say that I prefer to be outside hanging up washing during their practise sessions (which says a lot).  And and top of that, Ruthie has her own recorder and just practices artistic expression - a real cacophony.(no that's not a swear word, it means lots of noise - you can relax now)

The children also have further music lessons individually in drumming and guitar. A lot of this is also practised  with online programs and at home.  I don't believe that lessons always need to cost money.  There are so many free online resources available that you can use to help your child grow in this area.
This is an especially fun activity to do.  I have spent large chunks of my afternoons teaching my children to cook, bake and prepare all sorts of delicious treats.  I want to raise my children to be good husbands and wives (and of course - children when they bless their mother with a night off)
I allow them to choose an item to cook, they make the shopping list and then make whatever it is that they have chosen with varied levels of intervention depending on their age.  I have had to deal with overcoming my desire for perfection, and let them get on with their creations - I only help when they ask.  I sometimes ask questions which helps them to stay focused.  It can make the difference between a teaspoon of salt versus a tablespoon - which could be a real problem.  
Cooking at the Dairy Expo with some well known food bloggers
They love this activity so much they fight over who is next.  I hope to continue to inspire them in excellence and creativity in the kitchen, that they will never fear something unknown and be radically adventurous in their choices.  

Cultural Excursions
We love the theatre - be it dance, song, music, ballet, ice skating, fairy tales or dramatic productions of well loved books.  We always try to take our children to at least one theatrical production a term.  It doesn't sound like much but it does get really expensive to pay for a family of 6.  We have also been invited on occasion to review a new show. that would appeal to families with children. which has been a real privilege and a real treat.
Arts and Crafts
This is something we do frequently.  When we can't get out to sport because of the weather, and we are housebound - rather than switch on a television (no matter how tempting that might be), we bring out the art supplies.  Box construction is a firm favourite of the boys.  Lots of boxes of various sizes, lids, glue and paint - and then they are able to make whatever they want.  After a two or three hour session they have designed robots, ships, sailboats, aeroplanes and buildings.  Though my eldest is 11, he still loves this activity.  They initially struggle, as you can seem them having to switch brain hemispheres and off they go.

Often its just a large blank piece of newspaper print and they create a new world, all of them working on one  scene, cities with strange creatures or the jungles of Africa.  In all of this there is just the freedom of expression and the opportunity to create and create and create.  Awesomeness!

So that's extra curricular activities for creative expression, just one type of extra curricular activities we are involved with.
See the other posts on Homeschooling and Extra Curricular Activities in:
* Sport

This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers (SACH Bloggers) where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more. You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page.  We hope you enjoy the
 carnival as much as we have!
This month's blog carnival is being hosted by Trixi's HomeEd Academy

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