Monday, October 13, 2014

Middle School Monday: We Have Joy; We Have Fun!

Middle School Monday

Welcome to Middle School Monday!

Even though schoolwork tends to take on a bit more seriousness during the middle school years - high school is coming, when things count - it would be a shame to exclude fun and silliness, or to suck the joy out of learning. Hopefully there IS joy in learning, even for kids who aren't necessarily thrilled to bits by writing essays or studying the Laws of Thermodynamics. My kids have never been the kind of students that love doing math or diagramming sentences (although I've heard such people do exist), but one of my goals for homeschooling is to allow them to study what interests them, to tailor their schoolwork to focus on things that capture their attention, and to make it as enjoyable - or tolerable - as possible to learn those things that are necessary but not fun. In fact, this year, I chose a passage from Proverbs as our School Scripture:
For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. ~Proverbs 2:6-10

Learning about God and the world he has created should fill us with joy!

How can we find joy in checking off the items on our educational list during the day-to-day reality of homeschooling? Honestly, sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's just the satisfaction of being able to check that item off the list as complete, that multiplication table memorized, that piece of grammar mastered.

This year I had the luxury of allowing Kennady to choose much of her curriculum, or at least what she wanted to study. Obviously, any time your student can have a say in what they study, that will make it a more joyful experience! She wanted to study European geography and culture, and meteorology. Social Studies and Science are delight-driven subjects this year, and that helps her get through it when there is more reading than she was expecting, or it takes more concentration and hard work to understand concepts.

Hands-on activities can add a fun factor, so we try to include those. Kennady enjoys art and music, so we find ways to incorporate that into our studies.

We love to laugh and be silly, so that finds its way into our homeschool too!

Almost all of her schoolwork is decorated with doodles:
And this year, it's often written in "dwarvish font":
Even math is in Dwarvish!

Life of Fred - Fred can make math fun! Yay!
Reading - almost always a delight for my book-loving girl:
A silly take on an art project in Social Studies:
Goofy poses for pictures of a science activity:

How do you keep joy and fun in your homeschooling? Leave a comment and let me know!

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