It can be hard as a homeschool mom to find the time and the motivation to add beauty to our homeschool days. Our culture–the academic milieu of our day–emphasizes grades, achievement, and the 3 R’s. Even though we’ve chosen to opt out of the public school system, it can still be a challenge to let go completely of those emphases.
One of the best parts of homeschooling though is that we are free to be creative in adding beautiful elements to our days. These elements have value–not simply for their beauty–but also because they are also part of a good education.
My goal in educating my children is to help them live a full life now as children and to prepare them for a full life in adulthood. Part of the joy of living is learning to appreciate the beautiful aspects of the world around us, to add beauty to our school rhythms, and to expect to see beauty in each day.
Simple Ways to Add Beauty to Your Homeschool
- Start a simple morning time rhythm.
- Pull out the art supplies every now and then. This year in our homeschool, my kids are painting a picture on a baseball card sized paper. The picture illustrates something they’ve learned about recently in school. It can be a bug they’ve seen, or a person from history, or a scene from their literature book. I don’t tell them what to paint. They get to pick. Once their paintings are dry, I place them inside baseball card protectors and into a three-ringed binder. We are collecting beautiful reminders of the academic work that we’ve done. (This idea comes from Celeste Cruz.)
“I now know that those overwhelmed moments of life are the warp and woof of memories. Rather than putting my head down and trying to rush through them toward the elusive ‘someday’ when things will be better and calmer, I have learned to find or create beauty and meaning in the moments that present themselves to me.”Sally Clarkson in The Life-Giving Home
- Sing during the day. Even if singing is part of your homeschool day, sing outside of that. Sing for the joy of being alive! Sing for the beauty of the day! Sing to raise your spirits and to encourage your heart! Set a beautiful tone in your homeschool day by singing.
- Purpose and plan to find a homeschool routine that is beautiful. If something isn’t working for your family, let it go. If a child is struggling with a particular curriculum, find something else . . . or take a break from that subject altogether.
- Get outside with your kids! It’s easy to send the kids outside to play, but it’s harder to get outside with them. Soak in the warm rays of sun or breathe in the bracing winter air. Walk barefoot through the green grass or bundle up in snow clothes to go sledding. Set aside your to-do list and play with your children for their benefit and for yours.
- Find ways to anchor quiet moments in your day. Maybe it’s a few quiet minutes of solitude while you sip your coffee in the morning. Perhaps it’s a few moments snatched while your children do their chores. Maybe it’s a quick walk to the mailbox. Find those times where you can regularly breathe deeply in a few minutes of quiet . . . and then be totally present in that stillness and quietness. Let your mind rest even if it’s only five minutes.
“Wonder is not only found in the grand scenes, though there is value and power in their greatness. To be filled with wonder is to be awed even by the minute, often missed beauties in this world.”Jenny Nanninga in The Common Place Quarter Volume 001 Issue 004
- Put the difficult days in perspective. Hard days will happen. Challenging days in your homeschool will occur. This is normal. Every job comes with hard days or hard tasks. Keep in mind that tomorrow is a new day, next school year is a new year. There is time to make changes. A hard day–and even a hard year–doesn’t ruin our children’s educations.
How do you pursue beauty in your homeschool routine?