Make something together on a regular basis.
Working together on projects builds wonderful memories for both you and your children. Whether you are working on a home school project or just doing something together for fun, the benefits far outweigh the time spent or mess made (often my obstacles).
Every subject taught can include some creative element which solidifies the information in a kinesthetic way at the same time it nurtures our relationships with our children.
In our home, history and science courses during the elementary years were done primarily as unit studies. These were excellent opportunities to make things together. We made togas and decorated them when we studied the ancients and paraded over to the neighbor’s house to show them off. Three dimensional maps were always fun to make and usually took a few days. We used big pieces of cardboard for the base and created topographical maps with clay. Painting and adding flags or ships were some of the final touches. We also made passports and international foods together. At the end of the year we displayed our projects at a celebration our support group hosted.
In science we made volcanos, complex levers, models demonstrating potential and kinetic energy and so much more. One year when we were studying space exploration, we created an entire astronaut training site in our family room! These ideas might sound overwhelming, but there are alternatives. Homemade puzzles or placemats are easy and fun to make. Lapbooks are also a less obtrusive project and a terrific way to unite all that is learned in a unit study for presentation.
My children often remind me that ‘everything doesn’t have to be school.’ Making things together was a way to encourage our family relationships. My children often watched me scrapbooking, and soon wanted to have their own supplies and make their own books.
During the holidays there are more opportunities to make things to give to others. You can make cookies or Christmas cards and take them to neighbors or to residents in nursing homes. You can make calendars, advent centerpieces, ornaments, the list goes on and on.
The important thing is to do these things with your children – all is lost if you make these projects into an assignment and busy yourself with other things.
Take the time, make the mess, and create with your children ~ you’ll be glad you did.