6 Educational Goals for the New Year

Do you make New Year’s resolutions for your homeschool? Some people bristle at the word “resolutions,” but we all know it’s important to set some kind of goals to keep us on track. Not only do we get a sense of accomplishment as we work toward them, we teach our kids responsibility and accountability. This does not have to be drudge work! Check out the six ideas below for educational goals you can set this year.

6 educational goals you should consider in your homeschool this year! hsbapost.com

6 Educational Goals for the New Year

Wouldn’t it be great for your kids to learn to play a musical instrument, speak a new language, or pick up some computer skills? Educents has the tools to help your kiddos achieve GREATNESS in 2016!

Resolution #1: Learn a new language

Children learning a new language

Children learning a new language will spark interest in geography and culture!

Maybe you don’t speak a second language, but your kids still can using this online language program. With this award-winning package, there’s no need to memorize lists of words or listen to boring adult conversations. Kids learn by watching kids like them in real-life, humorous situations!

Spanish Course – Buy 1 Get 1 Free


 

Resolution #2: Create healthy habits

Yoga promotes healthy habits in a fun and active way. Pop in this Yoga DVD and reap benefits like balance, focus, flexibility, self-control, improved posture, and so many more healthy habits.

Practice yoga with your child inside or outside!

Practice yoga with your child inside or outside!

Yoga DVD is Fun for Kids and Parents

The Family Fitness program includes hundreds of physical education lessons for ages 5 to 18. The 1-year program includes warm ups, cool downs, outdoor exercises, and nutritional lessons. The lessons will guide you and your family through a 20-40 minute physical education session. You can do as much or little as you like depending on how much time you have.

Ready-to-go Fitness Lessons for your Entire Family


 

Resolution #3: Keep the house clean

Enough said.

Educents Blog

“I cannot imagine a more well spent $20! I am not even kidding–my house looks stellar and my kids have that feeling of accomplishment, knowing they’ve worked hard and done an amazing job. I’ve tried chore charts and reward systems but this is by far the easiest and the most all-encompassing.” – Celena, The Traveling Sisterhood

$20 Cleaning System That Actually Works


Resolution #4: Be more creative

Kids gotta have time to be creative. With all the social stresses and studying, leave room for FUN. Whether it be learn a new skill, journaling, or start playing an instrument – encourage creativity!

Help your kiddo learn the basic skills of photography this year!

Help your kiddo learn the basic skills of photography this year!

Downloadable Photography Lessons for Kids

This has probably been included in ONE of your New Year’s Resolution lists: Learn to play piano. Well, time to live vicariously through your children! Maybe your child will learn, and then turn around and teach you piano! This kit has everything you need to get started tickling those ivories.

The Piano Starter Pack can teach your child how to play!

Does your little one want to learn how to play a musical instrument this year?

Does your little one want to learn how to play a musical instrument this year?

Playing the violin is not only a way for children to be creative, but it also develops motor skills, sharpens memory, teaches perseverance and increases focus.

Violin Starter Kit has everything you need to get started.


Resolution #5: Get hands-on

Lessons are more fun when you get your hands a little dirty. Take reading lessons outside, do a weekly science experiment, or try these STEM kits that arrive to you once a month (totally ready to go!!).

STEM Project Boxes 3 Month Subscription

Add science fun to your weekend projects! These science experiments are delivered to your door and ready to go. Kids will learn about magnets, fungus, space, volcanos, and more!

take science lessons outside

Take lessons outside with science experiments!

Save 50% on Magic School Bus Science Kits

 


Resolution #6: Learn new tech skills

Your kids might already spend a lot of time in front of a screen, but is that screen time educational? Use those hours to learn new tech skills! If your kiddo is already a Minecrafter, consider using this program to build skills and add layers to the game!

Educents Blog (1)

Kids Ages 8+ Can Learn to Code Using Minecraft

 

What are your resolutions this year? Have your children set resolutions for themselves? Share in the comments!

 

 

Sara (151 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Fine Arts For All Students

Some people just naturally gravitate towards the fine arts, don’t they? They may have a natural talent for music or dance or drawing, and a special love for all things creative and . . . well, “artsy”. But others don’t seem to have that inborn ability or appreciation for artsy things, and finding out that a Fine Arts credit is required during the high school years might cause some consternation for those students.

I have kids on both ends of that continuum, so we have had to find balance in how we study fine arts in our homeschool, and sometimes even think creatively about how to tailor our studies for individual needs and interests. My daughter LOVES music and wants to learn as many instruments as possible. She lives and breathes music, and if left to her own preference, she would probably play guitar and piano all day, with a few breaks to draw and paint, because she also loves to be creative that way. My son, on the other hand, loves to listen to music, but has pretty limited interest in participating in it; and has never had much interest in drawing either. In fact, even when he was a little guy, his drawings were mostly geometric shapes and designs, and I don’t remember him ever caring a great deal for coloring books. He can draw some pretty funny cartoons, but even that is rare.

fine artsObviously the approach to fine arts is different for each of them! For my music lover, my challenge is to get her to remember to give other subjects their due and not neglect health or science because they don’t hold quite the same interest for her. It probably goes without saying that nurturing her musical gifts with appropriate lessons and opportunities can challenge our pocketbooks too! For my less enthusiastic son, the challenge has been to give him a foundation in the arts so his education is well-rounded, and to find coursework for his fine arts credit that suits his needs.

Music lessons can be expensive, and we are investing in guitar lessons and tuition in a high-quality Children’s Chorus for our daughter – worthwhile for her abilities and because she is considering a career in music. But for our son, piano or guitar lessons would have been a more difficult expense to justify. Instead, he is studying percussion online! Percussion, because drumming is what he really wanted to learn; and online, because it’s a practical way for him to get the instruction whenever it’s convenient for him. Yes, it’s true – there are quality music lessons available through the internet! We’re using DrumsWithWillie, and the same company also offers piano lessons online. For families that want lessons but finding the time to get to an instructor or studio each week is a challenge, online lessons are an option to consider.

For art lovers, there are so many curriculum choices available! For my students that didn’t have an interest in traditional sketching or painting, we found interesting coursework in Graphic Design (Practical Graphic Design), Technical Drawing (Practical Drafting), and Photography that fulfilled Fine Arts credit requirements.

For students that love art or music, but struggle in some other subject areas, consider ways to apply their interest to other subjects. It’s well-known that studying music can help with math skills. I’ve also found that my daughter can understand math concepts better when she needs to apply them to art. She recently designed a large backdrop for a church play, and found a practical use for what she’d learned about geometry and ratios in order to transfer her sketched idea from an 8×10 INCH paper to an 8×10 FOOT canvas.  Also, learning about the music or folk arts of a particular time period or country can help an art-minded student stay focused on history or geography. Conversely, the student that is not inclined towards art or music may be interested in learning about art history or studying biographies of composers; or in trying their own hand at some artistic endeavors related to their History studies. We have loved the book Geography Through Art by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini for tying geography, history, and art studies together.

By working to each student’s strength when it comes to their interest and ability in the arts, we’ve been able to customize this part of their education as only homeschooling can.

 

 

Kym (15 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.


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Homeschool Art and Music – For Culturally Illiterate Parents!

Culturally Illiterate- NO PROBLEM !!! You can still teach your kids to enjoy music and art. Here's how to provide the tools they need! hsbapost.comAll I formally learned about music was “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge”…

I couldn’t hold a note, couldn’t even find middle C on the piano, couldn’t dance with a live (sober) human partner…

I could doodle stick figures a little bit but was so profoundly ignorant about art that the mere suggestion of spending time in an art museum – never mind an actual visit – would scare me to death (by boredom!).

My wife was a little more well-versed in the arts – but not much.

However we both wanted our kids to have a more solid foundation and a greater exposure to the finer things in life than we had.

I don’t think we ever even discussed it. It was a tacit mutual understanding.

Most parents profess to wanting more and better than they had for their children. But as homeschoolers we actually have the freedom to get really ambitious on this front.

Chrissy started with ballet from a young age and has kept with it – and even took a genuine ballet class in French while we lived in London! I ambitiously bought a guitar when they were younger – but they were simply too young. I had no idea how brutal guitar wires are on fingers! Like I said, I KNEW NOTHING.

I posted an ad on a homeschooling forum offering math tutelage (from me) in exchange for piano lessons. Another homeschool Dad took me up and our barter worked swimmingly for 1.5 years. One of my most memorable and proud moments was watching my kids perform, together only 13 months after we started:

What’s funny is how we assumed that John would hate it and Chrissy would love it….

Of course it worked out the other way. John fell in love with the ivory keys (well, the plastic ones on our quieter keyboard!) and Chrissy was a little more resistant.

Nevertheless we held firm and made her stick with it. Too many adults, like me(!), wish they could play the piano. And I even know a few who are flat out angry at their parents for not making them stick with the lessons .

Admittedly, it can be hard to get regular practice in when the kids are in school and inundated with homework.

It can be hard when the teacher is not flexible. Way too many teachers insist on perfection and assign dull music. My kids, and I make this clear to the teachers THAT I AM PAYING and they get to choose some pieces on their own. Chrissy was much more eager to practice when the songs were from the Frozen soundtrack!

And these days she’s moved on to Matilda:

Oh yeah, and she’s also begun using that guitar, finally. Her guitar teacher instructs via Skype – as does their piano teacher all the way from Spain! Check out Miss Tracy’s terrific online school – Music Lessons Anywhere.

And we, or THE KIDS themselves, keep ramping it up. Chrissy recently started with a lyrical/composition instructor and is now writing her own music for both the guitar and the piano. John has been composing piano music with a MIDI keyboard and online with Musescore (totally free!). Who knows where all this will lead next. I have heard of some homeschooled kids who play 7 or more instruments. How cool is that? And how much better and more well-rounded of an education are they getting than we got with 40 minutes of “school music” class, once per week!

art-for-dummies-9780764551048

Art…

This is a pretty easy one to outsource as well. Pottery classes, sewing classes, and organized art museum trips abound. There are also art lessons all over YouTube.

There are likely people in your social circles with an artistic bent. Put them to work when they are visiting! Hire an artistic babysitter on Friday date nights (when you go to Home Depot!)…

More informally you can just have lots of art supplies around the house and an area for them to make a mess with glue, paint, glitter, and permanent markers. (Just kidding about the latter!)

There’s a great book that all new homeschooling parents HAVE TO READ – Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes. I promise you it will change the way you think about art.

We also throw Ed Emberly books at my kids. We dedicate time to sitting and sketching informally and this is a great substitute for handing them electronic devices while waiting for food at a restaurant, in the dentist’s office, or even the backseat of the car on a long trip. Get lapdesks and leave them in your trunk.

One book that we have used for more formal instruction is Let’s Make Some Great Art.

If you want to go the digital route…

My kids started with Kerpoof.com (defunct now), then Pixton.com (cartooning), before moving on to graphic design….Canva.com (free!) and Photoshop (not free!). In fact, my son John is working his way through Adobe’s entire Creative Cloud. It’s not cheap at $50 a month but he’s learning marketable skills and using the parts of his brain that were dormant in my education.

There’s still so much more: woodworking (we’ve done a little), knitting (not yet), digital photography (soon?),…

The bonus of course is how much my wife and I are learning from being mere facilitators.

And that’s the key takeaway. You can be abysmally, culturally illiterate and still raise creative kids. Make sure you do it!

How do you encourage art and music in your homeschool?

 

 

You ARE an Artist Curriculum

Dan (22 Posts)

Husband to Inez. Father of John and Christine. Homeschool Coach, Accelerated Math Teacher. Former derivatives trader and future scratch golfer! Follow our learning adventures at HomeschoolDad.com.


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