Those OTHER subjects – you know the ones I mean, right? Music, art, computer, physical education … these are the subjects that so often get left behind in even the most well-intentioned homeschool curriculum. I can remember telling friends and family alike that our kids would have the best teaching in these particular subjects because my husband and I are both self-avowed “computer geeks,” he’s an artist so that should cover art, I play piano so music should be a cinch, and kids play outside, so that covers physical education, right? Well, as I’m learning lately, not so much. Fast forward a few years, and I think we’ve been neglecting some areas of these subjects.
Art, I think, hasn’t been neglected, at least with my daughter. She has exhibited natural ability in this area, so I guess instead of teaching art I’ve kind of let her follow her own path in this area, which was actually a very good choice. She is always building, drawing, creating, crocheting, I can’t even begin to name all the ways in which she artistically expresses herself. It’s amazing to watch. Still, an actual art curriculum is never a bad thing to add.
On the other hand, my son dislikes art, and so I haven’t really pushed him to do much in the way of art. In his younger years he wouldn’t even finish coloring a picture because he disliked it so much. I realized recently that I’ve done him a disservice in this area by not encouraging him to find a mode of expression he enjoys.
Computer skills, in our home, have definitely been one area where we’ve done well. With 7 computers in the home and one in each child’s bedroom, they couldn’t avoid learning how to use the computer. In this area I feel confident that they’ve learned as much or more than they would have in a public school setting.
Music is another story. Although I play piano I haven’t yet brought my piano from my dad’s house where it is, so without realizing it I used that as the ever present excuse to not start any formal music training, or even singing songs, unless you count singing along with the radio. Again, here is an area that I’ve allowed to slide by the wayside, and that needs to change.
And then there’s physical education. I deluded myself into thinking the kids could play in the backyard and that would be enough. They also play sports in the community, but since they only play baseball and softball, that’s only in the spring and early summer. Our daughter went to her first school dance the other night with some of her friends from the public school, and her legs hurt for days after from the two hours of dancing. That made me realize that perhaps they need a little more structured physical activity if dancing hurt her leg muscles.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m feeling that the other subjects need some attention from our homeschool program as well. And perhaps this will add some needed variety to our days!