To my mind, there’s nothing better than staying home to learn and to live. We spend our 2 1/2 hours every morning in our school room, not always getting through "the plan", but always focussing on something that’s interesting and stimulating.
The picture to the right, for example, was taken on a day we had been learning about whales in the Apologia Science text, called "Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures on the 5th Day." The photo shows how long a blue whale actually is, tracing back to our starting point where the sidewalk ends in the distance.
One welcomed addition this year is our opening routine. We do stretches called "yes, no, maybe", starting with our heads (yes and no are self-explanatory, but maybe is tilting your head side-to-side to point each ear toward your shoulder).
Then we have adapted an idea called Five Rhythm Dance to a music appreciation segment. Using something like "Bolero", we start off with slow, very long movements for a few minutes, then move into karate-chop type gestures. Finally, we switch over to "Ride of the Valkyries" and do crazy dancing.
Finally, we choose something like Vivaldi’s "Winter" and just lie down and listen. The kids are learning about composers and compositions while getting some exercise.
We try to stick to routine most days, because if we go out too many times in the afternoon each week, or have too many people over, we have problems with the "living" part of our day — that is, we can’t keep up with our daily fire-fighting chores, much less get ahead with de-cluttering.
Never the less, there are times when opportunities arise when a field trip or friend’s visit should be welcomed: carpe diem, seize the day! We took one of these when we received a voucher from the local wildlife park which saved us one child’s entry. It was enough to pack us off to the animals for a day. Hardly anyone was there, so we had the swings and slides to ourselves, could stand front-row to watch penguins eat, and pet all the goats and sheep until our hands felt like lanolin gloves.
So, there are distinct advantages to being an eclectic homeschooler, especially that of having an adaptable routine. We just call such flights of fancy by the name of "nature study"!
Are there any routines you find helpful? Post them in the comments box below.