I find it really reassuring on my most hopeless days to think of what the bare minimum would be to still feel that I am doing a good job as far as home education goes.
Chatting with them, spending time with them, being outside in nature, reading to them, playing games, jigsaws, puzzles, providing opportunities for imaginative play.
Still doing all the things mentioned above and now I introduce the following as a regular part of their lives:
i) Music (mine learn via the Suzuki method so they practise each day.)
ii) drawing (they often draw by themselves anyway but we sit down together about 3 times a week to draw together or do an art project from here.)
iii) reading – both them to me and me to them
iv) Sports – they have about 3 or 4 taught activities they take part in. Swimming is something they’ve all done. My 6 yr old does Kung Fu and tennis too but finding the right teacher is as important as finding the right sport. I have encouraged them all to take part in classes (never forced) as I think being receptive to good teaching is as important a lesson to learn as the task itself.
v) Project work. Again, I timetable 3 x 3hr slots in the week in order to carry out projects. I have to put it in the calendar because contrary to what many people who don’t home educate believe we don’t sit around the kitchen table all week and it can be difficult to find the time if I don’t put it in. This project time is sacred. I don’t answer the phone, look at my emails or put a wash on. We might choose to work on a lapbook, a science experiment, an elaborate art project or play some games together. Recently we wrote to lots of chocolate manufacturers with an idea for a new chocolate bar. He’s hopeful this might yield some interesting results!
vi) Spoken word and music in the car and at bedtime. I mention this because it is a daily part of my kids lives and it’s so easy to make sure they have access to wonderful literature and music.
vii) My kids also have some “screen time” every day. There is some amazing stuff out there for them and it’s a huge part of the world they are living in. I want to embrace the best of it. I have given them their own accounts on the computer where they have their games on their bookmark bar. I try to keep these updated regularly so they are playing the best things I can find. I have written a list of some of these but the online world is always changing so I try to keep up! It seems to me that minecraft is one of the best games available and even my three year old seems to be able to manage enough of it to keep up!