Fulfilling Homeschool Requirements through Hobbies

Today, guest homeschool blogger Julie Gentry wrote about homeschooling and scouting. She described how scouting fulfills many academic requirements. Not only can your child fulfill homeschool requirements through scouting, but also through just about any hobby.

My daughter, for instance, competes in pageants and is on a step team. (Step is the dance competitions in which African American fraternities and sororities participate.) Pageant activities eliminate any question of socialization. It also forces her to develop her musical talents. She is learning how to write and recite speeches as well. (Language Arts). While all of these are not standard core curriculum, they are certainly skills a child would normally (or hopefully) develop in school. The step team rehearsals (paired with her swimming classes) fulfill her need for physical education.

My son loves to write Html programs. He has far exceeded what a child his age would know about computer science. As he gets into the upper grades, and has to spend more time reading classics, writing, and doing advanced math, he has less time for the hobby that he loves. Nevertheless, whenever a tutor or I gives him an assignment and tells him to be creative, he actually writes it as a web page in html. This way he keeps his skills fresh and learns new things, while getting creativity points on his assignments.

Both children attend an art school that is historically based. I thank God I found this school because history is my weakest subject. Each year they study a period in history through the arts (music, drama, painting, etc). This year they are studying the modern period, which is from 1900 through present. They do plays based on the time period. They sing the songs of the time as well. They design and wear costumes that people wore, and they learn the music of the composers. When they are at their art school, they do not feel like they are studying history. They are too busy studying art, and music, and doing drama to notice. They have history classes while they are there to tie it all together, but they are already having so much fun, it is not as painful as it would be with me.

Whether it is scouts, physical activities, group academic competitions, or fine arts that your children enjoy, take note of how it relates back to academic requirements. Record the time they spend doing these activities and deduct it from the time they need to spend on those subjects. You may find that you have even more free time on your hands than you thought.

(I will talk more about how to align hobbies with curriculum in my next post.)

If you think about this, it rather relates back to unschooling. I suggest you read The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child’s Classroom

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