Hands on learning of the Letters and Numbers. When our children was 2-6 years old, we made this Memory game. The children measured up til black backgrounds and the white sheets of paper. They then wrote the Letters and Numbers on them in pairs, so we could use them to practice remembering the Alphabet and the Letters, while playing Memory game.
To make history come alive, we enjoy visiting museums. At the moment we are really fond of visiting museums with focus on one particular memorable historical person. We try to relate to that time when that person lived and understand how their lives has been. We get inspired and find energy from the strength and quirkiness of that person.
I have never really liked Karen Blixen. But the more we came across her in our studies and just what we were talking about at home, I more and more felt we had to go see her museum. I had seen the movie “Out of Africa” and I hated it. But as she was on our list to read on the public recommended list for primary school, I thought it was a good idea to give her a chance and keep an open mind. The kids should make up their own mind.
It is a very beautiful museum and lies in a very beautiful part of Denmark. The museum is in her old childhood home and it is also the place she spent most of her life. The museum staff was friendly and we felt were welcome. The museum has a sponsorship for fresh flowers to use for flower decorations around the museum. So the whole museum is full of beautiful fresh flower decorations and that together with Karen Blixens old furniture and stylish decor gives an all together peaceful setting.
There was so much that we didn’t know about her. That she was a brilliant painter. That she was an excellent storyteller. That she had made a pact with the devil. That she suffered from syphilis and a stomach disorder. That she had to struggle really hard to get her books published and was rejected many times. That she was first published in the USA. That she had met Marilyn Monroe.
The museum also had worksheets for the children to complete, which helped us get around and see the whole museum and not miss anything. The staff was also very helpfull with information.
Karen Blixen had a great advice for the next generation – The most important in life is to have courage, humour and love.
Going to museums is one of our favorite things to do. We love them. Find them so inspiring. It doesn’t really matter what the subject is. Today we went to the Storm P. Museum. We had for a few years been using the ice skating ring next to the museum. Every time we had said:”We should visit that museum”. Well, today we got around to it.
Especially my oldest child was eager to go there. I knew Storm P. from my dad and remembered reading cartoons by Storm P. as a child, which we had lying around the house.
Storm P. lived from 1882-1949. He was an artist who took part in 20 movies, a comedian, a cartoonist, an author and poet. He is mainly known for his cartoons, which was used in newspapers and magazines.
The museum showed a very versatile Storm P. Many sides to Storm P. that I didn’t know. It was much more interesting that I had imagined.
There was also a temporary exhibition about the cartoon “Valhalla” which all my children knew, even though it was from the 1970-ties. We also took part in an assignment, where you should answer different questions around the museum.
When we started out homeschooling, we went to the university library that stocks all the school related books for teaching primary school (Pædagogisk bibliotek). We read and read and borrowed and tried out different material that we found useful.
During the years we have tuned in on those materials, that we enjoy and find of a high quality. I will try to write our basic Curriculum here. On top of this Curriculum, we use all sorts of other material, but this is our classical basic learning.
Danish (our native language)
Min danskbog for (childs current grade), Forlaget Delta
Alkalær system for learning to read
Sigma for (childs current grade), Alinea
Let’s do it, Forlaget Delta
Gut Gemacht, Forlaget Delta
Børnenes danmarkshistorie, Nils Hartmann
Børnenes verdenshistorie, Nils Hartmann
Danmarks konger og dronninger, Nils Hartmann
Hvem bestemmer i Danmark?, Nils Hartmann
Børn i danmarkshistorien, Nils Hartmann
Historien om Danmark under 2. verdenskrig, Nils Hartmann
Physics and chemistry
En meget kort historie om næsten alt, Bill Bryson
How science works, Judith Hann (Din bog om naturvidenskab)
The Science Timeline Wallbook, Christopher Lloyd
FysiKemi, Poul Bogetoft
We visited Ordrupgaard for the first time together as a family 2nd of September 2018. We wanted to see the installation “Geometry of Innocence”, by Mike & Doug Starn in the park.
It was a very impressive experience to see a construction in that size made out of giant bamboo. I have always loved installation art. It feels like you can explore an art piece on so many more levels, than a painting (I love paintings too, though). For children, installation art, can be a playground to explore.
The piece brings out many emotions and thoughts – this looks so fragile, will it fall apart when we enter it? Is it at all sensible to bring my beloved family to the top of it, just for entertainment? Will it fall down? How can it be so strong, when it just looks like one great organic mess?
It brought around many interesting questions. These were the children’s questions. Why have they made it? Is it dangerous? How many meters of rope have they used? How much bamboo? Why bamboo? Did they make a drawing first? Can I go up to the top again?
One thing we agreed on for sure, it was beautiful and fascinating.
We love learning by doing. This year we had the idea to put together a Christmas Play, together with some other Homeschoolers. It was a good way to learn about religion, history and to work together as a group. It was also a good way to get to know some other Homeschoolers better.
“You are a homeschooler if you learned to spell, playing scrabble” we heard Blimey Cow say, in one of his funny homeschooling youtube movies. Not far from the truth 🙂 Scrabble sure is a real fun way to learn to spell.
The United Nations building in Copenhagen is open to visitors, if you book a tour with them. So we did just that. Gathered 16 homeschoolers and had a look around the building. Before the visit we talked to the children about the purpose of UN, and how, and on what basis it was founded in 1945.
How does spare time activities work together with home schooling? Fine, actually. We see it as a kind of out-sourcing of areas, that we are not capable of teaching in ourselves. Areas that interest our kids.
Through the years, we have attended many different spare time activities. Mostly, a new activity has come around like this:”Mum, what is a scout?” (Watching a movie with scouts appearing in the story). “Mum, I want to be one”. Ok, so we started looking around, to see if we had any scout groups, near by. Non of us had ever been a scout, so we had no idea either, what it was going to be about. We then found a new concept starting, where you could attend a scout group with your family, even though, you were only 1 year old. That meant we could be scouts together as a family (our kids were 5, 2 and 1 year old at that time). That appealed to us. So we ended up being scouts for 5 years. We learned that being a scout involved learning about nature and being able to set up a fire and cook lots of food over the fire. Great fun. Loads of teamwork building stuff out of wood and learning how to use a knife and an ax. Learning morse signals has been very popular here too.
Another time, one of our children said:”I want to dance ballet!” When she had said it a few times, we started to ask into why she wanted to dance ballet. She was motivated by a friend who danced ballet and she had seen her dance. So we found a class that seemed good and she enrolled. That is 4 years ago now, and she is still very fond of dancing ballet.
One of our children have been fond of writing since she was 6 years old and have practiced and practiced on her own. When writing classes have popped up around us, she has taken part. Some has been good others not so fantastic. But it has been a learning process.
Another child has taken part in Break Dance classes.
Our oldest child has made her own writing group with another aspiring author, which she meets up with regularly to work together and exchange ideas and support each other.
One day two of our kids came to me and said:”We have found a drama school and we want to try to audition”. So I contacted the school and got them set up for auditions. It was fun for them to try, and one got in and the other child found out it was not for her to act.
We have also made use of the free offer of evening classes we have in Denmark, when the children are in 7th to 10th grade. One of our children have attended dance classes in musical dance and ended up taking part in a show. She also took part in an arts class and a physics and chemistry class through this free offer.
Recently, we have enrolled in karate classes where we can train together across all age groups and levels. Just in the homeschool spirit.
Some of the most popular children books we have read with the children, is the series “Nomerne” written by Jan Kjær. The kids will come with them over and over again, for us to read them aloud. Now they are so old that they also can read them by themselves. And they do, over and over again.
We have also met him quite a few times at Book Fairs and workshops, where he has signed our books.
So we wrote to Jan Kjær and asked for an hour of his time. He said yes, and we put together some questions about Nomerne and Jan Kjærs life, together with the children.
This new Homeschool activity of learning through interviewing people we find interesting, is great! You can see the interview below.