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.
We like to challenge ourselves with new projects. Challenge ourselves with stuff we are scared of, or put off, because it could be hard and uncomfortable.
Sleeping in shelters and going camping is new to us and has taken us a bit of time to get into. When we go into new areas we havn’t explored before, we do research. Loads of research.
We also find learning about geography from books and media hard to remember. It doesn’t really stick. What we have found, is that if we go somewhere it is easier for us to remember geographical locations. That can be an expensive way to learn 🙂 But we set ourselves affordable projects.
For many years we have wanted to visit Jutland, especially the Northern part. There is so much unique nature to see there, which we wanted to show the children.
As we did not have much money, we decided to sleep in shelters and go camping in out tents.
The first night we slept in a shelter in Moesgaard Forest close to Århus. We found out that there often is very far to walk to the shelters with all your stuff. So we got free exercise. We had a lovely evening with fire and singing. When the night came, we were presented with extreme weather experiences with lightning, thunder and massive rain. We are still happy to have survived.
We also had the opportunity to meet up with 2 other Home Schooling Families from Jutland at the museum. The museum has a lot of interactive elements in the exhibitions, which is a great way to involve you in the different time periods.
The next day we decided to stay at a Campsite, we had visited last year, and knew they had a great pool. During the day we visited “Den Gamle By i Århus” which is a large area where you can visit different time periods in Danish history: https://www.dengamleby.dk/en/den-gamle-by/
We then drove to Skagen. On the way we stopped at the shelter and free camping site that we had read about. But the weather was very wild and rainy so we started to talk about spending a bit to rent a cabin. We walked out to the shelter and it was a beautiful place and free (not so strange in that weather 🙂 but another thunder and lightning weather was on the way and the majority vote in the family was towards renting a cabin at a campsite. The main complaint was that we would have to walk 4 km in rain out to the shelter. So we drove around a few campsites until we found a free cabin. What luxury! A roof over our heards. Come thunder and lightning, we were ready.
After having found accommodation we drove to Skagen Museum and saw the Krøyer exhibition and the main exhibition about the Danish Skagen painters.
We then decided to go full spending, and went out to eat at a traditional fish restaurant at Skagen Harbour. The kids said:”Now we have tried the top and the bottom of living”.
To save money, we decided the next 2 days to move into our tents again, but to stay at the same campsite. Because they had both an outdoor and an indoor pool 🙂 The children were hooked on the place.
From there we had a quick drive to Råbjerg Mile. A large area with sand, which moves 15 meters towards the North-East every year.
Then we drove to see the sanded down church. We climbed the tower. We then tried to emagine the 20 meter church below the ground.
Then on to see the Rugbjerg Knude Fyr, which is just about to slide into the ocean and disappear. But they will try to make an attempt to move it further into the land.
We then drove to Lønstrup to visit another friend and Home Schooler. Lovely evening with dinner, talk and play. The drive back to our campsite presented us with a magical natural phenomenon. There was sea fog all over. It looked so beautiful.
When we got back to the tent our air mattresses had punctured and we had to sleep straight on the ground. Our backs really got straightened out 🙂
The next day, we tried to repair our air mattresses, but no luck, so had to go buy new ones. We then drove to Grenen and spoiled ourselves with a tractor drive out there. Some of us had a swim in the two oceans – Skagerak and Kattegat. The weather was lovely that day.
Our oldest daughter had brought her physics book on the holiday, so we could work a bit with it in the evenings. Today she read about center of gravity, torque and force times arm. We explored some of it by doing gymnastics.
We then had a very rainy night and had to pack some very wet tents and other wet stuff together in the car. Then we set off towards our final goal – Farmfun at Ålbæk. We had booked a Junglehut for 1 night. We also met up with 2 more Home School families there. Farmfun is a great place with a mix of farm animals but also many exotic animals. You can got close to many of the animals and the animals are really calm and thriving. There is also obstacle courses and labyrints. You can also play in the barns and try a cable car. Frankly, despite the rain, it was a wonderful place.
Farmfun was a wonderful free place to be. To sleep in the Jungle Cabins was a magical adventure. Imagine sleeping in a Tree House right above an Emu, having all the animals around you, with all their special sounds and smells. When we opened the door to our cabin in the morning, 3 cats stormed into our cabin and had a party. When we got back home we really missed the animals and the spirit of Farmfun.
On this trip we confronted a lot of limits we had (mostly the mother, the kids and the husband are dead cool on that behalf 🙂 We survived heavy thunder, lightning and rain. Digged a toilet in the forest and survived using it 🙂 set up the tents and took them down most days, moved from one place to another every day, slept in a different bed every night, slepts without a mattress. Swam in the ocean without having brought a towel or swimsuit. We feel we have gained courage and confidence.
1 year ago our oldest daughter started writing a musical. After 6 months she had completed the the manuscript. During the writing, she had already knowledge of who would likely we taking part in the musical as actors.
We got a team together and started meeting up 3 hours every second week. We started out with designing the costumes, and making them. My oldest daughter wrote the lyrics for the songs and my second oldest daughter put together the choreography.
We then started practicing the songs, the acting and the dancing. We made a poster and started getting an audience together who would like to see it.
On the day, we also held a bazar with different stalls. We calculated the prices together with the children and break even for the things on sale.
It was a great learning experience for the children and the grown ups.
Going to playgrounds, has been a thing we have been enjoying, all during our home schooling years. We live in a country where there are just so many wonderful playgrounds. We live in a city where there are just such a great selection of playgrounds. New ones are build and old ones are rebuild. There are always new ones to explore. It is an absolutely amazing side to Copenhagen and Denmark in general. Denmark is wonderfully child friendly.
When I grew up just outside Copenhagen, in the countryside, there wasn’t any playgrounds. The nature was my playground. It was also wonderful. But it still makes me appreciate the selection of playgrounds I have available for my own children very much.
Well, what do you learn from going to playgrounds? First of all I would say it is physical exercise and getting out in the fresh air in a fun way. Often the playgrounds are also motorically challenging. The children can test their strength and abilities. They can compete and improve their skills from one visit to the next.
Often they have areas where you can build fantasy worlds and role play. Sometimes building blocks where you can build structures. The playgrounds available are just so different and when we visit a new one, we spend much time examining the opportunities that particular one has on offer.
We all love to chop wood. It is a good way to keep warm and get motivated to get outside, when it is cold and we have run out of wood inside for the stove. We take turns swinging the ax and work together, carrying the finished pieces inside.
After having lived out the Iron Age two times (Our Iron Age experience). The children started talking about wanting to try living as Vikings in Sagnlandet Lejre. It was a bit more expensive than the Iron Age trip, but included a bit more survival luxury, like having trips arranged for us and more staff to help us. We even sometimes had help cooking our food over the fire. Included, was also a trip on a vikingship in Roskilde ￼Inlet. Also a 1½ hour horse carriage trip around Lejre. In the mornings the staff did story telling around the fire, and that was so much fun. There was also many craft opportunities. We did tin jewellery over the fire, Straw dolls, carved spoons and knives, dyed wool and spun yarn with it, forged kitchen equipment and knives.
The whole family were equipped with Viking outfits, which we wore the whole week.
We sleept 6 people in this tent. It was very little space, but waterproof.
Our youngest son enjoyed the outdoor freedom.
Every day, we had 1 hour fighting strategy training.
There was time to chill out with a knitting project.
There were goats right by our tent, and the children liked to drop by and feed and pad them.
There were blacksmith facilities and you had to work together to make a knife.
One evening we were attacked by the nearby Iron Age inhabitants and challenged to a burping duel. We lost. But the next evening we took revenge! We had a bulls horn that we had gotten quite good at blowing in. So we won, this time.
Sailing in a Viking Ship in Roskilde .
Our oldest daughter is very fond of languages and particular Antiquity and the Viking Age. So when one of the employees said he could teach her runes, she was very exited.
That is the horn we won over the Iron Age people with 🙂
The main difference we experienced between the Iron Age and the Viking Age, was the improvement in the cut of the clothes, better weapon, better knives in the kitchen and it seemed that they generally had become better trade Merchants.
One thing we always seem to be in deficit with, is going to the forest and to the sea. You just can never do those things enough. It brings on tranquility and peace of mind. It makes you high on life and brings on so many questions about our Mother Earth. The seasons changing, the change in weather. The change in the surroundings. And it always gives you free exercise.
Photo from Hareskoven 2018-10-17.
Photo from Bagsværd sø 2018-10-17.
Often Home Schooling 4 children and trying to do your best all the time for everyone, can turn into just to high a speed. Then we go to the forest or sea and chill out and try to live life slowly and feel time in another way. Today we spend 5 hours in the forest just doing what ever came up. I had my knitting with me. My oldest daughter had her book of Survival with her, which had a peculiar collection of advice in many weird situations. They had a long role play where invisible dragons fought on the lake. We had lunch. They set up a play, which they acted out with me as audience. We did gymnastics and yoga together by the water. Some of us tipped our toes in the water and splashed a bit. We observed the leaves falling from the trees. But most of all, we talked and talked. Sometimes I think that home school really is about talking to your kids and listening to your kids. We spend just so much time doing just that every day. It is wonderful to get to know what goes on inside their heads.
30th of June 2018 we held a Cirkus and Market in our garden. It all started with us talking about making a play in the garden, as we had already done twice. Then one of my daughters said:”I would rather make a Cirkus and a Market, this year”. So I thought about it, and could not see anything wrong with that idea. All the other children also thought it could be fun to try. So we started reading books about cirkus and creative books about the subject. So we sat down and wrote all the acts and stalls we would like to have and quickly saw that we did not have enough artist. So we announced our idea in our Homeschooling network and 2 families wanted to take part. So we made a plan for how and when we would meet and practice and make props, costumes and so on. So for 3 months we met up every second tuesday for 3 hour and worked on the show. It was hard work and great fun. It was also challenging, as in when you throw yourself into a new unexplored area, you find out many new things about yourself. We also decided to charge an entrance fee. It should be symbolic, but an amount the children could use to calculate with. It was decided that the children should split the entrance fee, so they would feel more part of the project. When the show date arrived, it all went very well and we had an audience of nearly 50 people.