Charlotte Mason and those who've written about her methods speak often of an education being a feast that you lay before your children; allowing them a little taste of many different subjects each day. I love this idea of raising them with fat, well-nourished minds and souls; while allowing them to "taste" so many different things.
Well, lately at our house things have been a bit busy to say the least. And so, I've told myself, "well, if we can just cover the basics like language arts and math each day, then we're doing okay." The result of this has been two children who don't really like doing schoolwork. And when Daddy asks them what they've been learning they usually say something along the lines of "awww, nothing." My pride perks up here and realizes that this doesn't speak so well of me as a teacher. I may be keeping up with basic second grade and kindergarten, but I am doing nothing to excite them about learning. This "basic" education is pretty much the equivalent of feeding them bread and water; enough for subsistence, but seriously lacking in vitamins and variety. My kids were being malnourished.
So, last week I pulled out our history curriculum and read to them about WWI. They were fascinated! And, that night, they were excited to tell Daddy what they had learned that day. And so, I realized that the "extras" are really just as important as "the basics" for these little growing minds. If we have time for only a few subjects, sometimes it's okay to skip math to do a fun science lesson. After all, the whole goal is for them to love learning, right?