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Enrichment Friday: Our Weekly Jollification

March 23, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

A number of you have asked me about our tradition of Enrichment Friday, and I haven’t written about it because the truth is that I’m really not all that organized and sometimes I suspect that it will be a bit of a disappointment to you when you hear about what actually happens. But I said I’d share details, and so here it is.

Enrichment Friday: Our Weekly Jollification

The Cornerstone

Plutarch is the one thing that always happens, no matter what. I find that it is good to have one cornerstone activity that is unchanging. This helps keep me disciplined and it gives me a place to start on Fridays when I am extra tired or overwhelmed. We use Anne White’s study guides, of course. Even though we are so consistent, we still only get through two Lives per year, but that’s okay. We’re enriched, nonetheless!

Plutarch is, quite honestly, one of my favorite things. Not every week results in spectacular discussion, but so many good discussions have occurred that I would never give it up.

Mixing it Up

I plan our Enrichment Friday from week to week. Some weeks, we have a friend who joins us, and some weeks, we go solo. Also, some weeks I have more energy than others, which is a real consideration, since I’m the only adult present for whatever it is we are doing.

I choose one or two things from this list, depending ultimately on my whim:

  • Nature study
  • Visit to the zoo
  • Visit to a park
  • Baking something yummy
  • Composer study
  • Artist study
  • Handicraft project
  • Taking a walk
  • Drawing lessons
  • Playing games
  • Going out for a treat

There’s probably more. I try to keep a running list in my mind, but I really should keep one on paper.

Last Friday, we all went to see Cinderella after Plutarch. True story.

There really is no rhyme or reason. We went on a nature study splurge in the autumn where we did it every week for most of the season. When it got colder and rainier, we switched to other things. Lately, we’ve been doing more handicrafts, for example.

I also give the children lots of free time, as long as they are playing together well. On the Fridays when Friend C. joins us, he and E-Age-12 always need at least an hour for their ongoing chess competition.

Getting Organized

If I were smarter, I would probably plan this out each term so that I made sure we covered everything, but I just don’t have it in me this year. We’re covering a lot, and I still can honestly call it “enrichment,” even if I’m running it sans schedule.

I think these things are best done however you can accomplish them, truth be told. Enrichment Friday has, for me, been quite opposite from other things. I cannot plan other things week to week. They just won’t. happen. if I do that. But for whatever reason, Fridays are working well this way right now, and I’m enjoying a bit of making it up as I go along, since I never do that.

Some of you have asked about time. Friend C. usually arrives around 8 am, and I allow chess playing to commence right away. We do Plutarch after that, and then there is always a snack, followed by whatever supplemental activities I’ve planned. Like I said, it’s really informal.

My purpose, really, is two-fold. First is to provide instruction in things we’re not touching during the week. Second, and almost more importantly, is to focus on the spirit of jollification β€” of merry making. If no other days are golden, I wish for Fridays to be so. And not just forΒ them. By the end of last year, I was weary, and I was still a bit weary when we began the year. So this tradition of merry making has been good for my heart, too.

Do you have a special day of the week for enrichment?

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22 Comments

  • Reply The Evolution of a Charlotte Mason Homeschool Schedule | Afterthoughts August 27, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    […] Fridays were for jollification that year. We have almost always done a four-day school week. […]

  • Reply faith March 25, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I have tried to do this every year. In previous years our jollification ended up being grocery shopping and sitting on the couch in front of the tv then because mom was tired. My oldest is now in year 3 and it is getting much harder for us to be done in four days. We actually have had something carry over each of the last 3 weeks. After digging in our heels this week due to his birthday on Friday we may actually be done before the week is out. I hope to begin these next week, the kids are looking forward to it.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 25, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Oh, I hope you are able to do it soon! It’s good for moms, too. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Sharron March 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I love this. This has been a struggle for me since adding a second student. I only have two, but they are 7 1/2 yrs apart. Tricky. I love this for the next to the last paragraph as much as anything!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Katherine March 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    How does this work in relation to finishing other work in a timely manner? I did this when mine were younger, but then I began to feel somewhat pushed to get through all the readings, Math lessons, etc.

    Do you require your children to do anything else? Math or readings- or is it all enrichment?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      This year, I managed to plan a schedule that has everyone getting through all the required readings with nothing remaining on Friday — unless, of course, we missed something during the week {which happens occasionally}. But in the past my oldest student *did* have a few things to do on Fridays, and he always tried to have them done before we commenced with jollification.

      So the short answer is: nothing else is required this year, but in past years there have been some things that had to be done. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mariel March 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    (I took my preschooler to see Cinderella last week too. We loved the lizards.)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 24, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Wasn’t it fabulous, Mariel? I seriously want to buy this movie, and I don’t usually buy movies. I adored it…

      • Reply Mariel March 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        Fab.u.lous. I agree. This will probably be one we buy. And we don’t usually purchase movies either because we have an old school video rental store literally across the street.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel March 31, 2015 at 5:56 pm

          A video rental store? That is so cool! I miss those…the browsing, you know. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Claire March 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Can I say it makes me feel better to know you don’t do nature study every week?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Ahem. Now that is between you, me, and the Internet, Claire. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Nelleke from P.E.I. March 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What a great idea! I normally try to do something small every day at this point, but this choosing one day sounds like fun. I think I might try something like this for the summer (still a looong ways away here…boo-hoo). I’m really bad at getting out of the house, going places, socializing. If I picked a day for it, I might do it. But first the snow has to go away.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      I think people with babies get a pass. It is a triumph to leave the house period at that stage. πŸ™‚

      But yes — I think this works well for summer, too! πŸ™‚

      • Reply Brooke April 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

        I needed to hear this! ? Babyhood is just a phase. A beautiful and wonderful phase, but a limiting one nonetheless. ?
        My youngest of four is 10 months old, and I just haven’t been able to make reality meet my dreams to do things like go to the star park or make a trip to the zoo, unless my husband is present! (Even the backyard stuff is best scheduled during nap time). In the meantime, maybe handicraft/life skills for my 8 year old can be learning to change diapers… ??

        • Reply Brooke April 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm

          That should be state* park…wow a star park would be cool too. ?

        • Reply Brandy Vencel April 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

          A star park WOULD be cool! πŸ˜‰

          I don’t know if this is encouraging or discouraging, but I don’t remember leaving the house with all four children on my own (without another adult to help) until my youngest was FOUR! It was just too overwhelming for me, and we had some bad experiences with me taking three out while pregnant and so I just stayed home … for a really long time. πŸ™‚

          • Brooke April 21, 2017 at 9:43 am

            That is actually QUITE encouraging; thank you!! ?

  • Reply Melissa March 23, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Jollification…I just LOVE that word Brandy!! It sounds…happy πŸ™‚

    We started Plutarch this year, but quit about 12 weeks in and I’m very disappointed in myself for dropping, but I was overwhelmed at the time and it was easy to let it fall by the wayside. I definitely do plan to pick it up again in the future.

    We do have a day for enrichment. This term, it happens to be Thursdays. Our kids attend local homeschool choir and art classes, as well as piano lessons at the university. They love it and I rather enjoy visiting with other moms πŸ™‚

    Blessings,
    Melissa

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Homeschool choir! Do you know that is a dream of mine? I tried to start one last year, but couldn’t get enough interest. I’d like to try again this summer to organize one for fall…So fun!

      • Reply Melissa March 25, 2015 at 3:20 am

        Soli Deo Gloria is a vocal, chime, and handbell choir in our area. We are so blessed to have a wonderful Christian, former homeschool mom teach, who was a music major in college, and had “the dream” when her kiddos were beginning school. Now 13 years later, her homeschool graduates attend a private university and thankfully she’s continuing to minister to our children. She offers vocal choir broken into three different age levels from 1st grade through high school. The program as seen substantial growth over the years, with nearly a couple hundred kids involved. It’s amazing!

        Here’s an older short clip of our choir from 2008…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz9uHjMKu1U

        Hopefully, you are able to see your dream into fruition. There’s nothing like the voice of children singing praise to honor the Lord πŸ™‚

        • Reply Brandy Vencel March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

          WOW. Just wow. β™₯

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