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.
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.
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 — of merry making. If no other days are golden, I wish for Fridays to be so. And not just for 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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