I have a confession to make: I hate doing crafts and activities.

I’ve used my own Story of the World curriculum with my kids, and now we’re going through it with my ten-year-old daughter. There are lots and lots (and lots) of supplementary crafts and activities in there. The boys were fine with skipping them.

Apparently girls are different. She ADORES crafts and activities. She LOVES them. Whenever I say, “Em, what do you want to do today?” she says with huge shining eyes, “Let’s do a PROJECT.”

And then my heart sinks, because what I really want to do is…read another book. However, in an effort to be a good home-educating mom, I’ve promised her that we can do one history activity a week.

This week, she’s just finished reading “Warlords of Japan,” from the third volume of The Story of the World. The project she picked was “Sumo Wrestling.”

I kind of expected her to pick “Wind Poem” or “Tea Ceremony,” but no. After all, she has brothers. Who immediately got involved (since it was too hot for them to be doing anything other than hunkering down in the air conditioning).

So they got themselves ready.

And then Em and Dan faced off.

(The shepherd is refereeing.)

I think this one was kind of a foregone conclusion.

Then Ben and Dan gave it a whirl. (This seems to have alarmed the shepherd. The border collie is just waiting for something to herd.)

And victory shifts!

Ben did suggest that he and Em play a championship match, but I decided it was cookie time instead.

See, you all KNEW that highly intellectual learning was taking place in the Bauer household. Now I’ve confirmed it.

Showing 22 comments
  • Lucy

    I have long suspected that a literature-based homeschool approach appeals to me not because of the educational benefits but because the more books I read aloud to my children, the less time there’ll be for mummifying chickens, building scale models of the Mayflower, etc.

    But I have four children. The odds of this approach working for the long haul were against me. 🙂

  • Ginger

    I’m so glad that I am not the only homeschooling mom who hates to do crafts and activities! Thanks for the inspiration to try and do even 1 a week with my 8 year old daughter.

  • Sarah Park

    Hahaha! You know, you might be asked by your son to remove this post, come August 24th or so… 🙂

  • Kelly

    This is bar none my favorite of your blog posts. These are the lessons they really remember. And by the way–I hate crafts and projects too.

  • Ritsumei

    Well, intellectual may be up for debate, but it’s certainly *memorable* and that’s important too! And a great one for the scrapbooks.

    Do you do blog carnivals? This would be a fun contribution to the Classical Homeschooling Carnival.

  • Bev

    My daughter is the same, she wants to do projects when asked. This was priceless and I’m sure memories have been made. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life!

  • Jen L

    SWB, I LOVE that you admitted to us that you are not a craft mom. I am not one either, and I often feel guilty about it since both of my boys would do crafts all day long if I let them.

    Thanks for providing us with a fun message today to help us beat this heat. It’s great to see your children in action as they are learning and making memories!

  • JFS in IL

    You aren’t a craft mom? Yet crammed all those crafts into SOTW and let us all think we had to do them???!!!! Ha! The truth is out!!!

  • Melanie

    You skipped most of the activities in your own book?What a wonderful revelation! We skip most of them, too, and now I can throw off the resulting guilt.

    This is one of my favorite posts from you…right up there with the story of explaining “prostitute” to your daughter. 🙂

  • Chris in Va

    I like projects but have to say we skipped this one!
    What’s really hilarious is that your pictures all came out “stretched,” so your kiddos looked like tall, skinny giant sumo wrestlers instead of the more “horizontally endowed” kind! lol
    BTW, my dd misses doing SOTW (public school now and next year) and often flips throught Year 2 fondly. She wishes I could convince the school to use it. I think it’d be fabulous, but they are pretty stuck–you know VA schools, I’m sure.

  • dangermom

    Yes, I have always imagined the Bauer children actually carving Greek triremes out of ice cream! I too am a craft-hating mom with two project-loving daughters….

  • Di

    You can never allow this post to disappear, for it will always, always (always) make me howl with laughter.

  • Kristine

    Hahaha! Great post. Parents can understandably feel overwhelmed when first considering education at home. Some of my favorite posts are yours when your kids were small, 10+ years ago. We all have this image of how we want to be–and then we have reality. Thanks for sharing yours!

  • Paige

    I love this post! Thanks for sharing the reality of homeschool in your house. We didn’t sumo wrestle, but now I kinda wish we did, looks like your kids had a lot of fun :).

  • Pam K

    Yes, I love this post, as well.

    It ranks right up there with your series of posts when you took us through your home school day, hour by hour. The part I laughed out loud about was when you admitted to locking yourself in the bathroom so you could get some peace and quiet, if only for a few minutes. I read this when I was an inexperienced hsing mom and I finally felt relief that other moms did that, too!


  • Rachelle

    Thank you, thank you for helping relieve that tiny, tiny bit of guilt I have when I skip 90% of the craft projects in SOTW. 🙂 We check out all the literature/history books at the library but I just crumple at the thought of all those activities. Though I too have a girl coming up who loves her crafts.

  • Karen

    Oh, I am so glad that I’m not the only one who skips the activities. Whenever I show people the history curricula we use (Story of the World) I always feel sheepish when they ask, “Do you do all those activities?” and I have to say, “Uh….no.”

  • Cara Brooke

    Ha ha ha, I LOVE it!

    I like crafts when they’re *my* crafts. I’m not too big a fan of the school crafts, but my girls cannot get enough of them!

    Thanks for sharing your “confession,” it’s always nice to have a little company. I just finished cheerfully going along with letting my girls stage a Celtic Battle in our front yard last week. Oi. Thanks for that suggestion…I think I suffered permanent damage to my eyes when the scorching sun reflected off an aluminum foil-covered ax head.

  • Lindy

    Your post absolutely made my day!

  • Terri Lynn Merritts

    I have loved homeschooling my own family, teaching classes and doing activities with other homeschool kids, and teaching parent seminars on homeschooling. This kind of activity is the thing that not only helps kids learn but builds family memories that will live on forever. I love these books and the book written by Susan and Jessie about classical education and love fun activities. I appreciate the activities and the time I get to spend having fun with kids doing them. My only regret would be not having so many adventures with kids.

  • Alice@Supratentorial

    I hate crafts too. Even worse is the dreaded lapbooking which makes me want to scream. My oldest is the same way so that’s been good. I could see my second child being more arts and crafty though so we’ll see what happens.

    I have to say although I hate the crafts I do like the activities. Some of the most memorable things we’ve done have been activities from the SOTW AGs: mummifying the chicken (which I thought was very cool), painting the boys blue and having them battle as Celts, various treasure hunts and battles.

    I am glad to know that you don’t do much of what you suggest. I too had this image of your household spending hours a day doing every single suggested activity and craft. Happily.

  • Carrie

    THAT is one awesome “project”! MUCH better than cutting, pasting, or mummifying ANYTHING, ANY day! Thanks for the glimpse into your daily life . . . it seems so “normal”. Well, normal for a homeschooling family, that is. : )

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt