If you want to know what the number 1 thing I think you should incorporate into your homeschool is, then here you go. MUSIC!!! And not just listening to quality music, which is important, but learning to play an instrument. I have a daughter that has ADD. When we first started homeschooling, she would sit down to do her math and I’d find her staring at everything but her work. It was incredibly frustrating. We eventually found ways to get her to focus, but none of them were all that great. It wasn’t until several years later when I was taking a class from a private school teacher on teaching kids to read that had difficulties with learning that I found out what could really help her. Learning an instrument!! And she went as far as to recommend the violin. Now don’t worry if you can’t stomach having your child learn violin. I’ve since read plenty of articles that state that learning any instrument will help, but violin in her opinion was the best.
Using a database produced by the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development, researchers at the University of Vermont College of Medicine analyzed the brain scans of 232 healthy children ages six to 18 specifically looking at brain development in children who play a musical instrument. (The original study did not indicate specific instruments.)
“What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument,” said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, “it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.”
So just as we can train our muscles to get bigger and stronger by lifting weights, we can train our brains to function at a higher level just by learning a musical instrument. My daughter will always have ADD, but the symptoms have lessened and have become much more manageable. So hop on the music man band wagon and go have your kids learn an instrument. Heck, you should learn to play an instrument too! I know I need all the extra brain power I can get! 🙂