What I learned from summer camp

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Our family has been in survival mode for a year. We managed to continue with schooling, but we didn’t get out much.

When we finally came up for air, my husband and I wanted to give our kids some bonus fun, a chance to get out of the house and be around other kids.

Fortunately, summer was on the horizon and there was a plethora of summer camp options to choose from.

Learning AND socialization? SIGN. US. UP. [Read more...]

Stepping Outside the Grade-Level Box

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

A note from Jamie: As we begin to contemplate and plan for fall, it’s good to keep in mind that we’re not bound by grade levels like traditional schools are! Enjoy this repost from Sarah, which originally published on July 1, 2011.

Ask a homeschooled kid the innocuous “What grade are you in?” and you’ll often get a furrowed brow and an answer with a question mark at the end.

“Fourth?”

This response can be alarming to grandparents, non-homeschooling friends, and the cashier at Walmart. Their raised eyebrows ask, “He doesn’t know what grade he’s in?”

Well, no. Not exactly. That hallmark of traditional schooling—the passing from grade to grade—isn’t of utmost importance in homeschooling. The age/grade correlation just isn’t necessarily present.

If your nine-year-old is reading at a post-college level, does that make him 23? Who decided, after all, that picture books are for preK-3rd grade, that pre-algebra is done in middle school, and that high school takes four years?

Who came up with all this stuff? I don’t know the answer to that.

What I do know is that homeschooling allows us to provide learning opportunities for our children at their own pace.

[Read more...]

Weekend links

“My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school.” ~ Margaret Mead

Uncomfortable unfoldings (0n patiently waiting for milestones)

Written by Hillary Boucher of infinitely learning

When you look back on your life it is easy to pick out milestone moments. It’s different for everyone, but learning to ride your bike or learning to drive are probably easy memories to recall.

Milestones are peak experiences that define a journey. You have to go deeper to remember the hours and days leading up to milestones and the frustrations and grumps that sometimes come along with them.

You may notice this in younger children and toddlers: right before they hit a major milestone, like sitting up or walking, they become restless, difficult to soothe and generally uncomfortable.

I notice this in myself, even as an adult: when life is asking me to change, to grow and stretch beyond my comfort zone, there is a certain discomfort that precedes my impending growth.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
[Read more...]

How to avoid summer setback

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

Do you know about summer setback? Education researchers say a child can lose up to two months of reading achievement between May and August. If this happens every summer, children can lose up to a year and a half between 1st and 6th grade (Cooper et al., 1996).

Why? Because their home lives are not full of books and enriching experiences. Whatever learning momentum they had gained during the school year comes to a screeching halt. When I heard that, I was amazed! We homeschoolers never stop learning.
[Read more...]