Practical ideas for a summer of learning

practical ideas for a summer of learning ~simplehomeschool.net
Written by contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

First confession: I haven’t “done school” in three months.

Second confession: It was during these three months that Jamie asked me to be a regular contributor here at Simple Homeschool.

Final confession: My kids have learned more and I’ve learned more about them learning more (got that?) in these three months than ever before.

So the timing felt right, and that’s what I’m learning:
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Weekend links

summer

The winner of The Growly Books 8×10 art print giveaway is Jean Cox–congratulations! Remember you can buy your copy of the book in print or Kindle version–enjoy meeting the bears of Haven alongside your children!

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
~ Plutarch

Begin: Meet Growly Bear

growlyfirst

If there’s one thing homeschoolers know well, it’s books. We take pride in our growing, cluttered shelves–our stacks here, there and everywhere. And when we find a new one that our kids take to heart, when we see them happily sprawled across their bed with a book in hand, we feel like perhaps we’re doing at least one thing right.

book buttonBest of all is when we stumble upon a character that becomes part of the family and journeys along with us, and today I’d like to introduce you to one: Growly Bear.

Growly, his family, and his neighborhood are the brainchildren of Phil and Erin Ulrich–work-at-home, homeschooling parents. Erin designs and produces websites and ebooks, and I’ve worked with her personally on several projects.

Now she and Phil have ventured into the world of fiction with their first book in a series all about Growly, called Begin.
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How to make your homeschool an endless summer

how to make your homeschool an endless summer
Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart

May is a time of endings and beginnings. Graduation, summer vacation…the world tends to follow a public school clock, and even though we homeschoolers aren’t confined by these boundaries, we still find ourselves relaxing more as May comes around.

While you’re spending more time outside and letting go of some routines, I say, “Embrace the summer attitude!” Let a summer mindset be the climate of your schooling.

Look for ways to let summer last all year long.

Here’s what I mean:

  • This summer, notice how your kids are learning on their own. What do they choose to do? Are they learning anything while they do it? Maybe their natural drive could be the foundation of your schooling in the fall.
  • Ask your kids what they would like to do this summer. Ask why, and the answer will give you a lot of insight into what motivates them. Could these sports, activities or travel opportunities open up unit studies and research projects?
  • Do you keep a strict schedule in the summer? Probably not as strict as the school year, so pay attention to the difference. Do you all get along better? Are you more creative? Are you still learning? Maybe you’ll want to incorporate a less scheduled lifestyle into your schooling.
  • Keep a journal or take pictures of what you do this summer, then reflect in August. What elements of your summer could keep going all year long?

child with shell on beachAs I write this, I am reminded of the first post I wrote for my blog in 2008. I called it School, an Endless Summer. It’s a wistful look back as my oldest was about to graduate high school.

When we started this journey, I viewed homeschooling as a continuation of the preschool years, as a life seamlessly flowing from one season into the next without the abrupt stops and starts that traditional schooling imposes. It really was a life of endless summers.

I guess it’s deep in my bones to keep learning natural and fun, like exploring the beach on a summer evening.

How would you describe the climate of your homeschool?

Weekend links

weekend links

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci