Learning alongside the Olympics

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

The summer Olympics are now upon us, and the next two weeks promise excitement in many sports. Sounds like a good chance for families to take advantage of the natural learning opportunities this event invites into our homes, doesn’t it?!

My three kiddos–Trishna, Jonathan, and Elijah–stayed up late to watch the opening ceremony with Steve and me on Friday night, and it’s fun to see their enthusiasm building as they understand a bit more about what the Olympics are all about.

If you’re like me, you may have seen the same excitement from your little people. Looking for ways to translate that passion into learning? Here are some links and ideas for integrating various subjects with the Olympics.
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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.
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Q&A Friday: What curricula do you plan to use next year? (2012 curriculum fair)

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Over the past month we’ve heard from all of our contributors, each sharing the resources we’ve found helpful (or not helpful!), along with our homeschooling plans for the upcoming school year.

I hope you’ve found this helpful as you begin your own planning. Personally I’ve bookmarked a few resources and recommendations to keep for future years. Now it’s your turn to share!
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Classical afterschooling (Curriculum Fair 2012)

Written by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom.

Ages of my children: 7, 4, & almost 2
Educational philosophies I pull from: Classical, Interest-Led Learning

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend visiting Peace Hill Press and its founder, Susan Wise Bauer. Known for fostering a modern-day movement of the classical method of teaching, she is someone I’ve long admired. It was an honor to meet her.

So it might surprise you to hear that we’re not homeschooling next year. Oh, well, of course we are in the organic, basic rudimentary definition of the word—I hold the belief that education always begins at home, whether or not families are aware. But formally, we are taking a step of faith and enrolling our kids in a local private school.

This was a tough, tough decision, and most of my closer friends and family know that we wrestled with this decision most of the spring semester. But in the end, we feel a strong peace that this is our learning path next year, and we’re excited.

So why am I participating in the curriculum fair here, you might be asking? Well, because we’re going to try out something that I learned about this past spring, and it’s one of the things that released me from the disappointment in not homeschooling next year.

It’s called afterschooling.

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Of America and war (2012 curriculum fair)

Ages of my kids at home: 15 and 11 1/2
Educational Philosophy Influences: Literature-based, Eclectic, College-Bound

I am so excited about this upcoming year! I have always maintained that educational flexibility is the highlight of home education, and 2012-13 will be one of those years that embraces flexibility.

Shouldn’t education be crafted by creativity, rather than squished into a box labeled “scope and sequence”?

For me, part of the joy in homeschooling my kids comes with the designing, the knowing that my kids get an individualized education plan that suits them perfectly.

So here is what I have planned for my two at-home kids:
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