The power of play

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I’ve been thinking a lot this summer about the importance of play, and how it can help kids dive deeply into learning.

It began simply, with an idea – to put something out for my kids each Monday this summer that they could explore at their leisure.

I didn’t want to force anything. Instead, I wanted to make something available that could be our go-to for the week.

Unschoolers call this idea “strewing.” I’ve been calling them Monday Morning Invitations, and so far they’ve included ideas like making sidewalk chalk paint and giant bubbles, crafting a s’mores solar oven and creating gnome homes.

Some of them have been huge hits and extended far beyond the initial week. Some have been minor misses. The kids didn’t hate them, but the idea didn’t stick around as long.

But all have been fun and hands-on, and maybe arty or science-y (and usually a little messy).

And all have reminded me of what can be learned through play and time and space.

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12 great book-to-movie adaptations for families

Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

Creating a homeschool lifestyle that works for our family involves a lot of things I didn’t expect at first.

For example? One of the most important things for keeping our days running smoothly is not lesson planning. It’s not even meal planning, though that would probably be wise.

The most important thing for keeping our family sane is REST.

By “rest” I do mean sleep, but I also just mean reserving some time for being unproductive on purpose.

Without rest, the kids get overwhelmed and easily distracted. Without rest, all our tempers get a little short. We end up bickering about nothing and everything. Without rest, I turn into a cranky mama-robot of doom, cycling joylessly through chores and tasks and appointments. (Just me?)

So rest is important.

Rest is also hard. I continue to be terrible at it, even with lots of practice. The best solution I’ve found is to build regular times of rest into our schedule, whether I think we’re going to need them or not. (We will. We will need them.)

We all have a daily quiet time, so our ears can rest.

The kids go to bed before I do in the evening, so my brain can rest.

And on Friday nights, the kids know to expect a Family Movie Night so we can all take a break and rest together.

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How to introduce your kids to Anne of Green Gables

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

For someone over a century old, Anne Shirley certainly has been making headlines recently. The new Netflix series has thrust her into the limelight once again–and not without plenty of controversy.

But whether you love the new adaptation or despise it (there don’t seem to be many in the middle!), I’ve heard from a few of you who know how much I adore this redhead–asking me when and how it’s best to introduce Anne to your own kids.

There’s no question I’d rather answer! I wanted my three children (girls and boys) to get to know Anne because I had loved her myself, so I came up with a plan when they were younger to make that happen.

If you’d like to do the same, here are my suggestions:
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A structured summer break for kids who crave routine

A Structured Summer Break for Kids Who Crave Routine | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple HomeschoolWritten By Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies.

We are year-round homeschoolers.

(Well, sort of.)

I didn’t set out to homeschool year-round. I wanted our summer days to be filled with watermelon and popsicles, sandy toes and cannonballs, shooting stars and fireflies.

But…

I’ve come to the conclusion that my kids crave structure.

Whenever we stay up too late, whenever we veer a smidge too far from our normal path, I notice a change. There is an increase in power struggles, sibling squabbles, and tears.

As a result, I’ve learned that homeschooling year-round works best for us right now, in this season.

Here’s how we homeschool in the summer and still have plenty of time for popsicles and cannonballs and shooting stars:

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Read the World Summer Book Club 2017

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

It never dawned on me when Give Your Child the World released that we’d find ourselves doing the Read the World Summer Book Club again this year–but here we are!

Back by popular demand, it’s the 2nd Annual Read the World Summer Book Club. Once again we’ll explore the world this summer, one book at a time!

This year will be less formal–perfect for adding just a touch of gentle learning to lazy summer days while your littles slurp popsicles or take a break after playing in the pool.

And we’ve made it even easier to participate! Here’s how it will work:
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