How to plan a simple & intentional summer

 

kari1picmo

Written by contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

Intentional summer.

This phrase doesn’t exactly send a thrill of excitement up our spines, does it?

When summer comes often the last thing we want to do is think.  We work so hard during the school year, slowly losing steam around mid-May, then army-crawl to the finish-line, slowly petering out in early June. We’re just so tired all we want to do is relax.

But while summer is a great time to relax, it’s equally a great time to learn. And with a little careful planning you can carve out a simple, restful, and educational summer, all while “not doing school.”

Here are a few fun ideas to get us started:

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“Homeschool” – “school” = HOME

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Homeschool - school = HOME

“There is no place like home.”
~ L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Home. What comes to mind when I mention the word?

For many of us the stereotype of home (and if we’re fortunate, our own experience of it from childhood) brings up certain images:

  • cozy
  • warm
  • unconditional love
  • support when we need it
  • all of our needs met

What about the word school? What comes to mind when you hear it mentioned?
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How to ROCK the last few weeks of your homeschool year

rock2picmo

The following is a post by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

In our family, we have tried many school year schedules.

We’ve tried summers off, summers on, occasional month long breaks and once, a 6-week-on-one-week-off rotation that I never successfully kept track of, meaning that often it was more like 8.5 weeks on, followed by 1.5 weeks of too many DVDs (them) and too many novels (me).

And so please know, that I am not suggesting that you change your school schedule in any way. If you have found something that works, and doesn’t leave your family with a mess of library fines, then carry on!

But, if you follow a more traditional school year, the end is near, my friends. And that’s something fun to celebrate!

And so, I recommend the following to make the last few weeks of homeschooling, you know, ROCK:

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Our top 25 read-alouds (ages 5-12)

Our top 25 read-alouds (ages 5-12)
Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

We started reading to our firstborn the day we brought him home. We didn’t start with Pat the Bunny or Goodnight Moon, although those both played an important part in our story time with all our children. We started with a college textbook, Western Civilization. We just wanted him to hear the sound of our voices and to get a feel for language.

Over the years we have read hundreds of books to our three children, from board books to great classics. Reading aloud comes in two forms in our family: as part of school (we have used Sonlight’s literature-based program for the  majority of our years) and before bed.

Beginning at about age 5 with each of our kids, we moved from a diet of picture books and short easy readers to serious chapter books. Don’t worry about your child not “getting” a book that is “meant” for older kids. They will.

Around age 12 or 13 the evening reading aloud ended, followed shortly by the end of our school-time read-alouds. We are down to just one child who gets all of our reading attention now, and we are determined to have lots of reading time together until he, too, prefers his own voice in his head.

Below is a list of our Top 25 favorite family read-alouds. They are in no particular order, except that I listed a few series at the end. Why did these books make the list when dozens of others didn’t quite qualify? These are the books the kids remember with almost a tender fondness and sometimes almost awe. These were books we lived in, the ones that do, indeed, seem like part of our family.
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Creating a homemade extended family

brookemain

The following is a guest post written by Brooke Scott of Violicious.

We are a family.

We are a family of homeschoolers.

We are a family of homeschoolers who lives far away from its traditional family.

And so, we created a new one.

Two years ago during the winter holidays my eldest son said to me: “Isn’t it sad that everyone else has something to do and we are just waiting for our friends to come back?”

It was startling. Like a slug in the stomach. I thought I had been a good buffer, soaking up that particular sadness in the face of comments like, “Oh, we are just so busy with family, you know how it is!”

Actually, I don’t. I did, but immigrating  to Canada has taken a few tolls on us as a family. [Read more...]