5 minutes to a more satisfying homeschool day

melissamainpicmo
Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

When I was a little girl, there was one question that came up every day.

The actual days were all different. I would go to school, and then I might have soccer practice or dance lessons or scouts or choir, but at the end of it all, my mom would always ask, “What did you do today?”

I would say the same thing every day, the same thing you probably said every day, the same thing most kids say most days. “What did you do today?”

“Nothing.”

I did nothing. We all did nothing.

That can’t have been true for all of us, every day, year after year. I hope.

Now I’m at home with my own kids all day every day. I know for sure that they did not do “nothing.” They have never spent a day doing nothing in their entire lives. But when their dad walks in the door after work and asks what they did today, guess what they say?

Unless we took a field trip or were visited by aliens, he usually hears: “Oh, nothing.”

Right.
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Learning from the natural world this summer

rachel1picmo

Written by Rachel Turiel of 6512 and Growing

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

In the summer we take our school outside. We jump into this fleeting season where every living thing seems to sing its own resounding song. We camp, hike, garden, frolic in the yard, and turn the kids loose in the mountains to explore the ancient relationship between a columbine flower and swallowtail butterfly.

I trust that in the natural world there is an education for all.

Not an education to strive for or manage, but to sink into, to allow. We shelve the workbooks and trust in the collaborative learning tools found at the river: water, sand, sticks, rocks, innovative minds and busy hands.

How our family benefits from unstructured time outside:

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Slowing down and making summer memories

krispicmo

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I‘ve read a lot – and even written a lot – on the internet over the last few weeks about summer activities, summer reading lists, summer bucket lists, and so on.

I’m all for summer activities. I signed up for Kids Bowl Free a month ago. I’ve got a copy of the cheap summer movie line-up on my phone. My kids are away at church camp even as I type this and there is plenty on their to-do list for when they get back home.

I can’t help think, though, that we need to be sure to take time to slow down and savor the summer. We, as a society, are busy. All. The. Time.

I think it’s important for families to slow down, be lazy, and put “make memories” at the top of those summer bucket lists – and not the go-go-go sort of memories either, but the kind that are often born of an empty schedule and time together. [Read more…]

Summer = time gained

If we take a summer break in our homeschooling, isn't that time lost? Perhaps not. Discover four ways to make your summer equal time gained.

Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things.

I have a bad habit of thinking that summer is time lost. You know what I’m talking about, right?

It seems that every time we take a couple of months off of school completely, when we finally get back to hitting the books in September, each and every one of my kids has forgotten details like how to write a complete sentence or that 2+2=4.

It’s maddening.

After all, we pour so much into our teaching during the year! If we take the summer off and lose ground— well, that’s time lost, isn’t it?
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5 things a new baby can teach us about homeschooling

beth3picmoWritten by Beth Watson of Classical Conversations at Home.

For the past six months, I’ve been in new baby heaven. Blissful, love at first sight, sweet smelling, all night cuddles heaven.

While I’ve been operating in a bit of a sleep-deprived fog, I’ve had the chance to relish my new guy and relive the babyhoods of each of my littles.

This time has reminded me of five lessons that can be applied to all my children.

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