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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How to have a homeschooling non-vacation

rozanne1picmo

Written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

“Mom, when are we going to do schoolwork???”

Asked in frustration, my darling 11-year-old daughter looked at me imploringly as she ran up the beach with boogie board in hand. We had been in Costa Rica for four days and she had had enough of vacation mode.

Looking up from my book I reassured her, “Monday.  Tomorrow we start.”

She pumped her fist, waved goodbye, and as she turned to catch more waves, she flung her sandy saltwater hair to the side in triumphant glee.

For the first time we are traveling abroad to one location for an entire month. We decided to try an experiment.

Although one month isn’t long enough to really live in a place, it’s long enough to settle in and try to imagine if living abroad is feasible for our family.

Prior to the trip, my husband and I discussed our goals.  What did we want to accomplish? Was this a sight-seeing trip?  One of those busy “doing” vacations?

We agreed that we didn’t see this trip as a “vacation” in terms of our previous family travels. It was just going to be a break from the ordinary.

It was a reprieve from winter’s bite.  It was an opportunity to introduce the children to another culture: eating and living local.

Can we transport our life at home to another place for an entire month? More specifically, what does homeschooling look like during this month?

Some tips on how to homeschool abroad in non-vacation mode:

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How to read aloud every day

read aloud every day

Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things.

I‘m convinced that the minutes and hours I spend reading to my children are the best invested moments of my entire life.

With six kids underfoot to love on and teach, I fight a constant feeling that I’m not meeting everyone’s needs- not taking time for the things that matter most- that someone is growing up with the underlying feeling of being overlooked or forgotten.

When I’m reading with my kids, I never feel that way. No one has to convince me that reading to my children will strengthen our relationship, form happy family memories, improve their ability to communicate, and make a lasting difference in all of our lives.

I am convinced that the story formed childhood my parents gave me was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.”

– Sarah Clarkson, Caught Up in a Story (p. 6)

I have seen the fruit of that already, and I believe in it with all my heart.

But just knowing doesn’t make the doing any easier.
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8 ways to raise art-smart kids

artsmart

Written by Laura Grace Weldon of Free Range Learning

My seven-year-old daughter and I dressed up for a special evening out together. After years of attending Cleveland Orchestra children’s programs and listening to stories of composers at home, she wanted to attend a “real” concert.

We settled in velvety seats, excited to see a college symphony perform.

When the music started she was silently enraptured. The man sitting behind my daughter leaned forward. I assumed he’d whisper his delight at seeing a music-loving child in attendance. Instead he informed me I was an idiot for bringing her. He was sure she’d wreck his evening, although he stomped away from his seat too soon to find out.

It’s assumed kids and fine arts don’t go together, or not till assignment-laden Shakespeare is imposed on high school students. Wrong!

The arts can be joyfully woven into children’s lives from babyhood on.

These days my kids (now teens and young adults) eagerly engage with the arts. They go to plays, enjoy new classical music scored for video games, and keep up with literature.

During a recent discussion I overheard my kids relate the theme of a current movie to Homer’s Odyssey, tied together with quotes from a Terry Pratchett book plus a cartoon meme.

Lightning fast, funny, and sharp. No curricula could possibly keep up.

Here’s the enjoyment-based way my family has gotten comfy with fine arts:

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