In our family, we are straight up traditionalists about the calendar year. No Bing Crosby tunes until December 1, white only after Memorial Day, and god-forbid we crack a math book in June, July, or August! The thought sends shivers up my children’s spines.
In all seriousness though, I need the summer break as much as they do. After a long year of school, we’re ready for laid-back days, sleeping later, and sun — lots of sun.
There is a reason that the technique of storytelling has been used in all cultures and civilizations throughout time to impart standards of conduct among their people. From Aesop to Jesus, stories are an easily relatable vehicle to teach ethics and impart moral truths.
I realized the value of narrative for developing character a few years ago when my daughter finished reading the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. She entered the kitchen where I was prepping dinner and complained about Harry, Ron, and Hermione
I have always been inspired by the change of seasons. Each new season brings with it fresh challenges, changing weather, and projects to look forward to. This changing season of late spring over to summer is especially busy for homeschool mamas. Most of us are just wrapping up a busy year of school. Our paper portfolios are bulging and our school rooms are a wreck. There’s much to be done to transition from school into summer. It’s so busy in fact, that I created a checklist to keep us on track these last few weeks of school.
The research is clear that kids lose educational progress while on summer break. It is estimated that this summer slide accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their upper/middle class peers.
This summer regression happens math, science, writing, and especially in reading. Reading offers a gateway into all the other subjects. Reading allows children to stretch their brains and heighten their imaginations.
I remember the smell of my elementary school library and brand new books fresh off the press at the annual book fair. My love for books was sparked as a young child when first my mother, then my school librarian, taught me the beauty of being taken far away from my home on an air force base in Greatfalls, Montana to civilizations and lands I’d never known.
The magic that transformed my bedroom to a castle was what made family storytime the best time of the day for me.
If you’re not a morning person by nature, beginning each homeschool day may be a struggle. You don’t really want to get up, and by the time you do, your kids are up and raring to go—and you just want a hot cup of coffee and a shower.
But, the homeschool day needs to start, and when you’re up before your kids, things go much more smoothly.
Do you have a child who makes a career of avoiding math? Do they wiggle, squirm, and whine?
Here are ten tricks you can use to encourage your children to complete their math in a fun and timely manner.
1. Set the timer and race the clock
My mom taught me this method to get math done when I was a little girl taking my own sweet time over each and every math problem.
Families who first embark on the journey of home education often wonder how to create homeschooling goals.
Thankfully, homeschooling is an educational option that allows for much flexibility in how your kids are taught, and gives you, the parent, the freedom to manage your children’s learning paths. Managing your children’s education, nonetheless, is quite the undertaking. With a few simple, goal-planning steps in place, your family will be better prepared to direct your homeschooling journey.
Homeschool scheduling is about finding your starting point and matching your family's own groove.
For example, when my boys were preschoolers and toddlers, my goal for the day was to shower and have some meaningful reading activities for my oldest son. Insanity was thinking I had to get my homeschool started at 8:00 a.m. when there was no need to. Fast forward to the middle and high school years. My sons now start their homeschool day closer to 8:30 a.m., independent of me.
I made the mistake of taking away screen time because I felt like my first grade son’s hatred for writing was about attitude.
Now in retrospect with one son who has graduated and two others in upper grades, I know writing is more about aptitude than attitude. I wish I could turn back time to erase my mistake of crushing the spirit of my energetic son.