When does the dreaming start for you? Personally, I live for autumn. But our girls eagerly look forward to those warm summer months when they can do more with their friends. Camp, sleep-overs, bonfires, fireworks, swimming, water balloons, making s’mores… You name a summer activity and it’s almost a sure bet they’ll be up for it. And they start dreaming of those days long before the traditional school year is finished.
Ah! How Fast They Grow!
Shi will be working this summer. She’s looking forward to it. Ro, on the other hand, is certain she’ll be bored out of her mind without her sister. So I’ve been brainstorming about different activities she might find interesting.
Summer Learning Fun
I have a few workbooks that teach science through fun experiments. I thought we might use some of those. I also like to tackle geography during the summer months. Studying different cultures keeps us interested in learning. You could check out these similar books on kitchen science at Amazon. Some of them look really interesting! If I can, I’ll be trying to update my own stash of books with a couple of these.
As for hands-on crafts and the like, our braided rug project is still going and probably will be for some time. We’ll work on that and look into some other types of crafts. Ro is also interested in electricity and tinkering so I’ll try to work in some projects that focus on those two things. My son, as well as my dad, have left enough odds and ends and bits lying around our property that might make interesting project starters.
What About You?
What kind of things do you do during the summer to keep your students busy and occupied? I’d love to hear from you.
I’m sorry I skipped out last week. I’ve been putting my author website together. Being a dedicated author takes a lot of time, at least in the initial set-up online. No excuse, I suppose. I just need to get better at organizing my day…when I finally figure out what that entails. Feel free to check it out. I’ll be adding a subscribe button either today or tomorrow, depending on the quality of our internet signal. If you think you’d like to read about my writing journey, I’ll be posting there tomorrow.
I do have something special for you guys today. It’s a free, downloadable wallpaper. Feel free to share it. All I ask is that you link back to this post or my deviantArt gallery when you do share. Thanks so much for reading!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
For everything there is a season,
a right time for every intention under heaven —
Sounds like I’m going to post about art, eh? Not really. This post is about taking in the world around me — and about literature.
We began working our way through the book “Life of Pi” this month and I must confess a certain reluctance. I expected it to be just some story about the survival of man and animal. I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, especially since the movie trailer didn’t seem too inspiring. When TheRo picked this book to add to our reading list, I had no idea how much of a delight it would be to turn each page.
The Way I See It
What I find most intriguing is his interest in religion. His viewpoint and the way he perceives the world around him is so similar to my own, I find it truly amazing. And for some Christians, that’s probably a scary thought. No, I’m not rejecting what I know in my heart to be true. But I feel that truths are built upon experience which alters perspective. My vision of truth will differ from my neighbor’s. It makes giving my testimony and answering questions difficult. I overthink things, wonder how much to say, or whether I should say anything at all. I’m still filling in the blanks on my own viewpoint concerning religion, or in my case spirituality. I’ve already defined religion in pretty clear terms in my head. It’s really scary for me to share this with you. It’s almost like baring my soul. But what does that have to do with literature and homeschool?
In The Classroom
Back to the literature study, this is a great book to open discussions on worldview. When I was in high school, I took a worldview class during my senior year. I hated it. It was dry and boring. There was no life in it. I think since worldview is formed by experience, it’s better to find ways to incorporate the experiences of a variety of others to open discussions. For our family, and more specifically for me, worldview is born from a Christian upbringing. For my children, this will be similar. I’m enjoying the discussions about Piscine’s perspectives on the world around him.
“I don’t see why I can’t be all three. Mamaji has two passports. He’s Indian and French. Why can’t I be a Hindu, a Christian, and a Muslim?” – Life of Pi by Yann Martel, ©2001 by Yann Martel
Help For A Daunting Task
Teaching about worldview can be daunting. If you’d like to read this book with your students and aren’t sure where to start for classroom discussions, you could try these websites. I’ve found them very helpful in jump-starting my own thoughts on a topic or book.
Matthew 7:7 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
What is your definition of “a good start” to the day? Is it a home-cooked farm-style breakfast? Is it a cup of coffee, some toast and a bit of quiet before the daily hustle and bustle begins? What about for your students? How do they describe what’s necessary to start the day well?
Our Good Start
For me, a good start includes:
- waking up between 8:00 and 8:30 am
- pouring myself a cup of coffee
- eating any kind of healthy breakfast food
- reading a morning devotional which is based on Bible scriptures
- and just lately, I’ve added in a short yoga session
For our girls, a good start includes:
- enough time to wake up slowly and, some days, a bit of breakfast (theShi)
- enough time for breakfast and a visit to Grannie’s (theRo)
- tending to the kitten’s needs
- a time of quiet for Bible reading, meditation, and journaling
- and sometimes they join me for yoga.
The Why Of It All
One of my parents, usually my mom, read a Bible-based devotional or story to my sister and me each evening before prayers and bedtime. This is something I wanted to pass on to my own children. But I was never really encouraged to do a personal Bible study time, or to write in a journal. Thinking back, I think such a practice would’ve been a great benefit. So now our children have time before school begins to do this.
In the beginning, I was choosing books for them both based on what I saw them saying and doing on a daily basis. That continued until this year. (I’m a little slow to change, I think.) I asked our oldest daughter what topic she’d like to focus on. She chose depression “because I have a lot of friends who have to deal with that.”
Did you know it’s possible to be happy, sad, and proud all at once? When your children display a concern for the well-being of others, it really helps a parent think they did at least some things correctly. I wrote about this last week but finally decided on this book instead.
- You’re Already Amazing – by Holley Gerth (Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You To Be)
I feel like this is where it all begins. Depression that hits most young people seems to begin when our hormones start firing off changes we have to get used to. Our moods are strangely affected and it’s hard to get it all straight. When others around us lash out with hurtful words and actions, it makes that burden heavier. This book seemed to focus on ways to overcome that negativity. When theShi has worked her way through to the end, I’ll ask for a review from her to share with you.
I didn’t offer a choice to our youngest. Though she is old enough to choose, there was a need in her life which I saw. I hoped to offer her encouragement to overcome the hardships. If offered a choice, she might choose something which would be interesting but not necessarily relevant to her own need. For her, I chose this book.
OK, I must confess. I had to read the entire cover to see who Sadie Robertson was. I’m not really a Duck Dynasty fan because I don’t enjoy watching reality TV. So I didn’t realize the ‘big name’ significance at first. But the topical studies for each week seemed directly aimed at things she was dealing with now. Some will be helpful for experiences she is certain to encounter in the near future. It’s a win as far as she is concerned because the section divisions are short, as are the question/answer spaces.
If you’d like to know what I read each morning, this is my list.
- Grace Gems daily reading
- I’m working my way through Miller’s Year Book which has a short scripture and devotional reading for every day of the year.
- Our church offers a small group Bible study each Wednesday evening. Right now we’re reading through Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado.
So Why Do You Do It?
It takes time to read through these things, meditate on them, and think about how it all applies to your life. So why do we take that time to do it? Well, for me, it’s a daily reminder of my purpose. It helps me focus on the character traits I want to practice more often. It encourages me to be a better version of myself. I encourage my girls to do the same.
When we focus on positive things, when we practice positivity, when we focus on how we can change ourselves in order to change the world around us, I think that’s the kind of encouragement this world needs. It won’t happen if I waste valuable time on empty activities. Positive change must start with me, with each of us.
I want to teach my students the importance of such a magnificent power. For us, that includes studying about the God of Abraham and Isaac, and the Messiah Yeshua who came to seek and save those who are lost. It includes prayer time and a time of meditation.
For you, it might look a little different. I’d like to hear how a good school day starts for your homeschool family. Please feel free to share any tips or ideas you find helpful! Thanks for taking the time to read today. You are loved and appreciated.
Ephesians 3:16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
16 I pray that from the treasures of his glory he will empower you with inner strength by his Spirit,