Summer Homeschooling: Project List #1

Let's make Summer Schooling a challenge, shall we?  I will be posting our Summer Homeschooling Project List each week, with links to tutorials and how-to's for each project.  Join in the fun by doing the same projects, or share in the comments what you are planning for the week.  I would love to hear how everyone is spending their summer.

Here is the list of Summer Homeschooling fun that we have planned in the Mac home for this coming week, Summer Homeschooling Project List #1:
  • Solar S'mores: This fun outdoor cooker will deliver a tasty treat and a moment to discuss the sun.  Won't take anytime to cook this treat in the Texas summer sun!
  • Rock Candy: My kids are rarely allowed the luxury of sugar, so this little science experience has a sweet ending.
Rock Candy Sticks
{Rock Candy Sticks By Arkomas via Flickr}
Stop by and let us know what summer homeschooling fun that you have planned in your neck-of-the-woods.

Happy SUMMER Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom     

Visit these resources for more great homeschool fun:
  • MOM ONLY! Boot Camp - Best little Homeschool Conference.  Having a Generational Heart in your homeschool.  REGISTER TODAY!  ONLY 
  • Tweet with us!  #summerhomeschooling to get in all the fun summer homeschool learning!
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  The blog owner receives a small, TINY, portion of sales generated from these links.  This blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog.  Thank you for your kind consideration. 


Our Top 10 Currclick FREEBIES

I love Currclick and the many resources that I have gleaned there over the years.  Whenever I need some enrichment materials and I just don't have the time to "whip-it-up" on my own (which seems to be more frequently as of late), Currclick is the first place I look.  I know that it will be affordable and have the academic quality that I am pursuing.  

I would like to submit to my readers our top 10 Currclick FREEBIES.  Enjoy gleaning from these resources too!

1.  21 Day Bible Memory Verse Challenge: Take the summer time to help the kids form a new habit . . . putting God's Word into your heart.

2.  Declaration of Independence Game: Just in time for Independence Day, download this FREE game.

3.  Nature Study - Birds - Notebooking Pages:  Compliment your next nature study with this excellent 50 notebooking pages.

4.  Spelling Solutions:  A great resource to help you teach those spellers that don't come by it naturally.

5.  Summer Sampler Party from Founder's Academy!: This is a great find to use with the kids before your Independence Day celebrating.

6.  The Successful Christian Life Workbook & Study Guide:  Great summer reading and study for high school students and adults.

7.  Psalm 91 Copywork: God's care and protection Psalm 91.

8.  School & Chore Charts: From the Notebooking Nook - Includes charts and cards to add to both school and home charts.  Workbox friendly.

9.  All About My Family Notebook: From the Notebooking Nook - Great project for summer school.  Interview family members, write biographies and create a written family heritage, all in your notebook.

10.  New Zealand Unit Study:  Take a trip down under this summer with a quick unit on New Zealand.

There you go.  Go forth and have a prosperous and fun summer school session! 

This post is part of the continued Summer Schooling series.  Be sure to tune in to our blog via email so you won't miss any family summer schooling fun!

DO YOU TWEET?  Check out the #summerhomeschooling #hashtag for more summer schooling activities and ideas!

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where We Are At? This week we are linking up at Homeschooling on the Cheap!

Visit these resources for more great homeschool fun:
  • MOM ONLY! Boot Camp - Best little Homeschool Conference.  Having a Generational Heart in your homeschool.  REGISTER TODAY!  ONLY 
  • SHAPE Academy - SHAPE offers excellence in home education: affordable, original and fun!
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  The blog owner receives a small, TINY, portion of sales generated from these links.  This blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog.  Thank you for your kind consideration. 
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Novel Study & KINDLE School: The Game Plan

Reading and the love of Literature is an essential key to unlocking your child's mind to experience a richly rewarding home education.  Reading is the building block upon which all other learning hinges.  We thrive on books in this home (well, without a television it is also a necessary form of entertainment).  The greatest leaders throughout history were inspired readers.  Good leaders read and take that knowledge, researching it and comparing it to God's Word.  They learn from it and apply the principle to their own lives.  That is the kind of learner I hope for my children to be.  This explains why I encourage a literature rich curriculum year after year.

{You will find the Squeaker in this position, more and more.  She uses a Nook and it has helped spark her interest in reading.  As a dyslexic child, it has typically not been on the top of her list.}

I am, typically speaking anyway, a traditionalist when it comes to reading.  (Chill out!  I said I was a traditionalist with reading only!)  I love books.  I love the library.  I love the touch, feel and smell of books.  That said, I am making a BIG leap of faith this year.  We are trying out our eReaders and devices in our homeschooling curriculum.  The Squeaker and Scout both received Nooks for gifts last year, and the Bug is saving for a Kindle, so we should have everything ready for the beginning our academic year to go "whole-hog" with eReading.

NOVEL SELECTION: In choosing the novels for study on the Nook or Kindle, I chose each book carefully.  Each novel MUST meet the following criteria to be deemed worthy enough for our curriculum:
  • A "living book" by definition. 
  • MUST be available for Free Download.  If it is not a readily available FREE eBook or PDF . . . 
  • Then the book must then be available at our local library.  
There are a select few exceptions to these criteria, but aren't there always?  There are books that we will actually "spring" for, but in those cases I will typically scourer the resale shops and Half-Priced Books to find them before we purchase brand new.  Trusting in God's Providence in our homeschool has brought us many blessings and far less stress with curriculum!

Here is the novel study plan for 2012 - 2013:
All Books Are Linked to a Free eBook or PDF version! 
Books denoted with * should be available at your local library or Half-Priced Books.

Grade Three:
Family Read-A-Loud List - (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)
Term 1 & Term 2:  Henry V
Term 3: Merchant of Venice
Term 4: King Lear * Linking to the audio recording by LibriVox

So, there it is for the year . . . not including our "free reading" list and the library books the children check out during our frequent visits.  Hoping this is more than enough to keep them loving their literature and loving the process of learning.

What does your literature list look like this year?

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom     

Where We Are At? This week we are linking up at Homeschooling on the Cheap!


Breathe!!! Homeschool Planning & Family Studies - DONE!

I am coming up for air . . . ah, oxygen is good!  Oxygen is good for everyone, I highly recommend breathing.

So, why do I need oxygen?  HOMESCHOOL PLANNING!!!  Yikes, what an undertaking this year has been, but I am ready and excited about this academic year.    

Here is a brief look at what we are planning to use for the upcoming school year as a family.  I have a separate plan for each grade level, of course, but this is our overall plan for Family Studies.  

We are essentially "year round" home educators, so once we have completed the school year at cooperative with a two week break and then, back to business.  We take breaks during the summer, only for Scout camp, church camps, quick vacations and short family visits.  This helps keep the dreaded disease of "mushy-brained" children at bay at all times!  We will actually not be taking classes at cooperative this year, but more on that later.

I prefer a Charlotte Mason teaching method, while incorporating the Principle Approach with Notebooking for each of our students.  This approach is a great combination for my children and the way they individually learn.  Notebooking has especially helped instill better self-government, responsibility and organizational skills in each of our children.

Our Academic Year begins June 2012 and ends May 2013 - our grading terms are as follows: 
Term 1 - June, July, August; 
Term 2 - September, October, November; 
Term 3 - December, January, February; 
Term 4 - March, April, May

A Word On Family Study Time - We feel that learning together, in a multi-generation format, is essential in teaching and instructing our children.  This also helps their Dad to feel needed and included in our studies.  Too many times we have had difficulties, in the past, with the "Us vs. Dad" homeschool formula.  We are a family and a team, we need to learn together.  We will typically conduct these studies in the evenings or on Saturday afternoon, depending on my husband's schedule and extracurricular activities.

Here is what we will be studying together as a family:
  • Math: Monthly - Fun Family Math Night!  Here is my Pin Board of Math Activities that we are using to celebrate math.  Believe me, it needs a bit of an "enthusiasm push" around these parts!
  • Science: Weekly
Nature Study: Handbook of Nature Study with Outdoor Hour Challenges  AND Nature Study Pins

Weekly Creation Science and Apologetics Multiple Grade Level Instruction with Dad in the evenings.    
  • History:  Mystery of History, Volume I (Bi-Weekly)  The big kids have already been through the first two volumes, so we are letting the Bug join in this year for Volume 1 and Volume II next year.  We LOVE this curriculum and the big kids are excited to share the experience with their little sister.  
We will also be studying American Exploration as a unit study together, but I will blog more on that later . . . 
This is where we stick with the Charlotte Mason approach the most.  We study an Artist, coupled with a Composer each school term.  Shakespeare is studied at each grade level, typically one to three plays per year.  We are huge fans of the Bard, even the kids, so we definitely try not to skip or scrimp on this subject.  This could also be a direct effect of having a mother who was a Theater Arts major and an uncle with a Masters in Musical Theater . . . yuh think?

Artist/Composer Study (Weekly) - 
*Notebooking using Harmony Fine Arts* I recently purchased the Harmony Fine Arts Medieval and Renaissance - Middle School which we will use in conjunction with the Mark Kisler's Draw Squad book.  The kids are very excited and mommy too!
This year's scheduleTerm 1 - Di Bondone/ Vivaldi, Angelico/Bach; Term 2 - Da Vinci/Handel, Raphael/ Haydn; Term 3 - Botticelli/Mozart, Michelangelo/Beethoven; Term 4 - Bruegel/Schubert, Durer/Berlioz

*Notebooking using Practical Pages* (Sketch Tuesday) each week using Drawing with Children by: Mona Brookes.

Shakespeare Study (Bi-Weekly) - We will be starting the year by reading Bard of Avon, by: Peter Vennema to give the kids a refresher.  For each play we will be using these resources: Tales from Shakespeare and Here is is on Librivox The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit, and this is a great post on Shakespeare for Children from Jimmie

Term 1: Henry V, Term 2: Merchant of Venice, Term 3: King Lear

Hymn Study: We will be following the Ambleside Online Schedule
. . . AND, of course, THE BIBLE!  We enjoy these translations for in-depth study of God's Word.

Learn about the various methods we use in Bible study: Family Worship TimePersonal DevotionScripture MemoryBiblical Gender Roles

So, What is your favorite homeschool planner or organizer?

Happy Homeschool planning to you all!

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom     
Where are we at?  We are linking up at NOT Back-to-School at the iHomeschool Network
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Homeschool Planning in your future???
Hands-down our favorite planner!
Weekly Homeschool 

(This post does contain affiliate links, thank you for your consideration)