Fall and Winter are a doozy during our home school season. There are always interesting projects to create from silly gourd men, to baking pumpkin seeds, creating a colorful leaf project, seasonal wilderness photography, creating some yummy cinnamon or chocolate concoction, visiting farms, Home school gym etc. The colder seasons of home school are much more anticipated than the warmer seasons.
Around the time we started home schooling, our son was in and out of the hospital during the warm seasons, so we really did not do much. We were concerned about the heat triggering the severe headaches that he use to get, and they often did, so most of our fun times were spent in doors and closely monitored. His brain surgery was at the beginning of June 2013, due to his healing being so fresh, we still stayed in more often than we went out, for the first few months. By the time we got him out, where we were comfortable and more confident with his health, it was during the beginning of the fall of 2013.
We started traveling, getting him out constantly, and just allowing him to enjoy being a 5 year old with ‘normal’ restrictions. We had a blast during fall/winter 2013!
I am often asked if I observe traditional school breaks for my son. My answer is always, it depends on what is most important in our home. Holidays….yes, but not all. He use to get 1 day off out of his week and of course his weekends. However, now that he will be accredited this coming school season, that will more than likely change.
We will not be taking that overly extended overrated 2 months of summer vacation. In our opinion as parents, that is way too long to have a child out of school. Their minds need to be refreshed constantly and ready to jump into that learning mode. So much is lost when kids take that much time away from school. Besides that, our 5 year old does not know what a “Summer Vacation” is, so why get him accustomed to something that he does not even know about nor need? His upbringing compensates for those 2 months, every year.
Although our child will not get 2 solid months off of school, he will have a few breaks for mini vacations, field trips, day trips, and weekend getaways….whether for school or family outings. He will also be getting involved with a sport and/or music lesson this spring/summer, and he has a lighter work load. I do not use his normal school material during the summer, we use a more subtle learning system. I use store bought books right off of the shelves of Walmart and CVS :).
Now that my son is 100% better, he can handle heat with ease, like nothing ever happened. Now I have to break out of my shell and figure out what to do for the summer (Any ideas? I am open)…….my findings and ideas from other home school Mom’s will be on my next blog. Here is some of the material that we use for our son….enjoy and may it be useful!!
Language is an on going lesson in my home, really for all of us. While my son is still learning English, phrasing, sentence organization, and proper pronunciation in his first language, he is also learning Spanish, his second language, and French. Language lessons are as repetitive as learning to put the toilet seat down, which he has gotten that down like a pro :). MEAD has created a genius line of learning tools for kids….not just pencils but bilingual books, etc. as well. You can find the MEAD learning line right at your local Walmart in the school supply area.
We traveled to Kentucky during the winter, and our hotel was right next door to a teacher store. To my excitement my husband let me have a field day in that place! I picked up a box of French flash cards.
Problem solving is another brain work out that we do daily, because this involves all of our lives all day.
Although you can purchase SCHOOLZONE products online, I made my purchase at my local CVS. There is a section at the store that sells coloring books, flashcards, books, etc. I found this wonderful book by accident. The interesting fact about schoolzone.com, is that it is a great support and advocate for Christian home schooling, providing testimonials from Christian parents about the material they use from this product line and also selling products such as: Bible Alphabet fun (P-K); Bible printing fun (P-K); Bible Color and shapes (P-K), etc. This company serves grade levels preschool through the 6th grade. The website provides electronic learning for tablets, ebooks, software, music, etc. NOTE: Schoolzone is not just for home schooled children. It is a help for anyone.
Last but not least…..I purchased these two games at the same teacher store where I bought the French flash cards. I love teacher stores because they have the best games and learning tools that you cannot find at an every day store. I would also like to add that Joann fabrics has a section for teachers with charts, books, learning tools, etc. If you are on a budget, which if you have kids and your an every day *unique person….the dollar tree, dollar store, dollar general also carry supplies for teachers. These games are much anticipated and interesting in my home. One of the questions in the Social skills game is; “What do you do if your friend trips?” I chuckle at the question, because I know what I would do. My son use to answer; “Laugh and then ask if they are okay.” I wanted to bust out laughing. What a shame…..that I would do the same 😀 (unless serious). Bad habit of laughing then asking. But as the parent, you know how that answer had to be; “Ask if they are okay, and never laugh at your friends.” The what time is it game is a very simple way for introducing time telling to your youngsters. It has been working well for us. ❤
This concludes my list for now. The title is a bit misleading, but it is an intro to my next blog. I hope the information provided will help anyone who home schools, even those parents who do not home school and would like to just keep their children’s minds sharpened during their off seasons. Have a productive, memorable, fun and Blessed spring/summer!!
❤ Raven Nicole`