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July 2016

by Mary Ann Kelley

History, Virtual World Tour, STEM, Spanish, and More…

From the Editor

2016 is a year with lots of reasons to celebrate in our house! Two graduations (one high school and one college), a 50th birthday, and a 25th wedding anniversary all coincided, so we decided to celebrate them with a once in a lifetime family trip to Europe. The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago in Honfleur, France, a beautiful port city full of narrow streets, colorful houses, and lots of history. I am thankful we were able to take this trip before our kids’ work schedules and responsibitilities prevent traveling together.

Even if you can’t physically travel this summer, you can take a virtual world tour with the link below under Educational Resources; Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool has put together a fun Read the World virtual tour book club for the summer.

For those of you whose traveling won’t be virtual, you will appreciate Jeanne’s “roadschooling” packing list in our featured article. Whether you are taking a day trip or a long distance journey, packing appropriately can help ease the stress of traveling with kids. If you are looking for a fun place to spend some time immersing in history, check out our sponsor Colonial Williamsburg. Their Homeschool Days in September are a bargain and are a great way to get kids interested in America’s colonial history.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley
Editor

Teaching Calendar

July 19, 2016 — First women’s rights convention – 1848

July 21, 2016 — Scopes found guilty – 1925

July 28, 2016 — Beatrix Potter born this day in 1866

July 29, 2016 — NASA established – 1958

August 2, 2016 — Declaration of Independence signed – 1776

August 2, 2016 — Lincoln Penny issued – 1909

August 3, 2016 — Christopher Columbus set sail – 1492

August 5, 2016 — Neil Armstrong born this day in 1930

August 6, 2016 — Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima – 1945

View the entire calendar »

Educational Resources

Read the World Summer Book Club

Based on Jamie Martin’s new book Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time ($9.99 at Amazon; digital version $8.99) containing lists of over 600 recommended books set around the world, this summer book club has a goal of reading one book each week of the summer from a different part of the world. Literature is a great way to teach geography, and Jamie is working with Sarah Whitlock to provide printables for each week including maps to highlight each area “visited”. Even without Jamie’s book on hand, you could come up with your own way to follow along with the blog resources using your own choice of books from various countries.

19 STEM Activities for Middle Schoolers

Although created to stimulate girl’s interest in STEM subjects, this list would be fun for all middle school age students. Featuring activites from MIT, Annenberg Learner, Shoder Interactive, and more, the activities include using a scene from Alice in Wonderland to introduce negative exponents and the rules for dividing powers, building a tower of LEGO® Duplos® on slopes of varying angles and determine how deep the foundations need to be to keep the tower standing upright, and more.

Immersion Spanish with Salsa

Children’s television is a great way to get started with a foreign language. “Salsa is Georgia Public Broadcasting’s award-winning Spanish language series for young learners in kindergarten through the third grade. Puppets in familiar stories, digital graphics and animation teach the language. Instructors do not need to be certified to teach a foreign language or be familiar with Spanish in order to use Salsa. It can be used in the classroom and homeschools and by anyone interested in teaching young kids to speak Spanish. Each video lesson is preceded by a staff development component that acquaints the instructor with the content and the objectives of the lesson, reviews all vocabulary words and demonstrates the correct pronunciation of all Spanish words included in the lesson.” There are 42 lessons in the series and they are all online along with interactive games. (HT to VaHomeschoolers’ In the Loop newsletter)

Recent Blog Posts

Technology and Learning

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Technology & LearningWhen the modern homeschooling movement first began a few decades ago, the personal computer didn’t even exist, but now the majority of homeschooling families use a computer as part of their educational program. This not only reflects the growth of computers throughout our culture, but it also indicates that many homeschooling parents have assumed that computers can help children learn more effectively. But if we think that plugging every kid into a computer will transform education, we’re fooling ourselves – and potentially harming our children. Read More…

10 Ideas for Making the End of the Year Special

Special Ways to End Your Homeschool YearIs yours one of the many families whose “school year” has a beginning, an end, and then a break before the next year begins? Schooling at home is something to celebrate, and when the end of the year arrives, it presents an opportunity for joyful recognition and reflection. Here are some ideas for ways to make it memorable and special for your family.Is yours one of the many families whose “school year” has a beginning, an end, and then a break before the next year begins? Schooling at home is something to celebrate, and when the end of the year arrives, it presents an opportunity for joyful recognition and reflection. Here are some ideas for ways to make it memorable and special for your family. Read More…

Arranging a Strong Week: Your Homeschool Schedule

Your Homeschool Schedule: Arranging a Strong WeekAs a homeschool evaluator in Virginia, I’ve worked with hundreds of kids in families who have used all kinds of weekly homeschool schedules. I’m also in my 19th year of homeschooling, and since we’ve moved around a lot, I’ve been in a ton of different homeschooling communities and groups with so many good homeschooling families. I’ve seen all kinds of weekly schedules work well for people, and creating a strong week of homeschooling can look different for each homeschooling family. Some families have weekly schedules that look like school schedules, but most homeschooling families use the flexibility of homeschooling to create a weekly schedule that is customized for them. Here are some of the homeschool schedules that I have seen work to create a strong homeschooling week. Read More…

Finding Community as a Homeschooler

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Find Other Homeschoolers in Your CommunityAt first, particularly if you are new to homeschooling, it may seem like there are no homeschoolers around at all. But chances are very good that they are just hidden in plain sight! Families in many areas have established homeschool groups that meet for field trips, projects, playtime, and even parent-run classes. Finding them can be the hardest part. Some homeschool groups maintain a low profile to respect or protect the privacy of their member families. So it can be challenging to make that first connection. But homeschoolers, in general, are very resourceful and well-connected, and once you’ve found one local homeschooling family, you may soon hear about others. Read More…

Roadschooling: What To Keep In the Car

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Roadschooling: My list of 'extras' to keep in the carMany of us homeschoolers are automobile-dependent. Living in rural or suburban areas and in some small and medium size towns and cities, we find that our communities aren’t “walkable,” and there is no public transportation to speak of. There is certainly no school bus serving our family. Since our kids aren’t in the “big box of school” we have to drive to many of the activities and classes our kids participate in.

With three kids in a wide age range and with a diversity of interests, over the years I have found myself constantly traveling from one “homeschool thing” to another, also mixing in our regular errands.

I found that keeping “extras” in the car is a big help, so we didn’t have to turn around for forgotten items, and we were a little more ready for the minor crises of life.

My list of “extras” a roadschooling mom might keep in the car… [Continue reading]

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