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The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.

This year, the season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas - it officially begins Dec. 1 and culminates on Dec. 24. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmas, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6.

We have a perfect opportunity to use this Advent season to cultivate traditions and rhythms in our home.

In a world where Christmas begins after Halloween, and the season is marked by shopping, rushing, and a general feeling of stress, we can heed a greater call to SLOW DOWN, savor, and anticipate the birth of Christ.

Use this Advent season to celebrate truth, beauty, and goodness.

Cultivate the Wonder of Advent in Your Home #homeschool

The spirit of Advent is countercultural to our world today.

(Want to learn more about Advent before you embark upon it with your children. I highly recommend reading this short article - What is Advent?)

The “Three Cs” of Advent Traditions

Rather than give you a HUGE list of wonderful Advent ideas, I am just going to give you a few.

Less is more.

These are traditions we have used in our home - traditions that have grounded and shaped our holiday season. Now that my children are both teens I feel like we got this part of parenting “right”… and hopefully, my children will pass some of these traditions along to their own families one day.

Calendars, Carols, and Candles

These three simple things will help your family have a peaceful Advent. It is my prayer that you can use some of these suggestions in your home this Advent season.

Calendars for Advent

An Advent calendar is a simple way to mark the days for the coming of Christ’s birth.

When my children were young I had an Advent calendar that hung in the hall outside their bedrooms.

It had little numbered pockets for each day of Advent - inside each pocket, I placed two Hershey Kisses. They could choose when they wanted to eat their kiss… one child ate it FIRST thing out of bed - the other child saved it for after rest time in the afternoon.

One year my son had a LEGO Advent calendar.

I’ve seen so many Advent calendars - just pick one and make it part of your family’s Advent tradition each year.

Carols for Advent

Learning carols to celebrate the coming of the Christ child is another way to make memories and deepen the meaning of the Advent season.

I’ve written two volumes of carols. These teach about the history of the carol and include activities for ALL ages to enjoy.

As a child, I remember my mother sitting at the piano playing Christmas carols. Each time I hear Away in a Manger I have a vivid memory of my mom’s hands on the piano. I know all of the verses by heart.

What a gift that was (and continues to be) to me… and it’s so simple to give that same kind of gift to our children.

Pick a few carols. Learn them. Sing them. Make them part of your Advent traditions.

Learn About Christmas Carols with SQUILT - perfect for all ages #homeschool #musiced

Candles for Advent

Use an Advent wreath in your home to learn about the season and create an atmosphere of peace and anticipation.

Do you know the history of the Advent wreath?

The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.

Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death as the evergreen is continuously green. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible.

Advent candles shine brightly in the midst of darkness, symbolizing and reminding us that Jesus came as Light into our dark world. The candles are often set in a circular Advent wreath. In Scandinavia, Lutheran churches light a candle each day of December; by Christmas, they have twenty-four candles burning.

The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles around the wreath. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

*learn more at Crosswalk

Cultivate the Wonder of Advent in Your Home #homeschool #advent

It’s so simple to create an Advent wreath.

Keep the wreath on your dinner table. Light a candle each Sunday in Advent and read a devotion to go along with the significance of that particular candle. When Christmas morning arrives, light the white candle in the middle and celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

Use your Advent wreath to create a tradition and liturgy for the holiday season.

These are just a few suggestions for your Advent celebrations. Whatever you do - stay consistent, make it something you can sustain for the entire four weeks of Advent, and let your children take ownership.

We have such a gift waiting for us on December 25 - enjoy the anticipation!!

Do you have Advent traditions in your home?

Tell me about them in the comments below.



You might also like:

Christmas BINGO for Kids

5 Favorite Books for Christmas





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We’re on the final stretch of our first semester studies.

It’s hard to believe my youngest is halfway through his first year of high school.

Not to sound cliche, but time is going by so quickly - I made an Instagram post about that very thing yesterday. (I hope this encourages all of the mamas out there!)

As I drove endless trips to the local Christian school for basketball, helped with difficult math problems, and edited a paper about Franklin Roosevelt, I was reminded these things are my JOY and calling right now. Sometimes all of the day to day doesn’t feel like a joy - but our attitude can make all the difference.

Weekly #Homeschool Roundup at Homegrown Learners

Enjoy the findings for this week - I hope you can find at least one thing that is of use to you!

  • When Less Becomes More

    This book, by Emily Ley, truly spoke to my heart. (In fact, it motivated me to stop using my personal Facebook until 2020.) I listened to the audio - which was only three hours. It was just the check I needed right now, and I know it will be encouraging to so many of you as well.

    And, if you’re wondering when I get the time to read so much… I listen to A LOT of audiobooks. Between folding laundry, taking showers, and driving this week, this book took no time at all!

  • Equal Opportunity Players

    This article is interesting to me. Because my son plays sports we are always on the lookout for opportunities in a school setting. Our state did not pass the Tim Tebow Bill , so we play at a local Christian school. The topic is of interest to me, though, and the above article was great.

  • It’s Time to Blow Up The Public School System

It’s been a long time since the concept of the public school was invented and a long time since school became compulsory. The world has changed a lot since then.

It’s at least worth asking if school should have changed, too.

5 Simple Christmas Activities @ #Homegrown Learners
  • Screen Time: 3 Reasons Why Your Daughter Can’t Stop

    This free video series is excellent. Because I have an 18 year old daughter, I know what a hold devices can have on our girls, and how destructive screen time can be to their healthy emotional development. This series is a good resources for parents of girls.

I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for this community of homeschoolers!

We’re headed to the North Carolina mountains to spend the holiday with family. I’m looking forward to a few days away - largely unplugged!

As always, let me know if you’ve found anything interesting this week!!


Weekly #Homeschool Roundup

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With two homeschool graduates now living independently, here’s another letter to my younger self reflecting on insights and thoughts of what important life lessons were required to complete our homeschooling journey ~

Letter 26 ~ True Skills

Dear younger Nadene,

In the beginning, when you began to homeschool your toddlers, it was all about exploration, discovery,  and learning about life.  You taught through play and read alouds, through experimentation and exploration.  But as soon as you bought a very expensive curriculum for each child, you became stressed, anxious, and hyper-focussed to “do it all right”.  You became “Mom-the-teacher” and you pushed, pressured, persuaded, pleaded and even punished your children to learn what “they were supposed to”.  You silly, fearful, stressed-out mom!

You pushed aside real-life for school-at-home.  Somehow, as your children entered junior and middle school, academics became the main focus and the measure of your and their success.  Remember homeschool is  “Learning Not SchoolIt is so easy to get bogged down with the curriculum, it’s schedule, your children’s academics and teaching school subjects.  And in its place, these things are important, but always look at the bigger picture.  What do your children really need to master by the time they graduate?

A real & whole education has very little to do with information — hello — everyone has Google at their fingertips!  Education is not merely schoolwork or subjects found in curriculums.  Of course, the importance of education is irrefutable.  But as your teenagers prepare to leave home (and heads-up — your middle daughter will launch out at 17!),  you will realize that there are many other essential life skills.

Can they look after themselves?  Can they relate well to others well?  Do they cope with difficulties, navigate huge challenges, or make big decisions?  Have they learnt how to manage their time and their money?  Do they know how to apply for jobs, sign for leases, open accounts, fill in tax forms?  Are they healthy and managing their eating and cooking?   (See more specific life skills in the lists below this letter.)

As you watch your young adult children, you will joyfully witness that they have learnt amazing life skills as they were growing up.  They are strong and mature.  They are wonderful, supportive friends, and are committed and loyal to their communities.  They have loving, stable relationships with their partners.  They can cook amazing, nutritional meals on a shoestring budget.  They make and keep a beautiful, clean house, and are wonderfully hospitable.   They work hard in their respective jobs, managing job performance with professional attitudes.  They handle conflicts and difficulties in relationships with maturity and grace.  They manage their money, making ends meet and living within their means.  They have a living faith in the Lord and entrust themselves to His word and ways.

And as for the rest, you will watch with a joyful expectation as they learn what they need to as they go along, growing in experience and competence as they figure things out. 

Don’t lose sight of the big picture!  It is so much more than mastering algebra or chemistry equations or acing the exams.  Real-life stuff cannot always be tested in the classroom.  Life will test what they really learnt! 

And, by God’s grace and mercy and lovingkindness alone, you will see that you have done well.   

With compassionate love and grace from your older self,

Love, Nadene

If you Google, you will find many lists of life skills your children need to learn before they graduate.  Here’s a compilation of many life skills needed ~

Emotional intelligence =

  • Mental health
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy
  • Coping with stress and failure
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving

Communication & Relationships

  • Effective communication
  • Manners
  • Conflict resolution
  • Dating & Romantic Relationships
  • Marriage
  • Family & Raising kids
  • Professional Etiquette
  • Communication on the phone, SMS, texts & emails
  • How to Apply for a job

Financial literacy

  • Managing Money
  • Budgets
  • Savings & Investments
  • Credit Cards,  Hire purchase & Debt
  • Buying & Selling Car and Home
  • Taxes

Nutrition & Health

  • Understanding nutrition in food & its impact on health
  • Wholesome attitude to different eating plans & diets
  • Meal planning
  • Food budget
  • Cooking skills
  • Weight management
  • Self-care
  • Exercise
  • Supplements
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Family planning, Sex, STDs

Other

  • Time Management
  • Housekeeping
  • Management & Maintenance of home
  • Laundry
  • Survival Skills
  • DIY and Repair skills
  • Social Media
  • Addictions
  • Civics
  • Community
  • Politics

Some of these life skill lessons should start while your children are very young, while others are more important in high school. Some topics may not apply to your family or values, but most are vital skills your children need once they leave home.

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Would you share yours in the comments below?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

Subscribe Click to receive all my new posts packed with practical tips, projects, plans, pages & art ideas by email
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As I reflect on my more than 23 years of homeschooling, I believe that creativity is the most wonderful gift you can give your children!   Here is the next letter to my younger self — Letter 27 ~ Creativity

These new collages are from images of our many creative moments over the years.  Warning ~ This post is chock-a-block full of links to previous creativity related posts; proof of my emphasis on creativity!  I recommend you bookmark this letter to come back to read all the links.)

Dear younger Nadene,

Your children’s happiest moments in homeschooling revolved around your creative approach which included frequent hands-on activities.  Realizing this joy, I want to urge you to provide daily creative opportunities such as arts & crafts and doing regular hands-on activities such as lapbooks, making models and paper projects, and allocate time for lots of dramatization.  Figure out how to fit in hands-on activities into your schedule, and these activities will become your children’s favourite homeschool memories.  Your Fabulous Fine Arts Fridays will save you and your children from burnout and stress! Over these years you will produce many creative projects.

Your children will create cute finger puppets for narrations, cut and colour Lego-punched dioramas for poetry, make models of Laura Ingalls’ Little House, dress up to act out their History narrations, re-create famous paintings in 3D, create their own sets of paper dolls.  Amazing mobiles will adorn your schoolroom for different themes and study topics. Every year you and your children will make puppet shows such as the Nativity Play and Esther play for Purim and their art will cover the walls in your home.

Your young children love to be creative every moment of the day!  In their free time, they love to dress up and you will even sew them boned corsets! You will make them a rag doll family to replace their Barbie dolls, and your middle daughter will use her skilled fine motor skills to create her own Polly pocket in a soap dish!

Join Sketch Tuesday and do art every week. There are so many advantages to sketching weekly! This simple weekly Sketch Tuesday activity will produce an enormous skill set and build confidence! Not only will it be the most welcome time of enjoyment and respite in your week, but it will offer regular opportunities to try new mediums and styles and your children will excel in all their artistic activities.

Because you provide them with a creative space and creative materials, they will also make jewellery and beautiful gifts.  Your daughters love creating beautiful flower arrangements. They will create beautiful rustic decor for their brother’s weddings.  Your daughters will become experts at home decor.  You will teach them all to sew and knit and your teenage daughters will start their own beautiful pyjama clothing range called La Lune

Your eldest daughter Tess will become an incredibly talented seamstress at just 15-years old, sewing dresses for weddings and Matric farewell functions.  She and her best friend will put on and host several fashion shows. When your daughter graduates, she will work in the hospitality industry for a season.  She will marry and her home will be filled with beauty and loveliness.  When they move Sedgefield, she will renovate and restore the old family seaside home into a lovely Airbnb.  Her homemaking, cooking and creativity will spill into every area of her life.

When your middle daughter Kate graduates, she will continue to create her own unique styled art, create professional designs and logos, and develop her digital art.  She will hone her photographic skills and assist her boyfriend Mathew with photography at weddings.  She will assist him in developing his website, his marketing and social media. Kate loves food and she will enjoy cooking Masterchef-type food!  She will become a singer and musician, teaching herself to play musical instruments.

Your youngest daughter Lara will do art every day.  Her Instagram feed is full of art, art and more beautiful art!  Lara and her talented wood craftsman boyfriend will start their own collaborative online art business called Collection Shed.  Joshua will make beautiful custom frames for Lara’s paintings!

Your children’s creativity and handicrafts skills will become great assets.   They have so much creative talent that it spills over into entrepreneur and job opportunities. They will start businesses, sell products at markets and online, work for art and animation studios, sell art via social media. All of them will develop wonderful unique artistic styles and their regular creativity will generate wonderful rich art portfolios. Your family will be known for its creative flair!   

You, too, will find great joy in doing creative projects, regularly sketching, painting, sewing, knitting, gardening and doing decor and DIY projects.  As your homeschooling journey nears the end, your lifestyle and time will allow for much more art and creativity, so it is a good thing to take part in arts and crafts with your children while they are still young.  Maintain your creativity as a hobby lifestyle, or as Charlotte Mason describes it as “Mother Culture” and you will have a fulfilling and joyful transition post homeschooling.

And very importantly, don’t be afraid of your children’s occasional boredom.  This time is the essential ingredient that is necessary for them to discover and develop their creativity!  In this day and age of constant stimulation and distraction, quiet undistracted time is a gift for creativity.  

Keep a simple schedule and avoid rush, stress and over-committed extra-mural activities.  Plan for days at home, free afternoons and long, unrushed weekends. 

Creativity also requires grace to learn, to experiment and to make mistakes. Offer your children and yourself gentle encouragement and avoid any comparisons.  Compliment and display your children’s art and keep trying new materials and techniques. 

Here are some wonderful creativity quotes ~

  • “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.”  Brene Brown
  • “Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes & having fun!” Mary Lou Cook
  • “Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
  • “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein
  • “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou
  • “To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

With fondest love from your older and creative self, Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Would you share yours in the comments below?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

Subscribe Click to receive all my new posts packed with practical tips, projects, plans, pages & art ideas by email
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Life is busy and learning is spent more and more on the go. Too, learning should be flexible and can happen anywhere. Whether you want to change the place your kids learn like to the park or are planning a vacation, you’ll love these 10 best ways to easily transport homeschool curriculum. ONE/ Not just […]

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In the early 1980s, my mom homeschooled my youngest sister. Then, folks thought homeschooling was illegal. It wasn’t, but it felt that way. As my mom researched about homeschooling, I read the same research as meager as it was, but I came to appreciate that homeschoooling is a superior education for many reasons. I was […]

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I made some free Owl Printables that I want to share with you today. 🙂

Free Owl Worksheets Printables Lapbook - Notebook Pages

Have your kids dissected owl pellets?  This is such a great hands-on activity if your kids are studying forest animals or the skeletal system… or even if you just want to do something exciting to add into your homeschool day! This project is wonderful with any age!

My youngest daughter finished a big unit on the skeletal system and really wanted me to order some owl pellets for her so she could look for bones. We chose the jumbo owl pellets (affiliate link) and were really happy with what we got.  ED found four skulls in just one pellet!!

Owl Pellet DissectionShe wanted to know a bit more about the difference between some of the animals barn owls eat. I made these blank notebook pages for her. I also included some Montessori 3-part cards for those of you with younger kids. 🙂

There are also some Owl Lapbook – Interactive Notebook pieces that your kids might enjoy!

Free Owl LapbookThese owl notebook pages, 3-part cards, and activities are free to download!

Click here to download the Free Owl Printables and Lapbook

Owl Pellet Activity - Free Printables

If your kids are studying forest animals, here are some free forest sorting cards I made a while back. Visit this post for the

Free Forest Animal Sort Cards

ForestAnimalSortCardsAre your kids interested in studying animals? You can find out more about our 100+ page Animal Packet or the big Animal BUNDLE here:

Animal-Unit-100-pages-worksheets-feathers-fur-scales-skin-vertebrates-invertebrates-insects-spiders

Feathers Fur Scales or Skin Worksheets and Sorting Cards

Vertebrate - Invertebrate Worksheets

The 5 animal groups worksheets

Invertebrate-Groups-Activities

Herbivores Carnivores Omnivores Worksheets Activities Sorting Cardsherbivore carnivore omnivore sorting cards and sorting matAnimal-Track-ActivitiesAnimal-Track-Activity

Animal Homes and Shelters - Where do animals live worksheetsNocturnal Animal Quick Study - Opossums Raccoons Skunks BeaversClassification of Animals Activity and Worksheets - Vertebrates-InvertebratesFind out more about our Skeletal System Unit here:

Skeletal System Worksheets

Skeletal System Worksheets and Notebook Pages

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :)

Homeschool Den Store

I’ve chosen not to use pop-up boxes at this point, but you can click here to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! You’ll hear when we have new posts, packets and other homeschool-related news! 🙂

SubscribeHappy Homeschooling!

~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

The post Free Owl Printables appeared first on Homeschool Den.

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 happy-thanksgiving-homeschooldenWe hope that you have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! ~Liesl and the Kids

The post Happy Thanksgiving! appeared first on Homeschool Den.

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Read our Latest List Here:

101 Things To Do This Summer
Sponsored by: Time4Learning

May 7, 2012
 
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Two words parents do not want to hear over the summer are “I’m bored!” The best way to tackle this head on is to have super fun summer activities ready to go! We’ve compiled our list of 101 Things into a 2018 version we know you’re going to love!

Ideas for Summer Activities

  1. Visit a drive-in theater. Movies are exciting for kids to do with their families but sometimes, Redbox gets old and the theaters are too expensive. Instead, visit your local drive-in theater and enjoy a new experience for moviegoing.

      2. Make a water blob! All you’ll need is plastic sheeting, some duct tape, and a water hose. These look like so much fun, you’ll probably retire the backyard sprinkler!

 

  1. Eat a whole lobster with your hands. A perfect idea if you live near water! Look for places nearby that offer fresh seafood.

      4. Attend an outdoor concert. Bring a blanket to lay on and enjoy yourself. If you can find an all-day concert, even better!

      5. Ask your parents if they’ll take you on a spontaneous road trip. It doesn’t have to be far but try to pick somewhere you’ve never visited. Look for the small, local restaurants you might find along the way.

      6. Play in a summer rainstorm! Enjoy the feeling of rain – especially if it’s heavy – pouring down on your skin and soak up the smells.

  2. Take a trip to your local fair and win yourself a prize. Or, win a prize for a loved one!

      8. Create squirtable chalk. You can even add a twist to it by creating color-changing squirty chalk.

      9. Spend some time learning about ocean animals and then create your own mason jar aquariums. What a perfect complement to a beach trip!
    10. Make unique art by doing squirt gun paintings. This may remind you of paintball but without the mess on you! Simply fill squirt guns with paint and have a blast – literally!

     11. With your parent’s permission, redecorate and rearrange your bedroom. You can purchase Oops paint for as little as a dollar a gallon at your local paint/hardware store.

      12. In conjunction with #11, make summer themed bandana pillows.

      13. Spend one afternoon of quality time with each individual in your family. Have a tea party with your little sister, play cards with your brother, and hang out with your dad. Enjoy spending time with those who love you.

      14. Go camping–even if it’s in your backyard! If you happen to have a trampoline, they make great sleeping surfaces.

      15. Turn into an expert. Pick a topic you’re interested in and research it online. Better yet, pick one subject per week. You’ll be impressed with all you’ve learned by the end of the summer.

      16. Make homemade ice cream…try a flavor you’ve never had before!

      17. Learn a new talent. What do you really wish you could do? Talk to your parents about it. They can help you find ways to achieve your goals.

      18. Get up at dawn and appreciate the coolness and peaceful feeling of the early morning. Compare it to the sweltering afternoon.

      19. With your family, float down a slow river on an inflatable tube. Or maybe, a not so slow river–tubing is a blast!

      20. Play badminton. It’s a fun game. Compare it to ping pong and tennis. Just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you’re good at the others. Why is that?

      21. Learn about bats, why they are important and why they are beneficial. Did you know that a bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Try building a bat house.

      22. Have a pinata party. But first, make your own pinata. Or for a wet twist, make a water balloon pinata!

      23. Interview your grandparents. They’re interesting people! Find out what games they played when they were young, what their parents were like (your great-grandparents), what kind of clothes they wore, etc. If you can, record the interview. You’ll be glad you did.

      24. Attend your sibling’s game and REALLY root for him/her.

      25. Bake a cake and then decorate it. There are a number of cake decorating shows on television–watch a few and then see what you can do. Have fun with it.

      26. Learn about compound interest and start a savings account. Check out what happens when you double a penny every day for 30 Days.

      27. Do something especially nice for Father’s Day. Show your dad how much he means to you. Write him a letter expressing your love. It’s a gift he’ll keep forever.

      28. Improve your vocabulary. Play Word Dynamo and then look up and learn two new words from the dictionary every day. At the end of the summer, try Word Dynamo again and see how you’ve improved!

     29. Learn how to do the butterfly stroke. It’s the most difficult swimming stroke. You’ll certainly get a work out!

      30. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores. If you can’t roast the marshmallows over a fire, try broiler S’mores. Even the eye of a gas stove will do!

      31. Decorate your flip flops.

      32. Watch live animal cams from your local zoo–or from any zoo!

  3. Spoil your pet for a day. Give your dog a bath, play ball with him, and take him for a walk. Likewise, cuddle your cat, pet your hamster, talk to your bird, etc. Spoil your pet several times over the summer. Turn it into a habit.

      34. Lounge on a hammock. Better yet, make a hammock first!

      35. Have a neighborhood outdoor game day. Revisit 4-square; Red Rover, Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; and Mother May I.

      36. Start a blog. First, look at some free blog templates and tutorials to decide how you want yours to look.

      37. Tour a college campus. There are pros and cons to touring college campuses during the summer months.

      38. Choose a day–or two–and perform random acts of kindness. See how others respond. It’s very rewarding. Browse Kindness Ideas, and share your story as well.

      39. Talk to your parents about what you’d like to learn next year in your homeschool program. Chances are, your parents are looking at curriculum now. So, now is the time to speak up!

      40. Make FUN snacks with your siblings. Some fun ideas include easy homemade applesauce, celebration flags, and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

      41. On a really hot day, go to the dollar movie theatre and enjoy the air conditioning!

      42. Learn about cotton candy. There’s not nearly as much sugar in cotton candy as you might think.

      43. Make a work of art in your driveway using multi-color chalk. Get permission first. Did you know you can draw with make wet chalk drawings? Professional artists have done some amazing chalk art!

      44. Learn how to take a good photograph. There’s more to it than pointing and clicking.

      45. Have an old fashioned weenie roast, and make your own mustard. There are over 100 recipes for mustard available!

     46. Make an easy DIY birdbath. The birds will really appreciate it!

      47. Learn jump rope tricks. Find jump rope videos on the internet to give you inspiration. It’s AMAZING what people can do with a jump rope!

      48. Do some crazy, fun science experiments (explosions, etc.) with your parent’s permission of course.

      49. Learn how to skip rocks.

      50. Blow bubble gum bubbles–gigantic, wonderful, pink bubbles. Have blowing contests with your siblings. You can even learn how to blow a double bubble!

      51. Swing on a tire swing or a rope swing. Don’t have one? That’s an easy fix!

      52. Make friendship bracelets for all of your friends–and your siblings too!

      53. Jump on a trampoline. It can be a backyard trampoline or you can jump at a trampoline fun center. Trampoline fun centers seem to be a new craze and are popping up all over the country.

  4. Run through the sprinklers–this never gets old! Or participate in the fun celebration of Slip-n-Slide! To make a large Slip-n-Slide, use plastic tarp and to go super fast, use dish soap.

      55. Make “custom” Kool-Aid by mixing flavors.

      56. Make your own beach/summer outing bag. Then fill with summer necessities–lip balm, bottled water, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, etc. Parental assistance may be necessary.

      57. Check out your local paper to discover any free-admission activities. Lots will be going on in your community and you don’t want to miss a thing.

      58. Slide down a hill on a piece of cardboard! Or, you can go ice blocking. With both, let your parents know what you’re doing.

      59. Make a new friend. Reach out to someone who has just moved into your neighborhood or to someone that doesn’t have a lot of friends. They might end up becoming your best buddy.

      60. Give your grandparents a big hug for no reason!

      61. Fly a kite! You can buy one already made or create a fun DIY kite.

      62. Learn the physics of skateboarding.

      63. Go somewhere fun with the family. A family reunion perhaps?

      64. Think about career options and find out what type of education is required. Go online and determine the demand for the field and the starting salary. Some adults do what they love regardless of the compensation, others go into a field because of the pay.

      65. Learn all about physical fitness.

      65. Have a Cannon Ball competition with your friends.

      67. Engage in an old-fashioned sack or wheelbarrow race.

      68. Volunteer!

      69. Surprise your parents by cleaning your room without being told to do so!

      70. Learn the history of where you live. The library will be a good place to start.

      71. Play hide-and-go-seek in the DARK! Turn off all the lights in the house… and play for hours. Warning–this can get a bit raucous. Parental permission required.

      72. Try a food you’ve never tasted before. Go on… take a bite!

      73. Find a mentor. Want to learn a specific skill or obtain certain knowledge? See if someone in the community can be your mentor. This can be a family member, family friend, or someone you don’t even know yet.

      74. BE a mentor.

      75. Learn how to do a roundoff.

      76. Go to the beach and build an amazing sandcastle!

      77. Turn up the music and DANCE!

      78. Understand the science behind fireworks. http://www.howstuffworks.com/fireworks.htm

      79. Learn how to hula hoop and master some fun tricks!

      80. Visit an educational and fun farm. Can’t make it to a farm? Visit a virtual farm.

      81. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity.

      82. Make up bubble solution–because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy bubbles! Learn the best conditions for optimal bubble making.

      83. Summer is the perfect time to learn! Summer should be fun and with Time4Learning, it can be!

      84. If you’re a girl, bring back the Topsy-Tail! You might have to ask your mom what one is!

      85. Make paper airplanes–there are a variety available, including printable paper airplanes.

      86. Learn how to whistle with two fingers; it takes a lot of talent!

      87. Understand roller coaster physics. They aren’t as dangerous as they seem!

      88. Make up with someone. Go ahead – apologize and end the feud!

      89. Learn the science behind rainbows.

      90. Read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene and watch the video starring Kristi McNichol and Bruce Davidson.

      91. Learn about frogs.

      92. If you’re old enough and your parents approve, get a job. Real life experience is extremely educational!

      93. Find out how hot air balloons work. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go on one or at least watch them take off. Did you know they make a bit of noise?

      94. Learn to play chess. There are a number of free sites on the Internet that will help you learn.

      95. Build a bonfire. You can make one in your backyard or at the beach if you’re headed there.

      96. Plant a fall vegetable garden. Don’t forget to add pumpkins!

      97. Make pink lemonade bars.

      98. Do something… anything you choose… to make you a better you.

      99. Barter your services. Want to ride a horse? Offer to clean out stalls in return for riding time. Want to take guitar lessons? Offer to mow the instructor’s lawn in return for lessons. Get your parent’s permission and then make sure you follow through on your end.

      100. Read the book The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. If you can, watch the 1958 feature film adaptation produced by Walt Disney Productions and then compare the two.

      101. Last but not least… get ready for school to resume. Clean out your desk and your homeschool area. Summer is GREAT but so is the fall!

Rss

Great Summer Resource:
101 Things To Do This Summer

Two words parents do not want to hear over the summer are “I’m bored!” The best way to tackle this head on is to have super fun summer activities ready to go! We’ve compiled our list of 101 Things into a version we know you’re going to love!

Ideas for Summer Activities

1. Visit a drive-in theater. Movies are exciting for kids to do with their families but sometimes, Redbox gets old and the theaters are too expensive. Instead, visit your local drive-in theater and enjoy a new experience for moviegoing.

 2. Make a water blob! All you’ll need is plastic sheeting, some duct tape, and a water hose. These look like so much fun, you’ll probably retire the backyard sprinkler!

3. Eat a whole lobster with your hands. A perfect idea if you live near water! Look for places nearby that offer fresh seafood.

  4. Attend an outdoor concert. Bring a blanket to lay on and enjoy yourself. If you can find an all-day concert, even better!

 5. Ask your parents if they’ll take you on a spontaneous road trip. It doesn’t have to be far but try to pick somewhere you’ve never visited. Look for the small, local restaurants you might find along the way.

  6. Play in a summer rainstorm! Enjoy the feeling of rain – especially if it’s heavy – pouring down on your skin and soak up the smells.


7.Take a trip to your local fair and win yourself a prize. Or, win a prize for a loved one!

  8. Create squirtable chalk. You can even add a twist to it by creating color-changing squirty chalk.

  9. Spend some time learning about ocean animals and then create your own mason jar aquariums. What a perfect complement to a beach trip!


10. Make unique art by doing squirt gun paintings. This may remind you of paintball but without the mess on you! Simply fill squirt guns with paint and have a blast – literally!

 11. With your parent’s permission, redecorate and rearrange your bedroom. You can purchase Oops paint for as little as a dollar a gallon at your local paint/hardware store.

  12. In conjunction with #11, make summer themed bandana pillows.

  13. Spend one afternoon of quality time with each individual in your family. Have a tea party with your little sister, play cards with your brother, and hang out with your dad. Enjoy spending time with those who love you.

  14. Go camping–even if it’s in your backyard! If you happen to have a trampoline, they make great sleeping surfaces.

  15. Turn into an expert. Pick a topic you’re interested in and research it online. Better yet, pick one subject per week. You’ll be impressed with all you’ve learned by the end of the summer.

  16. Make homemade ice cream…try a flavor you’ve never had before!

  17. Learn a new talent. What do you really wish you could do? Talk to your parents about it. They can help you find ways to achieve your goals.

  18. Get up at dawn and appreciate the coolness and peaceful feeling of the early morning. Compare it to the sweltering afternoon.

  19. With your family, float down a slow river on an inflatable tube. Or maybe, a not so slow river–tubing is a blast!

  20. Play badminton. It’s a fun game. Compare it to ping pong and tennis. Just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you’re good at the others. Why is that?

  21. Learn about bats, why they are important and why they are beneficial. Did you know that a bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Try building a bat house.

  22. Have a pinata party. But first, make your own pinata. Or for a wet twist, make a water balloon pinata!

  23. Interview your grandparents. They’re interesting people! Find out what games they played when they were young, what their parents were like (your great-grandparents), what kind of clothes they wore, etc. If you can, record the interview. You’ll be glad you did.

  24. Attend your sibling’s game and REALLY root for him/her.

  25. Bake a cake and then decorate it. There are a number of cake decorating shows on television–watch a few and then see what you can do. Have fun with it.

  26. Learn about compound interest and start a savings account. Check out what happens when you double a penny every day for 30 Days.

  27. Do something especially nice for Father’s Day. Show your dad how much he means to you. Write him a letter expressing your love. It’s a gift he’ll keep forever.

  28. Improve your vocabulary. Play Word Dynamo and then look up and learn two new words from the dictionary every day. At the end of the summer, try Word Dynamo again and see how you’ve improved!

 29. Learn how to do the butterfly stroke. It’s the most difficult swimming stroke. You’ll certainly get a workout!

  30. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores. If you can’t roast the marshmallows over a fire, try broiler S’mores. Even the eye of a gas stove will do!

  31. Decorate your flip flops.

  32. Watch live animal cams from your local zoo–or from any zoo!


33. Spoil your pet for a day. Give your dog a bath, play ball with him, and take him for a walk. Likewise, cuddle your cat, pet your hamster, talk to your bird, etc. Spoil your pet several times over the summer. Turn it into a habit.

  34. Lounge on a hammock. Better yet, make a hammock first!

  35. Have a neighborhood outdoor game day. Revisit 4-square; Red Rover, Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; and Mother May I.

  36. Start a blog. First, look at some free blog templates and tutorials to decide how you want yours to look.

  37. Tour a college campus. There are pros and cons to touring college campuses during the summer months.

  38. Choose a day–or two–and perform random acts of kindness. See how others respond. It’s very rewarding. Browse Kindness Ideas, and share your story as well.

  39. Talk to your parents about what you’d like to learn next year in your homeschool program. Chances are, your parents are looking at curriculum now. So, now is the time to speak up!

  40. Make FUN snacks with your siblings. Some fun ideas include easy homemade applesauce, celebration flags, and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

  41. On a really hot day, go to the dollar movie theatre and enjoy the air conditioning!

  42. Learn about cotton candy. There’s not nearly as much sugar in cotton candy as you might think.

  43. Make a work of art in your driveway using multi-color chalk. Get permission first. Did you know you can draw with make wet chalk drawings? Professional artists have done some amazing chalk art!

  44. Learn how to take a good photograph. There’s more to it than pointing and clicking.

  45. Have an old-fashioned weenie roast, and make your own mustard. There are over 100 recipes for mustard available!

 46. Make an easy DIY birdbath. The birds will really appreciate it!

  47. Learn jump rope tricks. Find jump rope videos on the internet to give you inspiration. It’s AMAZING what people can do with a jump rope!

  48. Do some crazy, fun science experiments (explosions, etc.) with your parent’s permission of course.

  49. Learn how to skip rocks.

  50. Blow bubble gum bubbles–gigantic, wonderful, pink bubbles. Have blowing contests with your siblings. You can even learn how to blow a double bubble!

  51. Swing on a tire swing or a rope swing. Don’t have one? That’s an easy fix!

  52. Make friendship bracelets for all of your friends–and your siblings too!

  53. Jump on a trampoline. It can be a backyard trampoline or you can jump at a trampoline fun center. Trampoline fun centers seem to be a new craze and are popping up all over the country.


  54. Run through the sprinklers–this never gets old! Or participate in the fun celebration of Slip-n-Slide! To make a large Slip-n-Slide, use plastic tarp and to go super fast, use dish soap.

  55. Make “custom” Kool-Aid by mixing flavors.

  56. Make your own beach/summer outing bag. Then fill with summer necessities–lip balm, bottled water, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, etc. Parental assistance may be necessary.

  57. Check out your local paper to discover any free-admission activities. Lots will be going on in your community and you don’t want to miss a thing.

  58. Slide down a hill on a piece of cardboard! Or, you can go ice blocking. With both, let your parents know what you’re doing.

  59. Make a new friend. Reach out to someone who has just moved into your neighborhood or to someone that doesn’t have a lot of friends. They might end up becoming your best buddy.

  60. Give your grandparents a big hug for no reason!

  61. Fly a kite! You can buy one already made or create a fun DIY kite.

  62. Learn the physics of skateboarding.

  63. Go somewhere fun with the family. A family reunion perhaps?

  64. Think about career options and find out what type of education is required. Go online and determine the demand for the field and the starting salary. Some adults do what they love regardless of the compensation, others go into a field because of the pay.

  65. Learn all about physical fitness.

  65. Have a Cannon Ball competition with your friends.

  67. Engage in an old-fashioned sack or wheelbarrow race.

  68. Volunteer!

  69. Surprise your parents by cleaning your room without being told to do so!

  70. Learn the history of where you live. The library will be a good place to start.

  71. Play hide-and-go-seek in the DARK! Turn off all the lights in the house… and play for hours. Warning–this can get a bit raucous. Parental permission required.

  72. Try a food you’ve never tasted before. Go on… take a bite!

  73. Find a mentor. Want to learn a specific skill or obtain certain knowledge? See if someone in the community can be your mentor. This can be a family member, family friend, or someone you don’t even know yet.

  74. BE a mentor.

  75. Learn how to do a roundoff.

  76. Go to the beach and build an amazing sandcastle!

  77. Turn up the music and DANCE!

  78. Understand the science behind fireworks. http://www.howstuffworks.com/fireworks.htm

  79. Learn how to hula hoop and master some fun tricks!

  80. Visit an educational and fun farm. Can’t make it to a farm? Visit a virtual farm.

  81. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity.

  82. Make up your own bubble solution–because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy bubbles! Learn the best conditions for optimal bubble making.

  83. Summer is the perfect time to learn! Summer should be fun and with Time4Learning, it can be!

  84. If you’re a girl, bring back the Topsy-Tail! You might have to ask your mom what one is!

  85. Make paper airplanes–there is a variety available, including printable paper airplanes.

  86. Learn how to whistle with two fingers; it takes a lot of talent!

  87. Understand roller coaster physics. They aren’t as dangerous as they seem!

  88. Make up with someone. Go ahead – apologize and end the feud!

  89. Learn the science behind rainbows.

  90. Read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene and watch the video starring Kristi McNichol and Bruce Davidson.

  91. Learn about frogs.

  92. If you’re old enough and your parents approve, get a job. Real life experience is extremely educational!

  93. Find out how hot air balloons work. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go on one or at least watch them take off. Did you know they make a bit of noise?

  94. Learn to play chess. There are a number of free sites on the Internet that will help you learn.

  95. Build a bonfire. You can make one in your backyard or at the beach if you’re headed there.

  96. Plant a fall vegetable garden. Don’t forget to add pumpkins!

  97. Make pink lemonade bars.

  98. Do something… anything you choose… to make you a better you.

  99. Barter your services. Want to ride a horse? Offer to clean out stalls in return for riding time. Want to take guitar lessons? Offer to mow the instructor’s lawn in return for lessons. Get your parent’s permission and then make sure you follow through on your end.

  100. Read the book The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. If you can, watch the 1958 feature film adaptation produced by Walt Disney Productions and then compare the two.

  101. Last but not least… get ready for school to resume. Clean out your desk and your homeschool area. Summer is GREAT but so is the fall!

Rss

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.

This year, the season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas - it officially begins Dec. 1 and culminates on Dec. 24. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmas, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6.

We have a perfect opportunity to use this Advent season to cultivate traditions and rhythms in our home.

In a world where Christmas begins after Halloween, and the season is marked by shopping, rushing, and a general feeling of stress, we can heed a greater call to SLOW DOWN, savor, and anticipate the birth of Christ.

Use this Advent season to celebrate truth, beauty, and goodness.

Cultivate the Wonder of Advent in Your Home #homeschool

The spirit of Advent is countercultural to our world today.

(Want to learn more about Advent before you embark upon it with your children. I highly recommend reading this short article - What is Advent?)

The “Three Cs” of Advent Traditions

Rather than give you a HUGE list of wonderful Advent ideas, I am just going to give you a few.

Less is more.

These are traditions we have used in our home - traditions that have grounded and shaped our holiday season. Now that my children are both teens I feel like we got this part of parenting “right”… and hopefully, my children will pass some of these traditions along to their own families one day.

Calendars, Carols, and Candles

These three simple things will help your family have a peaceful Advent. It is my prayer that you can use some of these suggestions in your home this Advent season.

Calendars for Advent

An Advent calendar is a simple way to mark the days for the coming of Christ’s birth.

When my children were young I had an Advent calendar that hung in the hall outside their bedrooms.

It had little numbered pockets for each day of Advent - inside each pocket, I placed two Hershey Kisses. They could choose when they wanted to eat their kiss… one child ate it FIRST thing out of bed - the other child saved it for after rest time in the afternoon.

One year my son had a LEGO Advent calendar.

I’ve seen so many Advent calendars - just pick one and make it part of your family’s Advent tradition each year.

Carols for Advent

Learning carols to celebrate the coming of the Christ child is another way to make memories and deepen the meaning of the Advent season.

I’ve written two volumes of carols. These teach about the history of the carol and include activities for ALL ages to enjoy.

As a child, I remember my mother sitting at the piano playing Christmas carols. Each time I hear Away in a Manger I have a vivid memory of my mom’s hands on the piano. I know all of the verses by heart.

What a gift that was (and continues to be) to me… and it’s so simple to give that same kind of gift to our children.

Pick a few carols. Learn them. Sing them. Make them part of your Advent traditions.

Learn About Christmas Carols with SQUILT - perfect for all ages #homeschool #musiced

Candles for Advent

Use an Advent wreath in your home to learn about the season and create an atmosphere of peace and anticipation.

Do you know the history of the Advent wreath?

The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.

Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death as the evergreen is continuously green. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible.

Advent candles shine brightly in the midst of darkness, symbolizing and reminding us that Jesus came as Light into our dark world. The candles are often set in a circular Advent wreath. In Scandinavia, Lutheran churches light a candle each day of December; by Christmas, they have twenty-four candles burning.

The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles around the wreath. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

*learn more at Crosswalk

Cultivate the Wonder of Advent in Your Home #homeschool #advent

It’s so simple to create an Advent wreath.

Keep the wreath on your dinner table. Light a candle each Sunday in Advent and read a devotion to go along with the significance of that particular candle. When Christmas morning arrives, light the white candle in the middle and celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

Use your Advent wreath to create a tradition and liturgy for the holiday season.

These are just a few suggestions for your Advent celebrations. Whatever you do - stay consistent, make it something you can sustain for the entire four weeks of Advent, and let your children take ownership.

We have such a gift waiting for us on December 25 - enjoy the anticipation!!

Do you have Advent traditions in your home?

Tell me about them in the comments below.



You might also like:

Christmas BINGO for Kids

5 Favorite Books for Christmas





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We’re on the final stretch of our first semester studies.

It’s hard to believe my youngest is halfway through his first year of high school.

Not to sound cliche, but time is going by so quickly - I made an Instagram post about that very thing yesterday. (I hope this encourages all of the mamas out there!)

As I drove endless trips to the local Christian school for basketball, helped with difficult math problems, and edited a paper about Franklin Roosevelt, I was reminded these things are my JOY and calling right now. Sometimes all of the day to day doesn’t feel like a joy - but our attitude can make all the difference.

Weekly #Homeschool Roundup at Homegrown Learners

Enjoy the findings for this week - I hope you can find at least one thing that is of use to you!

  • When Less Becomes More

    This book, by Emily Ley, truly spoke to my heart. (In fact, it motivated me to stop using my personal Facebook until 2020.) I listened to the audio - which was only three hours. It was just the check I needed right now, and I know it will be encouraging to so many of you as well.

    And, if you’re wondering when I get the time to read so much… I listen to A LOT of audiobooks. Between folding laundry, taking showers, and driving this week, this book took no time at all!

  • Equal Opportunity Players

    This article is interesting to me. Because my son plays sports we are always on the lookout for opportunities in a school setting. Our state did not pass the Tim Tebow Bill , so we play at a local Christian school. The topic is of interest to me, though, and the above article was great.

  • It’s Time to Blow Up The Public School System

It’s been a long time since the concept of the public school was invented and a long time since school became compulsory. The world has changed a lot since then.

It’s at least worth asking if school should have changed, too.

5 Simple Christmas Activities @ #Homegrown Learners
  • Screen Time: 3 Reasons Why Your Daughter Can’t Stop

    This free video series is excellent. Because I have an 18 year old daughter, I know what a hold devices can have on our girls, and how destructive screen time can be to their healthy emotional development. This series is a good resources for parents of girls.

I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for this community of homeschoolers!

We’re headed to the North Carolina mountains to spend the holiday with family. I’m looking forward to a few days away - largely unplugged!

As always, let me know if you’ve found anything interesting this week!!


Weekly #Homeschool Roundup

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With two homeschool graduates now living independently, here’s another letter to my younger self reflecting on insights and thoughts of what important life lessons were required to complete our homeschooling journey ~

Letter 26 ~ True Skills

Dear younger Nadene,

In the beginning, when you began to homeschool your toddlers, it was all about exploration, discovery,  and learning about life.  You taught through play and read alouds, through experimentation and exploration.  But as soon as you bought a very expensive curriculum for each child, you became stressed, anxious, and hyper-focussed to “do it all right”.  You became “Mom-the-teacher” and you pushed, pressured, persuaded, pleaded and even punished your children to learn what “they were supposed to”.  You silly, fearful, stressed-out mom!

You pushed aside real-life for school-at-home.  Somehow, as your children entered junior and middle school, academics became the main focus and the measure of your and their success.  Remember homeschool is  “Learning Not SchoolIt is so easy to get bogged down with the curriculum, it’s schedule, your children’s academics and teaching school subjects.  And in its place, these things are important, but always look at the bigger picture.  What do your children really need to master by the time they graduate?

A real & whole education has very little to do with information — hello — everyone has Google at their fingertips!  Education is not merely schoolwork or subjects found in curriculums.  Of course, the importance of education is irrefutable.  But as your teenagers prepare to leave home (and heads-up — your middle daughter will launch out at 17!),  you will realize that there are many other essential life skills.

Can they look after themselves?  Can they relate well to others well?  Do they cope with difficulties, navigate huge challenges, or make big decisions?  Have they learnt how to manage their time and their money?  Do they know how to apply for jobs, sign for leases, open accounts, fill in tax forms?  Are they healthy and managing their eating and cooking?   (See more specific life skills in the lists below this letter.)

As you watch your young adult children, you will joyfully witness that they have learnt amazing life skills as they were growing up.  They are strong and mature.  They are wonderful, supportive friends, and are committed and loyal to their communities.  They have loving, stable relationships with their partners.  They can cook amazing, nutritional meals on a shoestring budget.  They make and keep a beautiful, clean house, and are wonderfully hospitable.   They work hard in their respective jobs, managing job performance with professional attitudes.  They handle conflicts and difficulties in relationships with maturity and grace.  They manage their money, making ends meet and living within their means.  They have a living faith in the Lord and entrust themselves to His word and ways.

And as for the rest, you will watch with a joyful expectation as they learn what they need to as they go along, growing in experience and competence as they figure things out. 

Don’t lose sight of the big picture!  It is so much more than mastering algebra or chemistry equations or acing the exams.  Real-life stuff cannot always be tested in the classroom.  Life will test what they really learnt! 

And, by God’s grace and mercy and lovingkindness alone, you will see that you have done well.   

With compassionate love and grace from your older self,

Love, Nadene

If you Google, you will find many lists of life skills your children need to learn before they graduate.  Here’s a compilation of many life skills needed ~

Emotional intelligence =

  • Mental health
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy
  • Coping with stress and failure
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving

Communication & Relationships

  • Effective communication
  • Manners
  • Conflict resolution
  • Dating & Romantic Relationships
  • Marriage
  • Family & Raising kids
  • Professional Etiquette
  • Communication on the phone, SMS, texts & emails
  • How to Apply for a job

Financial literacy

  • Managing Money
  • Budgets
  • Savings & Investments
  • Credit Cards,  Hire purchase & Debt
  • Buying & Selling Car and Home
  • Taxes

Nutrition & Health

  • Understanding nutrition in food & its impact on health
  • Wholesome attitude to different eating plans & diets
  • Meal planning
  • Food budget
  • Cooking skills
  • Weight management
  • Self-care
  • Exercise
  • Supplements
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Family planning, Sex, STDs

Other

  • Time Management
  • Housekeeping
  • Management & Maintenance of home
  • Laundry
  • Survival Skills
  • DIY and Repair skills
  • Social Media
  • Addictions
  • Civics
  • Community
  • Politics

Some of these life skill lessons should start while your children are very young, while others are more important in high school. Some topics may not apply to your family or values, but most are vital skills your children need once they leave home.

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Would you share yours in the comments below?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

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As I reflect on my more than 23 years of homeschooling, I believe that creativity is the most wonderful gift you can give your children!   Here is the next letter to my younger self — Letter 27 ~ Creativity

These new collages are from images of our many creative moments over the years.  Warning ~ This post is chock-a-block full of links to previous creativity related posts; proof of my emphasis on creativity!  I recommend you bookmark this letter to come back to read all the links.)

Dear younger Nadene,

Your children’s happiest moments in homeschooling revolved around your creative approach which included frequent hands-on activities.  Realizing this joy, I want to urge you to provide daily creative opportunities such as arts & crafts and doing regular hands-on activities such as lapbooks, making models and paper projects, and allocate time for lots of dramatization.  Figure out how to fit in hands-on activities into your schedule, and these activities will become your children’s favourite homeschool memories.  Your Fabulous Fine Arts Fridays will save you and your children from burnout and stress! Over these years you will produce many creative projects.

Your children will create cute finger puppets for narrations, cut and colour Lego-punched dioramas for poetry, make models of Laura Ingalls’ Little House, dress up to act out their History narrations, re-create famous paintings in 3D, create their own sets of paper dolls.  Amazing mobiles will adorn your schoolroom for different themes and study topics. Every year you and your children will make puppet shows such as the Nativity Play and Esther play for Purim and their art will cover the walls in your home.

Your young children love to be creative every moment of the day!  In their free time, they love to dress up and you will even sew them boned corsets! You will make them a rag doll family to replace their Barbie dolls, and your middle daughter will use her skilled fine motor skills to create her own Polly pocket in a soap dish!

Join Sketch Tuesday and do art every week. There are so many advantages to sketching weekly! This simple weekly Sketch Tuesday activity will produce an enormous skill set and build confidence! Not only will it be the most welcome time of enjoyment and respite in your week, but it will offer regular opportunities to try new mediums and styles and your children will excel in all their artistic activities.

Because you provide them with a creative space and creative materials, they will also make jewellery and beautiful gifts.  Your daughters love creating beautiful flower arrangements. They will create beautiful rustic decor for their brother’s weddings.  Your daughters will become experts at home decor.  You will teach them all to sew and knit and your teenage daughters will start their own beautiful pyjama clothing range called La Lune

Your eldest daughter Tess will become an incredibly talented seamstress at just 15-years old, sewing dresses for weddings and Matric farewell functions.  She and her best friend will put on and host several fashion shows. When your daughter graduates, she will work in the hospitality industry for a season.  She will marry and her home will be filled with beauty and loveliness.  When they move Sedgefield, she will renovate and restore the old family seaside home into a lovely Airbnb.  Her homemaking, cooking and creativity will spill into every area of her life.

When your middle daughter Kate graduates, she will continue to create her own unique styled art, create professional designs and logos, and develop her digital art.  She will hone her photographic skills and assist her boyfriend Mathew with photography at weddings.  She will assist him in developing his website, his marketing and social media. Kate loves food and she will enjoy cooking Masterchef-type food!  She will become a singer and musician, teaching herself to play musical instruments.

Your youngest daughter Lara will do art every day.  Her Instagram feed is full of art, art and more beautiful art!  Lara and her talented wood craftsman boyfriend will start their own collaborative online art business called Collection Shed.  Joshua will make beautiful custom frames for Lara’s paintings!

Your children’s creativity and handicrafts skills will become great assets.   They have so much creative talent that it spills over into entrepreneur and job opportunities. They will start businesses, sell products at markets and online, work for art and animation studios, sell art via social media. All of them will develop wonderful unique artistic styles and their regular creativity will generate wonderful rich art portfolios. Your family will be known for its creative flair!   

You, too, will find great joy in doing creative projects, regularly sketching, painting, sewing, knitting, gardening and doing decor and DIY projects.  As your homeschooling journey nears the end, your lifestyle and time will allow for much more art and creativity, so it is a good thing to take part in arts and crafts with your children while they are still young.  Maintain your creativity as a hobby lifestyle, or as Charlotte Mason describes it as “Mother Culture” and you will have a fulfilling and joyful transition post homeschooling.

And very importantly, don’t be afraid of your children’s occasional boredom.  This time is the essential ingredient that is necessary for them to discover and develop their creativity!  In this day and age of constant stimulation and distraction, quiet undistracted time is a gift for creativity.  

Keep a simple schedule and avoid rush, stress and over-committed extra-mural activities.  Plan for days at home, free afternoons and long, unrushed weekends. 

Creativity also requires grace to learn, to experiment and to make mistakes. Offer your children and yourself gentle encouragement and avoid any comparisons.  Compliment and display your children’s art and keep trying new materials and techniques. 

Here are some wonderful creativity quotes ~

  • “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.”  Brene Brown
  • “Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes & having fun!” Mary Lou Cook
  • “Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
  • “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein
  • “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou
  • “To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

With fondest love from your older and creative self, Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Would you share yours in the comments below?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

Subscribe Click to receive all my new posts packed with practical tips, projects, plans, pages & art ideas by email
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Life is busy and learning is spent more and more on the go. Too, learning should be flexible and can happen anywhere. Whether you want to change the place your kids learn like to the park or are planning a vacation, you’ll love these 10 best ways to easily transport homeschool curriculum. ONE/ Not just […]

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In the early 1980s, my mom homeschooled my youngest sister. Then, folks thought homeschooling was illegal. It wasn’t, but it felt that way. As my mom researched about homeschooling, I read the same research as meager as it was, but I came to appreciate that homeschoooling is a superior education for many reasons. I was […]

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I made some free Owl Printables that I want to share with you today. 🙂

Free Owl Worksheets Printables Lapbook - Notebook Pages

Have your kids dissected owl pellets?  This is such a great hands-on activity if your kids are studying forest animals or the skeletal system… or even if you just want to do something exciting to add into your homeschool day! This project is wonderful with any age!

My youngest daughter finished a big unit on the skeletal system and really wanted me to order some owl pellets for her so she could look for bones. We chose the jumbo owl pellets (affiliate link) and were really happy with what we got.  ED found four skulls in just one pellet!!

Owl Pellet DissectionShe wanted to know a bit more about the difference between some of the animals barn owls eat. I made these blank notebook pages for her. I also included some Montessori 3-part cards for those of you with younger kids. 🙂

There are also some Owl Lapbook – Interactive Notebook pieces that your kids might enjoy!

Free Owl LapbookThese owl notebook pages, 3-part cards, and activities are free to download!

Click here to download the Free Owl Printables and Lapbook

Owl Pellet Activity - Free Printables

If your kids are studying forest animals, here are some free forest sorting cards I made a while back. Visit this post for the

Free Forest Animal Sort Cards

ForestAnimalSortCardsAre your kids interested in studying animals? You can find out more about our 100+ page Animal Packet or the big Animal BUNDLE here:

Animal-Unit-100-pages-worksheets-feathers-fur-scales-skin-vertebrates-invertebrates-insects-spiders

Feathers Fur Scales or Skin Worksheets and Sorting Cards

Vertebrate - Invertebrate Worksheets

The 5 animal groups worksheets

Invertebrate-Groups-Activities

Herbivores Carnivores Omnivores Worksheets Activities Sorting Cardsherbivore carnivore omnivore sorting cards and sorting matAnimal-Track-ActivitiesAnimal-Track-Activity

Animal Homes and Shelters - Where do animals live worksheetsNocturnal Animal Quick Study - Opossums Raccoons Skunks BeaversClassification of Animals Activity and Worksheets - Vertebrates-InvertebratesFind out more about our Skeletal System Unit here:

Skeletal System Worksheets

Skeletal System Worksheets and Notebook Pages

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :)

Homeschool Den Store

I’ve chosen not to use pop-up boxes at this point, but you can click here to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! You’ll hear when we have new posts, packets and other homeschool-related news! 🙂

SubscribeHappy Homeschooling!

~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

The post Free Owl Printables appeared first on Homeschool Den.

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 happy-thanksgiving-homeschooldenWe hope that you have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! ~Liesl and the Kids

The post Happy Thanksgiving! appeared first on Homeschool Den.

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Read our Latest List Here:

101 Things To Do This Summer
Sponsored by: Time4Learning

May 7, 2012
 
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Two words parents do not want to hear over the summer are “I’m bored!” The best way to tackle this head on is to have super fun summer activities ready to go! We’ve compiled our list of 101 Things into a 2018 version we know you’re going to love!

Ideas for Summer Activities

  1. Visit a drive-in theater. Movies are exciting for kids to do with their families but sometimes, Redbox gets old and the theaters are too expensive. Instead, visit your local drive-in theater and enjoy a new experience for moviegoing.

      2. Make a water blob! All you’ll need is plastic sheeting, some duct tape, and a water hose. These look like so much fun, you’ll probably retire the backyard sprinkler!

 

  1. Eat a whole lobster with your hands. A perfect idea if you live near water! Look for places nearby that offer fresh seafood.

      4. Attend an outdoor concert. Bring a blanket to lay on and enjoy yourself. If you can find an all-day concert, even better!

      5. Ask your parents if they’ll take you on a spontaneous road trip. It doesn’t have to be far but try to pick somewhere you’ve never visited. Look for the small, local restaurants you might find along the way.

      6. Play in a summer rainstorm! Enjoy the feeling of rain – especially if it’s heavy – pouring down on your skin and soak up the smells.

  2. Take a trip to your local fair and win yourself a prize. Or, win a prize for a loved one!

      8. Create squirtable chalk. You can even add a twist to it by creating color-changing squirty chalk.

      9. Spend some time learning about ocean animals and then create your own mason jar aquariums. What a perfect complement to a beach trip!
    10. Make unique art by doing squirt gun paintings. This may remind you of paintball but without the mess on you! Simply fill squirt guns with paint and have a blast – literally!

     11. With your parent’s permission, redecorate and rearrange your bedroom. You can purchase Oops paint for as little as a dollar a gallon at your local paint/hardware store.

      12. In conjunction with #11, make summer themed bandana pillows.

      13. Spend one afternoon of quality time with each individual in your family. Have a tea party with your little sister, play cards with your brother, and hang out with your dad. Enjoy spending time with those who love you.

      14. Go camping–even if it’s in your backyard! If you happen to have a trampoline, they make great sleeping surfaces.

      15. Turn into an expert. Pick a topic you’re interested in and research it online. Better yet, pick one subject per week. You’ll be impressed with all you’ve learned by the end of the summer.

      16. Make homemade ice cream…try a flavor you’ve never had before!

      17. Learn a new talent. What do you really wish you could do? Talk to your parents about it. They can help you find ways to achieve your goals.

      18. Get up at dawn and appreciate the coolness and peaceful feeling of the early morning. Compare it to the sweltering afternoon.

      19. With your family, float down a slow river on an inflatable tube. Or maybe, a not so slow river–tubing is a blast!

      20. Play badminton. It’s a fun game. Compare it to ping pong and tennis. Just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you’re good at the others. Why is that?

      21. Learn about bats, why they are important and why they are beneficial. Did you know that a bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Try building a bat house.

      22. Have a pinata party. But first, make your own pinata. Or for a wet twist, make a water balloon pinata!

      23. Interview your grandparents. They’re interesting people! Find out what games they played when they were young, what their parents were like (your great-grandparents), what kind of clothes they wore, etc. If you can, record the interview. You’ll be glad you did.

      24. Attend your sibling’s game and REALLY root for him/her.

      25. Bake a cake and then decorate it. There are a number of cake decorating shows on television–watch a few and then see what you can do. Have fun with it.

      26. Learn about compound interest and start a savings account. Check out what happens when you double a penny every day for 30 Days.

      27. Do something especially nice for Father’s Day. Show your dad how much he means to you. Write him a letter expressing your love. It’s a gift he’ll keep forever.

      28. Improve your vocabulary. Play Word Dynamo and then look up and learn two new words from the dictionary every day. At the end of the summer, try Word Dynamo again and see how you’ve improved!

     29. Learn how to do the butterfly stroke. It’s the most difficult swimming stroke. You’ll certainly get a work out!

      30. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores. If you can’t roast the marshmallows over a fire, try broiler S’mores. Even the eye of a gas stove will do!

      31. Decorate your flip flops.

      32. Watch live animal cams from your local zoo–or from any zoo!

  3. Spoil your pet for a day. Give your dog a bath, play ball with him, and take him for a walk. Likewise, cuddle your cat, pet your hamster, talk to your bird, etc. Spoil your pet several times over the summer. Turn it into a habit.

      34. Lounge on a hammock. Better yet, make a hammock first!

      35. Have a neighborhood outdoor game day. Revisit 4-square; Red Rover, Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; and Mother May I.

      36. Start a blog. First, look at some free blog templates and tutorials to decide how you want yours to look.

      37. Tour a college campus. There are pros and cons to touring college campuses during the summer months.

      38. Choose a day–or two–and perform random acts of kindness. See how others respond. It’s very rewarding. Browse Kindness Ideas, and share your story as well.

      39. Talk to your parents about what you’d like to learn next year in your homeschool program. Chances are, your parents are looking at curriculum now. So, now is the time to speak up!

      40. Make FUN snacks with your siblings. Some fun ideas include easy homemade applesauce, celebration flags, and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

      41. On a really hot day, go to the dollar movie theatre and enjoy the air conditioning!

      42. Learn about cotton candy. There’s not nearly as much sugar in cotton candy as you might think.

      43. Make a work of art in your driveway using multi-color chalk. Get permission first. Did you know you can draw with make wet chalk drawings? Professional artists have done some amazing chalk art!

      44. Learn how to take a good photograph. There’s more to it than pointing and clicking.

      45. Have an old fashioned weenie roast, and make your own mustard. There are over 100 recipes for mustard available!

     46. Make an easy DIY birdbath. The birds will really appreciate it!

      47. Learn jump rope tricks. Find jump rope videos on the internet to give you inspiration. It’s AMAZING what people can do with a jump rope!

      48. Do some crazy, fun science experiments (explosions, etc.) with your parent’s permission of course.

      49. Learn how to skip rocks.

      50. Blow bubble gum bubbles–gigantic, wonderful, pink bubbles. Have blowing contests with your siblings. You can even learn how to blow a double bubble!

      51. Swing on a tire swing or a rope swing. Don’t have one? That’s an easy fix!

      52. Make friendship bracelets for all of your friends–and your siblings too!

      53. Jump on a trampoline. It can be a backyard trampoline or you can jump at a trampoline fun center. Trampoline fun centers seem to be a new craze and are popping up all over the country.

  4. Run through the sprinklers–this never gets old! Or participate in the fun celebration of Slip-n-Slide! To make a large Slip-n-Slide, use plastic tarp and to go super fast, use dish soap.

      55. Make “custom” Kool-Aid by mixing flavors.

      56. Make your own beach/summer outing bag. Then fill with summer necessities–lip balm, bottled water, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, etc. Parental assistance may be necessary.

      57. Check out your local paper to discover any free-admission activities. Lots will be going on in your community and you don’t want to miss a thing.

      58. Slide down a hill on a piece of cardboard! Or, you can go ice blocking. With both, let your parents know what you’re doing.

      59. Make a new friend. Reach out to someone who has just moved into your neighborhood or to someone that doesn’t have a lot of friends. They might end up becoming your best buddy.

      60. Give your grandparents a big hug for no reason!

      61. Fly a kite! You can buy one already made or create a fun DIY kite.

      62. Learn the physics of skateboarding.

      63. Go somewhere fun with the family. A family reunion perhaps?

      64. Think about career options and find out what type of education is required. Go online and determine the demand for the field and the starting salary. Some adults do what they love regardless of the compensation, others go into a field because of the pay.

      65. Learn all about physical fitness.

      65. Have a Cannon Ball competition with your friends.

      67. Engage in an old-fashioned sack or wheelbarrow race.

      68. Volunteer!

      69. Surprise your parents by cleaning your room without being told to do so!

      70. Learn the history of where you live. The library will be a good place to start.

      71. Play hide-and-go-seek in the DARK! Turn off all the lights in the house… and play for hours. Warning–this can get a bit raucous. Parental permission required.

      72. Try a food you’ve never tasted before. Go on… take a bite!

      73. Find a mentor. Want to learn a specific skill or obtain certain knowledge? See if someone in the community can be your mentor. This can be a family member, family friend, or someone you don’t even know yet.

      74. BE a mentor.

      75. Learn how to do a roundoff.

      76. Go to the beach and build an amazing sandcastle!

      77. Turn up the music and DANCE!

      78. Understand the science behind fireworks. http://www.howstuffworks.com/fireworks.htm

      79. Learn how to hula hoop and master some fun tricks!

      80. Visit an educational and fun farm. Can’t make it to a farm? Visit a virtual farm.

      81. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity.

      82. Make up bubble solution–because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy bubbles! Learn the best conditions for optimal bubble making.

      83. Summer is the perfect time to learn! Summer should be fun and with Time4Learning, it can be!

      84. If you’re a girl, bring back the Topsy-Tail! You might have to ask your mom what one is!

      85. Make paper airplanes–there are a variety available, including printable paper airplanes.

      86. Learn how to whistle with two fingers; it takes a lot of talent!

      87. Understand roller coaster physics. They aren’t as dangerous as they seem!

      88. Make up with someone. Go ahead – apologize and end the feud!

      89. Learn the science behind rainbows.

      90. Read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene and watch the video starring Kristi McNichol and Bruce Davidson.

      91. Learn about frogs.

      92. If you’re old enough and your parents approve, get a job. Real life experience is extremely educational!

      93. Find out how hot air balloons work. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go on one or at least watch them take off. Did you know they make a bit of noise?

      94. Learn to play chess. There are a number of free sites on the Internet that will help you learn.

      95. Build a bonfire. You can make one in your backyard or at the beach if you’re headed there.

      96. Plant a fall vegetable garden. Don’t forget to add pumpkins!

      97. Make pink lemonade bars.

      98. Do something… anything you choose… to make you a better you.

      99. Barter your services. Want to ride a horse? Offer to clean out stalls in return for riding time. Want to take guitar lessons? Offer to mow the instructor’s lawn in return for lessons. Get your parent’s permission and then make sure you follow through on your end.

      100. Read the book The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. If you can, watch the 1958 feature film adaptation produced by Walt Disney Productions and then compare the two.

      101. Last but not least… get ready for school to resume. Clean out your desk and your homeschool area. Summer is GREAT but so is the fall!

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Great Summer Resource:
101 Things To Do This Summer

Two words parents do not want to hear over the summer are “I’m bored!” The best way to tackle this head on is to have super fun summer activities ready to go! We’ve compiled our list of 101 Things into a version we know you’re going to love!

Ideas for Summer Activities

1. Visit a drive-in theater. Movies are exciting for kids to do with their families but sometimes, Redbox gets old and the theaters are too expensive. Instead, visit your local drive-in theater and enjoy a new experience for moviegoing.

 2. Make a water blob! All you’ll need is plastic sheeting, some duct tape, and a water hose. These look like so much fun, you’ll probably retire the backyard sprinkler!

3. Eat a whole lobster with your hands. A perfect idea if you live near water! Look for places nearby that offer fresh seafood.

  4. Attend an outdoor concert. Bring a blanket to lay on and enjoy yourself. If you can find an all-day concert, even better!

 5. Ask your parents if they’ll take you on a spontaneous road trip. It doesn’t have to be far but try to pick somewhere you’ve never visited. Look for the small, local restaurants you might find along the way.

  6. Play in a summer rainstorm! Enjoy the feeling of rain – especially if it’s heavy – pouring down on your skin and soak up the smells.


7.Take a trip to your local fair and win yourself a prize. Or, win a prize for a loved one!

  8. Create squirtable chalk. You can even add a twist to it by creating color-changing squirty chalk.

  9. Spend some time learning about ocean animals and then create your own mason jar aquariums. What a perfect complement to a beach trip!


10. Make unique art by doing squirt gun paintings. This may remind you of paintball but without the mess on you! Simply fill squirt guns with paint and have a blast – literally!

 11. With your parent’s permission, redecorate and rearrange your bedroom. You can purchase Oops paint for as little as a dollar a gallon at your local paint/hardware store.

  12. In conjunction with #11, make summer themed bandana pillows.

  13. Spend one afternoon of quality time with each individual in your family. Have a tea party with your little sister, play cards with your brother, and hang out with your dad. Enjoy spending time with those who love you.

  14. Go camping–even if it’s in your backyard! If you happen to have a trampoline, they make great sleeping surfaces.

  15. Turn into an expert. Pick a topic you’re interested in and research it online. Better yet, pick one subject per week. You’ll be impressed with all you’ve learned by the end of the summer.

  16. Make homemade ice cream…try a flavor you’ve never had before!

  17. Learn a new talent. What do you really wish you could do? Talk to your parents about it. They can help you find ways to achieve your goals.

  18. Get up at dawn and appreciate the coolness and peaceful feeling of the early morning. Compare it to the sweltering afternoon.

  19. With your family, float down a slow river on an inflatable tube. Or maybe, a not so slow river–tubing is a blast!

  20. Play badminton. It’s a fun game. Compare it to ping pong and tennis. Just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you’re good at the others. Why is that?

  21. Learn about bats, why they are important and why they are beneficial. Did you know that a bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Try building a bat house.

  22. Have a pinata party. But first, make your own pinata. Or for a wet twist, make a water balloon pinata!

  23. Interview your grandparents. They’re interesting people! Find out what games they played when they were young, what their parents were like (your great-grandparents), what kind of clothes they wore, etc. If you can, record the interview. You’ll be glad you did.

  24. Attend your sibling’s game and REALLY root for him/her.

  25. Bake a cake and then decorate it. There are a number of cake decorating shows on television–watch a few and then see what you can do. Have fun with it.

  26. Learn about compound interest and start a savings account. Check out what happens when you double a penny every day for 30 Days.

  27. Do something especially nice for Father’s Day. Show your dad how much he means to you. Write him a letter expressing your love. It’s a gift he’ll keep forever.

  28. Improve your vocabulary. Play Word Dynamo and then look up and learn two new words from the dictionary every day. At the end of the summer, try Word Dynamo again and see how you’ve improved!

 29. Learn how to do the butterfly stroke. It’s the most difficult swimming stroke. You’ll certainly get a workout!

  30. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores. If you can’t roast the marshmallows over a fire, try broiler S’mores. Even the eye of a gas stove will do!

  31. Decorate your flip flops.

  32. Watch live animal cams from your local zoo–or from any zoo!


33. Spoil your pet for a day. Give your dog a bath, play ball with him, and take him for a walk. Likewise, cuddle your cat, pet your hamster, talk to your bird, etc. Spoil your pet several times over the summer. Turn it into a habit.

  34. Lounge on a hammock. Better yet, make a hammock first!

  35. Have a neighborhood outdoor game day. Revisit 4-square; Red Rover, Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; and Mother May I.

  36. Start a blog. First, look at some free blog templates and tutorials to decide how you want yours to look.

  37. Tour a college campus. There are pros and cons to touring college campuses during the summer months.

  38. Choose a day–or two–and perform random acts of kindness. See how others respond. It’s very rewarding. Browse Kindness Ideas, and share your story as well.

  39. Talk to your parents about what you’d like to learn next year in your homeschool program. Chances are, your parents are looking at curriculum now. So, now is the time to speak up!

  40. Make FUN snacks with your siblings. Some fun ideas include easy homemade applesauce, celebration flags, and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

  41. On a really hot day, go to the dollar movie theatre and enjoy the air conditioning!

  42. Learn about cotton candy. There’s not nearly as much sugar in cotton candy as you might think.

  43. Make a work of art in your driveway using multi-color chalk. Get permission first. Did you know you can draw with make wet chalk drawings? Professional artists have done some amazing chalk art!

  44. Learn how to take a good photograph. There’s more to it than pointing and clicking.

  45. Have an old-fashioned weenie roast, and make your own mustard. There are over 100 recipes for mustard available!

 46. Make an easy DIY birdbath. The birds will really appreciate it!

  47. Learn jump rope tricks. Find jump rope videos on the internet to give you inspiration. It’s AMAZING what people can do with a jump rope!

  48. Do some crazy, fun science experiments (explosions, etc.) with your parent’s permission of course.

  49. Learn how to skip rocks.

  50. Blow bubble gum bubbles–gigantic, wonderful, pink bubbles. Have blowing contests with your siblings. You can even learn how to blow a double bubble!

  51. Swing on a tire swing or a rope swing. Don’t have one? That’s an easy fix!

  52. Make friendship bracelets for all of your friends–and your siblings too!

  53. Jump on a trampoline. It can be a backyard trampoline or you can jump at a trampoline fun center. Trampoline fun centers seem to be a new craze and are popping up all over the country.


  54. Run through the sprinklers–this never gets old! Or participate in the fun celebration of Slip-n-Slide! To make a large Slip-n-Slide, use plastic tarp and to go super fast, use dish soap.

  55. Make “custom” Kool-Aid by mixing flavors.

  56. Make your own beach/summer outing bag. Then fill with summer necessities–lip balm, bottled water, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, etc. Parental assistance may be necessary.

  57. Check out your local paper to discover any free-admission activities. Lots will be going on in your community and you don’t want to miss a thing.

  58. Slide down a hill on a piece of cardboard! Or, you can go ice blocking. With both, let your parents know what you’re doing.

  59. Make a new friend. Reach out to someone who has just moved into your neighborhood or to someone that doesn’t have a lot of friends. They might end up becoming your best buddy.

  60. Give your grandparents a big hug for no reason!

  61. Fly a kite! You can buy one already made or create a fun DIY kite.

  62. Learn the physics of skateboarding.

  63. Go somewhere fun with the family. A family reunion perhaps?

  64. Think about career options and find out what type of education is required. Go online and determine the demand for the field and the starting salary. Some adults do what they love regardless of the compensation, others go into a field because of the pay.

  65. Learn all about physical fitness.

  65. Have a Cannon Ball competition with your friends.

  67. Engage in an old-fashioned sack or wheelbarrow race.

  68. Volunteer!

  69. Surprise your parents by cleaning your room without being told to do so!

  70. Learn the history of where you live. The library will be a good place to start.

  71. Play hide-and-go-seek in the DARK! Turn off all the lights in the house… and play for hours. Warning–this can get a bit raucous. Parental permission required.

  72. Try a food you’ve never tasted before. Go on… take a bite!

  73. Find a mentor. Want to learn a specific skill or obtain certain knowledge? See if someone in the community can be your mentor. This can be a family member, family friend, or someone you don’t even know yet.

  74. BE a mentor.

  75. Learn how to do a roundoff.

  76. Go to the beach and build an amazing sandcastle!

  77. Turn up the music and DANCE!

  78. Understand the science behind fireworks. http://www.howstuffworks.com/fireworks.htm

  79. Learn how to hula hoop and master some fun tricks!

  80. Visit an educational and fun farm. Can’t make it to a farm? Visit a virtual farm.

  81. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity.

  82. Make up your own bubble solution–because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy bubbles! Learn the best conditions for optimal bubble making.

  83. Summer is the perfect time to learn! Summer should be fun and with Time4Learning, it can be!

  84. If you’re a girl, bring back the Topsy-Tail! You might have to ask your mom what one is!

  85. Make paper airplanes–there is a variety available, including printable paper airplanes.

  86. Learn how to whistle with two fingers; it takes a lot of talent!

  87. Understand roller coaster physics. They aren’t as dangerous as they seem!

  88. Make up with someone. Go ahead – apologize and end the feud!

  89. Learn the science behind rainbows.

  90. Read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene and watch the video starring Kristi McNichol and Bruce Davidson.

  91. Learn about frogs.

  92. If you’re old enough and your parents approve, get a job. Real life experience is extremely educational!

  93. Find out how hot air balloons work. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go on one or at least watch them take off. Did you know they make a bit of noise?

  94. Learn to play chess. There are a number of free sites on the Internet that will help you learn.

  95. Build a bonfire. You can make one in your backyard or at the beach if you’re headed there.

  96. Plant a fall vegetable garden. Don’t forget to add pumpkins!

  97. Make pink lemonade bars.

  98. Do something… anything you choose… to make you a better you.

  99. Barter your services. Want to ride a horse? Offer to clean out stalls in return for riding time. Want to take guitar lessons? Offer to mow the instructor’s lawn in return for lessons. Get your parent’s permission and then make sure you follow through on your end.

  100. Read the book The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. If you can, watch the 1958 feature film adaptation produced by Walt Disney Productions and then compare the two.

  101. Last but not least… get ready for school to resume. Clean out your desk and your homeschool area. Summer is GREAT but so is the fall!