5 Ways to Finish the Homeschool Year Strong

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Camping with friends during Spring Break. Photo credit – Deanna Blue. Thanks Deanna!

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The final push from the end of Spring Break to the first days of summer can feel a little like the movie “Groundhog Day”.  There’s nothing to break up the monotony; it’s just all about pushing through and completing another day.  Here are 5 ways that you, a homeschooling momma can bust out of that monotony and into the summer with energy to spare!

 

1) Plan a fun field trip

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In Florida last week – everyone else in Texas was doing state testing. Not trying to rub it in. Yes I am.

If your kids were ever in public school, you may remember that this is the time of year that they would plan a field trip to cut a path through all the boring test prep.  For homeschool, this also works! Take a trip to the zoo, or an uncrowded amusement park, make a picnic lunch and take a frisbee and the dog. This is the time to take advantage of the fact that everyone is still in school!

 

 

2) Have a mental health day

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My children are the first and third mannequins in this pic…

When my kids were in public school, each year, I’d pick a day and surprise them by picking them up from school.  My lucky daughter of the day would get to decide where we ate lunch and (out of a few carefully chosen options) what we did for the day.  We called it mental health day.  Everyone needs a day like this every so often.  It could even be a veg day, where you catch up on stuff you’ve both been wanting to see on tv, or have a carpet picnic (can you tell I like picnics?).

 

3) Teacher for the day

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Sydney, as Science Teacher

A couple of times, to bust up the boring nature of this time of year, I’ve instituted “teacher for the day”.  The kid I choose gets to be the teacher and I am one of the students, along with their sibling.  They LOVE doing this, and I think they actually learn more when teaching the material.

 

 

4) Do school in a weird place

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Another day in a hotel – school to occur as soon as free breakfast hours are over!

 

We’ve done school in coffee shops, hotels, cars, on the trampoline, outside in the sun, in the pool, in one of their beds, and in my bed.  When they come to sit down for school in the morning, surprise them by moving them to another location.  Perspective changes.  It’s good.
 

5) Add a movie, YouTube or Schoolhouse Rock to your day

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Check out Amazon, Netflix, Brainpop and others for something relative to your history lesson for the day.  Kids retain more when they see the Civil War acted out on the computer or tv. Sometimes a random 80’s song pops into my head.  I will play it on YouTube just to illustrate my point.  The kids think I’m weird. It’s all part of my plan….

So, just when you think that there’s no way you can possibly make it to the end of May, try out one of these little gems.  The change will not only add fun to your Spring, but give all of you the strength to carry on through to the infamous “Week 36”.

 

Oh my Goodness….I’m SO Organized!

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NOT that this has NEVER happened before….but with schooling, it’s rare.  I’m pretty organized usually, but this is, well, incredible.  It is early July and I am staring at all of my books for NEXT YEAR!  What???  You may ask….  How??  Well, I can give you a super spiritual answer and say that the Lord was very clear and unusually early with His answer to “what do we do next year?”.  Or, I could just show you a pic of my books (all organized by the date we will read them), and say “Wowweeee!!”

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So, enough of that.  I know what you really want are some pics of people eating watermelon at our house on July 4th.  It’s what we all demand…

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Caycee.  Note the style at which she comes at the watermelon.  Nice approach.

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Sophie.  It’s weird how my iron work on the wall look like her antennae.

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My mom.  Cuz that’s just cute.

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Sydney.  My child for sure.  Check out the crossed-eyes and flared nostrils.  She’s ready.

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Trevor.  Our friend from small group.  He thinks this whole thing is funny.  It’s not.  It’s VERY serious! This is watermelon-eating, people!!

Somebody’s got a Senior in the House!

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Ok, so we are a family of weirdoes.  We all think it’s fun.  Imagine our excitement when we realized that Caycee needed a senior picture done and we all got to participate?  Also, in my love for combining things, I knew we also needed another family picture done!  Since Sydney and Sophie were 3 and 1 when we had our last pics taken and Caycee has come to live with us over the last year, we were a little deprived in that department.

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So, here is the almost graduated girl in her cowgirl boots.  Of course, we took these in the stockyards….where else??

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Going for a walk at night!

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It’s a rule: you must wear funny hats while working on Latin!

Lots o’ Change

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The kids doing volunteer work at Christ’s Haven

Well, lots has changed since my last post….I am now getting ready to start the new homeschool year with my two kiddos and my niece Caycee.  She is 17 and is a senior.  She’s already started her classes at my friend Karen’s house; Marine Biology and American Lit.  I have never homeschooled a high schooler before, so this should be interesting!  Actually, I am super excited for the year, even with all of it’s unknown bits.  I get lots of advice from friends who have already walked this road before me, and the Lord goes before me.  That’s it for now.  Hope to post more in a week or so!

Koda Swims

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Here is our dog, Koda.  Koda is a girl dog, though most people mistake her for a boy.  She’s a lil sensitive to that fact….she has always aspired to be a girlie girl dog, but alas….

She is part yellow lab (loves water) and part Shar-pei (hates, hates water), so she truly has an internal fight going on when it comes to water.  Recently, we moved to a house with a pool.  She hasn’t even looked at it.  She acts like it’s not even there.  Enter one beautiful sunny gorgeous day.  We were all out back after a bike ride, enjoying the sun and the view of the pool.  We don’t dare get in; it’s about 60 degrees in the water.  But Koda decided to!  She stepped off onto the large step and swam a couple strokes and turned back around to face me.  I was happy to see her get in till I saw the look of distress on her face!  She was trying to get up onto the side of the pool, and knowing she’d try that, I talked her (with a potato chip) into coming back toward the large step.  Didn’t have my camera until it was all over, but you do get to enjoy the “after” pictures…..

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“A little bit of sun and I’ll be ready for the backstroke…..”

Now, back to school, of which we have done about half the day.

Gettin’ Air

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Yesterday, I took the kids to Urban Air in Southlake for a little midday jump.  It was fun…and jumpy!  Everything smelled a bit like gym socks afterward…..buuuut, they were happy and tired when we left.  This is one of the beautiful things about homeschool; we can go at 2pm on a school day and burn off some energy.  We can go someplace in the middle of the day just to get a change of scenery!  Love the lifestyle…..

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The kids got hot and sweaty pretty quickly….and tired….

Cannonballlll!

Cannonballlll!

Waiting in line for her turn

Waiting in line for her turn