My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Summertime Homeschool

I started my very first homeschool year ever with a new baby in the hospital. As a result, we fell behind in our school work.  Which wasn't terrible because honestly how far behind can you be in kindergarten!?  But the following year, I discovered that teaching my first born to read was going to be a lot different than I thought it would be and we fell even further behind.

With three little boys to manage, one of whom was having difficulties learning to read, I felt a lot of pressure to get everything done. I was looking forward to a well-earned summer vacation. However, I discovered that without school to keep us focused and on task, the household seemed to fall apart and my little boys seemed to hate the lack of structure.  That was the year I realized that I could homeschool in the summer. 

Three more children joined the family, and I determined that I was less and less stressed about getting everything done, because I knew that we could catch up in June, July, and August.  While my friends seemed to be frantic that they weren't done with their curriculum in April and May, I wasn't panicking at all - because my school was in session all year round!

This year I'm only homeschooling my 8th grader, but she is doing a Shakespeare course and doing summer reading to get ready for the fall. I will also be doing school activities with my 4-1/2-year-old granddaughter. These girls aren't behind, but I want to take some time to get them both ahead of the game a little bit before school starts this fall. 

My summertime homeschooling has turned from a game of catch up- to a strategy for getting ahead. I think there is a place for both of them in any homeschool.

Here is a list of things that I observed on my homeschool adventure during the summer months.

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1. Good habits built up in the school year can easily go kaput during the lazy hazy days of summer! Why should we lose all that hard-earned ground!? Year-round homeschooling helped to turn those good habits into a way of life.

2. Use it or lose it... and some kids do lose a lot over the summertime! Even as a student, I remember that I had to regain some of my hard-won math skills after letting then languish over the summer. Summertime homeschooling keeps those math, reading, writing and spelling skills sharp.

3. Reading new and different books might be a good thing to try over the summertime. Try some new titles or authors. Bravewriter just came up with its 2018/2019 Slingshot and Arrow selections. You can read more about those here.

4. Two words - field trips. Summertime is a great time to work some social studies, geography, history, and science into the curriculum in real life!


5. Summertime homeschooling need not be all drudgery! Learn how to make a pie or sew, paint a room, basic car repairs... all of that is educational and counts as homeschooling. Last year Izzy took a typing class, helped to rehab a house and started her own Instagram account. 

Charlie and apples


As I wrote before  -
6. Summertime homeschooling is a great way to pull ahead academically.

7. It's a great time to play catch up too.

My family has done both!!
Having a good planner can help you meet your goals for the summer. Here are two that I have. 

Here is a nice Catholic Planner - printable for under $25

8. Summertime homeschooling keeps the family from getting too scattered from each other.  And now that I have a son 8 hours away, I truly cherish the hours he got to spend with his siblings in the summer.


9. No law says you can't include the neighbor kids! In fact, sometimes the neighbor kids enjoy the read-alouds or other homeschooling activities and my kids enjoy having their friends see what their school day is like.


10. Having something to do keeps mom from hearing "I'm bored!" too many times in a day! And while the kids are doing their projects and lessons, mom can use the time to get inspired, encouraged and upgrade her skills!

11. Dig deeper. So you studied the French Revolution and one of your kids is now fascinated with Marie Antoinette! Now is the time to really dig into her biography and follow all of those rabbit holes that you had to skip over due to time constraints during the school year.

noah and charlotte homeschool

12. Mess. As in, take the messy art project outside. Water colors, chalk, to clay - all if it seems a lot less intimidating outside where everything can get hosed done when we're done.


13. Science is more fun in the summertime! From planting and growing, to astronomy or simple tools. All of it just seems to lend itself to the long warm days (and nights) of summer.
General science chapter 10

14. We do movie day all during the school year, but we can REALLY ramp it up during the summer and have a movie night to include dad and even the neighbor kids. It's a great time to introduce them to films and stories they might not have chosen for themselves and to get some discussions going.

I'm including Netflix in this.

15. For older kids, summertime might be a great time to introduce them to test preparation, how to take tests and test strategies. This is especially important for high schoolers who may not be used to taking a lot of standardized tests.

16. In the laid-back summertime, it's a little easier to practice those foreign languages the kids have studied all year. Take one day aside and have Spanish day or Latin day, or just use your American Sign language!

17. Summertime is a great time to try out new Curricula. If Saxon math doesn't work for one student, maybe trying Seton or Modern Curriculum Press would work better. Try it and see! 

18. Summer camps and lessons definitely count as homeschooling. Take pictures and make sure to document!


19. Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July... all great times to set a day aside and talk about our country's history and heritage.

20. Time to look at the family's spiritual life and make adjustments. Older kids might be ready to add more bible study time.

 Maybe the youngest has never heard of Noah and the Arc and doesn't know how to say the rosary by herself yet. Summertime is a great time to evaluate everyone's spiritual needs.

First posted May 2012