What’s not to love about fall? Cooler weather, colorful leaves, apples, and pumpkins are the perfect inspiration for harvest-themed homeschool activities you can enjoy with your family. It’s an ideal season for both indoor and outdoor creativity, so here are just a few ideas to jumpstart your fall plans.
My best friend has always insisted that she is not creative. It’s true that she doesn’t gravitate toward crafty projects. But scrapbooking and making art are not the only ways to be creative. Creative thinking is being able to use what you already know to solve a problem you’ve never seen before. And my friend does that all the time as a doctor in the emergency room. Medical doctors need a strong knowledge base. But they also have to be able to connect that knowledge to the patient sitting in front of them.
Is creative thinking an innate skill, or can you teach it to your children? God, the most creative thinker, made us in His image. Therefore, we all have the potential to think creatively. You can help your children learn to connect prior knowledge to new problems. Here are some ways to instill creative thinking.
If these past few months of quarantine have taught us anything, it’s to appreciate all the extra time we’ve been able to spend together as families. Many parents have had time to stop and reevaluate what’s really important for their family life. Despite the hardship of isolation from neighbors, coworkers, friends, and church family, we have all learned invaluable lessons. As this unique trial eases or continues, let’s hold on to these lessons and allow God to use them to strengthen our families so we can be growing stronger even in hard times.
It’s that time of year again—time to prepare for the new school year! Your next few weeks will be full of ordering textbooks, tests, worksheets. Shopping for the necessary school supplies. Mapping out the year’s schedule and determining start and end dates. Perhaps you’ve been talking to your children about the upcoming school year to mentally prepare them. Maybe they’ve started arranging their desks or other school spaces. As we make all these preparations, let’s take some time to focus on the most important way we can prepare—spiritually.
Beginning a new academic year is both exciting and challenging, and we need God’s help! So before we become engrossed in all the organizational details, let’s set aside time with our family to prepare our hearts as well as our minds. If our main goal in homeschooling is to glorify God, there’s no better way to prepare than by committing our school year to Him. [Read more…] about Preparing Your Heart for the New School Year
We all need breaks—spaces of time where we step out of the regular routine and move into a different schedule, or perhaps no schedule at all. For a goal-minded homeschool parent, taking a break can lead to more stress than usual as kids have fewer tasks to occupy them. Let’s talk about a few different kinds of breaks, and discuss some tips for making the most of them.
The Adventure Break
This is the adventure you go on when you’re sick of all your usual haunts and familiar places. It’s a summer where you stuff backpacks with snacks and drinks and find all the trails you’ve never been on. Or you go to a different playground every day.
Your explorations might include visiting a nearby lake or waterfall, going horseback riding, taking a camping trip, or touring a historical site. A cave, a tunnel, a covered bridge, a rock formation, a nature preserve, a children’s museum, an arboretum—any point of interest within a day’s drive is fair game.
The best part? An adventure break often turns into an educational experience without much effort from you!
The “Anything Goes” Break
Sometimes, we all need a day or two where we do absolutely nothing useful. It’s the kind of break where kids get to do whatever they want all day long, with minimal rules. Maybe that’s extra TV or electronics while mom kicks her feet up and reads books. Maybe it’s take-out for every meal to minimize cleanup, and maybe you skip the household chores for a day or two.
The only trouble with this carefree break is that you eventually have to go back to normal, so be ready for that! Even so, this indulgent respite can be deeply refreshing and can help you appreciate your more structured way of life.
Peaceful, Purposeful Breaks
Perhaps the best summer break is a blend of adventure, activities, and rest. You can have days where you venture into the unknown, ready for anything, as well as days of quiet relaxation at home. Have some review papers and library books on hand for those hot summer afternoons. That way, your kids can keep their knowledge fresh. Puzzles, board games, Legos, water play, and art projects can keep kids busy for hours, even if you’re not feeling adventurous.
You could make a schedule for summer break. For example, some families prefer adventure in the morning and rest in the afternoon, while others prefer a day of adventure followed by a day of rest. Summer schedules differ for every family, especially if you have toddlers or babies in the mix. But the best experiences usually happen when you’re willing to bend the schedule, or toss it out altogether, and dive into a new experience with your children!
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Rebecca is a work-at-home freelance writer, novelist, wife, and the mom of two bright-eyed little ones. She credits her success in writing and her love of books to her own mom, who homeschooled three kids from pre-K through high school.