Saturday, June 7, 2014

What are your plans this summer?

I do not know where this last year went but I'm dealing with the fact that by August I will have two teenagers. *gulp* A~man who will be 15 this fall is more than happy to be a teen and actually asked a girl at baseball to be his girlfriend today. (he had a different one last year, Lord help me, but it is all very innocent) This particular girl has liked him for years but he didn't realize it until I pointed it out.Yes, it may seem strange a mother pointing out to her son about a girl that likes him but it takes his mind off the fact that no, you cannot be boyfriend to the 20 year old barista from Starbucks. Last summer with his other friend that was a girl we met her at the movies and as a family we hung out with her family at their house.

Z~girl? She has some Peter-Pan type issues. She does NOT want anything to do with anything about teenhood. (is that a word? it is now!) Yet, she is highly responsible beyond her years, plays her violin without asking, does her chores and loves to help out in anyway she can. So...I really can't complain. So what if she has no interest in make-up or anything fru fru? She would rather read, care for and play with her many critters, play soccer and RUN. (running is her newest joy)

This next week we will be doing our annual state required homeschool testing for our Christian homeschool. We have always done the Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Achievement. I try and not fret about testing...yet I still do a bit at times. Testing A~man is truly just a formality as there is no test that can show how he measures up with anything. But he has come so far in his ability to sit there for hours, pay attention, and cooperate. The first year when he was 7? I thought I might have to pay the lady double. (joking but she was an amazingly patient tester)

I pretty much know how Z~girls testing will go. She is above grade level in all but math and writing. She is taking an awesome online writing course right now which will help. (I've been a bit unschooling with writing) Math? Math is the subject I worry with her and next year I need to find a homeschool math class for her. Math is not something I am good at teaching. I know how to do math and took it in college even but I am not good at explaining it.

After this week we will have a couple weeks of light schooling followed by taking July and part of August off! Z will be going to a theater camp that she is excited about! I'm still in the planning stages but one of the main things I want to do is camp. Here is a blog I did awhile back for about learning while camping-

One of my children's favorite things to do in the summer is go camping. Being relatively cheap, (we use a tent) it is something we can do even if we are not able to go on an expensive vacation. We have also been known to camp in our own backyard! While it is definitely a fun and relaxing activity there are also many opportunities for learning while sleeping close to nature.

It's fun to have a scavenger hunt while hiking or even bring along an animal track identification guide in case you find animal prints. This is something that both younger and older children could do together. Bring a magnifying glass to inspect the smallest of insects! Having your child assist in the meal can also be fun as typically camping recipes are very easy to put together. We always bring along paper plates and napkins for easy clean up.

Art activities are fun to do outside even if they can be messy. When my daughter was much younger she loved to paint on the sidewalks with mud. Clean up with that one was easy with the spray of a hose. (or a dip in the lake!) Have you ever heard of Land Art? This is something I learned about years ago from my brother in law. You use items from nature such as rocks, leaves,flowers...really anything, and combine them to make something beautiful. 

I cannot forget literature. Whether reading a book to get ready for camping or finding a nice quiet place in nature to relax and enjoy a good book, there are many choices.

For the younger children- 

Curious George Goes Camping by Margret & H.A. Rey A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris VanDusen 
Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping by Peggy Parish 
Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night by Cynthia Rylant 
The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock

Here are a couple good chapter books about camping-

A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
The Boxcar Children: The Camp-Out Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Here are some summer related chapter books with homeschool children as the main characters

Adventures in the Neighborhood Woods Series by Jesse Honn
The Adventues of Lil' Wolf, Twinkie, Toes, and Flower Girl in the Homeschool Forest by Jacqueline R. Campos
Alabama Moon by Watt Key
Cross-Country Treasure Hunt (And the Mystery That Followed) by Gwen Lepkowski

Brian's Hunt by Gary Paulsen
Summer at Steller's Creek by Anne Cernyar
The Howling Vowels by Leslie Schultz
Wright On Time Book Series by Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentleyand one of my favorites- Homeschool on a Battlefield by Jennifer Lynn

What type of fun learning activities does your family enjoy while out camping?



  1. I like camping in spring and fall...too hot in summer. :( I'm even mostly fine with the heat during the day, but I can't be hot at night while I'm trying to sleep, lol. Enjoy your time off this summer! :)

    1. I bet it is hot where you live! Here in the mountains with all of the trees it is quite pleasant at night!