Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Planning!

Ahh, yes. So, I'm well aware that summer has already been "in session" for a few weeks, but I thought better late than never on this one. {smile}

I had made up this fabulous list of things to do over the summer for our own family and thought I'd share.

*Summer time decorations around house to ring in the first day of summer (Dollar Store has fun Hawaiian decorations)

*Treasure chest with incentives inside for reading, potty training, good character, being diligent, accomplishments made, goals, etc. {BUT, keep a good balance here so that little guys don't automatically EXPECT payment for good behavior/deeds.}

*Don’t sign up for every VBS out there! This is a chance for you to spend quality time with your child(ren). Don’t send the message that you’re trying to “get away from” your child(ren).

*Every time I sit down to plan for our homeschool year or summer plans, I am reminded at how important it is to put good character FIRST before acadamia. Without the character in place, the acadamia won’t follow suit.

1. Homeschool objectives for summer school laid out (laid back, but play catch up if we missed any objectives that year.)

2. Schedule play dates for kids and time for moms to connect with and chat

3. Swimming at the beach/lake

4. Character training: check out, for books and great character training tools, crafts, ideas, etc.

5. Chore training and money management: has a great chart for Service Opportunities. Has both pictures for little ones to understand and spelled out for older ones. You can color it, laminate it and use a marker to place money amounts next to certain chores allowing your kids to work over the summer for you and learn the value of money and service. Have a lesson on spending money, savings and tithing before you implement this or the money will burn holes in some of their pockets. Make a jar for spending, saving and tithe. A great time to introduce what taxes are to older ones.

6. Make a list of baking and cooking projects you want to accomplish with your children.

7. Sit down and make a list of cheap, local acitivites you can resort to should you not have something planned for a day.

8. Vacation planning if applicable (camping, traveling, RVing)

9. Circle time for little guys up to early elementary

10. Make a list of goals for each child. Have a date alone with your hubby/wife and make a list of some of the physical, spiritual, emotional, academic goals you want to work on this next year and write down how you’re going to accomplish them together as a team.

11. Have a schedule!

Here's a great one from Smockity If you haven't visited Connie before, you're missing out. Take a peek today. :)

12. Do workboxes and run your day like school.
Visit Sue Patrick’s Workbox System website. Here's a little ditty that I made one {late} evening...hence, the share what we've been doing with workboxes. I really can't say enough about them. I wouldn't be able to homeschool so many little ones without them.

13. Have a Quiet Time everyday of an hour of lights out around the house, quiet music playing and nobody comes out until the music stops.

14. Make a list of books Mom/Dad and kids want to read. A great time to start reading through the Bible.

15. Start a family worship time.

16. Start a family Bible time.

17. Visits to nursing homes, help in food pantrys, feed the homeless, clean up litter at the park.

18. Make an “I’m Bored Box” filled with index cards of activities (puppet show, hopscotch, jumprope, etc.) that kids can do if they pronounce that they are bored.

19. Clean out STUFF! Clean out bedrooms and start tossing the clutter that drives you crazy. Use black trash bags so the kids can’t see through them. I love Linda Fay's take on Home Organization. I printed this out as well and put a copy in my Home Management Binder in the Organization section is.

20. Homeschool families…make a Scope and Sequence binder with your objectives for your children each year. I have almost finished mine and will post pictures in the future. I also keep a paper with goals for each of our children: physical, academically, spiritually, character building traits, chores to train and master, etc. for each year.

21. Build a small chicken coop and order a few chicks (or check with your local pet store) to start a fun project. You’ll get some nice healthy eggs out of it too!

22. Build a compost pile for your garden. Doesn’t have to be fancy, even just a hole in the ground. As long as it gets aerated.

23. Make a Home Management Binder. (I need to update pics of my new one.)

24. Make natural cleaning products and toss the chemical-filled junk.

25. Bake bread (minus the baker’s yeast). Visit Vintage Remedies to see why not to use factory-created yeasts. Bad for you.

26. Make natural body care products and toss the junk.

27. Take a missions trip.

28. Learn to play an instrument. This was on my bucket list years ago and I finally picked up guitar and love playing now.

29. Splurge on Polished Cornerstones and Plants Grown Up books to do with your kids. This alone can fill up your summer plans!!!

30. Homeschool parents…don’t forget to get your children assessed by your appropriate due date. Here is a link to your letter you'll need filled out and mailed. Don't forget to have your assessor include a copy of his/her teaching certificate.

31. Catch up on dentist and doctor appointments.

32. Learn how to cut your kids’ hair (or even your own!) for free. It will save you big bucks. I'm the barber for our entire family and it's saved us so much money over the years!

33. Visit Simply Charlotte Mason's website for a great list of handicrafts to do with your kids. There’s also a great list of life skills that your children should be able to do before leaving the house. Don’t take these lightly. They’re so important!

34. Go through the Picture Smart Bible curriculum. If you don’t have the money to purchase it, save the money and do your own. There’s a free download on the Pictures Smart Bible’s website that you can use to model after.

35. Make your Child Training Bible with tabs and highlights for disciplinary moments around your house.

36. Visit Homestead Blessings and splurge on one or some of their DVDs (and then invite us over cause I don’t have any just yet) to learn how to quilt, make candles, bake bread, garden, make dairy products, etc. (see videos)

37. Start Nature Journaling. I love following Higher Up and Further In's blog for great examples of their nature journals. (Totally Charlotte Mason!) Another great blog here. We always keep a National Audobon Society book with us to identify things while we're out and about in nature. I actually keep it in my purse (cause I'm a nerd like that) to use as a reference for myself too. Homeschooling truly is the education I never had. Luv it! :)

Most importantly, have fun, enjoy your children (after all, God gave them to you), learn and have self-control. HERE is a really helpful post to keep handy in moments when you may feel frustrated or overwhelmed. Some great points mentioned. I printed this out personally and keep it handy for rough days.

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