Tag Archives: summer school

Just Joking


Years ago, at the family visitation before my daddy’s funeral, we were sniffling and dabbing our teary eyes, when my mom spoke up, “I wish your daddy was here, we could use a joke!”   My father would have had just the right one to tell.

My dad knew the art of telling a joke, eye contact, expression, dramic pause.  Some he made up, some he read or heard.  None were ever rude or offensive.  Though as a teen I would groan and roll my eyes when he told one, I would repeat it I first chance I got.  Whenever I see someone that knew my dad, they always say something about his sense of humor.

According the my special days calendar,  International Joke Day is celebrated on July 1.  This is a day to tell jokes not play jokes (pranks).  The purpose of this day is to make as many people as possible laugh or at least smile.    Our homeschool/summer school calendar lesson of the day will be language arts focused.  We’ll be reading, writing, and telling jokes.   And sense Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine”, I suppose it can count as a health class credit, too.

I try to include jokes into our homeschooling lessons from time to time.  They make fun copy and memory work.  They also lighten things up when the studying gets serious or boring.  Jokes are good public speaking practice, and I think something humorous  should be included in most oral presentations.  Jokes and riddles also make cute additions to our lapbooks.

These are a couple of library books we checked out for homeschooling on International Joke Day.jokeThis is my favorite site for kids jokes, riddles, and printables  (we especially like the holiday list)  http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/kids_jokes.htm

These free blank comic book style printables make an  interesting way to copy jokes or riddles and illustrate.   http://www.printablepaper.net/category/comics

Because it’s good to laugh at ourselves sometimes…

“How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?”

“First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they’ll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.”  ~Author Unknown

For my list of July’s special days click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/28/julys-special-days/

betty jo

Bicycle Lessons

On 26 June 1819, W. K. Clarkson, Jr. of New York was granted a patent for a new and improved velocipede (“bicycle” was not a word yet) .  This is the first bicycle made in the USA.

bicycle 3Inspired by this wonderful invention, bicycles will be our homeschool summer school lesson of the day.  We will learn/review  the parts of a bicycle, their proper names, and perform some maintenance checks before taking ride.

???????????Below are the links we will follow for our bicycle study.

Timeline history of bicycles, virtual museum tour, and more   http://www.bicyclemuseum.com/index.html

Fun bicycle facts here http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/morestories/ten-things-about-bikes/

Bicycle Safety Activity Kit downloads  http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/bskitboth/3152bskit/pages/section1/section1toc.html

Care, Maintenance, Repairs    http://www.kidzworld.com/article/5696-bike-repairs-and-maintenance

Because the kids like to watch stunts, we will some view some BMX tricks.

In case you’re wondering, I will be enforcing the “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME” rule!

betty jo

Log Cabin

historic-log-cabin-17615969According to my special days calendar, June 25 is Log Cabin Day,  a day to appreciate the historic importance of log cabins.  And it’s a day to remember what life was like a couple of hundred years ago when things weren’t so easy.   Log cabins will be the topic of our homeschool/summer school lesson of the day.

We will go here for some general information and history about log cabins.                       Western Expansion: Log Cabin

Make a pretzel and graham cracker log cabin!             https://www.marthastewart.com/272922/presidents-day-log-cabin

Milk Carton and Stick Craft                                                                                                          http://www.dltk-kids.com/usa/mcabin.html

Check out these Dream Home Log Cabin Photos!             https://loghome.com/articles/category/home-tours/

E, B, and I will watch an episode of Frontier House, a PBS documentry from a few years ago.  It featured modern families who agreed to try homesteading like the pioneers would have in the 1800’s.  (Some of the dialog may not be appropriate for younger children, so I’m hoping to distract Z and J with their Lincoln Log set.)

betty jo

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Faries vs Aliens

fairy and ufoSometimes this homeschooling mamma finds herself in a dilemma over lesson plans.  For our homeschool/summer school we cover one subject per day usually chosen from my special days calendar and June 24 is both  International Fairy Day and UFO Day. 

Honestly, I’m not thrilled with either topic, but know my kids will have fun with them.  Though I try to encourage creativeness, I realize that too much fantasy or imagination is not good.  Before anyone has the opportunity for their imaginations to run away with them, we will have a Scripture based discussion of the dangers of too much imagination and how we are to think about such subjects as fairies or UFOs;

Jeremiah 7:24  “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

With those Bible verses in our minds and hearts we will explore these unusual topics.  E will want to do a study on fairies, while B, J, and Z will want to study UFOs.  I suppose the best way to handle this is to let them have separate lessons (just this once).

I found a wonderful listing of links about fairies for E  http://www.squidoo.com/fairyday#module159488057.

She has been wanting to design a fairy garden on the tree stump in the back yard, so International Fairy Day would be the perfect time for this type of project.  She can transplant some of our flowers which are overcrowded in pots.

These are the links the boys can follow.

UFO facts for kids  http://www.kidskonnect.com/component/content/article/15-educational/science/107-ufo.html

UFO photos  http://www.alien-ufo-pictures.com/ufo_pictures4.html

UFO interactive game  http://www.primarygames.com/arcade/skill/ufojoe/

betty jo


Considering the Moon


Psalm 8:3  “When I consider your heavens,  the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars  which you have set in place,”

Sunday, June 23 is the date for the Super Moon and an excellent opportunity to “consider the moon”. .  

According to NASA,  “The Moon will reach its closest distance to the Earth at exactly 7:32 am EDT (4:32 am PDT) on 23 June, but because it will be peaking in the early morning hours, both 22 June and 23 June will put on similar shows. So either day will be a good opportunity to see the larger-and-brighter-than-normal Supermoon.

This year the Supermoon will be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical Full Moon is. This is a result of the Moon reaching its perigree – the closest that it gets to the Earth during the course of its orbit.”

You can link to the full NASA article here  http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=44049

If interested in a moon unit study, I recommend the free lapbook resources Sun, Moon, and Stars. We used these last summer when we studied the moon missions.  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/space_lapbook.php

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For teachers and older students I recommend this article, The Moon: A Faithful Witness in the Sky. http://www.icr.org/articles/view/150/344/

This site has 200 “moon” related learning links!  http://watchknowlearn.org/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=moon&page=1

And for something a little silly and active try this  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EEynvjfljU

betty jo

The Great American Backyard Campout

Great-American-Backyard-CampoutJune 22 is the Great American Backyard Campout!  This event is organized by the National Wildlife Federation.  Thousands of families across America will be camping out and connecting with nature and each other.

I really have no desire what so ever to sleep on the ground.  But, we will set up our tent so Z ,  J, and their friends can play in it.  And if they can talk B into staying out with them, then they can spend the night backyard camping.  However, I am in favor of campfire roasted hot dogs and s’mores and have volunteered to help with the campfire cooking.

As a homeschooling mom, I tend to make every thing a learning opportunity.  I found these links to follow as we learn “camping”.

Tips, songs, recipes, campfire stories, and more at the Great American Backyard Campout site  http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout/Get-Ready.aspx

Free camping activity pack from the coolest nature resource website http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/packs/camping_pack.htm

Last summer, the week before the Great American Backyard Campout, we made this camping lapbook  from http://www.homeschoolshare.com/camping_lapbook.php  It was neat looking back over it.  It is also a great reminder of what Z and J are going to be needing for their backyard campout this year.

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Garfield (the Cat, Not the President)

garfieldAccording to my special days calendar, June 19 is Garfield’s (the cat, not the president) birthday!  We will be having fun learning with our favorite cat as part of our homeschooling summer school subject of the day.

I’ll be combining math, health, science, and life skills as the kids add up the calories contained in our crock pot lasagna kitchen project, and figure how much Wii Just Dance it will take to burn those calories.

We checked these out from the library for hilarious reading.

935928_476118142470043_747576520_nI found these links for the kids to follow for computer lab, art, and fun.

Garfield Online Comics  

educational games  http://www.professorgarfield.org/pgf_home.html

how to draw for younger kids  http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/12843/1/1/how-to-draw-garfield-easy.htm

drawing for older kids  http://www.my-how-to-draw.com/how-to-draw-garfield.html

games for fun http://www.garfield.com/fungames.html

And what would a Garfield themed day be without a nap?  I’m putting that in our day’s plans, too.

betty jo

Mathematical Art

escher 2

“For me it remains an open question whether [this work]
pertains to the realm of mathematics or to that of art.”

– M.C. Escher

June 16 , 1898 is the birthday of mathematician/graphic artist M.C. Escher.  He combined art with science and geometry.  He created colorful and interesting tessellations, polyhedra, and topologies.  His bizarre and fascinating works are more famous today, than they were during his lifetime.

As part of this weeks homeschooling summer school calendar studies, we will be following these links as we learn about M.C. Escher and attempt some mathematical art of our own.

Biography  http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/205/about-mc-escher/

Picture gallery  http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/gallery-symmetry.htm

Art gallery tour  https://www.nga.gov/features/slideshows/mc-escher-life-and-work.html

How to draw an impossible cube Escher style  http://www.wikihow.com/Draw-an-Impossible-Cube

Online tessellation games  http://www.mathcats.com/explore/tessellationtown.html

Printable worksheets  http://printableworksheets.in/?dq=M%20C%20Escher

betty jo

Flag Day

flag“This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.”  (President Woodrow Wilson)

Americans have been celebrating Flag Day since before President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 to be a national commemoration in 1916.  We will have a flag and pledge study day as part of our summer calendar studies and a jump start on our upcoming American History unit studies.

Below are the best links I found for our homeschool to follow as we review and learn about our flag.

US Flag Picture Gallery                                                           http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagpics.html

Flag facts, etiquette, quotes, and instructions on how to cut a perfect 5 pointed star from the Betsy Ross homepage http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/

About the pledge and why it is important  http://www.buzzle.com/articles/why-is-the-pledge-of-allegiance-important.html

pdf for the pledge in sign language  http://www.legion.org/documents/legion/pdf/signingpledge.pdf

Flag Day word puzzles, coloring sheets, and more printables  http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/flag-day/printables/

Notebooking paper                                                                                       http://homeschoolhelperonline.com/holidays/flag-day/

Flag Facts, Activities, and more!                                                      https://www.franw.com/2011/07/united-states-flag.html

betty jo


Our Homeschooling Week Ending June 7

The highlight from our week was Graduation/Achievement Night.  My daughter and I were on the decorating committee for our homeschooling support group’s year end celebration.

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We had an expected head count of 120 guests for the reception.  We planned for more, which was a good thing because we had close to 200 guests attend!

SALT (homeschool creative ministries) and Silver Lining (homeschool color guard) performed for the night’s entertainment.

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As part of this celebration, families set up display tables featuring awards, photos and projects from the year.  This was our homeschool’s display.

971711_461016027313698_1140299628_nAlso, as part of the celebration, parents present their kids with awards for something well done during the year.  These are the ones my husband presented to our kids.

He gave our homeschool a history award for our unit studies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

970432_468957796519411_2101113680_nE17 received  Honor Roll and Supergirl awards.

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B15 was awarded for “Scriptural Character Studies and Application”.   J10 earned the “All Around Improvement” award.

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Z7 was given the “Independent Study” award.  I wasn’t left out of the awards.  My family gave me one too, “Computer Achievement”.

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Saturday morning we awoke to a flash flood!  Our front yard looked like this.

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Our back yard was worse.

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The water poured into our cellar and flooded our garage.  Thank goodness we had access to a pump.  It took nearly 6 hours to get the water out from under our house.

944286_468262039922320_1872947432_nWe were quite concerned about our garden when we saw it. Our pepper plants were partially uprooted and leaning over. The box floating away in this photo was our homeschool’s weather station.  I’m still not sure where it ended up.  We found some of our yard things in the empty lot on the next street over, but not the weather station.

972020_532695726788562_1251817401_nBy Sunday afternoon, all looked fine.  The yard barely even had a puddle left in it.

970153_468262373255620_998148550_n The garden recovered from the down pour.  We even have some baby tomatoes and peppers growing now.

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Monday and Tuesday we put summer school on hold to dry out some of our things we had stored in the garage.  Our Christmas books got the worst damage, but most will be alright.  We feel blessed not to have had more ruined.


June 5 was the anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight (1783).  Last year as part of our summer school calendar studies Z,  J, and I decided to learn everything we could about hot air balloons.  Last year’s lapbook made a good review for us this year.

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We are hoping for the upcoming weekend and next week to be uneventful and peaceful.  And maybe we’ll start a new art project for our chalkboard wall.  We erased the last mural and now our kitchen/school room looks very plain.  I’m thinking we need something summery and fun, maybe a summer camp scene?


Here’s the links to related posts:

Year End Celebration  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/04/year-end-celebration/

Homeschool creative ministries  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/20/salt/

Homeschool color guard  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/16/silver-lining/

Homeschool Gardening  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/14/homeschool-gardening/

Our one day study on Hot Air Balloons  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/05/hot-air-balloons/

Our chalkboard wall murals  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/one-of-our-favorite-things-the-wall/

betty jo

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