Tag Archives: summer school



According to my July’s special days calendar,  artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, was born July 14, 1606.  He will be the subject of our homeschool/summer school lesson of the day.  (And an excuse to bake a birthday cake.  Studies are always better with cake.)

I so agree with Rembrants parents.  They recognized that their son had talent and provided him with opportunities to study so that he could be his possible best.  And because of that,  he developed into one of the world’s most famous artists.  If only they would have taught him money management skills too, as he became bankrupt from overspending.

Below are the links we will be following for our Rembrandt study.

For a brief biography, gallery, quiz, printables, and more we will go here  http://www.gardenofpraise.com/art44.htm

For notebooking, we will use the free artist biography page  https://practicalpages.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/latest-famous-artists-biography-pages/ (Sorry, but you’ll need to copy and paste the link.)

For a tour and documentary of the Rembrandt House we will click here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmcR4Iqzuio

Because we like mysteries, we’ll research the theft of this piece.  It has never been recovered.

(Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee)

(Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee)

And we may even make a bit of a mess and try some impasto (Rembrandt style 3D) painting.  http://www.crayola.com/lesson-plans/impasto-presto!-lesson-plan/

Artist studies are one of my favorite homeschooling subjects.  I always try including artists on our history timeline or our calendar studies.  For other artist posts click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/12/leonardo-da-vinci/, here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/06/raphael/, and here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/07/art-day-sistine-chapel-style/

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

betty jo

Our Homeschooling Week Ending July 12

Our homeschooling summer school week was relaxed (as summer school should be.)  Only B and E had places to go and they didn’t need me to take them.  I enjoyed my time at home working on the plans for our everything American history studies starting in September.  I also had some awesome opportunities to share homeschooling ideas with a few ‘newbies’.

We have been picking peppers and tomatoes daily from our homeschooling garden science project.  We’ve had the privilege to share some too!

1002284_483450345070156_475691385_nNot all is well in the garden.  A month or so ago, the two year old neighbor uprooted and broke one of our plants.  We re-planted it in hopes that it would be fine.  It looks sad, but still has tomatoes growing on its only green vine.

1005107_485942168154307_1317046148_nE17 was in the kitchen this week.  This newest recipe was a huge hit.  Sauteed steak, mushrooms, and onions stuffed in a pepper half and topped with cheese and baked.  She also made yummy potato wedges to go with.


Z went to the Dome Theater show at our local library.  He particularly enjoyed the volcano parts. 1006244_479259862155981_1664348938_n 1069822_479260218822612_1523928843_n.

Z and J have started a new chapter book series, Cork and Fuzz by  Dori Chaconas.  I’m impressed with these tales of an unlikely friendship and I’m happy the boys are enjoying them.  We will be checking out more of them soon.  Our local library has the entire collection.

1000983_485942254820965_484467499_nWe had a much appreciated break from the humidity and heat the past couple of days.  It was wonderful spending time in the yard and taking some summer school studies outside.


968833_485942391487618_315644075_nWhile spending time in our backyard, we enjoyed the neighbors rose bushes.  I love their garden which boarders our yard.  They do all the work and I get to witness all the beauty.

155396_485942238154300_890615604_n21374_485942208154303_2084521488_nThis week was the most relaxing, no pressure week I’ve had in a long time.  I hope yours was as well.

betty jo

For more about our science project garden click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/14/homeschool-gardening/  and here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/23/watching-our-garden-grow/

For more about this week’s summer school studies click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/08/the-liberty-bell/  and here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/12/studying-ramadan/

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Studying Ramadan


According to my special days calendar for July,  the Muslim holiday Ramadan started on the 9th and continues for thirty days.  Other than knowing that it is a time of fasting followed by a celebration for those of the Islamic faith, I know very little about the holiday.  With the current estimated Muslim population being over 1.6 billion, I think learning more about Ramadan is something we need to add to our summer school calendar studies.

Below are the links we are using for our Ramadan study.

The Homeschool Buzz has a free download for a Ramadan activity book designed  for children 5 to 7 years.  I think this is an excellent source for all of us who are not familiar with the holiday regardless of age.  I learned a great deal and I’m sure others who are not of the Muslim faith would also.  I appreciate  the work and creativity put into this resource and the willingness to share.  You can download the Ramadan activity book here.  http://pakistanhomeschooler.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/ramadan-activity-book-free/

For a Ramadan guide that is not in a pdf format click here  http://www.msichicago.org/scrapbook/scrapbook_exhibits/catw2004/traditions/countries/ramadan.html

Several basic Ramadan information links here  http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/subjects/ramadan.htm

The Huffington Post has put together a photo album of current Ramadan pictures from around the world   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/ramadan-2013-pictures_n_3573707.html

For traditional Ramadan recipes from around the world click here  http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Ramadan/Detail.aspx

Click here for my July’s special days calendar  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/28/julys-special-days/

betty jo

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The Liberty Bell

PhiladelphiaLibertyBell_000“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”  Leviticus 25:10

The Pennsylvania State House bell was rung to summon the people of Philadelphia to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.  Though the bell wouldn’t be called the Liberty Bell  until years later, the bell’s message of liberty certainly rang that day.

The Liberty Bell and the mystery of it’s crack will be our homeschool/summer school lesson of the day.  Below are the links we will follow for this brief study.

For starters we will take an up-close look at the Liberty Bell in this short virtual tour.

Next, we’ll read some famous quotes about the Liberty Bell. http://www.ushistory.org/libertybell/quotes.html

I like these Liberty Bell themed notebooking pages for copywork and journaling.  http://notebookingfairy.com/2011/05/liberty-bell-notebooking-page/

I’ll also print off a detailed coloring sheet from Activity Village http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/fourth_of_july_colouring_pages.htm

And while we are coloring we will be listening to The Liberty Bell March.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Dd0EaEbqg

There is Liberty Bell curriculum available for free from the National Park Service.  We will read a few of the articles and I’ll be asking the discussion questions that it suggests in the lesson plans. http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/36liberty/36liberty.htm

betty jo

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Happy Birthday America

4th July

Even though today is a holiday, it is not going to be a day off from homeschool/summer school.  The learning possibilities are too numerous to pass up by not having some lessons.

We will be starting here with a slide show of a trip across America on the Google home page.  https://www.google.com/

I download the freebie, Why We Celebrate the 4th of July,  from Simple School and Currclick yesterday for J and Z.   We got started on it and I think it is very nice. It contains some historic information and copy work,  It even has a couple of things the older kids can use, too.   http://www.currclick.com/product/48874/Simple-Schooling-Why-We-Celebrate-the-4th-of-July?it=1   (You will need an account to get the free download.  If you don’t already have one, I highly recommend you getting one and sign up for their e-mail newsletters and updates.  This is my favorite resource site.)

Also, Activity Village is offering some free 4th of July  printables that we’ll be using. http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/fourth_of_july_activities_for_kids.htm

Quiztree has an interactive art and history activity that we will take a look at.  I think this is very cool.  You hover the mouse over each person in Trumbull’s famous painting, The Declaration of Independence, and the name of the person appears at the top of the screen.  http://www.quiz-tree.com/Declaration-of-Independence-Trumbull.html

We’ll follow this link for music appreciation  http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/1st-performance-of-samuel-f-smiths-america-11630412.html?utm_source=This%20Week%20in%20Christian%20History%20-%20Christianity.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=07/03/2013

Movies are are the planner for today also.  E suggested we watch The Patriot, and she and B can, but that’s not suitable for my younger boys.   We all can watch this episode of Liberty’s Kids though.

Finally, we’ll end up our studies in the kitchen.  We’ll be making this simple angel food cake, blueberry, strawberry, and whipped cream layered dessert.

4th dessert 2We even have a community service project tonight.  We will be passing out mosquito repellant bracelets with our church at our city’s fireworks display.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

betty jo

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