Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer School

We don't follow a typical school year calendar. I usually say we school all year round, which is true, but it is also true that we take breaks. Our breaks are just unpredictable. We might take a break in October, or in February. We might "do school" on Saturday and Sunday, but not on Wednesday and Thursday. Much depends on what we are working on and what we want to accomplish. Much also depends on energy level. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that when my kids are having an off day, we can go light on school.

Summer this year has meant school. We have actually been working much more diligently on reading and math than we had been this spring. We somehow fell into a much better groove that has meant continued work and excitement.

We area also, of course, inspired by summer reading programs. My favorite is Half-Price Books. For reading 15 minutes, 5 times a week, kids get a $3 voucher to use at the store. My kids love picking out new books, so this is a great program for them! We also participate in our local library summer reading program. This year, because the other two are both time based, I am also letting Kiddo do Border's program. Their program is based on number of books read. You read 10, you get a free book from their list. That is cool, too. The combination lets Kiddo have tangible rewards fast and continuously.

I know some people see summer reading programs as bribing their kids to read. I view it as rewarding behavior that is already in place. We aren't doing anything different than we always do, we are just recognizing that behavior. Or rather, we are allowing others to recognize that behavior. And truthfully, the Half-Price books program saves me money The kids get to buy their own books, I don't have to!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Archaeological Dig

Today we went to a local historical site, the Historic Sibley House in Mendota, where they were hosting a kids archaeological dig. For $2 per child (reduced to $1 for members, which we are), you got a bucket, a trowel, and a record sheet. Then you could go and dig your assigned square foot in a gridded box of dirt with treasures buried all the way through to the bottom.


I have been planning to create a dig for Kiddo and Kutey, but I haven't gotten around to it. I still might do it, but this was such a great opportunity! The kids were so excited to find each treasure. Kutey was rewarded early with a plate (which she insists was a picture because of the picture on it) in nearly perfect condition. Kiddo's favorite find was a beautiful old glass bottle.


They also found lots of pieces of dishes, a lock, a piece of a tail light, plastic baseball player, a piece of burnt wood, charcoal, a door knob, and a few other things. The kids really enjoyed the activity. And we managed to almost get away before the rain started to fall...almost.