Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies – Giveaway

Welcome!

It’s the 32nd Weekly Giveaway from Homeschool Survival! We love bringing you these giveaways each and every week here on Homeschool Survival. If you have Freebies you’d like to share, be sure to link up and we will be Pinning and Sharing through the week. We’d like to encourage you to like us and interact with us on Facebook. Visit us there to find and share more fantastic posts. We are a community where you can ask questions, get mom to mom answers and be encouraged. In fact, if you happen to have any questions about homeschooling, feel free to leave us a comment here…and we’ll be happy to post them on the page, or even write a blog post about it. We are here to help you in your journey and can’t wait to hear more from you! Be sure to read all the way to the end, where the fabulous giveaways will be posted.

Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies

 

 

This week: Wildlife Adventures

Wildlife Adventures by Adventures In ChildRearing is composed of weekly unit studies covering bible, handwriting (cursive & print), spelling, science, history, geography and more.  They are designed for multiple ages so the whole family can enjoy learning together.

Manatee Unit Study

Each creation based unit focuses on a different animal and incorporates games, puzzles, and/or videos along with reading material and additional options for further study – including book lists.

Wildlife Adventures unit study

Inspire your children to learn by exploring the world around them and investigating the wildlife God created. Ignite an interest in reading, improve research skills, and use your child’s natural curiosity to encourage them to ask questions as they take a closer look at nature.

Create your own Wildlife Adventures Binder with beautiful cover pages and additional notebooking pages to store the lessons and showcase your studies.

FREEBIE

Receive a Manatee Wildlife Adventure Unit Study as well as free notebooking and binder pages!

FREE Wildlife Binder Pages

 

 Go HERE to download 

 

Giveaway- 4 Complete Unit Studies & $50 Gift Certificate

Enter to win a month of FREE Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies – including everything you need but math for the family to learn and study together!

Learn about The Magnificent Frigate Bird, Seashells, Frogs, and Dolphin.

Value $52 for the set & $50 Gift Certificate = $102 Giveaway

Enter with one link or enter with them all!

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By entering this giveaway, you will automatically be added to the author’s email list. 

Other Giveaways & Freebies: Let’s Link Up!

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)

Mexican Posole From Scratch: Homeschool Cooking

Mexican Posole from Scratch

My husband, Mark, came up  this wonderful recipe for Mexican Posole from scratch.  It’s a terrific, tasty soup.  My boys love the flavor and I believe you will too! The rich taste of the homemade broth, combined with the hearty meat and crunchy fresh garnish is simply melt in your mouth – delicious!

We use recipes in our family homeschool

Why not use it to add a little spice to your homeschool study of Mexico?

We finish up our geography reading, and then head straight to the kitchen to cook up a dish from our country of study.  We use the time to discuss what we’ve learned and compare the differences from one culture to another.

Mexican Posole

Ingredients

  • Homemade chicken stock
  • Chicken or pork (shred or chunk small)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 3 cans large white hominy
  • 2 – 3 cloves minced garlic

 Mexican Posole from Scratch

 

Homemade chicken stock 

Cook full chicken, or leftover chicken with bones, onion, garlic powder, and celery if available – bring to a hard boil then turn down the heat and simmer for at least an hour.

Directions

  • Add first 5 ingredients
  • Simmer for an hour (do not hard boil or hominy will come apart)
  • Skim fat off the top
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve hot in bowls and add garnish – salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Garnish

  • Cilantro- chopped
  • Jalapeno- deseeded and chopped
  • Green onions- chopped

Whether you are looking for a fun new dinner recipe or looking for ways to make your homeschool a bit more “hands on” by cooking the meals from countries you study – I hope your family will love this dish as much as mine does!

Do you use cooking in your family homeschool? If so, please share ideas in the comments on how you implement cooking into your lessons!

 

Homeschool Summer Break Survival

Summer Survival Guide:  HomeschoolSurvival.com

The dog days of summer are in full swing here in Louisiana!  We follow a traditional school year.  Simply put, we need the break and we love to enjoy summer freedom!  It would also be way too easy to fall into a rut of discontent, boredom, or lack of structure.  Instead, we’ve found ways to dodge that bullet!  I’m here to share those!

First, although we are out of our structured school days routine, our family functions so much better with SOME kind of routine.  So, our summer days go kind of like this…..

  • No set wake up time, but once we’re up everyone still gets ready for the day and grabs a bite to eat!
  • The house hasn’t gone away, so neither have chores!  We do try to get them done early so we can enjoy the day
  • Outside time is a MUST.  I don’t care if they’re catching bugs, riding 4wheelers, or playing in the dirt, that’s the best part of summer!
  • Downtime is so important too.  Our heat here is brutal, so thankfully they’re all for it by mid-day and I get the break I need!

Second comes summer projects….

  • The Garden is big at our house.  It’s enjoyable to tend to and always a good teaching tool in so many ways.  The kids learn how to grow, harvest, and the basics of food storage.  They also get a good dose of summer work!
  • Where we live berry picking might come in second.  Different kinds of berries here are only ripe and ready for a small window of time, so we try to stay on top of gathering them for jellies, freezing, etc.
  • I have some major summer projects in mind.  They haven’t happened yet.  I hope to tackle revamps of all kids’ rooms before we hit the books again.  Until then, I advise you to consult your favorite Pinterest board for better advise 🙂

Third is the summer fun…

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • 4Wheeler Rides
  • Jeep Riding
  • Sleepovers
  • BBQs
  • VBS
  • Visits to Grandma’s

Last but not least are the MEMORIES…

  • I don’t remember my best childhood day in front of a TV or Video Game, neither will they!  So get outside and PLAY!

Enjoy the Down Time:  HomeschoolSurvival.com

 

Do you school year round?  If so, what is your family’s version of a Summer Survival Guide?  Do you have other suggestions?  We’d love to hear your memories as well!  Leave them in the comments below!

HAPPY SUMMER!!!

The Importance of Field Trips for Learning

Homeschool SurvivalFun Summer Field Trips

Whether you take summer off from school or continue to homeschool year-round like we do, the warmer weather and more relaxed schedules provide opportunities for getting out and exploring your community through field trips.

Field trips are an important aspect of education as kids get to see, hear, and do. Oral histories and hands-on experiences lead to discovery learning, and this kind of learning really sticks. My kids recall things they’ve heard from the people who experienced them much more than from simply reading about them.

From perspectives of World War II as a young Jewish girl or as a young American soldier, to walking around in Shoeless Joe Jackson’s house, these real experiences leave a lasting impression on kids.

When I taught in a public school classroom and ventured out to a museum with my classes to see a Holocaust exhibit, not only was it the first time most of them had even been in a museum, but the artifacts and displays immersed them in the history we had been reading about. They got to see first-hand that history is real. Those kids will never forget that.

I’ve learned that all you have to do is ask, and people are more than willing to provide a field trip for you. (Don’t forget to send them a thank you note!)

The Ultimate Summer List of Free or Low-Cost Field Trips:

  • Art museum
  • American Legion museum
  • History museum
  • Baseball museum
  • Professional sports team training camp
  • U-pick farm
  • Organic farm
  • Alpaca farm
  • Goat farm
  • Dairy
  • Plant nursery
  • Grain mill
  • State parks
  • Fish hatchery
  • Horse stables
  • Zoo (membership saves money if you go often or have a large family, and is often reciprocal)
  • Veterinary clinic
  • Dental clinic
  • Nursing home
  • Restaurants (cost of food only, usually w/ a group discount and educational talk/tour included)
  • Grocery Store (Behind-the-scenes tours)
  • Local colleges and universities
  • Library tours/talks/classes
  • Post office
  • Fire station
  • Police station
  • City Hall (meet the mayor)
  • Airport
  • Television station
  • Radio station
  • Newspaper office
  • Book printer
  • Civic center
  • Free children’s concerts given by the local symphony
  • Children’s theater performances
  • Historical homes
  • Historical monuments
  • Manufacturing plant
  • Recycling center
  • Waste-water treatment facility

Click here to take a look at how I keep records of our field trips for school credit and print my field trip form.

Have any ideas to add to the list? Add them in the comments!

 

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Virtual Field Trip to Washington DC

 

Virtual Field Trip

 

*affiliate links may be present

We are about to embark on the best field trip ever.  We are taking a field trip to Washington DC for the Teach Them Diligently National Homeschool Convention where I’ll be speaking! If you are attended – you may have seen me at the  A+ Interactive Math booth. I encourage homeschool families that they need not fear math any longer & that you really can teach your child in math. When God calls, He provides – Amen?

In my preparation for this exciting journey, I have gathered resources and information for anyone who would like to visit DC and for those who will not be able to make the field trip in person . . .  interactive links for you to come along – virtually! 

As you work your way through the download doc – you will find pictures and links that will direct you to some of the most famous icons around the Capital. Instead of printing the document – you can use it as an interactive adventure by clicking on the various links.

Our journey begins at the National Archives where you can peruse through documents which have shaped our country over the years.  You’ll find free worksheets where your students can document what they are learning – whether they visit in person on online – with the FREE Artifact Worksheets.

National Archive docs and tour

Find original documents, photographs & information from the US Patents office: Child Labor Laws, articles, proposals and official documents that have shaped our Constitution.  Learn more about due process, and the rights of the accused to be represented by an attorney. Read a hand written notarized letter dated 1962 about due process and the lack of such. Learn about how certain civil rights issues became officially amended in the Constitution and read real letters by the people who made it happen.  Digging through the old documents is another way to make history come alive and helps you understand the people who have shaped our country.

Washington DC landmarks

You can then move on to explore the famous landmarks around Washington DC and the National Mall! You will find links to some 15 different Smithsonian Museums, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and more.

As you read through the document and explore the links, you’ll find videos, pictures, and information you can read together. Take notes, print pictures, and create a special lapbook, or file folder full of information from your virtual journey!

Download Virtual Field Trip HERE

 

Homeschooling on the road: schooling through the holidays

hs on the road

We love to travel and explore. Homeschooling has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to do so. Through blogging and taking advantage of the chance to help, speak, or do social media at various homeschool conventions – we’ve been able to see much of the country and enjoy adventures which would not otherwise be possible.

Blogging, writing and other homeschool employment has made it possible to gain access to the best curriculum on the market. It also helps us afford for me to stay home with the boys – even when that home is in the form of a mini van rolling down the highway, a tent or hotel room!

 

What in the world does this have to do with homeschooling through the holidays? 

Well, while others are sitting at their desk in school, we are likely to be kayaking or rafting down a river or exploring some new exciting territory. But, we also have to work our way through those fabulous curriculum supplies and meet our own educational goals. This often means homeschooling right on through the holidays.

Shaping young minds and providing the education for my boys is a huge responsibility and one I take seriously. In order to fulfill our requirements and meet our goals – we have made the commitment to school our children year-round.

Before you freak out, go back and read that part about how “while others are sitting in school, we are likely to be kayaking or rafting down a river!”

It’s not all bad this year-round schooling and it lifts the pressure off of the times where we are busy enjoying life to the fullest.

Homeschooling on the road or while vacationing during the holidays does not have to be terribly complicated. One great trick is to use what you have on hand, and take full advantage of the resources in your immediate location.

What does it look like in real life? 

On a recent trip to the woods for hunting season, our boys got some fantastic lessons in archery.

hsarchery

I generally pack a basket or a bag of books to carry with us whether we are camping or staying in a hotel. The important thing is to keep it simple and remember, it doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. I do not bring heavy or expensive books along on the road, because that is just not the way we roll. We have plenty of time for that at the home front.

The dollar store and dollar section at Target are good places to pick up little books or workbooks that contain basic (sometimes even accurate) information. I am choosy about what I buy, but a simple book that lists the 50 states and capitals, or provides addition and multiplication practice is worth a buck here and there. It doesn’t even matter if they get dirty, lost, or fall into a bonfire. Hey, it can happen . . . trust me!

hsroadmaterials

Older children can read aloud while in the car, as long as they are not the car sick type. It is easy to drill bible verses, spelling words and vocabulary, and math facts while rolling down the highway or walking in the woods. Other tools we use to help us study while on the road:

  • laptop
  • tablet/Kindle Fire
  • iPods with educational apps
  • books on cd
  • educational dvd’s
  • composition books to use as nature journals or to record data
  • camera- nature photography and to snap shots of information and exhibits at museums

Another important tip is to visit museums and parks along the way. We don’t leave home without our ASTC.org  membership. I always search the list for places to go (for FREE) on the way to our destination, and in the city where we land. It is often worth leaving a few days in advance, even traveling a little out of the way to visit some of these places. When there is a tent in the back of the minivan – you can find housing most anywhere. But, I’ll save the frugal travel tips for another day.

hsmuseum

We happened to be on the road during Veterans Day this year. We stopped at a museum in a remote little town in Georgia. The Museum of Aviation is FREE and turned out to be one of our favorite places! History comes to life when it is experienced in this way. It was the perfect place to honor and learn more about the men and women who have served our country. We learned about the Flying Tigers of World War II and in particular about General Robert L. Scott, a Georgia boy who ended up as their leader. He is the kind of hero, and a strong man of character that we want our boys to identify with and look up to. There is some terrific video links and information on the web site here.

hswildlife

I find this style of homeschooling to be extremely effective because it is hands on learning that (when reinforced and discussed properly) will be retained much easier than sitting in a classroom or behind a desk.

Of course, this was a hunting trip, and most of the time – the boys simply ran and played in the woods. They caught lizards, collected leaves (most of our leaves in Florida don’t turn colors for fall – so this is a big treat) and it is also a part of our nature science. The boys practiced archery. They did their reading.

At night we listened to a book about World War II as we cuddled up in sleeping bags. The boys  also did a few math worksheets. We socialized with our friends. We sang, listened to classical music in the car with commentary about the composers. We practiced our bible verses. Each day the boys did a quick sketch and wrote a few words about something they observed. All in all, I think homeschooling on the road – even during the holidays – is a great success!

Do you have any road schooling tips or tips for the Christmas travel season? We would love to hear about them!  

Kelli Becton2Kelli Becton of Homeschooling Adventurez (division of AdventurezinChildRearing) is a Jesus loving, homeschooling mama of three boys (biological and adoption).  They are an outdoor family, living and learning on the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida. Kelli was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis over eleven years ago, and although there is pain, there is also great joy. She and her husband Mark have always loved the outdoors, and they spend as much time as possible adventuring with their boys. Exploring God’s creation is their favorite pastime. Jesus is their passion, and homeschooling their boys is a blessing. Kelli loves to write and speak to other homeschool families, sharing life’s lessons and what God has laid on her heart through their adventures. You can find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Homeschooling on the Road

One of most difficult things our family faces week to week is a tough travel schedule for my husband.

One of the biggest blessings of homeschooling is that we often get to travel with him! However, this means we must learn how to best utilize our time homeschooling on the road.

Over the past several years of homeschooling, my husband’s job has taken us on several trips to Washington, D. C., Virginia (where we sneaked in trips to Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Mount Vernon, and Monticello), Chicago, New York City, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Orlando, and many places all over the state of Kentucky.

 Yorktown, VA 026

While this is certainly a blessing, it can also be quite an interruption to a homeschool schedule. We could either be staunch in our planned studies or just roll with the flow. Because traveling is fun and just an amazing way to learn, we’ve chosen the latter. I’m really not much of a planner anyway.

It’s become well known among my peers that I can turn almost anything into a unit study, and so that’s exactly what we do when we are traveling. Whether or not you are afforded frequent opportunities to travel, or just an occasional blessing, here are some tips for homeschooling on the road, unit study style.

1. Find the historical places in the area where you will be visiting — state parks, the homes of historical figures, war sites, pioneer villages, state capitols, even old cemeteries — and plan field trips to one or more of them. Often these field trips will provide for amazing learning opportunities, as well as many rabbit trails.

2. Gather your kids together and learn about the state you’ll be visiting by getting out maps, checking out books from the library, and/or reading online. Create a lapbook filled with information about the state’s natural resources, geographical treasures, native plants and animals, state map and state flag. Homeschool Share is filled with free resources to help you.

3. Discover who might be famous in history from the state. See if you can find a biography of the person to read aloud on the road. For your older kids, do a literary analysis of the book, focusing on the character traits of this person.

4. Most states are famous for some kind of food dish — find out what the local favorite is where you’re visiting and either cook it before or after your trip. Even better — find a restaurant serving it while you’re there!

5. To keep up with the core subjects, be sure to bring along a backpack with math textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens and pencils, current reading list book and anything else you might need to keep on track. If you have a Kindle or iPad, bring those along as well.

Homeschooling on the road can be challenging, but I think you’ll find with using these tips you’ll have absolutely full homeschool days, and the learning will be deep and lasting!

 homeschooling on the road

 

Marcy CrabtreeMarcy spent nearly 15 years as an Ob nurse, sometimes juggling homeschooling with the job she calls her first ministry. Grateful that her main ministry today is at home, she has been married to Tom for 16 years, and is Ben’s proud momma. Her homeschool style is delight-directed with lots of unit studies, lapbooks and notebooks. She is greatly influenced by Charlotte Mason’s love of  living books. If she ever writes a book herself, it’s likely to be entitled, Homeschooling by the Field Trip Method.

When the Going Gets Tough – Go Wild!

HSsurvivalGowild

For our family, the word survival takes us straight to the wild. With 3 little boys for students, one of my homeschool survival techniques is to ask them at the beginning of each year – what they are interested in learning most.

The answers, though sometimes might surprise you, also included some very stereo-typical ‘boy type’ kinds of subject matter. Survival being one of the many topics of interest that pops up regularly. We have spent time researching and learning about various aspects of keeping oneself alive under different kinds of circumstances.

While it might not be entirely obvious at first, it has fit into our homeschool plans rather well, and has added a layer of interest from the boys that keeps this mama beyond surviving and well into thriving during our homeschool year.

You see, it can be rough to keep the attention of 3 boys if they really have zero interest in the subject matter. Now, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t required to study something unless they are rapt with interest – but it does help the year go by much smoother when I bother to take their interests to heart.

For example, we study a lot of history. By focusing on the aspects of early American history that really gets their attention, I am able to hold it longer. How? While studying the early settlers, instead of simply reading facts and memorizing information – we look into what these early heroes had to do to stay alive. I have had the boys pretend they are the father of a family who has a choice in whether or not they will strike out across the new land – or stay put in a town. We discuss what it would have been like. They consider whether they would have been a merchant, a soldier, a pioneer. While taking a nature walk, we compare and contrast the weather, the lay of the land, and the hardships of each various situation we have read about.

 

I do a lot of reading aloud, and choose books with characters I know will grab their attention. Instead of simply reading about the Revolutionary War, we might read about it from the perspective of a young boy, or even from a drop of water named Munford! (The Adventures of Munford)

These kinds of living books, exciting stories, tales of adventure and survival – they get my boys attention. They listen and soak it up. They gather the important information and develop a solid understanding for the material. When that type of learning is taking place, we are doing much more than surviving.

 

hssurvivalpioneerspirit

What exactly does this have to do with homeschool survival or hardship? Well, as a mama who suffers from chronic pain, I don’t have the energy to spare or the ability to reinvent the wheel. What I do have is a strong understanding of who my children are – are what gets their attention. For my boys, it’s survival, wilderness, adventure and the like. By taking the time to explore their interests, I’m saving myself a lot of time and hardship in desperately seeking to get their attention.

If I start out talking about facts, figures, and dates of long ago – I’m going to lose them fast. If I begin by telling them we are going to learn about a bloody massacre – they are all ears! OK, so that is an extreme example. But we have walked on the path that Daniel Boone cleared. We have stood on the Wilderness trail where a group of pioneers were slaughtered by natives. My boys won’t soon forget it!

hssurvivalteepee

 

We even camped nearby and looked for the gold coins that were said to have disappeared the night that raid took place. No luck finding them, but it was fun! We didn’t come across the story in a text book. In researching pioneer life, and studying the role of Daniel Boone, we happened upon a small museum at a state park in Kentucky. At Levi Jackson State Park – we touched the tree where Daniel Boone carved his initials! He became a REAL person to my boys at one point or another during that process.

Our lives are forever affected by my chronic illness. There are days where I do not get out of bed. I could wallow in my pain and give in to the situation, or I can use that time to cuddle up with my boys and find out what it is they want to learn about next. The good news about the read alouds? They can be done while cuddled up. On days when I cannot get out, you will often find the boys in the yard – creating bows and arrows from sticks, or working hard to build their own Teepee.

 

hssurvivalreadingwild

The reading and exploring we do in books and outdoors, feeds their imaginations, and it fuels their little boy spirits. During the hard times while homeschooling, I recommend that you just . . . .  go wild!

 

Kelli Becton2

Kelli Becton – Homeschooling Adventurez (division of AdventurezinChildRearing)
Is a Jesus loving, homeschooling mama of 3 boys (biological and adoption).  They are an outdoor family, living and learning on the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida. Kelli was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis over 11 years ago, and although there is pain, there is also great joy. She and her husband, Mark, have always loved the outdoors and they spend as much time as possible adventuring with their boys. Exploring God’s creation is their favorite pass-time. Jesus is their passion, and homeschooling their boys is a blessing. Kelli loves to write and speak to other homeschool families, sharing life’s lessons and what God has laid on her heart, through their adventures.

Homeschooling When You Are On the Move

As a child, I had attended 4 different grade schools in 4 different states. I swore I would never marry a man who would move me and my children around. I wanted roots. Fast forward a couple of decades and guess what? My wonderfully talented and capable husband (who had a stable, ordinary, 9-5 non-traveling job when I married him) was telling me the best thing for our family was to do the very thing I said I’d never do.

Homeschooling When On the Move

We were going to be moving. Often. During our first 7 years of ‘official’ homeschooling, our family moved 7 times. Knowing the many cross-country moves might possibly be in our future with my husband’s new career was one of the reasons we took the big leap of faith into the homeschooling lifestyle.

Moving AND Homeschooling? How in the world was I going to accomplish this? How would I be able to set up housekeeping, educate my children, adjust to a new community,  keep up with 3 (and then more!) children. No. Way. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I made the choice to trust my husband

After my little temper tantrum, I made the choice to trust my husband. We set out on our homeschooling journey while moving from place to place, home to home. We took first one step and then the next and than another and another. Pretty soon I found myself looking back and realizing I was surviving and we had developed a lifestyle and had learned to adapt and adjust to whatever circumstances we found ourselves in.

As far as schooling, here are some things that helped us keep up with our schooling:

  •  First, we made a commitment. This is who we are, this is what we do.
  • I took time to read up on their homeschooling laws and requirements in the state we were moving to. Doing this before you get there eases the stress of moving and getting started once you are there.
  • Streamline curriculum where possible. Cover some subjects as a family rather than having separate subjects for each individual child. This streamlines your schedule, cuts cost, and lightens your load.
  • A general daily routine helps the days run more smoothly. List a few necessary things that must be done first thing each day, do them every day, making them a habit. It will be easier to pick up where you left off or move on to what comes next when you need to take phone calls or have to be away for a time.
  • Cover the 4 R’s – Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Religion. If you spend some time on the basics, you can rest knowing that you’ve accomplished some good things even amidst the chaos of appointments and repairs and house-hunting and whatever else is demanding your attention. We found it worked best to get out the books right after our morning/breakfast routine. The rest of the day we would do ‘the extras’ or moving related activities.
  • You can work in quite a bit of ‘schooling’ while preparing for a move. Get out the maps and the almanac to learn about the population and geography and topography. Find out about the local climate and compare how it differs to where you live now. Write to the chamber of commerce for an information and tourist packet. They’ll send a treasure trove of educational and helpful material to you.
  • Think outside the box. Ask yourself “what must we do today and what can my children learn from it?” If there are boxes needing to be packed, have the children sort items needing to be packed. Ask them to separate stuffed animals from baby dolls or children’s books from grown-up books. It’ll be easier to fill boxes with like items, gives the kids something constructive to do, and hones math skills all at the same time. Maybe a brainstorming session, listing out a checklist of everything needing to be done. Children can write it out (handwriting). Print out copies for each person and have them check tasks off as they are accomplished (reading). Give them a box or suitcase and have them estimate how many items they can fit into it (math) and then let them do it (problem solving). Allow them to take pictures of all your rooms, the yard and neighborhood (photography, art).
  • I used milk crates as portable school bins. Texts and workbooks and other school supplies fit nicely, stay organized and are easily transported from room to room and house to house. You could assign one bin to each child, or one bin per subject and load it up with all the necessary materials (books, paper, folders, pencil caddy, etc). If you are packing up the house so it is ready for showings, or if you will be in temporary housing (maybe a hotel or small rental?) these crates are great because the stack nicely, take up very little space and are easily kept neat and orderly.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break. It became ‘normal’ in our family to take time off our formal schooling before a move to prepare, and after a move to adjust. There was no one to say that our school year must be Sept-May. If we took extra time off in mid October or early Spring, we might start our year earlier or continue into the summer.
  • Most importantly, make time, take time to connect with God, personally and as a family. It will strengthen you, comfort you, restore you, give you the wisdom and discernment you need in these challenging times.

 

I would never have chosen the nomadic lifestyle, but I am thankful for it. I learned I could choose to be content. I figured out that successful homeschooling wasn’t about having all the right books or perfect little desks or having my ducks lined up in a row. I could ‘make do’ with my circumstances. We depended more on each other, on God,  because we were all we had.

 

stop and smell the daisies

Linda Sears is a stay-at-home wife, homeschooling mother and doting grandmother. She and her husband have 8 children, a daughter-in-law, 2 sons-in-law and 5 grandchildren, so far. They have been homeschooling for more than 20 years, graduating 4 of their 8 children, with 4 more to go. You’ll find her at Apron Strings & other things where she blogs about life as she knows it, with children in various stages of cutting those apron strings.

 

 

 

Homeschooling Through Frequent Moves

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In eight years we moved six times.

  • twice to a different country

  • three times to a different province

  • once to a different apartment in the same city

Twice we gave up beloved pets. Every time we lost friends.

Two of those moves were forced upon us rather suddenly. One of those moves – the last one – happened with the span of 72 hours. In three days’ time we discovered we had to leave, packed what we could, and were out of the country.

Transition became a theme of my life and a word to dread.

I still can’t pass a stack of cardboard boxes without evaluating their capacity to hold, move, or ship my belongings. I find it hard to throw away the original boxes for anything I buy because I might need them for packing one day.

I understand the challenge of homeschooling through frequent moves. Through that entire eight year period and the years afterwards, I have homeschooled my daughter. We had lessons in hotels, in guest houses, on buses, and on trains. Our books were often in trunks or backpacks instead of neatly organized on shelves.

Homeschooling is difficult when you move frequently.

Our games, books, and art supplies were packed; we didn’t have access to libraries. We were living with the stressors of frequently starting over, setting up a new home, and making new friends. We were grieving the loss of all we left behind.

But through those terribly painful times, I have learned that homeschooling through frequent moves is also a huge blessing.

Homeschool is a Constant in a Life of Change

Throughout our moves, homeschooling was a constant that we could rely on. The content of our lessons may have varied depending on where we were or what materials were in storage, but having school offered a structure to our constantly changing routine. Sometimes doing school was the only sure thing in the day. I relished that oasis of normality in the midst of a life that was always throwing curveballs at me.

Homeschooling meant that we could continue learning while on the road, in between homes, and during upheaval. With a novel and a math workbook in my tote bag, we could be mobile homeschoolers.

At the end of the day, if we did a little math or reading, I could reassure myself that I had accomplished something important.

After our most traumatic move, we were back in America with the option of public school. Some well-meaning friends and family assumed I would take this break and send my daughter to school. No, homeschooling was the only familiar thing in my child’s life at the time. I would not take that away from her, too. Homeschooling was something normal in a huge sea of churning transitions. It was a blessing to homeschool through our moves.

Homeschool Means Emotional Health

Homeschooling meant that I was there for the emotional meltdowns. Because I was with my daughter nearly all the time, I knew how she was coping and was there to comfort and speak truth into the situation.

I was aware of the warning signs that another teacher would not have seen – a sullen mood, a teary eye, a lethargic attitude. And because I was going through the transitions right beside her, I understood in a way that an outsider could not.

When the stress or grief was too much (for either of us), I had the full freedom to toss out academics and tend to the heart. Even on the book side of learning, I had control over what we read. I omitted emotionally wrenching novels in favor of more uplifting, empowering, and humorous titles.

We never ignored our feelings. We talked, cried, and talked more. Homeschooling meant we had the time with each other to invest in the parent-child relationship. I made grieving and processing our transitions a priority equal to multiplication and vocabulary.

Addressing the Academics

I agonized over her academics and the lost months when we could not have school. I was plagued with fear of failing her as a teacher.

Unfounded. All unfounded.

God ordained our multiple moves, and he extended grace to turn the evil into good. I was faithful to do what I could when I could – a math worksheet here, a word game there. And God multiplied my humble loaves and fishes. My child is academically on track. If you are in the midst of a big move or even a series of moves, let go of the guilt. Homeschooling is a blessing in that situation not a liability.

The Glory in the Affliction

I would not wish my six moves in eight years on another family. But I do wish you could know the amazing treasure that came out of that time.

Through those years, we lost our home, our possessions, our pets, and even our friends, but we always had each other. Frequent loss instilled in me and my daughter the value of being together, the supreme importance of people over things, and the urgency to cherish every moment.

My daughter has a sense of compassion for the outsider like no other child her age and even most adults I know. She has been that person time and time again, so she knows how to treat a newcomer with genuine attention that does not embarrass.

Trust that even in the frequent moves, homeschooling is a blessing.

 

Jimmie LanleyJimmie Lanley is the mother of one creative teenaged daughter. Living abroad in China necessitated the original choice to homeschool. But now that she and her family are back in Tennessee, Jimmie can’t imagine any other way to educate her middle schooler. Jimmie’s Collage is where she blogs about her Charlotte Mason styled homeschool. In the early years, Jimmie’s lesson plans were full of hands-on activities and lapbooks. As the years passed, she began using more and more notebooking and became so passionate about the method that she created her second blog, The Notebooking Fairy. That site features free notebooking printables and how-tos plus the affordable eBook guide Notebooking Success. Jimmie is co-owner of iHomeschool Network, a social media company.