This can be a tough time of year for all of us-kids are tired of doing school, moms are tired of sticking to the routine, I am tired of creating lesson plans; the sun is shining, the beach is so close…But even with all of this and more, I think it is very important to finish the year strong. We want to model to our children and students the value of commitment, perseverance and hard-work, qualities that are sometimes hard to find in our society. We do want to keep this commitment to virtue balanced with our need to enjoy the life God has given us. So how can we make that happen in the last few weeks of the school year?
Here are a few ideas to keep you going-
1. Take school outside for part of the day. Do your reading on the grass. Take a walk and observe nature.
2. Start the day with mom reading aloud. This is such a nice way to ease gently into the demands of the day!
3. Make a special breakfast and enjoy it together before starting the school day. Sometimes we all benefit from being together and just resting, after we have completed the busyness of the morning routine and before we start our school day.
4. Declare a pajama school day and make a really big deal about the privilege to school in pajamas (admittedly this only works if you make the kids get dressed every other day! J )
5. Take some school to a coffee shop one afternoon.
6. Make time for oral school work-oral spelling, oral Latin practice, memory work review, reading aloud to siblings.
7. Excuse your child from some of their math problems. That usually makes everyone very happy!
8. Have a picnic for lunch.
9. Plan a field trip.
10. Plan a creative activity-have the kids put on a puppet show about something from history or literature, make a cookie dough relief map, or have them write a song about a key person you are studying…
And know when you are going to end! I think it is so helpful for parents and children to know that the end of this year is in sight. Your end might be a certain time, it might be a certain place in the books, but we all benefit from having a goal we can meet. Remember that you will start school again, but you will probably start refreshed and renewed if you give yourself a break!
Oddly enough the educational establishment in the state of Oregon has discovered the benefits of good old-fashioned grammar. In a wonderful trend, they are seeing a drastic rise in the success of their ESL programs with a recent teaching change:
Educators chalk up the improved results to a new way of teaching that has swept Oregon ESL classrooms in the past couple of years.
Schools have begun explicitly teaching the grammar, rules and structure of English. And they are doing it in a carefully ordered way, making sure that students don’t miss any of the building blocks of how English verbs are conjugated, words are ordered, conversations are expected to proceed and sentences are constructed.
You can read the full article here. Just imagine what the results would be with the powerful combo of English Grammar and Latin. 🙂
Having a day devoted to grading essays and reports tends to fry my brain, so I haven’t yet written that great post comparing a Wendell Berry novel and an Anne Lamont novel…It sounds quite interesting in my brain though…
Go ahead and take a picture from your front door! Be sure to leave a comment here so we can all check out your blog. 🙂
Does anyone know what this is?
I am always intrigued by the search phrases that bring people to the blog, so I check out the Google list every few days. Today’s list included a search under my name…always an odd one. Who out there needs to just bookmark the blog?!? 🙂
So I Googled myself and noticed that things were different from the last time I Googled myself (side random fact-I like to Google people.) But this one site, the Living Water Music Project, popped up and brought back some memories, most of them great (but I will always remember the royal blue performance blouses.)
So, after all that, here is my random life note for this post-
Did you know that there is a song written for me? 🙂 Yep! My high school church choir director had a music writing project which involved writing a song dedicated to each choir member. Every song had some connection to the dedicated member and there was a clue for each song. I don’t think I ever figured out anyone’s song dedication, but my friend Alison was driven to solve every puzzle. You’ll have to check out the link to find the clue for my song.