The most common frustration I hear from new home-schoolers is that they don't have enough creative activities. Trust me, this will not be a problem when you reach middle school. Between the demands of the curriculum and the expanding interests of the children, we are never bored! In any grade, however, this time of the school year can be difficult, if you are following a standard September-June school year. In kindergarten and the early grades, worksheets and workbooks are often done quickly. You may already be done with the curriculum you started in September, and you are wondering what to do now. You could buy more workbooks and move on, but children of that age usually have a short attention span and may not be developmentally ready to move on to math and language arts in the next grade. Doing more worksheets on the same things they have already done is a quick way to kill a love of learning, unless your child just happens to love worksheets! Older children should be more than half-way through their annual curriculum, and you may be getting ready for standardized testing soon. If you are like me, you may have gotten a little behind during the year and now you are hoping you can finish before your kids are off to summer camp in June or July! Still, though, the kids are getting tired of the bookwork and the practice tests, and the whole family needs a little variety in the routine if they are going to make it through the rest of the school year.
This is a fantastic time to take the science class outside, enjoy the fresh air of spring, and add a little nature study to your week!
If you have a first-grader who is done for the year but not yet ready to move on to Second Grade (or Mom just can't think of starting a whole new curriculum in late March!), you could fill days and weeks with these nature studies, all the while learning science while practicing reading and using some practical math. If you have children in the older grades who still have to finish their "normal" work before the end of June and you just can't spare the time for a unit study, you could pick bits and pieces and take a 15-30 minute nature walk per day or a few times a week. Just enough for a break and some renewed energy. One of the things I love most about homeschooling is being able to taylor the study to our personal needs!
This week, you can get these fantastic downloads at Homeschool Freebie of the Day!! There are SIX VOLUMES of The Big Handbook of Nature Study that you can download for free, plus a bonus mini-unit on spring weather observation! You can sign up to receive ongoing emails about the fantastic freebies they offer.
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Happy Home-schooling! :)