Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Carnival of Homeschooling: It's the Journey Edition

Some of my favorite moments spent learning with my kids have been during walks at parks and nature preserves. There is something about walking under the trees and along the trails that brings out the best in us. I think it's the fact that every step is important. Even if you run, you need to run carefully to avoid stumbling. You need to pay attention so you don't walk off the trail and get lost. You need to be present to each moment. You need to appreciate the journey.

Welcome to the Carnival of Homeschooling: 
It's the Journey edition!

Getting Started
You need to make sure you are prepared for your hike. Essentials like proper attire, insect repellent, water, snacks, and a charged phone help you enjoy the journey and anything that comes your way. Just like Fried Clams and Sweet Tea prepared their children to be good readers with 5 Tips for Raising Readers

I used to keep a supply of snacks handy in the car, since I never knew when we might walk and buying food on the run can be more expensive than planning ahead and buying on sale. The Open Window - An Autism Blog knows that this is a good time of year to buy School Supplies.

When you start homeschooling, you also need essentials, and a great place to start is free resources. Every Bed of Roses shares Homeschool 4 FREE Resource Lists (Homeschooling Essentials).

Here are more essentials for your journey. Homemaking Organized offers some free Long Division Math Help Printables

And more. Embark on the Journey offers a FREE Frozen Printable and Activities and Wizard of Oz Read Aloud Activities and FREE Printable.

Do you see a pattern here? I go to parks that don't cost money. Just because I can't afford the extra expense doesn't mean we have to stay away from an activity we love. This Sweet Life of Mine believes that no matter your homeschool budget, homeschooling does not have to be expensive.You don't have to think I Can't Homeschool Because...I Can't Afford It. This Sweet Life of Mine also offers Ten Free Sites I Use in My Homeschool and 50+ Upper Elementary Writing Prompts for your favorite young writer.

And for more on the subject, Raventhreads writes about Keeping Your Homeschool Budget in Check.

When you are ready for anything, you can enjoy the journey no matter what happens along the way. Counting Our Blessings shares How to Homeschool when Life Happens.

Grab a Map

Maps help you plan out your trip. Good planning makes for a smoother journey with less surprises. Online resource lists help you navigate through the sea of websites available. Let's Play Math! offers New Internet Math Reference Pages.
We once got lost on the trails because I didn't stop to take a map on the way in. Luckily, I had my phone. Being able to reach support is important. Every Bed of Roses knows how important a Support Network can be and what to do in an emergency: Day 4 - Homeschooling in a Crisis
Walking the Trail
There are so many paths to take. It seems impossible to choose. I can honestly say that no matter which way we go, we will see something interesting. It is impossible to waste your time if you decide you will benefit from the journey. As He Leads is Joy decides I Am Willing to Waste my Time teaching things that might be considered a waste of time. 

Every path is different. Some are winding, some straight, some challenging and steep. Finding the best route for you is important. Gypsy Road gives and overview of different homeschooling styles in A Homeschool Story -- Stylistic Approaches.

My two oldest have walked in other countries. What if you hiked a trail in another country?  Use your imagination. Or a unit study! Petticoat Government discusses Learning about Lithuania.

Always remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You have to start somewhere. ElCloud Homeschool offers help to beginners in I'm Thinking About Homeschooling. Where Do I Start?

How long should your hike be? You might want to figure that out based on who's taking the journey. Embark on the Journey answers the question How Long is a Typical Homeschool Day?

Watch out for Hazards!
In our favorite preserve, there are fens, poison ivy, brambles, and fallen trees; there are mosquitoes and ticks; there have been sightings of coyotes, bobcats, and rattlesnakes. You need to be aware of your surroundings.Sometimes awareness comes in seeing yourself in your children. MathFour discusses Smurfy Student Traits You See in Yourself.

Our park rangers are awesome. They have taught us everything from how to do a tick check to identifying poison ivy. It helps to get tips from someone with more experience in navigating the hazards. Gypsy Road offers tips & tricks for Getting Started with Road Schooling. Gypsy Road also provides a master list of all the Unit Studies, many travel & geography-based, created for their home school.

Being able to communicate clearly helps improve our safety along the trail. Gypsy Road offers this third part in a series of Speech Therapy Resources for Homeschoolers.

Discoveries along the Way
One of the nice things about hiking together is that you also notice things together, like dragonflies along the boardwalk. In nature class walks, we learned things like mushroom identification together. Fried Clams and Sweet Tea learns algebra together with her kids in Algebra 1/2...Or How I do Middle School Math.

It's always exciting when a child makes a discovery. You can see their eyes light up with wonder! Our Curious Home share their daughter's excitement when making An Arithmetic Breakthrough.

While we're making discoveries, it might be time for a snack! Let's Play Math discusses 

My kids used to pick up rocks whenever we went for a walk. Rocks are great for science activities. They can be identified, sorted, cracked open, and tested for hardness. Years later they can still identify many rocks. Hands-on learning stays with you longer. Some Call it Natural shares her children's learning in an office environment in 5 Days of Office Schooling-Day 5-Life Skills are Important.

When my oldest was 8, she compared a hike to the dwarves crossing the Misty Mountains. Don't you love it when they can relate to something they read? Reading aloud is a great way to ignite that love of reading. The Arrowood Zoo shares Our Read Aloud Favorites.

You can never have enough to read! Here are more book favorites from Solagratiamom's post Summer Tea and Books. Solagratiamom also offers Tea for Tuesdays! and Three Keys to Tutoring Success.

Just as a love of nature can expand into a love of the natural sciences, a love of reading can expand into a love of history using historical fiction. Embark on the Journey offers a list of suggestions for Historical Fiction for Elementary Ages.

Pacing Yourself
If the trail you pick isn't working, It's perfectly OK turn off onto a path that is gentler or more challenging. Journey-and-Destination writes about their experience  with Ambleside Online and how they adjusted it for their children's needs when Coming Late to Ambleside Online - some thoughts on the high school years.

It's also OK to take a break. When everyone is burnt out, you need time to recharge, before things get overwhelming (that's what the snacks are for). Then you take things one step at a time. The Arrowood Zoo wonders about the Homeschool Battle, "Surely I can't be the only one who seems to have these situations and moods come up that hurt my homeschooling soul."

This Sweet Life of Mine is also battle scarred, and shares some advice in Don't Give Up On Homeschooling, Mama.  

Children may also lead us in directions we didn't expect. Why Homeschool's youngest daughter shares A homeschooler trying out a private school.

Sometimes our favorite trail gets flooded and we need to go a different way. Your walk will not always be how you envision it. Being flexible and willing to change your path can help you enjoy the journey. Counting Our Blessings shares Why We Choose Year-Round Homeschooling.

Enjoying the View
If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you miss a lot. When we reach the top of the old quarry we look back to see how far we've come. Fried Clams and Sweet Tea looks back on a very full Day in the Life of Middle School.

Stopping for a moment gives me the chance to reflect on what I accomplishedOur Journey reflects on her first three years of homeschooling and ponders If I Could Tell My Beginning Homeschooler Self Something...

How I see the view will be different from someone else's view. Another reflection on the journey from Faith Hope and Homeschool offers What I Have Learned: Homeschool Edition
Stopping every now and then also allows you to catch your breath. Every Bed of Roses discusses homeschool burnout in this important post: Mother Culture - Time Out (Homeschooling Essentials)

Family, Faith, and Fridays found a different way to take a break, using Sabbath Week Schooling

On a clear day, the view is breathtaking. I like bringing our camera to capture it, but sometimes I forget. On those days, I describe the view for my friends. ElCloud Homeschool describes What does homeschooling look like? Then and now.

I love it when I see my kids enjoy the natural world as much as I do. Nature inspires us all and reflects in our art and crafts. The Arrowood Zoo shares the results of her family's  Beautiful Sunburst Art Project. They also did this Line Art Project - Easy & Fun.

Finishing the Journey

As you reach the last part of your hike, you may feel unsure of yourself. Perhaps you took an unknown trail and don't know when it will reach the end. All you can do is hold tight to your map and phone and trust that the end is almost in sight. Likewise for the home educator, the high school years can seem intimidating and impossible to finish. ElCloud Homeschool offers her experiences with Homeschooling High School: Planning for High School.

You may reach the end of the trail tired, dirty, and sweaty, but you are always energized by the experience. You've come a long way, and you did it! ElCloud Homeschool celebrates ElCloud Graduation 2015: Take Two!

This concludes the Carnival of Homeschooling for July! Thank you to Why Homeschool for continuing it and to all of the bloggers who submitted posts this month. You are all awesome! If you want to join in the fun, consider submitting a post in next month's carnival


Carol said...

Love how you put this all together. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Nice job, Christina. Just reading the post titles was like taking my own journey to our family's past. : )

Michele said...

Such a creeative way to share a wealth of information! Thanks for including me! Blessings fo ryour school year.

Chareen said...

Wow love the way you hosted this months carnival. Thank you for the amazing work you have done :)

Thank you for including me too

Inner Elder said...

Hey, I think you're amazing too! Love the way you carry through the theme. Are the pix from Cranberry Lake? Wish I would have had access to this blog before I took the trail with Chase and didn't bring a map and my phone! It is encouraging that so many homeschoolers still blog and submitted articles. They learned a lot from this month. Love, Mom

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