Tag Archives: lesson plans

Last Week of Summer Break

This week is our last week of summer break. On the 15th, when the schools in our area begin their first day, we’ll start off on our first “official” day too. While I had great intentions on finishing up my lesson plans early in the season, we are now just a week away, and I still have to make those plans. I have almost all of the books we’re going to use — just not the plans to go with them.

But, I reassured myself, that’s okay — I still have this week to pull everything together.But, like many plans, mine is in need of some revisions, as it’s  turning out to be a week busy with activities.

Monday: A few necessary errands in the morning.  In the afternoon, my daughter Cassie will join a homeschool middle school volleyball team for practice, her first team sport since she was  eight years old. After I drop her off, I’ll then take my oldest son John to his first piano lesson — as the teacher! He’ll be working with two young students who haven’t played much before. Maybe I can do some planning in the evening.

Tuesday: Planning in the morning; violin lessons for the girls around noon; community service for John in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Monthly visit to the nursing home in the morning; piano lessons for John and Luke in the afternoon; Lesson planning?

Thursday: Meeting with friends in the morning – afternoon at a state park to swim and picnic; Lesson planning…?

Friday: Last opportunity to use our tickets from the library reading program for a local water park. The park is about an hour away, so we want to make a day of it. Hmmm….lesson planning…

I have to admit, I am not a homeschooling mom who has it all together. As I look at this schedule, I’m really glad to have at least some time on Monday and Tuesday to put our first few weeks of school in writing.

But while homeschooling works well for those who are organized, structured, and totally prepared, it also works well for those of us who aren’t.  Even if I don’t have the whole year planned, I can still mix my teaching style with my children’s learning styles and create an educational atmosphere where they continue to grow. And isn’t that one of the reasons we homeschool in the first place?


Photo by mensatic

Rice Bowls

This week was an exciting one in our extended family as a new addition finally arrived. My niece and her husband brought their new addition home — all the way from Africa!

While I waited nine months for each of my children to “arrive”, my niece had a much longer wait for her new daughter. As we followed the updates online, the new baby was always in our thoughts. And at the homeschooling convention we attended this spring, I came across a program that helped us do a little more.

The program is Rice Bowls, and it’s so easy. All you have to do is receive a “rice bowl”, a hollow plastic bowl of “rice” with a slit in the top. Then, as you come across extra change, drop it in the bowl. Once the bowl is filled, break it, count the change, and send a check or make a donation online to RiceBowls.org for that amount (one bowl holds about $30 in change). The money you send goes directly to the food budgets of the orphanages partnering with the program, which are located in Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, India, the Philippines, India, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, my new niece’s homeland.

And it really is so easy. The plastic bowls are free — all you have to do is contact the organization and tell them how many you need. You could order just one for your family, or you could order 10, 20, 50, or more so your church or co-op could participate. They also provide downloadable posters and promotional tools online.

And for the homeschooling family, the website offers lessons for elementary and middle school students. Under the tab marked “Resources”, you’ll find lessons in language arts, math, and history.

RiceBowls.org feeds around 1500 orphans, and they’ve created a way of helping them that anyone can do. Even small children can put change in the bowl, and older children have fun breaking it when it’s filled. And in the process, your family will be learning lessons in giving and compassion that will last a lifetime.


timeliner pics 003If you are looking for ideas for new lesson plans, take a moment to visit Viatouch.com. This education resource site has a great deal to offer both traditional classroom teachers and homeschooling parents alike.

Once you’re on the homepage, find the “Learning and Leisure” section. You’ll follow the link to a page with a number of categories listed on the left — these pages provide further links to other websites regarding these particular topics. If you’re searching the Internet for information about any of these subjects, this is a good place to start.

My favorite part of the site, however, is found when you click on “Teacher Resources.”  We use an eclectic mix of curricula (books from several different publishers), so I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. Under “Teacher-Created Resources,” you’ll find lesson plans for students from elementary through high school in a variety of subjects. The “Teacher Articles” section includes nonfiction articles for elementary students in science and history, as well as more lesson plans and teaching techniques for other subjects such as writing and math.

The site also includes a link called “Story Station” which features original fiction stories for children and young adults. These are also free to access.

And there’s still a lot of room for this site to grow. Every time I check back, new content has been added. And if you have resources you’d like to share, this site may be for you as well. Put your ideas in writing and submit your lesson plans, tips, charts, and articles for publication on the site. Viatouch offers payment for each teacher resource that they publish. Just follow the link for “Teacher Resources submission guidelines.”

The information Viatouch offers is free, so check it out. You might find something you’ll be able to use in your next lesson.