Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer of stories

            As I contemplated our summer plans this year, I thought about all the fun things we have done in the past.  One year, the children and I learned all about the states.  We studied one state per day and did hands-on activities and crafts to go along with our lessons.   The next summer we learned about the presidents, again one per day.  That year, we put together a scrapbook of all the fun facts we learned.  One year, we went on nature adventures with other families from our home school group, learning about the native flora and fauna of our own home town.  Last year, we took a tour of all the local libraries, checking out what each one had to offer, and perusing their book shelves for unique selections.  I could not come up with any fun ideas for this year though. 

I thought about crafts and started collecting ideas on Pinterest but crafting can get expensive, and messy.  And my children are so crafty, I was not sure they would learn anything new.    

            So, then I thought about working on virtues- we could use always use a little practice in kindness, generosity, and selflessness.  The more I thought about how I could encourage those values, the more I thought about stories.  I thought about the short but sweet, and very meaningful, parables Jesus used for teaching.  “That is what we need,” I thought, “not, big, long chapter books like we usually read for literature but short little stories with lots of meaning.”   We can learn so much through books that have bright colorful illustrations and sweet little stories because they so often possess big, inspiring messages hidden deep within their childish appeal.   

            Years and years ago, I knew a woman who had a child just about the same age as my oldest child.  One day, I ran into my old acquaintance and the two of us got to talking.  We discovered both our daughters had grown to love reading.  She told me she had heard, that even after our children are capable of reading chapter books on their own, we should still read them their old picture books upon occasion.   At the time, she still had just one child and I had three, with another on the way.  I remember thinking, “I will probably be reading picture books for the rest of my life.  Of course, I will continue to read them to all my children.”  I was right about the first part, but not so right about the second.  Though I still read picture books regularly, I have not read one with my oldest child for a very long time. 

Anyway......all my scattered thoughts have finally come together.  This summer we will learn about the world and about the importance of the virtues through stories.  Some of the best picture books we’ve ever read we heard about through the old Five in a Row volume 1 curriculum I ordered the very first year I home schooled.  This summer, I have ordered volume 2 so together, my children and I can be introduced to a whole new set of wonderful stories.  Hopefully our summer of stories will inspire us to greatness and infuse our days with fun, meaningful lessons.

Linking this post up to A Slice of Summer at Heart of the Matter


  1. A lovely idea for summer :) We love FIAR here, too! We read stories from FIAR for two summers. We will be reading this summer, too, but chapter books for us this time with some great picture books sprinkled in.

  2. tocipWhat a great post and thanks for sharing it at Heart of the Matter Online.
    Lori Lane



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