July’s Making the Days Count Fun Activity Calendar

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Here we are in the hot and hazy days of July.  These days seem beg for “slow and relaxed,” but you can still add in a few fun activities here and there!

Learn about the circus, have a teddy bear picnic, study the Olympics, explore rabbits & Beatrix Potter, and eat lots of ice cream (strawberry sundaes, vanilla ice cream, AND hot fudge sundaes — yum!).

So, pick some fun activities and make your days count!  Don’t forget to continue with your summer bucket list!  (And if you haven’t started, it’s not too late . . . create a personalized one for your family today!)

Uncle Sam and Old Glory

I love American history! We live in such an amazing country and our history is made up of so many fascinating stories that we’ve all heard so many times—so many times, it seems, that the specifics begin to blur a bit and when our kids ask for details about something, we’re not completely sure anymore! Or perhaps you have the opposite problem: You know so much about our history that when your kids ask a question, you go overboard with your explanation and bore them out of their minds. Whichever problem you have, Uncle Sam and Old Glory:  Symbols of America is a great resource to solve it!

So what is a symbol? As adults, we know exactly what symbols are, but it may be a new concept for young children. In the introduction, the authors talk about how “symbols give us a sense of community and show other countries some of the things that are important about America: freedom, democracy, and a spirit of optimism.” Even young children will be familiar with some of the symbols discussed, and they may even be able to find them in your home!

Delno and Jean West have compiled information on fifteen different American symbols, ranging from the American flag to Smokey the Bear. They reveal the origins of the symbols and what they mean, and in some cases, they talk about how the symbol is viewed or treated today. In the section about the American flag, for instance, they talk about how some people burn the flag as a protest and how that has led to disagreements among Americans.

Each symbol is covered in about a page of text and has an accompanying picture. The publisher lists the book as being geared to seven to ten year olds, but these would be great as short read alouds for younger children, too. Because there are so many short sections, you could use this as a resource to pull out when you’re learning about different topics—the Mayflower and pilgrims at Thanksgiving, or the buffalo and cowboy when you’re learning about westward expansion. Whether you sit down and read it all at once or break it up into smaller pieces, the topics are interesting enough and short enough to keep any child’s attention.

The pictures in Uncle Sam and Old Glory are beautiful! At the risk of sounding like a complete book nerd, I will tell you that I think woodcuts are one of my favorite kinds of illustrations—second only to collage. Christopher Manson’s pictures have an old-fashioned feel to them that matches the topic well, but they also have bright, clear colors that are very pleasing and child-friendly.

Uncle Sam and Old Glory would be a great companion to Homeschool Share’s Independence Day unit, too. July 4th is just around the corner, so put this one on your library hold list today!

Creepy Crawlies: Fun with Insects!

{image found on Eric Carle’s blog}

“In a recent study, biologists were asked what influenced them as children to become scientists. Overwhelmingly, the most common answer was “making an insect collection.”’ (quote taken from this site.)

Isn’t that awesome? Something so simple could inspire your child for life!

And summer is the perfect time to study, inspect and collect these creepy crawy creatures that God gave us!

My absolute favorite books to use while studying bugs are Eric Carle books!! They are just so fun, creative and inspirational…be sure to save some time to create your own Eric Carle art!! Collage art is so fun and each piece always turns out so unique!!

Homeschool Share has an Insect Unit based on Eric Carle’s books! Loads of fun!

And check out Eric Carle’s blog where I found the awesome summer fruit collage art above!!

More fun insect units, ideas & links:

Don’t forget to check out our insect pinterest board with TONS of awesome insect ideas!!


Summer Olympics 2012

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Something’s coming in July; it’s the 2012 Summer Olympics!

You can easily sneak in a few extra school days by viewing the exciting athletic events and using the free printables from Homeschool Share!

There are a variety of mini books for your lapbook as well as a few notebooking pages for older students.

Since the Olympics are being held in London this year, it would also be the perfect time to use the England Country Study and Lapbook.

If you’re looking for more hands-on Olympic Game fun, be sure to check out the Homeschool Share blog team’s Olympics Pinterest Board!

June Grand Giveaway


This month, we here at Homeschool Share are extra excited about this month’s Grand Giveaway.

Our own Ami Brainerd has published a beautiful copywork book for boys, Copywork Lessons for Future Heroes. This brand new book is filled with  passages to copy including scriptures (NIV); quotes about perseverance, honesty, hard work, and courage; inspiring poems; and fables full of wisdom. The purpose is to give your boys, grade 3 and up, true, noble, and excellent things to think about.

Ami is generously giving 3 copies of this downloadable book for the June giveaway!


To enter to win this fabulous giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. I hope you win!

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