Throwback Tuesday: Mento/Soda Geysers and Summer Fun

 This throwback Tuesday post is from a summer day in June of 2014 (which means my boys would have been 6, 8, & 10)-- some summers I was much more intentional about actual teaching and lesson plans and some summers I was content to just let our days unfold naturally and see where the learning was taking place.  This was one of those summers where I did not lesson plan. 

It's not always easy fitting our schoolwork in around all our summer fun but we certainly don't mind having lots of summer fun!

We spent the day playing in the lake and the pool with friends.  They worked a lot on their social skills today.  With 7 kids it's not always easy for everyone to get along and since they tend to make up games as they go along all 7 kids had to work together to decide what was fair.  They had to change and modify rules as they saw fit and soon realized that changing rules would only work if everyone agreed.

They made up a game Jackpot Ball where they had to add up the scores from the balls they caught and subtract when the throwing demanded it.  They had a very complicated system where sometimes they shouted out thousands, sometimes hundreds, and sometimes ones so the thrower really had to work hard to keep everyone's scores straight.

They played tag, played shark, jumped and ran.  There were a few tears here and there and, of course, we had our share of arguments too, but mostly I think everyone had lots of fun.

A spinning jump into the pool

landing on the tube

He's so impressed with himself that he doesn't fall off!

Trying to surf

all smiles!
They're all reading up a storm.

We're listening to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson every chance we get and we're just about done both books.  Alec constantly had his face buried in a book!  Ian has been reading all the truck books I got from the library for him and is slowly working his way through the Genius Files book with me each night.

Sometimes we read at breakfast, last night we read at dinner, we're reading most nights before bed too.

Alec would not to outside and play or swim until he
finished The Secret Zoo

We worked on math when Ian made banana bread today and we talked about how to measure 1/8 tsp. using a 1/4 tsp.  Alec, Ian and I talked about ordering fractions and adding fractions.  The role of the denominator and why bigger numbers mean smaller pieces.

We also talked a lot about money, budgeting, and our spending this week as the boys are asking to buy toys, new video games, and different treats at the grocery store.  I'm teaching them to shop around for prices, compare store brands to name brands, and just in general think about what they're spending their money on.

Science has mostly been nature studies as we're outside all day every day.  We observe the birds, fish, and bugs around us.  Ian had me look up facts about dragonflies the other day as the boys were arguing about why they sometimes fly around while linked together.  We learned a lot about dragonflies that I never knew (did you know they breathe through their bums?)!

Ian had put diet soda and Mentos on our grocery list for today since he wanted to set off a soda volcano at least one more time this summer. 

We talked about why only diet soda works and not regular soda.  I reminded him he's got to move fast and all three boys worked together to set it off before dinner! We've also talked about personal hygiene and taking care of our bodies quite a bit lately.  As our schedules change for the summer the boys are more apt to forget about showers and baths since they're swimming so much.  We've also talked a lot about the use of sunscreen and the importance of it.  My boys all got their first sunburn this summer (Alec's was enough to make his shoulders start peeling) and so they're getting better about remembering to use and reapply sunscreen.  Alec continues his obsession with animals and is reading several non- fiction stories and magazines about animals; of which he just can't help sharing with us all. 

There it goes!

Ian and Alec have been learning a lot of geography through their reading of the Genius files; which follows a brother and sister duo through their cross country travels from California to Washington DC and back again.  The twins stop along the way to see the sights in most every state and there's a lot of talk about route numbers, maps and the changing landscapes of time.

We're all also listening to Percy Jackson and Annabeth make their way across the United States from New York to California.  We heard about the St. Louis Arch, the Mississippi River, Las Vegas, etc.  Typically we then look up pictures of the places mentioned so they can better understand what we're listening to.

All in all I realized that we're doing a really good job of balancing our schoolwork and our summer fun.  


We can keep hanging out and having fun like we've been doing! 

Linking up with:


  1. Those were the days, right? I always look back on our time spent homeschooling with such great memories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Such great pictures of your boys having fun! I enjoyed reading about how you incorporated so much learning through the mundane, everyday things like baking. Great job!

    1. Thank you! It took me years to see and value all those little mini everyday lessons.

  3. Gosh those were the days...even your pictures are giving me a pain in my heart Joanne- it goes by so quickly- love that you capture it all- I do the same :)

  4. It sounds like you did a good job fitting learning in with all of the fun. That Jackpot Ball games sounds very complicated. Good on them for keeping score. It's amazing how much children can learn from everyday things like baking, shopping and playing.

  5. That's such a great point about the social aspect and having a group of kids get along. I grew up as an only child, so I missed a lot of conflict/resolution.

    1. Thank you! I think the #1 question most homeschooling moms are asked is "what about socialization?" and honestly we tend to have MORE opportunities to socialize since we have so much more free time that is not taken up by traditional schooling.

  6. I am loving these throwback posts, Joanne! It's amazing how much you can teach in one day, isn't it?

  7. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post at August Ideas on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. My shares this time are #52 through 56. Wishing you and your family a marvelous day. Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health.

  8. I think my 3 younger boys favorite things in the summer is reading and the pool. For my oldest this summer was theater camp and getting to hang out with his friends.

    1. I'm not sure what my boys would say was their favorite this summer but we have had lots of fun times with family.


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