Throwback Tuesday: A Typical Day Of Summer Homeschooling

I didn't have much of anything on my blogging calendar for Tuesdays this month so I thought I'd include a little throwback post each week.  I'm trying to make sure that each post is from a different year but near or around the same week.  

This post was from July 26, 2012 and my boys were ages 4, 6, & 8 (*I had their ages wrong when I first published this throwback post).

I try let the boys lead us in homeschooling whenever possible.  We may not cover every single subject every single day but most days we can cover quite a few of them!

I don't force my kids to participate in any activity and mostly I try to suggest activities that I think they'll really enjoy.  Often I try to make sure our lessons are helping to answer questions they have asked or are about topics they are interested in.

Here is how a typical day of unschooling unfolds for us.

This morning we painted sunflowers in honor of our trip to the farm for art

The kids painted their hands yellow and stamped them in a circle to make the flower (or in Alec's case field of flowers).  They then used a paint brush and green paint to paint the stem.  Alec noticed the stems were curved and painted his stems that way.  Ian noticed there was small green leaves on the back of the flower and that you could sometimes see them peeking around the petals so he added some of those to his picture.

 I love how all the art work turns our differently even when they have the same instructions to follow.

We'll add petals and the center of the sunflowers tomorrow once our paint has dried.

While we were sitting around the kitchen table talking about sunflowers I had the kids dissect the huge sunflowers I had bought for science.  They were starting to die and I thought this would be a great way for the kids to see all the parts of the plants up close.

They pulled off the petals, cut open the stems, and saw all the pollen ("That the bees collect and make honey!" shouts Alec).  They discovered the stems are too hard to break open by hand and that they're a bit prickly.

We talked about how the stems have to be hard since it's such a huge flower and they grow so tall.  The boys figure the stems are prickly to discourage animals from eating it.

We read two books; one called Stems and one called Flowers to learn all the parts of the plant and what they did.  I first asked them what they thought and between the three boys they did know most of the functions of the plant then we read the simple stories to reinforce that knowledge. 

They weren't sure what pollen was,  Ian thought the pollen was a seed and Alec knew the bees used it to make honey but they weren't sure how it helped the plant.  So we read and learned that pollen is what helps the plant make new seeds to grow new plants.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to find any sunflower seeds inside our sunflowers. 

I remembered the boys asking me yesterday about a documentary on the sinking of the titanic that we started watching and never finished.  Ian picked out a Titanic book yesterday at Barnes and Noble and he's been somewhat obsessed with the Titanic for several months so I had taped this documentary for him quite a while ago.  He thought it had gotten deleted but I managed to find it and they watched another hour of the documentary for history today.

The boys have really started noticing license plates and asking me more about the states; how do you know a state versus a city or town? How far away is our state from whatever state they happen to see a license plate from.

So I pulled out a puzzle we have of the united states and dumped it out on the floor.  No joke, my boys actually squealed and dove for the puzzle and managed to put the whole thing together, cooperatively, with little fighting in just under 10 minutes.  I was amazed!

Plus I was thinking what a fun, great, geography lesson. 

The puzzle talks and says both the state name and the capital city of each.

 After lunch we headed bowling.  We'd never been to this particular bowling alley but we had some free bowling coupons from

We had a great time.

We'd never played with the large balls and pins before and the kids had a blast.  It was a super fun physical education lesson and we worked on good sportsmanship too. 

On our drive today we saw license plates from Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, and many many more.  The boys were very excited to cross so many off of their lists and even started looking them up on the maps that they keep in their car bags. 

Ian noticed one tractor trailer truck had a cab from New York and a trailer from Oklahoma and looked up the states to see how far the driver had to go.  He was impressed! 

Then he started wondering what do they make in Oklahoma that they'd be shipping to other states in a huge trailer.  I'm thinking we'll need to pull out our 50 states book and start learning some facts.  It was a great mini geography lesson!

While I was cooking supper Alec and Evan decided to dump the puzzle back out and re-make it.  Again they put it all together in no time.  At this rate they are going to know where all 50 states are in no time!

Linking up with:


  1. This was the SWEETEST to read :) Love the throwbacks!

  2. Fun to read! It's great that you documented it so much at the time to preserve the memories. Were you blogging every week day then?

    1. I think I actually blogged 7 days a week when the boys were little.

  3. I am so impressed that you home schooled your children! And the lessons you shared are so creative and fun, you really have a gift for making learning fun! Going bowling was brilliant, much better than PE! This post really made my day~

  4. These are beautiful memories to cherish for a very long time. I started the journey with homeschooling when my girls first started school. They are now ages 12 and 8 and they do online school. Now I am considered the learning coach. They seem to enjoy it. We enjoy taking trips to the museum, nature walks, library trips, and more. I love that you documented this time with your children.

    1. Aw, thank you! I love our weekly trips whether they were to museums or the library or a hike. I have just one left at home that I'm still teaching/ facilitating learning for.

  5. Such sweet memories! If I were "redoing" things, I would have homeschooled the kids.

  6. Awwww I love this so much! It gives me very found memories of my little bits and homeschooling! Homeschool has been the greatest blessing of my life! I'm so thankful for it! And so excited to start again! It's August, YAY!

    1. That's how we feel about it too. I really wasn't sure when we first started but looking back I have zero regrets!

  7. Oh my goodness, I could read your homeschooling posts all day long and never get sick of them! You make me think I could do it too-- and would love it! Look at how young your boys were!!

    Lauren @ Don't Mind Our Mess

    1. Aw, thank you! It's not nearly as hard as I thought it would be (it was more hard keeping the fears at bay!).

  8. This sounds like a great way to learn. I noticed it was from 2012. Do your boys still have a love of learning?

    1. For the most part; even when I can't see their love of learning I definitely notice that all 3 of my boys are much more direct about what they want and sure of themselves.

  9. I always think the Mums who homeschool are very courageous.
    Blessings, Jennifer

  10. This is just wonderful! It sounds like the best way to teach. My son starting asking about geography of the US around 5 years old. I also got him a puzzle of the US to put together. Melissa and Doug had a large piece US map puzzle that worked out great for him, and I feel like it really helped give a visual and understanding that a map just wasn't putting together. Thank you for linking up with Tell It To Me Tuesday, I hope to see you again this week!


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