For many homeschool families, the end of the academic year is approaching. In the spirit of remembering and reflection, here are some great end of the year writing prompts for children. This would be a good exercise for your last day or last week of school.
These prompts ask your students to reflect on what they learned about the habits of great leaders, writers, thinkers, and citizens—the heart of our mission here at Silverdale Press. Save their written responses for posterity or include them in your student’s portfolio.
Have fun, and keep writing!
Every week in our newsletter, we feature a family-friendly current event to help your kids cultivate the habits of great citizens. We call this Hot Chocolate and Current Events because we believe that chocolate—in any form—can help facilitate enthusiasm for learning!
This week, we’re headed to Europe to discuss the European Union’s highest court and bees. What do the two have to do with each other?
Neonicotinoids are chemicals used in agriculture. In an attempt to protect crops, these chemicals also kill insects. The European Union is a political and economic organization of 28 member states.
First, read this report from the BBC.
Second, find Luxembourg on a map (it’s where the ECJ is headquartered).
Next, answer the following discussion questions.
Are you a year-round homeschooler? Or do you take the summer months “off” of homeschool? In either case, summer can be a great time for unit studies!
Summer unit studies have many benefits:
Need some ideas for topics? Here are three that would be perfect for summer:
Science is just one of those subjects that seems to slide during the school year. With all the math worksheets and sentence diagramming, science often gets put on the back burner. And while you may have set great nature study goals, maybe the cold temperatures kept you inside.
In summer, if bedtimes are relaxed, why not do a unit on the night sky? Do you have a flower or vegetable garden? Plants make great unit studies. When the weather is warm, unit study topics abound in nature, so sprinkle in some learning with your outdoor time.
Are you headed anywhere this summer? Your travel destination would make a great unit study.
Are you going to visit a new state? Complete a unit study on that state: its history, geography, music, food, and literature. Are you going to visit a new country? Before you go, study everything from its culture to its currency. Are you going to a national park? National parks make great unit studies that can easily incorporate science and nature.
Holidays and American Revolutionary Figures
Summer is a great time to do unit studies on holidays and the American founding. America’s biggest patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July, falls right in the middle of summer. Memorial Day kicks off the summer, and Labor Day marks its end.
So, why not do a study on one of the summer holidays? Study the history of the holiday—its origins and how our cultural celebrations have changed over time. To get ready for the Fourth of July, do a study on a revolutionary figure, such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, or Betsy Ross.
Summer should be a time for rest and rejuvenation for homeschool parents and students alike. The secret about unit studies is that they often don’t feel like work. If you are following your children’s interests, they will be delight-filled for everyone in your family.
Want your kids to know what’s in the news, but don’t know where to start? We are here to help! Our Hot Chocolate and Current Events section of our weekly newsletter is designed to help you discuss important issues of the day with your kids. The articles we choose are family-friendly. Your kids’ knowledge will expand in all areas—from vocabulary to economics to geography.
At Silverdale Press, we love elections (our flagship product was our Presidential Election Unit Study). But this week, we’re learning about a really remarkable election that elevated to office the world’s oldest elected leader. Want to learn more? Keep reading!
First, read this article from BBC News with your kids. You can also watch the related video.
Next, locate Malaysia on a map. See its country profile.
Use the following questions to discuss the article:
Around this time each year, Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss shoots to the top of best seller lists. Books do indeed make great graduation gifts. However, as William Strunk advised in his classic Elements of Style, “Avoid cliches like the plague." In writing as in gift buying, it’s a good idea to give something that your grad will love but might not expect.
In the spirit of our mission—to teach the ways of great leaders, writers, thinkers, and citizens—we recommend these great works of non-fiction for the grad on your gift list. These books are sure to guide, encourage, inspire, and instruct—because learning is for life, not just for school. Plus, there’s a little something for everyone, from your budding writer to your future lawyer to your aspiring business leader.
1) The American Spirit by David McCullough
2) Truman by David McCullough
3) Scalia Dissents by Kevin A. Ring
4) The Pleasures of Reading in the Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
5) The Last Lion by William Manchester
6) Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
7) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
8) 7 Men by Eric Metaxas
9) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
10) Ida Tarbell by Kathleen Brady
11) Good to Great by Jim Collins
12) 7 Women by Eric Metaxas
13) 8 Women of Faith by Michael A.G. Harkin
14) Home Economics by Wendell Berry
15) His Excellency by Joseph Ellis
16) Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
17) First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph Ellis
18) The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
19) Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
20) L’Abri by Edith Schaeffer
21) Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
22) Rachel Carson: The Writer at Work by Paul Brooks
23) Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
24) Rising to the Challenge by Carly Fiorina
25) The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharpe
26) You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life by Eleanor Roosevelt
27) Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
28) Poetic Diction by Owen Barfield
29) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
30) Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Clayborne Carson
31) Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas
These books are certainly worthy of a spot on your grad's reading stack. Also, we feature many of these authors and subjects in our new homeschool writing curriculum for high school students. Even if you don’t have a graduation gift to buy, these books make great summer reading for homeschool families--parents and students alike!
Hot Chocolate and Current Events is our weekly effort to help homeschool families think intelligently about what’s going on in the world.
On the international scene, Korea has been in the news lately. An armistice ended hostilities on the Korean peninsula in 1953. But there was never a peace treaty. Technically, the war continues, though progress is being made toward peace. While the countries are still not unified, their table tennis teams now are.
Read this article from the BBC News. Kick back with a cup of hot chocolate (or even with a bowl of cold cereal around your breakfast table), and talk about Korea.
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