|Our faux fire was a sweet little nightlight!|
This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate summer challenge!
Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there’s a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.
Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.
Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don’t have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.
You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here’s what you can do:
1. Go to to Whitsend.org/summer.
2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you’ll earn!
3. Ask your family and friends to sponsor your efforts.
4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016.
For participating and submitting your information, you will get a free Adventures in Odyssey episode from Album 51. You will also get 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Faith – eBook and the audio book of Imagination Station #1, “Voyage with the Vikings.” Make the most of your summer—exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!
Don’t Be Bored This Summer!
Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with over 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.
Summer . . . a time that kids pine for during the school year and parents may anticipate with something akin to dread. Fearing refrains of “I’m bored” or hours spent on the couch playing video games can make moms and dads nervous about the long, hot months stretching before their family. Focus on the Family’s Odyssey Adventure Club offers an answer, encouraging parents and kids to embrace faith and fun with the Take the Plunge Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine’s Summer Challenge.
Take the Plunge
The Take the Plunge challenge features:
- Master Mind Monday — commit God’s Word to memory
- Ways to Play Wednesday — spend active time with your family
- Faith Sharing Friday — share God’s love with others
The Take the Plunge challenge helps families memorize at least five verses, engage in five activities together and share their faith with five people before the school doors swing open again. Those who sign up will receive an 11-week plan with suggested verses to memorize, activity ideas (such as visiting a war memorial) and ways to witness (such as passing out popsicles at the park with an invitation to your church), making this challenge the perfect tool for parents who want summer to be a time of spiritual and social stimulation for their kids.
“Research tells us that the more senses we involve when teaching children a principle, the more likely it is to stick,” Plugged In editor and Adventures in Odyssey podcast host Bob Smithouser says. “Bible memorization by itself is great, but it becomes even more powerful when put into action. Know it. Share it. Live it.”
Families who sign up to take part in the challenge at www.whitsend.org/summer will have access to weekly verses to memorize, ideas for family fun and suggestions for service projects that allow a family to share their faith. Additionally, anyone who signs up to participate in the Take the Plunge challenge will receive a free scene from the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, as well as a free story from the book Strange Journey Back.
A Bonus Contest
From June 1–5, tell us in 30 words or less how you are going to take the plunge to deepen your faith this summer for a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the theatrical release of Beyond The Mask June 5th weekend and free access to the Odyssey Adventure Club all summer long (June, July, August—total $85 prize value)!
Entries will be chosen based on creativity and writing skill. Rules are available at whitsend.org.
Summer is so wonderful and free of restrictions…and sometimes summer drives me absolutely loopy! I do well with structure and so do my girls, but we all like the freedom of summer. As we move forward through our third year of summer vacation while homeschooling I’m trying to figure this entire thing out and here is what I’ve come up with:
I may or may not get around to documenting our summer field trips. We’ve had so many already! Here is a little peek into some of the fun we’ve had in just a few short weeks…
Summer has officially begun in our home! No more part-time work for a couple of months for me and a more relaxed school schedule for the girls. Instead of completely spacing out my insatiably curious girls have summer lessons which deviate from our typical curriculum. For now Heart of Dakota sits on the shelf with next year’s books waiting in the wings for use.
So far we’ve been learning Latin, Sign Language, art, multiplication (Please can I learn multiplication, Mommy? Please, please, please?) and literature. When they are bored I hear, “Can we do some lessons?” When we’re outside it’s mostly, “Ooooh! Look at this cool bug! Let’s go look it up in the encyclopedia!” When I give them each 6 strawberries for snack I hear, “That means 3 x 6 is 18!” from the seven-year-old quickly contradicted by the five-year-old with, “No, no, it’s 6 + 6 + 6 is 18!”
No, I don’t have abnormal children. Children are very smart and curious by nature. All we have done is encourage their natural curiosity. I will admit to you that sometimes the continuous, “Mommy, why does…” can get to be a little much, but then I see children younger than 10 shopping with their mothers with a hand-held game or ear-buds hooked to an mp3 player and I think, It’s worth it. My kids love their time with the computer, kindle, tv, wii, and anything else electronic, but they are limited in the time they have with those things. As a result their whys and what fors dominate our conversation. Conversation…my girls converse with us and we with them.
No, I’m not trying to push them harder than I should. My girls beg, literally beg, to do school when we have too much time off. I love to learn and my husband likes doing math problems for fun. While that probably makes us a family of nerds, they come by it naturally. I’m not forcing them to go faster than they are able, but I am allowing them to move forward at their own pace. I’m okay if they are ahead of where they should be if they were in traditional school. What a blessing I don’t have to hold them back! What a blessing they can work on something longer if they need to!
No, it’s not just because we homeschool. I think homeschooling helps because our home is now a learning environment. I think the biggest difference is my mindset. I’m always looking for ways to engage the girls in learning even if it isn’t “school time”.
No, I’m not super-organized Mom-of-the-year. I have been making some intentional changes about how I manage our household since the summer began. This is has definitely changed some things for the better in our home, but I wouldn’t dare claim that I have it all together. I’m working towards that, but I’m not there yet.
No, it’s not because we’re weird. Okay…maybe we are a little weird. Here are some definitions of weird from Merriam-Webster…
1. of, relating to, or caused by the supernatural
2. of extraordinary character
So yes, I guess we are weird. If you recognize the supernatural power of God then we fit the first definition and I certainly don’t mind my children being labeled as having extraordinary character! We live outside the societal norm. My kids are a blessing, not a burden. My husband is the leader of our home. I am his suitable helpmeet, I submit to him…and I don’t secretly resent him or God for it. We make decisions based on our understanding of Scripture. We have a DVD player which filters out inappropriate content and we use it for ourselves more than the kids.
I’ve mentioned before that we school year-round. I strongly urge homeschoolers to consider this option if they aren’t already doing so. The benefits are endless and I have not yet seen a downside. I do have the blessing of kids who love to learn so school-work is not a chore. We complete our Heart of Dakota Curriculum during the traditional school-year calendar, but the learning doesn’t stop when the guides take their place in storage.
I’m not going to go into detail about everything, but here are a few benefits you may want to consider.
1. Less pressure
2. Consistent scheduliing
3. More freedom during the school-year
4. Opportunity to explore own interestes
5. Time to Cover missed sections of curriculum
6. Ability to work on difficult areas
I’m sure there are more, but because I have made sure we have weekly learning happening from the time the girls were very young, this is just part of their life and they expect it.
Our summer plans are much less structured. I do continue daily math and language arts since I want those skills to stay with them during the summer break. For our summer studies here is what the girls will be doing:
All About Spelling
Prima Latin – she’s so excited to learn Latin!
Multiplication with Math Mammoth
Starting 3rd grade Math from
We’ll be continuing with 1 lesson a week, but not always do this every week and also be continuing with 2-3 dictation passages a week. Rose is so excited to learn Latin and move on to multiplication! We may do some in her 3rd grade math book simply because she wants to start. We’re currently reading about Helen Keller for a product review and she’s thrilled with it.
All About Spelling
Time with Math Mamoth
Continuing with 1st grade math, speed drills
Beth loves math so that won’t be a problem with her. She also loves to read, but typically still defers to picture books. I’m hoping to engage her with higher level reading.
Heart of Dakota: Little Hands to Heaven
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Grace is the only one of my girls continuing with our Heart of Dakota Curriculum. I’m planning to finish up this curriculum with her over the summer, but also go through it again starting in the fall. I also will be starting to teach her to read. She’s so eager to begin!
I’m so blessed that my girls want to keep learning. They crave knowledge and I want to give it to them! There will be wonderful and natural opportunities to learn just like the other day when we found this leaf bug in our backyard and there will be many field trips. Of course there will be lots of swimming, bike riding, and general outdoor living. We’ll also be reviewing a lot of other great products over the summer so keep a lookout!