Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies!

My son went to his first day of summer camp today! Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies at Belmont University is a fantastic summer camp. Dr. Murphree is funny and engaging and my son couldn't believe it was time to go home when I picked him up. 

Hey, Mom! Did you know that lightning bugs aren't even bugs? They're beetles! Why on earth did someone call them bugs?

Photo from BackyardNature. net 
Hey Mom! Can we plant morning glories? There is this BEAUTIFUL beetle that loves morning glories. It's a golden tortoise beetle. I'd love to see it!

photo from what's that bug. 
When looking for camps earlier this spring, (which was almost too late!) this is what I was searching for:
  •  A drop off program. I can teach my children a lot of things, but I can't teach them how to be away from me. I need to give them practice at being on their own. They need to have confidence that they can do things on their own, and I need to know that they can behave themselves around other adults and in group settings. 
  • Cheap! Not made of money here, and camps can range from free to over the top. This program was surprisingly reasonable!
  • Educational. I do not need an alternative to daycare that will provide safe entertainment for my children while I am busy doing something else. I want their experience to help them grow either intellectually, physically, or spiritually. 
Many universities and small colleges have programs throughout the summer. Many of these programs are offered by the school's professors in their areas of expertise. These programs tend to fill quickly but if you missed the early enrollment and have your heart set on a particular program, call their office a week before to see if they have had any cancellations or last minute openings.  So, what great programs have you found in the past or are looking forward to this summer?


Japan and a daughter who loves it.

My 10yo is my sensitive and emotional child. She is passionate and stubborn, and a lot like I was at her age. She loves to dabble in anything new and exciting. When she sees something she likes, her first response is "I want to DO that!" Her interests are as varying as the weather. Yet over time, there have been a couple of passions that have never waned. She has loved ancient Egypt since she was four, and her love of the violin has only grown over time.
Lately, her passions have branched to another culture, Japan. This is partly because one of her best friends is from Japan. Their friendship was one of those rare, good rivalries where they encouraged each other to do their best. They even handled the boy/girl teasing they often received with grace.  The first time they had her at their house to eat, she came home beaming because her friend's mother teased her son that she had used chopsticks better than he did! When we brought her home from school, this friend was the one we were most concerned with loosing touch. The feeling was mutual and his family asked if we'd be interested in taking kendo lessons with them to make sure the kids saw each other regularly.

We googled kendo and watched a few videos. (This video is of two of her teachers). I wasn't sold on these crazy masked figures running around whacking each other on the head. My daughter wanted to try though.


Homeschool Lite



Summer is here and so many friends and family are asking me if we are through with the school year. The answer is YES! and No. We've completed our number of school days with lots of room to spare. The grades are submitted and technically we are done. The problem is that we still haven't completed everything that we set out to do this year. Call me an overachiever. We could just move on next fall, after all, there is no rush to finish, but then, there is no reason to just laze the summer away either. My solution is homeschool lite! Each day my kids have a couple of lessons to do before the regular summer fun starts. We steadily chip away at the remainder of their books until they are ready to begin their new ones in the fall. I am considering letting them start their new curriculum early when the other books are done. My daughter's idea of F.U.N. is anything new. She looks to those shiny new books with eagerness. My son isn't concerned with the new books; he is all too aware of the work packed between their covers. He does like the idea of getting a head start on next year though.

This summer is already packed with great music performances, summer camps (a first for us), outdoor grilling, and lots and lots of pool time! A couple of lessons a day will hardly be noticed. Oh, sure, there is grumbling some days, a beach bag with towels by the door can be distracting! But, when they realize that the pool isn't even open yet and they can't go until the lesson is done, it is amazing how focused they become on completing their work.