Thinking OUTSIDE the School Desk

There is just something about 6 year old little boys, or at least my 6 year old little boys…  They have a high desire to practice their spelling and improve their reading skills, but very little desire to pick up that little pencil.  The desire is especially potent right now because my middle son wants to join his big brother in playing Ticket to Ride.  But his reading skills need to improve a bit more before he can play completely on his own without help…

So penmanship practice took place largely outdoors this summer – even in our intense summer heat.  ICE kept us cool for about 15 minutes before we meandered back indoors, leaving our words to quickly fade away.  Even the 8 year old begged to do his spelling words outside too afterwards!  The four year old lasted a couple of minutes before abandoning ice in favor of his stick horse and some far-off battle.  And of course Greta is pleased to be wherever we are and happily played next to us…

The beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t have to be tethered to a desk.  We can go outside, write with ice-cubes, spray messages with squirt bottles and take advantage of any and every location imaginable!

Have you taken your learning adventures into any new venues lately?


  1. Thanks for the reminder to do this!

  2. What a great way to allow the kids to have some fun while learning! As a former teacher, I think it’s so important to let the kids enjoy learning…I’m looking forward to homeschooling my little one as he grows up! 🙂

  3. That’s a great idea! I’m going to try it today. Our 6yo has a ridiculous amount of resistance to writing, and I have been tearing my hair out over trying to work with that.

    Sometime I would love to hear your curriculum choices!

  4. Love the ice cube idea! I’ve used paint brushes and water but never ice! Looks fun! A must try! Thank you for sharing.

  5. How fun Heather! Ice cubes would not work here…but, I can see how successful they were there!! What a wonderful homeschool Mom you are! 🙂

    Have a terrific day!


  6. Ticia, that is one of the wonderful things about the blog world. Reminders to do the things we want to do and inspiration to try new things!

    Diana J., I hear you. I’ll put that on my list of things to post about! I appreciate feedback and ideas of things YOU ALL are interested in hearing about…

    Gina, cultivating that love of learning is so important isn’t it?!?!?!? Balancing that with developing discipline to do developmentally appropriate, but challenging ‘work’ is a challenge sometimes. That’s why I’m so thankful I can blend ‘need to do’ stuff with a fun twist!

    Ashley, I haven’t used paintbrushes in a while and not for penmanship practice. I might try that. I’m pretty particular in the mechanics of letter formation, so I’ll have to see if the paintbrushes will would be helpful tool…

    Camille, I can imagine the dilemma up north for you guys! 🙂 Could you send some of your cooler weather down to us?!?!?

  7. Just a note that we tried this today (ice cube writing) and it worked well! – I wish we’d been doing it all summer! Not that much actual writing got done, but at least it wasn’t the equivalent of torture (which is what our usual writing assignments are). You definitely seem to have gotten the hang of working with boys – it still eludes me, I’m afraid. With our 6yo I am trying to keep it simple and just do phonics, Bible, handwriting, and math, but even that takes massive amounts of arm-twisting. It is a constant struggle to tell the difference between discipline issues and readiness issues! Anyhow, after a much-too-long comment – thanks for the blog! I get lots of great ideas from it! Hopefully some day we can meet in person. 🙂

  8. Sounds like you are on the right path, Diana. Keeping it VERY simple, especially for those active little boys is key at this age!

    I’ve struggled with the discipline/readiness issues and have found that if it is a discipline issue that there will problems in other areas as well. If they are resisting mostly in the area of formal ‘schooling’ than it is usually developmental. Makes me so thankful for homeschooling when we have the flexibility to make these judgement calls instead of having to keep an entire class at the same point and risk those active little boys falling {often permenantly} behind.

    I would love to ‘meet’ someday! 🙂


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