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Rocking Summer Science


We have two weeks left of our first summer break.  Summer Science looms before us in all its glory.  We enjoy breaks, but we all always look forward to getting back into the school groove.  For me, it’s two parts getting a few hours of my Littles’ undivided attention and one part getting to play around with knowledge.  I think it’s probably the same for the Littles.

rocking summer science

I am super stoked about this summer.  It’s going to be a little less undivided attention and a little more independent work, but I think it is going to rock their socks off.  See, I love me a good research paper.  I know, I’m Freaking Weird, but there is nothing more enjoyable to me than delving into the bookshelves (and these days the ol’ interweb) and learning everything I can about a topic.  I never got less than an A on a research paper, not even in college, because I Enjoy Them So Much I put in 200% effort.  Don’t you love to Know?  Everything?  What better way to do that than to research a topic to death?

I think that’s why I enjoy writing all our curricula myself–I get to do research!  Stop throwing things at me.  You know it rocks.

Anyhoo, this summer we are combining research writing with our summer science class.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve come up with a plan I really crush on, and I wanted to share it with you.  So here’s what I did:

Gathering Science Topics

I got out a bunch of our science books and thumbed through them.  Every time a topic caught my eye, I added it to a list.  I don’t want them to just concentrate on one branch of science this summer, so I chose 1 book from every branch I could think of.  It looked something like this–

science books

Don’t you just love books?  Look at all that information, just begging to be known.  I heart this stuff, big time.

So I went through the books and chose random topics that I could list in just a few words.  Then I made a table so I could cut the topics out in strips.

Science Research Paper Topics

This is the first page.  I ended up with 4 pages.  Here’s why.  I’m going to cut all these topics out and put them in a mason jar.  For the first week of school, we are going to learn how to research and research 1 topic together so the Littles get the hang of it.  Then each week for the next 6 weeks, the Littles will each pull 2 strips from the jar on Monday.  They will look at the topics and decide which of the two is most interesting to them.  Then they will spend the week researching the subject and writing a report to turn in on Friday.

O. M. G.  I hope they love it as much as I love the idea.  By the way, click on that pic of the list–it’s a free download for subscribers! That way if you decide you like the idea, you don’t have to thumb through all your science books.  I’ve already done it for you!

And Other Refinements

This is going to be the Best Summer Ever.  Not only are we doing a really cool science class, I have decided (thanks to a yard sale I stopped at over the weekend) to introduce my Littles to my hands-down the best book about the Arthurian legends ever written.  (You know I know–I own over 100 books about King Arthur and Merlin and I have read them all.  This one takes the prize.)  Why because of a yard sale?  They had a copy for practically free, which means I don’t have to break out the well-read copy I’ve had for nearly 30 years and risk anything happening to it.  A hardcover, 1st edition, 1970 copy identical to mine without the wear.  It even had the dust jacket!  Whaaa?

The Crystal Cave and Spelling


If you’ve never read Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave (and the other books in the series), go get a copy now.  It is an historically accurate look at the time period with an absolutely gorgeous retelling of Merlin’s story.  Yeah, this one recounts Merlin’s childhood and all the stuff that leads up to his doings with the famous mythical king.  Did I mention it’s gorgeous?  This book has the stuff.

Also, I got that cool spelling book on the cheap and I think we’ll go through it as part of summer school.  The Littles are both good spellers, but I think it will be a cool look at the Language of English.  You get me?  I heart finding books like that–not run-of-the-mill textbook terribles, but interesting ways to learn a subject with a little fun.  It’s not really for the spelling.  It’s for the Understanding.  Painless Spelling is a guide to spelling rules and patterns of the English language (which we all know has so may rule-breakers in it, it almost counts as not having rules at all.)  It breaks down the rules we can work with, and I think it will be interesting for the Littles to learn.

I love homeschool.  I crush so hard on this stuff it hurts.  I hope my Littles love this summer as much as I will.  Surely a teacher with this much passion on a subject can impart a little love to her students.  Right?

Ha.  Wish me luck, my friends!

Love wins,


KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. I can feel the energy here. Your kids are pretty lucky to have such a motivated and thoughtful mom.
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…What Does Daddy Think?My Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Thanks, Lisa. Coming from one of the most motivated women on the interweb, I’ll take that as a high compliment. 🙂

  2. Your passion is amazing! How can your boys not love learning! Thanks so much for sharing this post and link-up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week! Great to have you!

  3. What a great list of science units. Kids must be excited to know what they are going to explore while picking the paper from the mason jar. Love this terrific idea. It just gives me more inspiration for our summer learning. Thank you for sharing with us in Family Fun Friday.

  4. I love Mary Stewart. I read all of her YA books as teen. I loved the series too. Good luck with your summer plans. Thanks for linking up with the #LMMLinkup. 😉
    Mary Hill recently posted…Literacy Musing Mondays: Summer Reading JoysMy Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      She’s wonderful, isn’t she? Though I think this series was her at her very best, she has a haunting way of writing just about anything.

  5. I’m going to add the Crystal Cave to our reading list. I’ve never read it, but it sounds wonderful!
    Erin @Nourishing My Scholar recently posted…Get Outside & LearnMy Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Read it first, Erin, because it’s not a children’s book and you’re going to want to know if you need to skip parts. 🙂 But it truly is amazing. I’m so excited to read it again we may not wait till school starts next week!

  6. What a great idea to work together! My boys would be less apt to gripe about writing if we did it together. Thanks for the free printable & the idea! Pinned to my writing and science boards!
    Mother of 3 recently posted…The Things that Keep Me Up At NightMy Profile

  7. How fun, my son loves reading science books. Thanks for joining the Family Joy link party this week.
    Samantha recently posted…5 Unique Father’s Day Gifts On AmazonMy Profile

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