“Memory is the scribe of the soul.”
Are you making some family memories this summer?
Around our home this week we have been sharing some of our favorite memories from summer and homeschooling. With the long evenings that seem to be made for lingering conversations, summer is a great time to recall adventures from the past. What I find funny is that usually my biggest homeschooling failures made for the best learning, and of course, the best stories.
There was the time that we built a soda bottle rocket that lost control and sent all the neighborhood kids running. Then there was the year when my son figured out that all the afternoon videos of history documentaries, space landings and science video lessons were really my secret way of getting an afternoon nap. But the thing I find most remarkable is that my son still raves over his greatest field trip ever—visiting the local trash dump.
With the school year right around the corner, I have begun mapping out our school plans with hopeful anticipation. But with all of our recent conversations about memories, it reminded me of the importance of not just planning out your curriculum, but including ways to make the year memorable, too.
Right now you are probably thinking, “Who has time for that?” and I agree. Usually in the hectic pace that the school year brings, I’m too overwhelmed, exhausted, and maxed out to consider how to make things memorable. During the summer, I dream of exotic class parties, themed fellowship events, and amazing field trips. Come September, those all feel like a distant memory.
But I have discovered that homeschooling parents are some of the most innovative, clever, and vibrant people I know. As dedicated parents, we plan out our homeschool efforts and curriculum with lavish care. What if we took it one step further to add an intentional way to celebrate, to remember, to feast, to love the journey? How can we make our school year memorable? At the end of this year, what will your family look back upon and truly treasure?
It doesn’t have to be every week, but how would it change our homeschool if we penciled in some ideas for making memories now? What if one time per month you had one fun thing to celebrate all you are doing? What would add more joy to your family life this year?
Making memories could be as simple as inviting your students’ friends over after class for a game night. Or it could be as elaborate as hosting a Christmas Shakespeare Party and watching a play together. In our home, sometimes we like to declare a “movie day” and watch Netflix shows that relate to what we are studying (and maybe sneak in a nap). Around the holidays, we like to bake and read favorite Christmas stories. Summer is a great time to pencil in some ideas for making your school year a memorable one.
Here’s a few of my favorite homeschool memory-making ideas:
- Field Trips – Choose some places you have always wanted to go or your family has craved to visit. Be a tourist in your own town. If you have an older child, consider tying it to their career interests. Don’t forget—even the trash dump can be an amazing adventure!
- Read Great Books Together – Nothing creates deep memories and lasting experience like reading a book together. From littles to high schoolers, reading together creates rich bonds.
- Create Traditions – Whether it’s Back to School Pancakes or Last Day of School Burgers, find ways to commemorate your school year. Every year on the first day of school, I still make my son dress up, fill his backpack, and walk outside to take a picture. Then he goes back inside and starts his day.
- Fellowship with Friends – A nurturing support system through community has been vital in my homeschooling journey. Make time on your schedule to get together with other parents and your child’s friends—easy things like park days, game nights, coffee/study buddies, and meeting up at a museum are a great way to connect.
- Share Stories and Recount the Days – one of the things I like to ask my son each night before bed is, “What was the highlight of the day?” Usually the answer surprises me, as it’s not always the obvious thing. When we take time to recount God’s goodness and share the highlights, it reminds us of the simple treasure in each day. Every day can be a chance to celebrate the memories you are making as a family.
We only get one chance to do this life well. I want to work hard and as unto the Lord. I think the Lord certainly wants us to work hard, but I also think he wants us to celebrate and have fun too. It doesn’t have to be expensive or outlandish. But let’s dedicate ourselves to doing this homeschooling thing so beautifully we make sweet memories that last a lifetime.
Now it’s your turn: what are some of your favorite homeschool memory-making ideas?