Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Summer Bucket List for Families


June 21:Tie Dye Party
June 22: Decorate Walking Sticks
June 23: Letterboxing

June 24: Glow Stick Man





June 30: Summer Watermelon Treat Packets


July 1: Seafood Boil at Home


July 2: Make a Zoom "Ball"


July 3: Fizzy Explosion Bags


July 4: Make Red, White and Blue Firecracker Jello Cups

July 5: Operation Rescue Super Heroes

July 6: Make a Mini Mint Garden

July 7: Make Your Own Gem Mine

July 8: Make Ladybug Cookies

July 9: Take a Firefly Walk

July 10: Make a Windsock

July 11: Make Homemade Ice Cream in a Homemade Ice Cream Maker


July 12: Make a Watermelon Cake

July 13: Make a Solar S'mores Maker

July 14: Make a Balloon Rocket

July 15: Make an Edible Sand Dessert


July 16: Make a Watermelon Picnic Blanket or Tablecloth


July 17: Make a Summer Journal


July 18: Play Pooh Sticks

July 19: Make a Strawberry Fizz

July 20: Do Suminagashi: The Art of Japanese Paper Marbling

July 21: Visit a Local Cultural Store

July 22: Make Bejeweled Goblets

{More to Come: Check back for activities for each day of summer!}

July 23: Make a Watermelon Shark for Shark week.

July 24: Make ice cube boats.

July 25: Have Christmas in July.

July 26: Make an Ivory soap cloud.

July 27: Make Baby Bel umbrellas.

July 28: Make collage art.

July 29: Make cucumber boats.

July 30: Make sand dollar cookies.

July 31: Make a tea bag rocket.

DIY Medieval Fantasy and Zombie Apocalypse Summer Learning Camps

For this summer, I have been working on some plans for some lessons review (and some new concepts added in) and yet I wanted them to have fun in the summer and be involved in the process.

Medieval -Fantasy Summer Learning Camp

For this summer camp, the themes are broken down into seperate guilds, which can be done as stand-alone camps, seperate guilds done on seperate weeks (or months) or can be done as a rotating schedule. If you have a large enough group, such as with a homeschool co-op or neighborhood camp, you can run all the seperate guilds at once, with everyone breaking down into smaller groups. However you decide to run it, I will give you a general idea of how to do each guild, including posts for many of the specific concepts. Here are the guilds I'll be covering,  but I am sure that many more ideas can be added using a similar format. Be creative and have fun!

The first days of camp are dedicated to research and solving puzzles (such as researching Ancient Greek so they can read a  clue given them) that give them clues that they will need as the camp unfolds. They learn about the imaginary place they will be in the weeks to come - it's fictional history and geography, as well as what lives there.

Once they are armed to fight a common villain, they become heroes in a literature -based scenario that they act out, using their new-found tools and the character traits of the hero archetype, such as honor, courage and compassion. At last, they celebrate their victory together, building camaraderie.

Warrior's Guild

From history and historical heroes, young warriors learn tactical strategies and from the Master-at-arms they learn swordsmanship. Both of these skills help the young fighters defeat their foes.

Healer's Guild

Young healers learn about human biology and apply what they learn to first aid. Using what they learn, the healer apprentices can design healing "spells" and, as long as they can defend their creations with facts they have learned from biology, they can use them to "heal" those wounded the villains in the story line.

Alchemist's Guild

Using lessons in chemistry, young alchemists apply what they learn about pH and chemical reactions to formulate their own potion "recipes" which they can then use to help their comrades defeat the enemy. These recipes have to named and written in Latin, too!

Wizard's Guild

Using lessons in physics, your wizards-in-training will be able to explain how the forces of nature use matter and energy to make awesome results. These wizards graduate from this school by creating their own "spell" which has to be explained by the laws of physics and nature. These spells also have to be named and written in Latin.

Zombie- Apocalyptic Summer Learning Camp

This camp is divided into three phases, each of which last a few weeks. In the initial phase, students become aware of the zombie attack. Students learn how to use data of migrations to predict the path of the zombie attack, and using scenarios from literature, the story unfolds from there. Students use the information from lessons in human biology to discover what makes a mutant, as well as teamwork to infiltrate the zombie lair. Students also use lessons in geography and military tactics as they plan their defensive and offensive maneuvers.

In phase two, the zombie attack has abated enough that students can use their knowledge of the physical environment to decide where to build a resettlement. They learn survival skills as they have to re-learn how to care for their basic needs in this new situation. As the story's plot furthers, student use aspects of theater such as play-writing, building props, applying make-up and acting to make short films.

In phase three, students learn about how cultural values affect the use of resources, how the principals of sociology and psychology can be used in order to resolve conflicts within the settlement, and how to encourage the work involved with renewable resources.


I hope our summers will be full of entertaining learning and review!

Summer "Bucket" List: Make Bejeweled Goblets



  • wine glasses or goblets, either glass or plastic, depending on the age of the child
  • glass mosaic beads
  • clear silicone adhesive (We used Flora Bond.)
Having the pattern you want in mind, apply a little glue to either the bead or to the glass where you want the bead to be and then pull the bead off. Either hold the bead in your hand or set it glue side up on the table and let the glue dry or get a bit harder for a few minutes.
This is the hard part as it goes against natural instinct because you think the glue will dry to much and be worthless. After a few minutes, put the bead back in the same place as the glue spot and press a little. It should stick and stay put. If it slides at all, it means the glue is still too wet. Take off the bead and let dry a little more.
You can do this with a few spots at a time, but if you do too many at once you run the risk of getting glue everywhere by touching spots unintentionally. Turn the glass and do a few more sports until the entire glass is complete.
For my younger boys, I had them sketch their designs out on paper for me to complete.

Summer 'Bucket" List: Go to a Local Cultural Store


Going to a local Mexican Grocery that opened recently was on our list of things to do this summer.
 The kids all enjoyed looking at all the interesting and different things that were for sale there.

 The owner showed us a tortilla press...
 and lasso rope...
 and try on hats.
And what did we buy? 
An assortment of Mexican candy...
 a brown sugar cone...
 some cactus to grill...


and an assortment of sweet breads.
A trip to any ethnic market would be equally fun, such as an Asian market. Do you have any specialty groceries near you?

originally posted: Jun 25, 2013