Taking a break from homeschooling this summer doesn't mean the learning needs to stop. Summer is a great time to reinforce grammar and writing skills by journaling with your Switched-On Schoolhouse® (SOS) curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications®. Located on the new, customizable 2009 MiSOS homepage, your child's SOS journal is easily accessed and can be used to record daily observations, store favorite jokes and poems, remember family vacations, and keep those hard-learned English rules razor sharp through creative writing activities.

So, how does your child's SOS journal work? Check out these handy features:

Date
Automatically displays the current date and time when you start a new entry.

Topic
Lets you enter a topic for your entry. Detailed topics keep your entries well-organized.

Font
Allows you to select any font style from your computer's normal font window.

Color
Lets you color coordinate your text with fun font colors.

Bold, Italicize, and Underline
Make your entries stand out. These buttons make text bold, italicized, underlined, or any combination of the three.

Entry Window
Type your journal entry in the main window. When you open your journal, your most recent entry is always displayed. Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to scroll through your entries one by one or jump directly to your first or last entries. Outside arrows let you move from the first entry (far-left arrow) to the last (far-right arrow). Arrows closer to the center allow you to page through your journal one entry at a time.



New
Creates a new entry. The entry you previously typed is automatically saved.

Delete
Deletes the entry displayed on the screen.

Print
If your child would like to display or share his writing, use this button to print the journal entry displayed on the screen. When you click Print, the standard print window for your computer is displayed. Print as you normally would.

Minimize
Click this if you want to hide your journal and work with it later. Your journal is automatically closed if you open a lesson, message, or the Resource Center.

Ready to squeeze in some brain-boosting journaling to prepare your child for the next school year, but you don't know where to begin? Then, try this fun-filled writing activity to get started journaling today with Alpha Omega Publications' Switched-On Schoolhouse:

Fill a picnic basket with various summer articles like a beach towel, a pail, sand molds, a shovel, a mask, a swimsuit, an apple, a sandwich, sea shells, a juice bottle, fishing lures, a toy duck, etc. Then, have your child pick ten items to write an interesting short story. To add a little memorization fun in the mix, put everything back into the basket and ask your child to start writing by listing as many of the items he can remember.

What successful summer writing activities have you done with your family? We'd love to hear about them. Share your best ideas below for other homeschool families in the "Leave a Comment" box below. Happy summer writing!