Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Nature Display

This past week I heard myself saying to the children "when we move we can do that"; well after a few days of that I stopped  myself and said WHY wait. Sure we have to clean-up and declutter so we can put our home on the market this week but that doesn't mean we stop living. I kept admiring the nature tables on some other homeschool mommy sites and also thought that "when we move we'll do that"... no we can do it right now. So I packed up the bone China that my Dad had brought back with him from travels East while in the Navy and made the middle shelf of my library case a nature display. Most of the items we don't want handled anyway so this is a great place to display them and enjoy them. Funny thing is the children know which items are fragile and are so careful with them because they found some of them and know you don't see some of those items often... it is some of the adults in our life that don't know the value of these found treasures that want to touch to much. In these cold snowless days of winter we needed a little inspiration from God's creation. 

Nature study happens on and off for us depending on the weather. We have explored our backyard for years and to go somewhere else we pretty much have to drive and make it a field trip of sorts. If it is a 12 degree day then we just as soon stay in to enjoy our nature display until a warmer day or snowy day comes along. Now that is one thing that will change "when we move" because we will have animals to take care of and experience a bit more outside even when it is so cold. One of my favorite places to learn about studying nature and journaling it is The Handbook of Nature Study site. They have wonderful journal/notebook sheets to guide you through your studies and the seasons. Also to help my children actually get excited to explore nature and to understand more of what they are seeing we love the Nature Reader Series by Christian Liberty Press. We have been reading about wasps and spiders and can't wait till we can see them again to decide what kind they are. I feel these books also help the children to be engaged long enough to really watch and learn about the animals/insects in God's creation when they know what to look for.  I do know if we move to the home we are trying to purchase then we will have more to explore for years to come without having to drive to get there. So go dig out your found treasures and make an area to enjoy them or if you brave the cold you can out in your own backyard to see what creatures and plants are still awake on these cold winter days. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homeschooling a more natural way

Homeschooling is an adventure not for the faint of heart. It will stretch and grow you like nothing else will. I do believe God in all His wisdom had this teaching thing all figured out. It definitely keeps the teacher humble, grow in patience and to be more like Him as we watch our children over years blossom as He watches us do the same. After watching the "Back to Eden" dvd about gardening and really listening to how God gardens. He does it with time and consistency... makes me think we do just the same when we raise our children.
 This year we chose not to attend a wonderful homeschool co-op that we had previously attended for 8 years. With that came some challenges that I did not expect. My kids gravitated to their natural way of learning. I fought it for years so we could conform and attend the co-op except when we would go on vacation we would learn and explore. Now not bound by that they are asking to do school a different way(really this is effecting history and science.) Every vacation we have is filled with history hands-on and nature discovery... so we now are making our way to a more Charlotte Mason way of schooling. So instead of using bits and pieces of both a classical curriculum and Charlotte Mason resources we will focus on more of the latter.

We also love timelines and have used different ones. Emma likes the Homeschool School in the Woods timeline but Gavin likes the one here at Hold that Thought(I have posted an offer below from their site) This week as I sort through my books I will share more great sites that we have found useful.

"Receive a FREE CD with your order! If you post this offer on your homeschooling blog or tell at least 2 other homeschoolers about us we will send you a free CD. We have decided that instead of spending money on advertising we will reward you for promoting our products instead. When you order a CD from us, all you have to do when you are checking out is write the name of the CD you would like us to send you free of charge in the “comment” section (it needs to be at least the same price or less than the CD you are purchasing)."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to Eden

Wow, I love how God changes your perspective in a short time and redirects your thoughts back to Him. No matter what I will never look at gardening the same way again after watching this video. I have either had or have helped in the garden since I was very small. My mother had a very large garden that we ate from and stored for winter months. Since accepting Christ as my saviour I have seen my faith interwoven in all that I do and not just another part of my life. Gardening is no exception. But until I watched this film did I not understand how much more my faith SHOULD be a part of everything I do. WOW. You can watch the 1 hour 43 minute movie online if you have a good connection or buy the DVD. I will be buying the DVD even though I already watched it... it needs to be shared with everyone but especially those who garden. If God chooses to bless us with more land in the near future where we can share on a larger scale this kind of gardening then dare I say we might have found how we can connect in ministry with others. That is not to say you can't use God's way of gardening anywhere you live and no matter how little you have. Watch the trailer (link below)and let me know what you think.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So it is a new year full of possibilities. No matter what happens this year keep your eyes on Jesus and keep your mind on today. We must live today fully right where we are. Hug the ones we love, nourish them, teach by example and cherish every moment God gives us.... even when it is hard. It is always hard to just leave "it" in God's hands when we just want to make things happen ourselves. Take a deep breath and know that He has it all taken care of already.
"Sometimes you don't know you're taking the first step through a door- until you're already inside." from A Holy Experience.
I find this site so wonderful that I am sharing it on a tag on my blog. Even if you just go to Ann Voskamp's site for the music it is wonderfully encouraging.
Happy New Year!