Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Begin Nature Journaling in Your Homeschool

Have you ever tried nature journaling to liven up your homeschool day?

My children look forward to the break from every day schoolwork to stop and enjoy a chance to draw and appreciate nature around us.

You don't really need much to start out with--we just try to keep it really simple.

Here is what we use:







They can be as cheap or as expensive as you'd like.

We would go on a nature walk and collect all kinds of things such as:


  • leaves
  • crabapples
  • sticks and branches
  • feathers
  • acorns
  • rocks with special shapes



Really just anything that caught our interest and that we would like to sketch. 

I ended up making a nature table to display all our items and so the kids can touch them and play with them freely when they wanted to. 

We also got some field guides and books from the library of pictures of nature in case they wanted to sketch something from there.





I let them have about a half hour to sketch something they like and to have fun with it.

It is a great way to let them have some creative time to express themselves through drawing. 


(Thankfully we didn't see one of these on our nature walks
 but my son really wanted to sketch this one!)






Remember they don't have to be perfect and you don't need to have any rules if you don't want to.

In a later post I will share our nature table with you!


Do you like to nature journal in your homeschool?

If so, please share about it in the comments!





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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Poetry Tea Time Part Two- The Art Brain Box

Last week I shared our first Poetry Tea Time post with you.




It was so much fun to do--I shared the books that we used and what our Tea time menu looked like.



 I also promised I would share more about our special Art BrainBox game that we used as the second part of our Tea time that day!




I wanted to add some variety into the Poetry Tea Time and decided that teaching art appreciation in a game form would be a nice way to add the subject in.




It was so simple and the kids loved it!

Inside the box contains art cards, sand timer, and dice.

All you do is pick out a card.




And let the children study it for 10 seconds. We gave each child a turn.

(Can you believe that Van Gogh painted this when he was in a mental asylum?)

Then you roll the dice and whatever number it comes out to, you read that question on the back of the card out loud for the children to answer.



If you play with just a few children you can let them collect the cards they got correct and whoever gets the most wins. Since we had a lot of children we kept it simple and had fun with it--there were plenty of laughs and giggles going around. It was a quick and easy way to get some learning in.

It's not all girly type art either--one card had a dragon and another had a skull and sword and there are art of men too. My five boys liked that. There was one card that had a tiny bit of immodesty (from the Renaissance period) but I quickly got rid of that card before we even played it.



I love that they ALSO have these boxes for:






So you can teach a variety of different topics that you might have an interest in.

And it is so nice they even have some for Preschoolers too:


I definitely plan to get more in the future!


If you are interested in getting this Art game you can find it HERE.


What a great way to add in art to your homeschool day and keep it fun!

In my next post on homeschooling I will share a post about our nature walks and journaling. If you don't want to miss it you can subscribe to get our future posts right to your inbox.




I hope you enjoyed our pictures!





How do you like to make learning fun for your children?





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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wise Woman Linkup!




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. " 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We would love for you to link up with us! Come and share your posts on building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!

Don't forget to enter our September Giveaway!




I you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









If you are reading by email, visit our blog to see the whole post. 

You can link up below: 
 
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF 342,000+  HOMEBUILDERS!






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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

NEW: Trim Healthy Table Book Just Released Today and is On Sale {& Giveaway!)




If you have been a fan of Trim Healthy Mama, you might want to know that their NEW book Trim Healthy Mama's Trim Healthy Table: More Than 300 All- New Healthy Recipes from Our Home to Yours  has just been released today! We shared about this in the summer and now it it finally here!!! And not only that--they are also having a sale that you will want to take advantage of:

The original price has been reduced by 40% off and is now just $19.50 (orig. $32.50) for a limited time!

You can also get it for Kindle for just $16.99.

Here is the description:

"From the bestselling authors of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, a new cookbook for the whole family!

The Trim Healthy Mamas have helped hundreds of thousands of women lose weight and live healthier lives with their bestselling cookbook and eating plan and now they are ready to help the entire family! After experiencing incredible life transformations of their own, readers want to be able to help their families feel better and trim down, too. 

Trim Healthy Table is just the answer. It bursts with over 300 family friendly, delicious and trimming recipes, along with practical advice on how to healthfully nourish your family without going insane and chaining yourself to the kitchen.

Bestselling authors and sisters Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett have 18 children between them and their two families have been thriving on the Trim Healthy Mama plan for years.  Trim Healthy Table contains all their best tips, tricks and encouragement for families, whether large or small.  Serene and Pearl shamelessly share cunning ways to get picky eaters gobbling down veggies and other healthy foods they usually detest. You will learn how to painlessly use whole, unprocessed foods, including blood-sugar friendly carbs, fats, proteins, fruits and vegetables to create meals even the fussiest kids (and husbands) will love.  

You’ll also learn how one basic meal can make a whole family happy even with different nutritional needs. The quick and easy recipes include lots of one-pot dishes such as, skillet meals, slow cooker meals, electric pressure cooker meals, casserole and soups. With the recipes you can wake up to hearty breakfasts, prepare bars for on-the-go or try a creamy, quick-to-make smoothie, even Indulge yourself with the many trimming desserts…cake for breakfast is celebrated!  

And, if you’re simply looking for single serve 5 – 10 minute meals, the Hangry Meal chapter has you covered.

In addition to the hundreds of recipes, included is a Simple Start Guide to the Trim Healthy Plan which concisely explains how you can trim down by getting your blood sugar under control and how to, ever so gently, help other members in your family who may be struggling with weight issues. So, gather your family, bring them to the Trim Healthy Table… eat up… and trim down!"

We are giving away a copy of this book here--and the winner to the July giveaway is Kay!



I can't wait to check out The Hangry Meal chapter for 5-10 minutes meals!

Remember that sales are for a limited time so get it at 40% off while you can.


You can find this book HERE.



Hope you win!


Note: This post contains affiliate links--thanks for your support!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Being a Mother is Worth Fighting For



"Being a mother is worth fighting for,

worth calling a career,

worth the dignity of hard work."

~ Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family


Nobody said that motherhood is easy--in fact, some days it is just plain old hard work!

There will definitely be days that it is extra hard and challenging, but us mamas need to know what is important and what isn't --and strip away the extra that can weigh us down sometimes and cause all kinds of problems like anxiety, stress, and depression.

For me that has meant:

1. STAYING HOME MORE

If I am always on the run and not at home then I have less time to take care of things that I need to tend to. I try to say no to extra needless running around and extra activities that we don't find necessary. If I am at home I can focus easier on what needs to be done and what I need to do and not keep pushing it off---I can actually get to it!

2. DECLUTTERING

I honestly have no idea where all the stuff comes from for 11 people. I keep whittling our stuff down and somehow more stuff keeps finding its way back in! But seriously, I am always trying to declutter because we would have no actually living space to live in if I didn't. I take this very seriously because I am very visual and can't just have things lying around all day---just ask my kids! Decluttering has been so important to everyday day sanity for all of us.

3. TRAINING MY CHILDREN

I want my children to be capable of many things, including being able to help out around the house. Some parents feel like it is hard to ask their child to just even clean their room today--but that should not be so. Our children need to take care of their space so they can be a blessing to others and not a burden. They need to know how to work hard and show others how to as well. My two older sons (seventeen and sixteen) are just recently now working several hours outside of the home and saving money to buy their own car. I think it is good for them to learn how to work hard and save for what they want. Too many children are used to money just being handed to them. I know they will appreciate it more when they have worked for it. It is important to train them to work hard so they can help around the house and not feel entitled to everything.

4. KEEPING MY THOUGHTS ON GOD

Over the years I have learned how important it is to know the God's Word and hide it in my heart for when those hard days come--and especially when they come in like a strong storm. Thankfully, we have God's Word which doesn't change and we can stand on it. With all the lies of the enemy, we need to use our armor to protect our minds and our hearts from the devil who would like to steal our joy.


5. PUTTING ON GRATEFULNESS

When I am grateful for everything it changes my perspective on things. It doesn't cost anything to be grateful. It does require a mind that can be sober-minded. To purposefully direct itself on a thankful path even when you might not feel like it. For example, when I think of my kitchen as being small I am reminded that there is a poor woman making dinner on a dirt floor with a fire and she still wears a smile on her face. Or when my child starts to fray at my nerves, I am reminded of the woman who lost her child unexpectedly never to hold them in her arms again. I want to remember all these treasures we have and not take them for granted.


I know that hard days will come--but I challenge you to rise to the occasion and not let it wipe you out! Take steps to help make life less stressful for yourself and don't waste your energy on mom guilt.

I wanted to start sharing a special Book-of-the-Week for when motherhood gets tough that you might find encouraging. Today's is What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holly Gerth;


We all have hard days--the kind that make us want to give up, retreat inside ourselves, and drown our sorrows in a pint of ice cream. And while we may crave all sorts of things to ease the pain we feel, what our hearts really need is to be filled up with truth. We need to be confident in God's character and his promises. We need to remember we're loved no matter what. We need to know we're going to be okay.

In this uplifting book, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, licensed counselor and certified life coach Holley Gerth shares the strength, peace, and hope that come from knowing who God is, how much he cares for us and why we can trust he'll get us through whatever we may face. Each of the 52 devotions based on the Psalms will help weary women remember that God is faithful, we're all in this together and there's a good plan for our lives. 

YOU CAN FIND IT HERE. 





I hope it is a blessing to you!

Please know that I am praying
 for each and every single one of you.




What is *your* biggest struggle in mothering?


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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our First Poetry Tea Time



This year I began adding in a Poetry Tea Time into our homeschool. When I heard of the idea I fell in love with it right away and couldn't wait to try it out!



What is Poetry Tea Time you ask? It is a day that you pick to do poetry (or whatever subject you choose to also add) with tea and treats. 

In other words, it is a special day that you take a break from regular homeschooling and make this a special and memorable time for you and your children while helping them cultivate a love and hunger for words and learning. You can read how it all started here. 

You don't have to do tea---you can do cocoa, juice, or whatever suits your fancy. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you want it to. You can even use paper plates and cups.  Since this was our first one I decided to go the fancy route to make it extra special. 



I got some poetry and nature books from the library that will go along with our nature journaling and for the kids to look over. 

The children got to pick and read a poem they liked out loud.  Here is a quick list of poetry books that we used and own:

Best Loved Poems by Best Loved Poets


Here are some of the nature books (that we will use for sketching):






I kept the food simple. My eleven year old son baked some gluten-free blueberry muffins (from a box) and we just bought some Pirouettes from the store. I was also thinking that my 5 boys might feel a little weird having a tea time (especially the older ones) so we also alternately called it 'Manly Cocoa Time' as a joke and let them use coffee mugs. Marshmallows are one of their favorite things so I made sure I had plenty to make for a smooth transition.


Here is one of the poems one of my sons read:




Add some flowers and a nice tablecloth--
and don't forget to light a candle in for ambiance!



I am grateful my children have access to such a wide variety of books.



Another thing I added in to make our Poetry Tea Time special was this Art Brain Box--it was so fun but since this post is already long I will do a Part 2 next week and share more about it then. After we played our Art BrainBox (what a fun way to teach art!), I assigned them to create a dance team to a Christian song--something they like to do that can be shared at our next Poetry Tea Time--they were so excited.

Overall, I think I was really surprised by how much the kids really enjoyed it. They are already talking about the next one and what we will do. I plan to mix up what we do and never have them be the same--I have a whole list of ideas that I can't wait to do with them.

I also plan to have them be themed during the holidays--I am really looking forward to our future "tea" times! I will also try to share some of them here with you in case you'd like to see them or do them as well.


Have you ever done a Poetry Tea Time?



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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wise Woman Linkup!




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. " 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We would love for you to link up with us! Come and share your posts on building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!

Don't forget to enter our September Giveaway!




I you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









If you are reading by email, visit our blog to see the whole post. 

You can link up below: 
 
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF 342,000+  HOMEBUILDERS!






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