Spontaneous Nature Study

I spontaneously decided to read some books to Emma and Abby that I had checked out of the library. They were both nature-themed picture books. Nothing too unusual about that. But the ideas they inspired and the energy and motivation to carry them through were nothing short of divine. I suddenly thought of going to Nelson Water Gardens and knew that we should go there. I asked the girls if they wanted to go, and they enthusiastically replied that they would love to. So we got in the van and headed toward the Water Gardens, and the thought came to me that it would be great if they had Nature Notebooks to draw pictures of the plants and fish and whatever else we would see there. So we went to the grocery store near there where I found the perfect little notebooks for them that were composition books with primary writing lines and a blank space at the top where they could draw a picture. The notebooks were discounted and the last two like that. I got them colored pencils and regular pencils, and they were as excited as if it were Christmas.

We continued on to the Water Gardens, and everything was lovely as it always is. I usually just admire the lily pads and lilies and all of the fun garden ornaments and beautiful pots that they use to make the disappearing fountains that they are known for. I started to think that maybe I could actually buy something this time. I looked around at the plants they sell and wondered if they had any Tropical Milkweed. I had just told my kids that morning that I wanted that for Mother’s Day. I found some and upon closer examination of one plant found that there were quite a few Monarch eggs on it. I asked a worker there how much it was, and he told me how much, I told him I wanted it, and he carried it to the front for me. When we were done looking and enjoying the gardens we went in to pay for my plant, and the clerk used a 40% coupon on it, so I got a great deal on my Mother’s Day present which came fully loaded with butterfly eggs!

Then we went to the park. The girls hung out by the pond for hours. I read and took pictures of crazy squirrels most of the time. The girls found a duck egg and took it home to try to hatch it.

 

On the way home, the moon was a beautiful shade of pink. We called it a strawberry moon. Then the girls saw a shooting star. What a glorious day in Nature that started with reading a couple of picture books!

A Great White Egret

 

Lots of ducklings following the mama

 

Lots of ducklings following this other mama

 

The Great White Egret and a duck behind in the picture doing the “bottoms-up” position. What are they finding to eat? I couldn’t see small fish in the water, but there was some plant life near the edges.

 

Abby feeds the squirrel a walnut.

 

Squirrels look so cute when they sit up and eat and hold the nut in their little hands.

This squirrel came right up on the table where I was sitting.

 

He kept creeping closer and closer to me. I started to get a little frightened by his lack of fear and his nearness.

 

And then this happened! Too close!!!

 

And then this crazy squirrel flattened  himself on the bench beside me…

Let’s go back to the cute ducklings.

 

 

Abby and Emma love the ducklings.

 

The duckling tells us what he thinks about the tight grip Emma is holding him with.

Now let’s go back to the Water Gardens.

Emma and Abby are working in their nature notebooks drawing Coi.

 

The blues of these pots are so pretty. And the little girls are beautiful.

 

Nature-inspired Art, Writing, and Science Learning through Nature Notebooks

 

Those Coi are BIG fish!

 

 

 

 

Nature Notebooks give kids a reason to write.

 

I sure love these little girls of mine. I’m so glad that they love to explore nature. We have lots of fun together!

 

This spoke to me – “Home of the Brave”. I love Americana! And I’ve been feeling brave and full of energy for the first time in a long time. For which I praise the Lord and expect more and more as the Lord heals and restores what the enemy  has stolen.

 

A Homeschooler Gets His First Job

Morgan has been wanting a job for a long time. Since before he turned 16. Really ever since he graduated from Modeling and Acting classes two years ago. He turned 16 on New Year’s Eve, so he has been eagerly seeking a place that will hire a 16-year-old. He interviewed at Old Navy but didn’t get that job. Then he applied at Papa Murphy’s where Kelsey works, but they never got back to him. So he found out that La Madeleine, a French country cafe, was hiring and decided to apply there. He has been studying French for a while and thought it would be a great place to work.

Morgan and I had quite an adventure in applying for the job and then a wonderful day actually eating there and getting the big news.

https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1lDxLjvNwRyGm?

What’s Your Philosophy of Education? Here’s Mine

A Philosophy of Education that is working for my family:
Charlotte Mason believed that education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. In a similar vein, I see homeschooling as a lifestyle. Homeschooling is integrated into every part of life when it is viewed this way. I call it family schooling, because the whole family is educated together and hopefully learns how to build strong, healthy relationships.
And we have a lifestyle of learning. Most of us love to research and share what we learn with each other and share information, ideas, opinions, experiences, and thoughts with each other.
We live life together. Using this method makes learning natural and enjoyable, fun and lasting.
We follow our interests and learn more about the things that delight us. We dive deep into a subject and learn as much as we want to know about it and spend as much time and effort on it as we deem appropriate or adequate.
Then we rather naturally move on to something related or totally unrelated that somehow strikes our fancy or in some way comes to our attention.
I see this philosophy of learning as very similar to what Charlotte Mason taught. I also view it as a way to make homeschooling sustainable since it is more natural and organic and uses our interests and delights to direct our studies.
So there is less stress, resistance, and control that occurs, and the learner and the teacher (or facilitator of learning, as I like to call myself) are working together to make learning happen instead of having an adversarial or authoritarian relationship that can stifle learning and happy relationships within a family.

Give a Kid a Job and Let Him Figure Out How to Do it

I asked my 13 year old son, Garrett, to put the towel rack back up in the bathroom. I gave him a few tips that I thought might help him figure out how to put it up. I don’t really know how to do it myself. He took it from there, got 10 year old Emma to help, and voila, they put the towel rack up perfectly. Then they went on to put the toilet paper roll holder up, too!

His ingenuity and willingness to try really impressed me. I’m proud of him and glad that he was able to help us with this project and successfully complete it. It made him feel successful and proud of himself, too!

https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1ZkKzyMwAAoxv