It’s Friday Favorites!
More fun ideas
for more fields of daisies days!
If you are just stopping by for the first time, you may be wondering what in the world I mean by “fields of daisies” days. 🙂
Welcome to my cozy corner of Bloglandia!
Click on over to read what these wonderful days are all about, then come back and sit and stay awhile! I’m so glad you’ve found Fields of Daisies.
I hope you will enjoy the units I’m posting, my favorite homeschooling finds, and most of all, I hope you will find some encouragement to keep on
living, loving, and learning with your family!
So, without further ado…on to the fun!!
Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts on being able to SEE the good and the Mercy in each day… and I kept thinking, in the least, we all have days that test our patience.
It’s so frustrating when our plans change, or sickness happens, or there are endless trips to and from, and “school” gets put on hold.
How do you homeschool on days like these?
Some days are just difficult, but making them into the best, most memorable kinds of days is totally possible. It’s more than possible!
(REALLY this IS a fun post! I promise! Keep reading !)
So HOW do we do it ?!?
Look for the daisy moments!
Here are some ideas.
* When mama is sick~
Can it be a good day when Mom is sick in bed?
Depends on how you see it!
– Read this mama’s sweet reminder at ilovemy5kids…
THIS is a perfect field of daisies kind of day!
– Curl up together and listen to your favorite books. There are TONS of free audiobooks for all ages.
Listen to some stories that might be brand new to you!
There are some fantastic ones out there that have so much to teach…about science, or math, or history!
Click here to see some of our favorites over the years …Story Time !
And my very favorite series of books, The Chronicles of Narnia are all available free online!!
* The feeling blue kind of day~
Try ditching the regular routine and do something happy !!
What could be cheerier than PEEPS ?!?
– Peeps STEM activities from Schooling a Monkey
– Peep Science from Coffee Cups and Crayons
– Peep Science from The Frugal Navy Wife
– Peep S’mores… Oh my! from DomesticSuperhero.com
* Unexpected all day in the car~
Laughable some days isn’t it ?!?
– Just talk to each other.
Some of the very deepest conversations I’ve had with my children have happened spontaneously while in the car. Maybe it is the lack of distractions, or maybe because we have each other as a
captive audience. 🙂
Either way, don’t “miss it” and stress about all that isn’t getting done at home… lots of important life can be found in the confines of the car.
– Roll the windows down and SING!
Sing LOUD too!
Ahhhhh. Doesn’t that feel so good?!?!
– I love this idea to create your family’s own soundtrack
from Alpha Mom
– Play some silly car games that ALL of you might enjoy!
– A fun “speriment” for the younger kiddos from this mom at
The (Reformed) Idealist Mom
* When everyone is wiggly and has
– Get outside!
Even in the rain or slush ! The kids don’t mind, and stomping in puddles can make you feel like you’re 5.
And that’s a good thing. 🙂
– Here are some great ideas from Our Journey Westward
*And at last….the days when you are simply feeling “interrupted” by LIFE!
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”
~ Psalm 22:1-2
Is there anything much worse than God’s apparent silence when your heart is breaking,
or terrified, or wounded and betrayed ?
Where is He, the One who promised to never leave your side, when life is spinning out of control, and your heart is pounding in your mouth,
and your mind is screaming with what-if’s ?
Have you ever prayed until you had absolutely nothing left…and then, still…only silence?
I give up!
I’ve been here. This is where David was when he wrote the words of this psalm.
Maybe you’ve been here too?
I’m so thankful David was honest about his struggles! What a relief it was to read his words one morning, and know that I wasn’t the only one that had ever felt this way and had cried out to God with these same scary, bold questions.
And David, a man after God’s own heart!
So I said the word out loud. Mercy !
Maybe just to break the silence.
Have you ever had a eureka! moment ?
Ohhhhhh. Now I get it!
Sheesh. Some of us (me!) are slow learners.
After months of lament and frustration and doubt and tears, it dawned on me.
God had not been silent at all. His answer, everyday ?
All those dark days, I had misread His beautiful mercy for terrible silence.
Yet He had walked me through each day pouring out an unfathomable amount of mercy.
On me. On my loved one. On my home and on my family.
And I had completely missed it.
Have you ever completely missed it with God on something?
OUCH! Big ouch!
But again, the Word reminds us we aren’t the first. Phew!
Our family, His people, have been “missing it” for a very long time. Imagine how fervent and sincere the prayers were for the Messiah to come! So long… hoping, watching, and waiting. Yet many totally missed it because He didn’t come in the way they had expected Him to.
I missed the way He came to me too. Completely.
But in the missing it, I have gleaned a treasure.
“The Lord is near. Be not anxious about anything.”
God is not far or deaf to your cries.
“Call to me and I will answer you…”
Prayers aren’t always answered in the way you’d expect.
So, at the point of giving up…look up.
Open your eyes to see.
Maybe you’ll notice the grace you’ve had to get up and face each day, or a new friendship, or a beautiful flower that has sprung up in your yard, or even the kindness of a stranger…His answer and Presence in an unexpected way.
Don’t miss it!!
The Lord has comforted me so tenderly with this revelation. I hope in some way, somehow, these words will be of comfort and hope to someone else who needs them too. Apologies for this lengthy post. 🙂
May the Lord bless and keep you~
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
And just in case anybody has read this far, I also wanted to share this song, “Mercy”, by Amanda Cook. 🙂 So good!
Is it already November?
The warmth and joy of the holidays are just beginning to stir in our home.
The Christmas music is playing, the candles are flickering, the first baking has begun.
I’m sipping some hot, spicy tea and making lists.
This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Does that sound odd?
The week before Thanksgiving is kind of the calm before the storm.
It’s a lovely week to me. There’s still time to sit and reflect, and make preparations for all the sweet memories yet to be made in the swirl of the next month.
When my children were small, this was a time I also spent planning what we called Christmas school. With just a bit of organization, this became their favorite kind of “school”… I was happy and much less stressed about getting it “all” done…. and best of all, “Christmas school” gave us some of the very best memories of our lives.
Like the year we were studying Ancient Egypt just before Thanksgiving.
It was my very first time hosting Thanksgiving at my home. I had three littles, including a newborn, and a collection of in-laws and outlaws, and neighbors and friends….and I had pulled it off.
We were all happily eating and chatting and I, mostly zoning out from thankfulness that the turkey was edible, and from sheer exhaustion, was happily oblivious of how long my 4 year old had “excused” himself from the table.
Just as the thought of it crossed my mind I heard moaning coming from the nearby “powder room”. But the thought popped in too late.
I’m blaming the tryptophan.
Before I could move, he came bursting into the dining room stark naked and wrapped up from head to toe with who knows how many rolls of toilet paper.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…….I’m a mummmmmmmmy !!!!
Thirty people. Dead silence.
Shocked grandparents didn’t know what to make of the display.
Then a few grabbed their cameras, thank goodness, and this memory lives on and is retold every single year, much to my now 22 year old’s son’s chagrin.
We are homeschoolers.
School has a way of integrating into every part of our lives !!
ANYWHO, onto a much safer theme of American History (sans MUMMIES!) and onto Christmas school, haha.
If baking is on your list that needs to be done, why not be learning what Swedish immigrants were baking up in their holiday kitchens, buy some cardamon and bake on….if ornaments are to be made, why not find out what ornaments in Colonial Williamsburg looked like, and try making your own… and if you need a creative way to focus your families hearts and minds on Christ, how about opening your home and gathering your friends together for a Las Posadas celebration ?
CHRISTMAS SCHOOL IS SO FUN !!!!
And just think of the great family memories that your kiddos might make. lol
There’s tons of great units, lesson plans, activities, and other ideas out there to use if you don’t have the inclination to plan it all out right now.
If you’ve been working your way through the American Girl History Units on this site, or just think the idea of Christmas school sounds like fun, you might like to check out my Pinterest boards (I’m still adding to them daily!)
I will eventually write these into actual units, but for now, click away and ENJOY !
Also, you may like to check out some of the fun books and movies to go along with these!
Have you ever been at a loss for words?
In a world that is bursting at the seams with them ?
Do you need some of those kind words today?
Words that carry healing?
Help? Hope ?
When talking to a friend going through great loss.
When dreams seem impossible.
When seeing so many horrors on the endless cycle of news reporting.
When justice seems the exception and violence seems the rule.
When God seems so very far.
And your soul knows better.
In my own life there are just some times like this.
I’m not proud of myself. But it’s true.
Maybe it is for you too.
So here’s all I’ve got….
Seems so small and insignificant, but THANK YOU !!
Truly and sincerely.
I’m so grateful for all of you who share your beautiful, encouraging words when you have them… they are like honeycomb and a balm to the souls who are lonely, tired, scared, scarred, and burdened.
And you share your
songs, stories, Scriptures, tears, laughs, and pictures…
Taking the time to encourage people with your words
Words (but not mine) for Wednesday~
* Reason to Sing
* Laughter is a gift to share …. Lost in Suburbia Stories
* Sara…a beautiful, brave, and honest young woman, her Lord, and her story as it unfolds
* Tina… someone I do not know at all but feel such a kindred Spirit with… so real just about every day.
* Poured Out … someone I do know. And love. And am encouraged by often.
* Spirit Radio…. Listen live online
“Really love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another… Encourage one another daily… spur one another on toward love and good deeds… Use whatever gifts you’ve been given to serve others.” (God’s Word of course, not mine once again!! )
American Girl Kirsten-
Pioneer Unit Study
Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854:
Growing up on America’s Frontier
* Core Reading-
*Week 1: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854”
Kristen’s Journey to America
1. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 1-3, 40-41 (Meet Kirsten in Sweden)
2. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 4-7 (Journey to America )
3. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 8-11 (Go West ! )
4. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 12-13 (Home on the Prairie)
5. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 14-15, 24-25 (Home on the Prairie )
*Week 2: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″
A Day With Kirsten
1. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 22-23, 26-27 (Daily Life)
2. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 16-17; 32-35 (Fun & Games for Everyone! ) 3. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 18-21 (Love & Marriage )
4. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 36-39 (Fashion)
5. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 30-31; 49 (inset) (Medicine )
*Week 3: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854”
Friends and Foes on the Prairie
1. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 44-45 (Around Town)
2. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 42-43; 46-47 (Kirsten’s Neighbors)
3. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 48-55 (The Dakota Conflict)
4. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 48-55 (Conflicts Continue)
5. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 56-58 (The Great Land Rush)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
If you’ve never tried a unit study before,
this busy time of year might be a good time to give it a try !
Simple learning ideas for stress free
and FUN holiday homeschooling !
So that there’s lots of time for baking cookies, going to plays, homemade presents, and hopefully,
even a bit of quiet time to soak in the awe of the advent !
*Week 1: ‘A Christmas Carol’
*Vocabulary & Other Activities
* A Christmas Carol Lesson
( Lots of printables…worksheets, fact sheets, recipes, and other activities)
* A Christmas Carol Vocabulary
* A Christmas Carol Script– Try gathering some friends and acting out this play version !
* Discussion Questions, Fun Activities, and more
* A Christmas Carol Crossword Puzzle
* Reading Comprehension Questions from Easy Fun School
*Week 2: Charles Dickens
* Biography of Charles Dickens OR Everything Dickens (interactive)
Watch the brief BBC Biography, The Life of Charles Dickens on YouTube
or the full length A&E Biography (very interesting, but probably best for older students)
* ” Christmas With Charles Dickens“, a short memoir by Dickens’ daughter, Mamie Dickens
* “A Christmas Tree” , a short story by Dickens
(Also, you can listen to a well done audio version on the same page!
This might be helpful, as some of the victorian language is likely
unfamiliar and a bit difficult. )
* Collection of Short Stories by Dickens to enjoy reading online
* ‘The Ivy Green‘ a poem by Dickens
* Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
(Just for fun- though this movie is not set in England, the time period and the themes
of the industrial revolution and child labor are the same)
Continue reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ Mini Unit
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”
Family traditions for the holidays vary as greatly as the families who keep them.
Whether you celebrate with a fantastic home-cooked feast, or Chinese Take-Out;
spend a quiet day at home, or spend it packed with extended family and friends, and friends of friends;
whether you are starting a new tradition in your family or keeping a long beloved one… keeping holiday traditions is part of the fabric of what makes a family.
Traditions become something we count on.
Another thing we can count on in life is change.
Have you just moved and can’t find your Christmas tree among the chaos ?
Feeling lonely because family is far away?
Spending the holidays in a country where food and customs are quite different?
Maybe, for whatever circumstance, you aren’t able to keep your most treasured traditions?
Don’t despair !
Don’t let circumstances rob you of the joy and roots of the holiday!
Get creative !
Make up a new tradition. You might just be surprised how much you’ll love it!
Soon after another move far away from all our family, and before we had really met anyone in our new town, a very quiet Christmas surprised us.
It was just us.
Our traditions always included a wonderful Christmas dinner and a house bursting with friends and family. The house was glaringly quiet and we debated what to do.
And so, we decided to go out for Chinese food !
Yep. Could have been inspired by the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon. 🙂
Truthfully, it felt kind of sad and pathetic at first….but we laughed and we told funny family stories, and we ate together, and really enjoyed the night.
Five years later, and five Christmas Eve Chinese dinners later, this has become one of my children’s absolute favorite traditions.
So, whether you’re looking for some new traditions to add to your celebrations,
or you’ve found yourself in need of a few creative ideas for making some new ones,
Friday Family Tradition Favorites:
* Serving Others from Melinda Todd
* Reading Stories aloud by candle light from Contented at Home
(read them on a kindle, laptop, etc…all FREE)
* Turkey Ticket Traditions from Lets Get Together
* Thanksgiving Games from A Pinch of Joy
* Fun Family Holiday Traditions from Crazy Little Projects
* Start a New Tradition from A View Along the Way
* Build a Gingerbread House Village from HOUSEography
~Keeping a Quiet Heart~
Why is it so hard to keep a quiet heart?
Or is that just something I struggle with?
I watch my youngest pull out of the driveway every single morning.
I pray and fight the swelling urge to worry.
I deny my mind the right to consider the rush of fearful thoughts
that want to come bursting in.
It’s been a year since her accident.
I will keep a quiet heart.
That’s hard work!
Yet harder still is the labor of worry.
Believe me, I know !
I don’t recommend that occupation at all. 🙂
Do any of you worry?
My friend wakes up in the middle of the night filled with incredible anxiety over her ability to successfully homeschool her children. Another friend is nearly overcome with thoughts of failures in her finances. Whether it’s fretting over health, or wayward children, or an uncertain future, or even over all the holiday plans, it’s exhausting ! Phew!
How do we keep a quiet heart ?
I can’t tell you what will work for you, but this has been my journey in a nutshell.
Worry is just another word for FEAR.
Fear is an ugly thing.
It will destroy anything it can get ahold of… relationships, health, happiness,
peace, LIFE !
We tend to feel most fearful when we cannot control,
or have lost control, of our circumstances.
Take a deep breath (or 5). Sometimes, I think I have held my breath all day.
Recognize when fear is creeping in.
You aren’t in control, but that’s OK.
God is good. He is in control. Nothing surprises Him.
Choose faith over fear.
There isn’t a right way to do it. Just DO it !
And then do it again.
The mind and the heart are connected.
If your heart is beating wildly with worry, chances are
your mind is full of loud clutter too!
I chose a short Scripture to pray when my mind wouldn’t allow me to focus.
Almost like a type of fasting, I would pray this verse every single time
I began to feel overwhelmed.
Words to focus my heart & mind on truth.
These were not some “magic words” that obligated God to answer me.
I wrote these words & placed them all over until I could pray each part
from memory…slowly with contemplation.
“The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
While you can’t control other people, or circumstances, you can control yourself.
Choose peace over fear.
It IS a choice.
Sometimes worry becomes a habit. It takes discipline to break a bad habit.
I know when you’re tired and stressed out, this will take all the energy you’ve got.
It will be worth it though.
When life is REALLY throwing all it’s hard balls at once;
And it’s so very hard to concentrate on anything else… the rest of that verse.
“Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. “
God really does love us.
God really is GOOD.
You really can trust Him.
May the perfect love of Christ cast out all the fear in your hearts today.
May He watch over your comings and goings (and those of your families).
May He keep you in perfect peace.
“The real things haven’t changed.
It is still best to be honest and truthful;
to make the most of what we have;
to be happy with simple pleasures;
and have courage when things go wrong.”
~Laura Ingalls Wilder