Category Archives: gentle learning

Encouragement for moms...PLAY !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Mason on Play…
It might just surprise you what she had to say !

“Let the mother go out
and PLAY !”
 

Charlotte Mason understood a lot about children….she also understood a lot about moms.  I found this to be some advice I need to take to heart!

“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children…we should have happier households.

Let the mother go out to play!

If she would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense,
and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book,
or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures,
or in bed, without the children,
life would go on far more happily for both children and parents.” 
~Charlotte Mason

Let the mother go out to play !

Don’t you just love those words ?
Children have no trouble playing.
Fun is pulsing through their veins and wiggling out of every limb.
Play just comes naturally to them.
If left alone long enough, children invent the most wonderful games and fantastic stories.
Creativity and imagination are limitless, emotions are being worked out,
FUN is happening !
Think about it…kids generally don’t return from playing outside all stressed out!  🙂

When was the last time that YOU went out to play mom ?
Go Play Mom !

I am a good mom.

Are you a GOOD mom ?
–>  Encouragement for Moms <–

(I added that in case you were waiting for confirmation that you aren’t 🙂  )

I am a good mom.

Say it out loud with me!

Did you find that hard to say?
I did.

Did you find it even more difficult to really settle it in your heart
without a steady stream of accusations floating through your mind?

What?!?

You didn’t wear your baby?  You didn’t potty train by 2?
You’ve had to rewash the towels 3 times because you can’t remember to put them in the dryer?  AND your 9th grader isn’t taking Advanced Calculus this year?   😀

Yeah…still…You ARE a good mom.

Why is this such a hard bunch of words to speak and believe about ourselves ?
Truly, I don’t know of a more loving, giving, hard-working group of ladies
than the mamas that I am blessed to know.
We may all have very different parenting styles, and a different set of goals for our families and ourselves, but one thing we all have in common…We love our children very much.

And love covers a multitude of sins !

I AM A GOOD MOM.
Practice saying the words aloud to yourself till you believe them…then share them
with a friend.

I read a lovely blog post today written by Danielle, a mom just like us.
If you’re in need of some encouragement, or know another mama who needs a reassuring word, read this post and pass it along!!!
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF BEING A “GOOD” MOM  from Today’s the Best Day
I am a good mom

 

10 Great Ideas for Summer Learning Fun

 

Summer school ?
Already ?   Nooooooo !
But really …Summer School can be FUN !!

Plan now and let the living be EASY !

I’m already dreaming of lazy mornings, grilling hamburgers, and enjoying big slices of juicy watermelon !

No matter if you school year round  or not, after several weeks of vacation from the daily routine, it’s good to have a little plan for the week.
See how little the plan is ?!

COME BACK !!   Don’t run away!  
I promise these FUN ideas won’t take much (if any) real planning, and will only add to the easy, carefree days that we all look forward to.

Continue reading 10 Great Ideas for Summer School

American Girl Kirsten-
Pioneer Unit Study

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)
Pioneers
5.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 14-15, 24-25                (Home on the Prairie )
Native Americans

*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)

Continue reading American Girl Kirsten- Pioneer America Unit Study

How to Keep a Quiet Heart in a Loud World !

 

~ 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 homeschool her children.  Another friend is 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.

Things I’ve learned :

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.

Prayer works.
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.


Stop.  Pray.

There isn’t a right way to do it.
Just DO it !

And then do it again.
And breathe.

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 are not some “magic words”  that obligate God to answer us.
They are
Simply truth.


I wrote these words & placed them all over my house
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,
         with thanksgiving,
         present your requests to God.
        And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
        will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You have to CHOOSE peace.
 
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 tells us what we can fill our mind
with in place of all the worry.

“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.

Make a list.
Something true.  Something noble.
Something right.  Something pure.
Something lovely.  Something admirable.
Something excellent.  Something praiseworthy.
Then think about those things.  
You may have to make several lists a day.
FILL your mind with these things ! 

God really does love us.
God really is GOOD.
You really can trust Him.

I am praying for you today  !
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.

Philippians 4:9

 

American Girl
Josefina Unit Study

American Girl Josefina Unit Study

America’s Southwest  Frontier
1824

 

* Core Reading-

*Week 1: “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824
Introduction to Josefina and America’s Southwest Frontier

1.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 1                                   (Meet Josefina)

2.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 2-5                              (Josefina’s World )

3.   “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 8-9; 32-33               (The Village)

4. “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 10-11; 28-29            (Daily Life)

5.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 16-21                          ( Family)

Week 2: “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824
A Day With Josefina

1.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 22-25                         ( Fashion & Beauty )

2.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 26-27                         (Medicine & Health )

3.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 13 (inset)                 (Art & Music )

4.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 12-15                         (Faith)

5. “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 34-35                          (Food & Fiestas! )

Week 3: “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824
Life on the Trail

1.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 36-39                            (Friends & Neighbors)

2. “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 40-45                             (El Camino Real)

3.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 48-49; 54-55              (The Santa Fe Trail )

4.  “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 50-53                              (Life on the Trail )

5. “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”- p. 56-58                               (Becoming “American”)

Continue reading Josefina Unit Study- America’s Southwest Frontier 1824

spring science activities friday favorites from Fields of Daisies
~Spring Science~
         Friday Favorites !

As much as I love the cozy days of winter, I’m kind of ready for a new season.
Ready for all the browns to be replaced with greens, for flowers to bloom, and the breezes to be warm.

Bring on the spring!
 

There’s just something about the change of seasons that always energizes me….and err….it seems to have been genetic.
My kids tend to get that same “energy”.


Yep.
 Spring Fever !

So, this week’s Friday Favorites are  some fun   Spring Science Activities
to change things up a bit and get the spring fever wiggles out.    🙂

* ‘Egg’cellent  Ideas*

Bouncy Eggs from Parenting Chaos
8 Fascinating Egg Science Activities  from   iGame Mom
8 Egg Launchers  (These are SO MUCH FUN!!)  from   Little Bins for Little Hands

* Dancing with the Daffodils & Other Flower Power Ideas *

Daffodil Disection (& other lovely related ideas) from Mama Scout
*I really love this mama’s reminder that real learning is the goal!
Seed Sprouting Activity from Housing A Forest
The Magic School Bus Gets Planted!

Flower Pigment Experiment from Coffee Cups and Crayons

* Butterflies, Birds, and Bugs *

Make a Butterfly Feeder and learn all about butterflies with this Butterfly Unit from Premeditated Leftovers
Birds of a Feather from The Scientific Mom
Ants ! from Gift of Curiosity

spring science friday favorites

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Gather Together, Give Thanks, Eat Pie !

Fall Pie

 

 

 

~Fall School~
Friday, Pie Day ! 

Anybody at your house have FALL FEVER ?
That’s a thing you know.
Symptoms include the urge to consume inordinate amounts of pumpkin flavored foods and beverages, to jump in piles of crunchy leaves, and for me, the urge to bake.

It  IS Friday, so why not make it a pie day ?
{ Homeschooling benefit # 3,383,938! }

And of course pie IS very educational… it covers science, and art, and history if you’re creative, and definitely math!   And math is very important you know…If we have a whole pie, and I eat 3 pieces… well, you get the idea. 😀
So, grab some aprons and gather everyone in the kitchen.
Get that pie school done !
Chop some apples, measure some flour, stir some pumpkin, sprinkle some cinnamon, and bake some pies!!
PS…If you’re not feeling pie, there’s some other quick and easy ideas at the bottom of this page too.  “Friday, Pie Day and Some Other Stuff Too” just didn’t sound like a great title for this post.    

And while you’re at it, why not invite some friends and family over to share in all the fally pie goodness ?!
Maybe bake some individual sized pies or some of the other easy  fall treats below and go on a sharing mission…it’s a great excuse to m
eet one of your neighbors, surprise the mail person, or just treat someone to a little kindness ! 

SO, GIVE THANKS and EAT SOME PIE !

* Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This is a delicious pumpkin pie recipe.  Sweet and cinnamony… that’s a word, right?
I always add a dot of butter right in the middle before baking.  Not sure why, but my grandma always did that so I do too.   🙂   I also like to use any extra pie crust to make cut outs for the top of the pie (see photo above).  I took an egg yolk and a few drops of food coloring & painted it on the leaf cutouts before baking for pretty fall colors.   See?!  Color mixing!  I told you it was an educational activity ?!?!
Add some of these other fun pumpkin ideas & voila !
(The pie pictured at the top  is this pie recipe) 

* Favorite Apple Pie Recipe
This is a great, no-fail recipe.  No soupy insides!   Slices perfectly!  
 The only changes I make to this recipe is to reduce the amount of sugar a bit, and use a mix of both Granny Smith & Gala (or some other type
  of red apple).  This is a very plain pie recipe, but don’t be worried…it’s so good !
I made this one on Monday.  Need more to call it a full day of school?
Try a mini Johnny Appleseed Unit !  
Apple Pie

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’ve made it all the way to Friday this week, and you’re totally not feeling the whole mess of the pie day thing ??

Here are a few quick and easy 
fall favorites to make together & share~

* Baked Apple “Chips”
Sprinkle with some cinnamon & nutmeg if you’d like.

* Hand-Dipped Fall Pretzel Sticks
From Mess For Less… such a cute, quick, and easy snack to make.  Perfect for sharing!!

* Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Great way to extend the pumpkin learning fun!  Carve a pumpkin, guess how many seeds, bake it into a pie, try some of the fun activities HERE , roast the seeds, and call it a good day !

* Pumpkin Pancakes
These “pancakes” are good enough to be dessert.  I have been making these special pancakes for my kids at the beginning of fall  since they were babies.  It is definitely not my usual pancake recipe, but they are a yummy treat and a fun tradition in our family.  You could make individual pancakes out of them, or giant family style pancakes like I do.   I usually cook them in cast iron skillet, but have made them in a pumpkin shaped cake pan as well.   One more reason to love the fall !  Pumpkin everything!   Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pancakes


SO WHAT’S COOKING AT YOUR HOUSE
this Friday?

I’d  LOVE  to know!
Leave a comment & share your Friday FALL Favorite !!

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fall leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Fall Leaves Activities~

*If you’d like to listen to some lovely, quiet music while you scroll through these ideas, Autumn by George Winston is one of my all time favorites!

*Fall Leaves Favorites for the Littles
Montessori-Inspired Autumn Leaf Unit  from Living Montessori Now
8 Leaf Activities from Teaching Mama
Fall Song, How Many Leaves ?  Counting & Colors Song
– Leaves by David Ezra Stein audio picture book on YouTube
   (very nice reading with original music composition)
– Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf  by Lois Ehlert – audio picture book
– Lots of Leaf Activities and Printables from Enchanted Learning
Leaf Lacing for Toddlers  from I Can Teach My Child
– 
My favorite fall finds for the Littles on my Pinterest board “Littles- Fall Fun”


*Fall Leaves Favorites for Everyone
Falling Leaves Unit Study from DIY Homeschooler
– Autumn Leaves Poetry
– Some great fall leaves ideas from  The Homeschool Scientist
– Fall Leaves Ideas for all ages!
– TONS of Fall Leaf Crafty Ideas from 123 Homeschool For Me
Collection of Fall Leaf Coloring Pages–  nice, detailed drawings  
Leaf Identification Cards  (free printables!)  from Wildflower Ramblings

*Why Do Leaves Change Colors Anyway??
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a short video by kids, for kids
Why Leaves Change Colors–  short video explanation from DNews
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a simple science experiment from How Wee Learn
Chromatography- Why Leaves Change Colors–  –YouTube  

*And one more favorite 🙂
– Some more fun music for a autumn coloring (HERE), crafting, leafy afternoon
Linus & Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi  by George Winston 

Texas Fall

 

 

great books for us history

Planning
to study
US History this year?  


Looking for some great books to make all the people, places, and events come ALIVE ?!?
Here are some of my favorite books for early US History all in one place.    

The lists are compatible with the American Girl History Units, but there are also LOTS of other great history books NOT related to the American Girls …never fear fellows !  
Check back from time to time, I’m always adding to the lists.

As always, it would be AWESOME  if you’re going to purchase any of the books (or anything on Amazon at all) , if you could do it through these links.   T
here is NO extra charge to you whatsoever, and I get a small percentage for any items you purchase which helps me to keep posting all my units for free.  

Also, be sure to follow my American Girl Pages on Pinterest for all kinds of additional printables, recipes, activities, crafts, etc…
(There’s lots of non-AG ideas too !!) 

**I usually pin new fun finds to these boards at least several times a week!

HAPPY PLANNING !!!

civil war great books

 

 

 

* Civil War Reading List

 

 

 

pioneer unit reading list

 

 

 

*Pioneer America Reading List

 

 

 

Frontier Unit Study Book List

 

*America’s Southwest
Frontier Reading List  

colonial america unit book list

 

 

 

 *Colonial America
Reading List

 

 

native americans unit reading list

 

 

*Native America    

 

 

 

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