Spring Morning


We read a poem by A. A. Milne yesterday that perfectly described our morning. We found a trail in our backyard that we had never followed before and walked down it. At the bottom of the hill we found a pond, stream, and some shovels and pails left by children who had also discovered this backyard paradise. I brought along a book and a picnic blanket and read in the sunshine while the kids climbed trees, jumped across the brook, and dug in the muddy stream.

Sometimes I’m not totally sure if I’m doing this whole education, homeschool, motherhood, etc. thing right, but something in me keeps saying…”this is what they need.”

Spring Morning

by A. A. Milne

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You’d sail on water as blue as air,
And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”

Where am I going? The high rooks call:
“It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
“We do have beautiful things to do.”

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

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Living History Day – A Glimpse into 1775

Today we enjoyed a wonderful homeschool field trip to the Vision Heir’s Living History Days to experience what life was like 250 years ago for the early colonists. There were wonderful activities and many ways for the kids to really see what daily life was like.
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There was a real working blacksmith display. The kids got to use the large billows to fuel the fire.
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There was a cider demonstration with samples of freshly made cider and a real cider press.
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A military band marched through providing authentic drum and flute music.
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Bud got to try his hand at sawing a log and then we listened to a gentleman tell us about different tools that were used at the time in carpentry.
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We listened to Patrick Henry give a spirited speech about the Olive Branch Petition that was sent to Britain in 1775.
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Bud got to see first hand how water was brought from rivers to the home for a wash basin. It really made us appreciate our laundry machine!
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There were some wonderful demonstrators who taught the kids what it was like as the colonists prepared for war. Even our little squirt enjoyed holding a pretend gun and saying “POW!”
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We watched a Military Drill reenactment. Bud said that watching the cannon fire was his favorite part of the event.
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To finish the day, the older two kids dipped candles in hot wax to see how our ancestors made candles. It will be fun to light them at home and see how they burn.
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My kids had a wonderful time at this event. We appreciated the hard work of the Vision Heirs organization. We are studying American History in our homeschool so it was so great to experience it all first hand.


If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy reading about:
Little House on the Prairie Cornbread – Homeschool Activity

Nature Study: Yarrow

Throughout the months from March to October in Colorado, you can find little groups of white flowers at your feet. These little umbels of flowers are called yarrow. We recently made them the focus of our weekly nature walk. My kids, husband and I headed to the high country and hiked along a path at 10,000 feet and found many of these flowers.
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The kids discovered a visual treasure as they looked closely at each individual flower. I am always amazed at the intricate nature of God’s amazing creation.
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We pulled one plant up to examine the roots. The kids were amazed to find a purple taproot! We later saw and learned that many of these flowers can be a pinkish color.
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We also carefully looked at plants still in a bud state. The leaves were fern-like and spread out on the stem in a Fibonacci sequence.
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Later that week, during our nature journaling time, we read from our Rocky Mountain Wildflowers book that the plant was used by early Western settlers as an antiseptic. We learned more about when and where it commonly grows. Bud gave a narration of our walk, recalling all he could remember about what we observed that day. Then we spent sometime drawing in our notebooks about the plant.
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Bud – Age 7

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Peanut – Age 5

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My journal entry

We saw some other beautiful fall plants on our walk. These daisies were blooming everywhere. I love the abundance of daisies and sunflowers in late summer in Colorado bidding us a fine farewell to summer.
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This ground cover had the most beautiful array of color.
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“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?” Luke 12:27-28


You might also enjoy these Fall Nature Study posts:
Traveling SeedsApple Trees

Charlotte Mason Style Tea Party

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Every Wednesday afternoon, the kids and I have a Charlotte Mason-style tea party. The kids love it because they get to sip tea and eat cookies. I love it because it has proved for our family to be a simple way to enjoy the enrichment studies of our Charlotte Mason-style homeschool. We listen to music from our current composer, enjoy reading poems aloud to each other and discussing them, and participate in a picture study of a work of fine art.

My kids are young (7, 5, and 2) so I have found a few helpful things that have kept our tea parties going weekly for over a year now.

There are some things that have helped this happen every week…

Enlist a Helper

We call ours the “Servant Heart” and the bearer proudly wears a felt heart paper clipped to their shirt. The older two kids take turns each week getting to be the special helper. They help pass out the snacks and help clear the table when the party is over.
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Serve Cookies!

Fresh baked cookies from the oven are the most essential element at our house to have happy kids eager to participate. The key for us has been to make 3 large batches of cookies every 6 months, ball them up, and then freeze them. Then I simply pull out 3 cookie balls each week and the dough lasts for 6 months because we only make a few each time. Peanut likes to help me make the big batches each time.
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Drink Tea from Fancy Cups

I have two boys so this seems a little silly, but I think they actually enjoy drinking real tea from real grown-up tea cups. Sippy cups are still in my kids’ not too distant memories so drinking from fancy cups makes them feel mature and distinguished in a silly way. I picked this set up at a local charity thrift store for $5 and the teapot was a heirloom from my grandmother. I’m sure GiGi would have been happy knowing it was being used every week.

We used to live in Boulder, Colorado so we naturally love Celestial Seasonings tea. We had “Bengal Spice” today (which is pretty darn spicy) and I think the different teas maybe do a little to widen their palettes.
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Keep Everything You Need in One Spot

I have a shelf in one of the kitchen cabinets where I keep all of our weekly Tea Time school materials so they are easy to grab and put on the table when Wednesday rolls around. These include poetry books, artwork printouts, and my iPad so I can play our composer’s music.
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Discuss, Narrate, and Laugh

My kids are very young so we just read light-hearted poetry that makes us smile. We read one today called “If I Were a Cave-Man” and we were laughing because this particular “cave man” ate bones and that sounded “gross”.

I love hearing how my children describe the artwork. We pass it the printed copy of the artist’s work and each look at it for about 1 minute and then (youngest to oldest) talk about what we saw. Even my 3 year old loves giving his thoughts on the works of art. It’s so cute and many times better than I could have described it!
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I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our weekly enrichment studies (a.k.a. Tea Party Time). How does your family schedule in time to enjoy these subjects? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Little House on the Prairie Cornbread – Homeschool Activity

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Picture 832Earlier this week, we enjoyed cooking up a meal just like they would have done it in the old days.

We have a great book called The Little House Cookbook that we opened up to find a cornbread recipe. Our history book last week was George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz and the whole story was centered around a little boy trying to find out was Washington would typically have for breakfast. We learned at the end that he would eat “Hoe Cakes” for breakfast which were very similar to the “Cornbread” recipe in our Little House Cookbook. We decided it would be fun to try to taste some of these corn cakes for ourselves.

First we went to the store and bought the ingredients. We bought stoneground cornmeal, molasses, and bratwursts.

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Then Bud changed into his period attire and measured and mixed the batter. I fried the corn cakes on the stove and we all enjoyed them with molasses and butter.

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They would often cook on a woodstove or an open fire back in olden times, but I didn’t want to do that with our corncakes. I still wanted them to experience the campfire feel, so I had bud collect firewood from around the yard and we lit a fire in our chiminea.

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We cooked bratwursts on the fire and had sausages, apples, and corn cakes for lunch. Peanut said it felt like we were “camping”. There were lots of smiles as we sat around and watched the fire roast our brats.

Picture 845We enjoyed talking about what children their age would have probably been doing on a typical morning. It was a fun way for us all to experience an authentic recipe from years gone by.
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January 2016: Month-At-A-Glance

January is a snowy, chilly time in Colorado so we found fun ways to play inside this month. Puzzles, games, LEGOs, and dolls filled our playtimes.
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Picture 800Homeschool: Bible, Character and Hymn Study

This month, we focused on “Attentiveness” and learned about good listening. We defined a good listening as “Listening with your ears, eyes, and heart.” The kids had this phrase memorized by the end of the month and repeating it was a wonderful way to help them learn what I expected from them when I talk to them.

We read and narrated several great Bible stories about attentiveness. We also memorized some great scripture verses. We learned about Jesus as a shepherd and that his sheep listen to his voice.

My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. John 10:27

We talked about Mary and Martha as they hosted Jesus and his disciples and how Mary was very attentive to Jesus and she chose “what was good”.

Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. Proverbs 19:20

Our hymn study was Take My Life and Let it Be. We enjoyed singing this together each morning and night. The first week, we only sang one verse a day and then talked about the meaning of the words in that verse.

Homeschool: Literature and Poetry

We read some great books this month. Bud enjoyed Sarah, Plain and Tall so much that we continued in the series with Skylark by Patricia McLaughlin. He was amazed at the characters’ perseverance through a terrible drought.

We also read Rascal by Sterling North. The writing style of this author is excellent and the wonderful language just resonates off the page. Bud got a wonderful glimpse into American life during WWI.

For lighter family read-alouds we read A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald, and Peanut and I read On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingles Wilder.

Bud memorized “Block City” by Robert Louis Stevenson this month and really enjoyed this poem. He loves playing with LEGOs so the words were right up his alley.

We also enjoyed listening to a Podcast called “Story Pirates” each day during lunch. I had Bud draw a picture describing the wild, child-authored stories and Dad would try to guess the nature of the story from his picture later at dinner. It was so funny to hear the guesses.

Picture 802 Picture 801Homeschool: Handwriting

This month, Bud wrote out several Proverbs about “Attentiveness” as his copywork. If you would like to use this in your homeschool studies please feel free to download it here.

Homeschool: Science

We did some great nature studies this month. We observed the textures of snow on a hike nearby. We read Here Come the Squirrels by Alice Goudey for our natural history book. Peanut had fun “painting with water” and we all observed the quick drying times of our Colorado climate. We tried to get outside as much as possible to play, sled, and ski. It was a fun month to enjoy winter and some time together in a rhythm as a family.

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Free First Grade Copywork

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I hope you will enjoy these free First Grade Copywork pages. We used these throughout this year to teach Bud his handwriting. I had fun creating them and I would love to share them with you. Please feel free to click the links below to download the free handwriting pages. They are all in PDF format. They use Zaner-Bloser style letters. Enjoy!

These documents are not to be used for commercial purposes, posted for download on other sites, or included in file or document collections without my permission. Thanks!

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Free First Grade Copywork

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