Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unschooling?! ~ Grace for Overwhelmed Homeschooling Mothers


When I first started homeschooling, I read dozens of books on curriculums and teaching styles. I couldn't get enough of them! The main ones that excited my home education appetite was the unit study style of teaching along with the Charlotte Mason ideas. In the end, both were incorporated to create our eclectic style of home education. Surprisingly, it was the book on "un-schooling" that impacted me most. Though my task oriented character wasn't complimentary to this concept, I gleaned much from the book though I never "purposely" apply its concepts. For what it did do, was relieve my anxiety during those "life gets crazy" days!

Note: If you are unfamiliar with un-schooling, it is basically a child led education (you can read more about it here and keep in mind it is different to each parent). I will be sharing my version of un-schooling. 


Oftentimes, there are days (and sometimes weeks and even months!) throughout the year that emergencies come up, sicknesses occur, your extended family needs you, you are in the middle of a move, you have 50 bushels of apples to preserve, your husband needs your help in the family business, friends and family need assistance and the list goes on... and the list goes on!

What is a homeschooling mother to do?


Should she fret and give up her goals of home education every time life throws a curve ball? Should she be overwhelmed and burdened when she can't keep up with her homeschooling schedule? Should she just throw in the towel?

No, what was once important is still important. The reasons you decided to home educate are still valid. We just need to change our thinking during those times. This is where your "un-schooling" insurance comes in!


“An alarming number of parents appear to have little confidence in their ability to "teach" their children. We should help parents understand the overriding importance of incidental teaching in the context of warm, consistent companionship. Such caring is usually the greatest teaching, especially if caring means sharing in the activites of the home.”
~ Raymond S. Moore, School Can Wait

You can have peace of mind that your child is still being educated on those days, it is just a different type of learning, a practical learning experience or even a creative one! Here are some examples of how this could go via my version of un-schooling:


When those buckets of produce are staring at you to preserve, and you need to enlist those extra helping hands, you can consider that whole day "home economics" in your homeschooling schedule.


If you are needed to care for a family member during an illness, have your children help! They are learning valuable biblical lessons of carrying each others burdens. The children can assist you in making meals, serving beverages, singing songs to the patient, reading to the patient and offering up prayers. If you have older children, have them research the illness you are dealing with so they can offer suggestions, menus and ideas to make the patient more comfortable. You have potentially done home economics, Bible (character building) and science (health) that day.


“Education is not confined to books, and the finest characters often graduate from no college, but make experience their master, and life their book. [Some care] only for the mental culture, and [are] in danger of over-studying, under the delusion . . . that learning must be had at all costs, forgetting that health and real wisdom are better.”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Jo's Boys


If your husband decides to take you all to the lake for the week, do not fret! You can call that time a "family field trip". Some other areas of study would be "science" since the waters are full of marine life and critters. Taking little opportunities along the way to share and observe can transform many an outing into a nature study. If your children spend the week swimming their hearts out, you could include "physical education" in your daily homeschool log.


When I needed to start packing for a major cross-country move (and had to sell off 1/3 of our household goods), I had a stack of audio books that were listened to while my laundry was being folded, cheese for dinner was being shredded and produce was cut into salads, etc (anything that helped me to pack and sell so that life could continue was done while listening to audio books). If the book was Heidi, I would consider it "geography" and "language arts" for the day. I would give oral assignments such as, "please bring the globe and locate Switzerland and Germany for me" or any cities mentioned in the book (geography). I would implement narration by asking what each chapter was about as we listened (language arts). Our Around the World Cookbook was brought out and meals were prepared for me based on the country we were focusing on (home economics). On the weekends, we would watch movies located in Switzerland or based on the books we read. It was a busy time but school was being done the best way we could!


If your child is sick in bed, they could still have perfect attendance. If you are allowing them the privilege of watching something of worth for either historical, science or character building content, you can call that day spent learning in bed "history" or "science" in your homeschooling schedule. I think you get the point.


Obviously, older students can still do the basics (reading, writing, arithmetic) if your curriculum and schedule allows and they could also help the younger ones when they are finished to do theirs. I also purchase special independent workbooks for times such as these. Our favorites are the Queen Homeschool curriculums (think Charlotte Mason style workbooks!). When life gets crazy, I pull them out.

Discovering Nature and Science Series

"Written directly to the child, our courses need no teacher's manual, and allow both parent and child to develop interests outside of school time, as well as having the time to pursue them."


I have also noticed that once "school" is over for the day, what continues to happen in our home is still education! I see encyclopedias opened (to Rococo Art on one occasion!?), I see a birdwatching notebook being created, animal husbandry books being read and applied in the back yard, meals being made, desserts being baked, little frocks being sewn for little ones, embroidering, painting, drawing, writing of novels, crafting, reading, reading and more reading!

Note: I hate to be the bearer of bad news (or upset anyone) but I must speak plainly. If you keep a no TV schedule these activities shared above will take place. Leaving your child in front of the television all day long is not educational even if the programs are all educational. Although an occasional movie has its place, it is certainly not a replacement for reading, exploring, creativity, playtime and other childhood activities that encourage learning and development. Yes, it may be "the" answer for a few days but please don't make it a habit.


The most important lesson (for mother and children) to learn while homeschooling is that life isn't perfect and smooth! Our children need to understand that we need to roll with the punches. Plans change, things come up and learning how to modify our schedules is also an important lesson to learn. It teaches flexibility (for mother and children). Life doesn't revolve around the homeschool, rather, homeschool revolves around life. That is true education for the real world.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life..."



I hope this has alleviated some stress and anxiety for those of you going through different situations. I will leave you with a true story to inspire.  Michael Smith (an attorney from the HSLDA) told it at a homeschool convention and I constantly fall back on his words when the going gets tough. There was a woman who had to take off the homeschooling year in order to care for a sick parent. She was very regimented in her homeschool and the time "off" was a great trial to her orderly character. When the children started school again formally the following year, she had them tested to see how many grades they had fallen back during their "educational absence". What she found was that each child had progressed to the next year! They had already learned how to learn and were continuing their education even when she was not able to be a "teacher". I hope this encourages you as it did me. While I am not suggesting that you purposely abandon your homeschool schedule and curriculum, I do hope this offered some grace during those difficult days.

For more home education posts, visit here.


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #50

“Today is a gift; take pleasure in unwrapping it!” 

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


* Today we are featuring our TOP 10 favorite posts from Last Week 
(a double feature in honor of our 50th edition) *

{I would love for you to choose a few of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}


1. Sloppy Joe Pasta by Of the Hearth ~ This recipe looked so simple to make but very tasty (and with normal ingredients we keep on hand)! 

2. Best Hands on Botany Lessons by Child Led Life ~ The author shares some wonderful hands-on science and nature activities to include in your homeschool (some especially neat ideas for younger children!).  

3. Spring Front Porch by Debbie-Dabble ~ Debbie's porch looks so warm and inviting. I would love to spend the afternoon there with a cup of coffee and some nice conversation! 

4. The Place of Prayer by Ready to Be Offered ~ What a powerful post on prayer! Rebekah shares some inspiring words. You will want to read this!

5. Homemade Whipped Peppermint Hand and Body Butter by Fresh Eggs Daily ~ Lisa's hand and body butter looks absolutely amazing! We are going to try and make some very soon as it looks very easy to prepare.


6. Sweet Potato Hash Brown Stack by A Tray of Bliss ~ Mimi shares a mouth-watering recipe that I can see our family enjoying and I also appreciated her insourcing post on a homemaker's contribution. Make a visit over!

7. More Than a Mom by Best of Baby ~ This is a lovely post on what motherhood does to us! Our children make us more than mothers! You will want to read this :)

8. Mexican for a Week {Freezer Cooking Plan} by Stuffed Veggies ~ This was such a neat and helpful post! Anna share a meal plan on how to make Mexican food for a week by telling you what you need to purchase, how to prepare your own spices for the menus, the basic foods to prepare and freeze and the seven meals you will be able to make with it all! I loved this concept! 

9. Dandelion Jelly by Floyd Family Homestead ~ What a blessing to stockpile your pantry with jams and jellies created from free foraged foods. Shane shares her recipe for a delicious dandelion jelly!

10. Alternatives to Bouquets by Butterfly Bungalow ~ And finally, I know many are struggling financially and feel they can't create that cozy kind of home they desire. However, Su shares some wonderful ideas on making bouquets from items found in nature. Enjoy! 

{I would love for you to choose a few of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Our Calendula Collection ~ Herbal Link Up

In other news, we are currently hosting an herbal link up on the calendula flower (pot marigold) (only 1 week left!). This lovely plant offers so much medicinal and topical blessings!

Take a visit over for some great ideas or we would love for you to link up your own calendula related posts. Link up will be running until the end of the month (April 2015). Visit here for inspiration and/or to see the newest additions!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What to Do and Make With All Your Lovely Lavender {DIY List}


"If you could choose only one herb for household use, lavender would have to be at the top of the list. Apart from its pretty flower and much loved scent, lavender is antibacterial, antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, deodorizing and insect repelling, which means that you can use it in the living room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, nursery and patio, as well as in your wardrobes and drawers, on your pets and on your skin." 

If you have read this blog for some time, you already know that lavender, with its variety of uses, is one of my favorite plants. Though its water was prized in the Regency Era (Jane Austen wrote of lavender water in her novels and referred to it in her letters), it was Queen Victoria who popularized this amazing flower as a homemaking necessity. She had her rooms perfumed with it and even appointed a Miss Sarah Sprules as “Purveyor of Lavender Essence to the Queen”!



“It is generally known that the Queen is a great believer in Lavender as a disinfectant, and that she is not at all singular in her faith in this plant… The royal residences are strongly impregnated with the refreshing odour of this old-fashioned flower, and there is no perfume that the Queen likes better than Lavender-water, which, together with the oil for disinfecting purposes, Her Majesty has direct from a lady who distills it herself.”
~ Fragrant Flowers, 1895

And the romantic, natural, modern-day homemaker? I suggest you embrace it to its fullest capacity! Here are some wonderful ways that we use lavender in our household and for gift giving. We will be sharing more ideas in the future since there are so many enjoyable things to do and make with this heavenly herb! {Note: If you don't have a lavender plant, you can always purchase flower buds here.}



{all titles are linked}












“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs,
with fields of lavender,
and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows...” 
~William Cullen Bryant


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysHome Acre HopGrowing in Grace ThursdaysFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays, The Tip Garden and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Lavender image was found here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #49


“Home is a kind of kingdom with rulers, laws, and subjects,
each with a part to perform in order that life there shall be perfect, 
or at least the best it can be.”
~ Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood (Revised by Karen Andreola)

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


* Today we are featuring our favorite 5 posts from Last Week *

{I would love for you to choose at least one of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}


1. {Healthy} Brownie Batter Breakfast Bake by Best of Long Island and Central Florida ~ Linda shares a tasty looking recipe that has me craving breakfast when it is actually lunchtime! Is it just me or would this be a hit in your home too?

2. Baby Chick Photo Shoot by LL Farm ~ Oh my goodness, if these photos don't brighten your day, I don't know what will!

3. Do You Have a Homesteader's Heart by Our Simple Homestead ~ I love the way Tracy puts it. Homesteading isn't about having a large piece of land but a certain frame of mind!

4. Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us by So Much at Home ~ Chris shares a passionate article regarding one of my favorite excerpts from Scripture. You will be encouraged!

5. As Keeper of My Home by Blessed Hearth ~ And finally, Faye always inspires! Her spring homemaking list is right up my alley... Lots of pretty pictures and homemaking incentive :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Update on DIY Lunch Meat (Curing Salt verses Other Salts)

If you were interested in making our lunch meat recipe but were concerned about the use of curing salts (i.e, if you can substitute healthier salts for the curing salt), we have since received sound information which is very helpful on the subject! Please visit our updated post which shares the answer at the bottom of the page.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Our Calendula Collection ~ Herbal Link Up

In other news, we are currently hosting an herbal link up on the calendula flower (pot marigold). This lovely plant offers so much medicinal and topical blessings!

Take a visit over for some great ideas or we would love for you to link up your own calendula related posts. Link up will be running until the end of the month (April 2015). Visit here for inspiration and/or to see the newest additions!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Friday, April 17, 2015

Stain Remover Spray {DIY} ~ A Tiggy-winkle Tutorial


"Then she took something else off a clothes-horse— "That isn't my pinny?" said Lucie. "Oh no, if you please'm; that's a damask table-cloth belonging to Jenny Wren; look how it's stained with currant wine!
 It's very bad to wash!" said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle."
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

Ah, the sorrow of stains in the laundry! No one understands that better than our dear washer-woman, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. However, she does not fret my friends, for she knows how to make her own frugal stain remover!


If you please'm, all you need is some water, dish soap, liquid glycerin and essential oils (the essential oils are optional but helpful). Liquid glycerin can often be found in the health/body care aisle in most markets or it can be purchased online.


Either lemon or eucalyptus oils are chosen specifically for this easy project because of their stain removing abilities. I often use lemon in our household recipes when acceptable because it is a less expensive oil.


Simply mix together 1/4 cup of dish soap, 1/4 cup of liquid glycerin, 1 1/2 cups of water and pour into a spray bottle. Optional: add 8 drops of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil to the final product. Use like you would any stain remover spray. This recipe was adapted from Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan.

Here is also a printable stain remover chart that may be helpful to have on hand (per Mrs. Tiggy-winkle of course).


"If at all possible, it's best to treat spills and stains on washable garments immediately --while the stains are fresh and before they dry. The more quickly you treat a stain, the less likely it is to set... Blot liquid stains with a clean white, lint-free cloth or paper towel. Gently scrape or brush off excess solids, if there are any. Avoid excessive rubbing, as it may spread the stain or damage delicate fabrics... After pretreating and washing a stained item, always check to make sure the stain has been removed before putting the item in the dryer. Dryer heat can permanently set some stains. If the stain remains, pretreat and wash again."
~ Donna Smallin, Cleaning Plain and Simple


"Lily-white and clean, oh!
With little frills between, oh!
Smooth and hot—red rusty spot
Never here be seen, oh!"
Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's Wash Day Song by Beatrix Potter

    

We are also sharing our label for the stain remover spray (feel free to copy). If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may be interested in making Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's spray starch or her handkerchief tutorial. For more Beatrix Potter inspired projects, visit here (if you please 'm)! Thank you for joining us for another week of "Fun Friday" this spring! Have a lovely day.



                                                       

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysHome Acre HopGrowing in Grace ThursdaysFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Illustrations are by Beatrix Potter.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...