Those families using the Charlotte Mason way to educate our children, all desire them to enjoy nature journaling. However, often times, the homeschooling mother loves the idea of adding nature journaling to their homeschool plans, but they find resistance in their children. These things will help you implement a desired method into your homeschool, while opening up the world of creative journaling through nature that will cause your children to enjoy nature journaling for years to come.
How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Nature Journaling
I started introducing natural journaling into our homeschool in 2001, and at that time, my children were 7 and 5 years old. They both did their nature journaling without complaints, but honestly, I was disappointed in how little their nature journaling was enjoyable to them. It was like one more assignment, and I knew that with the Charlotte Mason way of education that the goal would be for this to be something that they loved and took great care in adding their nature finds or learning into.
I took a step back and evaluated how I was presenting nature journaling to them, and immediately I saw a few things that needed to be adjusted on my part.
It Should Be Child Lead
Diving into more about what Charlotte Mason taught on the subject of Nature Studies, I began to realize that entries into a nature journal was child lead. It wasn't an assignment to be completed, but something mostly done outside.
Nature journaling was a hands-on activity that allowed the child to capture something from their nature study that they observed and that caught their attention. It was to be the best depiction of what they saw, and an entry of what it was, along with where they saw it. This one thing will allow children to enjoy nature journaling from the start.
I also add assignments in as they grow in their nature journaling, but to teach them to love it, needs to be child lead of what is added. Don't allow your child to decide the frequency, unless it is more than your requirement.
Child Need Examples
One of my children has always been a perfectionist. They would easily get frustrated if they were required to do something without an example to follow for their own nature work.
It was through watching this child's need for something to strive toward that gave me the idea to offer ideas on how to nature journal. Once these examples were shown to my children their work improved greatly.
Here are some of my favorite books to demonstrate what a natural journal could look like with care and dedication to doing their best:
Mom Should Enjoy Journaling
The times when I took the time to enjoy nature journaling with my children, they enjoyed their own entries better, and seemed to take more care in their work, because they saw how I took care in my own.
This very thing is why I recommend doing ‘wild days' with your kids often. To learn more about what that means and how to prepare for them, you could read this post, Nature Walk Bag…
The Constitution is something that all United States citizens should know and understand. Without the knowledge of the Constitution, you are giving up rights without even being aware of them, and in today's culture, it is very important. Regardless if you we in an election year or not, citizens need to be aware of what the Constitution says about every aspect of their life. Why not add teach the Constitution in your homeschool, and be sure that you are all learning it together. That is how we do it in our home!
How to Teach the Constitution
If you love American History like our family, you love to learn everything you can about the Constitution and what the founding fathers intended our country to look like from the first few years as a new nation.
In our home, we take one-full year in high school to focus entirely on learning about Constitutional history, while also introducing our younger children to as much as they can retain. To us, it is very important to have our children grow as political as they can be, based on the rights that the Constitution affords to every citizen and base their views from that and what they have learned in their Christian faith.
This year our high school curriculum will consist of these resources.
Constitutional Literacy Workbook and the 25-Part DVD Series – The history you never knew. The training you need to reclaim liberty.
This will be the skeleton of our curriculum because I haven't seen anything so thoroughly covering the history of the constitution, the branches of government, their responsibilities and duties, with the parts of the Constitution being broken down to explain what they mean in layman terms.
Each episode of the DVD series has six parts to dissect:
- Purpose: This section provides an overview of what will be covered in each episode and lessons
- Parlance: (meaning language) This section will have key vocabulary of legal terminology used in this lesson for a better understanding of what is being covered
- Preamble: This sections provides an introduction of what will be covered, allowing for historical background or framing the context into everyday life
- Ponder: This sections is where you dig deeper. Literally providing the opportunity for great discussions or essays for assignments to evaluate the comprehension of what was covered
- Payoff: This sections summaries the issues and arguments of the topics that were covered (perfect for teaching a solid debate for standing up for your beliefs on a topic)
- Probe: This section will provide more assignments for high school students to dig deeper in the people, cases or topics mentioned, providing them with investing in their own education on the Constitution
American Heritage Series and the Building on the American Heritage Series by David Barton
These DVDs are amazing, and ones that we used with our older children to teach the Constitution. We will use these as enhancements to the above curriculum to ensure that our children understand the value and importance of interrupting history through original document and individual writings of the Founding Fathers.
There would be key people that I would want my children to learn about when learning about the Constitution. I prefer to use smaller biographies for all my children to grasp the important details of the people, verses using a textbook for this part of their education.
These would be the resources that I would use:
Good wholesome book lists for Christian boys are hard to find. My daughter's love of books, and my determination to give them quality over quantity has also helped in finding the books that fill their mind while shaping their character. This list gives me the peace of mind that I’m proving quality books that compliments our Charlotte Mason way of educating.
A Book List for Christian Boys
Our boys have never been labeled as ‘book worms' or ‘avid readers', so I wanted to be sure that what I provided for them in the way of books were carefully selected for them, and not just thoughtless thrown in from of them. I wanted every book to matter to them.
This book list for Christian boys are ones that I will ensure that all of my boys will read at one point in their homeschool journey.
Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men
Boyhood and Beyond
Practical Happiness: A Young Man's Guide to a Contented Life
Everyday Battles: Knowing God Through Our Daily Conflict
How to Be a Man: Useful Hints for Boys on the Formation of Character
Thoughts for Young Man
Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione
Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest
Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor
Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court
Amy and Her Brothers
Basil: Or Honesty and Industry
The Boy Who Never Lost a Chance
Boys of Grit That Changed the World
Boys of Grit That Never Gave Up
Buried in the Snow
Caleb in the Country
The Captain's Sword
Clean Your Boots, Sir?
Cobwebs and Cables
The Hedge of Thorns
Pride and His Prisoners
A Puzzling Pair
The Robber's Cave
Ship Wrecked But Not Lost
Sir Knight and the Splendid Way
Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince
If you liked this post, you may also like A Book List for Christian Girls.
If you are anything like me, you are always looking for good books for your children. My daughter was our avid reader from an early age, and I could hardly keep up with reviewing books for her to read on her own. This book list for Christian girls should help you in your own journey. I love that this list is full of quality books, and void of twaddle to reflect our Charlotte Mason education.
A Book List for Christian Girls
As our daughter was approaching her teen years, we desired to fill her reading with inspirational books that would grow her faith, while giving her the joy of reading, both in homeschooling and in her free reading.
This book list for Christian girls is very much a list that has been formed from our experience, and maybe few other nuggets thrown in that were are finding recently that we weren't aware of during her teen years.
The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood
Beyond Beautiful Girlhood Plus Companion Guide
Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity
So Much More
Journeys of Faithfulness
The Basket of Flowers
Amy and Her Brothers
The Children of Cloverly
Helen's Temper and Its Consequences
The Beggar's Blessing
Jessica's First Prayer
Jill's Red Bag
A Lost Pearle
Mary Jones and Her Bible
A Peep Behind the Scenes
Rosa of Linden Castle
Trapped Beneath the Surface
The Wide Wide World
The Wide Wide World II
Zuma and the Secret of Peru
Daughters of Destiny
Do you want to teach independence and accountability to your children, but not sure how to do it? I would like to introduce you to a set of homeschool planners that will help you accomplish that while organizing assignments, schedules and responsibilities for all reading members of your home.
Homeschool Planners for the Whole Family: How to Teach Independence and Accountability
The more children a home has the more the desire to help them each learn to be independence, while having a sense of accountability. I have found that with our own home, the sooner I give my children the responsibility for their daily homeschool lessons, the easier it is to see that independence and accountability unfold in their lives.
The difference between independence and accountability is important to understand before implementing a system that includes homeschool planners that children become responsible for on their own.
With independence, this is something that is expected of the child to learn and demonstrate. Without clear understanding, instruction and direction, independence can easily become a handicap for a child, because then they believe they are their own boss. However, with the correct safeguards in place, a child that is trusted with her or his daily assignments will begin to feel a pride of accomplishment in their work and the correct balance of independence that will breed respect of authority, while taking ownership of their work.
With accountability, this is something that the adult is responsible for to ensure that a child is learning proper focus and attention to the details of their assignments. When first starting out with independent work, based off a homeschool planner that belongs to one child, I personal hold the child accountability daily. Bad habits are hard to break when too much goes between accountability checks.
I will then increase the days between accountability checks, as the child has demonstrated proper independence, until I work up to only checking on their assignments at the end of the week.
Let me introduce you to the homeschool planners that the whole family can benefit from, while you focus on teaching independence and accountability in each of your family members.
Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner
I love how thought out this homeschool planner is, as it focuses on more than just academic needs for your family. With nearly 300 pages, this planner has EVERYTHING.
Here is what is included:
- Sturdy construction with convenient pockets and coated covers
- Six years of calendars for long-term planning
- One-Year Planning Grid for the year ahead
- Student Goal Setter pages to identify academic and character goals for each child
- Family Priorities page to help you keep life in perspective
- Resource List pages to track resources for up to six children
- Two-page planning grid for each month
- Special Notes for scheduling exceptions that break your routine
- Wide margins to record prayers and answers to prayers
- Scriptures for meditating on God’s faithfulness
- Exclusive Lord’s Day feature for making God’s Word a central part of your plan
- Maximum flexibility to organize for up to six children by day or subject
- Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace pages for recounting God’s activity in your life and home school
- Pages to record grades for up to six children and six subjects
- Reading List pages for up to six children
- Field Trip and Outside Activities logHigh School Planning Grid with a sample plan
- Year-End Review pages for reflection and next year’s planning
Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner
Do you have children in elementary grades that already know how to read, and you desire to begin working on their independence and helping them be accountable for their work? If so, I have a great homeschool planner just for them!
The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students
This student planners is colorful, and includes trivia questions, timeline facts for World and American history, along with plenty of space for daily assignments, with slots for marking when they are completed, and when the work has been approved. The perfect system to implementing the independence and accountability.
You can learn more about this student planner and download a free sample.
Do you have a teen that is going into high school, and you want a system that they can help you better track credit hours? You will want to check this teen planner out:
Check out more about this planner with the download sample.
This teen planner does that and in a theme look that appeals to teenagers, along with quotes, and verses that appeal to moms. It also includes a lot of reviews for grammar and math that will prove helpful to many teens.
Check out more about this planner with the download sample.
Music is an amazing tool for creativity, movement and learning. I would love to share some great resources with you of how you can encourage your children to learn math through music.
Learning Math Facts Through Music
Child can struggle while learning math facts, but with the help of music memorization can happen quickly, regardless of the age of the child.
Recently, out of the blue, I thought to teach my Kindergarten son how to count by tens with a song that my older children learned from a fun CD, and just like that, he learned to sing it on his own. It was so simple and effective that I began to remember how music can help the brain recall better than memorizing without it. This same CD teaches the days of the week, the months of the year and many other things that children need to learn and do with ease thanks to the music. I loved the phonics portion of this CD with my older ones!
In search for additional ways to teach my son with music, I came across the Musical Math CD series that contains two CDs for just math knowledge put to song.
Musical Math by Heidi Butkus, includes: counting to 100, sorting, patterning, comparing sets (more, less, and equal), skip counting, coin recognition, estimation, addition, and subtraction. The songs are short, fun and catchy.
Musical Math Volume 2, also by Heidi Butkus, continues with the same short, fun songs that kids will be quick to catch on and start singing, which includes: telling time, measuring, putting numbers in order, and three-dimensional shapes. There are some common core songs as well, which you can skip over or use if your child's school requires this type of learning.
You may also enjoy doing a hands-on learning activity to evaluate your child's math facts knowledge that doesn't include workbooks or worksheets. My son LOVES doing this learning box activity to practice his math facts.
If you like the concept of using music to teach facts, not only for math but other subjects, you may want to look into some of the following resources as well:
Continent and Ocean Songs
State and Capital Songs