Cultivating Joyful Homes

Homeschooling can sadly be a joy killer. While spending our days with children should naturally bring tons of lightness and joy into our lives, it is easy for us to get preoccupied, worrying about doing enough, and then create an atmosphere of tension instead of fun.

It doesn't have to be this way though. 

When we begin to break down what our children really need to know, and when we begin to get a vision of the long view of homeschooling, we can start to realize that this pressure that steals the fun out of our days with our children is just a mirage. 

Think about it? What do you remember from your school days? What lessons stick out to you?

Here is another question. What do you want your children to remember from their first few years of school?

When we put these questions and their answers into perspective, we can realize that there are only a few things that we really need to do in the first few years of school.

What are these things? 

When you add in some devotional time, and a responsive parent, you have a recipe for academic success. All of the pushing that public schools are imposing on children is not producing brighter children, what it is producing is burnt out children.

Hop off that hamster wheel and start enjoying these precious early years.

Here is a post with some great information about delayed academics.

Here is another post about joy.

This post talks about how some children teach themselves to read.

This company sends out monthly projects.

My preschool curriculum, The Peaceful Preschool, is a great way to cultivate more learning fun in your home. It could easily be adapted to use with a kindergartner or first grader, simply adding a chapter book read aloud, a phonics program and a math program.

Do you need help with figuring out how to pay for homeschool resources? This course is full of practical advice for building a life you love and living within your means. Best of all, 100% of proceeds go towards ministry to families in Tanzania, Africa.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.


Fall Nature Study

Fall has finally arrived! The leaves are beginning to turn colors and my house smells of apples and cloves as I bake and diffuse. Although we started school way back in mid August, many of our extra activities didn't start until late September, so we are really getting into a groove with school, which also makes it feel like fall.

One of our favorite activities for the year, is our Tuesday "Home Team" day. We privately home school to allow our family more freedom to learn as we choose, and this year, were able to find a semi local school that provides some wonderful extra curricular activities. One of these is a P.E. Day for my older children. We started going to it last spring, and while my son would play football or soccer with the other high school students, my youngest two and I would sit near a creek and sketch or play.

Kingfisher Nature Journal, courtesy of @raisinglitlleshoots

Because our time there studying nature was so lovely, I wanted to offer a nature club to the other young students in the school. This year, I have a small group of K-3rd grade students and their mamas, hanging out with us as we observe, draw, and create.

Sometimes getting young children to actually observe nature, requires giving them a craft that involves natural materials. This allows them to slow down enough to actually observe the leaves, bark or feathers that they are supposed to be studying.

One of the resources that we are using this year, is the e-book, Exploring Nature With Children, by Lynn Seddon. This manual includes activities, book suggestions, an overview of the topic and even poem and art suggestions to go along with the theme of the week. 

We have also used the book, Look What I Did With a Leaf for our annual leaf creatures, and one of the girls in our group, made this fabulous horse, using ideas from the book.

Another family fall tradition that we have is a visit to Apple Hill. We don't live as close as we used to, but purchasing fresh apples and fresh apple donuts is worth the drive. 

As I evaluate the activities that we are involved in, and the choices that we make on a daily basis, I am constantly keeping our family vision in mind. As a family, we strive to live within our means so that we can be free to give. This might mean saying no to certain activities so that we can leave room in our budget and in our time to do the things that our dearest to our heart. 

I pulled together my best ideas for saving, and for building a vision for a course that I am offering for a limited time. This course, "Bountiful, Homeschooling on a Budget", will walk you through planning a family vision, creating a budget, getting debt paid off, and living within your means. 

The course includes;

  • Recipes and tutorials
  • Budget and vision forms
  • Interviews with other moms on a budget
  • Inspiration to find your purpose

In addition to all the helpful insight you will gain about living on a budget, 100% of your purchase is funding on the ground ministry we are doing this January in Tanzania, Africa. By living on a budget, we were able to save enough to purchase 9 airplane tickets to Africa so that our children can experience loving and encouraging people from another culture and continent. You can accomplish the dreams that God has put on your heart as well, and this course can help you do that.

Affiliate links included in this post.