Five Great Benefits of Nature Time – Lessons…and lessons

Why Should you Encourage more Nature Time in your Homeschool Routine? 

I love to wake in the morning to the song of the Wood Thrush! Happily, I get to rise hearing his beautiful melody every day! Although not a morning person, that song lures me out of bed to see if I can catch a glimpse of the treetop songster. I’ve never seen him. But he sings every day!

squirrel nature time

Have you ever heard Nature calling to you? 

If you will train yourself and your children to love Nature, the world will never be a lonely place. Always, there will be a flower to sniff, a bird to spot, and stars to wish upon! You will find friends under rocks, and delights just around the next bend in every road you travel. 

I am a firm believer in the importance of Nature time for our characters, and just for our peace of mind. Homeschool can become weary for mom and child. Sitting behind the books can especially feel exhausting to our littlest people. But, honestly, no matter our age, we all feel refreshed after a break, and especially after one in the Great Outdoors! 

See also Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk

girl running nature

So far as possible, let the child from his earliest years be placed where this wonderful lesson book shall be open before him. Let him behold the glorious scenes painted by the great Master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens, let him become acquainted with the wonders of earth and sea, let him watch the unfolding mysteries of the changing seasons, and, in all His works, learn of the Creator. – 


kids nature time

Five Benefits of Nature for Our Children (and Parents)

  • 1. Nature is Multi-sensory–All Five Senses engage with Nature time. As you take a walk outside, you can smell the spice Bush, hear a rippling brook, feel the wind in your hair, experience the tickle of a spiderweb on your face. You get to taste the burst of sweet/sour in a huckleberry, and feel the scratchy leaves under your feet. In Nature you will see the soft flowers, the rushing waterfalls, and the vibrant sunsets. When all of your senses are engaged, those memories make deep impressions in your brain. Some moments in Nature you can never forget. See if you can think of one of those moments now. 
luziero launch amazon
  • My memory involves sailing down the Amazon River in Brazil. I can still go back in my memory to the warm breeze, the brown water rippling below, tall green trees passing by, with screeching monkeys hollering out at me. I can see the pink dolphins jumping, the putter of the boat engine, and I can feel the stickiness of my own sweat coursing down my back. My age has doubled since those days, but I can remember distinctly my thoughts as we traveled along. Mostly thoughts of friends back home, God, and His plan for my life.

Keep reading this post…

Five Great Benefits of Nature Time, for homeschoolers, children, and parents.
— Read on


Friday Freebie—Printable Prayer Cards!

It’s Friday! Time for a Freebie!!

Just in time for the weekend! 

Free Printable Prayer Cards

This is my first Friday Freebie! 

But you have to start somewhere!


The Freebie for today is a set of Free Printable Prayer cards that you can print off and put on rings or in a box. These make a very nice set, especially when printed onto card stock or laminated. We made ours onto 24 lb paper, then laminated 5 mil laminating sheets. you could just as easily print onto card stock and laminate with 3 mil, or slip the laminating altogether. Our printer would not take card stock without jamming up, so we went with what worked!

Free Printable Prayer Cards

Why Prayer Cards?

Sometimes we get bogged down in our prayer time. At other times, we would like to add more Bible to our prayers, and Pray the Word. These free printable prayer cards are just nice little tools to change up our typical prayer lines, so that we are more in tune with God’s will. One side has a Bible promise, and the reverse has a corresponding suggestion for how to pray using that promise. I find them very helpful.

Little Print Shop

We were making a LOT of these cards last year! We had quite a little operation going for half the year. Read about it here.It was a GREAT home business for the kids, and with the money raised, two and a half girls were rescued out of trafficking in India. We had received special permission from Melody to print and sell her cards, which she offers free for anyone to print themselves.

Free Prontable Prayer Cards

You can see that the color options are endless. Pastel, bright, all blues–you can design your set just how you’d like it!

Free Printable Prayer Cards for Personal Encouragement

Melody, who designed the cards, has a very active prayer ministry, to help and encourage others in their prayer lives. Below, I’ve linked a video of her discussing her prayer cards and how she intends for them to be used. Free Printable Prayer Cards


Keep reading post here…

Post continues.  Please click on the link above.

Enjoy, and may you be blessed in your prayer time!!


Finding Your Homeschool Swing!

Homeschooling?  Normal versus Typical? How to Find Your Swing?

find your homeschool swing

Today, I wanted to jump into what you should expect when you homeschool–what should your day look like? Expect just a bit of satire in this post, because the longer you go homeschooling, the more you will notice that hardly anyone does homeschool the same way that you do! The main thing is to find your own swing.

We recently listened on to the story, The Boys in the Boat. See my post in April Audio Favorites for the details on this book. In short, the book tells the story of Joe Rance, a member of the 1932 Olympic Gold Medal winner team for rowing. Fascinating read that we really enjoyed. Anyway, in that book, the rowing crew struggled and spluttered along, facing all kinds of challenges with the competitions, until at one point, they found their swing. This was the point where they began to work like a well-oiled machine, and not every man for himself.

find your homeschool swing

Finding your Homeschool Swing

Finding your swing is a concept that applies to us as homeschoolers. We will see many directions, options, and distractions. How do you choose what’s best? I can’t answer that for you, but sooner or later, you will recognize that your family has its own particular style. It does not have to look like the other families that you see. Not even your best friend’s family. You must find your swing. And you can find it as God directs you!


You may have homeschooling seasons that looks just like you planned! Classes all lined up, with music lessons filling in the cracks, time for socialization neatly scheduled in, and plenty getting done! Those are rewarding seasons!  Believe me, that’s what we all would love to have happen every day of the year!

Other seasons may seem out of place, like a big thunderstorm on the day of your picnic. You may long for those perfectly organized days that never seem to materialize. You may be squeezing school in the cracks of an unorthodox life. Hello–can I get a witness?

Variations from the Usual

find your homeschool swing

Maybe you have a business that you’re running, and you bring the kids to the store. Maybe you’re building many days, like us, and it feels like you’d like to cover a bit more in your curriculum. Or you work nights, and depend on your kids to keep rolling with their school work independently. What about if you’re traveling the road with your family, and much of your education comes from sites that you find along the way?

I assure you, that even in these types of come-what-may environments, you can find a swing, even if it’s a temporary one.

Continue reading…

via Finding Your Homeschool Swing – Lessons…and lessons

Mother’s Day (with Free Printable)

It’s Mother’s Day!

Have you told your mother that you love her?

Mothers do so much, and although I don’t believe in all the commercialism that attends this day, telling your mother how dear she is to you is appropriate ANY DAY!

With appreciation for my own mother in my mind, I want to share a nice printable that you may choose to share with your mother, if you still have her. Take the time to tell her how much she means to you while you still have her, because she will not always be here. My husband lost his mom some years ago, and so many times, he has commented how he would like to ask her counsel or probe her for a memory that is fuzzy to him. 

Mother’s Day is just a nice time to remember the many kind attentions that your mother has shown to you over the years. Most things that mothers do every day go unnoticed, especially by children. Mother’s Day is a good opportunity for us to teach our own children to value little kindnesses. When they see us as mothers value our own mother, they will learn by example. 

So, this printable will only cost you the amount of paper and ink. This would work nicely on a thick card stock, and is suitable for framing.

Continue reading…

Wilderness Wildlife Week is for Homeschoolers! – Lessons…and lessons

Wilderness Wildlife Week

May 7, 2019-May 11, 2019

Wilderness Wildlife Week is the Spring highlight of our homeschool year! Wilderness Wildlife Week begins this Tuesday!

This FREE EVENT takes place in Pigeon Forgeat the Leconte Center.

You can read more about Wilderness Wildlife Week here on the official website. You can also download the schedule at this website.

Wood carving at Wilderness Wildlife Week
Wood carving done at WWW

Why should I interrupt my homeschool schedule to attendWilderness Wildlife Week?

Good question!

Let me share just a few reasons why we love Wilderness Wildlife Week at our house!

1.  Hands-On Learning.

  • If you know anything about our homeschool of boys, you know that we highly prize hands-on learning. Hands-on=highly remembered.
  • Here’s some other hands-on learning we’ve recently enjoyed.
  • At WWW we get to sink our hands into the dirt, paint, and wool, or we get to try our hands at strumming the dulcimer, shooting an arrow, petting a snake (!) or carving a chunk of wood. These are all skills we have tried from the past few years. But, wait, there’s more!

Carving wood at Wilderness Wildlife Week

Carving class

2.  Inter-Generational Learning. This is probably one of my favorite aspects of WWW. You have a lot of older folks who know wonderful skills, and who are happy to share with the younger generations! Some of our favorites are the gentleman who loves to talk about his love of Nature, the Appalachian musicians, the basket weavers, wool spinners, and the wood carving expert. One year, a dear older lady personally took our boys aside to show them the skill of old-timey rope tricks. I firmly believe that she enjoyed teaching them even more than they enjoyed learning, which they did. But you could see how moving the rope in certain ways to make interesting patterns seemed to take her back to her own girlhood days. Young people absolutely need to interact with older people! There more than skills to learn! There is simply no substitute for lessons of life gleaned from years of experience. String art at Wilderness Wildlife Week

String art

3. Lost and Dying Arts.

Continue Reading…

via Wilderness Wildlife Week is for Homeschoolers! – Lessons…and lessons

Sabbath Playlist ~ Scripture Songs Resource

Happy Sabbath!

As you seek to enter into the rest of the Sabbath, please enjoy these FREE Scripture Songs!

Listening to songs right out of the Bible will change your thinking!  As a result, your character will change!  

Doesn’t it say in the Bible,

As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7

The more you meditate on God’s word, the more like Him you will become!

So, enjoy this relaxing way of storing God’s words in your heart!

I memorized all of James with the music on this site  Little by little!  Songs make it super easy to remember verses!

Let me know your favorite!


via Sabbath Playlist ~ Scripture Songs Resource


April Audio books-Our Favorites – Lessons…and lessons

Learn while you drive with Audio books

April Audio book favorites

Much of our reading time recently has been with audio books. We seem to spend a lot of time running around in the truck, so our Audible account has gotten well-used these last few years of homeschool. You would be amazed how many books you can listen to just while driving to PE and the grocery store!

We mostly try to stick to educational reads, or listens, so that we can sneak in a few more minutes of learning on the go! I like to include history biographies, great missionary stories, and anything that I come across that sounds like it would be inspirational.

Here are some that we have listened to recently, along with our thoughts on them.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on my link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission, but your price is the same. This allows me to fund this blog site. Thank you! 

Through Gates of Splendor

Through Gates of Splendor Audio book

Thumbs UP! 

What did we love about this book?

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Language of Encouragement, Part 1 – Lessons…and lessons

Want to learn to speak the Language of Encouragement?

Encouraging Words is one of the Five Love Languages.

I spoke about the first two of the Five Love Languages in my posts aboutTime Together, and Hugs and Tickles(Loving Touch). In my next few posts on this topic, I will talk about Encouraging Words, or what can be called The Language of Encouragement.

I did not come up with this term. But I know a good thing when I hear it, and I want to share a helpful resource for you! All parents, homeschoolers, teachers, grandparents,friends, employers, employees, and pretty much anyone can benefit from learning this language. 

Listen to The Language of Encouragement talk (it’s free)

I want to refer you to a talk that I had recommended to me several years ago. This talk has impacted me, inspired me, and little by bit, is changing me. But I will be honest. The Language of Encouragement does not come naturally to me at all. For this reason, I have listened to this talk many times over the last several years, because I lose my way over and over, and fall back into my old rut of non-encouraging words! 

The talk, entitled The Language of Encouragement, authored by Maria Nebblett, can be downloaded here on their family’s ministry website. You may also find more encouraging talks at that site. I strongly encourage you to listen to it! Just scroll down to the category Family, and it’s the last talk. You will certainly be blessed!

If you prefer video, the talk can be seen here on Vimeo. Sometimes I like to watch a person talk, but more often, I like to download the talk to listen to it while I walk in the morning.

Please listen to the Introduction

For this post, please listen to the Introduction of The Language of Encouragement, or about the first 15 minutes of the audio file. This will give you a good overview of the talk, and plenty of food for thought. 

Free Printable, The Language of Encouragement

Go ahead and print the free printable (below) if you like! This will give you a visual aid as you listen. The Printable is also a nice poster to hang up in a prominent place as a reminder of the principles you want to put into practice! You may color it if you like, and laminate it to help it to last longer, or just leave it plain.

Printable is available on my self-hosted site (for free).

The Language of Encouragement, a talk by Maria Nebblett, has encouraged me. Here is a free printable coloring page/prayer guide to accompany this talk.
— Read on