Purple Autumn at Ridge Haven

Autumn Glory all dressed in Purple Hues!

I took a stroll down our country road.
I found purple autumn all around!

Autumn is my best time of year, and all the shades purple are my favorites! So purple Autumn wildflowers really speak to my heart.

See the photos and read the full post at



Go Berry Picking (with kids) Without Losing Your Mind! – Ridge Haven Homestead

Tips for Going Berry Picking with Kids

So…you want to take your kids out to the berry patch? Great plan! Berry picking with kids can be a wonderful time, or a huge frustration to all involved. The last thing you want on an outing for fun is for everything to flop!

But…as parents know, plans don’t always work out just like you thought, and while you may be reminiscing about leisurely days gone by in another berry patch, things could play out, shall we say…differently.

In God’s Garden

I can’t think of many more enjoyable experiences than to taste sweet berries straight off the bush or vine. You get to have all five senses involved. Taste the pop the sweetness as you bite into a juicy blueberry. Feelthe air ruffle through your hair, and the texture of the soft berries between your fingers. Take in the beauty of the bright blue sky, and varied hues of ripening fruit as you hear the birds warbling and cawing all around you. Breathe in the fruity aromas of fully ripened berries, and enjoy the peace of just being out in God’s Creation. Because the berry path is pretty close to the Garden of Eden, isn’t it?

berry picking with kids

The Key is Being Prepared, Mama!

If you plan well, and pack your sense of humor, your berry picking with kids can be a tremendous memory-making event, and a good time for all! Not to mention the BERRIES–blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, gooseberries! There are so many berries to enjoy!

Want to go berry picking with kids? Here are some tips that will make your experience successful and fun! What to take, and how to make berry picking fun!

Keep reading this post.
— Read on http://www.ridgehavenhomestead.com/go-berry-picking-with-kids-without-losing-your-mind/

Foraging Huckleberries & Wild Blueberries – Ridge Haven Homestead

Foraging Huckleberries and Native Wild Blueberries at Ridge Haven Homestead

It’s harvest time for our wild berries, so time to go foraging! I cannot tell how excited we are here at our little property! Well…maybe I’m the person who’s the most excited, but I make up for everyone else’s calm demeanor regarding these native gems!

At first, we thought all of our bushes were wild blueberries! Earlier this Spring, when they began to blossom out, we noticed the dark pink flowers on most of the wild bushes. More about that and pictures from our early Spring bushes here: Huckleberry Hill or Blueberry Haven?

Some searching on the web suggested that maybe these were not wild blueberries but huckleberries! But we could not be sure until the harvest time came!

Continue reading post by clicking below


via Foraging Huckleberries & Wild Blueberries – Ridge Haven Homestead

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 http://www.lessonsandlessons.com/five-great-benefits-of-nature-time/

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

Lady’s Slipper Lane (with Free Printable) – Lessons…and lessons

Hunting for Pink Lady’s Slippers in East Tennessee

It’s time for the Pink Lady’s Slipper orchids to bloom, and they are out in abundance on our property!

We took a Nature Walk yesterday, and I bribed my boys with one cookie per flower they found. I never dreamed how many cookies I’d have to bake!

To access the printable, click on the link below, and you’ll be taken to the page where the link is.

Read about our fun walk by clicking the below.

Hunting for Pink Lady’s Slipper orchids on our property in East Tennessee. A homeschool Nature hike, or walk in the woods
— Read on www.lessonsandlessons.com/ladys-slipper-lane/

Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk – Lessons…and lessons

Get out in Nature whether you feel like or not!

family nature walk

Hi! I’m the Mean Mom!  Occasionally, anyway, I answer to that title. Today was one of those days.

Outside it was perfect!! Mid-seventy degrees, sunny, and clear! It was a perfect day for a quick stroll in nature.

After lunch we almost always walk down our driveway and hike back up. That’s right. We have our own Cardio Hill, or my exercise route right on the driveway. By the time you get to the top, you’re huffing and puffing. In fact, when we thought about purchasing our property, my husband promised me that this land would whip me into shape! He was not kidding! But, after living here for the past almost six months, I can walk up that hill way easier than I used to be able to. I’m definitely getting stronger, but need more exercise in general.

Hence, our little walk today. We strolled down, then instead of hiking back up the driveway, I challenged the boys to hike back up by way of the wet-weather creek. That’s a bit harder, but not bad for strapping young fellows; it just takes a little longer. And the boys were chomping at the bit to get back!

Enter Mean Mom

I declared the instructions, amid some groans for my reply.

Haha!  What a fun day, but my boys were not easily convinced!  We found some awesome treasures from Nature, however.

Read on to see what our Homeschool Nature Walk looked like this week!  The “rest of the story” is over on my self-hosted blog site.   See you there!

via Mean Mom takes a Nature Walk – Lessons…and lessons