Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

_______________

My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!


Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017


Today we kicked off our first year of official homeschool! We did Kindergarten last year, but being in actual 1st grade just feels so much more official.

I've done lots and lots of research to find what I think will work for us. Yahweh has had me cross paths with new homeschooling Mom friends that have been a deep well of information and encouragement.

those little sweeties! First grader Ruby and Pre-schooler Nora

Joining the ranks of millions of mothers before me who have taught their children at home, with a baby on their hip.
 For now, we're doing a mix of our Abeka curriculum (workbooks/flash cards/seat work, etc) and Charlotte Mason Method. If you don't know or haven't ever heard of Charlotte Mason, look her up! She's a teacher from the 1800's that wrote a whole philosophy on children and the way they learn and it's right up my alley.

She stresses "living books" (well written literature with engaging stories that capture the audience) being the best way to teach children as compared to textbooks with facts.
She believes that proper nutrition, well ventilated, clean homes and bedrooms, and being outside in nature (like A LOT) are all crucial to healthy and educated children.

I couldn't agree more Charlotte!


entertainment for baby Violet 

So, one day soon I'll write an official Home School post on what our days looks like but for now I just wanted to document what our first day looked like.

However - 

This particular first day got interrupted by some mega sickness. Fever, headache, and trying hard to throw up hit our little Ruby and we had to cut our day short. She's curled up asleep next to me as I type this, letting her body fight off this bug. Nora feels warm and says her tummy hurts too (it's been going around) so I couldn't be MORE THANKFUL to able to say "ok! we'll do more tomorrow, no big deal - let's all rest." 
Reason number one hundred and ninety three that I love home education.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

_______________

My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!


Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017


Today we kicked off our first year of official homeschool! We did Kindergarten last year, but being in actual 1st grade just feels so much more official.

I've done lots and lots of research to find what I think will work for us. Yahweh has had me cross paths with new homeschooling Mom friends that have been a deep well of information and encouragement.

those little sweeties! First grader Ruby and Pre-schooler Nora

Joining the ranks of millions of mothers before me who have taught their children at home, with a baby on their hip.
 For now, we're doing a mix of our Abeka curriculum (workbooks/flash cards/seat work, etc) and Charlotte Mason Method. If you don't know or haven't ever heard of Charlotte Mason, look her up! She's a teacher from the 1800's that wrote a whole philosophy on children and the way they learn and it's right up my alley.

She stresses "living books" (well written literature with engaging stories that capture the audience) being the best way to teach children as compared to textbooks with facts.
She believes that proper nutrition, well ventilated, clean homes and bedrooms, and being outside in nature (like A LOT) are all crucial to healthy and educated children.

I couldn't agree more Charlotte!


entertainment for baby Violet 

So, one day soon I'll write an official Home School post on what our days looks like but for now I just wanted to document what our first day looked like.

However - 

This particular first day got interrupted by some mega sickness. Fever, headache, and trying hard to throw up hit our little Ruby and we had to cut our day short. She's curled up asleep next to me as I type this, letting her body fight off this bug. Nora feels warm and says her tummy hurts too (it's been going around) so I couldn't be MORE THANKFUL to able to say "ok! we'll do more tomorrow, no big deal - let's all rest." 
Reason number one hundred and ninety three that I love home education.