Natural Playing & Crafting

Follow Me on Pinterest
Natural Play

We have slowly and steadily been attempting to decrease the amount of traditional toys that the Bug has been playing with at home.  You know, your garden variety selection from Wal-Mart or Toys-R-Us.  I have been wanting to increase the toys that help her mimic appropriate adult behaviors (dolls, babies, kitchen play, etc.), connect her with God's creation and help her to develop her imagination.  We have been looking for ways to add to her "nature-based" toy collection (made with materials that were made by God) or educational toys, without spending more money on actual toys.  Her daddy has been crafting some toys for her (I will post on that a bit later) in his wood shop with materials he already has on hand.  I looked for a solution in the kitchen to make her some goodies to go with the things he has been making.

We joined forces as a family to create some fun "salt dough" objects for her to use in her Natural Play area.  It was great fun, lots of family crafting time and we spent our time and talents to bring a little bit of joy to the Bug.
Plain ole' salt dough recipe: 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 tsp. oil,  1 - 1 1/2 cups of warm water
Bake your salt dough at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

The girls had a good time mixing up the salt dough . . . perhaps a bit too much fun at times, as proof of all the flour that had to be swept up later.

 My husband took this pic to prove that I was having fun as well.  I do avow that I did not make as big a mess as my girls, Scout's honor.

Here is a picture of the end result.  A feast fit for a gnome, fairy or any one else who may be dining at the table of Bug's imagination.  

 Closer look.  Clockwise from top - Each place setting has a plate, bowl, fork, spoon and cup; super 3-layer "Dr. Seuss-like" cake; basket of veggies; French bread; chocolate cake with strawberries, vase with flowers, turkey with veggies; chocolate pie; cabbage and carrots; bowl of mashed potatoes and a blueberry pie!

 Here are some toadstools and trees that I crafted.  Mr. Mac had cut up a few logs for the Bug to use as trees, tables, chairs, etc.

We have almost finished our refashioning of the new Natural Play section of Bug's toys.  We are completing some final touches and I will post a bit later on how to create Natural Play on a "next to nothing" budget.

Until then . . . 

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 

Thanks for reading our blog, our Random Act of Kindness "spring-board". Please take the time to bless us with your comments. Who are we? Take a peak here. http://www.themacrak.com/macfamily.aspx


Anti-Culture in Action: Dearest HOLLYWOOD,

Thanks for reading our blog, our Random Act of Kindness "spring-board". Please take the time to bless us with your comments. Who are we? Take a peak here. http://www.themacrak.com/macfamily.aspx

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Anti-Culture in Action

Hollywood Sign, Author Minkelhof
My dearest Hollywood,

My old friend, do you remember how we met and became bosom buddies?  I remember well those first tender days.  You helped me to learn to dream.  Dream beyond the small place that I lived in.  I was a child and you much "wiser" than I.  You seemed to know my heart and you knew what to say.  You always appeared to know what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it.  After all, were you not the one who taught me these valuable lessons?

"There's no place like home."
"Always let your conscience be your guide."
"Whistle while you work."
"The sun'll come out tomorrow."
"Every time a bell rings an angel gets it's wings."

You made me want to be like you and to be with you all the time.  When I wasn't with you, I was thinking about you.  I began to act like you, more and more.  I emulated what you taught me.  I remember grasping my softball trophy, smiling and giving my "thank you" speech into my bedroom mirror, thanking all the "little people" who had helped me reach the pinnacle of how you told me to measure success.

Now, I am older.  I am wiser and I have changed . . . you have changed too; however, you do not appear much wiser over the years.  Actually you appear to have digressed!  In fact, I'm not sure that you have been a dependable friend over the years.  Now that I am really thinking about it, most of what you taught me to hold dear has not turned out to matter much at all.

I stand now, disillusioned and disenchanted by your so called "message" and I question the motives behind you instructing me in your "wisdom".  I am doubting that you are a true friend to me, or anyone else for that matter.  I believe now that you never had my best interests in mind.

I cannot ignore your consistently declining morals any longer.  I cannot support the "ideals" that you are preaching from the box office.  Our children cannot play at your house anymore.  I just don't think you are healthy for my family.  What I now hold dear, you scoff at and ridicule.  What I know to be the true, you laugh at and shrug off as "outdated spirituality".  You are going down hill quickly and trying to take everyone else down with you.

Perhaps we should consider spending some time apart.  I hope this season of separation will reveal the need for change, in both of us, as we reevaluate the nature of our relationship.  I apologize that I cannot be there for your "big night" Mr. Oscar.  Some how, I feel you will get along without me, as your entire world seems to revolve around YOU!

Academy Awards (Oscars) 1954

Your once loyal friend,
Heather Mac

P.S. "Hasta la vista, baby."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

*Images provided by: http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com


Enriching Everyday: The Library Edition

Thanks for reading our blog, our Random Act of Kindness "spring-board". Please take the time to bless us with your comments. Who are we? Take a peak here. http://www.themacrak.com/macfamily.aspx
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Enriching Everyday
The Library Edition

Books and home education go hand in hand.  We cannot gain knowledge without them.  We cannot research and record without the vast amount of knowledge they provide.  Most homeschooling families already know how to utilize the many resources provided by their local libraries.  We LOVE our local library (Give a Big shout-out: Howdy Mrs. Courtney!)

That is our librarian a couple of summers ago, trapped in a bubble.  

What do you do though when the books have "taken over", particularly in a child's room?  Answer: You use it to help her Enrich Everyday in her own home education.  Case in point, the Bug's over-jubilant reading has multiplied her own home library to the point of almost ridiculous . . . I'm just praising God her books aren't gremlins!  She consumes books quickly and reads them over and over.  She has grandparents (okay, and a mother) that enjoy feeding her joy for books.  The result?

We came up with a solution to the ever mounting book overload issue in our daughter's room.  She was not feeling well and was down with a bit of a fever last week.  I snuggled her up in my bed so she would have plenty of stacking room and elbow space, and then set her to work creating her own Library cataloging system.  

 1.  I made her labels (Avery Mailing Labels cut in half) and placed a plentiful supply on a clipboard, giving her my nice felt-tip pen.

2.  We discussed what system would work well for her books.  We covered the Dewey Decimal system and the Library of Congress.  We felt the Dewey Decimal system was good, but for a smaller collection of books like the Bug has, we decided to modify it and make if more practical to meet her needs.

3.  We developed her labeling system and set to work.  I demonstrated the first few books for her and then let her try.  After labeling two books she had no problems and set to work on her own.

4.  She classified her books as Fiction or Nonfiction.  Then she coded and categorized the books alphabetized by author's last name for fiction and alpha by subject for her nonfiction selections.

I caught her several times in this particular position.  No surprises there.  I wonder how often we could "catch" our own local librarians doing the very same?  (hmmm. . . Mrs. Courtney?)

 Here was the end result of about an hour and half's work.  Nice, neat and straight.  She is now been enriched for the day and has a great sense of accomplishment!  This certainly helped us in appreciating our local librarians a bit more.

Now, just about 100 more books to label and we should be good to go!

Here are some great Library resources to use in Enriching Everyday!

* Library Thing - Great FREE online database for your own private library.  (The Bug will be cataloging here home library using this system next month.  We will post letting you know how it went.)
* Print your own Library Cards & Pockets

Have any good Library Resources online that you and your family use?  Please leave comments and share with the rest of the class.

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 

What's Up? Co-op News - Literature Fun!!!

Thanks for reading our blog, our Random Act of Kindness "spring-board". Please take the time to bless us with your comments. Who are we? Take a peak here. http://www.themacrak.com/macfamily.aspx

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We are back in the swing of things at Co-op!  In our class we have resumed our FIAR (Five in a Row) Reading schedule and began Charlotte's Web by E.B. White during our Read-A-Loud time in class.

I sent home some Notebooking pages to be completed over the weekend.  This will be the "landing pad" for my students and parents to check out more detailed and visual instructions for completing the assigned Notebooking pages.

F.Y.I. We will be completing our "Rowing" for A New Coat for Anna on Tuesday and I will post the finalized project here on my blog for all to enjoy!  See you then!

open book smFive In A Row {FIAR}- A New Coat for Anna Notebooking pages 

How To Assemble: The World War II Notebooking pages have instructions on the page - but we began these in class and I'm not sure the condition that each page left my classroom in.

The Bug helped me out and completed her pages today so we could share with her classmates.  Here are some pictures to help you in following the written directions.

 Cut out World War II flap book pieces individually to assemble book.

 Cut out the Fighting Machine pieces individually.
Now glue each picture to the Book (Air, Land, Sea) and glue in the correct section.

 Assemble your book as shown above.

Staple on the top of flap book.

Glue to your green World War II book as shown.  We will have more to glue into this book on Tuesday.

How To Assemble: How Did Anna Get Her Coat? Story Sequence page

Cut out the sheep picture titled - How did Anna get her coat?
Cut out the "flip" mini books titled 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th; and
Cut out Story Sequence cards as shown above

Fold each flip mini book in half - with title facing outward.
Glue each Story Sequencing card inside the flip mini book according to when it took place in our story.
Now glue your pieces to your card stock.
Allow your notebooking pages to dry and place inside your sheet protector.
Bring to class on Tuesday, where we will complete our pages and put them in our Homeschool Portfolios.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Don't forget to document your extra reading in your Reading Journal.  Bring your Reading Journal each Tuesday to receive your reading rewards.

reading books

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 


Chicken, Monkey, Duck!

JUST BECAUSE IT'S FUNNY AND WE ALL NEED A LAUGH SOMETIMES! . . . If you cannot laugh at this, then you need to email me so I can pray for you!!! . . . or perhaps I am far too easy to entertain.

Chicken, Monkey, Duck!

That's not funny . . . It's Hilarious!!!

By the way, here is the Squeaker's artistic rendition of the Chicken, Monkey, Duck! LOL!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)


Ladies of Calvary: Reverence in Behavior, Part 3 - Becoming the Bride

Becoming the Bride
Reverence in Behavior, Part III

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

1. " Do my facial expressions and gestures show honor for my husband?"

Scripture References: Isaiah 3:9, Genesis 4:6-7a, Proverbs 6:16-17

Focus Scripture -
"A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed."  Ecclesiastes 8:1b

2.  "Do I treat my husband the same way at home as I do in public?"

Scripture Reference: Romans 12:9

Focus Scripture - "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."  1 Corinthians 13:1

3.  "Do I seek and value his opinions?"

Scripture References: Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 20:5, Proverbs 11:14

Focus Scripture - "The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge." Proverbs 18:15

4.  "Do I exercise discretion in my behavior with other men?"

Scripture Reference: 1 Thessalonians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Focus Scripture - "Keep they heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  Proverbs 4:23

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

In Christ’s service,
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Sister Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)

• Quotations used that are italicized are from the book As Unto the Lord by Pam Forester unless otherwise sited in this post. 


Enriching Everyday: Nature Study, Part II

What does the study of God's creation look like in our home?

1.  Nature Notebooking: We love to notebook in all of our studies.  I do not enjoy using textbooks in our home (old school Charlotte Mason mommy here).  We much more prefer reading and experiencing, then using our notebooks to relate, reason and record what we have learned to God's Word.

2.  Natural Science:  We love natural science reading and even better, reading it outside!
(I will include a reading list in my follow-up Nature Study Edition.)

3.  Nature Crafts:  Crafting is one of our preferred methods of learning and enjoying one another as a family.  There are so many fun and wonderful crafts that you can make from nature.  We have many rules about "taking" from nature.  When we are scout camping it is a strict, "Leave No Trace and Leave Nature Behind" policy.  This is were Nature Photography is used the most with our family nature study.  However; when in our own backyard or at a park, I do allow the children to collect nature's bounty where appropriate.  

Rule 1:  You may NOT take something that is still growing.  Grass and weeds are the only exception when in our own yard.  
Rule 2:  If REMOVING an item would damage an animal habitat, it MUST be left undisturbed. 

We enjoy much of the popular "Waldorf"-style crafts and activities while conducting our daily Nature Study.  We use many of the "Fairy" books by: Andrew Lang in reading with the Bug, she loves to read and read.  This ties in perfectly with using "Waldorf" crafting and creating.

1. The kids look for sticks, leaves and such to embed in beeswax candles.

2.  The girls especially enjoy building "Fairy" homes.
*NOTE: We are very clear when communicating to our children the distinct difference between fiction and truth.*
The Scout does not much enjoy building "Fairy" houses, obviously, but he does like to help them gather materials and "critique" their work afterwards.  Brothers!

Here are a few homes they constructed in the backyard recently.

This is the Bug's 1st attempt . . . hey, she's 8 and working on the patience to make the pile "look" like something at all. LOL!

This is Squeaker's Native American Tepee

This is the Bug's 2nd attempt - much improved.  This one is a "Hotel".

I loved this attention to detail, with a wishing well.

I even spy a miniature tea set in that Fairy Hotel!

This is the Squeaker's Fairy Hut.  I love the little step ladder.

The girls had fun with all their building and creating.  I stepped in only when needed, discussing natural materials and structure.  In total the girls spent 2 1/2 hours of their own free-time, out in God's beautiful creation running, discovering and playing the nature way.  Man, I love to homeschool!

Right now we are planning our Nature Study on Tuesday and Thursday, after Homeschool Cooperative.  We drive to our local Nature Center on the way home to take advantage of the sights and sounds of nature beyond our backyard.  We take all of our Nature Notebooking supplies (I will post on our Nature Notebooking Bag later) and I usually have a poem or Hymn to teach or talk about while we are journaling, drawing and learning together.  Monday will be our full Enrichment day, so we will have an opportunity to do more with our Nature Studies during that day too.  We will keep you posted and hope others will join in the Nature Study Adventure!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)

*Nature Study not for you?  No worries, lots more Enriching Everyday coming your way soon!  We will be posting the Library Science edition this weekend.  Stay-tuned!  


Ladies of Calvary: MARRIAGE CHALLENGE - Reverence in Behavior, Part II

Reverence in Behavior, Part II

I love the above picture!  It is a picture of another time, when being a bride meant forever . . . for real, forever!  I love looking at it and praying the Proverbs 31 prayer (yep, it is a prayer for me) over my position as help-meet to my husband.  It also brings to my mind the words God gave me to deliver just a few days ago on our last Devotional post . . . "Become the bride Jesus deserves!"  (Click HERE if you missed that post!) 

The intense prompting of the Spirit has been evoked in me.  I want to Become the Bride!  I want you to join me as well, so much so that, "Becoming the Bride" may now become the name of our Marriage Challenge.
Didn't I already become a bride?  Yes, we have all said "I do" . . . or are about to say it.  

What I mean is returning to the true spirit behind the longing to become a bride.  Look to Christ this time though, not just your husband.  Becoming the Bride is becoming what HE wants us to be, what HE is making us to be, what HE created us to be! 

A Bride, A Help-meet, A Mentor, A Handmaiden, A Servant, A Friend . . . 

and then THE BRIDE . . . AGAIN! . . . but part of the perfect Bride of Christ.  God wants to take us on a journey.  Let's go full-circle with this one Ladies of Calvary and friends!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Today's Devotional:

1. Do I do what I know my husband would want me to do, even when he is not with me, or when he has not clearly specified his wishes in a particular situation?

Scripture Reference: James 4:17

Focus Scripture -
"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."  Proverbs 31:11

2. Do I invest thought, time, and energy in pleasing my husband?

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 7:34

Focus Scripture -
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."  Proverbs 31:27

3. Do my actions show kindness and a proper esteem and honor for my husband?

Scripture References: Phillippians 2:3, Ephesians 5:33

Focus Scripture -
"And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;  And to esteem them very highly in  love for their work's sake.  And be at peace among yourselves."  1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I will close today with just a word of encouragement.  Keep going sister, you have already come so far.  Take some time today to just meditate on these words and scriptures and let Jesus do the rest!  We will pick up this study again in Reverence in Behavior starting on Thursday.  Praying for you all until that time!

In Christ’s service,
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Sister Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)

• Quotations used that are italicized are from the book As Unto the Lord by Pam Forester unless otherwise sited in this post. 

Enriching Everyday: Reveling in God's Creation, Nature Study I

Enriching Everyday: Nature Study Edition

The glories of nature amaze me still . . . even after 35 so many years!  The Creator of all speaks to the created through that which He has made, designed and purposed.  I love the many scriptures that speak of the LORD's creation and the beauty that makes Him evidenced in the very thing which He made.  The thumbprints of God are out there, everywhere and in every living thing.  The small speckled ridges in a gloriously colored conk shell.  The luscious green in a small meadow full of peaceful grazing goats.  The aroma of the deep wooded forest and the beautifully spun spider's web hung at the top of a tall pine tree.  All of these wonders are meant to point us to Him, therefore; Nature Study is where my family will begin Enriching Everyday in our home.

"For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made."  Romans 1:20

We began our Nature Study journals about 2 years ago, but alas, it has slipped from our long list of priorities. Mom is initiating this one.  I believe it essential to my family's growth and in the development of joy in God's creation for each of my children.  There is much to be gained collectedly and individually by studying nature.  

Nature Study 101 - Here are some superb resources for Nature Study!

Wonderful resources on this site!  There are many Free resources, but the seasonal Nature Study purchases are well worth the investment.  We have bought a couple of Outdoor Hour Challenges with the Composer/Artist Study included & we loved each moment using these tools.

Practical Pages: Love Notebooking ideas and form drawing inspiration from this lovely homeschooling mother.  Lots of free downloads worth peeking at.

Ambleside Online - FREE online curriculum.  They have wonderful information and curriculum ideas for Nature Studies.

The Handbook of Nature Study: Essential resource for studying nature.  Especially if you are using the Outdoor Hour Challenges mentioned above, it is an worth while purchase for your homeschool library.  HERE is a FREE download - you can use your computer or Ereader.

The Boy Scout Field Guide:  This is NOT your Boy Scout's Manual - it is different and completely separate, but wonderful!  We use it frequently when just on outings to our local Nature Center.  It is an excellent educational tool and contributes to almost any discussion on nature.

There are many options when studying nature.  To make the most and decipher what elements are most productive for your family, experiment with a little of each study form.  You can utilize Nature Journals, Nature Notebooking, Natural Science, Nature Crafts, Nature Poetry & Nature Photography.  We use a combination of methods in our homeschool.  The most effective means of Nature Study is always parent mentoring and involvement.   This is not a huge issue for us, seeing that my husband and I both are 5 year scouting volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and our family's most frequent recreation is camping.  I promise, even if getting outdoors and hiking halfway up the mountain in not your cup of tea, Nature Study with your child is an amazing experience.  Watching them discover and learn is just the beginning.  I find myself constantly renewed by their sense of awe in God's creation.  It's good for the spirit folks, give it a go.

Here is a great video from Milestones Academy on how to get started with Nature Studies:

* Be looking tomorrow for Part II, Enriching Everyday with Nature Study.  I will be sharing our family's Nature Study plans. *

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)


Ladies of Calvary: Challenge Project #3

Invest in What You Love!

I have chosen another "Love Dare" for our weekly challenge project during this Marriage Challenge.  Here is the challenge:

" Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you.  It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. . . . buy your spouse something that says, 'I was thinking of you today.'"

• The above statement is a “revised” quote from the book The Love Dare by: Stephen and Alex Kendrick

This week's challenge is about investing.  I want you to purposefully invest more time, energy, effort and money into your husband this week.  Show him through reverent behavior that what concerns him, concerns you.  You don't have to go over the top on spending money, but a memento that communicates affection, respect or is just plain fun, that will do the job.  Ask him about what he thinks?  Consider thoughtfully his opinions, preferences, and don't ask why!  Then invest your time in prayer, spend time in earnest pray for your husband specifically.  Everybody's Challenge Project will look and sound different, but please come back here and comment on your progress or ideas!  If you need help, comment on this post so that your sisters can pray with you and help you with ideas.  Remember, actions speak louder than words - Don't tell you husband what your doing, just do it!  Let his surprise (or even astonishment in some cases - like mine because I'm SUPER cheap) be an encouragement to continue this path to Reverence!

In Christ’s service,
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Sister Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)

DID YOU MISS A POST?  Go back and take a look Here
JOIN US THIS COMING WEEK - We will complete Reverence in Behavior & Begin a new phase of study, Praying for My Husband (well, your husband . . . you don't ALL have to pray for mine! LOL!)

Ladies of Calvary: MARRIAGE CHALLENGE Memory Verse

Marriage Challenge: Memory Verse

1Corinthians 13:4-18 and13 (KJV)
Charity suffereth long, and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself , is not puffed up.  Doth not behave itself unseemly , seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not ininiquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things,endureth all things.  Charity never faileth
. . . And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest ofthese is charity.


Enriching Everyday: Ready for Some Action!?!

Enriching Everyday Challenge

Today we will challenge one another to get determined, organized and inspired in order to Erich our Everyday homeschooling experience.  I will be including some resources from other trusted sites, as well as some helps and hints from my own home and posting a weekly link-up for sharing Enrichment Ideas.  Before you completely stop reading and end with, "Oh no, I could not add another thing to our homeschool!", let's just review the 3 easy steps to Enrichment . . . maybe it will even change your mind . . . at least long enough to take the challenge.  

1. Determination:  If you are not personally convicted about enrichment, perhaps your children or husband maybe interested in adding a different variety of activities to your educational experience.  You can delegate planning and organizing to the individual who has the most determination to add that area of enrichment.  I know any time you can save yourself is a blessing.  Older kids love to help (more than you might believe) and the responsibility of planning and organizing teaches them and helps their level of confidence.  

Example:  My son loves History.  He made a "King Tut's Tomb" for his little sister and taught her how to document correctly, like a real archaeologist after she had completed the lesson in Story of the World.  

The Hidden Tomb of "Mac-Topia" as the Scout called it.

Here are some of the "rare" artifacts that the bug cataloged.  Yep, there are a few Star Wars characters and a Nutcracker.  A strange and unusual culture must have lived here . . . 

The Bug enjoyed and learned, while the Scout gained confidence for completing the task and enjoyed the responsibility.  When the family works as a team to make Enrichment happen everyday, then "good ole'" mom keeps her sanity . . . and can get more than 4 hours sleep per evening!

2.  Organization:  Once you have determined that you will choose everyday enrichment for your learning experience, you now need to turn to organizing how you will bring this about.  The last thing one needs as a homeschool mother is to make things more hectic or difficult.  Can I get an amen?

Decide what Enrichment activities can be done at home and what will need to take place "off campus".  Then talk to your children and husband to coordinate and delegate duties.  Keep your kids tastes and preferences in mind while planning . . . you could even ask what they would like!  Just a thought, you don't have to. :)

If there is a conflict of schedule or opinion determine how and when the activity could be added to the schedule (perhaps at a later date), or pray on the issue for a week or two and then revisit the activity.

Example: My husband wanted the kids to learn more about current events.  I agreed, of course, that this was essential, however; without a television (by choice) I failed to see where I was going to find the time to implement his new enrichment activity.  I was also concerned about the Bug, only being 8 years old, the youngest and a wee bit tenderhearted, suddenly having to confront some current events that are above her developmental ability.

Solution:  My husband was delegated volunteered to spend time after dinner, at the kitchen table, going over the national headlines in the newspaper (which they supply him for free at work) with the two older children.  While they are reviewing with daddy, the Bug and I talk about current issues that are relevant to her or work on her various "missionary" projects, while cuddling with mommy in bed.

3.  Inspiration:  This is the best and easiest part!  There are vast and unending resources surrounding every homeschool family out there.  Look on the internet, local cooperatives, your church family, your relatives, Facebook, your local library, civic organizations . . . the possibilities are limitless.  Get something in the planning for each different child (they don't have to be "enriched" simultaneously - they can take turns).  Help your child choose an activity that is short term goal oriented and choose as a family an enrichment that has a longer term goal.

Here's a L@@K at our FAMILY'S Everyday Enrichment Plans:

Spring 2012
Resume Nature Study: Family (Seasonal Schedule)
Begin Artist/Composer Study: Family (Year Round Schedule)

Current Events: Older Kids with Dad/ Bug with Mom 

Library Science
the Bug (She has a MASSIVE library in her room, she wants to hold a "Grand Opening" in the Fall)

Stop-motion Animation: 
the Scout has the software kit and is planning to team up with another homeschool friend to begin producing films.  (I see a ton of Lego pick-up for him in the future!)

Soccer:  the Squeaker is out of her last year in Upward sports
Track & Field: Texas State Homeschool Track meet - The Squeaker has decided to train for the State meet this year.  She will be awesome!!!

MISSIONARY FUNDRAISING: Family (but this is actually the Bug's pet project)

ENRICHING EVERYDAY: Ready for Some Action?
Here is just a little Enrichment inspiration for you.
LOTS of Free resources coming your way - keep on the look-out!

 So, What was all that enrichment?  Homeschool Cooperative, Horseback Riding, Hosting an Online Science Fair, Creating Art, Cooking, Building Wooden Model Airplanes, Cowgirl History in Austin, TX, Violin, Camping, Chess, Hosting Back-yard Olympics, Nature Study at Beach, and learning about Sacajawea. 

Hope you are inspired.

Until tomorrow - start dreaming Big!

Happy Homeschooling,
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"

Sister Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom)