Sandpiper Shore Bird: A Chalk Pastel Tutorial


On a lazy afternoon at the beach the children and I decided to draw a sandpiper – after seeing these fast and delightful birds all morning swooping down and racing the waves. We assembled our limited color palette of pastels. We just couldn’t pack everything! I drew a large bird shape on a piece of […]

Good Friday Garden and Choosing a Tree


Both my grandfathers planted their gardens on Good Friday. We’ve adopted this tradition as well. And while it’s a good practice to wait until Good Friday because all danger of frost has past, we’ve discovered another significance. We talk about Easter. We pour that fresh soil into a flower bed. And a little finger makes […]

Noticing Spring


Spidey on unfurling hydrangea. Budding trees. Blue skies. Bright flowers. Peeking anole. Ever-changing weather. March moon. Notebooking observations. Outdoor Hour Challenges

Nature Study Through the Holidays eBook Review and Giveaway


“Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit it formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care […]

The Ws of Winter Nature Study


We’ve been contemplating the Ws of winter nature study. These bits of nature study we enjoyed here and there over the last two weeks. Some spontaneous, some purposeful. Weather: a wide range of temps from spring-like to the arctic blast of this past weekend. We had lows in the teens! Walks: taken in our backyard […]

Homeschool Makeover: The Most Used Bookcase

IKEA Expedit bookshelf

Former, wonderful, overflowing and overused bookcase in our most central location. My husband and I have been blessed with hand-me-down furniture. There is just an abundance of pieces on my side of the family. And, in the almost seventeen years of our marriage, this furniture has served us well. However, never, in the past, has […]

Twigs Nature Study


dew on backyard maple At daybreak, I’m switching the clothes from the washer to the dryer when she comes, all excited. “Mama, have you seen the fog? The dew is glistening on the birch tree. It’s beautiful!” Nature study in the early morning. Right after breakfast. The two of us! We step outside into the […]

Backyard Birds in Winter


Last Thursday we enjoyed a wonderful study of chickadees and other backyard birds. However, I got a little side-tracked and never shared because of the incident with the wiffle ball. I love the variety of birds we see at our feeder each season. The woodpeckers stop by more frequently to eat the suet we share […]

Winter Wonder and Weather Walk


Winter wonder and weather walk. We were wet. I love alliteration. And we love nature study. For this start to our winter nature studies, we discussed and filled in the answers to the Winter Wonder questions from the Handbook of Nature Study ebook. We did this on one printed sheet, as a family, during lunch. […]

Celebrating a Good End Plus New Semester Plans


I realized, as I was planning our next unit of Tapestry of Grace, that I had not shared our holiday unit celebration. A unit celebration brings closure to our studies and boosts us on to further learning in the next unit. In the past, we plan for our unit celebration to happen on Thanksgiving Day […]

On a Sunny December Day – Evergreens and More Fun Things


On a sunny Friday in December we went to visit Mama Ann. Visiting Mama Ann always includes some outdoor time and usually a walk over to the garden. (You can just see Mama Ann’s house through the woods in the photo, above. Her wonderful creek is just between this swing and her house. We know […]

Chickadee: A Chalk Pastels Tutorial

Chickadee Chalk Pastel Tutorial at Hodgepodge

Chickadees are a frequent visitor to our backyard feeder. Photo of a favorite Christmas card We love their little black caps – though our southern variety is the carolina chickadee. The two are very similar, as you’ll notice below. So, upon request, Nana taught us a chickadee pastel lesson. Thank you, Nana! We pulled out […]