Homeschool & Horses!

One of the things I love about homeschooling are the opportunities you might not get if you are going to a public or private school all day.  One of those things is horse riding lessons!  And yes, they are part of our homeschool curriculum, can you say life lessons about responsibility!  horse lessons 8

This was Muppin’s first lesson for riding and as you can see she is thoroughly in love already!  Right from the start she was given the opportunity to do things for herself, something that I loved.  My heart did skip a beat when she was standing next to that huge animal… she looked so small!  But she had no fear and lapped every second up.

Horse lessons 9

She got to do everything that you would need to do to be a good rider.  The only thing left to her trainer was saddling the horse, she was a bit short to do that 😉  But still, she helped with that part too.  She has a great trainer (Josie at Gillespie Performance Horses) who shows great kindness to her and the horse.  Muppin was riding by herself within in about 10 minutes and did wonderful.  I was shocked really.  She is truly a natural (in my untrained eyes of course).. and truly in love!  That is all I have heard about over the last few days, and I love it!

It is time to get out her horse unit study again and start adding to it!  Her book is getting big and so is her smile.  Do something fun with your child today in your homeschool!

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The Calling

Writing prompt ~ It’s after midnight. You find yourself in an eerie yet, magical swamp. You hear whispering and see flashes of light…what happens?

Long after the sun goes down I spend my time wandering, searching, looking for what always alludes me.  As I wander the voices keep coming, soft and gentle, luring me further in to the depths of the swamp.  What do they want with me and why do they keep calling?  Why do I keep following?

I can hear them now, their sound so gentle it almost lures me into believing I am so safe and so loved that nothing else matters.  Warmth flows over me, filling me with such joy I can’t believe there is anything sinister in their calling.  It is almost as if sweet romance is in the air, calling and beckoning me to take a leap of faith and just fall all in… all into the peace and serenity and soft comfort of their words.

Their words are not all that leads me deeper into the forest, but the words give light!  It is a pure light, one can not fully explain but one that can only be felt.  It is a light that gives warmth and satisfaction every time you glimpse it.  It is a light that gives hope in the midst of the darkness.  It is a light that makes you feel safe and whole and free, one that never leaves you alone or forsakes you.

As I go deeper, wandering into the forest I am greeted nightly by this beautiful light and melodic voice and each night the outcome is the same. I find myself lying softly in a bed of moss staring eagerly into the sky waiting for them, knowing they are there because they beckoned me there this night, just like every other night.  I close my eyes and they surround me filling me with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… I have felt them before, and they are a welcome guest.

My spirit leaps with excitement and expectation, because they are there… bringing with them all I need and all I will ever want.  Without them I am nothing and never will be. Each night I go with expectation, and each night I am embarrassed because my expectation is never high enough to match the the moments that happen deep in the darkness of those swamp.  My expectations are always so small compared to the gift lavished upon me.

Long after the sun goes down… the world quiets and only then am I free to go wandering, searching and looking for my true desires…  only then do I find them.

(What am I talking about?? Who are “them”???)   🙂

Homeschool Freedom – Beware of Shiny Things!

How many times have I tried to veer from the course that has been laid ahead of me?  Homeschooling is that course and sometimes I feel like there are a million different avenues that sit before me that can “help” me homeschool my child.  There is always a new book, new method, new computer program, new teaching philosophy, a new something.

charis horse studyOne can get caught up in all the bright shiny new things that continually come along and before you know it you feel terrible because you didn’t buy this or that and you feel completely confused.  You feel you lost out because you didn’t see that new method before you started the one you have.  Before long you “think” you  have done it all wrong and your child is now going to suffer because that new curriculum you purchased last year to help her through her learning isn’t good enough. It isn’t as awesome as the new one that you are looking at right now that just popped up in your email for only $399.00!

It is so easy for us as parents to see all the bells and whistles of the new and improved things out there and think they are better than what we have, and you know what??? Who cares!!!!  Our children learned quite well for thousands of years without iPads, iphones and brightly colored curriculum.  Our kids thrived and learned while lying on a blanket outside in the grass drawing what they saw.  We need to remember that we found good things in what we purchased for our kids in the first place and those things will do their job and everyone will be happy.  We need not stress over all the shiny new stuff that is thrown at us each and every day.

We need to teach our kids to stay the course, not because we said so, but because we did so ourselves.  Our kids watch everything we do and repeat it.  Let’s teach them to repeat good things!  Our kids will thrive and flourish with what we have to offer and if we don’t offer them the new and improved method, it is not going to rob them one bit.  Our kids are learners without our help.  And if we stop putting so much emphasis on a particular method and instead make the journey interesting, informative and even fun (you know, the process of learning)… they will see that when they stay with something, no matter what that something is… there is value and they will go far.

School With a View!

school with a viewSchool has gone much smoother since we moved Muppin’s desk in front of the window!  She now has school with a view!  Instead of dark rooms lit with light-bulbs (it is dark in the Pacific Northwest when it is the rainy season) she now gets natural light and she gets to stare out at our beautiful yard and watch birds, our dog and the weather!  She has several acres of country to look at and even though there is a lot to see, she is more eager to do her work and will do it for a longer period.  She adores seeing God’s beauty while she learns.

Who knew all one needed to do was give a child beauty to help them learn!?  Oh, I guess Charlotte Mason and John Holt might have.. hehe…

If your kids are having trouble learning or staying focused try something like it yourself.  Her desk may now be in the kitchen which is not the most attractive place for it, but most definitely the best place.