Monday, October 12, 2020

Awakening Wonder {Review}


Sally Clarkson's latest book, Awakening Wonder, deals with inspiring your children toward unlocking the beauty in learning.  She shares her personal experiences as a homeschooler in a deeply vulnerable way, sharing both the triumphs and the areas where she sometimes fell short.  Clarkson says she hopes that this book will be a help to all parents, but as a homeschooling mom, I will attest that it is sometimes hard to separate the two roles and this book comes off as directed more toward homeschoolers.  Still there is a lot to be gleaned from this book, including:
    *"What we need to do is provide them (children) with excellent food for thought as well as superior resources, giving them personal attention, asking questions, letting them ask questions, and providing lots of interactive time."

    *"Capturing their (children's) heart with an imagination of why character is important is our goal.  one who has grasped a vision for why character matters will be much more likely to pursue what is right than one who is just living by an arbitrary rule."

    *"Stick close to your teens; tell them how much you like them and try to mean it.  They will soon be entering an adult world filled with challenges, temptations, loneliness, work to master, and adult responsibility."

I have so many notes from this book; it would be impossible to include all of them.  Starting homeschool this fall has been a daunting task considering all that's happening in the world.  But I found Clarkson's book to be challenging and encouraging.  Her writing style feels like speaking with a gentle mentor and my biggest takeaway was a quiet reminder that parenting and homeschooling is a reflection of my own heart.  And it requires growth on my part in order to raise healthy, strong children.  For the homeschool mom needing an encouraging read,  Awakening Wonder should be on your to read list.

*Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Unafraid {Review}

Traveling through life, it can often feel like we're doing it all alone.  But God is with us every step the way.  This Unafraid devotional features more than 120 readings along with prayers and Scripture selections encouraging readers to develop a personal one on one time with the creator.  The readings focuse on finding peace in your relationship with the Lord and developing an unwavering courage to face life.

2020 has been a year of challenges and unpredectible events.  It's been a year where fear has run rampant.  If there's ever been a time that we've needed courage, it's today.  While reading through this devotional, I was reminded that fear doesn't come from the Lord.  The author keeps pointing it all back to God and how He walks with us through every situation.  This devotional was a timely and encouraging read. 

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Our 2020 Summer Bucket List

June is here and the temperatures are rising.  The kids and I sat down to work out our summer bucket list and discovered this summer is going to be unlike any we've ever experienced.  Although we're still hoping to do lots of swimming, a lot of our outside activities have been cancelled.  That challenged us to get creative and think of some simpler ideas to keep us busy over the summer.  In case you're looking for ideas to help your kids stay busy, here's what we have planned:

Play with Perler Beads
Go on Bike Rides
Play in Sprinklers
Slip N Slide
Have a Talent Show
Learn some ASL
Watch the sun rise
Go to the beach
Hike Crystal Creek Falls
Tie Dye T-Shirts
Go hiking
Hike Whiskeytown Falls
Start Sourdough
Star Gaze
Watch Fireworks
Read Vanderbeeks of 141st St
Go to Icee Shack
Make Homemade Ice Cream
Make Bead and Bell Wind Chimes
Rainbow Loom bracelets
Butterfly Origami
National Geographic Heads Up
Start a Baking Business
Make Friendship Bracelets
Learn some Digital Photography
Attend Online VBS
Practice Multiplication
Build a Solar Oven
Visit a Splash Pad
Have a Water Fight
Go to the Lake
Sew Felt Friends
Make Amish Friendship Bread
Read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Paint a Rainbow Tree
Complete the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading
Make Safety Pin Bracelets
Take Swim Lessons
Have a Picnic at the Dam
Roll Candles
Make Origami Stars
Read Letter from Rifka
Go Camping
Work on  Creative Kids Cooking Challenge
Make Sugar Cone Parafaits
Do an Egg Drop
Review the Books of the Bible
Go Fishing
Complete the Library Summer Reading
Paint Rocks

What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ocean Anatomy {Review]

Julia Rothman's Anatomy series takes a deep dive with this latest addition: Ocean Anatomy.  From the shoreline, to the layers of the ocean, to all its various inhabitants, Ocean Anatomy takes its readers on a delightful journey of discovery.  A wonderful mix of colorful illustrations, informational diagrams, and engaging content, Rothman's newest book has something for everyone.

I've never had the privilege of owning one of Rothman's books so I wasn't sure what to expect.  But Ocean Anatomy blew away any preconceived ideas I had.  Although marketed as a children's book, this latest additional would surely appeal to audiences of all ages.  The informational goes beyond introductory without being overwhelming, and the illustrations are a mix of whimsy and scientific accuracy.  This would make a wonderful addition to any home library, with particular appeal to homeschooling families.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Writing Wild {Review}

In this book, author Kathryn Aalto celebrates 25 women writers who have contributed to our understanding of the natural world.  Scholars, conservationists, essay writers, explorers and more... each of these women have added to our connection with nature in their own unique ways through hundreds of years of history.  Part biography, part travel essay, Writing Wild guides the reader through the lives of these writers and the legacy they left behind, and encourages the next generation of women to continue.

Writing Wild introduced me to a whole new genre.   Many of these female writers were new to me, although some I'd met in history before.  Still Aalto does a wonderful job of adding the details needed to see them as whole women and their unique place in literature.  Aalto does a wonderful job of introducing the environment in which each of these writers would have been immersed.  She takes the reader on a journey of highlighting each woman's contributions to history while allowing their own voices to shine through.  Writing Wild would make a delightful read for anyone interested in women's history, or environmental issues.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.  

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