Miss Beatrix Potter Hen

Miss Beatrix Potter Hen
Miss Bea posing for Mama!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Make a List!

Lists are practical and easy to write! And, lists or their more contemporary stage name these days, listicles, are everywhere. Simple lists just could be your homeschool's next great creative writing project.

List making stimulates the brain. Creating lists also teaches and reinforces several practical skills. In order to create a list, your child must first brainstorm ideas. Writing lists also teaches organization, how to prioritize and the beauty of simplicity or succinctness. Simpler than outlines, lists get right to the point with bullet points! And, lists appeal to young and older students alike. Beginning printers and writers can let their creativity soar while honing their fine motor skills -- single words, phrases or ideas make the grade. 

Kinds of Lists:

Hip Homeschool Moms

  • Homschool schedules
  • Chores 
  • Vocabulary words or interesting and unsual words to incorporate into writing and speech
  • To Do Lists
  • Groceries
  • Errands
  • Allowance and Budgeting

  • Things I want to do this summer 
  • Books to read
  • Movies to watch
  • Crafts to make
  • Recipes to try
  • Favorite Bible verses or verses to memorize
  • Prayer needs and requests
  • Personal, educational or vocational goals
  • Places I'd want to live if I could
  • Changes for transforming my bedroom into the ultimate retreat
  • Things I'd do if I had 1 million dollars
  • Things I'll have done by the time I'm 50 years old
  • If I were President of the United States...
  • If I had a personal robot assistant

Pro and Con
         Pro and Con lists can be practical, personal or even
         creative. For example, homeschool students might 
         make a pro and con list for joining a particular 
         club or sport, for taking an elective, for getting a 
         job, etc. This type of list helps to put things into   

         Or, create a Pro/Con list with a bit of pizazz -- the pros 
         and cons of living on a deserted island, being an only 
         child, being 8 feet tall, well... you get the idea. 

         I keep a running list of songbirds I've spotted. 
         Your children can keep ongoing lists of wildlife 
         they've seen, miles they've walked, hiked or biked, 
         places they've visited, books they've read, 
         accomplishments, struggles, prayers (for and 
         answered), etc.

Hands-on and Handy

        Lists don't have to be written! Hmmm, have I 
        piqued your interest? Whether your homeschool 
        students are visual learners, kinesthetic learners 
        or just like the hands-on approach, list making just 
        got a LOT more interesting! Using index cards, 
        construction paper or card stock, make paper letter 
        squares about the size of a Scrabble piece or bigger. 
        Essentially, you'll want to make more the letters that 
        appear most often in words. Your students can piece
        together their lists. Rearranging is a breeze!

Lists are not just for the visual learner. Lists are for anyone who's busy, busy, busy and needs to remember. Lists also reassure, comfort and help keep us on track in a variety of ways.

Why are lists THE next great writing project for your homeschool? Because they're easy to do, adaptable to 
any subject and are extraordinarily creative-- plain ordinary notebook paper, graph paper, special stationery, a chalk board or the sidewalk on a beautiful sunny day can be the perfect canvas for your lists. And, the absolute best part of making a list -- any writing instrument is just "write" !!

So, make a list :) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Homeschooling in the Merry Month of May

Welcome, May !

May is a beautiful month -- flowers bloom, grass greens, birds build nests, trees grow leaves and flower and we celebrate our mothers. May is like a breath of fresh spring air just waiting to be sampled. May is like a pretty new party dress just waiting for romance. May is warm and sunny and just absolutely delightful. To me, May just sings out, Celebrate!  And, there is sooo much to celebrate. May is not only a time of budding natural beauty, it's also the subject of many beautiful poems, songs and paintings.

So, skip along with me and let's celebrate the merry merry month of May :)

Poetry Study


 Joyce Kilmer

"The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings."

                                Song on a May Morning                           

                                        John Milton

           Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
           Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
           The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
           The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
           Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
           Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
           Woods and groves are of they dressing,
           Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
                                                    Thus we salute thee with our early song,
                               And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


    Henry Sylvester Cornwell

Come walk with me along this willowed lane,         
Where, like lost coinage from some miser's store,
The golden dandelions more and more
Glow, as the warm sun kisses them again!
For this is May! who with a daisy chain
Leads on the laughing Hours; for now is o'er
Long winter's trance. No longer rise and roar.
His forest-wrenching blasts. The hopeful swain.
Along the furrow, sings behind his team;
Loud pipes the redbreast -- troubadour of spring,
And vocal all the morning copses ring;
More blue the skies in lucent lakelets gleam;
And the glad earth, caressed by murmuring showers,
Wakes like a bride, to deck herself with flowers!

Pippa's Song

Robert Browning

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His Heaven --
All's right with the world!

The Butterfly

Clinton Scollard

Up and down the air you float            
Like a little fairy boat;
I should like to sail the sky,
Gliding like a butterfly!

The Flowers

Robert Louis Stevenson

All the names I know from nurse:                      
Gardener's garters, shepherds's purse:
Bachelor's buttons, lady's smock,
And the lady hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,'
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for the tiny dames --
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny treetops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

Music Appreciation

Many melodies have been inspired by the pretty month of May and have"sprung up" in all sorts of ways -- the very traditional While Strolling Through the Park is an all-time favorite. This famous ditty has appeared on stage and screen, has been a longtime friend to barbershop quartets and a more child-friendly version was created by Kidsongs. And, zoom, zoom, zoom, it's off to the moon we go...on NASA's Apollo 17 mission, astronauts sang their own little zero gravity version..."I was strolling on the moon one day..."

So warm up your voices and sing a song of spring! 

In the Merry Merry Month of May by Stephen Collins Foster
It's Spring by Pam Minor

Artistic Pursuits

Spring paints a lovely scene on the merry May canvas! Some of Vincent Van Gogh's best paintings were inspired by the beauty of May.

Farmhouse in a Wheat Field

Landscape With Couple Walking and Crescent Moon

Still Life Majolica Jug With Wildflowers

Sketching and painting is a great way to capture the beauty of May! May is just bursting with color --
bright blooms popping up all around, vibrant green grass and wildflowers reveling from April's showers, happy-go-lucky bumblebees buzzing about in hopes of satisfying their sweet tooth, and songbirds flitting from branch to branch. Or, if you need a little more inspiration, please check out my article entitled, Artistry Abounds, in Home School Enrichment Magazine. Happy creating :)

May is chock full of inspiration for learning. So, savor the beauty of this gorgeous little snippet of spring with beautiful poetry, music and art -- read, listen, create and appreciate.

And, "may" you happily enjoy the merry, merry month of May!