Nature as Refreshment and Inspiration


chocolate daisy renees aug 2015 (1)

“Well, we have been seeing flowers for years-but our children haven’t. Flowers are still new and wonderful to them, and it’s the fault of grown-ups if every new flower they see ceases to delight them.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 53

sugar Pine Point aug 2015 (38)

“They[children] should be able to describe the shape, size and placements of their leaves and whether the flowers have a single blossom or a head of them.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 51

Swallowtail on a Lilac

“A child who can’t tell the difference between a thrush, a swallow, a blackbird or a skylark is as sad as those children who had never seen a bee.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 61

Yosemite July 2015 Daniel Caley and Joseph (19)

“The children must be kept in a good temper if they are to get the most out of the refreshing, strengthening atmosphere of the great outdoors.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 44


If you have a need for some help in sharing the beauty of nature with your children, join me over on my other blog, Handbook of Nature Study. If you subscribe to the blog, you will get a free monthly newsletter with lots of easy to use ideas and printables to inspire you to get outside with your family on a regular basis.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Use the discount code: ARTFRIENDS5 for $5 off an Ultimate Membership!

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Sketch Tuesday – Somthing that Bounces

Sketch Tuesday Drawing Assignments @harmonyfinearts small

Welcome to a new school year of Sketch Tuesday assignments! I want to warmly welcome all of our Sketch Tuesday families back for another year of creativity by providing simple open-ended drawing assignments for you to complete each week. New families are welcome as well! All ages are invited to create their own version of the Sketch Tuesday assignment and submit them for the slideshow.

As a reminder, here is the link to the official guidelines for Sketch Tuesday: Sketch Tuesday.

bounce boy kids

This week’s assignment: Sketch something that bounces.

Due Date: September 7, 2015.

All sketchers are welcome and there is no need to sign up. Send in your sketches in jpg format and mail them to: by Monday, September 7, 2015 and I will include them in Tuesday’s slideshow. Complete instructions are found by clicking the Sketch Tuesday tab at


Harmony Fine Arts

Sketch Tuesday is sponsored by Harmony Fine Arts which encourages all children to look, see, draw, and create every week! Use the Harmony Fine Arts plans that match your history time period or follow along with your grade level. Hundreds of homeschooling families are using Harmony Fine Arts from grade 1 all the way through high school. Take a closer look if you are thinking you want more art and music appreciation in your homeschool week.

Print these charts for more information about Harmony Fine Arts

Overview Chart -grades 1-12 general descriptions
Artist & Composer List – Grades 1-4 – specific artists and composers
Artist & Composer List – Grades 5-8 – specific artists and composers

Harmony Fine Arts Frequently Asked Questions and Links

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Homeschooling Encouragement From The Archives

This is the time of year I always loved and looked forward to with such anticipation. Back to school time always brought with it such high hopes for new learning adventures. Any fresh new curriculum had been chosen with care, creating inside me an eagerness to get started.

Then the first week or two would pass by and that feeling of “maybe I made a mistake” or “this is not working so as well as I wished” would set in. Time to reevaluate a choice was a serious job.

I thought I might share some of my posts from the archives that touch on some of these feelings and how we dealt with them in our family.

I hope you find something that encourages you!

 Homeschooling Charlotte Mason High School Experience @harmonyfinearts

Charlotte Mason High School Or Not? - Maybe you are wavering in your decision to use the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling for high school. You may find my words in this post from 2009 encouraging.

 Not Back to School Yet @harmonyfinearts


Not Back to School Yet: Sometimes you just need to delay your start of the school year before you really get going! This post from August 2011 shares some reasons to delay your school year if you are having trouble getting started.

Creating a Life Long Learner

Ingredients to Building a Life-Long Learner- This post from 2012 will help remind you of the more important things when it comes to homeschooling a child in a way that is meaningful.

Homeschooling Counting Down to the First Day @harmonyfinearts

Tick, Tick, Tick…Counting Down to the First Day – I love going back and reading this post. It reminds me of a year filled with such memories and the most important thing is that I didn’t miss the joy in watching my son mature over his senior year of high school. He is so far away now living in New York. We have a sweet relationship that is held together with phone calls, texts, and Instagram. We see each other in about seven weeks for a week long Connecticut adventure.


1-4 bundle covers random button

Still looking for that perfect art appreciation program for your homeschool? I created the flexible Harmony Fine Arts plans for families who want to offer art and music appreciation in a simple and enjoyable way. I invite you to take a look at the sample pages and see for yourself if these plans would help your year go a little better.

Can’t wait!

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