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September Mother’s Journal

Morning Glory Purple

“The ability to remember details comes naturally to children; a few retain that skill as adults and keep a sense of freshness and contentedness as well.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 69

I am really feeling the change of the season in my emotions and in my outlook. Autumn brings with it such a sense of melancholy, the end of the summertime sunshine-filled days. So I stay focused on the positive and look for the gifts all around me. Thankfully I have a busy life that still allows me to take time to cultivate my own interests and passions. Still, missing my grown up family seems to be a constant theme in my head.

Mr B flashback

It’s the end of an era around here. This cutie pie just turned 20 which means I officially have no more teenagers, the last of my children to reach their 20’s. Sad but happy too. Always that bittersweet as each milestone is reached reminding me of my own aging. Mr. B is working hard at learning construction skills as he gains physical strength and maturity. I so enjoy hearing about his challenges and his thoughts about growing up.

Life is About Using The Whole box of Crayons

I created this page in my art journal (thanks to a Pinterest idea) and I sent a photo of it to him which made him happy. We have been talking about how at his age he is supposed to be trying new things, finding areas of interest, exploring different possibilities to pursue in the future. He feels so much pressure to have it all figured out. It is a hard age as you see the whole world opening up to you. He talks about how money isn’t the ultimate goal in life and that makes me smile.

making applesauce

My oldest son has been unemployed this summer after the start up internet company he was working for decided to take a new direction. Finally, this week he found a sweet new job near his home that will use his skills and talents…what a relief. We decided to make homemade applesauce one afternoon while he is still free to do so. What a great project! The applesauce was so good, especially with a little cinnamon on top…just like apple pie filling! We are already making plans to do another batch in October.

Happy Campers scrapbook page

And what could be better than spending some time working on your scrapbook! I have been motivated to get this past year’s photos into my album. My sister made me these awesome die cuts for our camping trip page…perfect! I have about 30 pages to get into the book but I have all the photos printed, the papers gathered, and now I just need to make time to put them in the book. It might have to wait until the weather turns cold because I am enjoying my walks in the early evenings before the day turns dark.

As September draws to a close, my thoughts turn more and more to our up-coming trip to spend time with our three children who are living out of state. It will be awesome to see them and have real family time. Of course, I will share about that in a future post.

Happy Autumn!!!

Autumn Paintings Picture Study and Art Show @harmonyfinearts View autumn art with these selections to make an easy art afternoon.Don’t miss the Autumn Paintings Picture Study post from earlier this week!

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!

Good Habits Make A Difference – Part 2

Good Habits Make a Difference @harmonyfinearts


Recently, I wrote an entry sharing four of the habits that I thought gave our family a good foundation.
1. Keeping the habit of getting up on time.
2. Encouraging the habit of completing chores on time and with cheerfulness.
3. Growing the habit of starting each school day with a scriptural thought.
4. Perfecting the habit of planning ahead.
You can read more about the details HERE .
I thought I might continue my list of habits that have helped us to have “smooth and easy” homeschool days. How about four more habits?

5 9 11 Walking trail
Daily walk with our dog….We have several different spots to walk but this one is really close to home so it is very familiar.

1. Getting outdoors everyday. Can a few minutes outside really make that much of a difference in how your day goes? Absolutely. Once you establish this habit you will crave a few minutes outside even when the weather is not comfortable. Fresh air, room to move, time to look up at the sky, and a little diversion become like streams of water to a parched landscape. You can read more of my thoughts on nature study and the benefits HERE. Charlotte Mason volume 1 page 44

Van gogh oil pastel project
Mr. B is still working his way through different media and Van Gogh….this time oil pastels.

2. Keeping a balance between academic and more hands-on sorts of activities for my busy boys. Even as teens, this is an important habit. We allow the boys to complete academics at any place they wish, inside or outside. Then I try to build into each day a certain amount of “hands-on” time activities to balance the intense reading and writing they have assigned. Art appreciation, composer study, nature study, robotics, P.E. time, and other more active courses are sprinkled throughout the day. Charlotte Mason volume 1 page 142

Notebook Pages in Binder
Mr. B is completing many of’s Ancient History pages for his note taking.

3. Building organizational tools into our homeschool day: 3-ring binders and notebook pages. Written narrations of all kinds are worthy of keeping: notebook pages, maps, drawings, art copywork, and other projects can be easily stored in binders or spiral-bound for future reference. I am still working on instilling the habit of filing papers as soon as they are finished into the appropriate binder after we have met together and shared every single page.

Boys on Sentinel Dome
Just a fun photo from a few years ago….time flies and the boys have really grown up.  Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park

4. Giving our full attention to schoolwork and each other. This is a habit that can start with young children, giving them short lessons to hold their attention. In our family, as the boys have matured, I have tried to schedule enough work for them to keep busy but not allow time for dawdling or repetition of reading. Reading once with full attention is a valuable skill and worthy of our energy. My boys read their assignment and then are required to give an oral or written narration. (We use notebook pages for most of the written narrations. You can read more about notebooking in high school HERE.) Charlotte Mason volume 1 page 145

This post is going to be part of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival next week on habits.  If you are interested in reading more about our Charlotte Mason high school, you can click over and read HERE.

(I had to repost this entry after Blogger lost it in their maintenance trouble last week.)

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