Tuesday Poetry Tea Time: It’s September by Edgar Guest

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It’s September

It’s September, and the orchards are afire with red and gold,
And the nights with dew are heavy, and the morning’s sharp with cold;
Now the garden’s at its gayest with the salvia blazing red
And the good old-fashioned asters laughing at us from their bed;
Once again in shoes and stockings are the children’s little feet,
And the dog now does his snoozing on the bright side of the street.

It’s September, and the cornstalks are as high as they will go,
And the red cheeks of the apples everywhere begin to show;
Now the supper’s scarcely over ere the darkness settles down
And the moon looms big and yellow at the edges of the town;
Oh, it’s good to see the children, when their little prayers are said,
Duck beneath the patchwork covers when they tumble into bed.

It’s September, and a calmness and a sweetness seem to fall
Over everything that’s living, just as though it hears the call
Of Old Winter, trudging slowly, with his pack of ice and snow,
In the distance over yonder, and it somehow seems as though
Every tiny little blossom wants to look its very best
When the frost shall bite its petals and it droops away to rest.

It’s September! It’s the fullness and the ripeness of the year;
All the work of earth is finished, or the final tasks are near,
But there is no doleful wailing; every living thing that grows,
For the end that is approaching wears the finest garb it knows.
And I pray that I may proudly hold my head up high and smile
When I come to my September in the golden afterwhile.

~Edgar Guest

{art: Victor Coleman Anderson}

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

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linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…The Thrifty Home, Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Spiritual Formation Tool for Kids: Nest Animated Bible DVD’s

{Guest post from my husband today!}

If you are concerned about the spiritual development of you children, Sunday School class, or Wednesday night Bible study then this is definitely something you should check out.

We were given a set of these Animated Bible Videos when our first two children were 3 and 1 1/2. It was a certain blessing by the grandparents at Christmas for them when the VHS tapes rolled in (they are on DVD’s now). Our children loved them and we actually wore some of the VHS tapes out.

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We cannot say how highly we think of these Animated Bible DVD’s.  They have been instrumental in the spiritual development of our children. The Nest corporation has a gifted team of Bible believing animators and writers who really bring the New Testament and Old Testament stories to life. They are accurate to Scripture but very creative in the delivery. Every Bible DVD they have is worth buying!  We have been using them now for over 11 years and believe in them.

We have the 36 DVD Collection of Old Testament and New Testament Animated Bible stories and dearly love them. We watch them as a family and it easily opens up spiritual conversations with our children. You can even download coloring pages and worksheets so you can use them in a Bible class, Sunday School, or Wednesday night activity.

This is my first product review, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it totally. Eleven years of being a satisfied customer!

Check it out for yourself. They have a huge selection to choose from. Here is our affiliate link to their page. Check it out here for yourself and search for the 36 dvd set. If you chose a large set, they do have reasonable payment plans.

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This is part of Cozy Homeschooling, an ongoing series.  For the rest of the Cozy Homeschooling posts, click here.

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

{this post contains affiliate links}

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…The Thrifty Home, Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Lovely Weekend Reads

weekend reads

“In education, McDonaldization attempts to wipe out any of the messiness or inefficiencies of learning. Instead, it attempts to reduce it to a commodity that can be packaged, marketed and sold. Rather than cultivating a deep, holistic love of learning that touches every aspect of a student’s life, learning is reduced to an assembly line. As we allow this to happen, we impose a mechanistic view of learning (which, in nature, is largely an organic process) and at a great cost.”

Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement?  (Powerful Learning Practice)

“”We want to promote safety with kids,” says Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “We truly believe that our teenagers are getting six to seven hours of sleep a night, and they need eight to 10.”

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement calling on school districts to move start times to 8:30 a.m. or later for middle and high schools, so that students can get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night.”

Pediatricians say school should start later for teen’s health (NPR)

“In a July article for The New Republic, William Deresiewicz admonished parents to abandon Ivy League ambitions for their children. Having spent 24 years at Columbia and Yale, he surmises that students at our most elite universities have lost their sense of purpose.

These high-achieving students may be “winners in the race we have made of childhood.” They may have mastered “a double major, a sport, a musical instrument, a couple of foreign languages, service work in distant corners of the globe, [and] a few hobbies thrown in for good measure.” But if they are great at what they’re doing, they have no idea why they’re doing it.”

When Childhood Has Become a Race (Christianity Today)

“All day, everyday.

Our days are spent doing real work in the real world. No busy work, no killing time, no crowd control.

Just learning and working and living, together. So we have time to visit our inventor neighbor to see his latest cedar shingle splitting tool or his DIY apple grinder and press or take a tour of his restored prairie.

And after that the food we harvest and cook from the garden is real. The small business that my children start are real. The robots they build are real.

All of it. Real. Nothing happens here to merely teach a concept.”

Happy to Homeschool (Rachel Wolf)

Schools as we know them have existed for a very short time historically: they are in themselves a vast social experiment. A lot of data are in at this point. One in four Americans does not know the earth revolves around the sun. Half of Americans don’t know that antibiotics can’t cure a virus. 45% of American high school graduates don’t know that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press. These aren’t things that are difficult to know. If the hypothesis is that universal compulsory schooling is the best way to to create an informed and critically literate citizenry, then anyone looking at the data with a clear eye would have to concede that the results are, at best, mixed. At worst, they are catastrophic: a few strains of superbacteria may be about to prove that point for us.
On the other hand, virtually all white American settlers in the northeastern colonies at the time of the American Revolution could read, not because they had all been to school, and certainly not because they had all been tutored in phonics, which didn’t exist at the time. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, not exactly light reading, sold over 500,000 copies in its first year of publication, the equivalent of a book selling sixty million copies today. People learned to read in a variety of ways, some from small one-room schools, but many from their mothers, from tutors, traveling ministers, apprentice’s masters, relatives, neighbors, friends. They could read because, in a literate population, it is really not that difficult to transmit literacy from one person to the next. When people really want a skill, it goes viral. You couldn’t stop it if you tried.”

A Thousand Rivers: What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning (Schooling the World)

{We haven’t started Plutarch yet, but Nancy gives great resources in this three part (so far) series!}

Plutarch Primer, Part III (Sage Parnassus)

I am so excited about Julie Bogart’s Homeschool Alliance, a coaching program for homeschool moms.  I have followed and admired her for years.  Julie, owner of Brave Writer and mom of five adult homeschooled children, has more wisdom and common sense about homeschooling than most people I know of.  I hope to join her alliance at some point. In the mean time, I hope some of you can.

The Homeschool Alliance is Here!

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Learning to Simply Be (in Nature) Pt. 3: Sabbath

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Hard work is a virtue. Our nation was built on the Puritan work ethic, and industriousness is a quality we should value in ourselves and our kids.

I also believe that we should value the ability to simply be, especially to be in nature, as I expressed in parts 1 and 2 of this little series. I believe that this ability is something we’ve largely lost in our culture, to our detriment.

While our nation was built on a Puritan work ethic, it was also built around the concept of the seven-day week begun with a rest day, a Sabbath. Are any of us old enough to remember when all businesses were closed on Sunday?

Whether we were religious or not, culturally, down time was built into our schedules. Christians aren’t bound to observe a Sabbath, but it’s a wise practice to set aside a day a week to rest and decompress.

Technology has also enabled us to have our work continuously at our fingertips. We no longer have the rhythm of daylight and dark, work hours and home hours. It began with the advent of the electric light and air conditioning, which expanded the time and comfort in which we could work.

It’s continued with the internet, smart phones, and tablets. We’re almost unlimited in our ability to work wherever and whenever.

Technology is a tremendous gift, but it’s also a double edged sword. I fear we often use it unwisely.

This isn’t a “woe is me, the sky is falling” post. I LOVE technology. What a gift to live in a time with such endless possibilities!

But if we aren’t careful, we will burn ourselves out, because technology allows us to push past our natural limits far more than is good for us.

My family typically chooses a day a week for a lighter load, a day of rest, a day to do things we find refreshing and rejuvenating. It is often HARD to work into our schedule, but when we skip this day for a few weeks, I feel it.

I get stressed, anxious, over-emotional, and overtired. Sabbath rest isn’t a legalistic rule, but used in the context of grace it’s a gift, and one I’m thankful to accept.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you feel that a periodic day of rest is necessary? Why or why not?

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

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linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…The Thrifty Home, Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Tuesday Poetry Teatime: Hollyhocks by Edgar Guest

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Old-fashioned flowers! I love them all:
The morning-glories on the wall,
The pansies in their patch of shade,
The violets, stolen from a glade,
The bleeding hearts and columbine,
Have long been garden friends of mine;
But memory every summer flocks
About a clump of hollyhocks.

The mother loved them years ago;
Beside the fence they used to grow,
And though the garden changed each year
And certain blooms would disappear
To give their places in the ground
To something new that mother found,
Some pretty bloom or rosebush rare—
The hollyhocks were always there.

It seems but yesterday to me
She led me down the yard to see
The first tall spires, with bloom aflame,
And taught me to pronounce their name.
And year by year I watched them grow,
The first flowers I had come to know.
And with the mother dear I’d yearn
To see the hollyhocks return.

The garden of my boyhood days
With hollyhocks was kept ablaze;
In all my recollections they
In friendly columns nod and sway;
And when to-day their blooms I see,
Always the mother smiles at me;
The mind’s bright chambers, life unlocks
Each summer with the hollyhocks.

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

{this post contains affiliate links}

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…The Thrifty Home, Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling

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Soon I’ll be reviewing The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling by Karen Campbell.  Until then, enjoy these quotes from the book which gives such a lovely taste of Karen’s loving approach.

cozy homeschooling graphic

This is part of Cozy Homeschooling, an ongoing series.  For the rest of the Cozy Homeschooling posts, click here.

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

{this post contains affiliate links}

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…The Thrifty Home, Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Lovely Weekend Reads 8/16/14

weekend reads

“[W]e moms are without excuse and should flee from entitlement and bitterness.

We’ve established these thoughts.

Been there.

Done that.

Roger, over and out.

Today, however, I humbly want to grab the ear of, well, basically everyone else.

The friend of a mom. The mom with bigger, more independent kids. The single. The newlywed. The grandmother. The widow. The married couple who haven’t had children. The aunt. The uncle. The neighbor.

I need to let you in on a little secret…

the mom in your life with young kids needs help.

Help a Mother Out Part 1: A Cry for Help.  A Call to Arms.

Help a Mother Out Part 2: The How To

-Mrs. Gore’s Diary

“This is what I want for my sons: freedom. Not just physical freedom, but intellectual and emotional freedom from the formulaic learning that prevails in our schools. I want for them the freedom to immerse themselves in the fields and forest that surround our home, to wander aimlessly or with purpose. I want for them the freedom to develop at whatever pace is etched into their DNA, not the pace dictated by an institution looking to meet the benchmarks that will in part determine its funding. I want them to be free to love learning for its own sake, the way that all children love learning for its own sake when it is not forced on them or attached to reward. I want them to remain free of social pressures to look, act, or think any way but that which feels most natural to them.

I want for them the freedom to be children. And no one can teach them how to do that.”

Unschooling: The Case for Setting Your Kids Into the Wild (Outside Magazine)

“Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. It never happened. Most of them are still single. Some have grown bitter and jaded. Then couples who did get married through courtship started getting divorced. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce.

This was not the deal!

The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.  The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.

So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago. She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why.”

Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed (Thomas Umstettd)

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom