Category Archives: outside

Fun with Other Homeschoolers

Homeschooling can be a lonely world. I have heard mixed reviews about homeschool co- ops and associations. I think there is a danger of competition and unnecessary comparing yourself to others. I think there can be a danger of spending all your time outside the home involved in activities.

However, overall, I think that being part of a community of homeschoolers can be a good thing. The kids see that other kids like them are out there. They get to make friends. Parents can talk, share strategies, have adult contact, etc.

Our county has a rather large homeschool association that we’ve just joined. We have been going to the weekly playgroup at the park near our house. The lady that organizes it is an all star. She has activities for the kids each week. She tries to have a sports focus and a science focus each month as well as other things in between. The kids play for the first half hour or so that we are there… then we move toward whatever the planned activity is. We have done experiments with bubbles, had a fire chief come talk about fire safety, done pumpkin science… and today… a camping workshop!

We are not campers.. not yet anyway… but Big Sis is determined to change that. She has been asking non stop to go camping. Her only hesitation is that bears live in the mountains. Just when I think I have put her fears to rest, the man who did the workshop today talked about a bear that walked through his campsite!

The guy and gal who did the workshop were top notch. They held the attention of about forty kids for an hour and a half. Perhaps it was because the workshop involved fire and the promise of smores!

An alcohol burning stove made from an aluminum can and cat food jar

He first showed us this cool, personal stove made from a aluminum can and cat food jar. You pour a small amount of methanol alcohol into the cat food can that has been hole punched, light it… then place the aluminum can on top. Pour in some water and let it boil.

Fire in a Washtub

Next up with lighting a fire inside a washtub. He used dryer lint to get the fire started… so… before you go camping, start collecting some dryer lint to take with you!

Tent from a Tarp

The kids then learned how to make a tent using just a plastic tarp. He taught them how to tie a rope to two trees, hang the tarp and anchor it to the ground. Big Sis was all about this project. She was one of the smallest kids there, but was right in the middle of it all.. she went ahead and made herself comfy cozy in the sleeping bag when it was all done.

SMORES!

Last, but not least was the promised smores! Big Brother is a pro a marshmallow roasting. Big Sis would prefer to eat hers “raw.”

We live in the mountains now. This was a perfect workshop for our new digs! Are you part of a homeschool association? What kinds of things do you do? What is most helpful for you?

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Fall Foliage

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork

Psalm 19:1

I do love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the changing colors, the smell of fires in fireplaces… the beginning of the holiday seasons.

When my husband was in seminary, we were blessed to be friends with many missionary families. I would listen as they shared their burdens about different people groups and going overseas and I would think… I just want to be somewhere that we can enjoy seasons. Shallow right? But I think that God places different burdens in the hearts of his followers… I think that he has a ministry for our family just where he has us… and I am so thankful that for now, it happens to be in the mountains!

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Taking the Chalk Off the Sidewalk


We have a small patio in the backyard. With the weather turning somewhat cooler, the kids have rediscovered the backyard…woohoo! Kids gotta move… Run, jump, spin… Move! And, in and 1100 square foot house, movement just isn’t that possible. We have a great backyard for kids…lots of space and a swingset that the monkey dad built (he’s so handy).

Anyway…the kids have been drawing with chalk, but quickly ran out of space on the patio. I suggested they use the fence like and easel. It was so fun to see the things they came up with. They made up a game called “art is beautiful”. You color in part of the fence and when you are done, yell “art is beautiful”. Great game huh?

Drawings of hot air balloons, butterflies, parks and playgrounds were also created. They had a great time!

Chalk- $1.00 from Target! No expensive art class needed here.

**we drew on the fence a lot in the summer and then used water balloons to wash it off… Hours of entertainment**

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