Quote of the Day


A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.
William Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues


Nature Study: Our Feathered Friends


When our family moved into our new home fifteen years ago, our neighbor, Miss Jean, gifted us with a copy of The Golden Field Guide Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. For the past fifteen years, bird watching has become one of our family’s favorite outdoor activities. Bird watching can take place anywhere: Looking out a window indoors, sitting in a chair on the deck or while walking through the neighborhood. Staples for bird watching include a field guide, a pair of binoculars and establishing a feeding station for the birds in your backyard.


birdfeederOne of our most memorable nature study activities during our child’s preschool years was creating DIY Bird Feeders using a toilet paper tube, peanut butter, bird seed a a piece of yarn. To learn how to make this nature craft please click on the link to Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus for the instructions.


Happy Bird Watching!

Kathy Alphs


Quote of the Day

Heart-Wallpaper-On-Wallpaper-Hd-10“Homeschooling is largely heart to heart. The methods and even the curriculum do not matter nearly as much as the relationship between child and parent.”

Ruth Beechick From the Heart and Mind: What the Bible Says About Learning

Bright Ideas in Science Curriculum


While searching for a science curriculum which would teach scientific concepts, and integrate the Christian faith, homeschooling mother, Stephanie Redmond was encouraged by her friends to write what would become, “Christian Kids Explore Biology.” Due to the positive response of “Christian Kids Explore Biology,” Stephanie has written a second volume, “Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space.”
“Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space” contains 24 lessons and six unit reviews which cover the topic of earth and space science. The curriculum is comprised of the following components:
A Note from the Author
How to Use This Book
Unit One
Getting Started: Earth’s Creation; Facts About Earth and Its Structure; Wrap Up
Unit Two
The Lithosphere: Plate Tectonics; Caves; Volcanoes; Earthquakes; Rock Types on Earth; Wrap Up
Unit Three
The Hydrosphere: Introduction; Oceans; Groundwater; Glaciers and Icebergs; Wrap Up
Unit Four
The Atmosphere: Introduction; Atmospheric Pressure; Humidity; Air Composition; Wrap Up
Unit Five
Earth’s Weather: Introduction to Weather & Seasons; Cloud Formation; Precipitation; Thunderstorms & Tornadoes; Hurricanes; Wrap Up
Unit Six
Beyond Earth: Makeup of the Universe; The Sun; Earth’s Moon; The Eight Other Planets; Wrap Up
The curriculum also includes a Glossary, Index and Appendices: A Note from the Author, How to Use This Book, Glossary and Appendices: Reproducible Maps, Forms and Illustrations, Memorization Lists, Scripture Memory, Coloring Pages, Recipes and Supplemental Activities, How to Make a Folder book, Book and Resource List and Answer Key.
Each lesson unit introduces the topic with a unit timeline, vocabulary words, and materials needed for the unit. The lesson itself is made up of two building blocks: Teaching Time and Hands on Time. I would highly recommend purchasing the resource cd download which contains the reproducible pages in the back of the text.
Overall, we have been pleased with this curriculum as it lends itself to the Classical Education and Charlotte Mason philosophies. Scientific concepts are presented in an engaging and easy to understand manner. This allows the student to build upon their interest through research and scientific experimentation. In the fall of 2014, our child is looking forward to utilizing the next book in this series “Christian Kids Explore Chemistry.”

Kathy Alphs

The Season of Kindness


Yesterday, our family attended the matinee performance of The Nutcracker ballet. Before the beginning of each performance, Michael, the ballet’s director, addresses the audience. At the close of his presentation he veered toward the topic of “showing kindness to our neighbors this holiday season, especially those who are elderly.” Throughout the afternoon, I replayed Michael’s words in my head. Kindness is a virtue parents strive to teach their child in the formative years. When a child learns the virtue of kindness and practices it on a daily basis, it becomes a way a life.

As someone one said, “More is caught than taught.” In order for a child to learn the virtue of kindness, their parent needs to show them how this looks on a practical basis in every day life. Sarah McClure has authored an article titled, 100 Easy Random Acts of Kindness for Kids on her blogspot Happy Brown House https://happybrownhouse.com/100-easy-random-acts-of-kindness-for-kids/

Through a simple act of  kindness, your child will experience the ripple effect. The ripple effect simply means their act of kindness will continue and spread to others. Compassion and love for our fellow man all begin with one simple act of kindness. As Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Kathy Alphs




Family Friday

blackfridayfamilyYears ago, when our daughter was a tot, my husband and I made the decision not to participate in Black Friday. Over the years, we have designated the Friday after Thanksgiving as Family Friday. Each year, on this day, we spend the day together as a family, celebrating God’s gift of family.

Several years ago, I came across this article titled, 10 Family Friendly Black Friday Alternatives on the Personal Creations blog. https://www.personalcreations.com/blog/10-family-friendly-black-friday-alternatives
Family oriented activities include holiday festivities, an autumn scavenger hunt, and taking a family photo just for starters.

As Desmond Tutu once said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” Best wishes to you and your family as you celebrate this season of Thanksgiving!

Kathy Alphs