Book Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie


 

Homeschooling book review of teaching from rest by sarah mackenzie an island family by grace

This week my friend Alisha from Family Travel on a Shoestring has kindly written a guest post with her book review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie.


Every once in a while a book comes along that truly encourages and inspires you.  Most of the time you pick the book up hoping for a little entertainment or a few tips and ideas but you never expect it to really change your day to day life in a real and tangible way.  In my five years of homeschooling I’ve read quite a few books about homeschooling.  There were never any that really spoke to me.  Sure, some offered up helpful advice but none made my theoretical All Homeschoolers Must Read list.  I kept seeing rave reviews about Sarah MacKenzie’s  Teaching From Rest. It sounded decent, however, I figured it was just another book about homeschooling, with more of the same old ideas spoken with a different voice.

Book Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie - An Island Family By Grace

Sarah MacKenzie

One afternoon after a trying day of homeschooling my four rambunctious boys I was folding laundry and listening to Sarah’s Read Aloud Revival podcast.  I was tired and stressed and wondering why in the world I had picked the hard road. Had I mistaken my calling?  Had I decided to homeschool out of fear or pride and now I had to live in the shadow of that decision?  I could have sent them to school.  I could have been Happy Room Mom, the one that always brings the cupcakes to all the class parties. My home could have always been immaculately clean with Pinterest worthy snacks awaiting my children that were so happy to finally be home that they would thank me endlessly for the hard work I had done for them while they were away at school all day. I wouldn’t of had to worry constantly if I was going to fail my children or wonder if at the end of this homeschooling  journey if my children would have fond memories of their school years and most of all of me.  I wouldn’t be tired, frazzled or stressed.  Life could have been different, it could have been peaceful.

Here is the bare truth: Not an hour passes without the enormity of the task I have taken on bringing me to my knees.  This work of homeschooling and raising hearts and souls and bodies is hard.  It is more than I can do in my own strength. –Sarah MacKenzie, Teaching From Rest

Sarah mentioned her book and on a whim I decided to go ahead and get it.  I logged on to Amazon and bought a copy for my Kindle, not wanting to have to wait for it or pay shipping. I wish now that I had bought a hard copy so that I could have it handy on my coffee table for easy access when needed.  In five years I’ve tried almost every single homeschooling method there is.  I was at the end of my rope and the only method I hadn’t tried yet was the idea of homeschooling from rest. Turns out that was the method I needed all along.

This book sprang from the insatiable thirst for the unshakable peace that God promises those who follow Him.  I long to live from a place of rest, to teach and mother from peace rather than anxiety. –Sarah MacKenzie, Teaching From Rest.

Teaching From Rest is an unyielding beckoning for us to rest in the Lord.  To trust and rest in His peace.  Sarah reminds us that God doesn’t call us to “pour out our hearts for our children only to be left choking on the dust of our mistakes.” While we can sometimes feel that the mundane tasks of creating chore charts and grading math worksheets isn’t a worthwhile life’s endeavor, it is!  We are serving God in our everyday pouring out of ourselves for our children if we are doing it out of love and obedience to Him.  When the going gets hard we need to go to Him, rely on Him alone, because on our own we are simply not enough. We need to stop teaching our children out of fear that we aren’t checking off everything in our curriculum guides and worrying over every single little detail. We are not the end all be all of the center of their universe.

Sarah doesn’t just tell us why we should be homeschooling from rest but she also gives us practical ways to live out a life of unshakeable peace .  Your curriculum works for you, not the other way around.  She gives great advice about how to simplify your curriculum and your schedule.  I had never heard of loop scheduling until I read this book.  Loop scheduling is a practical way to fit everything, well almost everything, you want into your homeschool schedule without stressing your schedule or your emotions.

Teaching From Rest is a book that I will go to time and time again for encouragement.  It’s chapters are filled with words, truths and thoughts that are as relevant to a mother of preschoolers thinking about homeschooling as they are to a mother that’s been homeschooling for a decade.  After putting this book in my Amazon cart only to remove it time and time again, I’m so thankful I finally bought it on impulse.  I know homeschooling will evolve with the ebbs and flows of our changing life and I don’t know what the future holds but regardless, I can and will homeschool from rest with unshakeable peace.


 

About the Author: Alisha and family - Family Travel on a Shoestring - Book Review of Teachimg from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie

Alisha is a homeschooling mom of four boys and wife to an amazing guy.  She spends her days wrangling the wild ones, reading aloud, gardening and planning trips.  Bit by the wanderlust bug, she writes about traveling with a big(ish) family on a shoestring budget at www.familytravelonashoestring.com


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.

This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

 

Our Baby at 5 Weeks Old!

Our Baby at 5 Weeks Old! - An Island Family By Grace

It is hard to believe it, but here is a picture of our baby at 5 weeks old! The month has flown past, and our family is really enjoying getting to know our new little girl. Obviously I am at the tired stage with getting up during the night to feed her, but I want to make sure I treasure this stage, as I know how quickly it will pass, and all of a sudden we will have another teenager!

As my post announcing her birth was so brief, here is a short(ish) story of her birth… For two (long!) weeks before she was born, I was having regular contractions each night. This was different from the Braxton Hicks I had been having for several months, so I kept thinking I would be going into labour that night, only for the contractions to fade away several hours later.

Three days before my due date, I woke up at 7am with contractions which were very obviously proper labour this time! I phoned my midwife at 9am, and she told me to get to the hospital right away! It is a 40 minute drive from our house to the hospital, so she was keen for me not to waste any time. Despite this, we still ended up arriving there after our kind friend, who had offered to look after our older children for the day!

Much to my disappointment on arrival, I was only 4cm dilated, however things obviously speeded up very quickly after that, as our beautiful daughter was born 2 hours later, just after noon! My husband and the two midwives were very encouraging, and we enjoyed lots of cups of tea and toast! It was proved how ancient I am, when I discovered that I had forgotten to bring our Kindle Fire which I had loaded some music onto, but I had CDs with me instead. Apparently though, the maternity unit is equipped with an iPod dock, and not an ‘old fashioned’ CD player! My kind midwife was able to find one and bring it in though.

It is a lovely small maternity unit, and because all had gone well with the labour and birth, and both our baby and I were very well, we were able to leave and go home 3 hours after her birth! This is the shortest stay I have ever had after one of our babies being born, but it was lovely to be back at home with my husband and our daughter for a few hours cosy quiet time before our friend brought our other children home.

Since then, I have been regaining my strength, and we have been enjoying lots of cuddles, and even now littles smiles! Our older children adore her, and like to make sure they all get a chance to hold her every day.

I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.

 

The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens

For the past week we have been homeschooling again, and now that we have exhausted the supply of food that I had stocked our freezer with, I am feeling up to cooking more of our meals myself (still with a fair bit of help from our older two). Hopefully I will also feel able to write some more regular blog posts soon, but for now I will be content with posting as and when I have the time.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.

It’s a Girl!

It's a Girl - An Island Family By Grace

My husband and I are delighted to announce that our fifth baby, a beautiful girl, was born last week!

It's a girl! - An Island Family By Grace

She was 7 pounds 14 ounces, and we are both very healthy. We are so thankful to God that everything went well with the labour and delivery, and our whole family is treasuring these special days together.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us, and I hope to give a fuller update in the coming weeks.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.


Book Review of Professionalizing Motherhood


Book Review of Professionalizing Motherhood - An Island Family By Grace

I first heard of the book Professionalizing Motherhood, by Jill Savage, in a ‘vlog’ by Nikki of A Farmhouse Full. Jill Savage has written Professionalizing Motherhood as an encouragement for Christian mothers to see their role as a mother as an important and worthwhile calling, and even ‘career’.

The book covers the Biblical foundation for this encouragement, then gives lots of practical advice and ideas on how to learn and grow in our role as mothers and wives. Mrs. Savage covers such subjects as prayer, creativity, organisation, and something I often forget- fun!

Book Review of Professionalizing Motherhood - An Island Family By Grace

One of my favourite sections of the books was where the author discussed the importance of a marriage-centred, as opposed to a child-centred family, with God at the head.

Jill Savage says, ‘We were created to have God as our first love. God then designed the marriage relationship as the cornerstone of the family. Finally, children both enter and leave the family unit.’ (Professionalizing Motherhood, P.72)

As someone who has experienced firsthand the devastation that serious marriage difficulties can cause, I really appreciated the author’s emphasis on this aspect of the family. She goes on to say:

For the marriage relationship to last a lifetime, we must invest in that relationship while the children are still at home… This is contrary to the way our society operates.

(Professionalizing Motherhood, P.74)

I am so thankful to God that by His grace, our marriage has now been restored, but how much better if my husband and I had learned these lessons at the beginning of, or even before, our marriage!

In that way, I would recommend Professionalizing Motherhood, particularly as being helpful to younger mothers, or I should say mothers of young children. It is not a book aimed at home educating mothers like myself, however I still found it to be a very encouraging book, both in reaffirming what an excellent use of time and effort motherhood is, and also in giving practical ideas to bring honour to God in how I mother my children.

Do you have any favourite books on Christian motherhood? Please let me know in a comment.

This book review of Professionalizing Motherhood first appeared on An Island Family By Grace.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.


 

This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

Our Favourite Biographies for Reading Aloud



Biographies for Reading Aloud - An Island Family By Grace

Since we started our 2016 – 2017 homeschooling year, we have been reading another of John Hudson Tiner’s Sowers series biographies of famous Christian scientists. Although I try to choose a variety of different genres of books for us to read aloud together, biographies are a good way to enjoy reading together, while also learning about famous or inspiring figures. Here is a list of some of our family’s favourite biographies for reading aloud.

10 of Our Favourite Biographies for Reading Aloud

  1. Robert Boyle, Trailblazer of Science, by John Hudson Tiner. This is our current read aloud book, and we are really enjoying it. As with the other biographies in the series, Tiner gives an interesting fictionalised account of Robert Boyle’s early life in Ireland, and goes on to tell of his adult life, his faith and the scientific discoveries he made. This is the third book in this series we have enjoyed. You can see more of my recommendations for living books for science in this post.
  2.  God’s Smuggler, by Brother Andrew. This autobiography of the founder of Open Doors, the international charity which supports the persecuted Church, covers the exciting story of Brother Andrew’s travels to pass on God’s word, the Bible, to those who were unable to get a copy in their own country. You can also read my post on Encouraging Our Children to be Outward Looking, if you are interested.Favourite Biographies for Reading Aloud - An Island Family By Grace
  3.  Eric Liddell: Finish the Race, by John Keddie. This biography of the Scottish missionary and sportsman Eric Liddell is part of the Christian Focus Trailblazers series, and one which we really enjoyed last year. We were able to borrow it from the library, which made it cheap as well as enjoyable!
  4.  My Story: Voyage on the Great Titanic, by Ellen Emerson White. We were given a box set of the My Story series, and although I would not recommend all of them, we did enjoy reading this fictionalised account of a passenger aboard the Titanic for its anniversary in 2012.Biographies for Reading Aloud - An Island Family By Grace
  5.  The Queen’s Smuggler, by Dave and Neta Jackson. We have enjoyed quite a few of the Jacksons’ Trailblazer biographies, including this one on William Tyndale. We also recently read their biography of Harriet Tubman, as part of learning more about slavery after reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  6.  The Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Would you believe, I had never read this famous series of books on American pioneer life until we began home educating? I picked up a secondhand copy at a charity shop, which said it was the ‘complete’ series, but only included the first 3 books. Imagine my surprise when a good friend told me there were many more! One of the things I like most about Laura’s retelling of her early life is the detail she gives about how they made things- food, clothes and even house building.
  7.  Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, by Eric Metaxas. We have just been reading this picture book this week, as we have been covering the Pilgrims landing in the New World in our history curriculum. This particular retelling of the story has beautiful illustrations, and although it is suitable for younger children, the text is not basic.
  8.  Mary Slessor: What is it Like?, by Catherine Mackenzie. Another book for younger children, this book follows Mary Slessor from her early life in Scotland through her missionary days in Africa. We also have the books on George Muller and Amy Carmichael from this ‘Little Lights’ series, which our younger two girls enjoy.Biographies for Reading Aloud - An Island Family By Grace
  9.  The Mysterious Element: The Story of Marie Curie, By Pam Robson. This biography in the Super Scientists Storybooks series tells of Marie Curie’s experiments, along with her husband Pierre, and their discovery of radium. It is another picture book, but with a reasonable amount of text.
  10.  Escape from Loch Leven, By Mollie Hunter. This fictionalised biography of Mary, Queen of Scots is from the Kelpies series of Scottish history stories for children, and was on my read aloud list for this year. The Kelpies books are chapter books which are usually suitable for older children, of 10 or above, but I usually find I can read them aloud to the whole family with a wee bit of editing along the way. We also enjoyed The Story of Ranald from the same series during our unit study on Hebridean Island Life last year, which was based on the writings of an army officer during the Jacobite Rebellion.

These are just some of the biographies that we have enjoyed reading aloud as a family. Do you have a recommendation for a good book to read aloud with the family? Please share it in a comment.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link Up, Titus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home , Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up, Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.

 


This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

 

Week 38 Pregnancy Update


Week 38 Pregnancy Update - An Island Family By Grace

Lest you think that I have disappeared, or actually had our baby yet, I thought I’d better give you a week 38 pregnancy update! We have been busy with my parents and my sister and her family staying nearby, followed by family friends visiting us for a weekend, but now our calendar is clear until our lovely baby arrives! We are back into our usual homeschooling routine, with only a few small changes this year, and have been taking all the opportunities we can to get out into any sunshine that presents itself!

I am really thankful to God to be able to say that I have kept very well since my last pregnancy update earlier in the summer. I only have some minor aches and pains, and mild carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists and hands at night (I had this much worse eight years ago, with our youngest daughter).

I am at that big, awkward stage now, and am not sleeping brilliantly, but I know I should be thankful for all the sleep I can get at the moment before I am up at night feeding our baby soon!

Week 38 Pregnancy Update - An Island Family By Grace

Last weekend, some very kind friends held a baby shower for us. I had only ever been to one baby shower before, for someone else, and we were so blessed to spend time with lots of people we have got to know on the island, and by their generosity in giving us gifts for the baby. We also had great food, and some fun games such as putting a nappy on the dolly while blindfolded, and hanging up baby clothes on a washing line whilst speaking on the phone and stirring a bowl of ‘food’! My husband did this last one in superfast time!

A fortnight ago I had an ultrasound scan on the mainland, which confirmed that they are happy for me to have our baby on the island, which I am very pleased about, and I now have more frequent appointments with my midwife until the ‘big day’!

After the recent Essential Oils Revolution 2 summit, which I feel I learned a lot from, I bought Allison England’s book Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby. It was easy to read through quickly, and I hope to use some of the ideas during labour. Currently, I am reading (and trying to finish!) Redeeming Childbirth, by Angie Tolpin of the Courageous Mom blog.

It is written for Christian women, and covers such things as drawing close to God in pregnancy and childbirth, stopping judgement of other women regarding the type of birth they have had, and being a good witness of our faith in Jesus Christ, even through pain or trials. At 354 pages, it is quite a long book for me to read in my current sleepy state (!), but I have found it very encouraging and I hope to finish it within the next week.

Week 38 Pregnancy Update - An Island Family By Grace

My skirt was from Blooming Marvellous (via eBay!), top from Marks and Spencer, the cardigan was a gift, and the Rocket Dog boots were from Amazon.

We are fairly well prepared now, I think, in terms of having the small number of things ready that a newborn baby actually needs, so really all that is left to do is wait! I am trying to be reasonably patient, but given that I have a certain 4 young people who are desperate to know when I will go into labour, this is not always the easiest task!

I will keep you posted on what happens! Do you have any important or unusual events coming up soon? Please let me know in a comment.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.

 


This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

 

 

 

Our Island Move – 18 Months On


Our Island Move - 18 Months On - #AnIslandFamilyByGrace

It is now 18 months since we made our island move, and it seems like a lot has happened in that space of time!

Essential Oils Revolution 2016

Firstly, my husband has completed a huge amount of renovation work on our house, mostly singlehandedly, but also with the help of some very generous friends at various times. At the moment, he is almost at the point of finishing off replacing the rest of our roof. This has taken longer than he hoped, mostly due to wet weather (no surprise there!), but the end is in sight for it.

Our Island Move - 18 Months On - An Island Family By Grace

How our house looked in spring last year (from a tree!)

Roof #Renovations - Our #Island Move - 18 Months On

The rotten sarking boards on the back of our roof, on an unusually dry day!

Anti-midge jacket roof repairs! Our Island Move 18 Months On - An Island Family By Grace

No, there hasn’t been some kind of invasion! This was my husband vacuuming the inside of the roof before installing the new insulation, whilst trying to avoid being bitten by midges!

Our #Island Move - 18 Months On ~ An Island Family By Grace

Almost done! The back of our roof is almost completed.

Our Island Move - 18 Months On } An Island Family By Grace

The front of the roof in progress- to the left you can see the roof we replaced last year.

Also this summer, the older sons of family friends of ours stayed with us for a week, and helped with all sorts of work, including fitting new double glazed windows. We have now replaced all the windows in the house other than our son’s bedroom and the kitchen window, as they were the ones which were sound, and were not rotten, like our daughters’ window, or single glazed, like our bedroom. No doubt this will be a great benefit by the time the winter storms kick in. Our friends also helped to install the woodburning stove in our new living room while they were here. Obviously we haven’t really needed to use it over the summer, other than testing it, and our main heating and hot water needs are covered by the large multifuel boiler stove in our dining room, but it will be nice to have it in the winter, particularly if there is a power cut.

Our Island Move - 18 Months On ~ An Island Family By Grace

The garden has been somewhat neglected again this year, obviously because my husband has been working hard on the house (and his job), and I am expecting our fifth baby! However, I have managed to grow some vegetables in our polytunnel, and I am looking forward to having more space in it next year, when we have the addition of the extra parts I had delivered to extend it. The courgettes have done the best, along with some lettuce, spinach, and bags of potatoes, however my peas, beans and tomatoes have not been quick to fruit, and I think I did not improve the soil enough before planting. The climbing strawberries are not fruiting, but I am looking forward to that next summer! When we are extending the tunnel, we will also raise the ground level a bit, as it has been flooded several times when we have had heavy rain.

Essential Oils Revolution 2016

Since we had a bit of excitement with disappearing chicks this spring, our chickens have been doing well. We had another batch of 5 chicks which hatched last weekend, so hopefully that means we will have more eggs being layed by next spring, particularly now that our son is selling more of them to his bread customers.

What have you been working on this year? Are you doing renovations, or working in your garden this summer? Please comment and let me know.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.


 

This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

10 Free or Cheap Homeschool Music Resources


10 Free or Cheap #Homeschool Music Resources - An Island Family By Grace

This week we start our new homeschooling term, and having recently gone through our home education plans for this year, I have been thinking about which music resources our family uses.

Our son has had piano lessons for the past year, after many years of learning at home, and the girls are also learning to play the piano at home, in addition to them learning the recorder with me. However, as I thought about it, there are actually quite a few music resources that we use or have used over the years, which are either free or cheap, and have been a really good addition to our homeschooling.

Essential Oils Revolution 2016

10 Free or Cheap Homeschool Music Resources:

  1. Books! One of my favourite homeschooling resources in general (!), we have also used books to learn more about different aspects of music. For example, we have an excellent book with accompanying CD of Prokoviev’s Peter and the Wolf, which introduces children to different instruments of the orchestra, and the Ladybird Story of Music. We have also enjoyed Douglas Bond’s Mr Pipes series, which follows an English organ player teaching an American brother and sister about traditional hymns and their writers; Usborne’s Learn to Play Mozart, which has lots about the composer himself and the history of music, in addition to simplified versions of his pieces; this BBC Songs of Praise history of Christmas carols and hymns; and the Recorder from the Beginning series of books and accompanying CDs.10 Free or Cheap Homeschool Music Resources - Books
  2. Free music printables. For example this printable manuscript music staff paper for writing your own music, and these music practice tracking sheets, which we have used in the past to encourage the children to practice piano playing when their enthusiasm waned.
  3. Music Appreciation resources. At the moment we listen to a Classics for Kids episode once a week- they are short, free, and usually cover a composer or genre of music, teaching you more about them and allowing you to hear some of their music for yourself. We have also used Kim Sorgius’ Count Your Blessings Hymn Study, which we really enjoyed. She also has an Easter hymn study, When I Survey, and a Christmas hymn study. The studies include words and music for the hymns, biographical information about the composers/ writers, and lots of fun and devotional activities and printables to do.
  4. Online tutorials and lessons.  We have bought The Great Courses’ ‘How Music and Math Relate’ course for our son, who will be 15 next month. This is a video course comprising 12 lectures by Professor David Kung of St Mary’s College Maryland, and a coursebook, however this was quite an expensive purchase, that we made using gift money from a relative. There are also various free or cheap tutorials and lessons online, for example I just heard recently on the Digital Homeschool Convention about Karen’s Teach Your Child Piano course, which is good for younger children, and specifically designed for ‘musically untrained’ homeschool parents.
  5. Online music streaming or radio. We use Spotify and Classic FM to listen to a wide variety of music styles. I got this idea from Karen Andreola’s Moments with Mother Culture blog- to listen to Jazz, World Music, Baroque, Gregorian Chants etc- to tie in with other topics we are studying at the time, for example in history. This exposes the children to a much wider range of music genres than we would otherwise come across. In the past we have been given various CDs which came free with my mum’s BBC Music magazine, and obviously you could also buy secondhand music to do this, although it would not be free.10 Free or Cheap Homeschool Music Resources - Fun music resources for home education
  6. Downloadable music composition software. Now that our son is going further on with music theory, he enjoys composing his own music, and likes to make it look ‘professional’, rather than just handwritten. In the past he had used the free version of Finale NotePad, but recently we discovered another free downloadable program called MuseScore, which he feels is much more user-friendly, and a better specification.
  7. Local opportunities to practice in performance. Currently our son is able to play the keyboard as part of worship at our church, at times throughout the year. Obviously this is much more than just ‘performance’ for him, but it is an additional way of practicing what he has learned. In the past we have taken part in musical ‘talent shows’ that our homeschooling group held. Here we also know people who take art in various festivals for traditional Scottish instruments, such as the bagpipes or clarsach (a type of small harp). We have also had several very kind (and musical) friends who have listened to the children play piano or recorder, and given them tips, though not in a formal lesson setting.
  8. Percussion box. We haven’t used this as much as our children have got older, but of course we do have a new ‘little person’ on the way! We gradually gathered these items from charity shops, gifts etc, and used to have a sort of singing time where we also used these instruments.10 Free or Cheap Homeschool Music Resources - Percussion box
  9. Free or cheap local music events. Our local community hall held a traditional Scottish music workshop at the beginning of the school holidays. For us, these sort of events are advertised locally on noticeboards, and in the local newspaper. Slightly more expensive, we have in the past bought tickets to children’s concerts by choirs and orchestras, which are usually advertised on the websites or flyers for the venue, and museums also sometimes hold similar events or workshops for children.
  10. Don’t be frightened to sing together! We are currently using the ‘Put On’ Chart lesson book from Doorposts, (which is available from Icthus Resources in the UK), for our Bible time in the morning, and this gives suggested hymns at the end of each lesson. Don’t be embarrassed to sing unaccompanied as a family, even if (like me), you are not a great singer!

Do you have a recommendation for music resources? Please leave a comment and let me know.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.


 

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Home Education Plans for 2016 – 2017


Our Home Education Plans for 2016 - 2017 - Homeschool Planning - An Island Family By Grace

Next week we will start our new homeschooling year, so I have spent a bit of time over the last couple of weeks praying and thinking over our home education plans for 2016 – 2017.

Priorities

As our priorities for this year, I have written down that I want our homeschooling to:

  • be focused on Jesus
  • emphasise real learning rather than ‘busywork’
  • include more outdoor time and exercise

Changes

Obviously this year we will be adding a newborn baby into the mix, sometime close to the beginning of the academic year! I do not have any ambitious plans to do anything particularly new or challenging in terms of our routine, but hope just to keep the same rough routine as last year. This worked well when our fourth baby was born, almost 8 years ago. However, as a result of thinking over what had worked well and what hadn’t for my end of school year wrap up, I do want to add in a few things:

  • more crafts and painting on Monday afternoons, now that the weather is beginning to push us towards less nature study!
  • a set time for each child to do narration for me each day- this will be before lunch
  • our son to write questions for me for the end of his chapters in his IGCSE Physics and Geography books. This form of narration was an idea which came from Karen Andreola’s book Charlotte Mason Companion, which was one of my non-fiction books for reading this summer.

Field Trips

For field trips this year, I have written a list of possible destinations to find out about, mainly so that I don’t end up forgetting all about trips due to baby brain! Currently I have a castle, a boat trip, a museum, a lighthouse and several local craft businesses on my list, but we probably won’t do all of them!

Essential Oils Revolution 2016

Curricula

For each of our children, here are the curricula we will be using:

Our Son (almost 15 years old):

Home Education Plans for 2016 - 2017 } An Island Family By Grace

English

Maths

Physics

Geography

French

Music

Our 12 Year Old Daughter:

Our Home Education Plans for 2016 - 2017

English

Maths

Geography

German

Home Economics

Music

  • Piano and recorder

Our 9 Year Old Daughter:

Our Home Education Plans for 2016 - 2017 - An Island Family By Grace

English

Maths

  • Singapore Maths My Pals are Here 3A (moving on to 3B)

Geography

Music

  • Piano and recorder

Our 7 Year Old Daughter:

Our Home Education Plans for 2016 - 2017

English

Music

  • Piano and recorder

Together Work

This list doesn’t include extra-curricular type activities. For work we do together in the afternoons, we will be using Mystery of History Volume 3, Apologia General Science, Rosalind Surtees’ Junior French workbooks, Classics for Kids for music appreciation, and The Art Doodle Book for art appreciation.

Our Home Education Plans fro 2016 - 2017

As always, we will start our homeschooling days with Bible time and a family read aloud book. I will probably write a post with our planned read aloud books for the year within the next few weeks.

What are your home education plans for 2016 – 2017? Are you doing anything new or different this year? Please comment and let me know.


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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.


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Essential Oils – Learning More


Essential Oils - Learning More } An Island Family By Grace

One of my health goals for this year was to learn more about essential oils. As I said in my update in April, being pregnant has somewhat changed my health goals, however I have been feeling well enough the past few months to think about them a little bit again!

I read the ebook The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils, by Christine J. Dalziel of Joybilee Farm, which I found to be a very helpful introduction to essential oils, as part of last year’s Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. I have continued to use the first six of the ten essential oils she introduces in the book, and feel more confident doing so now. I continue to use eucalyptus or tea tree oil in our homemade fabric softener, lemon and rosemary in my oil burner (not at the same time!), and peppermint and lavender in the various homemade toiletries that I have begun making.

Essential Oils - Learning More @ An Island Family By Grace

More recently, when our children have had colds, I have given them eucalyptus or peppermint oil on a tissue to put inside their pillowcases at night, or lavender when they have had difficulty getting to sleep. We have also used (diluted) essential oils to disinfect cuts, scrapes and insect bites.

However, I realise there is such a huge amount more that I could learn about essential oils. Helpfully, from 22nd to 29th August 2016, Dr. Eric Zielinski, along with Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, will be hosting the second Essential Oils Revolution summit. I listened to the Essential Oils Revolution talks last year, and found them very interesting and informative. It is, as far as I am aware, the only online summit on essential oils which does not promote any particular brand of essential oils, and has a big emphasis on evidence based discussion of essential oils. What’s more, it is free to listen to! There are 30 different presentations, on topics as diverse as Debunking the Most Common Myths on essential oils, to Essential Oils and the Bible. If you have time to listen even to at least some of the presentations, I would highly recommend signing up for it.

Essential Oils Revolution 2016 - Essential Oils - Learning More ~ An Island Family By Grace

In the mean time, I am keen to learn more about how I can use essential oils for minor ailments in my family, and I would like to expand the number of essential oils that we use. Obviously this will be gradual, as our budget permits, but it would be nice to become familiar with using a wider range of oils for different purposes. Only last week, I discovered that clove oil, which I had recently bought, can used for many more things than dental care, which was the only thing I had heard of it being connected with before. You can see the article about that here.

Are you interested in essential oils? What have you learned about them recently? Please leave a comment and let me know.

This post Essential Oils – Learning More first appeared on An Island Family By Grace.


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This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.

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