All Posts By

Kristina Garner

Take it outside: ridiculously easy steam for nature play
Homeschool, Nature Study, S.T.E.A.M.

Take it Outside: Ridiculously Easy S.T.E.A.M. for Nature Play

Peanut butter and jelly. Peas and carrots. Peaches and cream. STEAM and nature study.

Yes, they belong together that much. This isn’t a new concept, it’s just that back in the olden days when we were kids, they didn’t call it “STEAM” (or “science, technology, engineering, art, and math.”) But we built forts, bridges, and hide-aways none the less. We forged ramps for our bikes, pulleys to get snacks to the top of the tree, and leaf crowns for our heads. We rigged up makeshift roller coasters, launched pinecones with homemade catapults, and sent crude little boats down drainage ditches. Most of us spent our childhood steeped in STEAM outside, from the time the sun came up until the street lights came on. Continue Reading

on homeschool curriculum: commit to the journey, not the map
Brave Writer Lifestyle, Homeschool, Parenting

On Homeschool Curriculum: Commit to the Journey, Not the Map

Let’s get one thing out in the open, right from the start:

Curriculum is there to work for you. You are NOT bound to work for it.

No, you do NOT have to follow it, verbatim, as-prescribed, day-by-day, task-by-task. No, you are not going to mess up your child’s entire education if you veer from it from time to time. No, you are not “ruining everything” if you ditch it after six weeks because it’s making you or your child miserable. Continue Reading

The Three Non-Negotiables of Our Homeschool Day: Go outside, read, and wonder.
Homeschool, Parenting

The 3 Non-Negotiables of Our Homeschool Day

With all of the ideas and resources available to homeschoolers today, it can be really hard to resist the urge to do all the things. One hour on Pinterest and you can rack up a pretty hefty list of crafts to do, unit studies to execute, math games to try, and field trips to plan. Sometimes these fit in seamlessly with our existing plans. Sometimes, they forcefully wedge into them like linebackers, tackling any sense of rhythm we’ve worked so hard to establish and Continue Reading

what a day of homeschool looks like for an entrepreneurial mom
Homeschool, Homeschool Planning, Parenting

What a Day of Homeschool Looks Like For an Entrepreneurial Momma

Every week, the same question comes up in one Facebook group or another: “Does anyone here work from home and homeschool?” A chorus of responses rolls out with every kind of answer. Some homeschoolers work a farm while homeschooling, some parents run an Etsy shop full of beautiful hand-made products. Some sell essential oils, make-up, or health supplements. Some work as a VA or an editor. Some are transcriptionists, some are writers, and some run in-home daycares. In this day and age, and in this economy, I suspect many Continue Reading

A Day of Homeschool Kindergarten, From My Daughter's Point of View
Blossom and Root Kindergarten, Nature Study, Parenting

A Day of Homeschool Kindergarten, From My Daughter’s Point of View

As homeschooling parents, we often project our impression of our learning time together onto our children. But how often do we take a step back to see the day through their eyes? Speaking for myself, not often enough. I know my girls are happy, stimulated, and learning–I can see it in their faces and their muddy toes, and I hear it in their dinner-time banter. But what do they remember most Continue Reading

Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki: Historical Birthdays Unit Study for K-3
History and Geography, Homeschool, S.T.E.A.M.

Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki: Historical Birthdays Unit Study for K-3

While our kindergarten curriculum includes a very gentle approach to first lessons in history and geography, mostly focusing on the life events of the child and their family, I felt like I should start to incorporate some additional unit studies into our learning. There are so many historical figures worth studying, worth investigating, even when our children are very young, and many of the lessons we learn from their experiences shape future ideas for our children as they begin to connect the dots of world events and people. Continue Reading

Our Morning Basket
Art and Music, Homeschool, Nature Study, Reading and Writing

Our Morning Basket

We’ve been using a morning basket for nearly two years, and I don’t see us stopping any time soon. This is by far one of the most delightful parts of our day, and it’s made it so much easier to include all of the rich experiences that come with a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. We actually use both a morning basket and a bedtime basket, as we do a great deal of our homeschool in two chunks–one in the earliest part of the day, and one just before bed. Continue Reading

Our Bedtime Basket
Homeschool, Parenting, Reading and Writing

Our Bedtime Basket

I first heard about morning baskets about a year and a half ago, from Pam Barnhill’s blog, www.edsnapshots.com. Immediately, I knew that it was going to fit right in with our homeschooling philosophy of coming together to delight in our learning, and beginning our day with a peaceful and intentional rhythm. So I got a (very unattractive) green plastic tub out of my daughter’s closet and filled it with books. Since then, our basket has evolved and improved Continue Reading