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secular homeschool
Blossom and Root Early Years, Blossom and Root First Grade, Our Homeschool Week in Review series

Our Homeschool Week in Review: September 17 – 23

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““I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

This week started with blisteringly hot days and ended with the arrival of autumn, but only after a two hour haul into the mountains on Saturday to see the aspen gold. Every year, we drive up to Summit County to celebrate the equinox because it usually aligns perfectly with peek colors in high-country leaves. Autumn is my favorite season, and this day trip didn’t disappoint. Continue Reading

tinker boxes

5 Essentials for Homeschool Enchantment: Tinker Boxes

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Last winter, we went through a few months of medical issues with a close family member that required a lot of driving back and forth across the Colorado front range. Normally, this sort of upheaval of our “usual routine” would have made me feel anxious and unsettled, but thanks to the Brave Writer lifestyle (and Julie Bogart’s endless, soothing wisdom), I accepted that things would just need to be a little bit looser in this season of our homeschooling life. Continue Reading

nature study stem homeschool
Nature Study, S.T.E.A.M.

Planting the Seed: Nature-Inspired STEM Education in Our Homeschool

If a homeschool fairy swooped down one day and told me I could only choose three tools to teach my children, I’d like to think I would not hesitate. I would smile and reply, “Books, nature, and open-ended art supplies.” But my answer is a sneaky one. I firmly believe that, at least in the early grades, you can teach just about every subject with these three things. Continue Reading

intriguing STEM biography series for your morning basket: flashes of genius
History and Geography, S.T.E.A.M.

An Intriguing STEM Biography Series for Your Morning Basket: Flashes of Genius

In our homeschool, our morning and evening baskets are a way to introduce a variety of content–in both fiction and non-fiction format–in a very relaxed and cozy setting. On any given day, both baskets are filled with everything from Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter to Life of Fred and Robert Frost poems. Atlases, maps, and history encyclopedias wait eagerly beside ABC books, Eric Carle stories, and a book of famous women explorers. Harry Potter rests against a tiny chemistry book and the Burgess animals share space with a guide to Rocky Mountain insects.

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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