Sunday

Introducing a New Nature Based Character Study!







The idea to do nature based character studies came to me one day while sitting in church. I thought of the many examples that God gives us in Scripture of things that are found in nature that He uses to help shape our character. Probably the most familiar example is the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8. God tells us to take the time to observe the ant and to see how she works. Her very nature is diligence. She doesn’t need someone standing over her telling her what to do. She has initiative and a hardworking spirit. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of character I want for myself and my family.


This led me to start thinking about studying the examples that are laid out for us in Scripture and to faithfully teach them to my children. I was thrilled with the results! Scripture was easily memorized, character was supernaturally developed and fun was had as we snacked, read and crafted our way through the unit.


One thing I didn’t expect to discover in these units was how badly I needed them! It was heart wrenching sometimes to have the magnifying glass of God’s Word show me where I needed to change. But transparency on my part and love from my children helped me to grow alongside them. It also allowed them to have the freedom to be honest with their own struggles. The only way true change can take place is when we allow our sinful hearts to get a thorough cleansing on a daily basis from God’s Word.  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5




God designed us in such a way that the more senses we use, the more learning will take place. With that in mind, I designed activities that use various senses. As you work through the character study activities, be sure to incorporate the verse for that unit during your time with your child. God’s Word is hidden deep in our hearts simply by talking about it regularly. In fact, young children will often memorize things without any effort on their part simply because they heard something over and over. I can think of no better way for them to meditate on and memorize God’s Word than by hearing a caring adult talk about it with them often. (Psalm 119:11; Deuteronomy 6:9)


I used this character study with my children ages 4-12. You will probably find that it will take you about a week, on average, to work through all of the activities. Some of the activities might be a little advanced for a toddler/preschooler and some will be below an older child. What I have found to be true in our home is that when I teach everyone together, some things go over the younger children’s heads but they pick up on things along the way. Additionally, some things might be considered too young for an older child but they are flexible and go along with the activities simply because we’re completing them together. 



I compiled a list of resources that I found to be helpful, although not necessary, for this unit study. You will find them below.

*Affiliate links, including those from Amazon.com,  may be present in any of my posts. You can read my policy in more detail at the bottom of this post.

Nature Anatomy 
Melissa and Doug Washable Poster Paint
Beeswax Crayons 
Bee Napkins
Hide 'Em in Your Heart Vol 1 and 2
Life Cycle of a Honey Bee

Mason Bee House
Annie's Hexagon Shaped Crackers
Bee pins (a fun way to end the unit!)


It would make me so happy to see how you incorporate this unit study into your home. I love the creativity that abounds among families! If you would like to, please tag @purposefulhomemaking on either Instagram or Facebook so I can see how you are using these studies to develop godly character in your home. 

Be sure to check out my ebooks as well: A Wife's Guide to Studying ProverbsTopical Devotions for Pregnancy and Early Potty Teaching


Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. Stay connected so you don't miss a thing:





This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Tuesday

Helpful Tips For Growing an Organic Garden


Guest Writer, Hilary Smith

Gardening and homemaking go hand-in-hand so if you’re considering starting an organic garden you’re not alone. Yet, you may still be wondering if it is possible to have a garden that is 100% organic. For instance, will your yield be low because you did not use sprays to keep out pests and weeds? Or will your plants be smaller because they did not have plant food? While these are all legitimate questions, the truth is that you do not need any store-bought items to have a lush, thriving garden. Here are a few helpful tips on how to grow your garden organically. 






Start with the Basics

Organic gardening starts with simple and practical tips that are all aligned with nature. For future organic gardeners one of the first things to do is to find a sunny spot in your yard for your garden. Your garden will need maximum access to sunlight, at least 6 hours per day to ensure your plants can grow. Furthermore, when it comes to watering gardens in the yard, make sure your garden is in a location that is either in reach of a hose or that you can carry water to easily for the best results.

Another basic premise is to start with organic seeds. Hybrid seeds are those that have been manipulated during the growing process. This could include plants that were grown with pesticides or have been genetically altered. On the other hand, organic seeds are certified by the USDA and have been grown without the extra manipulation. This will ensure your family has the healthiest produce possible.


An Organic Gardening Method

Furthermore, make sure your gardening method of choice is also organic. While purchasing expensive parts or equipment to build your garden may be alluring, there is really no need for any of this when it comes to growing organically. Two convenient options for growing an organic garden are a raised bed made of wood or simply ground beds that use nothing but soil. For either approach, you can simply dig up the existing soil you already have and let nature do the work for you.

One way to ensure you continue to have rich soil is to remember to compost. Composting allows you to feed your garden organically, creating the perfect, natural balance for your plants. Keep food scraps and then layer them in your garden to create a nutrient-rich ground that will continue to yield healthy plants for many seasons to come.


Companion Plants

Lastly, consider companioning your plants. This will include having a great mix and variety of fruits, veggies, herbs and even flowers all mixed together! A companion gardening layout will include placing different plants beside each other. This also helps the side-by-side plants benefit one another. For instance, one plant may not need as much of a nutrient as the one beside it. In this manner, you ensure each plant’s health and potential.

Also, do not count out the power of flowers. Flowers pay an important part in your organic garden as well. This is because they will attract bees, butterflies, birds and other animals that will help with germination. They can also help to control and attract pests away from your growing edibles which provides a relief in knowing all of your hard work and efforts will not go to waste because of hungry critters!





All in all, growing a fully organic garden has never been easier. You can have delicious dinners at home, provide your family with healthy snacks and even preserve foods for later use such as making delicious homemade jams. Get back to the basics and consider any of these helpful tips for a successful organic garden today.


Be sure to check out my "Bee Kind" nature based character development unit and my ebooks as well: A Wife's Guide to Studying ProverbsTopical Devotions for Pregnancy and Early Potty Teaching. Or, if you're looking for a way to get 30 raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, contact me here

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. Stay connected so you don't miss a thing:


This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links, including those from Amazon.com, for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking. 

Wednesday

DIY Plant Based Easter Egg Dyes



The kids love decorating Easter eggs every year but this year I saw an idea in the Family Fun Magazine for plant based dyes and knew I had to try it.

It was pretty easy to do and I was able to use some of the leftovers for one of our family's favorite recipes, Cabbage "Un"rolls from Keep Crockin’: A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Monday

Photography Is A Skill YOU Can Learn!



Ever wonder what the secret is to capturing clear, beautiful photos?
It’s not really a secret, even though it can feel that way when you scroll through Instagram and compare your lackluster shots to a friend’s work of art. 
Even though you’re really proud of the people in front of your lens, what shows up after you click the shutter isn’t always what you had in mind. 
Here’s the thing… anybody can learn to take photos they’re proud of (yes, that includes YOU!).

Saturday

Easy Refrigerator Jam



I stopped buying jelly and jam years ago because of the ingredients that I didn't care for. I didn't want to home can it either because of the sugar content but this easy refrigerator jam is only sweetened with honey or maple syrup. My kids love this on their toast in the mornings or slather it on when I make homemade muffins. 

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