Mama's Musings

Seasonal Fun 2: Winter

May 31, 2021

Winter warmth comes from within…

Winter is a beautiful season for connecting with our loved ones and taking time to acknowledge the wonder of Earth’s cycles. While there may not be blooms of colour, scuttling wildlife, or lazy afternoon picnics to enjoy, there are many meaningful activities to acknowledge the turning of the wheel with your little ones.

If you have a seasonal table or shelf, you’ll be packing away your Autumn items to make way for some winter seedpod fairies, perhaps on a white or palest blue cloth with some favourite candles for lighting in the evenings… Sprigs of evergreens, refreshed often, will bring some life and colour to your home and brighten up the seasonal display as well. As time passes, this seasonal tableau can become an important means of bonding the family with nature, and with each other. Like all celebrations, festivals and rituals, it serves as a conscious recognition of time passing.

Nature walks can still be enjoyed in...

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Seasonal Fun 2: Autumn

Feb 28, 2021

Autumn is harvest time. Embrace nature’s abundance...

Immersing children in the rhythm of the seasons assists their unfolding as spiritual beings in a physical world. Recognising rhythms – night and day, the seasons, lunar cycles, festivals and traditions – have become less important to us as humans. For our ancestors, these were the essence of life.

If you have not yet set up your own seasonal table or shelf, as described in previous Seasonal Fun columns, it is a wonderful way to explore the ways that our environment changes through the year; and to display works of art, items from nature and books. If you have a table, it is now time to pack some of your summer items away (don’t forget to photograph the display first) and gather items for autumn. Our world abounds with gifts in autumn, take a walk with your child to gather a variety of seeds and coloured leaves for your display and craft activities.

Nature walks can be enjoyed from babyhood. Usually,...

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Friday Freebie: Avoiding Burnout

Dec 03, 2020

I've just completed a workbook I started this time last year!  I sense a theme...  I'm thinking about the overwhelm as our year comes to an end (and oh my - what a year)!

Without proper support it can feel almost impossible to nurture your family relationships and maintain a home based learning journey long-term.  

To access this FREE 20 page printable workbook, click on the cover, below, and enjoy!

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Nature Craft for Kids

Oct 20, 2020

I appreciate art & craft for kids inspired by nature, using natural and recycled ingredients. I prefer my children not be exposed to art & craft products which contain ingredients they shouldn’t be putting on their skin (or in their mouths, as they do!). I don’t want to add to landfill once the fun is over, so ideally what we consume when being creative will return to the Earth.

We don’t need to buy expensive natural kits or products to choose nature craft. Instead of looking in a discount store at the over-packaged foam, plastic and glitter items, head outdoors to find treasures you can use.

There are books in the library, and many websites dedicated to creating from nature, but it’s great to be inspired by the items you find, and your child’s imagination. Ephemeral art is a creation that happens once, not with the intention of creating something to keep. It might be a mandala created from leaves during a picnic, or a funny face made from...

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Friday Freebie: Gratitude Page

Jul 31, 2020

Gratitude is a bit of a buzz word again, isn't it?  As we are faced with a lot of fear and change, isolation and information, I figured it might be a good time to share one of my favourite mental health tools...

I first started consciously practicing gratitude when I read Simple Abundance in 1995.  More than any other tool, gratitude has helped improve my mood and mindset consistently during the past 26 years of motherhood.  Gratitude journals, gratitude meditations, gratitude lists, gratitude apps - I've tried them all!  I also like to ask my children about their favourite part of their day, an outing, a trip, or an activity.


Today's freebie is a gratitude worksheet - a big brainstorming session you can do alone or with your children, family or friends.  Afterwards, if you don't already, you might like to try recognising "three things" you're grateful for, do this in any way you like - on your phone or a notebook, out loud or in your head before...

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Friday Freebie: Parenting Webinar

Jul 24, 2020

5 Social Lessons Every Child Must Know

with Nicholeen Peck

In order for children to be successful socially they need good examples to model after. And what better model to use than yourself? In the webinar, 5 Social Lessons Every Child Must Know, avid homeschool and parenting expert Nicholeen Peck will go through the tools children need to interact with peers while learning social conduct from the best examples they have, their parents.

I almost always find useful tips and tools, and of course encouragement in parenting workshops, webinars and books.  I've been parenting for 26 years and I'm still learning!

This FREE WEBINAR with Nicholeen Peck is on TODAY!  So book now!  It may be recorded for later viewing, check back for more info.

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Resource Review: The Barefoot Investor for Families

Jul 22, 2020

When The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape was published in 2017, I heard about it everywhere and so grabbed myself a copy in paper and audio editions.  I read the book, listened to the audiobook (read by Scott himself), joined a facebook groups where the concepts were discussed, subscribed to the Barefoot emails....  And yes, I opened the ING accounts!  The books are less than $20 each (new), and are also available as ebooks and audiobooks.


We didn't implement all of the ideas in the book - a lot of the Barefoot steps we were already doing, or didn't apply to us.  The way Scott simply and humorously laid out the strategies he suggests made it easy to implement a few easy changes which meant instantly increased savings, decreased expenses, and reaching goals more quickly.  Reassuringly, he reminds readers often to "tread your own path."

I bought this book for some of my younger siblings and adult children, I loved it so much!  I've...

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Why Home Based Learning?

Jun 19, 2020

“Children are being freed to learn as nature intended” – just one comment I will always remember from my 2002 research into why Australian parents were home educating their children.  I was curious as to why so many were taking the plunge into home based learning in Australia.  Recently, isolation-schooling during the pandemic has exposed the option to all families as a possibility.  Here, I explain why  a steadily-increasing number of families been home educating in Australia over the past few decades.

Some parents actively choose to home educate.  They make the decision sometime – whether when their children are infants (and even unborn), or when they feel dissatisfied with their children’s schooling for any reason.  Some parents feel that there was no other choice.  Perhaps they have exceptional or neurodiverse children, their children are sick or injured, they may be simply unable to cope with the stress...

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Childcare: Naturally?

Jun 15, 2020

 

Childcare is a matter that greatly affects parents and employers – the main cogs in our societal moneymaking machine.  Childcare benefits and tax deductions are offered as enticements but rarely are the needs of children considered by policymakers.  A focus on numbers, timeframes and dollars motivate the big decisions. Childcare is big business and is currently influencing almost all childhoods in Australia.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that 90 percent of children under five currently use some form of childcare.  Tens of thousands of Australian children are in formal childcare for more than 45 hours a week.

Natural parenting is an ideology, not a dogma.  It is about instinctively raising our young, and making informed decisions.  Does childcare compromise or compliment our conscious parenting ideals?  Are those who perceive theirs to be a natural parenting style more protective than most other parents? ...

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Socialisation: What About It?

Jun 12, 2020

Many articles have been written before on the socialisation of home educated children. Still, the question arises more often than most others. To many home educators it’s the most ironic question of all. I mean – what about it? Socialisation is the main reason some families choose home based learning. They don’t see school as an opportunity to learn positive social skills, but more as a place to experience negative socialisation. It seems surprising that those in the school community bother to ask about the home educated’s socialisation – can’t they see what is going on in their classrooms and playgrounds?

“This depends on the kind of sociability you prefer – positive and altruistic or negative and self-centred. Many parents confuse peer orientation and dependence with sociability when instead true sociality thrives on secure, independent thought.” Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Many parents of previously schooled children have...

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