JAN BRETT'S THE MERMAID NOW AVAILABLE: GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKS FOR AGES 2-4

Y'ALL! My boys absolutely love Jan Brett books. And I'll admit-so do I! These books feature rich stories and AMAZING, intricate illustrations. Her books and illustrations range from snowy scenes, to Carolina ponds and everything in between. She's even got a few baby board books.

 A New York Times Bestselling Author, Jan Brett now has a BRAND NEW book out on Amazon and other sites. The Mermaid is a retelling of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, set undersea off the coast of Japan. 

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Go check out Jan Brett's brand new book (and if you're an Amazon Prime member, get it in just two days!)

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF NARRATION THROUGH PLAY

My kids could spend 30 minutes (oy vey!)if they wanted to narrating a story we read together, it comes naturally to them at this age. Cultivating this habit so it can be parlayed later into written or oral narration is a skill I'm trying to develop in both my children and myself. 

Charlotte Mason says this about narration: “She [the mother] may read two or three pages, enough to include an episode; after that, let her call upon the children to narrate, — in turns, if there be several of them” (Vol. 1, p. 233). In the preface of Volume 6, she expounds on narration: "“As knowledge is not assimilated until it is reproduced, children should ‘tell back’ after a single reading or hearing . . . A single reading is insisted on, because children have naturally great power of attention; but this force is dissipated by the re-reading of passages” 

There are so many ways to have your child "narrate" at this age. We've listed three below to help you get started. Use your own imagination to help your child learn the foundations of narration. Be sure to leave a comment about your experience!

Three Ways To Teach Narration Through Play

1. Dress up- A beloved time of play, dress up can also be used as a narration tool. Have your child be a specific character and act out the story. 

2. Building- Using legos, duplos, Lincoln logs, playdough and clay, or even sticks and rocks from the backyard, create a scene from the story you just read together.

3. Puppets-Line up your favorite stuffed animals and describe a favorite scene or retell the story in your own words to them.

Do you have your kids narrate through play? What narration techniques do you use in your family?

 

The Early Years Curriculum is Here!

It's been so hard to keep this secret from you, but I'm thrilled to announce that the Early Years has partnered with A Modern Charlotte Mason to bring you a rich early years curriculum! Geared towards kids age six and under whose state laws and regulations necessitate following a curriculum, the Early Years is Charlotte Mason inspired feast of living books and ideas and a gentle introduction to learning. Learn more here or checkout the Q&A here.

3 THINGS TO OUTSOURCE AS YOU HOMESCHOOL

Many businesses outsource certain aspects of their day to day tasks in order to save time and money. Both motherhood and home education are full time roles in and of themselves, combining the two makes for an even larger workload.  That doesn't even include any house cleaning, side jobs or work from home opportunities, paying bills, errands and appointments, volunteer or church work, or caring for a sick friend or friend that may need help. We've all seen various studies from Fortune, Salary.com and others that list a mother's salary between $65, 000 and $143,000 annually.

As home educators we are also responsible for curriculum research, lesson planning, cultural enrichment, and more. We are the Art Teacher, the Music Teacher, the History Teacher and so on. We've got our hands (and hearts) full, Mamas.

But there are some things we can go ahead and write off our to-do lists. We can choose to say no in order to free up more time to say yes to other things! You don't have to accomplish every single thing at the end of the day, it's choosing the right thing that is most important.

3 THINGS TO OUTSOURCE AS YOU HOMESCHOOL

1. House Cleaning

Don't misunderstand, there is something to be said for teaching your kids life skills, responsibility and house work. These are necessary and right skills to cultivate in our kids. But (!!) for those of us who love a freshly clean house, outsourcing a house cleaning is the way to go. If your budget allows, a monthly or biweekly cleaning offers just a small pick me up and saves you from doing a lot of deep cleaning when you could be focusing on other things! (House cleanings work well as gifts too, if you're wanting to gift a homeschool mama something special!)

2. Yard Work

Admittedly, I draw the line halfway here.  My husband commutes an hour each way to work and we have (almost) 3 young kids. I adore working in the yard, getting my hands dirty in rich soil.  It draws me in to a deeper communion with my Creator.  I also love teaching my kids the joy, patience and responsibility of growing a garden. What I don't like is the time spent on mowing, edging, bush and limb trimming and general yard maintenance. At this season in my life, I'm not willing to lose out on quality family time while I or my husband mow our yard and so we choose to outsource that. 

3. Groceries

Again, teaching your kids money management, good health habits and other valuable life lessons is important.  But so is sanity i.e. not taking a group of crying and pinching brothers into Target (ask me how I know). Save yourself some embarrassment and get your groceries delivered (we love Instacart!!)  for this season of life.  If you so choose, there are other ways to include your kids in this aspect: look up prices online, cut coupons from local newspapers, or consider using a CSA and make your pickup trips into a field trip each week.  In our family, we do a combination of our local CSA for weekly ingredients, and then a standard grocery order for anything we might need in bulk. 

As a thank you for reading this far, I'd love to offer you a $10 credit toward your grocery delivery. What other things, if any, do you outsource as a home educator? Do you see this as a worthwhile investment for your family?

Free Charlotte Mason Inspired Audiobooks AND Free Printable

You know what's awesome?  A free booklist! Download your FREE printable of over 30 audiobooks. Listen in the car, on the plane, to the park, you name it. Our free Charlotte Mason inspired audiobooks printable is full of living books such as Curious George, Paddington, Frog and Toad, Charlotte's Web, Robin Hood, Sir Arthur and His Knights, Paddy the Beaver, and more.  It includes some of your favorite authors like Thornton Burgess, Robert McCloskey, Barbara Cooney, and James Herriot.  Download your FREE Charlotte Mason inspired audiobooks printable below and be sure to click the Audible banner below to find out how you can get TWO FREE AUDIOBOOKS!

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