Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom! By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Does this SPEAK to you?  Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing!  So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope?  Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

–>    Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule!  Take time to hear HIS plans for your day.  Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction.  Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

–>    Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved [Read more…]

Education is a LIFE!

I am SO excited! I am trying something new and fun! I am recording this week’s ezine for you guys to HEAR. It was fun to put it together. Leave a comment and let me know how you like it.

This week’s topic:
Education is a LIFE
By Cindy Rushton

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It’s Fall! Get Outside! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015It is Fall! Every day, I wake up to something new and different in my yard. I expect that the next few weeks hold many precious touches straight from the hand of the Creator, just for us…AND, you can call it school!

Yep! Talk about a great way to teach science and nature study to your little ones–just get outside!

Science is SO easy to bring into our homeschools. The first thing that we implemented toward nature study in a more natural and easy manner was simply getting out of doors each day!  Sound simple?  It is really profound!

This was a simple idea that I gleaned from Charlotte Mason.  Charlotte Mason, an educator of the late 1800’s, advocated short lessons finished early into the day just so that the children could have plenty of time out-of-doors.  She felt that children needed several hours each and every day just to do the things that simply cannot be done inside—explore, climb trees and mountains, exercise, hike, run, jump rocks, watch clouds, learn about weather, collect nature (rocks, flowers, leaves…), sing, shout, paint, watch animals, hunt tracks, learn natural geography, so on!  Miss Mason won my heart as she shared in her books that every opportunity should be seized to get out of doors, regardless of the time of year or the weather. She even felt that meals and tea should be taken outside as much as possible.  A woman after my heart!

This time out of doors was not limited to the children, though.  Charlotte recommended that the parents and teachers take a blanket outside along with a project to do (needlework, books, writing, and sketchbooks…) while the children explored around them.  She wanted for this time of the day to be a leisurely time for children and adults.  This time was not meant for lectures or lessons per say—the glorious answer for those of us with limited knowledge and understanding!  Rather, this time was meant for the children to have access to mom as they leisurely brought back their finds or described the intricate details of what they saw outside.  The focus was to be simple recognition of nature all throughout the year in all different seasons, to learn the life cycle of plants and animals informally as they go along, and to grow in appreciation and attentiveness to the tiny details of God’s creation.  These ideas slowly began to teach me a different way to teach my children about nature and science.  They also encouraged me to become a “student” again!

Weekly Nature Walk…

One of the first things that intrigued me was Miss Mason’s idea of having a weekly nature walk.  In the PNEU (Parent’s National Education Union) schools set up by Charlotte Mason, the students were taken each week on a nature walk.  I have to be honest here as I share with you that while this idea intrigued me, it also intimidated me!  We have always been intensely busy people.  I could not figure any way to take more time for one more thing…well, until…

I ran across a book by Anna Comstock.  She writes in her book Handbook of Nature Study about what she called a field excursion (try that one for your record keeping!),

“It is a mistake to think that a half day is necessary for a field lesson, since a very efficient field trip may be made during the ten or fifteen minutes at recess.”

This was the key!  There was an answer to major hindrance!  In the busyness of our daily lives, I was the very one to put off nature walks and hikes because I simply did not always have a whole afternoon to devote to nature study each week.  Not to mention, we live in the Southern United States where HEAT and HUMIDITY can stifle out any hope of a nature walk if you are as wimpy as I am!  But, comfort of all comfort—nature walks can be just as simple or just as complex as we have time and energy for!  They can take place at any time of the day and they do not have to take all day to instill the lessons that they provide.  Yes, even I could do this!

The nature walk is meant to be leisurely.  Again, it is not a time for lectures or lessons by the parent.  Rather, it is a time for parents and children to break away from the “old-grind” to get out in God’s beautiful world.  Want a peek into how this looked in our home? On a typical nature walk, we only took 20 minutes to walk down the road and collect some thing—one day we found Queen Anne’s Lace and Poison Hemlock.  We brought them back home, discussing and comparing them all the way home.  At home, I brought out my Handbook of Nature Studies while they were looking at the two flowers.  I simply asked them to notice more carefully the differences such as the leaves on the stems…what made them look like lace from afar…the roots…and the tiny flowers, which make up the entire cluster.  We read about this gorgeous “weed” and were thankful that it was brought to America from Europe!

Although this particular nature walk resulted in a lesson, lessons are not necessary.  In fact, ours only resulted from our quest for more knowledge.  I know I shared above about my complete ignorance in the area of nature.  This is actually all for the best.  It limits my lectures and my explanations while teaching the children how mom finds out what she wants to know—I look it up!  You know it is really much, much better since my lack of knowledge forces me to disciple my children in how to learn as we go along!

See how easy a nature walk can be? Just get outside. Take a walk. Watch how much they learn. Well, watch how much YOU learn as well. Easy. Effective!

Nature Notebooks!

Inevitably, someone is thinking, “But, Cindy, this is a great idea, but how do we know that they are learning?” “How do we document their learning?”

What a perfect time of the year to take school outside. That is obvious. However, this is also the perfect time to begin Nature Notebooks! Not only will you have an abundance of treasures awaiting your exploration, but these are perfect days to try something fresh. Ready? Let me help…

Chances are you already have many things that could be included in a Science Notebook around your home. Look for those “goodies” that do not have their own special place and add them to your Science Notebooks. This is the perfect opportunity to develop “a place” for those “goodies” while developing a nice product for displaying all the growing knowledge of nature all while your children are keeping special memorabilia! One of the things that I like about using supplies intended for scrapbooking is that there are so many products that enable us to keep bulky materials safely inside of our notebooks. Not to mention, scrapbooking makes EVERY notebook so much cuter!  And…to imagine that we call this “school!”

Want some ideas of things to include in your notebooks???

· Sketches…Don’t forget to include date, time, place, Latin name, and common name. Oh! Don’t forget to document where you found it.

· Snapshots…Don’t forget to journal about your snapshot!

· Pressed flowers, leaves, feathers, butterflies, etc.

· Glossary of terms studied…

· Artwork… (Nature art, original drawings, coloring pages…)

· Diagrams…

· Poetry…

· Information about discoveries…

· Lists of new findings…

· Handouts from trips…

· Narrations from trips, outings, hikes, nature walks, books read about nature or scientists/naturalists…

· Timeline…Mark your excursions, inventions, famous men and women, so on!

· Instruction Sheets on “How to Care for…” or “How to Collect…” etc.

· Booklets…

· Project data…

· Bible verses…

· Journal entries…

· Details from outings…

· Favorite quotes about nature…

· Reading list…

· Research…

· Reports…

· Essays…

· Science experiment logs…

· Notes from any Science study…

You can add a lot of life to your Science Notebooks with special supplies you find along the way! I have found that the little touches have made our notebooks so much more fun and in the process hooked my children.

Encourage your children to use die-cuts, frames, stencils, shapes, and edgings galore to make their notebooks fun and beautiful! My children now beg each weekend to work on our binders/scrapbooks. We have taken these simple skills into other projects for our Science studies such as creating books or booklets…making cards with pressed flowers, sketches, poetry and Scripture verses…and displaying our collections. The key is to just have fun and enjoy making your notebooks all yours! There is not a “right” way or a “wrong” way to notebook. You can enjoy! AND…what a super time to get started.

Well, what do you think?

Got “fall fever?” Ready to get outside to soak up the beauty and fresh air? This is the perfect time to make up any excuse to get outside. But, what better excuse than getting outside for a “school lesson” as we enjoy this gorgeous fall? The perfect excuse! J

Get outside! It is Fall!

Happy Homeschooling

Cindy2015Need more help? Don’t miss Cindy’s book, Nature Study the Easy Way! In Nature Study the Easy Way, Cindy takes you by the hand and teaches everything that we need to teach science the easy way. Best news!  Nature Study the Easy Way is half off! Use our Coupon Code “CELEBRATE” to save 50% off of your purchase of our book! PLUS! Stock up on anything else you would like in our eStore as well!! Grab your copy at this link: CLICK HERE!

Our Easy Family Bible Reading Plan by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Bible Reading. Sound tough? Do you really want to instill the habits of daily Bible Reading and quiet times with your children, but have NO IDEA of where to begin or what to do? Well, here is a little bit of help!

  • Pray…Never begin a time of Bible Study on your own! As everyone settles in for read alouds, go to the Lord in prayer! Ask Him to teach each of you. He will be faithful to meet you every time you come to Him!
  • Review from your last reading… As we read through our Daily Bible Reading, we begin by reviewing the passage from the day before. I allow our children to do this. They love this!
  • Read aloud from the Bible! Yes, directly read from the Bible. Choose YOUR FAVORITE version. Begin wherever you prefer. Need suggestions? We recommend beginning in the book of John or Psalms. Proverbs can also be a great place to begin.  As for versions, we use a wide variety of versions.  Since my children have gotten older, we often read the same passage from different versions. Talk about enriching our reading and discussion! We begin anew each year reading through the Bible. Each day we read the passage that leaves off from the day before until the “story” or section ends.  Some sections are not as friendly for making a “story.” We read until we get to a good stopping place. The next day we pick up where we leave off.
  • Narrate the story or discuss the principles from Scripture…This is simply letting the children re-tell what the passage is about. If it is not a passage that is easily shared in a story, then let them share their insights into the passage!
  • Discuss ideas, any questions, and any difficult words. Look up any new places on a map. This is WHY you should read/study Scripture WITH your children. This is when you will share insights with one another… glean deeper truths from Scripture…really search for more than the casual glance at Scripture!
  • Mark your daily reading in your Daily Bible Reading Log. We designed a Daily Bible Reading Log for our children to see HOW MUCH they were (and weren’t reading!!) each year! It has been awesome to see how much Scripture we are reading together, individually, and even in our church studies. If you need a log that is ready for your family to use, check out our pricelist. They are wonderful!
  • Pray… Finally, end your Bible Reading time in prayer. Ask God to really work in your lives to make your study applicable in your lives!

Need more help? Don’t miss our Half Off Sale! Everything is half off. Look for our Organized Mom Super Set or our Quiet Times Seminar Set. You will get even more help! Use our Coupon Code “CELEBRATE” to save 50% off of your order of anything in our eStore!

It is Spring! Why Not Begin a Science Notebook?

Cindy2015Article excerpts from Cindy’s books, Notebooking! YES! You Can be a Binder Queen Too! and Nature Study the Easy Way. BOTH are on sale with our in our eStore: Click Here! Use Our Coupon Code to save 50%: CELEBRATE
Today being inside just tortures me! It is STUNNING outside! Even the little birds are begging us to go outside. 😀

Are you like me, dying from “cabin fever” and ready for spring? This is the perfect time to begin Nature Notebooks! Not only will you have an abundance of treasures awaiting your exploration, but these are perfect days to try something fresh. Ready? Let me help…

Chances are you already have many things that could be included in a Science Notebook around your home. Look for those “goodies” that do not have their own special place and add them to your Science Notebooks. This is the perfect opportunity to develop “a place” for those “goodies” while developing a nice product for displaying all the growing knowledge of nature all while your children are keeping special memorabilia! One of the things that I like about using supplies intended for scrapbooking is that there are so many products that enable us to keep bulky materials safely inside of our notebooks. Not to mention, scrapbooking makes EVERY notebook so much cuter! 🙂 And…to imagine that we call this “school!”

Want some ideas of things to include in your notebooks???

· Sketches…Don’t forget to include date, time, place, Latin name, and common name. Oh! Don’t forget to document where you found it.

· Snapshots…Don’t forget to journal about your snapshot!

· Pressed flowers, leaves, feathers, butterflies, etc.

· Glossary of terms studied…

· Artwork… (Nature art, original drawings, coloring pages…)

· Diagrams…

· Poetry…

· Information about discoveries…

· Lists of new findings…

· Handouts from trips…

· Narrations from trips, outings, hikes, nature walks, books read about nature or scientists/naturalists…

· Timeline…Mark your excursions, inventions, famous men and women, so on!

· Instruction Sheets on “How to Care for…” or “How to Collect…” etc.

· Booklets…

· Project data…

· Bible verses…

· Journal entries…

· Details from outings…

· Favorite quotes about nature…

· Reading list…

· Research…

· Reports…

· Essays…

· Science experiment logs…

· Notes from any Science study…

You can add a lot of life to your Science Notebooks with special supplies you find along the way! I have found that the little touches have made our notebooks so much more fun and in the process hooked my children.

Encourage your children to use die-cuts, frames, stencils, shapes, and edgings galore to make their notebooks fun and beautiful! My children now beg each weekend to work on our binders/scrapbooks. We have taken these simple skills into other projects for our Science studies such as creating books or booklets…making cards with pressed flowers, sketches, poetry and Scripture verses…and displaying our collections. The key is to just have fun and enjoy making your notebooks all yours!

Happy Notebooking!

Cindy2015About Cindy Rushton…

Cindy Rushton is the mother of Matthew (28) and Elisabeth (25) who were always homeschooled and now have children of their own (Matt and his beautiful wife, Whitney are homeschooling their children at this time). Matthew graduated in 2005 and Elisabeth graduated in 2008. Cindy lives in Middle Tennessee. Cindy is the author of almost 150 books, Bible studies and homeschool resources. She has become a beloved and favored speaker for homeschool conventions and retreats across our country. You may contact her through email: cindyrushton@gmail.com. See her online at:

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