When we began home schooling our children they were ages 9,6 and 2. At that time I wanted to fill the day with workbooks and all the same kinds of curriculum that I had known as traditional types of schooling materials. I learned very quickly that this school at home type of homeschooling just wasn't for me. I was introduced to the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling which opened my eyes to a "new way" of schooling, although over one hundred years old. It was to live each day with a purpose and eyes wide open to the wonders of God's wonderful creation. With my new found enthusiasm I determined to "home educate" rather than to do school at home. First, I'd like to share with you the way we studied science. Since my children were still very young, I didn't believe I needed to be using a science text book or spending the money on it. My fifth grader had already been in public school and I wanted him to love science, not dread it. Nature study had always been my favorite so we began the school year in the late summer with an insect study. We made dragon flies out of cardboard tubes, with ping pong ball eyes, pipe cleaner antennae and velum wings. We went on nature walks and found Monarch caterpillars and watched them amazingly go into a chrysalis, and then pop out as a beautiful butterfly. We used God's word along with many critter books from the library and made our own journals and scrapbooks from our nature hunts. There are too many to mention here, but the adventures were plentiful and nature discoveries were endless! This was such a precious time for all of us. We all learned so much about God's creation and loved every minute of it. I have never regretted not using a text book for those study times. I strongly believe that this helped my children to understand the world around them and helped them to analyze and find out more for themselves. As I said, these were the early years, as they approached the middle years we used Apologia for our science curriculum which encourages a very hands on approach and has been a wonderful choice for our family. I'll share more on our early years in my next post.