When people ask me what I love to do for fun – my first answer is always travel!

One of the best things about traveling is you can experience so many different activities and try so many new things. Now another thing people point out is that it costs so much money which is true if you travel all over the world a lot. But I propose that it is probably easier to do than most people think.

So how can you help inspire a love for travel in your kids?


My love for travel began when I was four years old sitting on a couch in a living room in Michigan… Most people don’t often consider traveling sitting in our living room, but for me, that’s where it all started!

My love for travel began because my dad brought a documentary home from the library that day. The documentary was on Egypt both ancient and modern. It showed a towering sphynx with the head of a man and the body of a lion guarding its land. Then it showed a small cafe with people sitting around a small table enjoying coffee out of tiny espresso cups. The land looked so different than Michigan. Michigan is full of green trees and lakes whereas this land called Egypt was yellow! Yellow everywhere! Even in the cities, you could see yellow! There was just so much sand.  I was 4 years old when my dad brought home that documentary. As you can see to this day I remember sitting on the couch with my dad watching this documentary. This one act done by my dad changed me. It made me long to see different countries and experience different cultures. Because of this, I can say I have claimed my favorite activity to be travel, but for me, travel does not always have to be expensive!

Learn About Other Cultures & Countries

A great way to inspire travel in your kids is to just learn about other countries! Encourage them to find books or activities that interest them! The more you learn about each country and culture the more you begin to understand them and care about them. Other countries are made up of people just like you who have likes and dislikes.

It can be easy for us to think of other countries by how they are portrayed in the media. Certain countries are often shown as “bad guys” in action movies. It is important to help kids understand what they see in movies does not define these countries! Some of these countries have such a rich and fascinating history which significantly influences their society today!

Have a learner who loves to cook? Encourage them to try recipes from other countries!

There are many great books and information regarding different countries. For a hands-on experience and a year-long adventure in 30 countries check out Children Around the World!

Use the Word Different rather than Weird

Encourage them to think of things done in a different way as just different rather than weird. Differences are a good thing. Each individual is different, and each country is different. This is also a great principle to teach to help children relate to other children who may come from a different culture than their own.

Here’s a section from our Children Around the World – Children of Many Lands Resource!

Let’s Visit Dublin! My da and I have been to Dublin a few times, and I’d be pleased to take you there! Dublin is our country’s largest city by far, but is not very big compared with other capital cities. In Dublin, we could visit the Leinster House, where government officials make laws and discuss important matters. We could see the Daniel O’Connell statue, and see the bullet holes in the statue that were made during the Easter Rebellion.

We could walk over one of the several bridges that crosses the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, and see why Dublin received its name. A little settlement sat on the bank o’ the River Liffey here and was called Dubh Linn, which meant “black pool.” You can see the dark water and remember why Dublin has its name. While there we could make a trip to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells I told you about, or see the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

On our way home, we could travel a bit out o’ the way to the city o’ Cork, where we can head to the Blarney Stone. This is a very famous Irish landmark, and is in a castle underneath the battlements. A legend says that the castle’s owner found himself and his castle under attack, and saved the castle by talking his way out o’ the situation with the attackers. Now, the legend goes, if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you too will be able to talk your way out o’ trouble. The only problem is, you can only kiss the stone by hanging head-down! We’d sure have fun trying it!

Where I live (Michigan), the leaves are beginning to change, and the temperature has started to drop! This means only one thing – FALL IS FINALLY HERE!

Now don’t get me wrong I love summer, but there is something so cozy and fun about fall! And I love my Carmel Apple Ciders this time of year! I know, I know – you thought I’d say a Pumpkin Spice Latte. 😊 I argue Carmel Apple Ciders are even better, but that is an argument for another time! Though I’d love to hear what your favorite Fall themed drink is – Share below!

Fall brings fun new things to do as a family! And a lot of these things can be done with learning in mind!

Charlotte Mason – who has become a dear friend of mine (new to CM? learn more here!) – has taught me a lot about the benefits of nature and learning and incorporating her method of education in everyday life!

So here are 13 things to do in the fall with your family!

Counting the Apples that you pick

Have a young learner? Reinforce their numbers by having fun counting the apples you pick. If you have a bit of an older learner, ask them to multiply the apples you pick!

Fall Themed Baking

My grandma made the best apple crisp when I was younger! Pick your family’s favorite fall-baked item and spend the afternoon baking together! You could even bake extra and give it to neighbors or friends as a gift!

Nature Journaling

Nature journaling doesn’t need to be hard! Grab a blank piece of paper or a notebook and ask them to draw what they find and describe it!

Leaf Transferring

Make your own fall art work! Find your favorite leaf. Place a piece of paper over the leaf and color over the leaf! As you color you will begin to see the outline of the leaf!

Create Fall Memory Board

Take pictures this fall, pick up things along your way, and create a fall memory board!

Have a School Day at an Apple Orchard

Spend a day at an apple orchard! Enjoy all the benefits of learning outdoors!

Do Spelling Outside

Play the Spot It Spell It Game!

Create A Story Together While Walking a Trail

Dwell in Nature

Ask these questions:

– What do you notice?

– what do you feel?

– what do you think it says about God?

Notice the Clouds

What do the clouds say about the weather? Can you label the clouds you see?

Go Star Gazing

Idea of Topic to Discuss: Talk about the importance of the space race and when man first stepped on the moon! This was an important point in history!

Pick your Personal Nature Patch – watch it for a week!

Pick a small patch in your yard or in a park and go outside and see what happens throughout the week! Maybe you’ll see different animals on different days or maybe you’ll even see the change of color in a tree’s leaves!

Fall to Do List

Do Our Fall To Do List here!

I remember when I first met Charlotte Mason

Okay, not really “met,” but got to know.  I was immediately struck by Charlotte’s intuitive understanding of children and how to educate and train them.  I was also hugely impressed by how counter-culture Charlotte’s ways are in today’s world.

If you haven’t gotten to know Charlotte Mason yet, and you are hoping to be a good homeschooling parent, a great “Parent-Teacher” — or at least aiming that direction :), then you should “meet” Charlotte, too!

There are a lot of summaries of Charlotte’s ideas online, but here are the basics:

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who worked with children for years. She believed in exposing children to great ideas, wonderful literature, God’s Word in liberal amounts, and beautiful artwork, and she called for challenging them in a way that gave them a love for learning. She believed in teaching history, getting children to tell back what they know, and — most of all — Charlotte believed in joy!

As a Momma myself, this is what perhaps convinced me that I wanted to be a “Parent-Teacher” like Charlotte.  After all, if I couldn’t bring my children joy, and teach my children the joy in curiosity, in exploration, in discovery — what was parenthood for?

As I delved into Charlotte’s methods and thoughts, I found new ways we were kindred spirits.  It was a thrill to hear from someone who did not believe that raising your children meant teaching them to cram for exams, run around to endless extracurricular activities, and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Charlotte’s ideas were freedom.  Freedom to develop a lifestyle that was not at all like school, not at all over-busied, and above all — not self-focused.

The freedom we found was like finally breathing again.  It meant so much more, you see, than just that we’d found a homeschool method that worked for us.  In fact, we’d found a lifestyle!

We’ve had a chance to live the Charlotte Mason lifestyle for a lot of years now, and we’ve just seen our lives change so radically from what they were before.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

  1. I have never spent one moment thinking about how I wish I done things differently.  Our lifestyle works for us, and it works for our family.  It is a servant to, not a master of, our souls.  It supports our family — it does not “run” our family.
  2. My children have had enough free time to think big thoughts on their own, and that has allowed each one to blossom and develop in their own unique way.  They’ve had to time to explore the world their way, to be curious, to investigate, and it has made all the difference in how they relate to the world.  They reach out to the world and experience it, a true contrast to how many children have to depend on “packaged” experiences in classroom or sports arenas.
  3. The time we’ve had together that wasn’t “overplanned” and “over-scheduled” reaped so many more benefits than I could have imagined.  As my kids have grown up, I can see each day how much that has meant to their development.  They are comfortable with conversation, deep relationships, reading, and self-improvement.   We’ve had so much time together, time we used to mold our kids’ character and develop their relationship to Christ.  We’ve had time to teach them skills and common sense, courtesy and manners, and simple leadership skills like timeliness, follow-through, accountability, servanthood, and working as a team.

I really could go on and on.  In short, I am thankful every day that Charlotte’s simple wisdom traveled across time to whisper to me the things for which my “Parent-Teacher” heart was longing.  She pointed the way to a Christ-centered, family relationship-focused lifestyle that changed our lives.

So, when God gave us the opportunity to create a curriculum that would allow homeschoolers to really enjoy their journey, it only made sense that we build it the Charlotte Mason way.  We’ve included many of the concepts that Charlotte Mason advocated, and added a few we fancy Charlotte would have if she were living in this century!  We’ve made it easy to do yourself, without having to pull a bunch of things together on your own, so there’s still plenty of time to invest in the character of your kids.  Plus, we made sure to include the kind of life learning that so benefitted our own kids, and really stuck with them as time went by.

So, now, I whisper all of this to you, too!  Don’t wait!  Go out there and get some Charlotte Mason in your life!

It may be that WinterPromise offers you a start on that lifestyle, and we’d love that!  But be sure to meet Charlotte Mason in any case, so that you can develop a lifestyle that suits you as “Parent-Teacher,” and develops the promise in your own family!  You’ll never be sorry that you did!


Curious to learn more specifically about Charlotte Mason?

Check out our blog Meet Charlotte Mason & Her View of Education!

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, some of us may be thinking “How in the world do I keep my kids busy throughout today?”. If you’re thinking this – you’re not alone! Holidays are wonderful, celebrating with family, but sometimes they can be a little hectic – or maybe that’s just my house!

Here are 5 Tried and True Activities to keep your kiddos busy throughout the holiday!

First, Kraft Paper Tablecloth for the kids table or section!

One of the easiest tips I’ve seen is using kraft paper or any type of coloring paper as a tablecloth! Kids can draw on it without getting in trouble – just as long as they know they can’t do it on any other tablecloth in the future! We don’t want them to be a grandma’s house and draw on their nice cloth tablecloths. Our Next two tips are made extremely easy with this one trick!

Second, Tic Tac Toe

With drawable paper as a tablecloth tic tac toe is a great way to help kids pass the time! Use fun little plastic pumpkins or gourds as Xs & Os. Xs could be orange pumpkins and Os could be the multicolord gourds! If you can’t find two different colors of pumpkins or gourds an easy solution would be to use permanent marker and write X on half of the pumpkins and O on the other! If you’d rather you could make a separate activity with your kiddos and have them paint their half the way they want to! Smaller pumpkins, real or fake, work best for this activity!

Third, Turkey drawing competition – First place gets the first piece of pie!

Who doesn’t like a little pie on Thanksgiving!

Another activity for the cousins to do together is a turkey drawing competition! You could provide various art supplies in a basket on or near the table to encourage them to be creative and maybe use different pieces of paper to create the wings or ribbon to simulate the feathers! If you’d like you can even say that whoever comes up with the most creative turkey gets to get their dessert first!

Fourth, I’m Grateful Journal Page & I’m Grateful Card(s)

Though the holiday is so fun, we want to teach our children the meaning of thanksgiving. A great way to help encourage this is to have each child do a “What I’m Grateful For Journal” page. This asks what grateful means which may be a bit challenging for younger kids but this is a great way to start the discussion! It also asks who they are grateful for and what they are grateful for and why. Then after they complete this activity, they can use the I’m so grateful Cards and give them to all the people they are Grateful for! These cards are created with two on a page to be printed out then cut in the middle. Encourage your kids to give them to as many people as they want! Click here to download the I’m So Grateful For You Journal Page and Cards!

Fifth, Thanksgiving themed picture books!

If you have a kiddo who loves to read, there are so many different thanksgiving or fall themed books for all different ages! For older kids, you could encourage them to help the younger ones read their books! A side note on this – grandparents love reading with their grandkids or at least my parents adore it! There isn’t many other times where my parents are happier than when their grandkids are on their lap or by them reading to them or with them! Here are a few I love!

  1. The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming and Nicola Slater

This adorable book is so smartly written and designed. The story revolves around a squirrel who is convinced his someone is stealing his leaves! He investigates with his friends and discovers that it’s the wind! The authors also at the end write spread on the change of season and what happens to leaves in the fall!

  1. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving  by Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas shows God had plans for Squanto to one day help the Pilgrims and how God delivered a Thanksgiving Miracle.

  1. The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving  by Ann McGovern

This tried-and-true book has been a Thanksgiving favorite for years! This classic shows the struggles and trials of the first pilgrims and what lead to the historic day which we now celebrate.

There are so many more! We’d love to hear what your family’s favorite Thanksgiving or Fall themed books are!

Don’t forget to check out our 3-Week Thanksgiving Study here! Learn all about Thanksgiving in 1621 — the hardships the Pilgrims endured and the helpfulness of the Native Americans!

Get ready to make snowmen! 

Here in Michigan we just had our first snow fall of the year. Even though it didn’t cover the ground that doesn’t mean that we aren’t excited! So many fun activity opportunities open up as the snow starts to fall. I’m sure you all know about the fun activities like building snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights, and catching snow flakes on your tongue, but do you know about all the ways you can tie in snow with your daily educational lessons!

Nature Observations! 

If you and your family like to observe how nature changes throughout the year start a snow journal! Record how much snow falls in your city each day and how long it lasts. Keep track of when the trees lose all of their leaves and when they start to grow back. Keep track of the coldest days and how many animals are around as well as when birds and other animals that migrate leave and come back! These activities will be great for students studying in the Animals and Their Worlds Themed Program!

Science Expirements!

There are so many cool things you can do with snow! Get out a magnifying glass and look at snowflakes. Draw their patterns down on a piece of paper and see if you can find any that are the same! Snowflakes are so small and there are so many that your chances of finding any two that have the exact same pattern is very little!

Study how snow transforms into water or ice! Place some snow in a glass cup and place your hands around the cup. See how long it takes the snow to melt from just the heat in your hands. Next put more snow in a cup and bring the cup inside. If you have a firplace or a heater, bring the glass near the warm area and see how fast it melts. Remember to make sure you have your parents permission before getting to close to the fireplace or any heat source!

Another science expirement you can try is about finding out how clean snow really is! Try getting a section of snow that hasn’t been stepped on or hasn’t touched the ground so it isn’t so dirty. Either wait for the snow to melt or you can melt the snow yourself in a pot on the stove. Once the snow has turned into water pour it into a clear container and look inside. Make note of any specks you see inside the snow. Because of the water cycle, when water particles up in the sky harden into snow they can sometimes trap other particles in them too. Things like soot, dirt, or anything else that might have traveled up there with them. Any particles that you see might be from the sky or from the ground. Eating snow can be fun, but also sometimes gross! Go ahead and try this out with different patches of snow to see if you find any differences as well!

All of these activities are great for any sutdents studying in any of our Science Programs! Give them a try!

Animal Tracking and Fun! 

When the snow is covering the ground you can see all sorts of wildlife tracks! The best time to look at animal tracks in the snow is in the morning. Go out and try and see if you can tell what animal the tracks you have found are from! You will most likely see bird, bunny, deer, and possibly cat tracks out in the fresh snow!

If you are studying in our Animals and Their World Themed Program you know that there is an animal of the week each week! Go outside when there is enough snow and build your very own snow animal! You can even create a family of snow animals from your week in Animals and Their Worlds!

Having fun as a family is important for every family dynamic. Whether or not you are interested in snow activities that will relate to your currect studies, go outside and play in the snow! Have the family get their snow gear on and go sledding in the back yard, create giant snowmen, and fill the yard with snow angels!

Most importantly make sure you drink hot cocoa when you come back inside to keep everyone warm!

We have been talking extensively about integrating the outdoors into your family’s homeschool adventures! Last time we explored the importance of making memories through exploring and discovering outdoors. We also focused on the best way to use the outdoors in your adventure is to do it is what YOU and your family can do and the difference the right approach has on using the outdoors to create memory-making experiences!

Now, we are going to dive into some specifics!

 What are some specific ways you can use the outdoors in your homeschooling experiences?

Some of these ideas are extremely simple while others are a bit more involved. Remember, to get started it is less important how complex what you are doing is, rather simply getting started is the key!

Do another schooling activity, outside!

This engages your student’s other senses and helps them be more creative and attentive because their scene changes.

Practice the cornerstone habits of discovery: investigate, observe, record!

Get a notebook and send them outside with a list of things to investigate, observe, and record. The artistic learners will thrive with this. The recorders and note-takers will enjoy it too. The fidgety learners will love the activity. The benefits keep on going!

In a spelling funk? Create a spelling list based on the outdoors!

Have them scavenger hunt for outdoor items that start with a certain letter and practice spelling them. a

Make nature journaling essential to your homeschooling.

Capture the joy of the outdoors, observation, investigation, discovery, and more through the habit of nature journaling. Make it a weekly or daily part of your homeschooling. This can be artistic, scientific, active, or anything else you want it to be. Get a nice journal or sketch pad and get them outside observing. P.S. it also helps them practice being quite in strategic moments because some observation needs some quiet too!

This is only the beginning but almost anyone can do them.

Remember, it is all about just getting outside when you can and in the way that makes sense for your family.