{September Gratitudes}

Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For a love of learning and first day feelings.
Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For first anniversaries and friends who bake.
September Gratitudes 2018 | The Open Home
For 12 years and counting…
Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For new opportunities and Moana moments.
Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For the first fruits of autumn and traditions that live on.
Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For eager hands, full tummies and happy hearts.
Gratitudes September 2018 | The Open Home
For final years and big girl feelings.

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during September, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

{Daughter Diaries} #51

Daughter Diaries 51 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, what a difference a year makes! Looking back on your reception photo shoot I can’t quite believe how much you have grown over this past year. Our home ed lifestyle appears to suit you well and I’m so thankful that we took that leap into whole life learning. You’re transforming into quite the young lady – you even have a later bedtime to prove it! – Mummy is very proud. Dear Bubbles, you are just so cheeky and way too funny! Photobombing was just too good an opportunity to miss and it made us all laugh hard. Thank you for taking your role as the family joker seriously and for making joy and laughter part and parcel of our daily lives. We will live longer and have more wrinkles because of you. Dearest Daughters, may you always keep your sense of wonder and your sense of humour!

What’s been making you laugh lately?


{Books Lately} September 2018

Books Lately | The Open Home

One of my goals for 2018 was to read more fiction books as I tend to gravitate towards parenting books and homeschool how-tos, which whilst often interesting and helpful they aren’t the sort of reading that feeds one’s soul and replenishes one’s energy. I’ve done pretty good with my fiction goal, if I do say so myself and also managed to utilise my local library for the majority of the following books, which has felt like a second win.

Here are some of the fiction books I’ve been reading lately:

To Kill a Mocking Bird image

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I’ve always enjoyed books set in the mid 1800’s to mid 1900’s time period of America, but alas my high school curriculum did not cover this one and thus I have missed out on a much loved modern classic until now. Many of you will know the story well. Young Scout and her brother, Jem develop a fascination with their mysterious and reclusive neighbour, Boo Radley whilst their Father, Atticus works to defend a young black man accused of a crime he did not commit. It’s humorous and heart warming in parts whilst dealing with the difficult subject of racial injustice in the Deep South of America in the 1930’s, and all through the eyes of a young child. I highly recommend it.

Anne of Green Gables image

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is another of those books that I missed out on as a girl and yet it is a favourite of so many of my friends that I knew I must finally catch up. This is definitely a book I think I would have enjoyed more if I had read it in my tweens, but that’s not to say I didn’t like it I just think some of the childhood whimsy and teenage angst was wasted on an old bird like me. The story is a sweet one though. It’s starts with a young orphan girl called Anne accidently finding a home with two middle aged siblings on Prince Edward Island and then follows her life through school and college as she makes Green Gables her home. By the end of the book of was feeling very fond of “Anne with an E” and I look forward to experiencing the rest of the Anne series through the eyes of my girls over the years to come.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette image

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

I thoroughly enjoyed this epistolary novel and recommend it to all my fellow letter writers. Bernadette is quite the character. She has many unique personality quirks and struggles to connect with her family and fit in with her local community. For the first half of the book you are reading all the various correspondence from schools and personal assistants, between friends and neighbours, knowing that at some point Bernadette will go missing, but still not quite understanding why. I was unable to work this one out on my own and I struggled to put the book down. This one is available at the local library for those Guernsey based folk who fancy giving it a read.

Books Lately September 2019 | The Open Home

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Cranfield Fisher

This was a sweet read to end the summer with and await the start of the new school year. It was lent to me by a fellow homeschool mum and a gentle reminder about how sweet and enriching this learning lifestyle can be. The book starts with a very timid 9 year old orphan girl, Elizabeth Ann having to leave the sheltered home of her very loving yet over protective aunts to stay with the dreaded Putney cousins. The Putney cousins of course turn out to be rather lovely and their simple way of living out in rural Vermont turns out to be just what Elizabeth Ann needs to transform from a small, anxious and entitled little girl into the healthy, confident and competent Betsy you’ll come to know and love.  In an age of over scheduled, constantly connected, rather lazy children this book has an important message to tell. It is a gentle reminder that sometimes the simpler ways are not only sweeter but also more satisfying and life giving. This book contains some important values that are still relevant today, along with some much loved characters and is suitable for junior school kids as well as adults who enjoy some quality children’s fiction.

What books have you been reading lately?

{Summer Nature Study}

Summer Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Nature study this summer has been way less structured than our norm partly because our nature group broke for the summer back in July but also because those warm sunny days just generally lend themselves perfectly to simple beach explorations and spontaneous coastal walks.

We’ve identified shells, hunted for crabs and explored many a rock pool. We’ve monitored tadpoles, marvelled at bees and stopped to smell the flowers.

We’ve been so busy immersing ourselves in the splendour of summer that I’ve snapped few photos to share with you here, but sometimes less is more so here are our summer snap shots anyway:

Summer Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Foraging for crabs.
Summer Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Sensory play at it’s best.
Summer Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Summer blooms and sweet scents.
Summer Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Spring’s tadpoles became Summer’s frogs.
Nature Study Summer 2018 | The Open Home
Calendar of Firsts in our nature journals.


What do you enjoy most about nature this Summer?

{August Gratitudes}

Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For the end of our first year and the start of our second, the freedom to live and the joy of learning.
Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For weekly rituals and friends that make life all the sweeter.
Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For the bravery of toddlers and the free healthcare we so often take for granted.
Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For our first harvest and learning as we go.
Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For coastal living and treasures from the sea.
Gratitudes August 2018 | The Open Home
For faithful friends, encouraging words and God’s impeccable timing.

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during August, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?