Tag Archives: children

A Boy and His Nature Bag- What’s in Our Nature Backpack?

Our son has the deepest love for nature. He appreciates every little piece of it that he sees, and wants to suck up any information he can about the Earth around him. Because of this, all on his own, he found one of his Father’s old backpacks and filled it with his nature gear, so he’s ready to throw it on his back and go on an adventure at any moment.

What's in Our Nature Backpack?

 

I decided to peek into it the other day to check out his bag of treasures, and here’s what I found…

What’s in Our Nature Backpack?

Some of the items listed are affiliate links, so I will make a small percentage if you choose to purchase from one of the links with no extra cost to you. However, we have tried and love all of the products and recommend them to anyone.

Containers to Collect Insects– we just recycle food containers. He used to like using mason jars the best, but glass + his idea of a wild adventure don’t always go well together.

Field Guides– We have several of this brand. These are AMAZING and I also used them as a child. We love the vivid photographs.

Our Nature Journals and Colored Pencils– He will normally use these after he’s been outside exploring. We’ll come inside and wind down by drawing pictures and writing the names of the things he discovered. We talk about the colors they were, the size, and any little details he can remember. This is one of my favorite parts.

Magnifying Glass– He has several of these, and he uses them mostly to check out insects while he is trying to identify them with his field guides.

Camera– We recently started working on creating a field guide of our own. He always wanted to keep the creatures he would find so instead we now take a picture, do a little research, and add it to his homemade field guide.

Tweezers– I’m assuming these would have many uses for  him.

Hiking Stick– We picked one up for him when we were on a vacation in the Smokey Mountains. He loves it because it’s just his size. There is a similar one here.

Children’s Binoculars– To investigate things that are far away, of course.

Bandaids– I added those to his bag. It seems like we need them quite often during our adventures, but it’s worth it!

Snacks– we always pack a little something in our handmade reusable snack bags to take along on our journey.

If you’re encouraging your children to become more interested in exploring nature, take along this free nature scavenger hunt printable on your next adventure!

What's in Our Nature Backpack 2

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the hat…

I picked it up at a German Festival a few years back, but he has adopted it as his own. He says it’s his “Trusty Nature Hat.”

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I Was Homeschooled, and I wasn’t Normal…

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase from some of the links with no additional cost to you.

Since openly discussing our decision to homeschool our children, I have come to realize that people may not always be accepting of our choice. I have also discovered that I have a smidge of insecurity to what people’s reactions are going to be when we tell them. Sometimes we get a look of judgement or concern, and people have even said things like, “Don’t you want them to be NORMAL kids?” Or “The homeschooling families I’ve meant are just WEIRD….”

What many people do not know, is that I was homeschooled for eight years a child, and while sometimes it hurts when people make negative comments about the way I was raised, and now about the decision we have made for our children, I just have to remind myself that they may not understand, but that’s okay. I have to remind myself that I wasn’t “normal,” but it wasn’t a bad thing…

YEMiwashomeschooled

That’s right, I wasn’t a normal kid.

I didn’t spend five days a week at a desk with other kids around me. I didn’t go to recess every day, or spend an extra hour or two riding the bus, and I definitely didn’t have to worry about test scores. Basically, I didn’t have what in my opinion was equivalent to a full time job at the age of six. To some, I may have “missed out.”

Today, as a College-educated adult with children of my own, in my opinion, I was given the chance to learn at my own pace. I was taught to love learning. I was given the freedom to explore my interests as far as I could ever imagine. I was given the chance to form my own opinions about life, among other things, without the influence of my peers and others on my thoughts and decisions. In regards to the quality of my education, or whether I was “equal” to my peers, I would definitely say that I was. In subjects that I really enjoyed, I was grade levels ahead. I was given plenty of one-on-one attention, curriculum that catered to my specific styles of learning, and I also learned to love self-guided learning. If I had a question, I would find the answer. I was taught that learning is a continuing part of every day life, and something to be enjoyed.


I remember getting a microscope for Christmas as a child, and thinking that it was the most wonderful thing I could have ever asked for (My son uses that same microscope today to explore his most current interest, nature). Of course, some may think that’s a little unusual. So yeah, I’m not “normal,” and maybe I was a little “weird,” but that’s because as a child I didn’t care if my jeans were in style, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between The BackStreet Boys and NSYNC (clearly I was born in the 90’s). Those things weren’t important to me.

All I had to worry about was being a child, and that’s all a child should have to do.

So please, don’t judge a homeschooling family because their lifestyle is different from your own. I am not saying there is anything wrong with public education, or private school at all. What is good for one family may not be good for another. Homeschooling can be hard sometimes, and after making the decision to homeschool our son for his first year of kindergarten, I have seen quite a lot of judgement and concerned expressions aimed in the direction of our family. So yes, our children may end up a little “weird,” but that’s because they are being raised differently than what a typical child would be. That does not mean that it is a bad thing, and it certainly does not mean our children are missing out.