Today we did a small review before we went out exploring. Do you remember the vascular plants and how those are like the veins in your body?

And how the veins in your hands/body carry blood, like the veins in plants carry water…

like the veins in this tomato plants… Do you remember the name of that main vein in the middle? (midrib)

Did you know that most plants are vascular? Jeannie asks, “Can you think of any plant that doesn’t have stems, roots, and leaves?” My little’s couldn’t and sadly I couldn’t show them anywhere around the house any examples (110 – 113 degree temps and moss do not particularly play well together). So, we did a small activity to understand the difference.

We took a small amount of water and poured it on the concrete, then laid the paper towel on top of it. Then we watched how the water spread throughout the paper towel and soaked it all up. Jeannie explains, how this is similar to the way moss and other nonvascular plants get the water they need. Nonvascular plants do not have roots, stems, or leaves to carry water up from the soil, into and throughout the plant.

I am hoping we can soon go hiking in the woods soon and find some moss. Then it might be fun to try the moss/buttermilk experiment.

Until then, we are going looking for pine cones for the next lesson…

Yes, this is the essential botany required uniform. (jammies & ironman boots) Although, one day we are hoping to purchase an Apologia lab coat.

Disclosure:I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

The Exploring Creation with Botany was written for ages 6 to 12.

If you missed the first part of this journey, please check out Exploring God’s Creation – Botany, and Exploring God’s Creation – Vascular Plants.

Today we are going to immerse ourselves in tubes that carry liquid inside the plant. The word, “vascular,” means “tubes that carry fluid.” Did you know that plants have veins and vascular systems just like you and me? Jeannie, said it this way, “God made living things in a similar way; plants and people both have tubes inside them.” This morning I was talking to my beautiful (inside and out) sister-in-law I told her about today’s adventure and what we were going to explore and she immediately saw the correlation between all of God’s creation. We can see that everything in the world is made by the same artist: God!

So,grab your backpacks! Let’s go explore God’s canvas! Here we go…

Right as we stepped outside we looked at the Calla Lily first. It had great veins…

The Iris’ veins were a lot thinner…

The tomato leaf’s veins were easily distinguishable…

Sugar Plum became attached to the strawberry leaf and carried it for the rest of our journey…

The children were all fascinated with the small plants and the way they distributed water, but they were amazed that something so big as an oak could do the same thing.

Smiley enjoyed the adventure too, he just nodded, held my finger, and smiled…

Can you see the midrib on this oak leaf? It is the vein in the very middle that is thicker than the rest. If you go back through the other pictures can you identify their midrib’s too?

These adventures open up other questions, like… “Mom, why are these leaves brown?” And…

“Where are the veins on this one?”, “That is an evergreen.”, “What is an evergreen?”…

“Why is the local zoologist following us?” (I figure our cat knows more than I do about animals, why else would she leave me the best morsels of the bird, mice, and rabbits after she has dissected them on my welcoming mat.)

And, the best part of the adventure… Having fun with the kiddos in God’s creation!

*If you go out and collect your own leaves, don’t forget to keep them for your notebooking journal!

Oh, Oh…Jeannie, says in a later lesson we get to do an experiment that takes all the green stuff off of the leaf to expose the hidden veins beneath. Exciting!

Disclosure:I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

The Exploring Creation with Botany was written for ages 6 to 12.

If you missed the first part of this journey, please check out Exploring God’s Creation – Botany.

I would love for everyone to come with me on a journey as my young one’s and I explore the world of Botany. For the next six weeks, once a week, we will be taking an adventure into God’s creation. We will be using the world around us and the book, “Exploring Creation with Botany,” by Jeannie Fulbright.

From the very beginning this book snagged my interest. In the introduction Jeannie talks about the, “Immersion Approach,” to teaching.

Immersion Approach – if you immerse your student in one field of science for an entire year, he will develop a love for both that subject and a love for learning in general. A child taught with this approach learns to love knowledge and develop confidence.

Spiral Approach – a student is exposed to minute amounts of a variety of science topics.

Before having kids I might have thought that the spiral approach would have been a good idea, that young children couldn’t handle being fully immersed into a subject. Now, I know differently, watching my kids grow and learn and seeing how their minds are such amazing sponges. Their ability to remember and recall is fascinating. I know that the immersion approach is not only something they can handle, I believe they will delight in it.

I can see why public school systems use the spiral approach and in my opinion its not for the students; it is for the educators. Educators have 30+ young minds in one classroom, how can one educator have the time to fully immerse each child? I believe that God designed the family as the learning unit. On a daily basis I have the opportunity to immerse my children in everything that I do. They help me clean, cook, pull weeds, take care of animals, garden, etc; all by my side. They get the chance to plant multiple varieties of seeds in a garden and help me maintain it until harvest. No public educator has that opportunity. Show your children your love for learning and doing each days activities. Immerse yourself and them in it and they will come to love it too.

We will be covering lesson 1 in our six week journey into God’s creation. Jeannie begins this journey by explaining the field of botany. She does it in a way that children can see that they have already been studying botany (do your children bring you pretty flowers?) and that they are so many more exciting plants to see and learn about. I love how Jeannie makes them feel like they are already scientists exploring, that the children get to do experiments and keep journals (notebooking) with illustrations just like real scientists do.

On the note of notebooking, I had the pleasure of hearing Jeannie speak a few months back on notebooking. Here are some of my notes and what I learned.

She was very inspiring and convinced me that notebooking was a great learning tool for not only my kiddos, but for me too. Plus, I think it is something that your children can look back on when they are older; with their picture yearbooks and reminisce about. The next picture is some ways that she explained how to use notebooking not only with science but any subject.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation; seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” and it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that is was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the third day.

Genesis 1:11-13

I was overjoyed with the fact that I found a science curriculum that incorporates God. Jeannie wrote it well this way, “As we study nature and all that God created with such amazing and complex design, we become even more amazed about God.”

So, won’t you join us in grabbing your backpacks and magnifying glasses as we go explore God’s creation today…

Disclosure:I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

The Exploring Creation with Botany was written for ages 6 to 12.

…The disciplines of childhood would harden into concrete adult lives. I waxed eloquently. They listened politely and appropriately. When given a chance they ran… (Ted Tripp)

How often do I feel Tripp’s above statement. As I am explaining disciplines to my children, they listen but do they hear and when given the chance they smile and go on with their lives. Tripp explains the statement of shaping influences – events & circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for who he/she is to become. All the aspects of family living have a profound impact on the persons your children become.

This made me think of my day from sunrise to sunset. I enjoy getting up before the children and having a time with God. Praying and reading his word. This always gives me a better start to my day. Days that I do not have my quiet time with God, they lack refreshment. Knowing this, I have never started the kids days that way. I have never got them up and prayed and read God’s word with them to start their day anew. Would it not make sense that this would make for a better day for them as well?

Deuteronomy 6:2 says, “so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” I enjoy life when I live it by God’s commands and when I start my days, seek Him through my days, and end my days with Him. I desire my children and my children’s children to enjoy long life as well.

Tripp goes on to say, “the person your child becomes is a product of two things. First is his/her life experience. The second (and in my opinion the more important of the two), how he/she interacts with that experience. It had me thinking how do I and my husband react to experiences?

We want our children to react Godly to situations. They see God through us, our testimony and how we react to situations. How we react is often how our kids will react. Do we stop in prayer and praise and thank the Lord for is grace and mercies in daily situations? Do we drop to our knees in front of our children when we need guidance? I know many times I do these small prayers in my head, when perhaps I should be taking the time to do them with my children. Nothing is more important than showing my children God’s love, mercy, and grace. Showing them God in everything around us and thanking Him for it. If they see that God is faithful would they not want to follow Him more?

I have been struggling with my oldest son and him having a thankful heart. Today, God asked me, does he see that you have a thankful heart? He responds according to the Godward orientation of his heart. What is the orientation of my heart? God says in everything we do and throughout our day to pray without ceasing. I need to include my children in this. If I can do this with my children and help them see and do this as well at such a young age. Their walk with God and the possibilities are endless.

Children hear everything
Children see everything

How do we react to others in family life? What is the structure of my family life? We often learn from watching our parents. This made me think of a talk I heard recently by Debra Bell, and what she had to say about God’s design. God designed us to learn and He designed the family as a place for our children to learn. I asked myself these questions. Do I respect my parents in front of my children? Do I respect my husband in front of my children? Do I show my children the joy and love of marriage? Do they see that God is first in my life? Do they see that their father is the head of the household? Do they see that God is the authority over my life and that his authority is one of love?

It is intriguing for me to look at my children as they are now and their attitudes, personalities, needs, etc; and apply those to if they were to be married now or going to be soon. Would they make a good spouse? Do you know that marriage is one of the hardest and also one of the most rewarding times of my life. In shepherding my child’s heart and in showing them the creator; one of their testimonies is to their spouse, and I want them to be a benefit and a blessing.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,

which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world

rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:8

I know that I fall prey to human traditions in raising my children.  The main focus of this book by Ted Tripp is that the only true guide book and guide that you need is God and his word.  With that being said, God uses people and I have found this book is as much for me then it is for my children.  It has really caused me to look at my heart, walk with God, marriage, etc,.  How do my children see me in my day to day actions?  How do they see me react to situations?  God has used Ted Tripp to write this book and I am grateful that he did.

In my conclusion for Chapter 2 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart I would like to restate something Tripp said, “If your child knows and loves God, if your child has embraced the fact that knowing God can enable him to know peace in any circumstance, then he/she will respond constructively to your shaping efforts.

So, my question to myself and you is… Does my child see that I have embraced knowing God and that I have realized that through faith I can know peace within any circumstance?

~thank you Amanda @ The Pelsersfor hosting this heart shaping book club. Please everyone go and check out Amanda’s take on the chapters and see the other bloggers that have also linked up and posted as well.

Till next time and Ch:3 of, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Ted Tripp.

She is a beautiful ball of energy. (one of the reasons it is difficult to catch her radiant smile directed right at the camera) My sweet daughter I love her so much. God gave her to me to raise and I am failing her in so many ways. Me and this precious girl butt heads daily over quite simple things and I have tried and tried to change her behavior. I have been told that, “it is just a girl thing, you will get used to it”. While that may hold some truth, I know I haven’t been getting to the heart of the matter.

A few weeks ago, I was given the privilege of attending a retreat in Atlanta (more on that later), in attendance were some other amazing women and one of those amazing women was Amanda Pelser of the blog The Pelsers. Amanda invited me to join a book club, where we would be reading, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”, by Tedd Tripp.

The Pelser's Shepherding Book Club

I am thankful for God for presenting this book to me to help me shepherd my little daughters heart. I know that I am not the only one that feels like frustration rules their decisions sometimes. Chapter 1 of this book has already given me confidence, and with God anything is possible.

Tedd Tripp said, “the Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life”. This is stated in several scriptures, one such is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”. He goes on to say later, “What your children say and do is a reflection of what is in their hearts”.

These are things that I know, yet I don’t try many times for my children’s sake to actual change their hearts, I try and change their behavior. I am too busy or too tired or insert whatever here that has either been interrupted or changed that me as a mother did not want to be changed or interrupted. Therefore, I snap or yell at them to change what they are doing and tell them to never do it again.

Do you know the hardest thing for me as a mother has been? To sacrifice what I want. My calling is my family right here, right now. My children need me to sit down with them each time they disobey and seek out the attitude of their heart. I liked this line, “Your concern is to unmask your child’s sin, helping him to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed.” Do you know what this opens up? More opportunities to talk to your children about God.

Sacrificing what I want means for me to stop whatever I am doing at the moment and see to my child’s heart. God is working on my heart so that I may work on theirs. Thank you Lord.

Please join me and others each week as we post about our journeys through shepherding our children’s hearts@ Amanda’s blog.

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