Welcome! This post will focus on how a family with young children can be inspired using The Well Educated Heart educational philosophy in teaching different topics like American History and Rocks. If you are new to the Well Educated Heart you can check this post out for more information about what this philosophy is.
This post was written by a young mom named Sarah who has younger children. We hope these posts from Sarah will inspire you to lead more with your heart so you can inspire the hearts of your children (you can find other posts from Sarah HERE and HERE).
How do you study American History and rocks with young children? This post will help inspire you to create your own heartwarming experiences in your own home.
The Well Educated Heart for Young Children
Something that is emphasized over and over again in the philosophy of the Well Educated Heart is the power of stories. This month, we celebrated Constitution day on September 17th. A local private school in Utah celebrates Constitution Day by inviting all who can to come to their school and learn about the American Revolution.
They also learn about many events leading up to that great time in our history. My daughter loved listening to Patrick Henry give his speech with his famous lines… “Give me liberty or give me death.” She also loved learning about the French and Indian War and meeting a real George Washington!
MY AMERICA STORY BOOK
Although history can be a tricky topic for some children to learn to love or to even understand, they can feel inspired as their mom becomes inspired. I have taken it upon myself to visit this My America Storybook website to learn from stories that I have never heard before. Many stories shared in the month of September were of early American explorers.
My children have been listening to the stories with me, and have also helped me with making my own storybook. They love to cut and glue the different pictures on the pages where I have been taking notes about these explorers.
If you have older children, they may enjoy listening to these stories on their own throughout each month. They can make their own books by using a bare book and pasting the images in them.
Audiobooks has been a great way of filling our hearts with stories that we otherwise may not come across. What stories, on any subject, can you obtain as an audiobook so that your children can hear valuable stories in your home? This just reiterates the principle to me that we need to inspire our own hearts before we can inspire the hearts of our children.
Rest assured, each day will not be inspirational and amazing.
Little by little, though, your home will transform and learning will take place.
You can print out the images of the explorers (or of any of the people in the stories on the My America Storybook website) and have them ready to glue in as you listen. I will give my children something crafty to do while we listen and work on our books together. This month, we decided to play with play-doh while making our books.
Your children will often get excited about something in nature and want to dive into that topic. Follow their lead and let their inspired hearts lead the way. My children have been inspired by rocks lately. We have a neighbor who loves to search for all kinds of rocks. He has even found some of his own fossils, and has inspired my children to start a rock collection of their own.
He taught us the names of these rocks and told us a little bit about them. The big rock that looks like wood is called petrified wood, and the smaller white rock is called Quartz. My daughter is determined to find some gold inside of the quartz rock. The flat white rock is called gypsum and the small dark rock is a rock called snowflake obsidian.
This is the rock that the Native Americans made their arrows with. These are volcanic glass and come out of lava tubes. We love looking at the differences of the rocks and learning about them. We have so many natural resources in America, and it has been fun to discover them with my children.
If you do not feel like much of a naturalist (but your children are!), here are two resources that I have learned about.
- The first resource is an app called Picture This. You can take a picture of any plant and it will identify it and tell you about it. Another good app you can use is called iNaturalist.
- The second resource is free field guides and gardening helps through the USU Extension sites. Although this is a resource specific to Utah, you might find some of the same plants in your state.
Here is a beautiful quote that I discovered doing my nature studies through the Mother’s University of the Well Educated Heart. It says, “What you make a child love and desire is more important than what you make him learn.” – Alice O’ Grady
I am not sure my children will remember the names of the rocks like I have. However, they will remember the experiences they had while collecting them. They will remember hearing stories about them, and feeling them with their own hands. I am learning that I don’t even need to MAKE my children love or desire. They love and desire naturally. I need to observe what they love and desire, and feed those things. They can observe what I love and desire, and they will be fed too.
Learning through the heart before mind really is the most desirable way to learn, even for adults! I am having so much fun with my children. It’s not every day, but it is most days now that I am being inspired through the Well Educated Heart. I hope this post gives you an idea on how to inspire your children on topics such as American History and Rocks. It all begins with stories.