*This post is sponsored by Mason Jars Co. and contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting this site. All opinions are my own.*
I’m busy today.
I was up twice in the middle of the night. So I’m tired too. But there will be no nap.
Because I’m busy.
Going on three hours of sleep, I have to beat the sun to my garden—my half acre garden. I have to move the water row by row all day long, and weed at least one row of vegetables.
I have to open the greenhouse as the sun comes up. There will be three rounds of watering to keep everything from drying out.
By 7:00, I’ll begin waking up children and bathing them. I’ll sneak out to feed animals and check all their waters before heading in to plan and prepare three meals that will all need cleaned up when done.
I’ll have to teach various children various school lessons. I’ll feed the baby several times.
There is laundry to be done, dishes, sweeping, mopping, and basic outdoor maintenance.
At some point, a crew of hungry cowboys will grace their way through and they will need a round of jam and rolls with coffee.
It’s also quite possible that I’ll have to spend some time in the tractor working the fields.
I’ll do all of this while dragging all my young children with me—teaching them how to be good stewards of this earth, give freely of ourselves to others, love people generously, and embrace responsibilities.
With my children in tow, I will teach them how to love and embrace this “simple” life.
It is sufficient to say, that at various points in my life I wonder to myself as I hustle from one needed task to another…
Do my children see the simple in this life?
Do they see the organic fruit straight from the tree instead of modified, sprayed, shipped, and sprayed-again fruit purchased from the nearest store?
Will they enjoy taking lunch to Dad in the tractor every day instead of hoping he has time to do take out?
Do they understand the divine design in each molecule in the soil and appreciate the diversity of living organisms around them instead of memorizing a list of biology facts they will then regurgitate onto a test paper?
Will they really and truly take responsibility of this earth, and love every kind of life around them, instead of yelling and speaking out and waiting for someone else to do something about this environment we all share?
I hope so. But I can’t make any of this happen. I can teach, I can model, I can pray, and I can encourage. That’s really all I can do.
One day they will be highly independent thinkers—at least I hope so. You probably want the same for your own children.
So where does that leave us?
When you look at the world and think that our children and grandchildren will one day inherit this earth, do you resolve to yourself to do all that you can to teach them how and encourage them? Could we make that goal together—to teach and encourage our children to embrace this simple life with all their heart—and use their eyes, brains, feet, and hands to do so?
Could we unite in our common goal to embrace a simple life right where we are? Whether you live in an apartment or a farm, or somewhere in between, could you resolve to help your children shape their future and the world around them?
Whether you have fireflies in your forest, frogs in your ponds, or flowers in their pots, you are part of a beautiful ecosystem; and your micro-ecosystem impacts my micro-ecosystem, and together they are a part of a larger macro-ecosystem.
One day your children will be an active part of my childrens’ lives through this ecosystem. I want my children to be great thinkers, strong do-ers, and top-notch problem solvers. And I need your children to be imaginative and intelligent problem solvers as well.
Maybe not today, but in the not-so-distant future, our children will all need each other.
This June, I’m joining Mason Jars Co. to invoke thinking minds, embrace small hands, put a sparkle in innocent eyes, unite siblings in play, and teach a new generation about life and biodiversity.
Could we all vow to keep life—even if only a few hours this week—simple, mysterious and industrious? My concern in this busy life that I lead, bringing all my littles with me throughout my day, is that my children would lose track of the good and simple life we’re striving to live and miss a glorious opportunity.
We’ve been busy in June taking time to intentionally appreciate and study nature and the life around us.
To satisfy the reader and artist, we’ve been spending time working on the reCAP Kid’s free lapbook activities from Mason Jars Co. We’ve been doing ours a bit differently than how it’s set up on their site, but that’s because all my kids are different kinds of learners. This has been an afternoon activity for us so we can be inside away from the heat of the day.
My kids love to take what they’ve seen outside our four walls and turn it into something they can study, understand, and form a connection with. These lapbooks satisfy not only their inner artists, but also help them form a relationship with nature instead of just thinking of it as this “thing” we live with or around.
We’ve been busy taking time to intentionally play with our surroundings and learn how to incorporate them into our personal lives.
We’ve been using some butterfly nets from the dollar store to catch bugs and study them.
With homestead gloves and caution, the kids have been finding any vegetation from around the homestead that’s unfamiliar to them and bringing it back in our new Kid’s EXPLORE bug catcher. The bug catcher is tough, has a glow-in-the-dark handle, breathing holes and the entire top is a magnifying lens. Because it’s flexible, not even my youngest destructive little boys have hurt it.
We’ve been putting different bugs, soils, plant life, and even small reptiles in our catcher. This has been a safe way (both for my kids and for the critters) to study life they may otherwise simply walk past.
We’ve been busy taking time to intentionally cohabitate with nature.
My daughter took a morning to collect ladybugs in the bug catcher. Because of the breathing holes, she was enamored for hours before finally releasing them into my greenhouse. A couple of them even have names.
My youngest son learned about grubs that were growing in some older tree stumps. He collected those in the bug catcher and was able to look at them closely without squishing them before taking them in and giving them to the chickens.
We’ve been busy taking time to bond with each other and share laughter.
With the bug catcher, came a code to get the Kid’s EXPLORE Activity eBook for free. We printed that out and have been slowly going through that on hot afternoons as well. The creativity and silliness that comes from my children as they giggle and work their way through the activities makes this mama’s heart nearly burst with love and pride.
It’s so easy for kids to go their separate ways and bond with other children their age. That’s a wonderful thing. But sometimes in the business of summer, children are busy hanging out with friends and miss out on bonding with each other.
I’m glad we aren’t missing out on sibling bonding.
We’ve been busy intentionally appreciating the simple life around us.
I don’t want my children to be so focused on all the technology and fast-paced activities of this world that they miss just how quiet and gentle this life can be. Our world has so many beautiful and wondrous things to share with those little hands and eyes, that I just don’t want them to miss it.
Let them be children.
Tomorrow will come soon enough. Let them have technology tomorrow—after they appreciate, love, and learn responsibilities today.
I’d invite you all to check out these Kid’s resources and see how they could enhance your summer, build relationships with your children, and feed their curiosity. Then please, share with me how they are helping your children to grow.
Mason Jars Co. also offers a Goin’ Explorin’ Storybook to go along with the bug catcher. I opted not to get the book only because we don’t have fireflies here. I really wanted to use these items to help them connect with life on our homestead. If you have fireflies, perhaps you could use it to help your children connect in a new way too.
How else would you use these resources to teach your children to embrace a simple life?
*Thank you Mason Jars Co. for being our June sponsor, and encouraging this generation to embrace and become good stewards of our Earth. Please take a moment to visit Mason Jars and see what they have to offer to hard working homesteaders like your family and mine.*