“Those things you learn without joy, you will forget easily.” (Finnish proverb)
After seeing this quote recently on Instagram, I decided to rephrase it a little:
“Those things you learn with joy, you will remember.”
Ahhh, there you go. Wrapped up in that sentence is exactly what I deeply desire for our little homeschool, which my two daughters (5 and 8) have decided to name “River Lake Sunshine.” Who wouldn’t want to enroll there, right?
Well, it might sound idyllic, but our homeschool is full of the same daily struggles just like you probably experience - poor attitudes, chaos, and mama trying to stay organized and sane without having to get revved up on copious amounts of caffeinated coffee.
Here’s where The Peaceful Press has greatly served our family. But first, a little background…
My husband (a farmer and personal chef), our two girls, and I live on an organic produce farm in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee. We’ve been homeschooling since my oldest daughter was in preschool, back when we lived in an urban neighborhood in Dallas, TX. Since the beginning, I haven’t really attached to one particular method but have felt most comfortable creating an eclectic blend of everything from Montessori, to Waldorf, to unschooling, to Classical, to Charlotte Mason. My main goals have always been: 1) Building strong character and 2) Encouraging a love of learning. I knew everything else would fall into place if we concentrated on those.
Yet, I’ve struggled to keep our days flexible while also having a plan so everything doesn’t quickly fall to pieces. When I discovered The Peaceful Press, it was a breath of fresh air: I was delighted to find that they blend several of these homeschooling styles together using organized, creative resources that I could easily implement at home. And the plans were chock full of wonderful book lists!
There’s a joyfulness in The Peaceful Press resources, and the heart behind them can be felt. I appreciate the desire to preserve connections with our children, celebrate childhood, and draw conclusions about life while studying different cultures and time periods.
Here are the two things I’ve loved the most about The Peaceful Press resources we’ve tried in our home: 1) It encourages connection with my children over great books, and 2) It guides us in a way that we can learn alongside each other. Everyday, I’m re-educated as I teach my daughters.
Shortly after its launch, we began using The Peaceful Preschool for my youngest daughter, who was three-years-old at the time. I was giddy reading the book list - it encompassed several beautiful, classic books from my childhood (like Corduroy and Little Bear) along with some new-to-us books that have now become favorites (Stone Soup, Roxaboxen, and How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World). At the same time, it would help me introduce each letter of the alphabet in a fun and engaging way. For my second grader, we decided to use The Playful Pioneers, which also coincided with the U.S. History and timeline we were studying last year in our Classical Conversations group.
This school year, we’ve been working through The Precious People resources and discovering so many fascinating things about Jewish tradition, ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Learning about the foundations of our Christian faith has led to so many wonderful conversations around the table. I’m about to begin the Ocean Guide with my youngest, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Tree Guide and Christmas Guide leading up to the holidays.
I’d love to share some of our favorite moments using The Peaceful Press resources over the last year-and-a half...
Shaking our hearts out to make homemade butter and lemonade with our Playful Pioneers group.
Making bark rubbings down by the creek and looking up at the tall trees we often fail to notice.
Watching my youngest daughter’s small fingers count apple seeds while she crunched on an apple on her first day of preschool.
The day we all cried on page 12 of By The Shores of Silver Lake when Jack died.
Building our own replica of Little House complete with our own peg dolls.
Drawing and watercoloring herbs from Galen and the Gateway to Medicine and realizing how badly I needed that artistic outlet.
My oldest daughter and I rolling soapy colored wool between our fingers for hours to make felt acorns.
Our first time making challah bread, and it actually worked! My girls insisted on covering their heads with napkins during our feast.
The delight of cracking open All of a Kind Family for the first time on a blanket in the August sun.
The memories we’ve shared are priceless. We’ve learned that the books we read and experiences we have become a part of us and that we, too, can influence history. Our homeschool is far from perfect, but I’ll never take for granted this precious time with my girls.
Christine Bailey is an idealist, dreamer, writer, homeschool mom, and farmer cultivating life with her husband and two daughters on their organic farm in Santa Fe, TN (just south of Nashville). She can often be found planting lettuce, devouring a great book, cooking and sharing meals around the table, and chasing Tennessee waterfalls with her family.
Check out the free samples of our parent guides, and book lists to give you a taste of The Peaceful Press. Click the button below for access.