Christmas 2021

I have had a love/hate relationship with Facebook over the past few years. And lately it has most definitely become just a ‘hate’ relationship.

So forgive me for using my blog platform, Simple Homeschooler, to also share a little more family photos and to give updates about what is going on in our lives.

Searching for the right tree

This year Christmas felt strange. Although lockdowns and restrictions didn’t affect our traditions tremendously, it still felt, well… off. Different. Still very nice, and beautiful, and holy. But different.

We visited our yearly favorite place to get our tree, Moody Tree Farm. In the past it felt so Christmas-y. Sleds for the kids to take out to the field. Hot cocoa and cookies scrumptiously waiting near the warm wood stove in the gift shop. Candy canes and laughter.

Then some leisurely time browsing for gifts and new objects to decorate our home, while Dad and the boys tie our new tree to the top of the car.

This year it was still nice. But there was no hot cocoa, cookies, or candy canes. There were certain doors that we were required to enter through, and one door which was reserved for the exit.

There were no sleds to take to the field. And, because of the obvious lack of fellow visitors, the atmosphere had a lonely aura.

And finally, of course, we were tortured with having to breathe through a mask while trying to enjoy our shopping. I didn’t get to see any smiles on my children’s faces… because their mouths were covered by a piece of cloth! My breathing became difficult, which caused an irregular heartbeat. All in all, instead of enjoying my time shopping, choosing gifts, and imbibing the pine atmosphere, I just wanted to get out and BREATHE!

Thankfully, I did get to see some smiles outdoors. Sophia still was able to pet the horses, and we found just the right tree thanks to Thomas’s keen eye.

Stay tuned for our tree decorating story. May God bless you and your loved ones.

Homeschool Day at The Wild Center

This past May, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY opened its doors to homeschoolers. Thanks to a generous grand from The Landon Family Foundation, homeschool students and their families were able to take advantage of free admission.

Below are some of pictures from our homeschool field trip day. One of the many perks of being a homeschool family is taking a day off from the books every now and then and enjoying the beautiful place that we call home.

indoors at the wild center

Indoors at the Center there is plenty to keep the entire family busy for most of the day. From encounters with live animals to a full theater to exhibits of fish, turtles, and other animal and plant species. There is also a small cafe and a gift shop.

outdoors at the wild center

Outdoors there are trails through the forest, a winding river, a pond, and the Wild Walk. You can walk among the treetops and take a picture in a giant sized eagle’s nest while seeing the Adirondacks from a birds-eye view.

books to share before heading out on your adventure

And, for our family, life isn’t complete without a book recommendation or two!

Some of our favorite books to read before heading out and enjoying nature are listed below. As always, picture books aren’t just for little ones! My older kids enjoy listening as well. I just can’t let them KNOW that I know they are liking them!

(All links are Amazon aff. links)

You almost certainly will get to see turtles on your visit to the Wild Center.
Kate Messner is a family favorite author We love her Ranger in Time series. Over and Under the Pond is another great book of hers.
A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,” A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip.
Teaching
valuable lessons about animals, nature and the environment, the stories feature favorite Burgess characters.