Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals

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9781576360736: Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals
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A friendly guide written for amateur artists, writers and naturalists. Inspired by the nineteenth-century British educator Charlotte Mason, this approach to self-education combines careful observation of nature with the introspection of journal writing and the relaxing pleasure of watercolor. When used with children it can become a science or art curriculum. Anyone who is interested in journal writing will love it. Discovery journals are fun for all ages and are particularly rewarding for families and educators. It is a great hobby for parents and children to share together. The whole family is able to participate and learn together.

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From the Author:

Some days are wild days with ringing phones, buzzing doorbells, beeping microwaves, pagers and clocks. There are mounds of laundry and dishes and junk mail and bills to sort and process. There are places to be, appointments to keep, a list of things to do that lengthens twice for every item crossed off. Most of it has no meaning. It is the backlash of our efficient, industrialized society, where we try to do everything, all the time, every day. Picking up the dry-cleaning, rotating the tires on the car, returning the weekend videos. Yes, the logical mind argues, 'It must be done.' But how and when do we recharge our symbolic batteries and fill the empty recesses of our own hearts? These many details crowd out time for our own souls. We need time away from our hectic lives to live, to connect with ourselves, our world, our creator and one another. Where in our planners do we fit the nourishing, expansive delights of writing down our thoughts about life, of watching a spider build her web, of prayer, or of looking into the eyes of a child to find who lives there? So when days are wild, I grab a journal and pen and head out the door. I leave behind the phones and buzzers, beeps and lists. I tell my children and parents, friends or husband, "I'm going crazy; you come too." So we go to some wild place to watch the clouds, the river, the birds, the blossoms, the wildlife. It's like coming home. Home to the planet where I was born and where I grow. A place where my body can rest while my spirit soars. I have with me my loved ones, my thoughts, an open heart for discovery, and my journal to record my wild days. I bring my journal to capture these golden moments: the sudden stillness of a deer watching, the smell of rain in the pines, the songs of hidden birds, my bigger children helping the smaller ones to cross a stream, the taste of sun-filled wild blackberries. I record these in my journal in words and pictures. They will feed me on darker days.

About the Author:

Karen Skidmore Rackliffe has been a pioneer and a leader for fourteen years in the rapidly growing home school movement. She is a founder of the Salt Lake Home Educators Association and has been a leader in the Utah Home Educators Association. She is a popular lecturer for these organizations and also the Charlotte Mason Convention in Utah. Her articles on self-education have appeared in local, state and national newsletters and magazines. One of her articles was published in a book, Charlotte Mason Study Guide by Penny Gardner. She has been a featured guest on a talk radio show and her home school was featured in Utah Holiday Magazine in July 1991. Her favorite lecture topic is nature journals. She has a Bachelor's of Independent Studies with a double minor in English and Sociology from Brigham Young University. In connection with those degrees she did extensive research into how children learn. In 1978 she married William Rackliffe and they began the adventure of raising a family. Feeling a strong sense of duty and confidence, she decided to home school her children when the oldest was ready to start kindergarten. All seven of her children have been homeschooled with great success. (Her oldest has received a full-tuition four-year scholarship to Brigham Young University). Karen has also taught a variety of classes for children and parents in the community on science, nature, art, journal writing and watercolor. Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals is the result of years of research and experience teaching students of all ages about the earth, art, self-expression, journal writing, balance, spiritual fulfillment, and science. Active in several mother support groups, Karen also draws on the experience of other mothers and teachers who have tried discovery journals with joy and success.

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