It has been such a long time since last summer when I created a year’s worth of Gathering Placemats for the 2019-2020 school year! My little idea to create simple placemats to share beautiful things with my kids was inspired by my desire to create a morning time routine that worked for us and didn’t make too much work for me! The original placemats were inspired by my kids love of reading the backs of cereal boxes.
Thus, as I sat down to start making the Gathering Placemats for the summer of 2020, I had all sorts of ideas of where to go with them. But it was my kids who once again inspired me and the result are these simple Gathering: Birds Placemats.
Can I share a story?
God blessed us with a beautiful second daughter almost 8 years ago and we named her Wren. She is quite a character – so full of giggles, flitting around the house, all the time laughing. A couple of months ago, my husband came home and shared a new song with us – he called it her song. All of us, every single one of us, fell instantly in love with it. The kids asked to listen to it daily (multiple times daily). It truly is SO good.
One day in May we were listening to the song before our Gathering and I mentioned that I would like to put it on the playlist for our June Gathering. The kids, in chorus, shouted, “YES!!”
From that one song, all the ideas started to flow so naturally that I just knew our Gathering for this month would be birds.
A Notable Change
If you have been following along with our Gatherings, you may notice this is a big change from all the previous Gathering Placemat sets. Usually, I follow a blend Charlotte Mason and Classical methods for schooling our kids and the placemats reflect that. But these new Gathering placemats lean more toward the nature study encouraged by Charlotte Mason. There are a few Classical things I just had to throw in there, but mostly CM here.
This means the placemats are evergreen. You can pick them up and use them for a unit study anytime you like. And I kind of like that idea.
I am considering some big changes in the Gathering Placemats for the upcoming school year. So, if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you!
One of the reasons the Gathering Placemats are so easy to implement into our day is the Spotify Playlists I create to go along with them. My kids truly begin to LOVE the music each month. It makes my heart happy to know they are being exposed to beautiful things and they like it.
Since this Gathering Playlist is the inspiration for the placemats, I truly hope you will take the time to listen for the song that inspired them! It is super easy to play the Gathering playlists using a free Spotify account. All you have to do is search for it on the Spotify app. Or if you have a smart home device, you can say, “Hey Google, play Gathering: Birds playlist on Spotify, please.”
Where to Get the Gathering: Birds?
Look for more Gathering placemats throughout the summer!
Gathering: Birds Extras
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I don’t have too many extras to throw your way. We have loved reading the Burgess Bird Book in the past couple of years and we have a few stories we haven’t read. So we will take the time to return to some of these as we can this month. Typically, as we read about the different birds, we look up videos of the birds or ask Google to play their calls.
I have enjoyed reading about the hymn writer for His Eye is on the Sparrow while creating these placemats. I always love reading Then Sings My Soul to learn more about the hymns.
My kids always enjoy looking through the Julia Rothman books we have on our shelves. Although she does not approach science from a a creationist viewpoint, her illustrations and diagrams are informative and fun for kids.