By Holly Giles
Early in my journey of parenthood, the outdoors became a respite for me and my newborn son. As a baby he was soothed by the breeze, the birds, and our backyard swing. I naturally assumed his growing curiosity for the outdoors was because we spent so much time in it. Alongside my son, I began to notice God’s beauty all around us that I never saw as a child. His curiosity became my own and together we watched butterflies emerge, viewed migrating birds, walked trails, and swam in springs.
As we ventured into schooling at home, my second son was born. In my quest for them to sit at a desk and fill in the blanks, I quickly realized that traditional learning was not the education plan God had in mind for our family. So we went back outside to the swing! Reading aloud became our curriculum, along with the bugs, dirt, and any local spot that could teach us something new. It was math at the farmer’s market, science at the boat ramp, and history at a state park. Our home education became a way of life, in the errands we ran, people we met, and opportunities that came our way.
Meeting families who were searching for a new path is what motivated me to start The Giles Frontier website. Sharing our daily successes and failures resonated with moms and so I turned our journey into my book, Blaze New Trails, to inspire families to blaze their own way! Home education can be much more than pen to paper. Educating at home gives us the choice to design lessons to fit our children. In our homeschool, we have become chicken keepers, pitiful gardeners, mud makers, and entrepreneurs. I have learned to hold flapping fish, identify birds, and have visited beautiful places in our state that I didn’t know existed. Life skills and real world experiences in these early years has provided my sons with knowledge far exceeding my expectations.
I wrote Blaze New Trails to inspire you to venture outside your front door and see where it leads. I show you how to use your family’s interests in a new way and how to cultivate your children’s passions into lessons of value. I share with you how God has used my children to educate me in following their passions and embracing life as the best lesson of all. I believe that the experiences, memories, and true education your children will receive from the adventures you take as a family will last a lifetime.
I invite you to join in on the adventures of Blaze New Trails and see where it leads you!
Holly Giles has been making her trail in homeschooling for seven years with her husband and two sons. Her family can be found in Florida’s great outdoors when the weather is good, either in a kayak, tent, or with a fishing pole. Holly loves to share her real life adventures of inspiration and frustration in her weekly posts at http://www.thegilesfrontier.com/.