Extended Deadline for Summer 2017 Magazine

Grove Dispatch: Ocean Tide Summer 2017 Magazine

Deadline Extended

The deadline for the Grove Dispatch Summer 2017 Magazine: Ocean Tide Expedition, has been extended from June 11th to June 18th. So if you are interested in sending in ocean themed projects with your homeschoolers, there is still time to get them completed and submitted.

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Free Download

You can also download a FREE short story writing guide for your homeschoolers in 5 STEPS TO WRITING A WILDLIFE SHORT STORY.

Let’s Work Together

If you have any questions or want to brainstorm some ideas, contact ashley@thepineconegrove.com or use one of these writing prompts:

  • A sea turtle hatches on the beach and must figure out how to get to the ocean.
  • The coral reef is in danger. A seahorse with the help of friends, works to make the reef healthy again.


30 Days of Blog 2017: Day 7

Summer Break or Homeschool?

Homeschool in the Summer: Yes or No?

I’ve been asked a lot lately when we will finish homeschooling for the year. Some schools in our area will end a couple weeks from now while others ended a couple weeks past. If I say our last day is July 31st and his first day will be August 1st I’m likely to hear: “kids need a summer vacation.” Maybe kids do need a break that are in public school. I know I did. School was always stressful for me. Too many tests, too much homework, and too much time lost in a day. I don’t know how finished anything let alone enjoyed hobbies.

Why I want to homeschool this summer.

Make Learning Way of Life!

Keeping my son from needing a 3 month break from learning is high on my priority list for homeschooling. Once a month, we seem to take a vacation. Sometimes we camp at state park and others we travel to Disney World for a week. During our stays there are lots of hikes, expeditions, workshops, aquariums, museums, and other experiences for learning. Every vacation is a field trip to me, and my son loves it. We make travel pages and do other types of journaling to record his favorite memories. I can’t wait for our next field trip (a.k.a vacation!) We live a homeschool lifestyle.

How I Answer:

Officially, my son’s “last day of homeschool” was March 31st. Unofficially however, we are not finishing homeschool for the year. Although this is his “kindergarten” year, I have been homeschooling my son since he read the word elephant at 18 months old. Everyday there is a chance to learn something. To create something. Experiencing life by living it is educational. One should enjoy learning. Learning should not be work or a chore. So yes, I will be homeschooling this summer. That means we will read books, we will go on field trips, we will have fun projects, we will ask questions and find answers. This summer will be our best summer yet.

Will you be homeschooling this summer?
Officially or Unofficially?

Thinking about homeschooling year round?
Here are The Benefits of Year Round Homeschooling (with free printable)
by Hip Homeschool Moms.

30 Days of Blog 2017: Day 2

Pocket Sale!

Good Evening Explorers! Over the years, I have been working to make Pinecone Grove products as earth friendly as possible. My nature inspired Pocket FieldCards™ have always been printed on 100% recycled paper produced by wind-power. This year, I have decided to make this tool even more earth friendly. On that note, I am happy to announce I will be launching Digital Nature Tools for Little Explorers! Now you’ll be able to download your products straight to your computer, tablet, or smart phone, paper-free. I still have some FieldCards™ in stock that are ready to ship. Pinecone Grove’s Pocket Sale includes shipping, so the price you see is the price you get. Below are the FieldCards™ and Collectable Cards currently available for the sale. No Coupon Necessary.

Pine Tree Lifecycle Pocket FieldCards™

3 Sets Available

Pine Tree Lifecycle FieldCards™
“Does your little explorer collect pinecones? If so, have they ever wondered how Pine Trees grow from the cones? This set illustrates the life cycle of pines. While hiking or exploring the forest, young explorers can identify local trees using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards describe each stage of the lifecycle. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pocket FieldCards™

2 Sets Available

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Pocket FieldCards™

“Has your little explorer seen any yellow or blue butterflies? They may be a butterfly known as the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. While hiking or exploring the garden, young explorers can identify local butterflies using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards depict the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly’s life cycle. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”

Northern Cardinal Pocket FieldCards™

1 Set Available

Northern Cardinal FieldCards™

“Has your little explorer noticed red birds with black masks flying across the backyard? Say hello to the territorial songbird called a Northern Cardinal. While bird watching from the porch or on the trail, young explorers can identify local birds using our Pocket FieldCards™. Additionally, these cards illustrate the areas where the Northern Cardinal is the State Bird. Because Pocket FieldCards™ are small, kids easily handle them indoors and out.”

Spring is in the Air: Cetch Collectable Card

23 Cards Available

Spring is in the Air: Cetch Cottontail Collectable Card

Cetch is a field cartographer for the expedition team, he reads and draws maps during treks so the team never gets lost. In the spring, he likes to bring along a handkerchief to thwart pesky pollen. This limited edition collectable card was designed to celebrate this little bunny’s birthday. On the front of the card is an original watercolor illustration of my Pinecone Grove character. On the back is Cetch’s scientific species name, occupation on our expedition team, and a short bio.

Shop the Pocket Sale Now!

3 Activities To Get Kids Outside This Season

3 Activities To Get Kids Outside This Season coming soon

Autumn is my favorite season. Hot apple cider, boots, scarves, gloves, pinecone and acorn hunting… there is just so much I love about Fall. My favorite autumn phenomenon however is the changing of the leaves. I can literally stay outside for hours and enjoy the beauty of colorful leaves on the tress, gently falling and floating on the autumn breeze. My son however sometimes need a little encouragement to get of his electronics or taking a break from his LEGO®️ and Plus-Plus®️ constructing.

If your child finds the chilly weather deterring, here are some activities that will tempt them to step outside and capture their curiosity in nature. Bonus for homeschoolers, you can make these activities a part of your school day!

Nature Challenge

This challenge is like a scavenger hunt, but instead of one find per item on a list, you and your child will hunt for the most of one specific item in a certain amount of time. It’s a race to see who can find the most yellow, orange, or red leaves. Then hunt again to see who can collect the most acorns, pinecones, or twigs. Use whatever seasonal nature scavenger items are in your area to inspire your child’s exploration of nature. This challenge can happen in your backyard, on a hike, or at the beach! Seashells, mermaid purses (which are actually shark eggs), and sea glass also make for a great nature challenge in tropical places year round. The Nature Challenge offers good exercise, lots of fun, and gives kids a reason to be outside for a while.

Draw a Map

In your yard, choose a starting place and an endpoint or vice versa and help your child map it out. You can have a cache for treasure or a time capsule for the next adventure at the map destination to make things more interesting. Point out a stump or other landmark as you go so your child can draw and write it on their map. Ask them if they notice any landmarks as well. Maybe you have a little creek near by or a bird bath they can use. A compass would make a great tool for this activity. They can learn how to determine where East and West are at home and show that on their map. For example, the cache is North of the stump and West of the bird bath. When they are finished mapping it all out they can add color, a key, or copy it for a treasure hunting party. There are so many ways to customize this activity, your child is sure to enjoy it.

Field Journal

Take a blank book and some creative tools on an expedition. When it comes to field journaling there is more than one way to do anything. Your child can draw what they see, mount leaves in their pages, or write about their experience. Let them observe with their eyes, hands, and magnifying lens. Sort the species they find by tree type, color, or size. Or cottontail tracks versus deer tracks. There are so many great ways to make Field Journaling fun. (This is another good homeschool activity for science lessons). Encourage your child to record their observations and experiences of the expedition in their field journals.  They can draw their findings in color, note measurements, and color data. Develop their writing and memory skills as they describe their expedition and leaves collected. Parents can join the fun too by field journaling together.

Share your autumn expeditions and activities with us on social media:
@Pinecone_Grove & #PGExpeditions