Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 2nd Grade :)

Wounds of a Friend

Dear Readers and Friends,

……May you be exhorted TODAY!
 
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
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Real friends tell us what we need to hear, not just what we like to hear. Compliments seem to be so easy to receive, but reproof never seems to feel very welcome. I think we tend to correct ourselves enough, and so we feel like we don’t need more from anyone else. However according to Proverbs 9:8, “reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” Ouch, that’s tough. I need to desire correction so much more than flattery!
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Are we willing to let friends speak hard to hear things? Do we have any friends who are willing to speak the truth in love to us? Sadly, those friends who speak “pretty words” and never the “painfully honest words” may actually be vain friends, there to get what they can out of the relationship, rather than true friends willing to say words that may wound, in hope that a friend may be restored in their path or relationship (nothing can be sweeter than this).
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“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6

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I pray that we realize who the honest friends in our lives are! I am thankful that God has been giving me friends who give and take earnest counsel, including hard to hear stuff, when necessary. For example, Danielle–a shining wise and gracious friend–has let me say so much over the years, and yet only seems to love me more (despite some of my fairly hideous deliveries, yikes). She has been a wonderful counselor in my life too. And of course, when you need someone to say it like it is, there is the honesty of sisters! We love each other most of all, and the conversations don’t get any more real and honest than the ones I have with my sis Tara. 🙂
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“A rebuke is kindness, it is oil for my head, let my head not refuse it.” Psalm 141:5
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Hmmmmm, kindness. Can we really say that we are anxious to have our faults pointed out? Have you ever asked a trusted friend what your blind spots and weaknesses are? In all likelihood, it could prove to be revealing.
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We are called to watch over each others souls as friends–which is no small task– and since we are all sinners saved by grace, we do need real friends who will give us real correction like sisters would, because we are after all, sisters in Christ. Iron sharpening iron is not always comfortable, but it is profitable as long as we don’t let friction severe relationship. Our purpose is to encourage each other day by day so that our hearts stay soft and do not fall away. Your spiritual journey and growth and encouragement are of utmost importance! Consider how very important our call to encouragement is:
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Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “TODAY,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13

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These verses tell us to exhort each other “daily,” because if we don’t, our hearts grow hard and then we become in danger of falling away from God (which includes falling away from community that nourishes us in the Lord too). So let us continue to be involved in each others lives, and encourage one another so that we don’t fall away.
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Superficial friendships often revolve around parties and pleasure, right?……..but true friendships, as exemplified in the Bible, stay together through serving and battling. You praying for me and encouraging me and serving with me is the sweetest oil of friendship, a very fragrant gift of God’s presence in my life.
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Sweet friendships refresh the soul, and awaken our hearts with joy, for the counsel of good friends is like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. Proverbs 27:9

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XO Lynn

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March, April, and May Pictures

Faithy and the spring flowers at Markham Nature Park

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We found some Wooly Bear Caterpillars on the trail at Regency Dr. and took 3 fuzzy guys home. We fed them cut-leaf geranium weeds (by Faithy’s trial and error method to find a food they would eat), they ate constantly for weeks, and then just stopped one day and wouldn’t eat another bite. That was probably two months ago now and we have since moved them to the garage because they won’t eat nor will they make a cocoon nor will they die. We check on them every couple weeks and they are still just hanging out. 🙂

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Wooly Bear eating cut-leaf geranium, and a green caterpillar eating Buckeye leaves. The spring nature experiences and memories of childhood held forever dear in our Nature Journals.

Ohhh, we should draw these beauties next March when they bloom at Markham

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Our baby praying mantis meets himself in Noah’s nature journal!

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My Winslow Homer painting of ‘The Canoe’

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Science time–making a thermometer

Can you draw some (processed) food that comes from plants?

Too cute Miss Ingalls

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Love my itty bitty bouquets

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A very busy Buds and Beans page in our Nature Journal. We grew a bean seed in a glass jar with no soil so we could see root growth, and recorded the growth process of the plant over the span of a couple weeks.

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Fun just to be a preschooler

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I love my “flowers” from my preschooler (all school year)

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Mommy Faith and Baby Nora

 

 

…….but still just Baby Faith sometimes

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Love our spelling routine.

  1. Read the next story in the Pathway readers (love, love, love these books) to mommy. Study 3 new words from the story, as listed in the back of the reader, until memorized. Close the book and spell out all three words using wooden letters.

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2. Open the book and check the spelling of the words, fix any mistakes as needed. (Faith has more fixin’ to do as she just started spelling this year. Yes, that is “buggy” and “grandmother” that she spelled there.)

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3. Clean up the letters (or mix ’em up) and hand write all 3 words in ‘My Word Book’ (notebooks that contain a personal collection of words that belong to the kids now because they can read and spell them, yay!). Open the reader and check one more time to make sure that everything was spelled correctly. By this time the kids usually know their words for sure! Just to make sure though, I quiz the review words on a subsequent day at spelling time (more Noah than Faith at this point).

4. Review time then leads into pre-test time to find the next three spelling words. After the last review word, I read aloud the next word from the list in the back of the book, and my child spells it to me (best guess); if its spelled incorrectly it is assigned as a spelling word, if its spelled correctly it can be skipped. Sometimes we go through 10 new words in order to find 3 that Noah can’t spell, where little Faith usually can’t spell any new words. So the pretest is usually skipped for her, but it is very useful for Noah, my more experienced speller. After the pretest, its back to step 1! We do spelling this way about 3 times a week for a total of 9 words or so a week.

As Charlotte Mason students typically delay formal spelling instruction, next year will be the first “official” year of spelling instruction for Noah, and so its onto Miss Mason’s tried and true method (although new to us): dictation! He and I are looking forward to it; I think he will be well prepared.

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Ah, the simplicity of a virtually no routine preschool day

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Trip to a favorite spot, The Lord’s Land

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Tea time for Faith and Mommy, oh and penguins too. She “planned it.”

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Spring Cleaning (I think the only spring cleaning we did was clean out the pantry)

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Easter dolls

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Easter Garden Basket 2017, with moss brought home from the Lord’s Land, and other shade loving plants

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Reading the Bible to Daniel

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This is the Bible Faith reads to herself every morning now, and with great tenacity is teaching herself how to read from the Word of God. So proud of you Faithy girl.

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Faithy’s Lizzy that she was sooooo thrilled to catch herself, so we just had to keep him

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Spring garden time (nothing ever came up in our winter garden)

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Noah’s pretty cool tree seeds Nature Journal pages (from last fall, just got around to finishing)

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Tartan Day at Ardenwood Historic Farms; Faithy was eager to see the queen because she wants to be one someday 🙂

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Weeding at grandmas, phew!

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Daddy’s never failing gesture of love upon arriving home, done with each little one through the years

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Praying and singing some hymns for the elderly with cousins around Mother’s Day was sweet

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Mothers Day handprint cards from the kids and daddy

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A forever keepsake: Noah writes his first poem……to me

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And of course, springtime hiking…..

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Sunol Regional Wilderness

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Father Noah. Daniel will go go go as long as Noah is holding his hand. He has really attached to Noah lately.

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I adore you little man

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Practicing capitals (a rare event here)

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Noah with his Roman face and Roman city map (an imaginary city plan), inspired by the book City by David Macauley

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Spring camping trip to Big Sur was cold but beeeeautiful

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Our second backyard cherry harvest (30 cherries)

Faithy and me, in the garden with tea. XOXOX

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Memorial Day at Pixieland

Cherry picking at a cherry farm- 13 pounds! We gobble cherries.

Staying cool at “daddy’s” pool (before all the other kids get out of school) 🙂

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May Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Bugs and Butterflies

Seasonal Theme: Spring and Mother’s Day

Character/Habit: Encouragement, Praise and Worship; Study the Gospel Message

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

Science/Nature Study: 106 Days of Creation/Nature Journals

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog (for extra ideas)

Picture study: Winslow Homer

Composer Study: Mozart

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Character/Habit Development:

Stewardship StreetOur Service board show kids what their daily assignments are. Noah is the green markers and Faith is the red markers (clay shaped into hearts).

  • Read Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. Working on this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (8) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Circle Time:

Promise and Blessing Time: Use God’s promise in Psalm 103 to command our souls to praise the Lord:Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” Also take a minute in circle time to verbally build our children up with spoken blessings.

  • Awesome praise! God inhabits your praise!
  • God delights in the sound of your voice _______.
  • You are doing damage to the kingdom of the enemy with your mighty weapon of praise!
  • _______’s worship in spirit and in truth is beautiful.
  • God loves your joyful noise!

Prayer Time:

Discussion Time:

  • Choose one person a day to go in the middle of our encouragement circle so that everyone else can speak lovely, thoughtful, personalized words of encouragement over that person’s life. Write them down as they are spoken and make keepsakes out of them.
  • Take a few moments to share verbally (and/or with a hand drawn picture) how we each have been blessed during this school year; rejoice in God’s goodness.
  • Bless and pray over each other’s futures as graduation approaches
  • Why do we worship? God is worthy. (Psalm 18:3, Psalm 33:1, Psalm 96:7-9, Psalm 145:3, Philippians 2:9-11) We were created to worship. (1 Peter 2:9, Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Revelation 7:9-12)
  • How do we worship? In spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24, Psalm 95:1-7)
  • Read out Psalms of praise such as 8, 29, 34, 40, 63, 92, 103, and 147 on various days.
  • Teach and practice commanding our souls to praise the Lord no matter how we feel. (see intro at top of this lesson plan)
  • Teach the children about the different ways people praised and worshiped God in the Bible. Let them know that there are many ways to express our thanksgiving and love towards God. The following are a few examples and scriptures that talk about praise and worship in the Bible:

TOWDAH- TO SACRIFICE – Psalms 50:23 YADAH-

TO LIFT YOUR HANDS- 2 Chronicles 20:19-21

BARAK- TO KNEEL OR BOW – Psalms 95:6

SHABACH- TO SHOUT – Ezra 3:11

ZAMAR- TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT – Psalms 150/1 Chron. 15:16

HALAL – TO RAVE AND BOAST – Psalms 44:8

TEHILLAH- SINGING IN THE SPIRIT – Psalm 22:3

  • Focus on growing in/practicing some of our more neglected areas of praise listed above
  • Let the Spirit move and allow children to minister. Let children share by asking them what they are thinking, feeling, hearing, or seeing. (My kids love to say what they are picturing when I ask.) Write down what they say or sing or see as the Spirit gives it.
  • Practice waiting silently in His presence. “Be still and know that I am God.”
  • When we are faced with hard times and tough issues that are beyond our control, instead of grumbling and complaining or being anxious, which hinders us from entering into God’s presence and steals our peace and joy, our goal is to learn to choose to rejoice in the Lord and enter into praise and worship. Make a list of complaints. Praise with all our might. Tear up the list when we feel that God has taken our burdens and heaviness has lifted.

 

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Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, read Jesus Calling devotionals, pray and worship. Together time: Read Over the Edge devotional, worship acapella and with guitar, pray using the prayer wall.
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Matthew-Acts in my ESV Study Bible this year
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

  • Review May verses from previous years:
    • Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
    • “My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him. ” Psalms 28:7
    • “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
    • “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

 

 Hymns:

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Lovely hymns are full of more truth than many sermons (2nd and 3rd verses are often especially theologically deep), and can imprint precious truths on our hearts.

In the Garden

Sheet Music

Holy, Holy, Holy!
Sheet Music

Revisit many hymns in our hymn book that we have learned over the years

Poetry Recitation:

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Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: scripture promises, written letters, mothers day cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books, spelling words, poem hymn, or memory verse copy work.
  • Hand write new reading words from Pathway readers. (Faith)
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah studies, word builds, hand writes, and recites the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. Faith will practice working towards spelling as well this year through the same process. Noah doesn’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

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Faith practices reading to me this year from the first books in the Pathway series.

Vocabulary:

Most new words are learned naturally in conversation and through read alouds as words in question arise, but I also have Noah look and define up a word a week in his Vocabulary (& Spelling) Notebook to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 Edition - By: Noah Webster

Literature Read Alouds:

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The Children’s Life of the Beesd

Insect fables, like The Grasshopper and the Ants, in:

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History and Geography:

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  • 5 lessons a week from SCM’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome. Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his ‘His Story’ sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

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  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to Europe lesson plan book

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  • Do a few lessons from Home Geography (didn’t happen last year so we will try again!)

We loved reading about David Livingston from this series last year, so this year we plan on reading 3 more Christian hero biographies. (these definitely could be categorized as Character Development books as well)

Math:

Lessons are from Kathy Richardson’s math books and AL Math Card Games:

Understanding Geometry Book

Exploration Time: In the morning just before school, provide pattern blocks, unifix cubes, building blocks, tangrams, geoboards, tiles, pattern blocks, etc. for free exploration of math materials. What can you do with these materials? What did you notice? What did you have to do in order to make it? Try to observe while they are working, and sometimes make a comment about what you observe. When children need a suggestion ask, “I wonder if….” or “Do you think it would work to….?” or “Do you have another idea?,” so that they feel free to decide on their own.

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes once a week during math lessons to practice instant recognition of number combinations. Use homemade “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Hold up a card and say, “Tell me fast. How many?” Sometimes ask, “How did you know?” (Cause there is a four and a three, and that’s seven) When recognizing groups of more than five easily, child will have to mentally combine the smaller groups that make up the larger ones.

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Mental Math: Everyday start or end each lesson with 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that required the students to do mental calculations with math concepts they have already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Build a multiplication table out of beans. Pages 123-150 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book; Kahn Academy free online math; Multiplication Math Card Games

Faith’s Lessons:

Just as Noah did in Kinder, Faith has been working on a “Number Book,” which is simply a small blank book in which she records addition and subtraction facts for numbers 4-10. For example, on the “7” page, she has recorded 0+7, 2+5, 3+4, 1+6, and has drawn pictures or cubes or any type of counter to represent the equations. As far as addition facts go, her book is pretty much completed at this point, but she still needs lots more hands on practice for memorizing the facts. So after each hands on addition lesson for the day, I ask her to refer back to her Number Book to confirm whether her new (or not so new) discovery (like 2+5=7), has been recorded yet. Even if that particular addition fact has already been recorded, she is getting much needed review by looking back in her book, and she often gets the chance to see a new variation of the same fact (maybe 2+5=7 is a number shape this time, or a cube train, or hand drawn animals, etc.; lots of variation helps kids think flexibly about numbers). I think learning addition and subtraction simply with hands on manipulatives and a blank book can really result in an invested math experience as kids learn to investigate and record their own research.

Number Shape Arrangements (p 87)

Put out several shape cards (we do just one number at a time). Children arrange counters of two colors on the shape card to make different addition combinations, and then record their discoveries with written equations and colored pencil drawings (we do a blank book instead of a worksheet). For subtraction, children fill the whole shape with one color and then take off some (the resulting empty squares of number shapes are helpful for young kids trying to grasp the concepts of subtraction).

Go to the Dump (p.24 in MCG)) Repetition for memorizing facts to 10 (addition and subtraction)

Grow and Shrink (p 28) Children roll a 1-6 number cube and place the appropriate number of counters on working space paper (paper with 10 dots to place counters on). Children roll again, then verbalize (and write) how many counters will need to be added or subtracted in order to change the first rolled number into the second rolled number. For example, child rolls a six, and puts out six counters. Then child rolls a four, so he says ” I need to take away two” and also write “-2″ on a slip of paper. Then roll again to keep adding or subtracting from whatever number is on the paper. Use two working space papers if there are too many counters to fit, or say “not enough” if taking away more counters than what is left on the paper is required.

Number Arrangements: Cube Squares (79) Using unifix cubes, can you make a square? What numbers makes a square and which don’t? (4 and 9 do) Could have children record their arrangements by gluing down small squares of paper on 6″x 9″ pieces of paper in the same way they arranged the cubes.

Number Arrangements: Using Toothpicks (p 82) Have the children use toothpicks to create a variety of arrangements for their number of the day. Have children make recordings by gluing toothpicks onto 6″ x 9″ pieces of paper to match their arrangements. Children an also label recordings with equations that describe the parts of their number arrangements.

Building and Rebuilding (p98) Fold a large piece of paper into 4 sections to use as a working space. Choose a number of the day. Children use one type of counter and build a different design to represent the number in each section of their paper. Then they write a number sentence for each design. When the children have finished, remove the counters. Then they reread the number sentences, and build designs to match, this time using a different type of counter.

Instant Recognition of Number Shapes (p118) Hold up blank number shapes and ask children to describe any number combinations they see.

Number Shapes or Number Trains Using Spinners (p 90) Make a +/- spinner. Choose a number of the day, provide that number shape/number train, and unifix cubes. If child spins +, roll number cube to see how many of one color cube to place on the number shape. Then child fills in rest of shape with another color and records the equation (can use Number Shapes Equation Worksheet). If spinner lands on -, child fills in number shape with one color cube, then rolls the number cube to see how many counters to take off, and records the equation.

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

Spanish has ended for this year but we hope to continue with Miss Maria’s class next year. The kids had a great year of spanish (finally)!

Videos:

Reading Rainbow, Moody Science Classics, BBC’s Planet nature shows are what we primarily rotate through at Family Movie Night on Fun Friday. We love all 3!

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Mother’s day and father’s day hand print cards

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Pattycakeart.com hand print art

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Paint Butterflies
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Pick Cherries

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Hand raise a butterfly

 
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 Kids help and plan a Mother’s Day Tea for neighbors, grandma, or just mommy
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The kids love to do color mixing every year, and then make lots of paintings to decorate the house
 
 
 
 Requests for the Last Day of School: swimming and popsicles!
Berry Bliss Rocket Popsicles | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

 

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Fieldtrips:

  • The butterfly garden at Coyote Hills Regional Park and/or The Bird and Butterfly Festival there
  • The creek at Round Valley Creek
  • Little Yosemite Hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness
  • Monet exhibit at Legion of Honor
  • Cataract Falls in Tamalpais

 

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A Eulogy for my Dad

My dad went home to Jesus on March 8th, 2017. We will miss you so much grandpa.

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My dad was tough as nails. He got a root canal with no anesthesia; he worked out 3 times a week during chemo. When he had cancer, I heard him fearlessly say, “I’m gonna be fine. I’ll get better,” and I never did hear a word of doubt. His eyes didn’t even have a flicker of fear. His words of faith were so believable that I forgot to be afraid for my dad and his health. He didn’t preach much, but his life exuded the message, “fear not,” and it made its mark on me. Much of the strength of faith that I have came from watching his living example of faith, and literally “forgetting to be afraid.” I always admired how he could strike up a conversation with anybody and made friends wherever he hung out. He was not afraid to be himself, that’s for sure.

But the memory of my dad that will remain with me most is him and his love of gardens. We thought we had died and gone to the country when he moved us out to Alamo and its acreage. My dad sacrificed a lot to get us on that land, and once he did, he worked it until it produced. Farmer John, as my mom called him, could grow the tastiest green beans, tomatoes, and corn on the cob. The joy of summer gardening, being in God’s creation there, with my daddy, are some of my sweetest childhood memories. I will always remember those summer nights in the warm rosy glow of twilight, with my dad harvesting in the field as my sister and I waded waist deep in the grass and fox tails collecting ladybugs….. That is the romantic part of the story at least, but I know there was much weeding, and planting, and fertilizing, and watering, and waiting in order for that sweet mouth watering cob of corn to magically appear on my dinner plate. Unfortunately, I think my sister and I did more bug collecting and frolicking than helping. 🙂 However, our joy was the fruit of his work. My dad was a hard worker– he worked by the sweat of his brow and he was a man who was never afraid to get dirty. There is something about a man who stays close to the dirt; he stays down to earth. In Eden I imagine God himself on His knees, with his hands in the dirt, fashioning man out of the dust of the earth.

My dad came down to earth in his garden, but I think he also ascended heavenward in his garden too. It was in a garden after all where God decided to first place man and then walk and talk with him in the cool of the night. I believe my dad loved gardening so much because it made him feel close to God and know Him better. One of his favorite songs was a hymn called I Come to the Garden Alone (he loved gospel songs with an old country twang). The Bible is rich with agricultural parables, which are understood on one level when read, but a whole other level when experienced. My dad read the parables in his Bible and experienced the parables in his garden–the principles of seed, time, and harvest; God as our gardener; Jesus as the Vine–in a way that made spiritual truths brim with meaning.

I think he would wish you to know and cherish some of these truths today as well: That God the gardener is intimately and constantly involved in tending the soil of your heart, for you were made to know Him in an Eden like intimacy of friendship. That God still has His hands in the dirt for your sake, taking the refuse of your mistakes and composting them into fertilizer for His garden kingdom. That as a gardener God delights in the beauty and fruit and fragrance of your life lived for Him; He even wants to invite others to come and taste and see that the He is good through the delectable goodness of your life. (Psalm 34:8) And that God invites all of us to join Him in His gardening work and help tend the soil of each others hearts as we nurture each other in the faith.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” (Gen 2:15) Like this scripture in Genesis, our God is still inviting us to till and keep His garden today. May we drop seeds of truth into the open soul of a child, an unloved neighbor, or a lost loved one, which shall in its time, germinate, blossom and bear fruit, with the watering of the Holy Spirit. I know my dad is now in the beautiful garden of paradise, walking and talking with his Creator, and that thought brings me great joy. Someday I hope we will all meet him there, but in the meantime, let us remember to encounter our Maker in the secret garden of friendship–for just as my dad found, we too shall find “that the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

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I love you dad. XOXOXO

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January and February Pictures

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February 26th, 2017– Noah’s water baptism was eagerly attended by grandpa and will always be remembered as a very special day.

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Regency Gate hike trying to get up to the waterfalls was a really beautiful hike along the creek (we went 5 miles; almost made it to the falls, but not quite) 🙂

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Little guy learning to climb the climbing wall

Making some fun experiences for our preschooler–homemade play dough

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We found another praying mantis egg case, they hatched in our jar, and now we are attempting to raise one little guy by feeding him aphids.

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Naoh’s catapult prompted some fun new ideas with time elapse and slo-mo video making

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Faithy math–memorizing addition and subtraction facts by recording her research in a blank book

A well timed new cash register for Noah prompts some imaginative and mathematical play

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106 Days of Creation Science has been so delightful for everyone (and we are only on day 16!)

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A hike at Castle Rock in the rain with cousins and aunty, ephemeral waterfalls, and an exciting impasse over the trail

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Little Laura Ingalls in her prairie dress

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Noah and Faiths Prayer Journals are a blessing (What Would Jesus Do? devotional has provided prayer prompts on some days, other days are free writes)

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Daddy built us our first fire at home

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Morning Chores in Jammas

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Air Pressure Experiment

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Float and Sink Experiment was a Hit

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Snow Play Day for Noah in Tahoe

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A Valentines Extravaganza!

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Noah’s written narrations, and his scripture promise for the school year

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Castle Rock, another beautiful hike in the rain with ephemeral waterfalls coming down the hills

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A Chocolate Milkshake with banana, avocado, coconut milk, stevia, etc. was yummy

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A Cameo for Bubs 🙂

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The School Table on any given day

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Forcing blooms to bring a pretty bit of spring indoors and provide easy nature study

Happy 8th birthday Noah!!! My Precious Little Lamb is getting so big.

He loves to make his own cake.

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Noah’s His Story book

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March Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Easter

Seasonal Theme: Spring

Character/Habit: Helpful, Useful, Productive, Hardworking, Good Steward, Responsible

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

Science/Nature Study: 106 Days of Creation/Nature Journals

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Parent Study:

Image result for the fruitful wifeImage result for the GOd I never knewImage result for Love and Respect

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

Image result for winslow homer watercolors Cikovsky, Nicolai

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Winslow Homer

Composer Study: Mozart

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Character/Habit Development:

Stewardship StreetOur Service board show kids what their daily assignments are. Noah is the green markers and Faith is the red markers (clay shaped into hearts).

  • Read Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. Working on this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (8) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Circle Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

Use God’s promise in Philippians 2:14-16 to confess regularly over each other:Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world  as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

Also take a minute in circle time to verbally build our children up with spoken blessings.

  • Awesome job, ________! You are persisting in doing good!
  • It makes us feel so good to work hard and finish a big job.
  • I noticed you have been a faithful steward over  ___________.
  • You are such a big help in this family!
  • You are shining like a star in the universe as you serve without complaining.

(With each bullet above, try to include specific examples of obedience observed in each child as well)

Prayer Time:

  • Today, repent. Be aware of the sins that crucified Him. Write them down…..ingratitude, unbelief, envy, pride. Feel your need for a Savior. Burn up the confessions. Feel the emancipation of salvation. You are dead to the old you. Know that your sins are no more. You are a new creation.

 Discussion Time:

  • Read a chapter a day together

  • Use Helper Assessment periodically throughout the month
  • Who can you help? What could you help with when you were younger? What can you help with now that you are bigger? Share memorials of God’s goodness (pictures, slideshow, or movie of little helpers helping out through the years).
  • The Ants and the Grasshopper “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6
  • Work While You Work “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Colossians 3:23, “No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24
  • Dust Under the Rug “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” Luke 16:10
  • The Week of Sundays “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man; he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.” Proverbs 21:17
  • The Sheep and the Pig (contrast with the Little Red Hen) “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • Which Loved Best? “Let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth” 1 John 3:18
  • Beautiful Hands “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • RebeccaThere is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Ecclesiastes 2:24
  • King Alfred and the Cakes (scroll up a few pages) “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2
  • For Want of a Horseshoe Nail (little duties neglected bring great downfalls)
  • The Husband who was to Mind the House (respect the hard work others do) “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, (especially those who have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction!), and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
  • Mother Holly Do you only work if you know there will be a reward? “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
  • Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” –John Wesley

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Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, read Jesus Calling devotionals, pray and worship. Together time: Read Over the Edge devotional, worship acapella and with guitar, pray using the prayer wall.
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Matthew-Acts in my ESV Study Bible this year
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Isaiah 61:1-4

Review previous March verses:

  • “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5
  • “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
  • “Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13
  • “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

 Hymns:

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Lovely hymns are full of more truth than many sermons (2nd and 3rd verses are often especially theologically deep), and can imprint precious truths on our hearts.

And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?

Sheet Music

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Sheet Music

We add in Chris Tomlin’s chorus:

Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
All who gather here by grace, draw near and bless Your name

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Sheet Music

Amazing Grace
Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

Love Between Brothers and Sisters
(by Isaac Watts)

Whatever brawls disturb the street,
There should be peace at home;
Where sisters dwell, and brothers meet,
Quarrels should never come.

Birds in their little nests agree;
And ’tis a shameful sight,
When children of one family
Fall out, and chide, and fight.

Hard names at first, and threat’ning words,
That are but noisy breath,
May grow to clubs and naked swords,
To murder and to death.

The devil tempts one mother’s son
To rage against another:
So wicked Cain was hurry’d on
‘Till he had kill’d his brother.

The wise will make their anger cool,
At least before ’tis night;
But in the bosom of a fool
It burns till morning-light.

Pardon, O Lord, our childish rage
Our little brawls remove;
That, as we grow to riper age,
Our hearts may all be love.

Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: scripture promises, written letters, Valentines cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books, spelling words, poem hymn, or memory verse copy work.
  • Hand write new reading words from Pathway readers. (Faith)
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah studies, word builds, hand writes, and recites the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. Faith will practice working towards spelling as well this year through the same process. Noah doesn’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

Faith practices reading to me this year from the first books in the Pathway series.

Vocabulary:

Most new words are learned naturally in conversation and through read alouds as words in question arise, but I also have Noah look and define up a word a week in his Vocabulary (& Spelling) Notebook to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 Edition - By: Noah Webster

Literature Read Alouds:

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Illustrated Hedge of Thorns, TheIllustrated True Princess, The

Bird's Nest, The

 

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History and Geography:

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  • 5 lessons a week from SCM’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome. Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his ‘His Story’ sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

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  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to Europe lesson plan book

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  • Do a few lessons from Home Geography (didn’t happen last year so we will try again!)

We loved reading about David Livingston from this series last year, so this year we plan on reading 3 more Christian hero biographies. (these definitely could be categorized as Character Development books as well)

Math:

Lessons are from Kathy Richardson’s math books and AL Math Card Games:

Understanding Geometry Book

Exploration Time: In the morning just before school, provide pattern blocks, unifix cubes, building blocks, tangrams, geoboards, tiles, pattern blocks, etc. for free exploration of math materials. What can you do with these materials? What did you notice? What did you have to do in order to make it? Try to observe while they are working, and sometimes make a comment about what you observe. When children need a suggestion ask, “I wonder if….” or “Do you think it would work to….?” or “Do you have another idea?,” so that they feel free to decide on their own.

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes once a week during math lessons to practice instant recognition of number combinations. Use homemade “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Hold up a card and say, “Tell me fast. How many?” Sometimes ask, “How did you know?” (Cause there is a four and a three, and that’s seven) When recognizing groups of more than five easily, child will have to mentally combine the smaller groups that make up the larger ones.

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Mental Math: Everyday end each lesson with 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that required the students to do mental calculations with math concepts they have already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 123-150 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book; Kahn Academy free online math; Multiplication Math Card Games

Faith’s Lessons:

Just as Noah did in Kinder, Faith has been working on a “Number Book,” which is simply a small blank book in which she records addition and subtraction facts for numbers 4-10. For example, on the “7” page, she has recorded 0+7, 2+5, 3+4, 1+6, and has drawn pictures or cubes or any type of counter to represent the equations. As far as addition facts go, her book is pretty much completed at this point, but she still needs lots more hands on practice for memorizing the facts. So after each hands on addition lesson for the day, I ask her to refer back to her Number Book to confirm whether her new (or not so new) discovery (like 2+5=7), has been recorded yet. Even if that particular addition fact has already been recorded, she is getting much needed review by looking back in her book, and she often gets the chance to see a new variation of the same fact (maybe 2+5=7 is a number shape this time, or a cube train, or hand drawn animals, etc.; lots of variation helps kids think flexibly about numbers). I think learning addition and subtraction simply with hands on manipulatives and a blank book can really result in an invested math experience as kids learn to investigate and record their own research.

Number Shape Arrangements (p 87)

Put out several shape cards (we do just one number at a time). Children arrange counters of two colors on the shape card to make different addition combinations, and then record their discoveries with written equations and colored pencil drawings (we do a blank book instead of a worksheet). For subtraction, children fill the whole shape with one color and then take off some (the resulting empty squares of number shapes are helpful for young kids trying to grasp the concepts of subtraction).

Go to the Dump (p.24 in MCG)) Repetition for memorizing facts to 10 (addition and subtraction)

Complex Addition and Subtraction Stories (p32) Have children act out equalizing, missing addend, and comparative addition and subtraction stories.

  • Equalizing–Mark has six bowls, Carrie has 4. How many more will Carrie have to make to have the same number as Mark.
  • Missing Addend–Mark has six bowls. He needs 10. How many more does he need to get? OR Mark has 8 bowls now because he got 2 for his birthday. How many did he have before his birthday?
  • Comparative Subtraction–Mark has 6 bowls and Carrie has 4. How many more does Mark have than Carrie?

Race to Ten (p34) Use a 1-6 number cube, working space papers, and a “+/-” spinner. Take turns spinning to determine whether to add or subtract, and rolling to see how many counters to add or subtract. First person to reach 10 exactly wins. If there aren’t enough counters to subtract what is shown on the cube, the person loses their turn. If a person reaches a number higher than 10, use another working space paper.

Writing Stories to Go With Equations (p30) Write an equation, and model how to write a corresponding word problem. Children can then try writing a word problem of their own and make a drawing to illustrate the equation (that you provide).

Number Arrangements Using Cubes (p78) Have children make cube arrangements (into a simple design) for the number of the day, and talk about what number combinations they see in the arrangement.

Describing a Number By Its Parts (p 56) You and your child both make a cube train of a specified length (pick the right size number for your child). Give the signal “snap”, and both of you break your train into two parts any way you like. Take turns determining the number combination in each others hands (“3 and 2″ or “1 and 4″ for a train of 5 for example). For numbers greater than 6, say how many cubes to break off, give child time to determine the combination, and then ask, “How many?” The next level to this activity is for each person to keep one hand behind his/her back, and have your partner predict how many cubes are hidden. Then check predictions.

Plus and Minus Train (p 35) Make 2 game boards with the outline of cube train 2o cubes long. Each player puts 20 cubes on a game board. The goal is to be the first to completely clear his or her board. Each player rolls a 1-6 number cube (dice) and spins a spinner with minus sign on one side and plus sign on the other to see how many cubes to add or take off. Players lose a turn if they have to add more cubes than there are spaces available.

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We are meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish through music and art! What a blessing! We wanted to succeed with this book but we struggled last year with it.

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Videos:

Reading Rainbow, Moody Science Classics, BBC’s Planet nature shows are what we primarily rotate through at Family Movie Night on Fun Friday. We love all 3!

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Chalk Pastel Birds Nest

Make spring cleaning a family effort as we practice being helpers and learn new life skills!

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Observe and draw spring buds opening

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Plan a Family Passover Seder 

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Make an Easter Garden Basket and use it during a family worship night on Good Friday. We put in a clay tomb, a cross made of sticks, symbolic objects (butterfly, birds eggs), a path, tea lights, and sometimes little woodland bunnies just for fun.

Year 1

Year 1

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Year 2

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Year 3

 

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Year 4 and 5 We were able to use one of the succulents that was in Noah’s Year 1 basket. We hadn’t touched it in years, and it thrived and survived anyway. So now it has a special place in our hearts as it reminds us of little Noah and that sweet first year of homeschool when he was 3.

Help out in the neighborhood

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Field trips:

  • Visit ponds, lagoons, and soggy places to look for playful salamanders and other signs of California Spring.
  • Waterfall loop hike at Mount Diablo St Park (??)
  • Look for frog eggs at Round Valley creek in Brentwood
  • Find ephemeral waterfalls in various hiking spots such as Castle Rock
  • Find daffodils and other signs of spring!

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February Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Valentines

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Love and Friendship, Kindness

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

Science/Nature Study: 106 Days of Creation/Nature Journals

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Parent Study:

Image result for the GOd I never knewImage result for Love and Respect

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

Image result for winslow homer watercolors Cikovsky, Nicolai

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Winslow Homer

Composer Study: Mozart

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Character/Habit Development:

Stewardship StreetOur Service board show kids what their daily assignments are. Noah is the green markers and Faith is the red markers (clay shaped into hearts).

  • Read stories “Flowers for Mother” p. 42 and “Beth’s New Shoes” p.124
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. Working on this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (8) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Circle Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

Use God’s promise in Ephesians 4:29 to confess regularly over each other: “Let no corrupting talk come out of _____‘s mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Also take a minute in circle time to verbally build our children up with spoken blessings.

  • You have such a kind heart, ________.
  • Thank you for thinking of ________ (name the recipient of your child’s kindness), instead of yourself, ________.
  • Did you know God delights when He sees kindness (Jeremiah 9:24)? I bet He is happy right now.
  • ________, thank you for choosing not to pay back wrong for wrong.

(With each bullet above, try to include specific examples of obedience observed of each child as well)

Prayer Time:

  • Continue Praying for people of the nations, especially places we learn about in history/geography studies. Use the children’s book, Window on the World:When we Pray God Works, to inform us about people groups and provide prayer points.
  • Use our Prayer Wall to help us pray for current/urgent needs (on the chalkboard), as well as our family (slips of paper with all the promises we have stood on over the years), the world (slips of paper with the names of the countries we have studied in geography so far), and our loved ones (slips of paper with the names of friends and extended family).
  • Use scripture guided parent’s prayers and kid’s prayers to intercede for God’s help in the area of kindness
  • Use Instructions in Righteousness by Doorposts to help identify and attack selfishness and contention–two major roadblocks in siblings forming true friendship–using scripture. Also offers scriptural ideas for  rewards for generosity and peace making, and punishments for selfishness and arguing.

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 Discussion Time:

  • Definitions: Kindness–friendly regard shown toward another, Courtesy–behavior marked by respect for and consideration of others, Manners–social rules of conduct shown in the prevalent customs
  • “No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” –Amelia Earhart
  • This would be a great month to get familiar with the booklet, “The Brother-offended Checklist,” by Doorposts, and post its corresponding chart in the house.

  • “A young man should be more polite to his own sister that to any other young woman under heaven; and a young woman should ever turn to her brother as the one nearest in all this world to her until a husband stands by her side. Brothers and sisters are each other’s natural keepers. They should shield each other. They should be an inspiration to each other in the direction of all noble thought and better life. They should be each other’s guardian angels in this world of danger and of false and fatal paths.” –JR miller
  • Read online some of George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior (and use some for copywork)
  • Show these moving videos on various days as a source of inspiration:
  • Read:
  • A courteous person is gracious, always looking for kind things to say. Discuss how it can be much easier to complain than encourage. When things are wrong, we complain. However, when things are sunny and bright, we forget to express our thanks. What would it be like if we looked for things going right and thank those around us for their part? Meditate on Ephesians 4:29 together.
  • Make and use kindness flags
  • Brainstorm a list of ways to show kindness to siblings and try to do one each day. To follow up, on the following days at circle time, have children point out how they noticed each other being kind, so boasting can be avoided (and thankful encouragement can be practiced!).
  • Administer a fun quiz to figure out your kids love languages
  • The story of the relationship between Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller is an excellent example of “being a friend,” and reading the story together will get children thinking of “friendship” in a different vein– as an opportunity to sacrifice, lay down our lives, and incite others to higher purposes.
  • Study and discuss the pictures in this awesome book, a page or two at a time:

Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, read Jesus Calling devotionals, pray and worship. Together time: Read Over the Edge devotional, worship acapella and with guitar, pray using the prayer wall.
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Matthew-Acts in my ESV Study Bible this year
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

Review previous February verses:

  •  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
  • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31
  • “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
  • “A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

 Hymns:

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Lovely hymns are full of more truth than many sermons (2nd and 3rd verses are often especially theologically deep), and can imprint precious truths on our hearts.

Fairest Lord Jesus

MP3 & Sheet Music

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
MP3 & Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

Love Between Brothers and Sisters
(by Isaac Watts)

Whatever brawls disturb the street,
There should be peace at home;
Where sisters dwell, and brothers meet,
Quarrels should never come.

Birds in their little nests agree;
And ’tis a shameful sight,
When children of one family
Fall out, and chide, and fight.

Hard names at first, and threat’ning words,
That are but noisy breath,
May grow to clubs and naked swords,
To murder and to death.

The devil tempts one mother’s son
To rage against another:
So wicked Cain was hurry’d on
‘Till he had kill’d his brother.

The wise will make their anger cool,
At least before ’tis night;
But in the bosom of a fool
It burns till morning-light.

Pardon, O Lord, our childish rage
Our little brawls remove;
That, as we grow to riper age,
Our hearts may all be love.

Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: scripture promises, written letters, Valentines cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work.
  • Hand write new reading words from Pathway readers. (Faith)
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah studies, word builds, hand writes, and recites the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. Faith will practice working towards spelling as well this year through the same process. Noah doesn’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

Faith practices reading to me this year from the first books in the Pathway series.

Vocabulary:

Most new words are learned naturally in conversation and through read alouds as words in question arise, but I also have Noah look and define up a word a week in his Vocabulary (& Spelling) Notebook to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 Edition - By: Noah Webster

Literature Read Alouds:

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The Big Snow

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History and Geography:

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  • 5 lessons a week from SCM’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome. Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his ‘His Story’ sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

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  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to Europe lesson plan book

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  • Do a few lessons from Home Geography (didn’t happen last year so we will try again!)

We loved reading about David Livingston from this series last year, so this year we plan on reading 3 more Christian hero biographies. (these definitely could be categorized as Character Development books as well)

Math:

Lessons are from Kathy Richardson’s math books and AL Math Card Games:

Understanding Geometry Book

Exploration Time: In the morning just before school, provide pattern blocks, unifix cubes, building blocks, tangrams, geoboards, tiles, pattern blocks, etc. for free exploration of math materials. What can you do with these materials? What did you notice? What did you have to do in order to make it? Try to observe while they are working, and sometimes make a comment about what you observe. When children need a suggestion ask, “I wonder if….” or “Do you think it would work to….?” or “Do you have another idea?,” so that they feel free to decide on their own.

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes once a week during math lessons to practice instant recognition of number combinations. Use homemade “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Hold up a card and say, “Tell me fast. How many?” Sometimes ask, “How did you know?” (Cause there is a four and a three, and that’s seven) When recognizing groups of more than five easily, child will have to mentally combine the smaller groups that make up the larger ones.

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Mental Math: Everyday end each lesson with 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that required the students to do mental calculations with math concepts they had already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 123-150 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book; Kahn Academy free online math

Faith’s Lessons:

Complex Addition and Subtraction Stories (p32) Have children act out equalizing, missing addend, and comparative addition and subtraction stories.

  • Equalizing–Mark has six bowls, Carrie has 4. How many more will Carrie have to make to have the same number as Mark.
  • Missing Addend–Mark has six bowls. He needs 10. How many more does he need to get? OR Mark has 8 bowls now because he got 2 for his birthday. How many did he have before his birthday?
  • Comparative Subtraction–Mark has 6 bowls and Carrie has 4. How many more does Mark have than Carrie?

Race to Ten (p34) Use a 1-6 number cube, working space papers, and a “+/-” spinner. Take turns spinning to determine whether to add or subtract, and rolling to see how many counters to add or subtract. First person to reach 10 exactly wins. If there aren’t enough counters to subtract what is shown on the cube, the person loses their turn. If a person reaches a number higher than 10, use another working space paper.

Writing Stories to Go With Equations (p30) Write an equation, and model how to write a corresponding word problem. Children can then try writing a word problem of their own and make a drawing to illustrate the equation (that you provide).

Writing Equations with Counting Boards (p 38) Children place counters on several counting boards, tell addition/subtraction stories, and write equations.

Number Arrangements Using Cubes (p78) Have children make cube arrangements (into a simple design) for the number of the day, and talk about what number combinations they see in the arrangement.

Describing a Number By Its Parts (p 56) You and your child both make a cube train of a specified length (pick the right size number for your child). Give the signal “snap”, and both of you break your train into two parts any way you like. Take turns determining the number combination in each others hands (“3 and 2″ or “1 and 4″ for a train of 5 for example). For numbers greater than 6, say how many cubes to break off, give child time to determine the combination, and then ask, “How many?” The next level to this activity is for each person to keep one hand behind his/her back, and have your partner predict how many cubes are hidden. Then check predictions.

Plus and Minus Train (p 35) Make 2 gameboards with the outline of cube train 2o cubes long. Each player puts 20 cubes on a gameboard. The goal is to be the first to completely clear his or her board. Each player rolls a 1-6 number cube (dice) and spins a spinner with minus sign on one side and plus sign on the other to see how many cubes to add or take off. Players lose a turn if they have to add more cubes than there are spaces available.

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We are meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish through music and art! What a blessing! We wanted to succeed with this book but we struggled last year with it.

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Videos:

Reading Rainbow, Moody Science Classics, BBC’s Planet nature shows are what we primarily rotate through at Family Movie Night on Fun Friday. We love all 3!

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Make Valentines–cards, friendship necklaces, etc.

 
Visit the snow and have the children write an experience story (narrate their trip).IMG_0288

Build a felt snowman (Daniel)

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Have kids plan, set up, and hold a mini friendship tea party; practice manners and serving

Kindess Flags were a successful character development idea one year

Kindness Flags

Delivering Valentines to Someone Elderly is so so sweet

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100th Day Celebration! Yay!

 Practice one point perspective drawing

Image result for perspective vanishing point railroad drawing

Field trips:

  • Visit ponds, lagoons, and soggy places to look for playful salamanders and other signs of California Spring.
  • Waterfall loop hike at Mount Diablo St Park (??)
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I Didn’t Sign Up for This

I feel privileged to have for you a guest post from my best friend, Danielle, one of the most lovely and encouraging hearts I know. You are about to see what I mean! I asked if she would write on what she learned from studying Proverbs 31 (back in October), and it has been a blessing to more moms than we could have imagined. So I am excited to share it here and I hope it will be a blessing to you today as well!

“I didn’t sign up for this.” We’ve all had those days.

You’re running on four hours of sleep. Your house is a disaster. Your children are disobeying. Your husband is hours away from being home. Laundry is piled up. The sink is overflowing with dishes. There’s much to be done, and yet your sleepy body and tired hands are no match, even, for your mental exhaustion. Everybody needs all of you right this moment, and there’s just nothing left to give. Oh, and what’s for dinner? “I didn’t sign up for this.” It’s a sentiment that the world wants you to believe. “I didn’t sign up for this.” It’s a lie that the enemy tries to plant in the hearts of good women. Women who want to serve. Women who want to love. Women who want to be more than they thought they could ever be.  Well, let me tell you, sisters, you are in a sacred role, as wives and as mothers, a role that is unique and holy and beautiful. The Lord honors your sacrifice. He honors your commitment. He honors your giving of yourself. He honors your serving. And girls, He sees you. Your husband sees you. Your children see you. And as one who is in the same place in life, I see you.

But why does any of your work matter? Is it that important? Are you really doing enough? Are you making a difference? Do your chores honestly bring glory to Jesus? Let me remind of you of what the Lord tells us about The Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31:

(10) A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.

(17) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task.

(18) …her lamp does not go out at night.

(27) She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of  idleness.

(28) Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

(30) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

(31) Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

God speaks over our lives in a way that touches that tender part of our hearts; that part where we ask Him, “Am I enough?” This Word, ladies, is telling us, that YES, we are enough! In fact we are more than enough. We are worth more than rubies! When we serve our families with hearts that are pure and joy-filled, then we are seeing the bigger picture! We are fulfilling the work that God’s own hand is doing in us. He set you apart to be the wife of your husband. YOU! He set you apart to be the mother of your children. YOU! He formed your character, He knows your strengths, He blessed you with gifts, He knows your heart, and He even knows your each and every weaknesses. Given all of those variables, He still chose you…He chose YOU! Not in spite of those characteristics, but rather, in reverence to them.

Joy is a fruit that is only tasted, when received as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Without the presence of the Spirit in your works, Joy ~ real and true Joy is, quite frankly, not possible. There are many who seek Joy in the things that bring them happiness. Things that the world has to offer can and will, indeed, bring much happiness. But happiness will not satisfy, when what you hunger for is Joy. Joy is a fruit that will fill you and sustain you, like nothing this world has to offer. We might not always be “happy” on these hard days, as wives and mothers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be joy-filled!!! Stay with me here…

Girls, let’s change the mind-set that’s out there. Instead of dumbing down the work we do and minimalizing it to mere “domestic tasks”, let’s take these noble charges we’ve been gifted, as daughters of the King, and satisfy our hunger for Joy by serving our husbands and our children in the way God intended ~ with cheerful heats that know the worth of our efforts! Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” What an honor! When we do our daily tasks, we are working for the Lord! When we cook ~ we cook for the glory of Jesus. When we fold laundry ~ it’s for the glory of Jesus. When we clean the bathroom, pick up hubby’s dirty socks (again), tidy up the toys, scrape food off the floor, wash the dishes, make beds, bathe our babies, read bedtime stories, kiss away tears, and tuck little ones into bed each night… ~ you guessed it, it’s for the glory of the Lord! So, let me ask you, dear sisters: Did you sign up for this? Did you sign up for this honorable, noble, beautiful role that God has set you apart from every other woman in the world to do? Your Heavenly Father thinks YOU are so awesome that he gave you a beautiful gift in this family that He’s placed you in. Guard your hearts, dear ones. Don’t let the world steal your Joy by telling you that what you’re doing isn’t important enough. You are worth more than rubies! You are pleasing in God’s sight.

You not only serve, but you serve with the purpose of elevating glory beyond yourself, and above all men; you serve to exalt glory to The Father who created all things.  And when you serve with Joy, then your works are seen and honored. You will find favor in Him by embracing this high station of life, called motherhood. Did you sign up for this? When you spoke your vows and took your husband’s hand in marriage, THAT was your moment! That’s the moment you told God that you were ready and willing to “sign up” and step into this role that He destined you for. You did sign up for this, ladies! We all did! What a privilege! It’s not always easy. In fact most days, it’s quite challenging. But you know what? He chose YOU! God knows your heart, and He sees you. Remember, He chose you, not in spite of your strengths and weaknesses, but rather because of them. You are precious to Him. You are beautiful in His sight when you serve your husband and your children with a wholeness and a heart rich in Joy, simply because He called you to do it, and you’re up to the task! I encourage you, today, to find the Joy that has been served up for you. No task is too small, too insignificant, too petty, when it’s being done for the glory of the One who called you to it. May you be filled with a newness in your heart, a fresh perspective, a higher sense of worth, and a pure heart of Joy at the prospect of being a Wife of Noble Character!

Love, Danielle

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Over here at Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs we are taking it easy this month, so as usual, you won’t see any lesson plans for January because I am taking a break! Not from school, just from a lot of the “extras.” It’s nice to relax a bit and breathe deeper. Here is a peek at what we have been up to for the last couple months. God has been good.

November and December Pictures

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Devotions with all the friendly beasts.

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Spontaneous Space Art with Daniel

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Faith likes her “Little House” Christmas gifts (Johnny West wagon and figures)

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Noah’s gospel message in Ontario

 

Kid work is so cute (but man we’ve gotta work on those backward J’s!)

 

All Eyes on Me Please

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Can I clean the sink?! Next thing I knew she was in the sink.

 

 

Christmas Morn, so fun!

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A reenactment of the Christmas story with cousins was entertaining.

 

Caroling in the neighborhood to share the gospel; the kids sang The Friendly Beasts with solo parts just for fun.

 

Dear little Deers adorned our Christmas crafting this year (Noah and I).

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Making mounds of Marshmallows in preparation for Mom’s Night crafting. Yah, I overestimated a little.

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At Mom’s Night, we made cute hot chocolate jars adorned with ribbon and sculpey animals to give as gifts.

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My sister shared at Mom’s Night in December. We loved it! I hope to post her message soon too. 🙂 The invite was:

The Hope of Glory

“He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.”

C.S. Lewis

There is a purposeful and dazzlingly glorious design for your life, including the less glamorous painful parts. In our frail humanity and understanding, we often question, why must this life be wrought out in hard circumstances?

Come and be encouraged by my sister, Tara, at our Mom’s Night table as she shares that there is Purpose in the Pain; there is an eternal weight of glory on the other side of these light momentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:17). As you reflect this week on your process, may the Lord show you what He is teaching you through the pain.

While we discuss around the table. . . . . . we will also be busy little Christmas crafters making joyful and generous jars of hot chocolate with mounds of marshmallows to give as gifts (or keep!) And to make those yummy jars of hot chocolate even more fun, I will teach you how to create adorable miniature clay animals to sit atop.

Its going to be a delightful night as we lift each other up in community, glean wisdom from Tara’s passion and gifting, craft some homemade Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors, AND have a chance to splurge on ourselves too! We will hear from my friend Erin, a mom passionate about health and her natural beauty product line called Beauty Counter. Us moms deserve a few indulgences to help make us dazzle!

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A Happy Birthday Jesus Party planned and executed by Noah (with mommy to help); he had little Daniel in mind. Awww.

 

Honey to our Hearts

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Love you sweetheart

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Our yearly ornament tradition representing special memories from the year- Noah, a drill (inventions); Faith, Jack and prairie wagon (Laura Ingalls dream); Daniel, a bunny (friendship with a stuffed bunny); me, hot cocoa (Mom’s Night)

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Nativity Silhouettes–chalk pastels were quite fun this time compared to our first time

 

Live Nativity in Santa Clara

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Foggy and snowy Christmas tree cutting in Apple Hill

 

So proud of my little entrepreneurs who sold their hand made items at our homeschool group’s Christmas boutique. They sold clay deer, rainbow praise ribbons, and rainbow crayon shapes.

 

Counting up their Shepherd’s Pouches and boutique earnings for Samaritan’s Purse. Total:$65! Praise God!

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Holding onto these precious lasts

 

An unexpected lavishing of love notes……I have never felt so appreciated by my munchkins.

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Picking “blueberries” in our backyard.

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“I wish I could give 20,000 boxes like the one girl did for Samaritan’s Purse.” (Noah)

Lord, multiply our humble humble offerings.

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I think I want to be an artist

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A “real Roman Road” in the garden constructed by Noah and Faith

(and it was a foot deep I found out when we went to take it out a few months later, buckets upon bucket of rocks were unearthed)

 

Homeschool Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with cousins and friends

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Caught ya! The corn eating mystery was solved! We gleefully watched our little thief gorge himself just a foot away on the other side of the window pane.

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A nice chore arrangement for some I guess.

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A vintage rocking horse repainted and given by Papa (the eyeballs are up to me evidently) 🙂

 

Can you stay out of the kitchen mommy? We want to do lunch for you all by ourselves.

A sweet (and sugary) gesture indeed.

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Daddy being so silly.

 

Our Christmas card shoot….

 

this is actually how most of it went.

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What kind of ….?    Oh yes, its an invention.

 

A moment with you, too good to be true.

(Where was that smile when we needed it??)

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December Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Christmas

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Obedience, Worship

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

Science/Nature Study: 106 Days of Creation/Nature Journals

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Parent Study:

  • Read books by Alice Smith, one of God’s generals in the realm of intercession

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Giotto Di Bondone

Composer Study: George Frideric Handel

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Character/Habit Development:

Stewardship StreetOur Service board show kids what their daily assignments are. Noah is the green markers and Faith is the red markers (clay shaped into hearts).

  • Read stories “Flowers for Mother” p. 42 and “Beth’s New Shoes” p.124
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. Working on this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (7) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Promise and Blessing Time:

Stand on Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents,”  for ourselves and any other children who come to mind. Take time to speak a blessing, celebrate progress, and encourage more of the same behavior by speaking over our children:

________ is such an obedient boy/girl.

I really appreciate how quickly you obey, ________.

God is pleased with such immediate obedience, ________.

Thank you for remembering my instructions, ________ . They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Thank you for obeying, ________; it sure makes life easier for all of us when we obey.

(With each bullet above, try to include specific examples of obedience observed of each child as well)

Prayer and Discussion Time:

Prayer Time:

  • Prayer for Obedience
  • Pray and praise using various Names of God that reveal the many dimensions of His character
  • Ask God to search our hearts for areas of disobedience, acknowledge when and how we are/were disobedient. Thank God for ways we have been obedient. Ask God for our obedience and our siblings.
  • Use Instructions in Righteousness to help identify areas of persistant sin/disobedience (and its suggestions for rewards and punishments).

Discussion Time:

Obedience defined: Responding to the wishes of God, parents, and others in authority.

  • Do some obedience drills with multi-step instructions (please wash your hands, get a baby cup and fill it with water, choose a snack for the baby and cut it up, then leave it all at his highchair). Assess promptness, attitude, and thoroughness.
  • Create an obstacle course, blindold children, and lead them through using only your voice of instruction.
  • Tangibly reward obedience to poignantly illustrate our memory verse Eph. 6:1-3; most of all pray that that God will reward their obedience and that our children will have eyes to see His rewards
  • Take an obedience test several times during the month
  • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas, poems, and stories about obedience; read and discuss one a day:
  • Naughty Nellie
  • Dr. Johnson and His Father
  • Over in the Meadow
  • The Grizzly Bear and Her Cubs
  • Shining for Jesus
  • “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17) Sometimes the problem is not in what we do, but in what don’t do.
  • 2 Cor. 10:5 Even our thoughts need to be obedient.

 

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Our Prayer Wall

Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, read Jesus Calling devotionals, pray and worship. Together time: Read Over the Edge devotional, worship acapella and with guitar, pray using the prayer wall.
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Matthew-Acts in my ESV Study Bible this year
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

Review December verses from previous years:

  • Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on
    earth.’ ”
  • “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
  • “For unto us a child is born , unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor , The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ”  Isaiah 9:6

 

 Hymns:

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Lovely hymns are full of more truth than many sermons (2nd and 3rd verses are often especially theologically deep), and can imprint precious truths on our hearts.

Poetry Recitation:

We are doing the playful and imaginative poems of Robert Louis Stevenson this year.

The Whole Duty of Children

A child should always say what’s true
 And speak when he is spoken to,
 And behave mannerly at table;
 At least as far as he is able.

Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: scripture promises, written letters, Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work.
  • Hand write new reading words from Pathway readers. (Faith)
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah studies, word builds, hand writes, and recites the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. Faith will practice working towards spelling as well this year through the same process. Noah doesn’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

Faith practices reading to me this year from the first books in the Pathway series.

Vocabulary:

Most new words are learned naturally in conversation and through read alouds as words in question arise, but I also have Noah look and define up a word a week in his Vocabulary (& Spelling) Notebook to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 Edition - By: Noah Webster

Literature Read Alouds:

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Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent - By: Arnold Ytreeide

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History and Geography:

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  • 5 lessons a week from SCM’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome. Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his ‘His Story’ sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

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  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to Europe lesson plan book

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  • Do a few lessons from Home Geography (didn’t happen last year so we will try again!)

We loved reading about David Livingston from this series last year, so this year we plan on reading 3 more Christian hero biographies. (these definitely could be categorized as Character Development books as well)

Math:

Lessons are from Kathy Richardson’s math books and AL Math Card Games:

Understanding Geometry Book

Exploration Time: In the morning just before school, provide pattern blocks, unifix cubes, building blocks, tangrams, geoboards, tiles, pattern blocks, etc. for free exploration of math materials. What can you do with these materials? What did you notice? What did you have to do in order to make it? Try to observe while they are working, and sometimes make a comment about what you observe. When children need a suggestion ask, “I wonder if….” or “Do you think it would work to….?” or “Do you have another idea?,” so that they feel free to decide on their own.

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes once a week during math lessons to practice instant recognition of number combinations. Use homemade “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Hold up a card and say, “Tell me fast. How many?” Sometimes ask, “How did you know?” (Cause there is a four and a three, and that’s seven) When recognizing groups of more than five easily, child will have to mentally combine the smaller groups that make up the larger ones.

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Mental Math: Everyday end each lesson with 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that required the students to do mental calculations with math concepts they had already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 123-150 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book

Faith’s Lessons:

Complex Addition and Subtraction Stories (p32) Have children act out equalizing, missing addend, and comparative addition and subtraction stories.

  • Equalizing–Mark has six bowls, Carrie has 4. How many more will Carrie have to make to have the same number as Mark.
  • Missing Addend–Mark has six bowls. He needs 10. How many more does he need to get? OR Mark has 8 bowls now because he got 2 for his birthday. How many did he have before his birthday?
  • Comparative Subtraction–Mark has 6 bowls and Carrie has 4. How many more does Mark have than Carrie?

Race to Ten (p34) Use a 1-6 number cube, working space papers, and a “+/-” spinner. Take turns spinning to determine whether to add or subtract, and rolling to see how many counters to add or subtract. First person to reach 10 exactly wins. If there aren’t enough counters to subtract what is shown on the cube, the person loses their turn. If a person reaches a number higher than 10, use another working space paper.

Writing Stories to Go With Equations (p30) Write an equation, and model how to write a corresponding word problem. Children can then try writing a word problem of their own and make a drawing to illustrate the equation (that you provide).

Writing Equations with Counting Boards (p 38) Children place counters on several counting boards, tell addition/subtraction stories, and write equations.

Number Arrangements Using Cubes (p78) Have children make cube arrangements (into a simple design) for the number of the day, and talk about what number combinations they see in the arrangement.

Describing a Number By Its Parts (p 56) You and your child both make a cube train of a specified length (pick the right size number for your child). Give the signal “snap”, and both of you break your train into two parts any way you like. Take turns determining the number combination in each others hands (“3 and 2″ or “1 and 4″ for a train of 5 for example). For numbers greater than 6, say how many cubes to break off, give child time to determine the combination, and then ask, “How many?” The next level to this activity is for each person to keep one hand behind his/her back, and have your partner predict how many cubes are hidden. Then check predictions.

Plus and Minus Train (p 35) Make 2 gameboards with the outline of cube train 2o cubes long. Each player puts 20 cubes on a gameboard. The goal is to be the first to completely clear his or her board. Each player rolls a 1-6 number cube (dice) and spins a spinner with minus sign on one side and plus sign on the other to see how many cubes to add or take off. Players lose a turn if they have to add more cubes than there are spaces available.

 

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We are meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish through music and art! What a blessing! Maybe, maybe we keep trying to use the following book (we struggled last year with it):

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Videos:

Reading Rainbow, Moody Science Classics, BBC’s Planet nature shows are what we primarily rotate through at Family Movie Night on Fun Friday. We love all 3!

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Pick out a Christmas Gift to give together from Samaritan’s Purse Catalog. As we try  to focus our hearts on giving at this crazy commercial time of year, we have been reading about a gift opportunity or two from the Samaritan’s Purse catalog each night at the dinner table.

Shepherds Pouches can provide a meaningful way to help kids earn money for the chosen Samaritans Purse gift. This year the kids also plan to sell handmade praise ribbons at our homeschool support group’s Christmas Boutique to help raise money.

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Make a manger and a baby Jesus to put under the Christmas tree; nurture some stolen moments of fascination and worship of the newborn King with the littlest in the family

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Have a Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Pajama Party!

Have the children wrap a small toy of their own and bring to school to do a gift exchange. Talk about giving. Have a “cake” with candles for baby Jesus, sing happy birthday, wear party hats, etc. Give a small swaddled baby Jesus wrapped up in a gift box for each child to take home with a gift tag: To Noah, Jesus is my gift to you. Love, God

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Christmas Train Painting (vintage wrapping paper for inspiration)Merry Christmas Train Gift Wrap. Wrapping Paper. Christmas Holiday XMas Trains Snow Santa Retro Trees Kids Baby. Gift Wrap. Presents Gifts

Paint/Chalk a picture of Mary and Baby Jesus 

or a nativity chalk pastel

Nativity Silhouette

Decorate Faithy’s Dollhouse for Christmas.

Sylvanian family Christmas Decorated house / manor - FULLY furnished AND figs! | eBay

Caroling gives children a unique opportunity to spread the gospel. For a few years we have sung this song and other traditional hymn favorites around the neighborhood, and one year we passed out twiggy star ornaments. Last year, the kids were super excited about caroling and needed no nudging like prior years–they were pulling daddy and I around the neighborhood, Praise God.

Don’t let the tradition die out! Let the kids dress up, gather a caroling party, and announce the Good News at around the neighborhood or even at a care home.

Our Christmas Kids Choir Singing at a Care Home was so Sweet

Caroling in the Neighborhood

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Find or make an ornament that depicts what God has done in the past year for the family, or for each individual (so kids have their own set to take when grown)

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Nature excursions can provide opportunity to collect leaves, evergreen boughs, pine cones, and berries to decorate home. Build a manger for baby doll Jesus from collected sticks.

Nature-Inspired Front Door Christmas Garland

Make baby Jesus a blanket (still trying to do this after 4 years now! Haha)

Make a Christmas Wish List to Keep

Have friends and neighbors over for Christmas tea

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Field trips:

Go ice skating

Go to a Live Nativity in Santa Clara

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Noah beading a bracelet at a Live Nativity (note the gold bracelet on his wrist, HA)

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The Legacy of Homemaking

Is homemaking a lost art?

I was at a baby girl shower recently and I loved overhearing my friends mother in law encourage her to keep the art of homemaking alive with the things our grandmothers did so beautifully–gardening, canning, quilting, embroidery, knitting, crafting, soap making, etc. Her gift to her new granddaughter happened to be a sweet handmade baby quilt made from reproduction vintage seed sacks. She also provided the favors for the party–hand harvested honey from her bee hives packaged in apothecary jars! I love to see and hear from women the refreshing originality and thoughtfulness they pour into the everyday lives of their families. Sitting there listening, I felt inspired again to keep the dream of creative homemaking alive and well in my own heart.

Whether moms work as a stay at home mom or out in the work force, God has made mothers the hearts of our homes. Strong homes must be made, they do not happen coincidentally–strong homes require home”makers.” I have come to fashion my definition of the art of homemaking as: a timeless expression of living life beautiful in Christ as wives and mothers with the high calling of nurturing hearts at home.

I think its wonderful that we can carry out even the most mundane tasks of homemaking as a holy expression of our life in Christ, but personally, I get even more excited about imprinting my little daughter with the aesthetic aspects of homemaking in Christ. That’s the fun part for me! Good homemaking surely consists of both the mundane and the aesthetic, with both being of equal importance; the latter without the former makes a chaotic home, and the former without the latter makes a home that is void of personality and sparkle. In order for a home to thrive, both must be in balance, so we shan’t forget to add the sparkle nor to take joy in the mundane!

Some have come to feel like homemaking is mostly mundane or dull, and I have heard many a mom say, “I am just not creative!” But I believe we all can light up our homes in different ways, and we are all indeed creative because we are all made in the image of the Master Creator and Artist. However, creative muscles and joints must be used, or they become stiff from disuse. For both creatives and creatives-to-be-discovered, I encourage you to make a list of what are you good at and also what would you like to learn. Then find some women who can invest in you, and find some women you can invest yourself in as well!

Here are some ideas to help you make that list and build more ‘Homemaker Culture’ into your life – creative activities that nurture your heart so that you may in turn nurture the other hearts at home.

Singing, musical instruments, choral music, calligraphy, computer skills, administrative skills, writing, sign language, public speaking, blogging, problem solving, wood working, making/refinishing furniture, hospitality, gardening, working with children, photography, teaching, floral design, foreign languages, homeschooling, marriage, family, financial stewardship…..

Etiquette, tea parties, cake decorating, home decorating, baking, cooking, preserving/canning, scrapbooking, basket weaving, candle making, soap making, essential oils, card making, quilting, embroidery, sewing, quilting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, holiday celebrations and traditions, cleaning and housekeeping, planning and organizing……

Field trips, camping, hiking, nature, health and fitness, artwork, drawing, ceramics, oil painting, pottery, watercolors, nature, health and fitness, drawing, reading……

Serving, spiritual warfare, Bible study, devotionals, missions, evangelism, journaling, leadership, community service, counseling, special needs, elderly, homeless, needy, giving, encouraging, mentoring….

 

The week after my friend’s baby shower, I was excited to meet with some friends at Mom’s Night here to learn how to crochet and discuss Proverbs 31. Sounds like a Christian homemakers dream night, right? I have never done much sewing of any kind, and was eager to learn from a gifted friend how to crochet for the first time. It was really fun and a little challenging too; so far I have crocheted a bookmark but somehow its supposed to turn into a washcloth if I just keep “yarning over.” 🙂 The best part of the night was studying the Bible together in a very relaxed atmosphere with friends who had searched their hearts before the gathering for answers to questions such as:

  • How does this proverb apply to me today?
  • How can I apply these principles to my life to improve my marriage and family life?
  • What does it mean to be a diligent wife and mother?

The first several times I read Proverbs 31 in my personal study time, I was pretty much a blank slate, but many readings later, ideas began to form as the Word penetrated into my understanding. Bible study felt more like the “study” that I imagine it should be, rather than simply the “reading” I usually do, and getting to discuss the passage with friends afterwards was a very motivating cherry on top for me. It was so enjoyable and rewarding that I am hoping deeper Bible study can become a more regular part of my life as well as Mom’s Night discussions!

I was convicted that I have only read Proverbs 31–all about being a Godly woman, wife, and homemaker–a handful of times since getting married 10 years ago. So along with a friend, I challenged myself to memorize verses 11-31, and I challenge you to do the same if you are a wife wanting to be inspired by God’s Word! Perhaps your homemaking or marriage could use some refreshing at this point dear one? I can attest that hiding the Word of God, the living active Word, in our hearts works in unexplainable ways in refreshing our perspective and moving us out of stuck places. For me, as the verses of Proverbs 31 have begun to permeate my consciousness the past week, I actually felt a difference in the way I felt towards my husband and those mundane tasks around the house – a little thrill of delight at the kitchen sink returning like a long lost friend.

As homeschool moms, many of us give our kids memory verses, but many of us have never really taken up memorizing the Word for ourselves. Sunday School was a long time ago ladies. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9, 11) Our hearts are easily sickened with sin–wrong thinking, misaligned priorities, idle ways–so why not let some intentional internalization of the Word be like healing medicine to the inevitable infection? I think as Christians we can become disillusioned that we are “in” the Word, but we are actually just dipping in and never really internalizing it and being transformed by it.

Shall we dig in?

Proverbs 31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

“Doing good to my husband” is an area that I specifically want to grow in, and since prayer is likely the most precious ‘gift of good’ wives can give husbands, I am currently reading and using the prayers and principles in the book The Power of a Praying Wife, which was recommended to me by moms at Mom’s Night.

I approached Proverbs 31 with a desire to be inspired in my homemaking and family life, but it struck me how Proverbs 31 is far more about being an excellent wife, than it is about motherhood. I think it serves to convict us supermoms of our relationship priorities at home! I am convicted of how much more I thought about growing in my ministry as a wife before I had kids. Then I let those adorable bundles of joy come and take up so much space in my heart.

In fact, I think its very easy to have a child centered home these days, rather than an “excellent wife” centered home, as it seems to be prevalent in our culture to run our lives around our kids. In some senses it is good and noble and sacrificial the way we give to our kids, but perhaps we have taken it too far and actually become overly devoted mothers? We think that intensive mothering makes us better mothers, so we are willing to sacrifice our own well being because we think it will enhance our children’s lives.

Some of us don’t have time to exercise because our schedule is so full of kid activities, even the weekends revolve around kid birthday parties and games and an extravaganza of other fun kid stuff. Some of us don’t go on dates with our husband because kid activities are the priority or sometimes because we are reluctant to let others help care for our children. Some of us spend great amounts of time preparing and providing for our kids education and intellectual stimulation, but we can’t seem to find any time to read books and develop our own minds. Some of us schedule hours of extracurricular activities each week and taxi the kids to a myriad of enrichment activities but can’t find time for any of our own interests, that would actually develop us into more interesting mothers with more to give, especially making us more relevant in the teen years. Some of us make kid food to please picky palates and thus find meal time a time we dread. Some of us let the kids bedtime preferences (“I don’t want to go to bed!”) or long ceremonial routine (brush, floss, bathe, 5 books, stuffed animal round up, a prayer and a snuggle) encroach on husband and wife time and sanity in the evenings so that we aren’t having enough quality grown up time or intimacy anymore. Some of us allow our children wake us up too much in the night and we feel tired and strung out during the day. Some of us have a hard time saying no and aren’t very good about disciplining our kids. Some of us spend all of our emotional and mental energy on the kids and feel much closer to them than we do to our husbands. I think you get the point; we can “love” our kids to the detriment of ourselves and the exclusion of our husbands. 🙂

13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.

At first glance, it seems that there are a lot of “outdated” things that don’t apply to the modern woman in Proverbs 31. For instance, there is a whole lot of sewing happening in Proverbs 31 (and its not just a hobby)! However, I think that the message of “working with willing hands” is relevant and needed for all times.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is not afraid to work hard, and the modern woman as someone put off by things that aren’t convenient. For example, deep down we know cooking from scratch is important to the health of our family, but we pour bowls of cereal in the morning, make never ending PB & J for lunch, and get take out food for dinner more than we would like to admit, all for the sake of convenience. On the other hand, our Proverbs 31 woman of wisdom is willing to “bring her food from afar,” and she gets up early to make sure everyone is well fed for the day. Many of us seem to be “burning the candle at both ends” despite all the convenience options we have taken advantage of. Life feels too full to make food from scratch, clean our house ourselves, or do our own gardening, let alone to take up sewing or other handicrafts! What is filling our time instead? Selah.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is productive in many ways, including her pursuits out of the house, but especially and first of all in the home. As I have mentioned many times on my blog, I sense that our modern day “family life” takes us out of the house in an endless array of too many activities. Our busy lives, in combination with the pull of technology, certainly plays a big part in zapping our time. Not ironically, my house sits in shambles at the moment so I can finish this blog post. Ahem, moving on then. . . . 🙂

Very interesting to me is that though the God fearing woman of Proverbs 31 has many interests and involvements, her home does not sound child centered, as previously noted. Instead I imagine her daughters learning the same skills she has so finely honed over time in herself, and they are coming into her life and adding to her life, perhaps more than vice versa. What if a child’s life revolving around the parent’s lives and interests is the way its supposed to be, for their own good, and ours too? It may be more important for kids to tag along with Dad as he goes about his weekend business, than it is for Dad to tag along with them as they go about theirs. I really feel that the former lifestyle (including both parents) is a model of discipleship that promotes maturity in our children, and overindulgence of the latter lifestyle results in immaturity. We can require them to do grown-up things well before they grow up so that they don’t feel ill-equipped and inadequate someday. What if parents were free to enjoy thriving marriages, lead healthy active lives, and pursue their own hobbies–all with their children close by their side leaning in to learn? Bringing kids into our world where they learn the skills that will enable them to thrive as adults, is homeschool in its essence, even more perhaps than the academics and books and field trips. I think the Proverbs 31 woman’s strong personal development emphasis puts a healthy balance in her mothering style and definitely contributes to her success in “looking well to the ways of her household” (vs 27).

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who makes stuff, and the modern woman as someone who buys stuff. We have “no time” or desire for making things when we could just buy instead. If we are “fortunate” enough, we can pay for household services to be done for us, and we can certainly buy most everything that the Proverbs 31 had to make herself. In fact, we buy mountains of expendable stuff, until we are frustrated with how the house just isn’t big enough anymore, and flustered that the kids don’t know the value of a dollar.

23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Good homemaking requires us to “look well to the ways of our household.” My diatribe is not against us as homeschool moms who minister day in and day out from the heart of our homes, but I do wish to remind us that the ancient paths of truth are sometimes the better ones. For example, many of us Christian homeschoolers have decided to school our children at home because we believe and have come to see that the old way of educating is better. We have personally experienced the benefits of this crazy homeschool adventure that has ultimately served to tie our hearts into family and home, just as God desires, more than we ever realized it would. Even though wives do sometimes struggle against that urgency to escape and be free to go and do and be, we must admit that it is ultimately satisfying when we learn to embrace our calling at home, and that when we have done it well, we can be happy knowing that we have contributed to our husbands success as one who is “known in the gates.”

So we realize that school at home has blessed blessed blessed us in life changing ways- like giving us an amazing discipleship opportunity with our children, for one example. Perhaps then, we should ask ourselves, what else could be a huge likewise blessing to our husbands and families as we further consider and implement the ways of old outlined in scripture? If homeschool has been wonderful, I wonder what else once added (or eliminated!) might help us to more passionately build up our homes? The Proverbs 31 woman is a blessed woman living a blessed life, which is something we all desire; God is calling us wives of today to reflect on how we might practically follow His ancient pattern for blessing.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

The feeling of a life wrapped up in store bought items simply can’t replace the warm feeling that comes from covering our children and homes in handmade things by moms and grandmas (even if we can purchase the items for less than we can make them!). We may cry that we would never have time for such things, but what a keepsake we have when our own Grandma’s quilt or artwork is passed down to us! If she was a Christian, her work becomes part of her legacy as “a woman who feared the Lord,” and we cling to those beautiful things she left behind for us, those things she made with willing hands, those things that tangibly express the beauty of a life spent with Christ. When we see all she has done, we “rise up and call her blessed.”

Will there be beautiful keepsake items to pass down to our children someday? Will our daughters learn how to work with willing hands? Or will the art of homemaking be lost in this generation? Proverbs 31 ends with, “give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates;” in other words homemakers, the work of our hands shall be part of our reward and legacy. May God bless you with willing hands to love on your home and family.

XO

September and October Pictures

First Day of School

Family History Book Letters

Mary and Joseph learning to address envelopes for the first time (Christmas has started early here)

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Making Lasagna, a Family Recipe, with Grandma

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Story Time with Grandma (Family History Project)

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Learning Embroidery Skills, Even the Boys Were Excited

Learning to write his name in cursive

Daniel Devising His Own School Work

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Learning to draw faces. 🙂

A Great Math Lesson on Number 6

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Noah Enjoying Model Trains; He Wants to Be a Train Driver When He Grows Up

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Fearless Faithy, the only one in our family who would hold a tarantula

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Bless His Heart

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Daniel’s 3rd Birthday Party Prayer

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Jammin’ in the Morn

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Art with Aunty Tara and Cousins

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Putting on His Own Shoes

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Painting the 7 Days of Creation

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The Bubble Lady Show inspired these two bubble makers

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Prayer Journal Time

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Map Making in Geography

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Waaaay Too Much Fun at School

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Helping Mommy Make Breakfast Everyday

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Our Apple Hill Tradition Tripimg_0020

A Cooking Project Success!

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Preschool Table

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School Table

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Our Completed Monet’s: Water Lilies (you have to stand back to get the full effect of the impressionism) 😉

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Air Show

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Devotion Duo

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A Trip to the Zoo for Faithy

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A Geoboard Bomb Disposal Robot

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Making a Growing Pattern that Grows by 8’s and then Charting it

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Oh My

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Love our Ameraucana Chicken Eggs!

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I assigned Imaginative Narration based on the book Yellow and Pink, so Noah and Faith excitedly scurried around the house preparing for a “Puppet Show”

I was proud of their adorable first attempt at a puppet show (although the house sounds like it was falling down, thanks to babies and preschoolers; Noah has to whisper Faith’s lines to her most of the time; and Roman is looking backwards the whole time because I am holding the picture book up in the back. Good stuff. The second video is a little more interesting perhaps.)

Strobe Light! (Red Light, Green Light)

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A Baby Ladybug

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Autumn Fire

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“Funny things happen to me whenever I wear this shirt.”

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Happy 6th Birthday Faithy Breakfast Was Soooo Yummy

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A Sweet Shower for a Sweet Friend and Her Baby Girl

Mom’s Night – Crochet and Proverbs 31 Discussion – Nourishment for our Souls

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November Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Thanksgiving

Seasonal Theme: Fall

Character/Habit: Thankfulness, Generosity, and Compassion vs. Selfishness

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

Science/Nature Study: 106 Days of Creation/Nature Journals

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Parent Study:

  • Read books by Alice Smith, one of God’s generals in the realm of intercession

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Giotto Di Bondone

Composer Study: George Frideric Handel

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Character/Habit Development:

Stewardship StreetOur Service board show kids what their daily assignments are. Noah is the green markers and Faith is the red markers (clay shaped into hearts).

  • Read stories “Cheeseburger Pie” p. 31 and “Lending to the Lord” p.36 and “Timmy’s Blessing” p. 129 in Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. Working on this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (7) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing Time:

  • Prophecy Philippians 4:8 over our thoughts.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, I think about these things.

  • Speak Psalms 82:3-4 and Isaiah 58:7-8 over our desire to reach out.

I defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, and maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. I rescue the weak and needy, and deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

I share my bread with the hungry,
I bring to my house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, I cover him…..
Then my light shall break forth like the morning,
My healing shall spring forth speedily,
And my righteousness shall go before me;
The glory of the Lord shall be my rear guard.

Prayer Time

  • Pray provision for the needy according to Isaiah 41:17-20

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

  • Pray these simple prayers with little ones:
  • Dear God, if I am being selfish or greedy, please show me so I can tell You I am sorry. Amen.
  • Dear God, please forgive me for thinking of myself instead of others. Please send Your Holy Spirit to help me be generous instead. Amen.
  • Dear God, please help me to be generous so I can refresh others. Amen. (The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. proverbs 11:25)
  • Dear God, sometimes I have selfishness in my heart. Please send Your Holy Spirit to smother it like water smothers fire. Amen.
  • Dear God, it is so easy to want things for myself. Please help me to think of others instead. Amen.
  • Dear God, please show my family and me how we can help the poor people who live in our community. Amen.

Sharing Time:

  • Share personal stories of experience with generosity, compassion, and gratitude. Thank God in prayer.
  • What are you tempted to complain about? What are you selfish about? Ask God for help.
  • What are you most thankful for? Thank God in prayer.
  • How would you like to generously help or give to others to help the world know Jesus? Ask God for help.

Discussion Time:

  • Pray over the stories we receive from Samaritan’s purse in their quarterly magazine, Prayer Point and the Voice of the Martyrs Magazine
  • Treasures in Heaven activity (use a 100’s chart and apply some math)
  • What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15)? Satan wants to steal joy from our lives by making us ungrateful for all that we have. He wants us to think about what we don’t have, instead of being thankful for what we do have. Is there anything you find it hard to thank God for?
  • Teach children how to give creative and powerful thanksgiving to God with Names of God Prayers
  • Seeing the Bright Side game
  • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas about generosity and compassion, read and discuss one a day:
    • “The miracle is this–the more we share, the more we have”–Leonard Nimoy
    • The Magic Penny song
    • Proverbs 11:24-25 “One person gives freely, yet gains even more….”
    • “If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that. –Frances Hodgson Burnett

    • Little Sunshine (story of how its the thought that counts)
    • Old Mr. Rabbits Thanksgiving Dinner in The Book of Virtues
    • The Legend of the Dipper (one small act of kindness can turn into something very great)
    • The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10
    • Grandmother’s Table (compassion requires putting yourself in someone else’s shoes)
    • Mother Theresa from Heroes for my Son
    • Read Elizabeth Fry’s story from Hero Tales
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Our Prayer Wall

Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, read Jesus Calling devotionals, pray and worship. Together time: Read Over the Edge devotional, worship acapella and with guitar, pray using the prayer wall.
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Matthew-Acts in my ESV Study Bible this year
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

Review November verses from previous years:

Psalm 100 for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

  • “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27
  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

We are doing the playful and imaginative poems of Robert Louis Stevenson this year.

 Travel

I should like to rise and go   
Where the golden apples grow;—   
Where below another sky   
Parrot islands anchored lie,   
And, watched by cockatoos and goats, 
Lonely Crusoes building boats;—   
Where in sunshine reaching out   
Eastern cities, miles about,   
Are with mosque and minaret   
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far   
Hang for sale in the bazaar,—   
Where the Great Wall round China goes,   
And on one side the desert blows,   
And with bell and voice and drum
Cities on the other hum;—   
Where are forests, hot as fire,   
Wide as England, tall as a spire,   
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts   
And the negro hunters’ huts;—
Where the knotty crocodile   
Lies and blinks in the Nile,   
And the red flamingo flies   
Hunting fish before his eyes;—   
Where in jungles, near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,   
Lying close and giving ear   
Lest the hunt be drawing near,   
Or a comer-by be seen   
Swinging in a palanquin;—
Where among the desert sands   
Some deserted city stands,   
All its children, sweep and prince,   
Grown to manhood ages since,   
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,   
And when kindly falls the night,   
In all the town no spark of light.   
There I’ll come when I’m a man   
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom   
Of some dusty dining-room;   
See the pictures on the walls,   
Heroes, fights and festivals;   
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.

Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: scripture promises, written letters, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work.
  • Hand write new reading words from Pathway readers. (Faith)
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah studies, word builds, hand writes, and recites the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. Faith will practice working towards spelling as well this year through the same process. Noah doesn’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

Faith practices reading to me this year from the first books in the Pathway series.

Vocabulary:

Most new words are learned naturally in conversation and through read alouds as words in question arise, but I also have Noah look and define up a word a week in his Vocabulary (& Spelling) Notebook to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 Edition - By: Noah Webster

Literature Read Alouds:

Image result for a long walk to water the boy whoImage result for the boy who harnessed the wind

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History and Geography:

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  • 5 lessons a week from SCM’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome. Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his ‘His Story’ sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

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  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to Europe lesson plan book

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  • Do a few lessons from Home Geography (didn’t happen last year so we will try again!)

We loved reading about David Livingston from this series last year, so this year we plan on reading 3 more Christian hero biographies. (these definitely could be categorized as Character Development books as well)

Math:

Lessons are from Kathy Richardson’s math books and AL Math Card Games:

Understanding Geometry Book

Exploration Time: In the morning just before school, provide pattern blocks, unifix cubes, building blocks, tangrams, geoboards, tiles, pattern blocks, etc. for free exploration of math materials. What can you do with these materials? What did you notice? What did you have to do in order to make it? Try to observe while they are working, and sometimes make a comment about what you observe. When children need a suggestion ask, “I wonder if….” or “Do you think it would work to….?” or “Do you have another idea?,” so that they feel free to decide on their own.

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes once a week during math lessons to practice instant recognition of number combinations. Use homemade “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Hold up a card and say, “Tell me fast. How many?” Sometimes ask, “How did you know?” (Cause there is a four and a three, and that’s seven) When recognizing groups of more than five easily, child will have to mentally combine the smaller groups that make up the larger ones.

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Mental Math: Everyday end each lesson with 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that required the students to do mental calculations with math concepts they had already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 53, 116-131, and  in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book

Faith’s Lessons:

Complex Addition and Subtraction Stories (p32) Have children act out equalizing, missing addend, and comparative addition and subtraction stories.

  • Equalizing–Mark has six bowls, Carrie has 4. How many more will Carrie have to make to have the same number as Mark.
  • Missing Addend–Mark has six bowls. He needs 10. How many more does he need to get? OR Mark has 8 bowls now because he got 2 for his birthday. How many did he have before his birthday?
  • Comparative Subtraction–Mark has 6 bowls and Carrie has 4. How many more does Mark have than Carrie?

Race to Ten (p34) Use a 1-6 number cube, working space papers, and a “+/-” spinner. Take turns spinning to determine whether to add or subtract, and rolling to see how many counters to add or subtract. First person to reach 10 exactly wins. If there aren’t enough counters to subtract what is shown on the cube, the person loses their turn. If a person reaches a number higher than 10, use another working space paper.

Writing Stories to Go With Equations (p30) Write an equation, and model how to write a corresponding word problem. Children can then try writing a word problem of their own and make a drawing to illustrate the equation (that you provide).

Writing Equations with Counting Boards (p 38) Children place counters on several counting boards, tell addition/subtraction stories, and write equations.

Number Arrangements Using Cubes (p78) Have children make cube arrangements (into a simple design) for the number of the day, and talk about what number combinations they see in the arrangement.

Describing a Number By Its Parts (p 56) You and your child both make a cube train of a specified length (pick the right size number for your child). Give the signal “snap”, and both of you break your train into two parts any way you like. Take turns determining the number combination in each others hands (“3 and 2″ or “1 and 4″ for a train of 5 for example). For numbers greater than 6, say how many cubes to break off, give child time to determine the combination, and then ask, “How many?” The next level to this activity is for each person to keep one hand behind his/her back, and have your partner predict how many cubes are hidden. Then check predictions.

 

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We are meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish through music and art! What a blessing! Maybe, maybe we keep trying to use the following book (we struggled last year with it):

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Videos:

Reading Rainbow, Moody Science Classics, BBC’s Planet nature shows are what we primarily rotate through at Family Movie Night on Fun Friday. We love all 3!

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference

 

Make and pass out soup to the homeless in our downtown area

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Pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

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Make a thankful tree

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Fieldtrips:

  • Markham Nature Park–observe and journal
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

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