Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

December Lesson Plans

2014-2015 Kindergarten and Preschool

Its time for Christmas bells to ring and proclaim throughout the earth that Christ the King of heaven is born! Our family is delighted that Christmas season has arrived and that God will continue to use the holiday to reveal Christ incarnate in our home and hearts. Last Christmas, we prayed for that very thing to happen in our children, and our 3 year old Faith fell so in love with baby Jesus. It was a sweet dream come true. Hearts falling more in love with Jesus is why a hungry anticipation fills each of our Christmas festivities, whether they be spiritual or very natural.

Christmas is a teaching opportunity in every home. In scripture, God ordained holidays to be times of recollection and teaching, when families bring back to mind the wonderful works of God and explain them to our children. Melanie Young, author of Raising Real Men, points out that holidays give us the opportunity “to draw the attention of our children, our family, our friends and our acquaintances to the truth of God’s Word in a winsome way. We rejoice in the Christmas season like the people around us, but with a difference!” How would we approach the holiday differently if we primarily thought of Christmas as a teaching opportunity?

The December character study in our Precious Lambs school is obedience, which may be considered the foundation of all other character traits. As much as Christmas time seems like its all about love and joy, scripture reminds us that true love must be accompanied by obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” Its only through obedience that we can show love.

Discipline is important in training children in obedience, but a loving relationship is a prerequisite if discipline is to be effective. In child rearing we must aim to win our children’s hearts (Proverbs 23:26; Malachi 4:6). If we discipline without having our children’s hearts then we are actually sowing the seeds of bitterness and rebellion. The more we have of our children’s hearts, the less we will need to discipline, and the journey towards obedience will be easier.

Charlotte Mason helps us to remember the importance of consistency in forming the habit of obedience. She states, “The mother’s great stronghold is in the habit of obedience. If she begin by requiring that her children always obey her, why, they will always do so as a matter of course; but let them once get the thin end of the wedge in, let them discover that they can do otherwise than obey, and a woeful struggle begins, which commonly ends in the children doing that which is right in their own eyes.” She reminds us that obedience means children respond right away, with a good attitude, and with thorough effort–anything less becomes a constant source of irritation. She says, “…..the mother will insist from the first on an obedience which is prompt, cheerful, and lasting–save for lapses of memory on the child’s part. Tardy, unwilling, occasional obedience is hardly worth the having….” How true!

I invite you to join our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs school by following along with our lesson plans at home! You are welcome to homeschool with us! To better understand how we use these lesson plans below, and get the “full picture”, please see our curriculum overview for the whole school year, and our daily schedule. To let you know where our plans come from, we purchase Simply Charlotte Mason’s lesson plan handbooks for History/Bible, Geography, and Nature Study. We use SCM’s free curriculum guide, book finder, and suggestions from the discussion forum to help us select books for other subjects (no lesson plan books needed). Living books, being the emphasis of a Charlotte Mason education, means that most of our curriculum is purchased from Abebooks.com, or comes free from the library. School for us is just a big stack of carefully chosen living books, and narration; no textbooks, workbooks, or scripted lesson plans. We love how Charlotte Mason methods are easy, delightful, and a beautifully rich feast for the mind!

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.Fun Theme: Christmas

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Obedience

Bible: Joseph and Hebrews in Egypt (Genesis and Exodus)

History/Geography: Ancient Egypt, Africa

Nature Study: Trees and Goldenrod

Parent Study:

  • Continue learning about creationism vs. evolution and young earth vs. old earth
  • Continue my own prayer journal and nature journal along with Noah.
  • Learn more about Ancient Egyptian life to be able to share with kids conversationally as interest and relevant opportunity arises.
  • Listen to/read classic AW Tozer books for better understanding and experience of worship, the purpose of man.

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

  • Poetry: Various selections from Favorite Poems Old and New
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach— selections, biographies, and other suggestions from All Things Bright (Remind children that we already know and love these songs by Bach: Suite #1 in G, Orchestral Suite #3, Double Concerto in D minor, Suite for Solo Cello #1)
  • Artist: Thomas Cole, Christian American landscape artist, paintings speak volumes. Pictured here is ‘Youth’, a painting in a series called ‘The Voyage of Life’ (a series of paintings which represents an interesting allegory of the four stages of human life: childhood, youth, manhood, and old age):

Character/Habit Development:

Read one story a month from Storytime with the Millers.

Storytime with the Millers

Circle Time/Family 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:

  • 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 pumishments.
  • 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:

Bible:

Read Joseph (Genesis) and Hebrews in Egypt (Exodus) stories in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, and/or my ESV Study Bible.

Memory Verses:

  • 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.’ ”
  • Review December verses from previous years:
    • “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
  • Learn memory verse for our “Short Term Savings” coin bank (a gift store bank): “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Proverbs 21:20
  • Review previous coin bank verses:
    • “Tithing” coin bank (a church bank): “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
    • “Long Term Savings/Future Dreams Bank” (a rocket shaped bank): “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
    • “Charity and Missions” Coin bank verse (a lighthouse bank): “ If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” James 2:15

Hymns:

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.

Joy to the World

MP3

Sheet Music

Silent Night

MP3

Sheet Music Here

O Come All Ye Faithful

MP3

Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.”

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow all white and red
“I gave Him my manger for His bed;
I gave him my hay to pillow his head.”
“I,” said the cow all white and red.
 
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.”
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn.
 
“I,” said the dove from the rafters high,
“I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry;
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I.”
“I,” said the dove from the rafters high.
 
Thus every beast by some good spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.

Handwriting:

Written letters, notes of encouragement, Christmas and birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, poem or memory verse.

Reading:

First Steps, Preprimer | Main photo (Cover)

Word Building:

Preschooler Faith will sound out 3 and 4 letter phonetic words, and spell them out with letters (word build). Kindergartener Noah will build review sight words (non phonetic words) that he learned to read last year, practice building sight words from this years reader, as well as sound out and build an occasional phonetic word for phonics review (especially words with blends and digraphs).

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Literature Read Alouds:

 

 

 

 

History and Geography:

  • One lesson a day from SCM’s Genesis-Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt lesson plan book; living books that are suggested in the lesson plans

Math:

All lessons from Kathy Richardson’s “Developing Number Concepts” math books.

Noah’s Lessons:

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes a day practicing 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?” 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.

The Hiding Assessment (p 29) An assessment to see what children know about number combinations already. This will help determine the appropriate size number to give a child during math lessons who is working with number combinations. Starting with five counters, hide some behind your back and display the remaining counters. Ask, “how many are hiding?” Still with five counters, try hiding different amounts behind your back and asking, “how many are hiding?” See if children can say the missing number quickly and confidently, if they need time to figure it out, or if they are unsuccessful. Try larger numbers of counters if successful. Try smaller ones if unsuccessful.

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?

Number Shapes (p 65) Number shapes are distinctive arrangements of squares representing numbers four through ten. They can be filled with manipulatives in various ways to show number combinations. For addition use two different color counters and say, “Put three red and three blue counters on your six shape. This shows that three and three equals six. Can you find another way to arrange those counters? And another? How did you arrange them this time.” Then do 4 and 2, and other combinations of 6. For subtraction use one color of counters and say, “Fill up your shape with blue counters. Take one off. Can you tell what you did?” When children can use number shapes to find combinations independently, have them record their work with crayons or colored pencils on worksheets with predrawn number shapes. They can also write out equations to describe their combinations.

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. Pose some questions for an extra challenge such as: “How can you arrange cubes so that their full sides are touching?,” “What designs can you make that have corners kissing?,” or “Can you make a square with your number?” Have children record their arrangements on paper by gluing down small squares of paper to represent their cube arrangements.

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/herback, 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.

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1 Pattern Blocks

Use pattern block mats to build Christmas patterns (from Prekinders.com)–if building on top is easy, build next to.

Week 2 Sorting Toothpick Number Sets

(p. 144 in Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Have children place number sets (such as toothpicks pictured below; or stickers, coins, beans, paperclips, etc. mounted on cards) on the correct sections of a butcher paper number line.

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Week 3 Spin and Peek

(p. 150 in Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

Nature Study:

Videos:

Show children how the Kingdom of God IS advancing around the world. “Dispatches from the Front” is a thoughtful, moving, understated, and ultimately convicting series of videos depicting the work of the gospel in some of the most challenging corners of the world.” – D. A. Carson

19 science DVDs on creation

God of Wonders

Awesome Science is a high quality DVD series produced by a family that homeschools and works on the series together. Noah is the field guide and host for all 13 episodes which explore the globe to discover evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. Noah contends that the earth is NOT millions of years old and the dinosaurs did not die from a meteor. These videos provide excellent science content as well as a theological perspective. They are an effective way to challenge evolutionary assumptions with scientific evidence while providing a very visual science education.

6 Episodes all compliment study of the account of the flood in Genesis.

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Library series on ancient civilizations:

Book Jacket for: Ancient Mesopotamia [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Ancient China [videorecording]

 

Ancient Evidence - Mysteries of the Old Testament

Traditions, Fun Friday Projects, and Other Ideas:

Pick out a Christmas Gift to give together from Samaritan’s Purse Catalog.

Shepherds Pouches can provide a meaningful way to help kids earn money for the chosen Samaritans Purse gift.

Have a Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Pajama Party!

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Decorate Faithy’s Dollhouse for Christmas.

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

Build a manger for our baby doll Jesus from collected sticks.

Baby doll wrapped in white blanket lying on hay-lined wooden manger, nativity play prop, side view. : Stock Photo

Caroling around the neighborhood gives children an opportunity to spread the gospel. We will sing this song and and pass out goodies.

Melanie Young says, “Christmas is the only time of year that it is not only socially acceptable, but considered a gift to knock on stranger’s doors and sing hymns full of gospel truth to them! We don’t want this tradition to ever die out, so every year we invite like minded families to come caroling with us.”

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)

Nature excursions can provide opportunity to collect leaves, evergreen boughs, pine cones, and berries to decorate home. (and sticks for the manger above and star ornaments below)

Nature-Inspired Front Door Christmas Garland

Make baby Jesus a blanket

Make a Christmas Wish List to Keep

Have friends and neighbors over for Christmas tea

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Simple Homemade Ornaments to Gift

Fieldtrips:

See a live performance of The Nutcracker

Go to a Live Nativity in Santa Clara

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Discipling Our Children at HOME Sweet HOME

God’s Design for Family:

Family is the cornerstone, the basic building block of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Parents following God’s design must diligently teach their children the things of God at all times, in all places and in all ways (Deut.6:4-7). This builds Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Christian worship, teaching, & ministry is primarily a function of the family. This is God’s design for family.

I love to blog here about how discipleship with our children is a relational process that God designed to happen best at home with parents who can do it better than anyone or anything else. As everyone I know seems to be so sincerely concerned about giving their child every opportunity through various after school activities, and families just seem to keep getting busier outside the home, today I would like to put a plug in for……..staying HOME! I will share what God is showing me about building up our homes–the living breathing God given places for discipleship to occur–for the highest purpose of reaching and influencing other families for God.

Books written by the wonderful authors, Sally and Clay Clarkson, wisely speak on building a home according to God’s design. If you were only going to buy one homeschool book, ever, I would tell you to get Educating the Whole Hearted Child, by the Clarksons, as it is a foundational book for any Christian homeschool. It has all encompassing information on how to set up a Christian homeschool, but is also filled with the most heartfelt and wise words of mentorship from a family whose grasp on God’s design for the family is amazing. I have been engrossed in its very meaty content for months now. Sally, who coaches younger mothers in the calling of motherhood, also has a few different books that teach how mothers build their homes as homemakers. In her book, the Mission of Motherhood, she exhorts, “the task of building our homes into places of beauty and life that will feed the hearts, souls, and minds of our children is the most comprehensive task to which God has called us as mothers. We are called quite literally to be “home makers.” When we homemakers think “build up our homes,” we can think of lovingly and daily building it with our own hands and words.

HomeMakers Beautify Their Homes, and Beautiful Homes Nurture Children’s Spirits

Lately, when I think of our own home, I think of cozy candle light, afternoon or evening tea times, always homemade food, the aroma of apple cider or popcorn, daddy’s Bible drills and Saturday morning omelette specialties, hearts joining over family reads like Heaven is For Real, hearing bare feet running up and down the hall, craft time extravaganzas, nature park collections lighting up the mantel and tables with seasonal decor, and intensely celebrated movie nights and game nights. It hasn’t always been this way. When we were first married, we lived in a barren one bedroom apartment and had almost no traditions. Home has come a long way for us, but it hasn’t happened overnight. As He so masterfully does, God pulled on our hearts, and is centering us on home and the building up a strong sense of family, and we are delighted with His increasing creative expression of beauty in our home. Having a home that is welcoming and beautiful happens to be a Cravalho family core value, and little by little the walls of our home reverberate more with the life of God. As Sally Clarkson says, “God is a God of creativity and dimension, and so He is pleased when we we co-create beauty in our own realm, through the power of His Spirit. It was a profound realization when I understood that I could become an artist with my very life.” As homemakers, we can make our home interesting, captivating, colorful, creative, and full of life.

The activities and traditions that we have at home are not just fun family “things to do”, they are the platform for ministry to our children, as a real life tangible expression of the life of God. As our children’s 5 senses are nurtured at home through these types of cozy sights, sounds, and experiences, their soul’s need for joy and delight is satisfied, which opens the door for their spirit to be reached. All that is done at home–from tea time to decorating to holiday traditions– is for the purpose of nurturing the life of God into the souls of our children, so that they want to know and follow Him. An inviting home provides access to our children’s spirits, and is therefore a strong foundation for discipleship. A home is a cistern from which our children may willingly choose to quench their thirst, rather than anywhere else in the world, if it is indeed a fountain of life.

We can give our children reasons to always think of home as the best place to be. Working hard to make home as fun as possible helps form strong family ties (rather than friends houses or outside activities being the greater draw). Rich family literature, family movie nights, game nights, tea times, traditions, and special homemade foods all help to enrich home and family life. When we make our homes vibrant and warm, we are nurturing our children’s spirits and winning their hearts.

A Home is Perfectly Designed to Reach the Lost

Families need to be together on several levels: at home as a faithful family, fellowshipping at church with other faithful families, and ministering to the world as a faithful family. I really want me and my family to be used by God. Yet, I always feel like my time is too tied up with small children to be of any use to the ministry of my church. However, as a Christian, I feel the never ceasing pull of the call of the Great Commission. My predicament knaws away at me because I was heart and soul involved in church ministry before children. Ideally, I know that now with children, I would want to serve in some way that would directly feed into the discipleship process of my children, but I can’t find any church ministry that can be done very easily side by side with a 1, 4, and 5 year old! Why is finding time to serve at church and wholeheartedly raising a house full of children always at such odds with each other? Must I choose one or the other? Hello, home based family driven ministry! God can use the building up that is occuring in our home through homeschool and various family practices, the very things we have our hands and hearts tied up in anyway, to be a main source of ministry–ministry that is easy and natural to do in this season of life because its at home, not church.

An awesome champion for families and author of Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham Jr., describes how the love that grows in a home following God’s pattern for family, produces an exquisitely attractive expression of ministry. He says, “Our homes must be rife with the aroma of love. Those who visit us should notice immediately that they have left the world of self-serving, egocentric narcissism and have entered a safe harbor where people value and esteem others above themselves. Outsiders should enter our homes and never want to leave. Our neighbors should find excuses to visit us just to get another whiff of the fragrant aroma of love. The brokenhearted should long to be near us. The downtrodden and the abused should seek us out. Families on the brink of disaster should point to us and say, “Why can’t our home be like that?” A home made beautiful by its inhabitants and their infectious love for each other and Jesus, is how God designed families to effectively and powerfully live out Jesus’ Great Commission.

Sally Clarkson likes to share personal “In Our Home” snippets that bring her family lifestyle to life for the reader. She explains how her family purposely sets apart some time to meet with the Lord during an evening of fellowship with visiting guests, and how that simple act of ministry has served as an instrumental form of discipleship in her children’s lives. Sally shares, “There is always the challenge to balance fun and faith, but we regularly have other families over and dedicate part of our evening to talking about the Lord, sharing testimonies, singing hymns and praise songs, and praying together. Even if we keep the time short, it still creates an indelible mark on our children’s spirits. Even now that they are older, they still remember times of significant spiritual fellowship, if only because such times are becoming more rare in our isolated culture.” Her words have stayed with me for months. The way that the Clarkson’s use their home to reach out to others really makes perfect sense to me. They embody true family ministry, and the higher purpose that God designs families for. Ministry doesn’t have to involve running around in separate directions all the time if we think of the home as the major source of outreach, rather than the church. Families can simply live a vibrant life rich in God, making their home life an irresistable fragrant aroma, and then invite people in to experience the sweet reality of God present in their family driven faith– all so that other families may “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

From a good old fashioned book of Acts house meeting rounded out with food and fun, to an intimate little family gathering with grandparents, any type of gathering can be used to glorify God in our homes. Our personal new family goal for gatherings is to bring everyone before God in some meaningful way, no matter who comes over–family, friends, or strangers. If the things Sally described as part of her family culture, aren’t a regular part of our family ways, then it would be an awkward effort to try to drum such a thing up for company. However, if its just what we always do at our house anyway, then replicating it will provide a natural, authentic, and wonderful experience for our unsaved (or saved!) guests to taste and see the life of God that flows in our home. And no need to worry or strive– “demonstrating God” to outsiders can be very simple. We just begin with whatever we normally do together as a family. For example, since our family is currently reading Heaven is For Real, we can include our guests in our after dinner chapter read aloud; we could read from the Bible as we usually do in the evening, or pick a slip of paper out of our Giving Jar–because its what we do in the evening together anyway. Whatever naturally flows out of the life we have built up together in this season is what we can share. What an easy way to share our faith! If we didn’t normally and regularly do the things Sally mentioned in our home at night as a family, then it won’t likely transpire with any authenticity when guests are visiting. I believe that a gathering without any Jesus time should be considered a shame, since inviting people to share in the life of God that flows in the unique way that it does at your house or my house, is the easiest and most powerfully effective witness that a family has.

Being able to minister to others as a family all starts with holding regular family worship/devotions. Pastor Voddie explains the importance of family worship, “Reading and memorizing Scripture and the catechisms of the church [as a family together at home] results in incredible development of children, both spiritually and intellectually. What families regard as important is evidenced by the manner in which they spend their time. Therefore, regular family worship shows the children that their parents believe that Jesus Christ is central to all of life. This practice leaves a legacy that will benefit thousands in generations to come.” If we share with people the natural ouflow of our homeschool gleanings and family life of worship, we are using what God has given us for His glory, and will experience the exquisite joy of being a family that can ministers to others together. I believe that ministering through our homes, together with our children, will be the most instrumental of discipleship experiences that we can offer our children.

Home Discipleship is Awesome!

To operate and grow in all 3 levels of togetherness–at home as a faithful family, fellowshipping at church with other faithful families, and ministering to the world as a faithful family–obviously takes much time spent together! Building a home of family driven faith requires spending considerable time at home. Does our current schedule, choices, and priorities allow for these 3 levels to become a reality in our lives? Do we find ourselves saying, “I don’t have time!” Lets be careful of the “good things” we are involved in that may be eating up our time, and taking up the place of “better things.” I challenge us all to bring our children home more, for deeper and more regular strategic discipleship influence. If you don’t feel convinced yet, just pick up a copy of Educating the Wholehearted Child and read chapter 3, Home Nurture; or chapter 10, Discipleship Studies Methods: The Study of the Bible. Those two chapters especially opened my eyes to see just how big this job of discipling is! Just to skim the surface of what is discussed, let me list some of the areas that God can use us to disciple our children:

  • hold regular family devotions
  • help our children form personal devotion habits
  • train them in the gift of grace by ministering hospitality to neighbors together
  • train them how to listen for God’s voice in the Word and in prayer
  • teach them how to search the scriptures using Bible study helps (commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, etc.)
  • engage the family in dinner table talks surrounding Biblical topics
  • create a fun home Bible club or weekly scripture memory challenge/drill
  • read inspiring biographies about heroes of the faith together
  • create and practice our own list of family values
  • get involved in a regular service project together
  • volunteer as a family for a church ministry
  • make care packages or write pen pals to get involved in world missions
  • give to the needy

Awesome (and time consuming!) responsibility moms and dads!!! Just envision how much God can do through our families when we decide to make the time to go deeper. Help us to go there Jesus!

As I study the words of family coaches like the Clarksons and Pastor Voddie, I envision a home with an atmosphere of great drawing power–both on our children and anyone in our life who may need Jesus. I am realizing how a family that spends a lot of time together at home is able to better tend and nurture the children’s spirits, as well as win their hearts for the purpose of discipleship. I am realizing how important a strong home is in order to disciple children, as well as reach out to others. I am realizing that the nature and extent of parents’ commitment to nurture, disciple, and educate their children will dramatically effect their view of home, how much time they spend at home, and how they choose to spend their time at home.

Home is where the heart is, and home is where we can best reach our children. It is our homes that give God the most undistracted access to our children’s hearts and minds. The home is a God designed dynamic learning environment for children. Therefore, we as a family commit to being at home, together, a lot, in order to build our home. We desire a slower paced environment and atmosphere in our home, where our children can soak and drink deeply of God, rather than us always rushing in and out, building up much of our lives outside of home, and separately. With some intentional thought, we can make our home a place that our children prefer over any other place. With the holidays coming, it might just be the right time for all of us to slow down and cozy up together at home, work on beautifying and warming up the atmosphere, open up our homes to minister through hospitality, while seeking God to expand our vision of home discipleship.

Love you.

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Happy Harvest

Happy Harvest

Nature Boy

Nature Boy

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Big Boy

Big Boy

Good Daddy

Good Daddy

I Want to be a Diver When I Grow Up (and an astronaut)

I Want to be a Diver When I Grow Up (and an astronaut)

Learning how to spell and sound out "space"

Learning how to spell and sound out “space”

Noah's Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Pyramid Idea

Daniel's Praying Hands

Daniel’s Praying Hands

Do I Have to Mommy?

Must I Mommy?

Noah's Block Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Block Pyramid Idea

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

A Kid Inspired Project

A Kid Inspired Project

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

All Ready!

All Ready to Go!

Sweet Karla Invited Us to Play on Her Putting Green

Sweet Neighbor Karla Invited Us to Play on Her Backyard Putting Green

Astronaut Faith

Astronaut Noah at the Chabot Space and Science Center

Astronaut Noah

Astronaut Faith

In the Mercury Capsule

In the Mercury Capsule

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

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The Creek is Flowing Again!

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Free Play is Wonderful!

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This is Pretty Much How We Look at the End of the Day

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Costumed Cuties and Our Giant Homegrown Pumpkin

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Blasting Off in Our Cardboard Rocket

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Three in a Row!

Daniel at School

Daniel at School

What Can I Say?

“What Can I Say?”

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Adventures in Nature

Golf at the Nature Park

Golf at the Nature Park

Fall Finds

Fall Finds are Gorgeous

Faith and Mommy's Leaf Turkey

Faith and Mommy’s Leaf Turkey

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My Beautiful Mother on Her 70th Birthday

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Noah’s Tree Study in his Nature Journal

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My Nature Journal in Progress

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Awesome Rocket Art

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Dinner and Stories with Neighbor Doris

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Daniel’s Finally Starting to Walk!

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Noah’s Number Arrangements for 6, 7, & 8 (a design with combinations, which enable you to quickly determine what number it is)

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Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Decides to Make a Play Dough Megalith

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So sweet how Faith brushes Daniel’s hair every morning, and he loves it.

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King and …..Queen??? History is Getting Weird.

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Shape Puzzles Were the Perfect Math Challenge for Faith

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