Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 5th Grade :)

April Lesson Plans

Fun Theme: My Garden

Seasonal Theme: Spring

Character/Habit: Truthfulness, honesty

Bible: Numbers

History/Geography: Ancient Egypt, Africa

Nature Study: Seeds and Earthworms

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.
  • Read some chapters out of JR Miller’s book, The Home Beautiful

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
  • Artist: Rien Poortvliet, and paintings in his book, Noah’s Ark

Character/Habit Development:

Read one story a month from Storytime with the Millers. The Millers books are wonderful!!

Storytime with the Millers

Circle Time/Family Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

Use God’s promise in Psalm 15:1-2 as a confession to speak daily over each other:Lord, _____ will dwell in Your sanctuary. _____will live on Your holy hill. ______ whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his/her/my heart”

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

  • I know ________ is honest. He/she is a boy/girl who tells the truth.
  • Even when it is hard to be honest, ________ is.
  • I know that I can trust what ________ says. He/she is careful to tell the truth.
  • There is no question in my mind. I know what ________ says is the truth.
  • God delights in you ________, when you tell the truth and so do I.
  • ________ can be trusted to tell the truth.

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

Prayer Time:

  • Use Instructions in Righteousness by Doorposts to help identify and attack dishonesty. Instructions for Righteousness offers scriptural ideas for rewards for truthfulness, and punishments for lying.

Discussion Time:

  • “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” – Macaulay
  • What honesty did for Abraham Lincoln
  • The Boy and the Robbers. State facts carefully and exactly, with out exaggeration or leaving anything out.
  • The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf
  • The leap at Rhodes
  • Honesty is Best from Harper’s Third Reader
  • An Honest Kid
  • Honest Scales
  • Pure Truth
  • Traveling Tales and Tails
  • Truth Champions
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Have one child tell a second child a message. Have the second child report the message to me. I will write down the message and then check with the first child if the messenger reported accurately. We think of lying as intentional deception, but it can also happen through a careless effort to state the facts. Truthfulness requires careful listening and delivering of the facts.
  • Your friend tells you he caught a whale yesterday when he went fishing; you go to his house for dinner and his family serves you trout–the big catch. Your friend whispers to you when his mom is around and might not like what he is saying. When he says he will meet up with you in 10 minutes, he is there in 15 or 20. He says he likes to play with you best of all, but when other friends on the street get a new toy, his plans change and he goes to play at their house. Your friend tells you that you are his best friend in the whole world. How does his words and actions make you feel about that statement? How can being truthful make us a better friend? “When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.” –St. Augustine
  • “The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.” Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Read Numbers stories in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, and/or my ESV Study Bible. Read 1 corresponding commentary chapter from Numbers Commentary 3x a week (Commentary during Bible study at night with daddy).

Memory Verses:

  • 1 Peter 3:10 “For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.’ ”
  • Review April verses from previous years:
    • “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me..” Galatians 2:20
    • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
    • “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11:25-26
  • Learn memory verse for our Stewardship Street “Dowry” coin bank (a little yellow house): “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25
  • Review previous coin bank verses:
    • “Living Expenses” coin bank (a clothing store bank): “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 
    •  “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
    • “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” coin 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 (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


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.

Holy, Holy, Holy!
Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

(Taken from The Big Book of Christian Mother Goose by Marjorie Decker)


Copywork on truthfulness, handwritten letters, notes of encouragement, Easter and birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, poem or memory verse copywork.


LOVE the pathway series readers

Word Building:

Preschooler Faith sounds out 3 and 4 letter phonetic words, and spells them out with letters (word building). Each week kindergartener Noah builds 5-12 new words that he is currently learning to read in his reader.


Literature Read Alouds:

Put holds at the library/make online orders at today!

Trusty and Ingrid FibsterSanji's Seed

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


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

Noah’s has a new “My Number Book,” which is simply a small blank book (from the dollar section at Target) where he records what he has learned about numbers 4-9 after our math lessons. Each number is designated a two page spread for drawing pictures and writing equations. For example, on the “7” page, he has recorded 0+7, 2+5, 3+4, 1+6, and sometimes draws pictures/cubes to represent his equations. We will also soon begin recording what we learn about subtraction as well. The more a child can internalize these number combinations for numbers 4-9 before moving to larger numbers, the better. That way when you ask him to add 25 + 7 someday, for example, the child will think 2 and 5 makes 7, and easily arrive at his answer (especially if he also knows counting by 5’s). Or for 27 + 7, he will think 27 and 3 make 30, and 30 + 4 make 34, rather than slowly counting up by ones, because he knows 3 and 4 are a combination of 7.

Developing Math Concepts In Pre-Kindergarten Book

Noah’s Lessons:

Number Shapes (p 65) We will work on number 9. 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. Put recordings in “My Number Book.”

Number Shape Subtraction (p 89) Fill in the number shape cards with counters of one color and then roll dice (can use a 1-6 cube and a 4-9 cube to roll if working on number 9 for example) to determine how many counters to take off. Have children record their work on a recording sheet with colored pencils and paste into “My Number Book.”

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.

Counting Boards: How Many Ways? (p 131) First, choose two duplicate storyboards (sheets of paper with a simple picture like a corral fence or a two lane road for example where unifix cubes represent horses or cars driving down the road). Children find all the ways that a particular number of counters can be placed on the two boards. Child might place 4 “cars” driving down the road on one storyboard, and 4 “cars” driving down the road on the other storyboard–and then 2 and 6, and 7 and 1, etc. Have children write corresponding equations as labels. As an extension, you could remove the equations labels, mix them up, and have children find the matching storyboards again.

Faith’s Lessons:

(Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Week 1  Measuring with Strings (p. 97)

Object: Children will be introduced to the idea of a measuring tool. Have the children use a length of string to find objects that are the same length, longer, or shorter than the string. Since we previously practiced measuring things around the room with our arms to find objects that are “the same as me”, ask, “Is it easier to measure with your arm or a string?” Do the children try measuring things that seem unlikely to be the length they are looking for or are they discriminating, measuring only those things that are fairly close to the length of their string? How close do the children need to get to an object before they can tell if they have found something that might be the same length?

Week 2 Can You Find It? (p.122)
Make number set cards (like the toothpick set pictured in my December lesson plan) with varying objects such as buttons, paper clips, bread tags, or beads on bracelets, beads strung on yarn, objects glued on popsicle sticks, etc. Each set should include at least 3 or 4 of each of the numbers from 1 to 10. Object: children will match quantities, count without touching, and practice recognizing quantities up to six without counting. Hand out 5-6 number set cards to your child. Hold up a number card set and ask if he/she has a card with the same number as yours. Do they need to touch the objects or can they count just by looking? Do they just check the cards that look similar or do they count the objects on every card even though it couldn’t possibly have the same number? When working with number sets of six or less, let the children know that it is good when they can tell you how many without counting. Counting when needed is good, but some children think they are supposed to count every time even though they don’t need to. Preschoolers can sometimes recognize groups of 2 or 3 without counting, but you want to encourage and work up to the instant recognition of numbers to 4, 5, or 6.

Week 3 Concentration (p. 123)

Object: same as week 2, but different format. Set up cups upside down in three rows of four. Use counters to place two sets of each number being worked with underneath the cups (two cups with 3 beans underneath, two cups with four beans underneath, and so forth) OR (one cup with 3 beans, one cup with 3 pennies, one cup with 4 seeds, one cup with 4 beads, and so forth). Have children uncover two items to see what number is hiding. If they uncover a matching pair, they remove them. If the pairs don’t match, they cover them again and the next child gets a turn. Do the children choose cups randomly, or do they remember what number is hiding underneath? Are the children able to recognize that different groups have the same number, even when they are different materials?

Week 4 Pattern Block Puzzles (p. 93 )

Object: children will explore how shapes fit into other shapes and find ways to fit shapes into puzzles outlines. Level one puzzles in the book have interior lines, and level two puzzles are without interior lines (see this advanced example of level 2). Have children find pattern blocks that he or she thinks will fit and fill in a puzzle shape (you can print out or draw). For example, give the children a puzzle that is the outline of a trapezoid, and see if they can discover that it will accommodate two triangle pattern blocks and one hexagon pattern block. Do the children test the blocks and move them around to make them fit? Do they know ahead of time what blocks to get?

Nature Study:

  • A story or two a month from this very sweet little treasure by Simply Charlotte Mason:


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.











Traditions, Fun Friday Projects, and Other Ideas:

Paint some garden vegetables that grow underground

Plan and Plant a Garden


Then Write an Experience Story

“Today we planted a garden in our backyard with mommy and daddy. First, we planted a pumpkin behind the rosemary. Next, we planted planted peas in a large pot. Then we planted lettuce, carrots, radishes, corn, and onions in our raised garden bed. Finally, we made sure to water all our plants. We can’t wait to eat fresh vegetables from the garden!

Planting a garden together is a perfect opportunity to use something called Language Experience Approach (LEA), or dictated stories. The language experience approach is a “whole language” approach that promotes reading and writing through the use of personal experiences and oral language. Beginning literacy learners relate their experiences to a teacher, who transcribes them. These transcriptions are then used as the basis for other reading and writing activities. Through LEA the teacher is able to demonstrate important concepts about print such as: starting on the left side of the page, capitalizing proper nouns and at the beginning of a sentence, spaces in between words, punctuation at the end, how to proceed to the next line on lined paper, etc.

LEA is something useful I learned in my teaching credential program, and is very compatible with Charlotte Mason methods as it treats language as a “whole” experience. Teaching language arts as a whole means that speaking, listening, reading, writing are taught all together in a natural and meaningful way, and lessons to teach skills and mechanics of language are not taught separately because this takes them out of context, thus losing their meaning. Since LEA develops literacy through whole language, it develops literacy with the whole learner in mind. Real people love to read and write for real purposes. (FYI, learning parts of language out of a workbook is the exact opposite of whole language methods)

So to do LEA, make a shared memorable experience together, such as planting a garden, then sit down and have children all contribute to retelling the experience while you write down their words in large print that everyone can see (like chart paper or a blackboard). You may help provide the framework such as a topic sentence and transitional words such as first, next, then, after, and last. You can help provide correct grammar without totally changing the children’s story. Read your story, re-read it, revise it, make a book out of it, share it, journal it, or write it down in a memory/scrap book…… you see all the purpose and the meaning?!

This activity is very beneficial because the children will see how the writing process works from beginning to end, they will also get reading practice as you all read and re-read the story together, and beginners enjoy the activity because it uses a topic of high personal interest and familiarity. Plus, teamwork gets the story done which makes it easy and fun for brand new writers.

Plan a Botanical Playhouse/Teepee (Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy)


IMG_1393Our little teepee covered in bird house gourds

Paint Rocks to Make Cute Vegetable Garden Markers. Make sure to spray varnish each side at least 5 times or colors will disappear rapidly! One year we varnished a painted rock project only once or twice and the paint washed off in no time.

Plant and Paint Sunflowers–We do a ‘Directed Painting’ every year (As I paint on my paper and talk the kids through, they try to copy)



Sheep Shearing Day at Ardenwood Historic Farm

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Living on Stewardship Street













How can I teach my children to be more helpful around the house?………

Should I be spending more time on habits, and less time on school work?……..

Should my children be paid to help or simply help to be helpful?……..

How would my children benefit from being paid to work?………


Our theme in March is “I am Helpful,” and hardworking, responsible, useful, and productive too! As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord…,” we are practicing helping out around our home with daily chores and spring cleaning, while also working on maintaining enthusiastic attitudes. The children are fledgling spring cleaners, but nevertheless we are attempting to tackle dirty, unorganized, and out of control things such as toy bins, panty shelves, sliding door tracks, school bins, and outdoor weeding. As if the daily chores at home aren’t demanding enough on both our time and our attitudes! Spring cleaning adds a whole new challenging dimension to “working heartily as unto the Lord.” Its our daily chore system however, that has been the biggest “habits” formation component of our kindergarten since implemented 8 months ago. I don’t have all the answers as we are still struggling to make headway in habits, but I would love to share our personal experience thus far in training kids to be helpers at home.

Prior to kindergarten, during the preschool years, my main goal is to have the children simply learn to take care of themselves–like get dressed and wash their own plate–without prompting or prodding. It sounds simple enough, but moms of preschoolers know that this is no small task. They can also help around the house as preschoolers are often eager to do.

Once personal care jobs were successfully accomplished with some regularity by my eldest child, Noah, he moved into lots more “serving the family” type jobs by helping with actual housework, which we decided can be paid work starting in kindergarten. Job training for these “Service Jobs” occured in part during the preschool years, and then the rest, the summer before kindergarten so we would be ready to get started. Its was a gradual progression of acquiring the skills necessary to perform the jobs listed on our board, definitely not an overnight endeavor. Thanks to job training we now spend a considerable amount of time each morning practicing these skills while refining attitudes, and cooperatively getting the house out of chaos before school. I can’t believe school continues to commence at 10:30 in the morning by the time we are done with our “jobs”! However, I am glad that we are putting the time in to work on habits now at this age when school is light, rather than later.

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

Our Service Jobs Board helps kids to know with a glance how to help everyday. Noah is the green markers, and Faith the red. Markers are colored clay I make into shapes.

To begin with, I struggled to find the “right answer” as to whether a child should be paid to help, or whether it should be the duty of every family member to serve without expecting to receive any reward. I don’t know that there is one right answer, but we decided that paying our children would provide incredible hands on money learning opportunities (like tithing, saving, and budgeting) that we couldn’t pass up. The Biblical principles in Doorposts’ blog post, Learning Early to Budget, resonated with us, and Doorposts little Stewardship Street book was the product that helped make our decision come to life. We live on Stewardship Street now!

Noah, our 6 year old, now has a “stewardship street” of coin banks, hand painted with love by mommy, one for each category of savings suggested by Doorposts. The Stewardship Street book suggests making milk carton banks and dressing them up as buildings with the patterns the book provides. However, painted birdhouses also work well as coin banks, and are sturdier than milk cartons. I think Noah’s set turned out really cute! Noah’s Stewardship Street has proved to be a wonderful learning experience this year. At Christmas time, Noah was able to use his hard earned money from his gift store coin bank (short term savings) to buy a few friends and siblings Christmas gifts from the dollar store. From saving and counting up his own money, to shopping and paying for his own gifts, to wrapping and delivering his own gifts–it was quite a learning experience in so many ways for our then 5 year old boy! He was so enthusiastic and I have never seen his heart so into giving.

We are learning memory verses that teach our children the Biblical reasons to save in each of the 7 categories. This month for example, we are learning the verse for our Living Expenses bank (clothing store) : “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10. By the end of the school year we will have memorized a verse that teaches about each coin bank, which helps give meaning and understanding to each one.


Short Term Savings–a gift store
Dowry–a cozy home
Long Term Savings–a rocket (future dreams)
Living Expenses–a clothing store
Charity and Missions–a lighthouse
Tithing–a church
Spending–a toy store

Right now we pay just a dime per job well done, and double pay for a job well done without any complaining ($.20). This usually adds up to about 6 dimes per day total, and Noah drops 1 dime each into 6 different coin banks every morning (until he can use math to figure percentages, we are keeping allocations to each coin bank equal so that it is easy). We figured that paying dimes is affordable and helps a kindergartener learn to count by 10’s. At this rate, Noah will have $3 each month to buy a toy from his “Spending Bank” savings, or save up all year for a bigger toy, like an inexpensive lego set, for example. It pricks my heart a little bit that he has to work so hard for seemingly so little. However, all 7 savings categories are important, and being faithful to each area teaches better financial stewardship than say, letting our child put 50% of his earnings towards buying things he wants for himself. Its a rude awakening when we have to grow up one day and realize that often the reality is we can/should only spend a little bit on ourselves, which is especially difficult if we are used to spending so much of our earnings all on ourselves throughout childhood.

But what if paying my children prevents them from truly serving? What if they only want to help around the house because there is pay in it?  Should there be times that they simply help to be helpful? Yes, that is the answer my heart settled on–there must still be times for them to exercise selfless serving with no expectation of monetary reward. For one thing, we have chosen not to pay on weekends. Mommy may also ask anytime for help with anything besides what is assigned on the Service Job Board, and the kids lend a hand without being paid. We also have designated times to simply practice serving from our heart. We set the timer for 30 minutes and call it “Observe and Serve Time.” (see below). Also, I encourage the kids to do a “Secret Serve,” which is doing something helpful for someone in secret.

This “Job” hierarchy below details my thoughts on the progression of learning to serve. Success in one level may indicate greater readiness for operating in the next level. :


Taking care of oneself everyday. Unpaid.

(washing and dressing, pick up own toys, wash own dishes,

clean own room, put away own laundry)

“Service Jobs”

Assigned jobs that help the family everyday. Paid.

(vacuuming the living room, wiping the table, dusting,

helping cooking a meal, sorting laundry, etc.)

“Observe and Serve Time”

Time set aside on select days to practice using our powers of observation

to look around and see what needs to be done, and then do it for each other.

No assigned jobs, work comes from the heart and of one’s own volition. Unpaid.

“True Serving”

Child/Teen finds needs all day long and meets them without being told what to do.

Training in the 3 previous levels is no longer needed once he/she is a true servant.

Consistently shows a true servants heart. Periodically rewarded in some way.


 What is your chore system? How do you encourage the habit of helpfulness at home?


    Sewing up his heart for Doris


    D is for Doris


Swan babies love Daddy swan


Faith decides to write a note


Noah starts trying to read his Bible. “A dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12


Daniel enjoying some nut butter


Helper Noah


My girl building at Home Depot


Helpers Faith and Daniel Team Up


Brothers Reading


Our helper theme board. “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2

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