Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

October Lesson Plans

on September 28, 2015

2015-2016 Preschool-2nd Grade

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Ephesians 1:18

“God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer.” –Matthew Henry

Ephesians 1:18 has a very special place in my memories. There was a season in my late teens/early twenties where God met me so richly and deeply; the eyes of my understanding were being opened, and I was walking in oceans deep. My friends, sister, and I spent hours praying and seeking Him because it felt like the heavens opened to rain down His sweet presence every time we gathered. I didn’t understand why it was happening, except that I knew our pastors believed in our potential and prayed hard for us. They laid hands on me and the other youth, and spoke over our lives many times. As they prayed, God rushed upon us in such a way that we were crying or speechless or laid out on the floor. The scripture verse that stood out the most from this season of life and will be forever etched in my heart was Ephesians 1:18.

With a heart full of expectation, Ephesians 1:18, was what I felt impressed to make our theme verse for this school year. I pray that God will open the eyes of my children’s hearts so that they can imagine the riches of God’s will for their future, that even while they are imaginitively pretending during long creative afternoon play sessions, they are in the Holy Spirit, and dreaming big! I pray for their exciting calling to be courageous heroes for Christ as Ephesians becomes fulfilled in their lives. I pray for courageous children who grow up to powerfully serve the Lord and make a difference in this world.

Every year in October at Jesus’s Precious Lambs we study and visit community helpers, and the children think about what they want to be when they grow up. Last year, God really breathed life into the theme as He gave mommy and daddy ideas to kindle the fires of our children’s heroic astronaut dreams. We found an astronaut costume at a second hand store, we went to Chabot Space and Science Center, we made a big cardboard rocket, we checked out astronaut and space books from the library, and made some awesome spaceship paintings. It was such a special, unforgettable month, and yet just the beginning of so much more. Through prayer, and the opening of the eyes of our hearts to understand the hope of His calling, these natural activities had a special supernatural dimension that is hard to express in words. The presence of the Lord is in the stuff that dreams are made of, and though my kids may not become astronauts, the dreaming capacity of their hearts, and ours, was certainly enlarged that month.

I love the “super” that is put on the natural, when targeted, Spirit-led prayer is a component of lesson planning in homeschool. Don’t you love when the reading for the day “just happens” to really speak to where your family is at, or you are studying insects and the children catch a praying mantis or dragonfly or butterfly in the backyard, or you find a new way to present math or spelling that really smooths out the day?? Sometimes these are bright spots of God’s unexpected and undeserved grace on our homeschool……… but sometimes they are spiritual blessings that have been drawn out or fetched from the spirit realm by intentional prayer. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesian 1:3

A most wonderful spiritual blessing for a homeschooling family is the growth of a child’s character. I challenge us all to make specific prayer requests in areas that we desire to see growth in our children, and then just as importantly, to look expectantly and eagerly each day for the answers to those prayers. We will find answers abound when we are looking for them in every little thing. When we train ourselves to find the hand of God in daily life, we will begin to see so much more. As we see more, faith rises more, enabling us to see even more, and so we are able believe for always more than before. The faith enlarging pursuit of growing children in the character of God, with the partnership of the Spirit, is an exciting snowball effect that puts passion into our homeschools! The largest passion of our Jesus’ Precious Lambs homeschool comes from character study/habit training.

Any effective character study begins in prayer. In order to combat negative habits, such as fear or quarreling, and then be empowered to move forward in virtues, such as courage or peacemaking, the power of prayer is essential. Since character growth begins with prayer, prayers are being uttered from my lips before the month even begins, as soon as a character trait/habit has been selected. Every month I select a new habit for us all to work on while we continue to work on an “old” habit (we maintain the special traditions that go along with the original “habits of the month” from our “Masterplan“–for example, we continue to work on “courage” year after year as the repeating theme of October). I use various books and websites to gather relevant stories, poems, quotes, scriptures, etc., that will serve as inspiration to change and as discussion starters at Circle Time. We start school everyday with character discussions at Circle Time, and allow time to pray together for the divine assistance we need in order to achieve a measure of success by the end of the month. I have seen God move every month in our family in response to these simple steps of faith!

Since it all revolves around prayer, I add a section called “Prayer Time” right into my lesson plans, which is a list of prayer ideas for the month (see plans below). Planning prayer really helps us to pray more targeted prayers, and to pray with scriptural insight and guidance over the new habit we are forming. I use the prayer points listed in “Prayer Time” during my personal prayer time as well as with the kids in Circle Time. I also ask family or friend prayer partners to print out the prayers, and uphold my kids all month by uniting with us, praying the same prayer targets. Kids of Integrity has great sample prayers that we like to use (and fun hands on character study ideas too). It took several years of homeschooling, but we are getting more strategic in our approach to prayer, praise God.

Another important prayer strategy is prophesying–making a declaration, or calling things forth. We must speak boldly and often about what God is going to do. When faced with various challenges, we boldly speak out the hopes of our hearts that align with scripture; calling forth “things that are not as though they are.” A mother’s Godly dreams for her family often differ from how things at home actually look, so she must be courageous to call those dreams forth in the spirit realm. For example, if I sense false or empty or aimless occupations trying to take residence in my children’s hearts, my prophetic declaration (preceded by some Bible study) might sound like this:

“My children desire God above all else, and pursue Him passionately in prayer, worship and the Word. As the Spirit hovers over our school, my children creatively display God’s glory through art, writing, singing, nature study and other academic and creative means. They articulately discuss the scriptures during family discussions, growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. In meekness and grace they share the truth and defend the truth in the world; blameless and pure, they shine like stars as they hold forth the Word of life. The eyes of their hearts are open, the deep mysteries and secrets of God’s heart are revealed to them, and they know their unique calling and rich inheritance. They perceive who they are created to be in Christ Jesus and boldly pursue the calling on their life. They are heroes for Christ who serve their generation. They are ministers of love in our family and circle of neighbors; God has them right here, right now, for such a time as this.”

Prophecy can sound a lot like prayer, but it is a declaration more than a request, and is spoken in the present tense. It’s only a matter of time until what we spoke in the spirit realm manifests itself in the natural. What we say today creates our tomorrow, so start prophesying those hopes for your family now.

I am ready to walk into revelation oceans deep with my children right there beside me, aren’t you? God, open the eyes of our hearts and enlighten us to understand strategic and intentional approaches to prayer, lesson planning, and habit training. Let passion come. Let us walk upon the waters wherever You would call us; Spirit lead us to a place without borders. XOXOXO

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 a “hypothetical” daily schedule (it rarely happens in perfection). 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 their free curriculum guide, book finder, and 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 and delightful!

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.Fun Theme: Community Helpers/Heroes

Seasonal Theme: Autumn

Character/Habit: Fear vs. Courage, Quarreling vs. Peacemaking

Bible: Joshua and Judges

History/Geography: Ancient Greece, Middle East

Nature Study: Ponds and Streams

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Parent Study:

Image result for hints on child training

  • Make a prayer wall in our living room to help organize and increase our prayer time
  • Read Hints on Child Training
  • Read Caught up in a Story to help foster IMAGINATION

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog and picture study from Noah’s Ark book

Character/Habit Development:

Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children | Main photo (Cover)

  • Read Wisdom and the Millers: A Place of Refuge p.80 and A Brother’s Love p.108
  • Review Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and review the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude, offer opportunities for initiative and choice (like Observe and Serve). Pay Noah (6) in dimes and Faith (4) in stickers once a week (a natural math opportunity).
  • Have Noah study and write out verses on fear and quarreling from his Child Training Bible (Child Study Bible– also see “Bible” section below)

Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing Time:

Prophesy Ephesians 1:18 over ourselves.

I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Ephesians 1:18

Prayer Time

  • Bring a prepared scripture verse promise to Circle Time for each child to memorize and learn to stand on this month. Make it personal and based on each child’s needs. Hold each others needs and corresponding promise close to our hearts in prayer the entire school year. Teach children to pray over siblings and friends and their promises.
  • Pray for children who heroically stand up for what they believe in, face and overcome temptation, and stand strongly in the face of adversity. Pray for the exciting future careers and callings of my children, and for their most exciting calling of all–to be courageous heroes for Christ. Pray for courageous children who grow up to powerfully serve the Lord and make a difference in this world. Pray this prayer for courage.
  • Pray for peace at home between brothers and sister. Pray this prayer for peacemakers.

Sharing Time:

  • Talk about what scares us personally, and how we might work to overcome our fears. Also, practice giving encouragement to embolden one another, both in sharing time and in scary situations.
  • Do something really brave this month and share about it at circle
  • Bring a picture and/or story of someone who is a hero to you

Discussion Time:

Read these stories, poems, & quotes/do the activities, and then start a discussion.

Courage: “Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

  • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas about courage, discuss one a day:
    • selfishness makes us cowards, but thinking of others makes us braver
    • we become brave by doing brave acts
    • we practice bravery by acting brave when we don’t really feel brave
    • the brave person is not someone who is never afraid
    • the fear of failures never hurts as bad as we expect them to
    • we imagine our fears into existence (Job and Chicken Little)
    • to refrain from foolish cowardice, refrain from too much mountain-making our of molehills
  • Read short true stories about the lives of Christian heroes

Peacemaker:

Bible:

  • Early Morning: Personal time in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, Leading Little Ones to God Devotional together or a NT excerpt from mommy’s Bible
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Joshua and Judges in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, or my ESV Study Bible (about 2 chapters a day, 3x a week)
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Read at pleasure in our Child’s Study Bible tabbed on various topics; Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy 3x a week

Leading Little Ones to God BB01

Memory Verses:

‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17
Also we will review:

  • Psalm 23
  • Review October verses from previous years: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  • “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

Hold Fast Your Dreams

by Louise Driscoll
Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And, sheltered so,
May thrive and grow
Where doubt and fear are not.
O keep a place apart,
Within your heart,
For little dreams to go!

Handwriting:

  • Writing for Real Life: written letters, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, All About Me book, spelling words, poem, or memory verse.
  • Hand write new reading words from Delightful Reading curriculum. (Faith)
  • First 12 lessons in Print to Cursive. (Noah)

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah will study, word build, hand write, and recite the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. We don’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)

Materials:  printed poem, word cards for each of the following words, loose letters                 

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                   Rain

“The rain is falling all around

It falls on tree and field”…….

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Reading Lessons:

1. Write one word from the poem on the board

2. Discuss the word

3. Study it closely, then erase

4. Find the word card from a small pile of cards, then hide the card

5. Spell the word with loose letters (from memory if possible)

6. Find the word in the printed poem

7. Repeat steps 1-6 with each word

8. Do a review of all the words listed up on the board

Word Building Lessons (reading and pre-spelling):

Using loose letters, build words that rhyme with each of the words in the 1st two lines of the poem (ex: rain–Cain, stain, plain, train, gain).

(Lessons 1-4 in Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason)

Vocabulary:

Most will be learned naturally in conversation as words in question arise, but I also will have Noah look up words sometimes 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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History and Geography:

  • SCM’s Joshua-Malachi & Ancient Greece lesson plan book includes 1 chapter a week from a living book and 4 chapters a week from the spine (Bible portion is mentioned above). Noah will either narrate readings orally or narrate in his history sketchbook with a drawing of what he remembers.

Joshua through Malachi & Ancient Greece.  https://i2.wp.com/www.nothingnewpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/greeks-cover-600x400.jpg

  • One lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to the Middle East lesson plan book
  • Pray for the country of the week (as selected in the lesson plan book) using the prayer points in Window on the World

  • We will also do a few lessons from Home Geography

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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Geometry:

Copy Cat (p.19) Children create structures out of provided or self-selected math materials and their partners copy them. For preschoolers, have their partner add just one block at a time as they copy if you see that they are struggling.

Recording Designs and Creations (p.22)

  • Pattern blocks: Record a pattern block design with pattern block paper shapes or triangle grid paper (for extra challenge). The challenge is in the reproduction. Provide a paper to build upon to control complexity–smaller paper for easier designs, bigger paper for more challenging designs.
  • Tiles: Record with colored paper squares.
  • Geoboards: Record on another geoboard (easier), onto same size geoboard paper (hard), onto smaller geoboard paper (harder), or onto plain paper (hardest). Ask children what they see in their design (“I see a trapezoid, a square, and a rectangle.”)

Noah’s Lessons:

  • Place Value lessons in Book #3 by Kathy Richardson on pages 14-31–learning to regroup by 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s (preparation for grouping by 10’s, the base 10 system).
  • Noah will begin recording subtraction facts in in his blank Subtraction Book, just as he slowly made an Addition Book recording all addition facts (up to 10) that he explored with manipulatives last school year. For example, after doing the “combinations of 7” activity pictured below, he used colored pencils to record his findings (3+4=7, 5+2=7, etc.) with pictures of cubes labeled with number sentences in his book (held in his hands). Each 2 page spread was dedicated to the research compiled for one number. After each math lesson, he would look into his book to see if he had discovered a new combination or if he confirmed one that he had already recorded. IMG_0067

Games:

  • Time to Any Hour (p. 61) Put the hour and minute cards face down in two separate piles. Provide a real clock. Have child form a time by turning over the top minute card and the top hour card, and then set the clock to match.
  • Compare Times (p. 62) Players take turns setting the clock. Then they make the time with their cards.
  • To One Hundred (p. 26) Make a stock pile of 5’s and 10’s cards. Player take the top card and enters that number of beads on his abacus. Players take turns adding by 5’s and 10’s until someone reaches 100 exactly. Variation: Use a hundreds chart instead of an abacus.
  • Addition War (p. 39) Using about 40 1-9 numeral cards, deal the cards out evenly. Players take the top two cards from their stacks, set them face up, add them together, and say the sum aloud. The player with the higher sum takes all four cards. Equal sums means war and each player places two extra cards face down, and then places two more face up to add together. The higher sum takes all the cards.
  • Showing a Number On Various Manipulatives Use an abacus, place value cards, unifix cubes, and a hundreds chart to show a number like 37 or 56 or 94 on various manipulatives.
  • Sort Attribute Blocks One person sorts all the blocks one at a time into piles according to a secret rule (thin and red), while the others watch and try to guess the rule. Or one person chooses a rule, and the other chooses a block and asks if it belongs. Play continues until the rule can be stated.
  • Make Attribute Block Patterns Also have the child find the error in a pattern or a missing block.

Extra: Download and print open ended math questions to use as time allows. Ask Noah to provide as many answers as he can (When applicable).

Example of an open ended question:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREEBIE-January-Open-Ended-Math-Question-for-Journals-or-Do-Nows-First-Grade-1601205

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1  Copy a Design Made on a Geoboard

Week 2 Grow and Shrink (p. 35)

Materials: Counters, dot cubes (dice, or make your own) or numeral cubes (make your own) with quantities at your child’s level (1-6 or 4-9 or 7-12 for example). Lesson: Name a number and have children put out that many counters. Name another number and have children show that number. Continue naming numbers and notice how the children approach the task. Do they remove all the counters every time or do they add (or take off) just the amount they need? Say, “Do you think we need to get some more or take some off to make the number?”, but do not teach them how to add and take away counters. Simply observe their level of thinking. Extension: Have children roll a dot cube to practice recognizing quantities, or a number cube to practice recognizing numerals.

Week 3 Arrangement Patterns (p. 107)

Materials: Unifx cubes and pattern task cards made by drawing squares in different arrangments. Lesson: Children choose a task card, copy the pattern with the unifix cubes, and then extend the pattern. Children will learn that patterns are not just in straight lines.

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Week 4 Is it More or Less? (p. 146)

Materials: Unifix cubes. Lesson: Have children build several trains of specified lengths (all under ten). Say, “Show me a train that has more than six. Show me a train that has less than six.” State the relationship together: “Four is less than six, six is more than four.” Repeat with trains of various lengths. Extension: Decide how many more or how many less one train has than the other. “What can we do to the red train to make it just as long as the blue train?” is easier than “How many more cubes does the red train have than the blue train?” Choose the wording your children are ready for.

Week 5 Stacks

Materials: Unifix cubes Lesson: You and the children each make a stack of 10 to 12 cubes and then hide the stacks behind your backs. Say, “Stacks,” and then everyone breaks off part of their stack and places it in front of them. Each child compares their stack to yours announcing something like, “Two is less than three” or “Five is more than three”. Ask, “What can we do to make these two stacks the same?” or “How many more cubes does your stack have than mine?” (Five cubes is 2 more than 3) depending on what language each child is ready for.

          Games:

  • Dot and Number Memory (p.14) Match even and odd dot cards to matching numeral cards (all placed in order in two separate rows upside down).
  • Even Odd Dot Memory (p.15) Same as game above except one person collects evens, the other collects odds (to become more aware of the difference).
  • Build a staircase on the abacus
  • Sort Attribute Blocks–same shape, different thickness; same color, different shape; same thickness, different size; different color, different thickness; same thickness, different shape; same thickness, different size, different shape; same color, different thickness, different shape.

Nature Study:

IMG_0297IMG_0306IMG_0308

Spanish:

A few lessons from Speaking Spanish, a book that uses Charlotte Mason methods.

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Videos:

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

READING RAINBOW:DESERT LIFE

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

  • Chalk Pastel Fall Art

Fall Walk in the Woods Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial www.hodgepodge.me

  • Collect Signs of Fall, Make a Collage, Do Leaf Rubbings, Press Leaves, and Draw Fall Leaves in Our Nature Journals

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  • Make and deliver our annual “Fall Blessings” to the neighbors and spend time during morning devotions praying for each family.

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

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  • Invite a Neighbor to Tea

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Fieldtrips:

  • Exploratorium–October 9th
  • Ardenwood Harvest Festival–pick popping corn to take home on Sunday, October 11th
  • Nature Grubs Class–learn fun secrets about rattlesnakes on October 21st with East Bay Parks naturalist Katie Colbert

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

“Freedom lies in being bold.” ― Robert Frost


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