Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

Training for Victory

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrew 12:1

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

Winning a race requires dedication and discipline. At times we can be tempted to lose heart in this homeschool marathon when victory seems no where in sight. Let’s face it, there are days that can be grueling for homeschooling moms–the discipline we need in order to accomplish a day’s duty in dishes, laundry, child training, gardening, house cleaning, lessons, nature study, meal prep, planning, organizing, errands, etc. requires every ounce of our strength. What would we do without the Lord’s grace and mercy on our lives? Thank God that by the essential disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and worship, we can actually run our race, with stamina and vigor.

My family is going into our fifth year of homeschooling, and although I have always been excited about our calling, and still am, I sense that I now also need endurance to stay in the will of God, that we may receive what He has promised our family. I need to keep doing what I am doing and not become mentally tired. After all, my oldest is only the ripe old age of 7, and my youngest hasn’t even started school yet. Oh my, the lesson plans still to be written. I sigh to think of it, but I know they are the single greatest earthly factor of our homeschool successes each month, so I press on.

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” –Bishop Carl Smith

Those words from my beloved former Pastor keep reminding me lately that the planning I do is important. Likewise, at church on Sunday Pastor Dave preached on perseverance (Striking Arrows), and again I was encouraged. As he spoke on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul’s analogy of training like an athlete to win a prize, my mind went to the ‘next level training’ my husband and I have been discussing for the children this school year. I was encouraged by his message that the Lord’s vigorous training process for us will indeed feel hard and unpleasurable at times because training to win requires hard work, self denial, and even grueling preparation. I sure do want to be in it to win it.

“Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body (I beat my body) like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

As Christians called to win the race, and as Christians with the privilege of educating our own children in the race, we dear friends, have been called to a life that demands the very best of what we have to offer. With the right training and discipline, victory is ahead; without the right training and discipline, victory will always be out of reach.

Lord, train us to win.

Give us a whiff of the victory ahead, and the strength to sprint towards Your eternal prize.

As He directs our steps, the Lord will bring more purpose and clarity into our family lives, but with it, discipline will be required to succeed hour by hour in the daily marathon at home. In many areas, perseverance is simply all we need– to keep doing what we are already doing, and in other areas He may be prompting us to posture ourselves for stricter training.

Here are a few areas our Father is challenging our family to step up into the next level of training: our schedule, our Bible study, family club meetings, and our prayer life.


Our Schedule

Here is a peek at our schedule for this school year. With the way I feel about schedules, keeping this schedule will be a lot like me “striking a blow at my body to make it my slave.” (1 Cor. 9:27 NIV)




Discipline has been a weak area for me most of my life, so me and schedules don’t often groove. I freely admit that I love somewhat unstructured homeschool days where school starts at 10 or 11 in the morning. Me staying up too late at night, Olympian sized breakfasts, plenty of chores, and long devotions here make for late mornings. I remember structured school days that always started at 9 am when Tayler, our little next door neighbor girl, met with us for school back in Noah’s preschool days. So having a more structured schedule shouldn’t be impossible to have again!

I realize that in order to realistically spread a Charlotte Mason feast of broad and generous knowledge, we need to try to implement more schedule into our day, which is going to take some training on my part. My lack of structure this past year would sometimes result in paring down to the “basics” for lack of time, which makes for blander school days. However, when we carefully guard designated times for the more beautiful elements of an education–picture study, composer study, poetry study, nature study, and handicrafts–homeschool is a richer, more enjoyable experience for both teacher and students. Our schedule this school year includes my goal to start school early, while allowing time to make our mornings beautiful.

I really prioritize lengthy uninterrupted play times for my 7, 5, and 2 year old because I think play is as important as lessons are for children, so we intentionally stay home to play most afternoons. I notice the more my kids play, the more creative they are. I hate to see that drained away in children by over scheduling their lives. That being said, we find afternoon activities like exercise, tea with neighbors, time with friends, and handicrafts are also important, but they are a less regular part of our life than good old fashioned sibling playtime.

We also try to schedule time to be in nature and learning out and about at various places on Fun Fridays. Our untraditional school adventures are my lifeline; we all love Fun Fridays!

Family Bible Study

“Family Nights,” as shown on our schedule, happen every night here– its the time of day daddy is home to disciple our children. We desire for many of our children’s most meaningful spiritual experiences to occur at home, and for many to occur during the daily diet of a father led Family Bible Hour. In the context of special family discipleship relationships, and through a father regularly touching his children’s hearts with the gospel message, children grow in a faith that is not easily walked away from once grown up. The calling of a father is indispensable to our children’s training.

Since Noah was little we have been interested in training up our children into Christian manhood/womanhood by 12 or 13 years old with a rite of passage ceremony, and creating a list of training objectives to complete by the time of the ceremony. I remember being really amazed at the time Noah graduated preschool that we had 8 years of training time left …… and now we have 5 years!! The child training period may be shorter than we realize. It is important for us all to recognize the gravity of the moment with each new school year.

In light of these things, we plan to set Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights aside for Family Bible Study time, which will include Bible readings, 1 Verse Bible Studies, and a rotation through other supplemental activities such as prayer with our prayer wall, worship on my guitar, and reading character shaping books like YWAM’s Christian Hero’s Then and Now series.

1 Verse Bible Study is a new idea birthed this summer as God is growing us into using basic Bible study methods. It should help us and our children learn to meditate on scripture, listen in to the Holy Spirit’s voice, apply scripture to our personal lives, and remember what we’ve learned. Its easy enough for a 2nd grader and kindergardener to do, but also really effective for receiving revelation from the Lord for all ages.

Its quite simple and quick. Someone picks a verse and reads it aloud several times, we all highlight it in our Bibles, then we quietly think about it and pray it. We may journal our thoughts and pictures in our prayer journals if we wish. We encourage the kids to ask God and themselves questions about the verse as they meditate. Then we have a discussion in which we each take a turn to share out what the Holy Spirit showed us. Each person shares at least one idea or one question, and everyone can help shed light on the questions that come up. I love that everyone gets to participate, and we are having some of our best Bible related discussions this way. Plus, learning to hear the Holy Spirit through the Word is a skill that our children can take into adulthood for their personal Bible study and for leading Bible studies.


When we meditate quietly, we may close our eyes and try to visualize the verse in order to receive revelation, as I did with Psalm 119:105 – my 1 verse Bible Study with the kids the other day:





















Family Club Meetings

Besides Bible Study, we desire to hold Club Meetings ever so often on Family Nights, for fun and for training our children to maturity. We found the Keepers/Contenders of the Faith program handbooks will help us achieve a family club where Moms can teach daughters, fathers can teach sons, and we can foster close relationships between us all as we learn fun skills together. We plan to hold Family Club Meetings in our living room every other Monday night. It is a brand new program for us this year, but we hope Keepers and Contenders will serve as a family scouting experience for us, and a fun way to earn badges for all kinds of handicrafts and a host of other wonderful skills. We have the Contenders of the Faith handbook for boys and the Keepers of the Faith handbook for girls to help guide our badge work. This amazingly thorough list of life skills from Keepers/Contenders can help prepare our children to someday manage a home, lead a family, and be a Christian witness–while helping to build a special family unity here in the few short years we have them. Our meeting agendas will be something simple such as:

  1. Prayer
  2. Song or HymnImage result for contenders of the faith club
  3. Words of Encouragement Image result for keeper of the faith club
  4. Pledge of Allegiance
  5. Recite Memory Work
  6. Game
  7. Check on Badge Work Progress; Discuss Badge Work Goals to Accomplish Before our Next Meeting
  8. Badge Work




Our Prayer Wall



I am pleased to have finished our “Prayer Wall” this summer, to support us in moving progressively towards a stronger understanding of prayer and prayer strategy (while still remaining Spirit led of course). We use our prayer wall during morning devotions and also at night once we start up Family Bible Study with daddy this fall. PRAYER is our little makeshift acronym to remind us how to pray, as we grow in understanding…….Praise God for who He is, Really thank Him, Ask for forgiveness, Your needs, Everyone else’s needs, Release seed. Seed is the Word of God, and we are learning to plant scriptures related to our needs, and others, whenever we pray so that there may be a harvest in due time (a good little devotional for teaching this principle pictured below).



Image result for over the edge devotional















The top chalkboard on our Prayer Wall lists current short term needs, and the cups contain long term prayer focuses for Our Family, Loved ones, and the World. We have stood on God’s promises for our children and ourselves for many years, but they were scattered in different journals and binders and Bibles. Now the scriptures are organized in one place and easily accessible by all! Praise the Lord! The ‘Family’ cup has slips of paper with a topic such as ‘Godly Friendships’ or ‘Health’ on one side and our corresponding promise from the Word on the other. The ‘World’ cup has slips of paper with people groups, nations, and general world needs (natural disasters, government, missions, churches, etc.). The kids can use the map to locate the nation named on their slip of paper. They can also use our Window on the World book to get prayer points and background on a nation or people group. The ‘Loved Ones’ cup has slips of paper with the names of all the family and friends our kids could think of (they sounded out and wrote the names themselves).


God is growing all of us in different ways according to our needs! How is He challenging you to run your race well this year?

With our vision written plain, our running shoes on, and our faces set like a flint, we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and we will press on to receive all that he has promised. Thank you for praying for our family, let me know how we can be praying for yours.

Victory is ours!

Our Sweet Summer Memories

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Breakfast at the Cravalhos




























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Faith found a frog in our backyard!


Now we have two!


We started doing The Lord’s Table this summer as a family

a camper?

Is it a camper?

Noah's first batch of pancakes--with his own touch on top

Noah’s first batch of pancakes–with his own touch on top

Constant fort building

Constant fort building all summer


Shine Worship Festival 2016 at The Lord’s Land (1 Verse Bible Study spawned from this trip)














Hiking at Mitchell Canyon









































Noah dreamed big this summer, one dream was to paint a train backdrop for our 4th of July Show




























Faithy’s playhouse decorated for the 4th














The most adorable 4th of July Show ever

















We were pleased with the finished backdrop for the stage


Cousins stayed over for a few days



Clean up training for little Daniel has been rough


All Cozy for Family Movie Night


Little Mommy


A fun Ride in a Really Big Dump truck at Daddy’s Work


Happy Father’s Day Daddy–just what you always wanted!


Hiking to the falls at Sunol Regional Wilderness


Thankful for inspiration to capture precious moments (right before she lost her two front teeth)














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September Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Me and My Family

Seasonal Theme: Apples, Back to School

Character/Habit: Respect and Honor

Bible: Matthew

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

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


Parent Study:


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

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Monet (by Taschen)

Composer Study: Vivaldi by Classical Kids

Poetry Study: Favorite Poems Old and New

Character/Habit Development:

  • Read stories “Nothing Shall be Impossible” p. 52 and “Appreciation Day” p.26″ in Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. On the radar for this year:
    • Letter Writing
    • Serving Family
    • Serving Neighbors
    • Gardening
    • Embroidery
    • Archery
    • Counted Cross Stitch
    • Woodworking
    • Scrapbooking
  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude; have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (7) and Faith (5) in dimes once a week (natural math in an everyday situation); provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Habit Training Bible (AKA Child Study Bible–see “Bible” studies below) in their handwriting books as behavior needs arise
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

Acknowledge each child’s unique traits and giftings, what I see ahead for this school year and how God can use him/her, my confidence and the Lord’s in his/her ability to succeed in areas of previous struggle, and pray scriptural empowerment that specifically ministers to each need as I lay hands on them. “Then Jesus took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

Choral confession: 1 Peter 2:17 “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the King.”

Prayer Time


Our Prayer Wall

















  • Use our Prayer Wall to help us pray for current/urgent needs (on the chalkboard), as well as our family (slips of paper with all the promises we have stood on over the years), the world (slips of paper with the names of the countries we have studied in geography so far), and our loved ones (slips of paper with the names of friends and extended family).
  • Print out and pray these parent prayers and scriptures for respect this month, and the kids prayers for respect.
  • Continue Praying for people of the nations, especially places we learn about in history/geography studies. Use the children’s book, Window on the World:When we Pray God Works, to inform us about nations and people groups, and provide prayer points for both.

Sharing Time:

  • Bring something really cool to circle that God created, talk about respect for God’s creation
  • Bring something to circle that we are really proud of, talk about respect for ourselves- as ones who have been made in the image of God
  • Mommy share: Warm hearts and enjoy a sweet slideshow made by mommy with pictures that show many different ways that each child is special
  • Mommy Share: Put together a shoe box box of things that are very special to me and give insight into who I am as a person, and share about myself with your children. (a favorite toy or book from childhood, a cherished piece of jewelry, a piece of school work, something I made yourself, my prayer journal, etc.) Then have children try to do the same thing with their own shoe box of items at circle time on another day.
  • Family Share: Let each person in the family have a turn to sit in the middle of the circle to be complimented and encouraged by everyone else. Talk about respecting each other.

Discussion Time:

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

Respect (and a review of initiative and pride):

  • Review Pride/Humility from last September: (from Kids of Integrity) As people, we tend to become proud of our accomplishments and abilities. In Jeremiah, wisdom, strength and wealth are listed as things we should not boast about. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” One of the best ways to stay humble is to remain focused on God’s greatness. He is so much wiser than us and so much stronger, and everything in the whole wide world is His! God is pleased when we fear (or respect) Him greatly (Psalm 147:10-11). When we recognize the magnitude of God’s holiness, power and love, and realize how imperfect, weak and unloving we are in comparison, it helps us to stay humble. Complimenting God & Pride Comes Before a Fall
  • Review Initiative from last September: Do you wait to be told to do something that you know needs to be done? Initiative is: doing the right thing without being told. Doing it before someone else does. Also, it can involve doing more than what you were told to do. Being the first one to do something good. Lack of initiative is assuming someone else will do it. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 Talk about what the children are doing to take initiative. (teach Daniel the Bible, teach Daniel how to do housework, check the job board, pray out first in prayer) Now what else could you work on taking more initiative? (introduce myself to people at church, look for ways to help around the house without being asked, be the first one to smile or say I love you, do my lessons before I am told to, start a friendship with someone new, find a way to earn some money, look for ways to help around the neighborhood or church)
    • Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
  • Respect: consideration for others; to think highly of; admiration for something or someone because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Reverence is profound respect with a spiritual connotation/feeling about it. Honor is showing high respect for someone in a tangible way that comes from the heart. Honor is about going our of our way to treat someone as special, rather than doing only what is expected.
  • Brainstorm Family Rules of Respect (no talking back, no antagonizing, look at someone when they are talking to you, answer when spoken to, respecting other people’s wishes, use manners, carry groceries for mommy, opening doors for others, greet daddy when he comes home, letting sisters go ahead of you, not damaging household items on purpose, greet and visit with elders at a gathering, etc.)
  • To continue to provide living examples, list words and deeds said and done this month in our family that show disrespect and ones that show respect or honor.
  • Talk about God’s way of disciplining disrespect (emphasis on work vs. play), which is also our way. Psalm 107:11-12  “…for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.”
    • (from Kids of Integrity)Talk to your children about God’s heart of love and willingness to forgive them when they are sorry. Encourage your child with Isaiah 57:15: “For this is what the high and lofty One says – He who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’ ”Explain that when we are deeply sorry in our hearts, God is willing to forgive us and continue His friendship with us. Affirm that earthly parents are also pleased to hear their children repent when they have done wrong and are quick to forgive as God is.
  • Read the following verses: Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Leviticus 19:32 “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Romans 12:10 “…Honor one another above yourselves.”
    • Brainstorm ways to show respect and honor to girls, women, boys, and men. How about parents and grandparents? Also list ways to respect widows, the elderly, the younger, the weaker by serving them.
    • Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.”
  • The First of April at Hazel Dell (LDR)
  • Egg Toss
  • Mealtime Manners
  • If you tend to think of only yourself what will you do when someone accidentally bumps into you? (get angry, think they did it on purpose) When they break your toy? When they say something unkind? How would your responses be different in each situation if you tend to think of others?
  • The Little Mother
  • Explain how learning about other cultures increases our respect for other people groups around the world. Enjoy Wee Sing: Around the World during car rides.


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


Memory Verses:

Leviticus 19:32 “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord.”

Also we will review all verses from previous Septembers:

  • “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
  • “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
  • “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ” Psalms 139:14
  • “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ” Jeremiah 1:5
  • Stewardship Street verses



  • This is Our Father’s World
  • All Creatures of Our God and King
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God
  • Be Thou My Vision

Poetry Recitation:

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow–
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.



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










Spelling: (Noah)

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

Reading: (Faith)

Faith will practice reading to me this year from the first two or three books in the Pathway series.


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

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

Literature Read Alouds:

Image result for the matchbox diary

Image result for the granddaughter necklaceImage result for all the way to america a big italian family

Image result for when i was young in the mountainImage result for this is our house yum

Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia Cover

Image result for dumpling soup bookImage result for in my family

Image result for my family tree and me

Cover artImage result for it's back to school we go

Trusty Tries To Fly


History and Geography:




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


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


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

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


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.






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

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 40-56 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book

Faith’s Lessons:

Combining Stacks: Pick it Up (p112)

Make 5 stacks of cubes (no more than 5 cubes each). Have child make identical stacks. Say, “Can you pick up four?” The child can pick up a stack of four and/or two stacks that add up to four.

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.

Act Out Stories (p18)

Example: You have eight crayons in your box. You take out the red and yellow one. How many crayons are left in the box? Act it out. Also use fantasy stories that have to be mentally computed. Example: There are five ladybugs on a bush, 3 more land. How many ladybugs are there now?

Modeling Addition and Subtraction Equations (p 22)

Do the same type of math stories as above, except now model equations that go with the stories. Write some horizontal and some vertical so children become familiar with both. Allow them to practice math stories with pictures and objects as well.

Acting Out Stories to Go with Equations (p 25)

Now try encouraging children to tell stories that describe your equations. Children can use manipulatives.

Counting Boards: Reading Equations (p 33)

Provide counting boards for children to represent the problem on a subtraction/addition card. For example, place a “4-2” card under a picture of a tree. Have child decide what the cubes will represent (apples, cherries, oranges, birds, etc) and then place them on the boards in groups that represent the problem.

Science/Nature Study:





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













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

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

  • Finger paint and foot paint to showcase our children’s unique prints

  • Draw or paint a self portrait in September and June, and keep them to track children’s developmental and artistic growth

Royal Portraits!





























We really treasure our handmade 2014 and 2015 “All About Me” books, and our 2016 “My Story” testimony books.

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With instilling honor and respect in mind, this year we will begin an “All About My Family” book, that our children may “rise in the presence of the aged” (Leviticus 19:32), and the older generation may “tell the coming generation” (Psalm 78). The project will among many things, bridge generations, and inspire us to honor and appreciate the older generations’ contributions in our lives.

It will be a Family History/Heritage/Genealogy/Legacy Scrapbook, preserving fun, memorable, and keepsake things:

  • old family photos
  • notable historical events that happened during the lives of ancestors
  • flags/map for each country ancestors are from
  • pictures and journaling of family heirlooms
  • grandpas love letters, love stories, etc.
  • Tell me Your Story Grandma Book excerpts
  • Traditional folk costumes paper dolls from countries of ancestry
  • family history interviews and transcriptions
  • favorite family memoirs of faith
  • family tree
  • spiritual legacy
  • cultural foods, traditions, favorite recipes (especially handwritten)
  • make a family coat of arms
  • visit a grave site and journal it
  • qualities of “honor, pride and courage” passed down through generations

This year the kids will also write and illustrate a creative fictional story in a hardcover blank book like this from Rainbow Resource.

Portrait Lined Big Bare Book - Lined | Main photo (Cover)


  • Hollowed apples filled with hot apple cider and a cinnamon stick straw are fun

  • A cute back to school snack idea

Bus snack

  • First day pictures (and badges!) give some pomp and circumstance to the 1st day of school

“Kindergarten/Preschool 2014 and First Grade/Pre-K 2015”

  • Pick a school year theme. Make a banner that describes whats on our hearts for our kids to accomplish this year, and then talk about specific goals on the first day of school or at a special dinner the night before with daddy. Last year “imagine” was on my heart and we picked a theme verse to believe on for the year. God really did answer this prayer and stand of faith. Still praying and deciding what the theme might be this year!

Reaching for the stars as we dream

  • Celebrate! Setting the tone visually will heighten expectation because kids are very literal. Show them how special this school year will be– as a new beginning, a fresh start– with a beautifully set breakfast table (which can also incorporate your theme). This table is incredible, but even simple gestures can make a big impression.

Back to School Dinner |









  • Come up with some sort of first day interview (alternatively, here is a sweet one that focuses on eliciting cute things from kids about their teacher, ie. mommy!)

  • Start inviting  Neighbors over for Tea again

Tea Invitation for Doris

  • Paint a Picture like Monet

Idea for art lesson:


  • Markham Nature Park and ponds with lily pads–observe and journal
  • Tarantula Hike with the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden
  • Check in on newts at Briones Regional Park
  • Huckleberry Botanic Preserve
  • Apple Hill–to pick apples from the orchards! Read about apples in the Handbook of Nature Study, and read some apple themed picture books. Saturday, September 24th


Have a beautiful school year friends!!!

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Six and Eight are Great!

2nd Grade and Kindergarten Curriculum for 2016-2017

We are looking forward to school in September!! With Noah in 2nd grade and soon to turn eight, Faith in Kindergarten and about to turn six, Daniel soon to be three and starting to learn his letter sounds and numbers, juggling will be required– to keep things exciting for mommy. It will be delightful to nurture all these hearts with the simple immersion of truth, beauty, and goodness found in living books. As for our school curriculum thus far, there has hardly been a thing wanting for improvement, so we will continue on with what we love and hold dear. God’s guidance through Simply Charlotte Mason’s curriculum continues to dazzle us and make our days of learning so sweet together. We love what we get to do in homeschool!!! Plus it was a wonderful blessing to get to do school twice a week last year with my sister and nephews!!

The two areas I would like to spend more time on this year than we we were able to last year, are math and nature journaling. Also Spanish last year was again, almost a flop (though we tried, it just wasn’t working), but we won’t worry, God will work this out too, in His timing. Two areas we did flourish in last year were reading (Faith is starting to read, yay!, and Noah can devour books) and morning devotions (love this time together), the two staples of this house for sure. Thank you Father!!


Our studies this 2016-2017 school year will continue to include a little bit of Spanish, vocabulary, art, poetry, hymns and classical music, plus all the following beautiful books:




Spiritual Growth, Life Skills, and Character Development

  • Contenders for the Faith–life skills, character development, and handiwork  (scouting alternative; a Christ centered family based club with merit awards)
  • Jesus Calling, Over the Edge, and What Would Jesus Do?–morning devotionals

  • Christian Heroes Then & Now (YWAM) –historical biographies exemplifying heroic Christian character
  • Growing with the Millers–character building short stories
  • Bible–history and morning devotions (my non-readers also use many storybook Bibles in the morning too)
  • Window on the World–prayer points for countries and people groups
  • Child Training Bible —a Bible set up to help make the Word a priority in habit training; doubles as a child friendly topical Bible study resource (tabbed Bible on the left)





Simply Charlotte Mason’s Matthew-Acts and Ancient Rome



Simply Charlotte Mason’s Visits to Europe (picture books not pictured)


Reading and Spelling

Pathway Readers



Cursive practice book, blank writing notebooks (for copy work), and blank books (for authoring a story)



Simply Charlotte Mason’s 106 Days of Creation


Nature Study




Kathy Richardson’s Developing number Concepts Series




Please also see the following Annual Curriculum Plans for more ideas:

.     .      .      .     .      .     .     .     .     .     .      .     .     .     .     .     .

These Pics are a few months late, but here is a peek at the end of last school year!


Spelling with Lambie















My Little Juicer Guy



























A Moment Just Like Old TImes














Noah’s story recapping his experience at The Lord’s Land: “One March Thursday my family and I went to the Lord’s Land. We were going to stay at Wood Butcher (cabin) four days and three nights. My sister and I slept up in a loft. There were two boards supporting the roof. On the second night my head was touching the boards all night long, it hurt. The next day were going to the beach. Back at the Lord’s Land we liked the Prayer Trail because there were scriptures on a rock and pieces of wood. I felt the presence of the Lord.” After he had written the story, we found out he had a tick in his head. :O We keep thanking God that he is well!!













































Reading Lessons Are Paying Off!














A Legitimate Vocabulary Word Study 🙂














Noah shares his personal promise with Grandpa sick with pneumonia



























A science experiment with Aunty Tara














Learning to Peel




























Looking for seeds mommy! (in the Nigella seed pods)


















Love my Sweet Aquarium Fishy Cards for Mothers Day (executed by Daddy XO)






































Flowers for Mommy XOXO



























Mothers Day Tea with Doris and Katherine (a spontaneous idea of Noah’s in prayer that morning)














Sprouting up so big



























Last Mom’s Night of the school year was a special time around The Lords Table.














The Invitation:

For our last Mom’s Night meeting of this remarkable year we will share a love feast together at The Lord’s Table, letting the Holy Spirit pour out in our “Upper Room.” A sweet gathering of ladies for heart to heart koinonia.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42

Acts 2:42 lists the 4 main devotions of the thriving New Testament Church: teaching, fellowship, meals, and prayer. The act of “breaking of bread” is a relaxed and worshipful meal around the table where believers remember our Lord Jesus, and commune with Him and each other.

What if remembering the Lord and breaking bread is meant to be more than a 10 minute communion time tacked on at the end of a church service? Perhaps like the early church who ate long meals together weekly, believers today would be unified and blessed through meeting and worshiping together regularly at The Lord’s Table in our homes with our families, with our small community groups, and in our churches?

It is at The Lord’s Table, where the Spirit reminds us of the importance of our spiritual unity in loving one another, of experiencing true fellowship with one another, ministering to one another, serving one another, and seeking peace with one another.

Its amazing that at Pentecost, in the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit, men and women, slaves and slave owners, Jews and Gentiles, were unified and eating at the same table for the first time in history. Walls and barriers come down when the Spirit pours out! The Holy Spirit is as powerful and active in communicating and unifying His children as He has ever been.

The Lord has you in this community for a reason, you belong here. He has a living Word to speak over your life. He speaks through people in our lives as we stay connected to community. Around our Mom’s Night Table we will speak over each others lives what we believe the Lord is saying, appreciate our sisters in Christ, sup together, and give God glory.

Seeking God this year together has meant a lot to me. I am looking forward to a beautiful time around The Lord’s Table to celebrate each of you and the Lord’s work in this community. (Please note the time change for this meeting)

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Faith (preschool) and Levi’s (kindergarten) Graduation














The Whole Clan















My precious threesome




























‘God Keeps His Promises’ was the theme God gave us for graduation, made special by Faith’s love of rainbows, and all of the children contributed rainbow art for decorating.


Worship Circle, Prayers of Blessing, Graduation Ceremony, and a Treasured Tea Time rounded out the celebration.















Faith chose this poem to recite at her ceremony. I was so blessed. She also read Proverbs 23:4-5 from her reader. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”



Let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.















Staining a new playhouse for Faith




























Noah loved putting the playhouse together with Daddy




























A Fun and Relaxing Summer Day at the Nature Park















Noah Reading Bible in Morning Devotions


Last Day of School Tye Dye Fun


Baby Swim Time!



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Samples of Noah (7) and Faith’s (5) ‘My Story’ blank books, Noah’s ‘His Story’ book, and a couple other work samples from Noah’s 1st grade year.


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