Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

You searched for family worship


Worshipful Weekend with Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We set apart a few minutes tonight to do a family devotion with our little ones. While we lit the candles in our Easter Garden Basket, we reminded ourselves that today, on Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. Then we sang a few simple songs, and the voice of a little angel was heard singing in our family worship time. I saw daddy smile, surprised to see that Noah learned Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, a song I have been singing with Noah over the past few weeks. I am sharing our worship set for the night because it worked quite well for a short Easter family devo.

I hope you too can make some time this weekend to do family devotions! No matter how simple they are, it will be rewarding, and it will turn your children’s hearts toward the true meaning of Easter.

Jesus Saved Me

(Tune: Jesus Loves Me)

Jesus saved me this I know

For the Bible tells me so

Nailed to the cross for my own sins,

died, and buried, and raised again!

Yes, Jesus saved me!

Yes, Jesus saved me

Yes, Jesus saved me

He saved me from my sins

Nothing But the blood of Jesus

(a timeless hymn)

What can wash away my sins?

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

What can make me whole again

Oh, precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow

No other fount I know

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

At the Cross

(a timeless hymn)

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light

and the burden of my heart rolled away

It was there by faith I received my sight

And now I am happy all the day!

Which led nicely into this……(you might recognize from Sister Act)

Oh Happy Day

Oh happy day (echo)

Oh happy day (echo)

When Jesus washed (echo)

When Jesus washed (echo)

He washed my sins away (Oh happy day)

Oh happy day (echo)

Leave a comment »

Our 2016 Family Scriptures

Noah

  • Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
    Hebrews 13:5 (Let your conduct be without covetousness……NKJV Heb. 13:5)
  • The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
    Proverbs 13:14
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
    Colossians 3:16

Daniel

  • Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
    Proverbs 14:29
  • I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.
    Psalm 119:60
  • But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
    John 4:23

Faith

  • She must not be arrogant or quick-tempered……….but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.
    Titus 1:7-8
  • Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
    Colossians 4:2
  • Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
    Jeremiah 33:3

All Kids

  • For God wants you to be holy and pure and to keep clear of all sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion as the heathen do, in their ignorance of God and his ways. I Thessalonians 4:3-5 (TLB)

Parenting

  • Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
        are the children of one’s youth.
    Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
    He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
    Psalm 127:4

Dean

  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    Philippians 4:6
  • Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
    Matthew 6:34

Lynn

  • Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
    1 Peter 3:4

Marriage

  • Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
  • Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:22-28

Family

  • Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21

 

IMG_0933

Our backyard woodpecker friend! I have been trying to get a good picture of her for a year now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0917

Getting the soil ready for “Faithy’s Garden”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1067

Faith had a blast catching frogs at the Briones Lagoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0972

A Newt Egg Cluster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1063

Faith loved catching newts too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1017

California Newts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1091

Noah doing Valentine string art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1104

One Strong Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1125

Sweet preschoolers having hours of fun in the sand table. These are the last few months of having two in preschool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0032

A little Valentine/Anniversary get away with my husband to The Lords Land near Mendocino was perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0057

She is so goofy, love her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0586

My Lion Cub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0688

Girl Day happened when Faith said, “Mommy, I have a date set for us to go to tea this week.” How could I resist? This strong girl is always talking about loving Jesus, praying for our pastor (and saying that he looks so nice with a bit of a twinkle in her eye), and how God is working change in her heart lately. One day she said, “God says someday I am going to marry him,” speaking of a music minister leading worship at a church we were at (I am thinking she means “someone like him,” since he happens to be a married man. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0696

Tea time with my sweetie, Miss FUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0631

Cupboard House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0779

And next thing I knew they were covered in blackberry juice…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0792

Reading his Bible on his own

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0817

Taking stuff apart with his new tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0823

Tea time with Miss Karla, our neighbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0834

Making valentines with cousins in the smallest possible corner of the house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0837

A somewhat spontaneous Valentines Friendship Tea Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0838

Baby Gabe is walking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0855

Daniel must have showed me his valentine from Noah 20 times; small things can mean so much. 🙂

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

December: Worship/ Christmas

Song and Book:

Away In a Manger (Mike Jaroszko)

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed

The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head

The stars in the sky look down where he lay

The Little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes

But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky

And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever and love me I pray

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care

And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

Art:

Jingle bell flowers

Made out of painted egg cartons, bells, and yarn. Use them on packages, garlands, as ornaments, or on your wrist.

Christmas Party:

Throw a birthday party for Jesus!

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

Art:

Glittered Pinecones

Art:

Gingerbread People

1 c plus 2 T. flour

Lots of cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves

1 c salt

Add just enough water to make it like play dough (around 1 c water)

Add color to get a gingerbread look (10 drops yellow, 8 drops red, 3 drops green)

Mix this well. Roll about 1/2″ thick and cut with gingerbread man/woman cookie cutter (or any other shape that you may wish to use). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 3 hours, depending upon size of the ornaments. Place a hole in each ornament before baking for hanging (I used a straw). These smell really wonderful–& make the house smell great when they are baking. If they start to lose their fragrance just rub an emery board on the back of them. They may be decorated with puffy paint, tempera paint, buttons, rick rack, a bowtie, etc. Tie a ribbon through the hole made by the straw to hang them up.

Snowflake Ornaments

Same directions as above, but you can use white puff paint and sprinkle with a chunky glitter that looks like sugar.

Circle Game:

Gather the pieces of your Nativity set. Place them on a tray and have the children close their eyes. Remove one of the pieces and have the children see if they can figure out which piece is missing. After the missing piece is discovered, talk about its significance in the Nativity. For example, if you remove the angel, ask the children what the angels did that we remember at Christmas time. It will reinforce the message of the Christmas Story.

Poems:

Five Little Angels

5 Little angels high above me

The first one said, “Do you see what I see?”

The second one said, “A star is shining in the night.”

The third one said, “Oh what a beautiful sight!”

The fourth one said, “A child is sleeping in the night.”

The fifth one said, “He will bring us goodness and light.”

5 little angels sing with joy about the birth of a baby boy

IMG_1479 IMG_1478

Dramatic Play Center:

Make a manger (basket), swaddle a baby doll to be baby Jesus, and supply stuffed animals. Hang a shining star from the ceiling.

Fine Motor Center:

Children glue small squares of fabric to a piece of felt to make a “baby blanket” for baby Jesus. Children can use it in the aforementioned dramatic play activity to role play taking care of baby Jesus.

Sensory:

Nativity Sensory Box

Art:

J is for Jesus!

For Moms:

Why You Need to Go Look at the Stars Tonight {and become One of the Wise Men} » A Holy Experience.

Literature:

Click to insert.

Click to insert.

Trusty Gets Off Track

 

Art:

Polymer Clay Nativity

Hymn:

Once in Royal David’s City

Traditions:

Classic Family Christmas Movies

Shepherds Pouches

Go Caroling with the Kids and sing “Happy Birthday Jesus” (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir version) to the Neighbors

and dress up

Worship Devotional

Displaying Christmas manger.jpg

Displaying nutcracker.jpg

alpine-trees1-001

Leave a comment »

March Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Easter

Seasonal Theme: Spring

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

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

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

.

Parent Study:

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

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

Image result for winslow homer watercolors Cikovsky, Nicolai

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Winslow Homer

Composer Study: Mozart

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

Character/Habit Development:

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

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

Circle Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

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

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

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

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

Prayer Time:

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

 Discussion Time:

  • Read a chapter a day together

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

IMG_0172

Bible/Devotions:

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

IMG_0179

Memory Verses:

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

Isaiah 61:1-4

Review previous March verses:

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

 Hymns:

IMG_0109

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

And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?

Sheet Music

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Sheet Music

We add in Chris Tomlin’s chorus:

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

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Sheet Music

Amazing Grace
Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

Love Between Brothers and Sisters
(by Isaac Watts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handwriting:

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Spelling: (Noah)

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

Reading: (Faith)

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

Vocabulary:

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

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

Literature Read Alouds:

Image result for at the back of the north wind macdonald

Illustrated Hedge of Thorns, TheIllustrated True Princess, The

Bird's Nest, The

 

.

History and Geography:

IMG_0149

  • 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.

IMG_0198

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

IMG_0200

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

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

Math:

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

Understanding Geometry Book

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

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

.

 .

.

 .

.

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

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

Faith’s Lessons:

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

Number Shape Arrangements (p 87)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Science/Nature Study:

IMG_0215

IMG_0206

IMG_0297IMG_0306IMG_0308

Spanish:

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Videos:

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

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Chalk Pastel Birds Nest

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

IMG_5854

IMG_0058

Observe and draw spring buds opening

IMG_9066

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan a Family Passover Seder 

IMG_6933

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Year 1

Year 1

IMG_9226

Year 2

IMG_6892

Year 3

 

IMG_0115

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

Help out in the neighborhood

IMG_6286

Field trips:

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

IMG_9189

Leave a comment »

Hearts of Gold

Months ago I noticed that my children were somehow finding and pouring over toy catalogs and lego manuals, and becoming obsessed over material desires and activities. At the same time I sensed a spirit of dissatisfaction and look of emptiness, like a shadow cast over their natural childhood joy and enjoyment of God, as hearts began to prize and idolize “things.” Dean and I are not “stuff people” and we are careful to keep our kids protected from the massive marketing to children and commercial mindset, so we weren’t sure where this was coming from, other than the enemy’s schemes and the fact that hearts are idol making factories, as we know too well. We all must be careful to assess the desires of our hearts that are so prone to wander, because the enemy prowls around seeking to devour those who are not alert. For months we have had to fight and pray for our children’s undivided hearts, which to me was astounding at their young ages. However, through prayer, the shadows have shifted, and we have seen their joy again in simple things–joy in nature, joy in swinging, joy in chicks, joy in Thomas trains, joy in the dollhouse and castle and other toys we ALREADY own that weren’t being used and appreciated much anymore!! As it should be! Praise God!!

I will give them an undivided heart and

put a new spirit in them.

Ezekiel 11:19

As I am typing, I just recalled how I posted an example of prophecy last September for a child in “false or empty or aimless occupations.” Interestingly, it seems like that very word was tested long and strong this school year.

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.”

Thank God He is always working in everything. What would happen if we chose to align ourselves with His work, and stopped worrying when our children are in a hard place, as if He is not using every opportunity? Parents must take courage because uncomfortable tests will come, and they must come, to produce hearts of gold that clearly reflect the face of our Refiner. Did you know that gold must be purified in the refiner’s furnace many times, and only when the refiner looks into the crucible and sees a clear reflection of himself is the process complete? What if we would ask God to test our children’s hearts in His refining fire, that they may come out like pure gold?

When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Job 23:10

During this same season I began to ask for the Lord to give me an undivided heart too. To expose impurities, unknown sin, erroneous thinking, divided priorities, vain and empty things that distract me. I specifically asked the Lord, “What is blocking your presence?” As I asked for holiness, and for the impurities of my life to be burned up in His refining fire, uncomfortable heat and adversity was part of the process. He began to reveal possessions that could go, selfish attitudes and excuses, and even Easter traditions that could change. I will share one story about the conviction of one of my “comfy sins.”
 .
The kids and I have been talking about truthfulness and self control in school, which has presented some great and somewhat unexpected moments of conviction in the area of holiness for mom in particular. Love how the Lord makes sure our character studies here include everyone in the family. Like the other day when the kids asked me to find this little bag of clothespins buried in our messy garage that was oh so important to their fort building project. Sigh….. I tore the garage apart only to find them in the bin that was right in front the whole time. Murphy’s law my dad would say.
 .
But something was different…..I felt the approving smile of the Holy Spirit, and a brightening of the entrance of the Spirit of Truth in our home. He started showing me that normally my M.O. with the kids’ “inconvenient requests” is to put just a bit of effort in, and then report that, “I tried, but sorry….” I especially loathe looking for lost stuff and use every excuse possible to get out of it. Plus, moms have more important things to do with their day anyway than find clothespins for a fort- a little rationalization helps with any possible misgivings.
 .
Yet how often do I ask for “best effort” from my children, and honesty too of course? Hypocrisy has such a deadening effect. So when I saw the smile on their faces, and the awe in their voices–because I was looking so hard–I realized that I was earning the honor of being an example of truth in their lives. Funny, I love to get out of work with excuses and less than honest effort, but for what? I could have missed an encounter with, and increase of, the Spirit of Truth in my home. Next time my kids are called to act with integrity, they may choose to let Jesus shine a little brighter through their character too. Thank you Holy Spirit for being my teacher in all the little everyday things with my children that threaten to tarnish my witness of the power of Christ. Without Your guidance, holiness would seem so elusive. Reveal those sins that we get so comfortable in we don’t even notice anymore, or perhaps have never yet become aware of.

Be holy, for I am holy.

1 Peter 1:16

What is the reward of purity? Sensitivity to see and hear God. The Holy Spirit makes our hearts tender and fit to receive impressions: this is His work. Hearing His voice is an exquisite gift. He removes stony hearts hardened by sin, and gives new hearts sensitive to hear, and discern His perfect will. As He purifies, He softens our heart, He renews our mind, He realigns our passions so that we may have an undivided heart for Him. We let go of the old, the tattered, the dirty, the common–we thought we needed so much–to instead receive the surpassing exquisite.

I desire to seek the Lord with others who are hungry for holiness and to intercede for God’s increasing power to pour out in the purity of homes and families consecrated to Him. Tomorrow at Mom’s Night, I am looking forward to going into the sanctifying presence of the Lord in a worship circle of friends hungry for the same. We will humbly offer instruments, dancing, acapella, prayer, and discussion heart to heart. We are asking the Holy Spirit: is there anything holding back Your presence in my life or home?? If we want to know, He undoubtedly wants to answer. Perhaps the Lord is calling you and your community to a similar place?

Lord, we desire to be Your pure, beautiful bride upon whom You can pour out Your anointing and Your power. We desire undivided hearts!! We ask that You expose impurities, erroneous thinking, divided priorites, and vain things that charm us most. Purify our hearts, let us be as gold, pure gold.

Blessings on your home!

 P.S. It was amazing to go to church today and hear a prophetic word that we are in a Kairos moment of coming into His presence in a greater way if we will sanctify ourselves and press into Him. God often confirms His word through the messages at The Father’s House, and I love that!! (The video for the message is called “The Invitation,” and will be up on the TFH website)
IMG_0402

“I found an enoooormous frog!!” Faithy’s fabulous nature find at Sunol Regional Wilderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0271

In love with Pooh Bear. So sweet.

 

IMG_0344

1/2 hour later…….it worked!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0367

Daniel eager for a taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0361

We also made dried apples and learned how Pioneers preserved their food in a great book called A Pioneer Sampler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0224

Daniel planting sunflower seeds on a field trip to Clayton Valley Farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0157

Chickie Kisses for Noah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0093

Nature Journal Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0070

Faith loves to paint rainbows lately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0016

Cousins hanging out in the sandbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0867

Jesus wrapped in TP and place in the tomb on our Good Friday family worship night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0900

Garden time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0916

Poking holes for seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0934

And tramping down the soil over the seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0977

Playtime with Chickies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1002

Goofy Girl

 

 

IMG_1016

I love dressing up my sweeties for special occasions

IMG_1055

5 year old Faithy on Easter wearing Great Grandma’s necklace

IMG_1079

The whole crew on Resurrection Sunday

IMG_1087

Got my scroll and my money bag– all set for Bible times

IMG_0045

Woodbutcher, our cabin on a trip to the Lord’s Land with the kids

IMG_0415

Hauling wood in for the wood burning stove

IMG_0452

Learning to use a hatchet to make kindling

IMG_0515

First time holding a banana slug!

IMG_0574

Hello Lizzy

IMG_0653

Aaaand 50 photos later……ha!

IMG_0811

Beachy Kisses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0804

Easter Homeschool Day at our house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0790

Jesus AND daffodils light up my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0610

Handwriting Lesson Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0589

Setting up the terrarium again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0557

Our Pacific Tree Frog from Round Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0527

Keeping each other safe in the current of the creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0436

When Chickie was just a ball of fuzz. They grow up so fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0408

Rainbow love for mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0403

Noah’s Newt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0390

All geared up for play time in the rain!

 

Leave a comment »

March Lesson Plans

2015-2016 Preschool – 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Easter

Seasonal Theme: Spring

Character/Habit:

Helpful, Useful, Productive, Hardworking, Good Steward, Responsible

Bible: 1 Kings

History/Geography: Ancient Greece, Middle East

Nature Study: Ponds and Streams

Parent Study:

Nature Journal, Prayer Journal, and reading.

 

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: Go to the Ant p.17 and The Righteous Mans Beast p.55

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 (7) in dimes and Faith (5) in stickers once a week (a natural math opportunity).

Have Noah study and write out related verses from his Child Training Bible and Child Virtue Bible (Child Study Bible– also see “Bible” section below) as training opportunities arise in his behavior.

 

Circle Time/Family Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

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

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

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

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

Prayer Time:

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

 Discussion Time:

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

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 chapters from 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:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5

1 Timothy 6:6-10 (to read, not memorize)

Review March verses from previous years:

  • “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
  • “Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13
  • “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

Hymns:

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.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Sheet Music

We add in Chris Tomlin’s chorus:

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

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Sheet Music

Amazing Grace
Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

First two stanzas of “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

IMG_1475

 

Handwriting:

  • Writing for Real Life: 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)
  • 3 lessons a week in 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. 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.

the wooden letters Noah and Faith use for word building (spelling)

Reading: (Faith)

Materials:  printed fable, loose letters, word cards for “that his claws were stronger than your teeth. Moral: It is easy to kick a man that is down.”

.

The Dogs and the Fox

By Aesop 

Some dogs, finding the skin of a lion, began to tear it in pieces with their teeth. A Fox, seeing them, said, “If this lion were alive, you would soon find out that his claws were stronger than your teeth.”

Moral: It is easy to kick a man that is down.


Reading Lessons:
“Moral: It is easy to kick a man that is down.”

1. Write one word from the selection 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 fable

7. Repeat steps 1-6 with each word

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

Word Building Lessons (spelling):

Using loose letters, build words that rhyme with each of the words assigned for this month (ex: claws–jaws, paws, laws, straws, gnaws, thaws, draws, etc.).

(Lessons 13-14 in Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason)

Vocabulary:

Most will be learned naturally in conversation as words in question arise, but Noah also looks up 1 word a week (and writes the definition in a notebook) to learn dictionary skills and spur his love for new words.

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

Literature Read Alouds:

 

Illustrated Hedge of Thorns, TheIllustrated True Princess, The

Bird's Nest, The

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://i1.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.

.

 .

.

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–learning to regroup by 10’s.
  • Review Noah’s handmade subtraction book
  • Make fact family houses

IMG_0067

Games:

  • Telling Time tell time with clock cards, clock face and hands print out
  • Money set out an amount of money in quarters, have Noah exchange it for dimes and nickels and vice versa
  • 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.
  • Corners (p.29) Practice sums totaling a multiple of 5 with Corners Cards
  • Go to the Dump (p.24) Repetition for memorizing facts to 10 (addition and subtraction)

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1 Lets Pretend Stories (p. 105)
Provide counters (such as unifix cubes) and colored construction paper to represent different environments: ocean (blue), grass (green), cave (black). Tell a story for the children to act out (like a word problem). For example: “Its a stormy day on the ocean. The waves are high and it is starting to rain. There are four ships on the ocean. Show me the ships. Three of the ships decide to go back to the harbor…..” These pretend stories provide imaginative counting practice/ addition and subtraction practice by noticing how many are left or how many there are altogether (this step is not necessary unless children are ready).
Week 2 Pattern Task Cards (p.151)
Have children copy simple or complex patterns using pattern blocks, unifix cubes, or dot paint.
Week 3 Matching (p.146)
Make number set cards (like the toothpick set pictured in my December lesson plan) with varying objects such as buttons, paper clips, bread tags, beads on bracelets, beads strung on yarn, onjects glued on popsicle sticks. Each set should include at least 3 or 4 of each of the numbers from 1 to 10. Also provide collections of various items (buttons, keys, nuts and blots, etc) and several sheets of construction paper. Have the child choose one of the number set cards. Then, have the child use the collections and construction paper to (like a mat) to build a set that has the same number as the card. What size numbers can he work with? Does she copy the arrangement?
Week 4 Exploring at the Weighing Station (p. 61)
When children first start learning about weight, they need the type of scales that show how the weight of an object actually pull down the scale. Make homemade scales by hanging a container by a rubber band off the end of a ruler weighed down by books on the other end. Make two scales so that objects to be weighed can be compared. Say, “Which do you think is heavier–the can or the rock? Let’s find out.”

Nature Study:

IMG_0297IMG_0306IMG_0308

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, Fun Friday Projects, and Other Ideas:

Chalk Pastel Birds Nest

Click to insert.

100th Day Party! The Kids have been clear that they want “everything just the same as last year.”

We dot painted 100 gumballs, made 100 marshmallow toothpick structures, counted 100 pieces of rainbow colored snacks, wrote up a 100th Day News page, guesstimated the volume of 100 drops of water, and did 100 fun exercise moves with Jack Hartmann.

IMG_0181

 

Make learning some new ways to serve at home a part of the school morning this month. And make spring cleaning a family effort!

IMG_5854

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kids looooved Psanky egg decorating last year. We used 1 fine kitska, 1 medium kitska, 5 psyanky dyes, and 1 cube of beeswax.

IMG_0452

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan a Family Passover Seder 

IMG_6933

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do a Ressurection Egg Hunt

IMG_6856

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Year 1

Year 1

 

IMG_9226

Year 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6892

Year 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0115

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

Fieldtrips:

Leave a comment »

Discipling Our Children at HOME Sweet HOME

God’s Design for Family:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Home is Perfectly Designed to Reach the Lost

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

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

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

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

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

Home Discipleship is Awesome!

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

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

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

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

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

Love you.

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Happy Harvest

Happy Harvest

Nature Boy

Nature Boy

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Big Boy

Big Boy

Good Daddy

Good Daddy

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

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

Learning how to spell and sound out "space"

Learning how to spell and sound out “space”

Noah's Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Pyramid Idea

Daniel's Praying Hands

Daniel’s Praying Hands

Do I Have to Mommy?

Must I Mommy?

Noah's Block Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Block Pyramid Idea

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

A Kid Inspired Project

A Kid Inspired Project

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

All Ready!

All Ready to Go!

Sweet Karla Invited Us to Play on Her Putting Green

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

Astronaut Faith

Astronaut Noah at the Chabot Space and Science Center

Astronaut Noah

Astronaut Faith

In the Mercury Capsule

In the Mercury Capsule

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

IMG_0055

The Creek is Flowing Again!

IMG_0067

Free Play is Wonderful!

IMG_0084

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

IMG_0086

Costumed Cuties and Our Giant Homegrown Pumpkin

IMG_0126

Blasting Off in Our Cardboard Rocket

IMG_0158

Three in a Row!

Daniel at School

Daniel at School

What Can I Say?

“What Can I Say?”

IMG_0205

Adventures in Nature

Golf at the Nature Park

Golf at the Nature Park

Fall Finds

Fall Finds are Gorgeous

Faith and Mommy's Leaf Turkey

Faith and Mommy’s Leaf Turkey

IMG_0025

My Beautiful Mother on Her 70th Birthday

IMG_0040

IMG_0168

Noah’s Tree Study in his Nature Journal

IMG_0170

My Nature Journal in Progress

IMG_0156

Awesome Rocket Art

IMG_0145

Dinner and Stories with Neighbor Doris

IMG_0126

Daniel’s Finally Starting to Walk!

IMG_0079

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

IMG_0076

Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Decides to Make a Play Dough Megalith

IMG_0062

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

IMG_0056

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

IMG_0054

Shape Puzzles Were the Perfect Math Challenge for Faith

Leave a comment »

Keeping Children in “Big” Church

Since I am largely speaking to other Christian homeschooling families here, I think we can agree that training up our own children, as the Bible admonishes, is very important, and a big reason why many of us decided to homeschool. Delegating the responsibility to someone else in a school system of age segregated classrooms to educate our children started to feel wrong at some point, and so we decided it was time to take our rightful authority back and keep our kids under our own careful training. In the same way, our family feels called to train up our own children in the Christian faith in an equally passionate and parentally responsible manner. Just like we do not want to delegate our children’s education, we do not want to delegate their spiritual training either, and especially not on Sundays!

Now days many Christian parents send their children off to Sunday school, children’s church, or various children’s bible clubs. As long as parents are using it as supplemental, rather than delegated Biblical training, its not wrong. However, “sending off” is so normal these days, we hardly think twice about it, but every little bit that we do, eats away at our time to “walk along side” and disciple our own kids. Every time well meaning friends and family encourage my husband and I to think about deviating from our choice, we are given another opportunity to reassess our family core values, and reexamine where we stand. Today’s post is one such reexamination. Although the discussions can sometimes cause a brief unsettling about our convictions, we pray, and hearts settle on the wisdom of Deuternomy 6:6-7, which says to teach Gods words to our children when we sit, walk, lie down, or stand up. Those verses, and other scriptures, keep drawing us back to our original family convictions, and challenge us to continue to fully practice a “walking along side” type of parenting, rather than a “sending off” type of parenting. So really we have you to thank, loved ones, for helping us strengthen our conviction muscles.

When my sister Tara came to visit recently, I experienced one of those well meaning, friendly attempts to help me see the light. 🙂 I thought that she made a lot of good points that many of you who send your children to children’s church would probably amen.  Since its an interesting topic of discussion amongst Christians, and particularly Christian homeschoolers, I asked Tara for permission to share our conversation. We started our debate at a restaurant, and then continued it by texting each other as follows:

Tara: I just wanted to say that I really do appreciate your family together perspective. I was trying to present the aspect of what their age level actually understands. But if you guys feel like its more important to have a level way above them than one you think is way below them, then obviously that’s your decision. No hard feelings from me. : )

Lynn: You are a hard sell. : ) I already poured all my blood sweat and tears on these issues on my blog where its a lot safer–safer cause people can read it if they want or not and I don’t have to defend myself. : ) If you do decide to read and watch my stuff, I would feel honored, and it would be great to continue the conversation–or debate. 😉 No hard feelings–however, we should probably chill out a bit because we are a little intense for other parties listening.

I guess we talked a lot about “level”, but maybe I should say that level is the lesser reason to keep my kids in main service. Its more about the work of the Holy Spirit. Anyone can glean from where the Spirit is moving–whether special needs, low or high intelligence, young, old, etc. You know how everyone hears something different from the same message because the HS speaks to us all according to what we need at that time? He makes one simple message so dynamic and applicable to everyones life. I think He does the same for children who are taught to be listening. I want my children in service where they are directly under our discipling to “listen” when it matters most since church is key spiritual training ground in our lives (not a time for delegation in our fam), and the main service has the fresh life and movement of HS every Sunday for that to occur regularly. That’s why I was saying that everyone is “made in the image of God” at the restaurant, everyone is made to hear God, and even just understanding/revelation on one word can be enough to sustain or change or grow our kids if its delivered by the HS.

Plus, no one can refute our family leading by God, and I think you wisely understand that. There have been too many things that have pointed us in this direction to go the other way now…..from books, to articles, to movies, to timely Bible study with the kids (like how our fam devotions before church this morning totally coincided with the message given today). We would be foolish to ignore what seems to be a path made obvious for us. If our same leadings haven’t come up for you, then maybe you don’t need to do what we do….Well, unless this is the inkling of a new beginning…….. : )

Tara: I guess I just don’t see why you think that the main service is the only place where the Holy Spirit can move or the only place that has “the fresh life and movement” of the Spirit. You, as an adult, may personally feel that it ministers to you in a “more effective” or powerful way. but that shouldn’t preclude you from thinking that the Holy Spirit can also be present in kid’s church or there be an anointing on someone other than the head guy. As if he is bound only to the main sanctuary or one  man. I feel like you shouldn’t underestimate his power to minister to your kids in an impactful way that might always remember. True, he can minister one word that might change their lives during a service thats way over their heads or they can learn that God can be a God of fun and fellowship even at their little level. Or take away a phrase from children’s church that might change their whole course. I certainly see the value of kids being together with families for worship, but I just don’t think they have to sit bored week after week to maybe catch something in their spirit…….Because they are definitely not catching anything substantial in their intellect. Again, if thats what you both prefer and you just want to be together, than I pray the Lord honors your request in the way you want it.

I am a tough sell too. 🙂 I personally remember really enjoying big church worship, but the sermons that I have carried with me were ones that came from teachers who had dedicated their lives to my age group. The rest was full of words and concepts that were just too complex for e to even process. I don’t know why you want them to matureway beyond where they are at anyway. But as you say, you feel like they will gain a greater spiritual maturity so maybe so. : )

Lynn: Yah I guess I think of CC as generally a trickle compared to a gushing waterfall of the Spirit after being in so many kids classes with constant turnover of workers and people who were not HS led or barely wanted to be there. Sad, but true in children’s ministry everywhere. They end up in something like child care and even watching TV or just playing. There are certainly some really good dedicated teachers or children’s pastors out there, but still their heart for their class can never compare to the heart of a child’s own parent and what he or she can pass down as spiritual heritage. The adult service we sat in as kids–ok, everybody was lost and dying on the vine (dry sermons!). Also, our parents expectations and involvement or training was way different than my fam. Our church has awesome speakers and we are really trying to disciple. Close discipleship is probably the main indicator of enjoyment/accessibility/success in my opinion.

I would die on the vine if I had the amount of HS flow that kids classes have, so how can I expect it to minister to my kids? I dare say that I would endanger their growth. They don’t need a small Holy Spirit just because they are small, they need a full open heaven torrent that descends in both worship, during the Word, and especially at the end of a service at alter call (a call for change and prayer). Wouldn’t want them to miss out on any of those 3 unique outflows. (However, if its a church where the Holy Spirit doesn’t move much then my argument holds little applicability)

Tara: Well, for sure all kids’ programs are not created equal. Not sure what was happening in the larger class they wanted Roman in–looked like more plan, passion, and agenda, but if you do ever speak up for/try to influence your own churches little kid classes, they need help. Roman said they only sang one song, prayed only for the snack, there was no real story time, just something he already knew about the lost sheep, and they watched some Christian video twice and then some Clifford video too. Thats just babysitting and makes me feel really sad for the kids involved there. Sounds like a mission for Lynn!!! 🙂

Lynn: Hee hee, yah except it goes against my philosophical viewpoint that parents need to teach their own kids and that families are better off together in service.

So Romans class is just one of many examples of churches ministering lower than what children need. I have seen it over and over again. I hope your church is truly much better. yes, the older lass may be better, but probably still lower than what kids that age could be doing. Roman’s class is pretty typical at churches for that age range, and I wholeheartedly disagree with their approach because children are capable of much more!! However, only with proper parental daily input! However, I must say that Roman’s class actually does minister to kids in a family where the parents are not training up in a Deuteronomy 6:7 way. There are kids who wouldn’t be able to receive if more was expected, but the majority of CC classes don’t work well for a family obeying Duet. 6:7. Our kids will always be in a much different place than the general group of kids whose parents both work and don’t have a full life discipleship model. Sunday school was actually invented for poor children who couldn’t read because they worked 12 hour days in factories. Today children’s classes are still designed to best reach and minister to kids whose parents can’t/won’t/don’t teach their kids or just teach a little. I am not trying to exalt our family, and I really hope I don’t sound arrogant…….some parents really are doing all they can……the reality is any parent who is committed to spending every waking moment training up his/her kids as many Christian homeschoolers have chosen to, the kids will be misfits in typical Christian society (in a good way). Noah is already so different than his peers at age 5 and I expect the gap will only increase as there is no turning back for us. He probably knows what I knew Biblically at like age 11 (me being a typical girl from Christian society).

Tara: Still, your church could benefit from some feedback, because yes, we have a much richer curriculum for even younger ages. I mean seriously? 3 movies? We don’t ever watch movies there. Thats just lazy to me. A once in awhile special experience maybe, but otherwise it just comes across as you aren’t prepared or aren’t equipped.

Lynn: Could have been just one of those days, ya know? Somebody new trying to get by…….or not. The thing is, CC so depends on who is teaching, and its so often in the hands of good hearted but incompetent or undependable volunteers and training system. and quality can change at any time without parents being aware. Parents are largely unaware of what happens back there at all, stranger still is that they are ok with that. What if selecting random volunteers was how we taught adults in main service? Yikes.

.

So I think Tara’s thumbs gave out at that point or we moved onto other subjects…………..Well, as you probably guessed, I do have a little more to say.

Children complete the worship community, and to me, are key elements in creating a balance in the meeting place. The gathering is a less dynamic experience when children are sent away. Dear Parents with Young Children in Church is an encouraging article that a friend shared with me about the arduous task of training young ones in church, yet the outcome of building true community is worth it. Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church? is a documentary I strongly suggest for every Christian mom and dad to watch together. The premise of Divided, well received by some and not by others, is that youth ministry and children’s age grouped classes are a “50-year failed experiment,” because dividing children from adults at church is an unBiblical concept borrowed from humanistic philosophies. The movie asserts that the church has drifted away from scripture, away from the established pattern of biblical church life, and toward modern culture for her answers. It is awesome. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it.

Children also really need to feel like they are a welcome part of the worship community. Studies have shown that when we constantly alienate our children and teens, separating them from the rest of the body, that once they leave the youth ministry, they aren’t sure where they belong. (They have never really made a connection with any one in the body of Christ that is older other than their youth pastor, but their youth pastor is now telling they are no long a teen and they don’t belong in the youth group but they never felt like a part of “big people church”) And when kids are so used to church being about entertainment–skits, puppet shows, snack, play time, games, etc–its no wonder that by the time they are teens and expected to join in service, they decide that “church” is boring. As much as parents tend to think so, church is not about entertainment, even for kids. Its about much much deeper things that will seem very foreign to a child who has not learned to become a part of the “adult” worship service.

A book I would like to read, Family Driven Faith, explains how our children are falling away from the faith because we are asking the church to do what God designed the family to accomplish. At one time Christian worship, teaching, & ministry was primarily a function of the family. It was considered normal for families to sing hymns together daily, for the father to systematically teach the Bible daily, to pray daily, for the family to look for ways to minister and reach out to others. This is how I pray that God will build and restore our families!! When families are strengthened and restored to function as God intended, all the age segregated ministries that churches offer becomes a pale substitute for the dynamic nature of family driven faith, and therefore largely unnecessary and irrelevant in the lives of such families. Family is the only institution mentioned by scripture for the spiritual training up of children (not church, nor government). The benefits of attending Christian activities will never compare to the life transformation that occurs while children watch, listen, and learn from their parents relationship with God.

For us, including our kids in church is a huge part of their training and discipleship, and discipleship is one of our three important Cravalho Family Core Values. I want them to hear the full weight of the gospel. It may be hard to understand at times, but that just gives us more opportunities for follow up with discussion and discipleship at home. I am humbled and shocked to find what has entered the heart of my oldest already through his ability to just sit and listen. When the whole counsel of God is going into a child, it may not be fully understood at the time, but its in there, and the Holy Spirit will cause it to resurface at a needed time in the future. Also, I couldn’t send off my children into classes to be with teachers and people I don’t know very well. They are my most precious treasures, and we guard their hearts and minds, and whoever speaks into them, with fiercely protective love. As our children walk along side us, we are right there when they are engaged in conversation by anyone in our church family, or held in the arms of a trusted friend within the sanctuary. Discipleship by nature means keeping close, and discipleship of young ones means keeping them very close.

Making family beautiful is another one of our core values. Building family relationships is our priority, and we view being together in church a key time for that to happen! I love when I find my 5 year old Noah’s wrapped arms around my shoulders through a worship song as he stands on the chair behind me praising God with me, or when I worship face to face with my little 3 year old Faith held close in my arms, or seeing our 1 year old Daniel raise his arms in praise because he sees mommy or daddy doing it. I wouldn’t trade those beautiful experiences of family worship for anything.

Keeping our children in church also provides a preferable socialization experience. That sounds backwards, but yes, I meant to say that children’s church is the less preferable social experience. By letting our children be surrounded and immersed in the company of mature , Godly, wise examples, we believe that that is who our children will become also. We can give them healthy intergenerational learning experiences on Sundays by including them in the worship community. On the other hand, the Bible says if we make our kids the companion of fools, they will be destroyed (remember “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child,” and yes, foolish company abounds in any children’s class). We parents sure do love for our kids to have “friendships,” and we count on church classes to provide them in plenty. However, reading Hold Onto Your Kids will forever help me to keep the perspective that kids don’t need friends like we think they do. The very concept of friendship is meaningless when applied to immature people. A true friend is considerate, acknowledges our boundaries, respects us as individuals, supports our growth and development. Does this sound like many of the kids you know? No, the capacity for true social integration comes with maturity and individuality. So our time is more wisely spent cultivating worthwhile relationships with the adults in our child’s life/church, than pursuing “friends” for our child.

Finally, its ok to be different! In fact, it may even be beneficial! I believe the “abnormal” decision to keep our children in church, which requires extreme patience with our babies as they mature into children who can sit quietly and actually receive something from a sermon, is definitely taking the harder more untraveled road. Yet, we know that whenever we take the normal path in life, we can often expect normal results. However, if we bravely live outside the ordinary, we may just find the extraordinary!

May we raise extraordinary children for the glory of God!

From my post Teaching Children the Bible:

(Info from inrich.org that I find very interesting)

  1. Age graded programs are unwise, unnecessary and largely unproductive. Segregating and separating children is both unbiblical and unnatural. When families are referred to in the Scripture, the children are included in the family worship, never otherwise. The secular society has tried to keep kids from their parents. The public education system was influenced heavily by G. Stanley Hall, John Dewey, G.F. Hegel and Rosseau who advocated isolating children from their parents. This has been one of the fundamental problems of the public schools. But these secular ideals must be recognized and resisted on the basis of clear Scriptural teaching on how to raise children. The church needs to strongly resist the anti-christian culture that purposefully or unconsciously attacks the family and biblical values.
  2. The church should lift the standard for both parents and children. Some parents will be “uncomfortable” with the challenge to train their children to listen, to follow through at home (and be held accountable for it!), or with strong preaching on the Scriptural admonitions. We should have high expectations for our children, giving them something to reach for–demonstrating our confidence in their ability to relate to adults and to learn at a higher level.
  3. Intergenerational activities (classes, programs, special events) provide an opportunity for individuals to relate to others of all ages in the natural way they are placed by God in society (church and family) instead of in the unnatural and negative peer structure. These cross-generational groups also furnish ample occasion for the church to follow God’s plan for older women to instruct younger women, for older men to instruct younger men, and for parents to train their children, etc.
  4. Children need to see their parents worshiping God and responding to His Word (preaching and teaching); children worshiped with their parents in the Bible record and this was part of the educational (learning to fear and trust God) experience. Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78 state the principles; examples are seen in Deut. 31:10-13, 2 Kings 23:1-3, Neh. 12:43.
  5. Sunday School was not formed originally as a biblically-based and balanced approach to discipleship. In some ways the pattern of the first Sunday Schools would be akin to government subsidized busing “ministries.” In relation to traditional Sunday Schools in most evangelical churches today, one must be careful to evaluate all discipleship programs in light of the core values of the local church. In other words, are we adding more classes or programs because people want something more to do or desire to acquire more information? The questions to ask in reference to the core values is: “what ministry ‘programs’ will have the greatest influence in making mature followers of Christ and thus accomplish our God-given vision for this church?”
  6. The local church needs to be more than “family friendly.” The philosophy of ministry, because of God’s plan for the family, needs to be decidedly based on building family values since that is clearly God’s plan and since strong families are a major component in producing healthy churches.
  7. Having the family-based church leads to effective and fruitful ministries that come naturally from the healthy family. For example, instead of creating artificial or contrived ministry programs, the family – in the context of their relationship to the local church – reaches out to the lost, embraces the “foreigner” (single parent, single adult, church visitor, unsaved individual, etc.), “adopts” newcomers, practices hospitality, and serves together. “HOME” groups can also be structured to include family groups, instead of creating another night out away from family members. The family learns a missionary mentality.
  8. Sundays need to be a family-together experience. Families are already fragmented excessively in American culture. We already spoke of the contrast between “sending away” and “walking along side” in parental education. Deut. 6:6-7 can be experienced on Sunday mornings. Churches can bear the “inconvenience” of having children learn to sit and worship with their parents, giving their parents the opportunity to train (and be with) their kids. See Exodus 10:8-10; Deut. 29:10-13; Psalm 78:1-4 for additional examples of all ages together in corporate worship. Child training can happen on Sundays.

 

Last Summer Memory spent at Hartland Christian Camp was a wonderful experience

Last Summer Memory spent at Hartland Christian Camp–a wonderful experience!

First Day Giggles

First Day Giggles

Ice Cream to Celebrate our First Day of School!

Ice Cream to Celebrate our First Day of School!

Back to School Snacks have been extra special for Faith's sake, my snack time lover

Back to School Snacks have been extra special for Faith’s sake, my snack time lover

Our new I Can Serve Board tells kids what they can help out with everyday

Our new I Can Serve Board tells kids what they can help out with everyday

Noah Doing Observe and Serve before School

Noah Doing Observe and Serve before School

Sketching a Crepe Myrtle tree in our nature journals was a beautiful moment

Sketching a Crepe Myrtle tree in our nature journals was a beautiful moment

Our little teepee covered in bird house gourd vines

Our little teepee covered in bird house gourds

Writing my name for the first time

Writing my name for the first time

Elated over Word Building

Elated over Word Building

Daniel's 1st Birthday and Baby Dedication

Daniel’s 1st Birthday and Baby Dedication

Took my Sweetie to a Tea House

Took my Sweetie to a Tea House

Morning lessons

Morning lessons

 

Faith draws Roman soldiers or Jesus in Mary's belly in her nature journal

Faith draws Roman soldiers or Jesus in Mary’s belly in her nature journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at me, no hands!

Look at me, no hands!

IMG_0273

My Nature Journal

IMG_0301

Noah’s Nature Journal

IMG_0286

Noah Found Swallowtail Caterpillar Eating our Parsley

Noah Found Swallowtail Caterpillar Eating our Parsley

Our Caterpillar Hung in this position all day before turning into a chrysalis overnight

Our Caterpillar Hung in this position all day before turning into a chrysalis overnight

Faith's pattern work

Faith’s pattern work

The Kids Love to Bring Surprise Sharing to School

The Kids Love to Bring Surprise Sharing to School

 

Noah Making Combinations of 8

Noah Making Combinations of 8

Apple Hill

Apple Hill

So Fun to Pick Apples in the Orchards

So Fun to Pick Apples in the Orchards

Little Boy was Quick to Notice our First Lemons. Captivating!

Little Boy was Quick to Notice our First Lemons. Captivating!

Tayler Joins us for a Fun Apple Lesson

Tayler Joins us for a Fun Apple Lesson

My Math Story

My Math Story

Learning to Trust

Learning to Trust

We can swim!

We can swim!

Fun with Our Swim Teacher Miss Hillary

Fun with Our Swim Teacher Miss Hillary

Handsome Hero

Handsome Hero

Blasting Off to Space in our Rocket

Blasting Off to Space in our Rocket

True Heroism in Action

True Heroism in Action

Future Mommy

Future Mommy

Imaginary play is alive in our “ship” tree

Proud of my Little Man Wanting to Carry our Stuff

Proud of my Little Man Wanting to Carry our Stuff

Found an Old Friend at the Nature Park

Found an Old Friend at the Nature Park

Love our Cactuses in the Desert Paintings

Love our “Cactuses in the Desert” Paintings

IMG_0295

Faith’s self portrait and first time writing her name

IMG_0288

Noah’s Bible narration illustration

IMG_0300

Noah’s self portrait (belly button, but no arms!)

Tea Invitation for Doris

Tea Invitation for Doris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digging for Sweet Potatoes

Digging for Sweet Potatoes

Tea TIme with Doris is a Lesson in Social Skills

Tea TIme with Doris is a Lesson in Social Skills

Lego Creations are Starting to be Creative

Lego Creations are Starting to be Creative

Sweet Lambs

Sweet Lambs

Fall Trees Nature Study

Fall Trees Nature Study

Leave a comment »

What Matters In Life

Welcome Baby Daniel

Here is our sweet baby Daniel, born September 12th, weighing 7.8 pounds, and measuring 21 inches! We have spent the last month adjusting to life with three kids, so will you forgive me for taking some time off from blogging? Life is purposefully slow and sweet here; we don’t want this short window of tiny baby time to pass us by too quickly. There are so many things that sink in by baby #3–like knowing more than ever what really matters in life. I read something recently about children’s stages of attachment by the author of Hold Onto Your Kids (most awesome book!), that reminded me of my personal core value in this life as a parent: bonding with my kids–and why its so important. As I read Neufeld’s words, I felt grateful that I can see evidence of the stages of attachment unfolding in my children, but anxious that perhaps we have also fallen short in some ways………and of course, we have. Thank you for the grace of God. I am making sure to snuggle and spend lots of time with my baby; its a brand new beginning.

IMG_2770

Dr. Neufeld says, “I’ve been spending my life trying to put the pieces together of how attachment unfolds. And in fact, I had a wonderful opportunity of taking a whole year off just to be able to study all the attachment theories throughout the ages, actually, and see how it is that attachment is meant to happen. And it’s a beautiful story, really. I’ll try to tell it very quickly and very simply. In the first year of life, a child does attach through wanting to be with, to be in sight, in smell, in hearing, in touch. But by the second year of life a new way of attaching should open up in which the child wants to be liked, not only with, but liked. And this is the key to language acquisition, to stamping out form on their behavior; it’s a key to so many things. If that goes well, the third part by the third year, a child becomes preoccupied with belonging and becomes preoccupied with loyalty to be on the same side as which is a different way of closeness, to take the same side, to serve and obey. And that’s when the obedience instincts begin to be there. By the fourth year of life, you should see in a child a huge quest for significance – to matter, because he feels close now when he is dear to those that he’s attached to. Now if everything unfolds properly, the fifth year is incredible. The limbic system, the command center or the amygdala of the command center, the limbic system, the emotional brain pulse – all of it stops and the child gives his heart to whomever he is attached to. He falls in love. And he’s deeply emotionally attached to his kitten, to his grandma, to anything that is there. And this is amazing. And it’s so important because when the child develops at that level, that’s a stage for the rest of parenting. We cannot parent children whose hearts we do not have. We can’t parent even our grandchildren whose heart we do not have. Or our adult children. This is absolutely essential. So children need to fall deeply into attachment and we need to make it easy for them. The last stage is a very interesting stage. If it’s safe to attach, there’s no defendedness emotionally, then the child actually wants to share all that is within his heart. And so the 6-year-old is busy telling her secrets, and not to have any secrets that divide. This is the beginning of psychological intimacy, which should characterize our marriages and our best friendships. And so we’ve got all kinds of intimacies: with, like, belonging, mattering, our heart, emotional intimacy and then finally psychological intimacy. And this is a context in which children are meant to be raised. So the beginning – the infancy and toddler – is just the beginning of a wonderful unfolding and development of the capacity for a relationship.”

IMG_2603

How amazing! Keeping our children right with us in the early years is so important in order to hold their hearts close to us all through the years. I have seen Noah, my four year old, reach each of the first four stages Neufeld describes. We are now in the “look at me,” “I am so good at this,” “I am bigger,” “I am better,” significance stage. And I just thought he needed some lessons in humility. Little did I know his current way of mattering and attaching to mommy and daddy is through importance. My favorite part of what Dr. Neufeld had to say was, that a five year old gives his heart to whomever he is attached to, he falls in love. I have always loved 5 year olds because there is something magical and magnetic about them, and where they are at developmentally. My favorite grade to teach was kindergarten because the kids adore you. Now as a parent of a soon to be five year old, I am so looking forward to Noah turning 5!! To be loved is why we parent, right? I have been in love with Noah all his life, even before he was born, but very soon he will finally be in love with me too. What a year of fulfillment! I am going to make sure that I am the one right there when he is ready to fall in love. How exciting for this attached mama!!

IMG_2615

Oh, and on a side note, what is Noah looking forward to when he turns five (besides toys of course!)? The other day he said, “I can’t wait until I turn five.” I said, “Oh yah, how come?” He said, “Because I will get to have more jobs (ie chores).” (????) I was surprised to hear that because he talks about playtime as if its his sole purpose in life, and needs more of it. So I thought, sweet, we must have built up birthday chores like they are gifts or something. We told the kids that they get new responsibilities (jobs) when they have a birthday, and that along with the new responsibilities of growing up, come special new freedoms too. Noah told me that one new job he would like to have when he turns five is to help me cook more. Hey, sounds good to me. 🙂

IMG_2763

What Matters to Us

Dean and I recently drafted up some Core Family Values, an assignment from our Kingdom Families small group that we meet with from church. With a new addition to our growing family, it was a great time to sit down and discuss what matters to our family, how we will live it out, and which scriptures will breath life into it all. Some things we wrote down are more statements of faith and things we are aiming for, rather than things we are doing perfectly all the time. Now we have something to turn to in hard times that will help refocus us. Anyway, it was a valuable, purposeful, and defining experience for us. Perhaps its a good time for your family to write up your own Core Family Values?

IMG_2422

Cravalho Family Core Values

1.Beauty

……….For beauty and excellence to be in whatever we do, and show forth God’s glory.

One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.       Psalms 27:4

  • Family is sacred and beautiful. God’s glory shall dwell in our home and family. Thus, we protect our family life, live undivided and un-fragmented, and prioritize spending time together. We do homeschool together, family devotions together, and worship together in church. We want to learn, worship, pray, work, reach out, grow, cry, go through struggles, and make memories together. We won’t departmentalize learning, home-life, friends, work, and God–with each of us going in separate directions all the time as we see happening in most modern families.

2. Holiness

……….To dwell in His presence, be saturated and encompassed by God.

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.Deuteronomy 5:12

  • We live everyday like its the Sabbath, putting as much energy into growing in Godliness, as if everyday is a Sunday
  • We need not separate holy and secular, for everyday moments are holy if perceived as such. All can be holy ground. The kitchen sink can be a sanctuary.
  • We have regular Bible Times because holiness is only possible by shedding worldly mindsets through the daily renewing of our minds

3. Discipleship

………..Comfort, teach, guide, model, nurture–DISCIPLE–our children for the purpose of aiming them to God’s glory and the service of their generation.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

  • We train up our children through side by side discipleship. The behavior, habits, character, and destiny we envision for our children can best be accomplished through intimate discipleship, and homeschool presents the perfect opportunity for true discipleship.

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.  Proverbs 23:13-14

  • We discipline with both spankings and loving words of reproof so that our children do not bring shame to us, but rather bring delight to our souls.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  Deuteronomy 5:16

  • Our children honor us as compass points in their lives, as parents able to orient them in what direction to take and how to get there. They listen to us, rather than their peers or media, concerning all matters– how to act, what to say, what to do, how to look, etc.

These words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7

  • We live on a single income so that we can have a stay at home parent available to teach our children since discipleship as described in Duet. 6:6-7 is an all day long comission.
  • We teach our children by including them in worship. We follow the Biblical model of family worship where worship primarily: was led by the father, held in the home, and included all generations of life.
  • By cultivating a close relationship with our children, we open their hearts to God. Side by side discipleship allows for an attached relationship. Children give their hearts, loyalty, and confidence to whomever they are attached to. Therefore, a child who is well attached to his parents, is a child that is easy to parent, and also easy to disciple. We can not disciple or parent children whose hearts we do not have.

IMG_2553

And yes, we are still managing to do school and other fun stuff with a new baby in the family! Take a look!

Playin’ in the Rain One Day

IMG_2273

Daddy’s Sweet Potato Science Project

IMG_2371

Daddy Helps Me with Word Building

IMG_2378

Daddy Helps Me with my “I am Special” Book

IMG_2388

Tayler’s Mommy Helps at School

IMG_3007

Noah’s “Mud, Mud, Blood” Pattern

IMG_2382

Noah’s Independent Math Time Creation (Attribute Blocks)

IMG_2997

Handwriting

IMG_2385

Noah Exclaimed, “I did it as good as Tayler!”

IMG_2544

IMG_3006

Noah’s Punishment for Biting a Word Tile

IMG_2804

Faith’s Time Outs Are Time Ins with God

We have always put Faith in her crib for timeouts because she gets so enraged when she is in trouble that she needs a quiet, safe place to calm down in. However, lately I have been letting her sit in her rocking chair with a recorded prayer book. She is much calmer with this type of punishment! And while she is hearing Grandma and Grandpa pray all kind of calming prayers from her Really Wooly Bedtime Prayers book, her heart is being ministered to and softened by God’s Word. Perfect for a little one who can’t read yet!

IMG_3020

Our “I am Special” Books

IMG_2837

Tayler Working on Her I am Special Book

IMG_2393

All of Tayler’s Pages

IMG_2812

IMG_2814

All of Noah’s Pages

IMG_2828

IMG_2829

All of Faith’s Pages

IMG_2834

The Pumpkin Patch

IMG_2969

Lima Bean Pots!

IMG_2680

The Hay Maze

IMG_2708

Our Homegrown Giant Pumpkin

IMG_2752

A Neighbor’s Giant Pumpkin

IMG_2849

IMG_2900

     Tayler Made Faith a Pretty Birthday Cake in the Sandbox

IMG_3009

Noah Painting Faith’s Birthday Present (a dollhouse)

IMG_3036

Happy 3rd Birthday Faithy!!

IMG_3110

Too Cute!

IMG_3194

1 Comment »

Faithful Fathers

The Calling of a Father

Father’s have a very special role in the family. A father calls out his children’s magnificent destiny. “There is a secret in God’s heart about who our children are meant to be, and it is the father who helps our children discover their own story and secret, and to declare that over their lives.” (Ed Tandy McGlasson) In the Bible, we see that a father’s blessing was the most powerful thing that was given from a father to a son. And did you know that if a father is the first in the household to become a Christian, there is a 93% probability that everyone else in the house will heed the Gospel call (as compared to 17% if mother professes first, or 3.5% if a child professes first)? Fathers have a very special and powerful calling indeed.

Yet, how many of us remember dedicating our hearts to Jesus on our father’s knee or having our real life-changing spiritual experiences with our father? Hmmmm…….oh yah, it happened when we went forward at a Christian youth camp or concert. Did we accept the call for salvation there because we really understood the gospel? Probably not, and that is why so many many people who give their lives to Christ all too commonly fall away from Christianity within a short time. Like seeds that fall on shallow soil and die away for lack of roots. Shallow conversions are a common problem in the modern church, and kids are leaving the faith in droves. How sad. In contrast, imagine a child’s most meaningful spiritual experiences occurring at home during the daily diet of a father’s teaching in a special discipleship relationship, through a father touching his child’s heart with the gospel message. In this context, faith grown from a true understanding of the gospel is developed, and it will be faith that a child will not easily walk away from. Fathers who teach their children as Deuteronomy 6 commands, effectively pass on a lasting heritage of faith to the next generation.

I think every man wants to be a good father, but many are not clear on what the Bible expects of a father. Scriptures command fathers to diligently teach and care for the souls of their children day by day. In reality, very very few Christian fathers are obeying this day by day calling to disciple their children. They have relinquished their responsibility to the church which trains up our children in its youth programs, Awana, Sunday School, Missionettes and Royal Rangers, children’s classes and clubs, and various other children’s ministries. Fathers get too comfortable and believe that their children are receiving much of the Biblical training they need from church programs, and so they feel they can relax and relinquish the daily responsibility of teaching the scriptures, since it feels likes its being taken care of. “Involved” fathers feel satisfied with their fathering because they are attending the kid’s recitals and games and getting them into great church programs or youth groups. However, the Biblical example of an involved father, or faithful father, doesn’t look like anything of the sort, as scripture prescribes something quite different. Daily, a father is to praise God to his children with hundreds of words and practical principles. Day after day, he cries out to them, explaining the stories that glorify the kindnesses of God, His wrath toward sinners, and His vanquishing power over all things. In so doing, he reflects the heart of the Heavenly Father who cries out, “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:7-11).

Biblical Worship is Family Worship

(Excerpts from A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays)

If we are to follow the Biblical pattern for family worship, we must look at Hebrew worship as a model, where worship was led in the home by the father. Christians should study the Hebrew culture since our Christianity can not be fully understood without studying the Old Testament and our Hebrew roots. “We study a Hebrew book–written by Hebrews; we serve a Hebrew Lord–who had Hebrew disciples; we desire to follow the first century church–which was first predominantly Hebrew; and through Christ, we are grafted into a Hebrew family! It makes sense to study the Hebrew culture”. Christians can learn much from the Hebrews strong family/worship lifestyle:

“Everything is centered around the home–family, education, and worship. Every area of the Hebrew world is entirely saturated and encompassed with God. The Hebrews make no distinction between their spiritual life and the physical areas of life. They see life as an entirety. It is all God’s domain…..There were times of temple worship; however, most of the worship centered around the home.

If you were to visit a religious Jews home on a typical Friday you would find everyone in the home in a hurried state preparing for the coming Sabbath. Setting a fine table and special meal. At sundown, all the hurrying stops. The mother of the home prays and dedicates this special day unto God as she lights the Sabbath candles to begin the Sabbath. The father leads the family in prayers, Torah readings, and singing praise and worship. He prays a special blessing over each child. The rest of the twenty-four hour period is spent resting, enjoying family, growing spiritually as individuals, and growing closer to family.

We should ask ourselves, “Is there a time, if someone entered our home, that they would see such devotion to God?” How ashamed we should be when those who don’t even know Jesus as Messiah, show such devotion.

Professing Christians in America, in general, tend to view “The Church” as a part of their life–only a small part. Life and relationships are divided into quarters, into four distinctly different locations: partly religious (a few hours a week at church), partly educational (school), partly professional (workplace), and partly leisure (home). Each person in the family is going in separate directions and rarely at home together. Even in the church, the only family time spent together is on the ride to and from church. Upon arrival the family divides into their proper classes. It is hard to find all the members of a family together in one area at the same time in church–much less worshiping and interacting together or praying together as a family.”

Weak Families Make Weak Churches

When I look around at the congregation of my own church, the only families that consistently sit all together in service are 3 families that homeschool! Amazing and interesting! Everyone else seems to be here and there with children attending their own classes. Have you ever asked yourself why we break our families apart and separate throughout the entire church service? The modern day American church has children’s classes, youth classes, young adults, middle adults, senior adults, etc. The practice of age segregation actually began in our education model and nearly every other social institution has followed suit. The public education system was influenced heavily by G. Stanley Hall, John Dewey, G.F. Hegel and Rosseau who advocated isolating children from their parents. This has been one of the fundamental problems of the public schools. These secular ideals must be recognized and resisted on the basis of clear Scriptural teaching on how to raise children. The church needs to strongly resist any anti-Christian culture that purposefully or unconsciously attacks the family and biblical values.

In the early church, children were discipled by their fathers in a family setting. In the modern church, Christian children are largely discipled not at home, but by various age graded church programs. Age segregation is a slippery slope that prevents lessons that should be learned from previous generations. We are moving away from an emphasis on the Biblical model of corporate family worship for the first time in literally thousands of years of church history. What is the impact of fathers relinquishing their duty? The results of this survey done by professor Thom Rainer may indicate at least some of the impact:

Those Who Understand the Gospel by Age Group

  • Born before 1946 — 65%
  • Born between 1946 and 1964 — 35%
  • Born between 1965 and 1976 — 15%
  • Born between 1976 and 1994 — 4%

Something is wrong here! You don’t have to look far to find statistics that the American church and family is on the decline. We are in a crisis, and we must do a better job of passing on our faith to our children. A lot of parents just don’t feel equipped, and that is where the church is failing. The church needs to effectively equip parents and hold parents accountable to teach their children at home, but instead the focus is on providing an array of programs that divide family, and unintentionally release parents of their Biblical mandate to train up their own children.

If you have never contemplated whether family integrated worship is right for your own family, but have instead rather blindly followed the Christian crowd, I urge you to view the following 55 minute video that challenges our naive assumptions about age graded programs, specifically looking at youth ministry, and how our programs are not the answer to building up strong, healthy Christian families. An excellent view for fathers as it calls fathers to take back the training of their children!

Watch: “Divided”, the Movie–Is Youth Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?

Happy Father’s Day!

So on this Father’s Day I celebrate my husband and father, and all Christian fathers who need some encouragement to know how important they are. I pray that sights will be raised and hearts will be touched in our fathers. Please share this post with Christian fathers you know. Pray for our fathers to be faithful, pray for our churches and their leaders to open their hearts to family worship. Its very likely that there are no family integrated worship services anywhere near where you live, but still we can pray, and then share with our church leadership as the opportunity arises. I think many of our Pastors and church leaders are worn out with methods that are not effectively reaching the next generation. The ability to truly reach the next generation lies within fathers. Fathers discipling their own families is critical to the preservation of faith in our society. We need our faithful fathers!

More to Think About:

A Great Article: The Biblical Model for Family Integrated Worship and Biblical Mandate for Daily Home Discipleship

Directory and Resources at: The National Center for Family-Integrated Churches

A National Conference for Dads: The Masters Plan for Fatherhood (The schedule of classes looks great! I hope we will be able to participate in the Fresno conference in November.)

A Father’s Day Gift Suggestion: Wild at Heart (I am getting this book for my husband)

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

I Love Daddy!

IMG_0264

Evening Family Devotions

IMG_0165

A Happy Girl at the Apricot Farm

IMG_0445

IMG_0475

Noah Kept Asking, “What Are You Going to Make With All Those Apricots Mommy?”

IMG_0510

So I Got the Kids to Work on a Gluten Free Apricot Crisp

IMG_0547

My Little Sunshine Enjoying A Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffin

aIMG_0575

Daddy Brought Us Home a Turtle That He Found at Work! What a cool dad!

IMG_0595

2 Comments »