Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

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The Spiritual Side of Habit Training

“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth” Psalm 127:4.

Psalm 127:4 makes me think of the role of the parent and the child in habit training. Through habit training, parents have the ability to aim their children while they are young towards the right targets, which will ultimately effect who their children become someday. Matthew Henry comments on Psalm 127:4, “Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God’s glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then. But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents.”

How do you feel about your aim? Do you feel like your arrows are zig zagging all over unsure of their target? Are you yourself not sure where the target is? Habit training requires much spiritual perception–spiritually speaking, archers must be trained and skilled, and arrows must be sharp, in order for the target to be hit. Your child has a destiny and its up to you to help him or her find it. Do you remember how lost you felt after highschool or college as to what to do with your life? Or feeling like you just didn’t have what it took yet to start fulfilling your dreams? Can we save our own children from the same sad, and all too common, fate upon graduation?? I think we can if we are purposefully aiming our children like arrows: staying in prayer in order to know each child’s target (or prophetic destiny), and learning how to aim them there.

How We Are Aiming Our Arrows

When Noah was 1, I noticed that our prayers were focused on two goals: Noah being helpful and Noah being obedient. So we wrote it down as his Year 1 Goals and included some specific behaviors under each category/goal that we would like to see emerge. We found this practice to be so helpful that we do it every year now. So rather than praying haphazardly about the habits, character traits, and destiny of our children, we continue to develop yearly goals in these areas that we purposefully and consistently pray over and work towards. Most importantly, we select one scripture to pray for each goal. Our goals are founded on the Word of God because only scripture provides the divine supernatural power for change. Praying the Word of God, as opposed to our own words all the time, is very important. I John 5:14-15 tells us that if we pray in accordance with His will, which is His Word, and believe that He is hearing us pray His Word, then we will receive answers and results from our prayers. The Bible is full of people praying this way, by quoting other Scriptures. The word of God is alive and powerful. Words being alive is hard to imagine but it is true. God created the world and the universe by SPEAKING. When we speak the Word of God back to Him, we are praying in agreement with what He has already spoken, thereby releasing His power into our lives. Without this power our prayers and lives are empty, and habit training is frustrating.

Dean and I take each child’s birthday month to reflect on what goals we would love to see them achieve over the next year. We start by looking for areas of need in our children, researching scriptures that apply, selecting our favorites, and then over the next year, we regularly use those scriptures to “speak those things that are not as though they are” (Romans 4:17). We are bringing those qualities that do not yet exist in our children into existence through the creative power of the Word. We make each scripture personal by praying it with the child’s name, “Faith has a happy heart that does good like medicine,” or “Noah can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.” Now that our children are old enough to learn memory verses, we can even have our children open their mouths every day to speak God’s own powerful words over their lives, and together our prayers will avail much!

Standing on Promises of Truth

Dean and I have stood on scriptures for specific needs since we were dating and as a result we have seen God intervene many times. I can share a personal homeschool related example of how powerful the Word of God is to do what is sent to accomplish. Way back in October I taught our Little Lambs about standing on the promises of God. Perhaps you remember this blurb from our October lesson plans?: “October 9th–SHARING Bring a prepared scripture verse promise or two to Circle Time for you and your child to stand on together this month. Make it personal and based on your child’s needs. We will swap all our promises at school, and then faithfully hold each others needs close to our hearts in prayer this entire school year. Involve your child in praying over his or her friends and what they are believing for.”

This was one of the best God ideas of the whole school year!! I can not begin to tell you how instrumental Noah’s promises from last October have been to his development. One promise I chose for Noah was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” in Philippians 4:13, and we have been praying it and confessing it ever since. Even still today, when a frustrating experience or activity causing feelings of insecurity happens to come up for Noah, rather than letting him bask in feelings of defeat, I suggest that we say his promise out loud with lots of faith.

See, the fact is ever since we started homeschool, Noah’s confidence level has been the biggest obstacle challenging our success. For the entire first year of school, more days than not, my three year old was very difficult to teach because he was whiny, clingy, tearful, frustrated, uncooperative, and having large outbursts of temper. Its not that he didn’t like school, but he was very insecure about it all–especially during Circle when we did Bible and delved into the most important content of the day. At Centers, I almost had to do the work for him as he didn’t even want to try an activity unless he was sitting on my lap and having his hand held through every step. I would get so frustrated because he made it very difficult to teach anything, plus I had a small group of kids attending Little Lambs at the time that I needed to attend to as well. I tried all sorts of things to try to remedy the problem, but nothing made a difference.

So after a year of going on like this, hoping things would get better, but not seeing any change, our October theme rolled around, and the Holy Spirit gave me the idea of sharing scripture promises at school. I was so ready to allow the power of scripture to do what I simply could not. We started confessing Noah’s promise in October, and by November, only one month later, I was elated to see how much things at school were smoothing out. It was like Noah’s fears were dissolving and the confident boy I always knew he could be, was finally emerging. He was becoming calm and peaceful at Circle Time, and happily diving into challenging activities at Center Time. Now days I can hardly believe the confidence struggles we used to have in homeschool because there are no signs of it in my little boy anymore. Praise God!!! The fact was that Noah was a fearful boy, but the truth is, he is a confident boy (in Christ). Chalking up his changes to maturity or experience or coincidence is what some people would do. But I know that I know that change in Noah aligned with our “Standing on the Promises” theme last October, and there was a spiritual breakthrough that definitely happened as we stood on the amazing Word of God.

The wonderful news is that all the children have benefited from their promises. Boy did our Faith need her promise last October: “A happy heart does good like medicine” Proverbs 17:22. What a change we have seen in Faith!! I was just telling someone the other day that the terrible two’s has just not been the case for Faith (she turned two last October). Everyday at nap I pray Tayler’s promise with her, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you” Psalms 32:8, and she is certainly going in the direction of the Lord this year! The truth is becoming the facts as we stand on the Word of God.

Let the Enemy Know You are Serious

The Bible says, Be serious! Be alert! Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Let him know that he may not devour your family up with mounds of bad habits! Be watchful against his snares and attempted assaults against your children. He is called our enemy because he resists all our efforts to obey God and the salvation of our souls. However, the enemy shivers when he hears the Word of God come out of our mouths. Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, quoted scripture to him in order to defeat him. The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword according to Hebrews 4:12. It is described as the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17 where Paul is speaking to us about the armor of God and it’s place in enabling us to be able to fight and stand against the wiles of the devil during times of spiritual warfare.

Don’t allow the enemy to mound and compound problems onto your children year by year by taking the mindset that this is just how things are, or this is just how my child is. Think about the average 18 year old you know and how encumbered they are with a load of bad habits and personal issues, compared to your light and unencumbered preschooler. Satan’s influence being silent and cunning, exerts a stronger grip over our children through the years if parents do not stand on watchful guard, using the Word to fight off every unwanted attitude, habit, and circumstance that creep into their family’s lives. (We can expect our child’s needs to grow as our child grows, and so our list of goals may grow too. Just take a look Noah’s growing list of needs already at age 4 compared to Faith’s at age 2 on the list below). The way satan does his work in parents is by planting the thought that things are the way they are. “My kids just get sick all winter, my daughter just does what she wants to do, my son is just aloof to people he doesn’t know, my daughter just has a bad temper, my son just has a short attention span, my toddler is just uncooperative…….” These are the facts, but they are not the truth. Let the enemy know that you are serious about upholding the truth, whatever God’s Word says, in your family and he will have to back down.

Written Goals

This blog is my recording place of everything near and dear to me, a place for organizing Holy Spirit inspired thoughts so they will not be forgotten or lost, and a place to rejoice over hallmark moments of God’s glory in our lives. I have pulled some personal notes out of my journal to record on this blog for your sake as well as mine, the goals for our children that are near and dear to us. If you know us personally, or if you have it in your heart, we would love if you would consider upholding our children’s goals in prayer this year. If you don’t have written goals, or vision, for your children yet, I encourage you to write something down– writing vision makes it plain so that you may run with it (Habukkuk 2:2). And then please share your goals with us because we would love to agree with you in prayer too!

Faith’s Year 2 Goals

Happy

“A happy heart does good like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

Calm and Peaceful

“…..agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11

Taught of the Lord

“All your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

Helpful

“Do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27

Cooperative

“Let them turn away from doing evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:11

Noah’s Year 4 Goals

Confident

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Perfect Health

“You shall worship the Lord your God, and I will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.” Exodus 23:25

Educated

“Youths without blemish, well-favored in appearance and skillful in all wisdom, discernment, and understanding, apt in learning knowledge, competent to stand and serve in the kings palace.” Daniel 1:4

Selfless

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Restful Sleep

“….for He gives sleep to His beloved.” Psalms 127:2

Friendly to Everyone

“Beloved let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

Hungry for God

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Freedom from Generational Curses

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will our my spirit upon your descendents, and my blessing on your offspring.” Isaiah 44:3

Preach for Christ

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7

Happy 4th Birthday Tayler!

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Dying Easter Eggs with Vinegar and Food Coloring

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The Best Part Was Swirling the Colors Around in a Colander

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Tye Dye Easter Eggs

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Resurrection Egg Hunt Held Indoors Due to Rain

IMG_9611Symbolic Items Inside Each Egg Help Tell the Easter Story

I was so blessed that Noah had an answer each time we opened an egg and I asked, “What does this item remind you of from the Easter story in the Bible?” Last year he hardly knew what any of the items in the eggs stood for, except the cross. I had been reading/retelling the Easter story over several days prior to our Resurrection Egg hunt, challenging a 4 year old’s comprehension by using my adult Bible. However, his comments during the egg hunt proved he had been listening and comprehending!! I am so excited to realize that the Word of God is sinking into his heart, and to see that all our homeschool and family Bible training efforts are really paying off.

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Tayler Gets the Cross Again! So Special and Reminiscent of Last Years Picture.

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Math: Copy a Design Math Lesson Was a PERFECT Challenge

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Look Its a Little Girl!

Tayler was having some trouble coming up with designs–in fact on Tuesday her design was simply one hexagon with one triangle on top. Look what happened on Thursday, her second attempt! At first it seemed like she was building a design that didn’t seem to have much drawing power, symmetry, repetition, or anything, and then lo and behold, she says, “Its a girl!” I had to think for a second, turn the paper so the red pigtails were on top, and wa-lah! There she was. It was a delightful moment! As copying a design is always harder than building, Tayler presented herself quite a challenge when it came to pasting time. She barely made it through the activity, but Miss Lynn encouraged her to finish in order that the habit of ‘finishing our work’ could be instilled. And here she is 20 minutes later all done– weary, but pleased!

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Handwriting: Noah Succeeded In Giving His b’s and d’s Fat Tummies

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Faith is Ready for Storytime (Our Helper Books are Now Her Favorites)

We have always done “booktime” in between lunch and nap, where the kids read books to themselves for half an hour, and then mommy might meander over to read a little something to someone when she gets the chance. I decided that I really need to work on making more read aloud time during the day and that it was a pity that too many of our wonderful themed books from the library were going unread at times. So I implemented a new routine in the day–storytime! The kids still do some booktime, reading books of their choice independently, as this is an important habit to cultivate. However, now I choose a lovely, well-written book to read to everyone at once during storytime. Everyone comes and lays down with blankets and stuffed animals on the carpet for a long enjoyable literature read aloud. Since my children are about to go off to dreamland, I feel that this is the perfect time of day to implement Charlotte’s admonishment to read “tales of the imagination, scenes laid in other lands and other times, heroic adventures, hairbreadth escapes, delicious fairy tales in which they are never roughly pulled up by the impossible–even where all is impossible, and they know it, and yet believe.” Before we had storytime as part of our schedule, I found that we would go through too many days of rushed, “pick a short one”, child selected lift the flap or count the objects or half finished books before bed without enough daily, intense, real, literature exposure. As you can see, by the third day of our new routine, the kids couldn’t wait for storytime, and even Faith readied herself on the carpet long before I announced “storytime!”

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Noah Transitions From Nap to Quiet Time

This is another one of my favorite recent changes to our daily schedule. I snuck into Noah’s room to snap a picture of him doing his quiet time activities on the first day we transitioned. Noah is now doing independent learning instead of tossing and turning for an hour and a half on his bed like he was previously. With Tayler and Faith constantly around to provide social play, I get concerned that Noah will have enough solitary play time, which is what feeds emergent learning. Emergent learning–initiative, interests, creative solitude and play, original ideas, imagination, reflection, independent momentum– is surprisingly much more important to the maturation and development of a child than social learning. I also see quiet time as an opportunity for independent spiritual growth, and so I try to emphasize to Noah that he is not alone during quiet time, Jesus is right there, and he can talk to him like a friend while he is playing–its him and Jesus time. Quiet time is very refreshing in a homeschool setting as its important for everyone to separate for a time and have some time to ourselves. I love quiet time. The end of afternoon naps does not have to mean the end of mom’s sanity or time of peace. We can schedule regular quiet time into the day no matter how old our children get. Its healthy for everyone!

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April Lesson Plans

2018-2019     Pre-K – Daniel     2nd Grade – Faith      4th Grade – Noah

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Fun Theme: Easter

Seasonal Theme: Spring

Character/Habit: Self Controlled

Bible: Titus

History/Geography: Early America/North America

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

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Parent Study:

Growth in the WordImage result for fervent

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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Image result for poetry for young people longfellowThe Magic Flute: An Opera by Mozart
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Picture study:

Choose one artist a term to read his/her biography and study his/her pictures:

John Trumball, John William Waterhouse, Frederick Remington

  • Possible Future Studies: Rococco Art (1700s), Thomas Birch (American marine painter, early 1800s), Mary Cassatt (late 1800s), Cezanne (late 1800s)Vincent Van Gogh (late 1800s), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (late 1800s), Grandma Moses (1940s), Norman Rockwell (1940s), (one artist a term; future studies: Millet, Cezanne), and enjoy Robert Griffing’s work as we read about Colonial America
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful

Music Study:

Learn patriotic songs

Choose one composer a term to read his biography and listen to his work:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Possible Future Studies:

  • Henry Purcell 1659-1695
  • Antonio Vivaldi 1675-1741
  • Domenico Scarlatti 1680-1750
  • Telemann 1680-1760
  • Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750
  • George Frideric Handel 1685-1759
  • Haydn 1732-1809
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791
  • Ludwig von Beethoven 1770-1827
  • Niccolo Paganini 1782-1840
  • Franz Schubert 1790-1820
  • Gioachino Rossini 1790-1860
  • Felix Mendelssohn 1810-1840
  • Frederic Chopin 1810-1849
  • Robert Schumann 1810-1850
  • Giuseppe Verdi 1810-1900
  • Richard Wagner 1820-1880
  • Franz Liszt 1820-1890
  • Johann Strauss II 1825-1899
  • Stephen Foster 1830-1860
  • Johannes Brahms 1833-1897
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840-1893
  • Antonin Dvorak 1840-1900
  • Edvard Grieg 1850-1900
  • John Phillips Sousa 1854-1932
  • Claude Debussy 1860-1920
  • Jean Sibelius 1865-1957
  • Scott Joplin 1868-1917
  • Maurice Ravel 1870-1930
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff 1870-1940
  • Gilbert and Sullivan 1870-1896
  • Igor Stravinsky 1880-1970
  • Bela Bartok 1881-1945
  • George Gershwin 1900-1930
  • Dmitry Shostakovich 1900-1970
  • Aaron Copland 1910-1980

Poetry Study:

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Write one poem a month (often as narration of something we are reading)

Book list:

  • Poetry for Young People Series
  • Opal Wheeler composer biographies
  • Discovering great artists : hands-on art for children in the styles of the great masters series by Kohl, MaryAnn F.
  • Stories of the Opera by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • The Story of “______” in Word and Music (Mausic Master Series, composer study CDs)
  • Stories of the Painters by Amy Steedman
  • What Makes a …. (Rembrandt a Rembrandt, etc)?
  • Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Artists/Composers
  • Art books on Native Americans by Robert Griffing
  • Treasures from the National Museum of American Art by William Kloss
  • Of arms and artists : the American Revolution through painters’ eyes / Paul Staiti.
  • Frederic Remington : the masterworks / Michael Edward Shapiro, Peter H. Hassrick
  • The Frederic Remington Art Museum collection / by Brian W. Dippie
  • Drawn to Yellowstone : artists in America’s first national park / Peter H. Hassrick
  • The Story of Mozart in words and music [sound recording]
  • Mozart for kids.
  • The magic flute : an opera by Mozart / adapted by Kyra Teis.
  • Bravo! Brava! a night at the opera : behind the scenes with composers, cast, and crew / Anne Siberell ; introduction by Frederica von Stade
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / written and illustrated by Mike Venezia
  • Mozart and classical music / text by Francesco Salvi; illustrations by L.R. Galante
  • Mozart’s The magic flute / [music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ; libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder] ; a Metropolitan Opera High-Definition Production
  • Sister Wendy’s American Masterpieces
  • Relax, Daydream, and Draw, The Mozart Effect

Art Instruction:

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Character/Habit Development:

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  • Review the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, 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 (10) and Faith (8) in dimes once a week; provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Noah and Faith do personal Bible study by writing out relevant verses, based on curiosities or as needed, from their Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible during morning devotions
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete workbook page in Character Companion based on the character theme of the month, and together, read the suggested Miller stories that exemplify the current trait
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

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Circle Time/Family Time:

Family Devotions Books:

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Discussion Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

  • Meditate on 2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Take time to speak a blessing, celebrate progress, and encourage their behavior by speaking over our children words such as:

“I’m proud you went to God for help in using self-control. I see that the Holy Spirit is living in you, because I see your self-control. Jesus is proud of you and so am I.”

Prayer TimeIMG_0172

  • Use our Prayer Wall to help us pray for current/urgent needs (on the chalkboard), as well as our family (slips of paper with all the promises we have stood on over the years), the world (slips of paper with the names of the countries we have studied in geography so far), and our loved ones (slips of paper with the names of friends and extended family).
  • Print out and pray these parent prayers and scriptures for contentment this month, and the kids prayers too.
  • Use Instructions in Righteousness to help identify areas of persistent sin/selfishness (and its suggestions for rewards and punishments).

Sharing Time:

  • Share anecdotes of how I have seen each child grow in self control and character over the years.

Discussion Time:

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

Self-Controlled defined: Able to keep one’s appetites, desires and emotions in proper balance to what is wholesome and expedient; temperate; self restrained.

  • Self Control is learning to quickly identify and obey the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit. Bringing my thoughts, words, and actions under the control of the Holy Spirit.
  • Do you want to hear about a great gift that God has waiting for all of us? Read Luke 11:5-13. Explain that the Holy Spirit is God’s special gift to us and that His Spirit can come and live in each of us (John 16:5-16, John 14:15-21). Ask your children if they want to accept God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. If they do, suggest that while you pray, they hold their hands open as though they were about to receive a gift. Pray with them, thanking God for His gift of the Holy Spirit and asking God to fill each of you with the Holy Spirit. Pray specifically for the Holy Spirit to provide self-control.

  • Read Romans 8:6 Being spiritually minded is life and peace. How much peace is in your life? Do you think you might need to be more spiritually minded? Who makes us that way? If you need more peace, lets pray for the Spirit to fill you.
  • Matthew 12:36 says that all of us will have to give an account to God for every careless word we speak. Ask the Holy Spirit to place a guard on our mouths.
  • Read No Hard Hearts on p.210 of Over the Edge devotional by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and other devotionals on the topic of the Holy Spirit
  • Read Galatians 5:13-15 and 25-26. Shake a soda can, open it, and let it explode. When we do not use self-control, we end up “biting and devouring” each other, and “provoking and envying” each other. This is not God’s plan for our lives. He would rather see us encouraging and building one another up. When we feel like fizzing all over everyone, it is time to get alone with God for a talk. Help your children make plans for what they will do when they feel like they are going to lose self-control (see next idea).
  • Make a large wooden cross together to display among the backyard flowers for both Easter and habit training. Make a plan to run to the cross, kneel, and spend a quiet moment in prayer there whenever anyone of us is losing or has lost self control.
  • At the cross….. Repent today. 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.
  • Ugly Tempers on Display
  • Like a City
  • Developing more self-control means learning to consider the bigger picture with regards to your decisions. Those who are highly impulsive tend to think only in the short-term, or about immediate reward. For example, a typically impulsive individual might think, “l am happier when I eat chocolate so it must be good to eat it.’
  • A quote from Jane Eyre in the moment of temptation: “….with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.” Lines must be drawn — in advance. “Foregone determinations” she called them. Principles. These established guards in advance, destined to prevent us from faltering when our steadfastness may be put on trial.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right. The writer of Proverbs says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). We do not need to treat others in the same way that we have been treated. It is clear from these passages of Scripture that we need to act – not react. Neither should we simply be passive; but God’s Word confirms the need to actively rise above the tit-for-tat behavior that characterizes so many failing relationships.This is what should set us apart as Christians; and why we need to daily draw on the power of the Risen Christ. The wrongs committed against us are opportunities for us to grow in our walk with God as we acknowledge the Truth of His Word and submit ourselves to be governed by its principles rather than our emotions.

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, study in the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible, do personal prayer and worship.  Together time: worship acapella and with guitar, pray with (or without) the prayer wall, narrate Bible readings (per curriculum).
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Review:

  • 1 Corinthians chapter 13
  • 1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.”
  • 1 Peter 3:10 “For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.’ ”
  • “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me..” Galatians 2:20
  • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
  • “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11:25-26

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see   
A poem lovely as a tree.   
   
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest   
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;   
   
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   
   
A tree that may in summer wear   
A nest of robins in her hair;   
   
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;   
Who intimately lives with rain. 
   
Poems are made by fools like me,   
But only God can make a tree.

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Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: writing books, letters, cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work, copying verses from the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible.
  • Print to Cursive. (Faith) Hymns in Prose. (Noah)
  • Daniel practices his reading words on our little black chalkboards from Handwriting without Tears

 

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Spelling/Language/Story Crafting:

Faith studies, word builds, hand writes, and then recites the spelling of all new reading words from one Pathway Reader story a week. Noah does prepared dictation using classic literature selections in the curriculum Spelling Wisdom, and language lessons in Using Language Well.

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Sometimes Noah and Faith do creative writing using these story starters. Other times they write in their blank books in which they are making their own stories.

Image result for story starters karen

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Reading:

Once a week, Noah and Faith read from their Pathway Readers to practice prosody. The readers provide spelling words for Faith (she will switch to prepared dictation in 3rd grade). Daniel is doing Delightful Reading curriculum to learn to read.

Image result for pathway readersImage result for delightful reading

 

Vocabulary:

Most words are learned naturally in conversation and during read alouds as words in question arise. I also have Noah and Faith look up one word, any word of choice, once a week, usually in the Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary, and write out the definition in their vocabulary notebooks.

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

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Literature Read Alouds:

Image result for parable of the lily

Sanji's Seed: A Story About Honesty

Image result for Amos Fortune elizabeth yates

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History and Geography:

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5 lessons a week from SCM’s Early Modern & Epistles history curriculum. Noah and Faith daily narrate readings orally, and also narrate in their ‘His Story’ sketchbooks with drawings once a week or so. For geography, we do 1 lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to North America geography curriculum.

History Curriculum Manual and Spines:

Image result for narration cards stories of nations

Image result for stories of america volume 1Image result for stories of the nations volume 1

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Living Book List:

  • Nathan Hale: Patriot Spy by Shannon Zemlicka
  • Crossing the Delaware by Louise Peacock
  • Leutze: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Ernest Goldstein
  • Stars and Stripes by Leonard Fisher
  • Betsy Ross by Alexandra Wallner
  • A Flag for Our Country by Eve Spencer
  • Flag Day by Dorothy LesTina
  • betsy Ross by Ann Weil
  • Betsy Ross: Patriot of Philadelphia by Judith St. George
  • Betsy Ross by Susan Martins Miller
  • Betsy Ross & the Flag by Jane Mayer
  • Aaron and the Green Mountain Boys by Patricia Lee Gauch
  • Arrow over the Door by Joseph Bruchac
  • Great Big Wagon that Rang by Joseph Slate
  • Buttons for General Washington by Peter & Connie Roop
  • Danbury’s Burning! by Anne Grant
  • John Paul Jones: Hero of the Seas by Keith Brandt
  • They Called her Molly Pitcher by Anne Rockwell
  • Black Regiment of the American Revolution by Linda Brennan
  • Jack Jouett’s Ride by Gail Haley
  • Patriots in Petticoats by Patricia Clyne
  • Picture Book of George Washington by David Adler
  • George Washington and the General’s Dog by F. Murphy
  • George Washington by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
  • I Did It With My Hatchet by Robert Quackenbush
  • George Wahsington’s Cows by David Small
  • Washington’s Birthday by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • George-isms: The 110 Rules George Lived By
  • Martha Washington: First Lady of the Land by L. Anderson
  • The Story of Mount Vernon by Natalie Miller
  • Revolutionary John Adams by Cheryl Harness
  • A Bird in the Hand: Sayings from Poor Richard’s Almanac
  • Benjamin Franklin by Ingri & Edgar d’Aulaire

 

Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

Image result for visits to north americaImage result for material world

 

 

Image result for hungry planet book

 

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Living Book List:

  • If You are Not From the Prairie by Dave Bouchard

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Math:

Daniels Lessons:

Arithmetic for Young Children (mental math)

Spend a few minutes using “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). Count blueberries and grapes and other food at the table often.

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Image result for prek math kathy richardsonImage result for developing number concepts 1 kathy

  • Plus and Minus Train (p 35) Make 2 game boards with the outline of cube train 20 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.
  • 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.
  • Recording Designs and Creations (p.158)
    Children will focus on shape and position by making a design and copying it. Have the children create a simple design with pattern blocks or tiles. Then have the children copy these designs by gluing down paper shapes that match the blocks (you can print “printable pattern block shapes from the internet” and cut them out before hand). The copying portion of the activity is important because reproduction requires children to pay close attention to the position of the blocks relative to each other and the number being used. Limit the number of blocks you give them if needed because it is easier for them to build than it is to copy.

          Games:

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

Faith’s Lessons:

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  • Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book; Life of Fred Books; and Kahn Academy

Noah’s Lessons:

 

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  • Elementary and Middle School Mathematics by John Van De Walle, Life of Fred Series, Your Business (pet Store), Kahn Academy, and an occasional Math Card Game.

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Science/Nature Study:

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Image result for muir laws book

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Spanish:

Bilingual children’s picture books.

Image result for grow it childs play book a sembrar

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Piano:

Online lessons at simplymusic.com (most weekdays 10 minutes)

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Keyboarding:

Mavis Beacon (once a week 10 minutes)

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Videos:

On Fun Fridays, at family movie night we watch Moody Science videos, Winnie the Pooh, Land Before Time, BBC’s Planet earth and The Blue Planet, Little House on the Prairie (the mild episodes), the Sound of Music, and other (mild) family movies. We usually preview movies and decide if they are wholesome and mild enough for our sensitive kiddos. And we do use the fast forward button. 🙂

Image result for little house on the prairie

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Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Paint Cowboy at Sunset

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Make an Easter Garden Basket
 
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Plan a Family Seder
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Daniel – paint underground garden vegetables

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Fieldtrips:

  • Round Valley creek and other local creeks
  • Waterfall and wildflower hikes
Leave a comment »

December Lesson Plans

2018-2019     Pre-K – Daniel     2nd Grade – Faith      4th Grade – Noah

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Fun Theme: Christmas

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Peaceable

Bible: Hebrews

History/Geography: Early America/North America

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

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Parent Study:

Growth in the WordImage result for fervent

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

Image result for stories of favorite operas clyde robert bullaImage result for Great American Artists for kids

Image result for poetry for young people series Image result for benjamin West and His catHandel at the Court of KingsMy Name is Handel: The Story of Water MusicImage result for The Handel’s Messiah Family Advent ReaderHallelujah Handel

Picture study:

Choose one artist a term to read his/her biography and study his/her pictures:

Benjamin West

  • Possible Future Studies: John Trumball (Revolutionary War), John William Waterhouse, Rococco Art (1700s), Frederic Remington (old west, late 1800s), Thomas Birch (American marine painter, early 1800s), Mary Cassatt (late 1800s), Cezanne (late 1800s)Vincent Van Gogh (late 1800s), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (late 1800s), Grandma Moses (1940s), Norman Rockwell (1940s), (one artist a term; future studies: Millet, Cezanne), and enjoy Robert Griffing’s work as we read about Colonial America
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful

Music Study:

Learn patriotic songs

Choose one composer a term to read his biography and listen to his work:

George Frederic Handel

  • Possible Future Studies:
  • Henry Purcell 1659-1695
  • Antonio Vivaldi 1675-1741
  • Domenico Scarlatti 1680-1750
  • Telemann 1680-1760
  • Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750
  • George Frideric Handel 1685-1759
  • Haydn 1732-1809
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791
  • Ludwig von Beethoven 1770-1827
  • Niccolo Paganini 1782-1840
  • Franz Schubert 1790-1820
  • Gioachino Rossini 1790-1860
  • Felix Mendelssohn 1810-1840
  • Frederic Chopin 1810-1849
  • Robert Schumann 1810-1850
  • Giuseppe Verdi 1810-1900
  • Richard Wagner 1820-1880
  • Franz Liszt 1820-1890
  • Johann Strauss II 1825-1899
  • Stephen Foster 1830-1860
  • Johannes Brahms 1833-1897
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840-1893
  • Antonin Dvorak 1840-1900
  • Edvard Grieg 1850-1900
  • John Phillips Sousa 1854-1932
  • Claude Debussy 1860-1920
  • Jean Sibelius 1865-1957
  • Scott Joplin 1868-1917
  • Maurice Ravel 1870-1930
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff 1870-1940
  • Gilbert and Sullivan 1870-1896
  • Igor Stravinsky 1880-1970
  • Bela Bartok 1881-1945
  • George Gershwin 1900-1930
  • Dmitry Shostakovich 1900-1970
  • Aaron Copland 1910-1980

Poetry Study:

  • When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
  • Write one poem a month (often as narration of something we are reading)

Book list:

  • Poetry for Young People Series
  • Opal Wheeler composer biographies
  • Discovering great artists : hands-on art for children in the styles of the great masters series by Kohl, MaryAnn F.
  • Stories of the Opera by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • The Story of “______” in Word and Music (Mausic Master Series, composer study CDs)
  • Stories of the Painters by Amy Steedman
  • What Makes a …. (Rembrandt a Rembrandt, etc)?
  • Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Artists/Composers
  • Art books on Native Americans by Robert Griffing
  • National Museum of American Art / [foreword by Elizabeth Broun ; introduction by William Kloss]
  • The rooster crows : a book of American rhymes and jingles / Maud and Miska Petersham
  • American History in Art by Rena Coen
  • Messiah in Full Score Edited by Alfred Mann

Art Instruction:

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Character/Habit Development:

Image result for miller missionary series

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Image result for gladys aylward yWAMIMG_0247

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  • Review the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, 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 (9) and Faith (8) in dimes once a week; provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Noah and Faith do personal Bible study by writing out relevant verses, based on curiosities or as needed, from their Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible during morning devotions
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete workbook page in Character Companion based on the character theme of the month, and together, read the suggested Miller stories that exemplify the current trait
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

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Circle Time/Family Time:

Family Devotions Books:

Image result for children and the supernatural toledoImage result for children eyes that see toledo

Blessing and Promise Time:

Choral confession: Nehemiah 9:17 “…But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…

Prayer TimeIMG_0172

  • Print out and pray these prayers about forgiveness.
  • Use our Prayer Wall to help us pray. Current/urgent needs (on the chalkboard), as well as our family (slips of paper with all the promises we have stood on over the years), the world (slips of paper with the names of the countries we have studied in geography so far), and our loved ones (slips of paper with the names of friends and extended family).

Sharing Time:

  • Share personal stories of forgiveness.
  • Do you think you are slow to anger and abounding in love like God? What is hard for you to forgive? What has happened that your heart still feels sore about? Ask God for help.
  • What are you glad that God has forgiven you for? Thank God in prayer.
  • How can we choose to forgive others? Why must we forgive others? (Matt. 6:14-15)

Discussion Time:

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

          Forgiveness:

  • What is the worst pain you have ever had? Which is worse, pain in your heart or pain felt in your body? Did Jesus have only body pain or did He have pain in His heart, too? Why?
  • Read Scriptures and learn about Forgiveness
  • The strongest relationships are not between those who never hurt or offend one another – such relationships don’t exist (Philippians 2:21) – but between those who ask each other’s forgiveness on a regular basis. It takes humility and strength of character to admit when we have done or said something wrong and offended a family member. Pride keeps us back from asking forgiveness or even thinking that we need to ask for forgiveness. When there is pride, we tend to be more critical and judgemental of others. On the other hand, people who realize they are wrong and ask for forgiveness develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be forgiven.
  • Romans 12:17-19 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Ask the Holy Spirit to be present. Pray with your children, asking for and thanking God for His forgiveness. If your children need to release frustration have them touch the insides of their palms – the spot where the nails would have pierced Jesus’ hands. Then have them open their hands, “releasing” their hurt and pain to God, acknowledging that it is His job to “repay.”
  • Sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
  • Bitter Roots
  • 1 Peter 3:9 which states: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” In difficult situations, have your children pray for the person who they need to forgive and also say good things about them. Gently remind your children that they are being like Jesus when they forgive the other person – even when the other person hasn’t asked for forgiveness.
  • God’s Sponge
  • Heavy Luggage
  • (Make a list of friction causing scenarios that occur between siblings) Role play these scenarios and practice gently rebuking someone, then offering/asking for forgiveness. Luke 17:3 “So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.’ ”
  • Remember 1 peter 3:9 said to repay evil with blessing. Our willingness to “go the second mile” is one of the most persuasive ways of demonstrating the love of Christ and our willingness to forgive. Go the Second Mile. Brainstorm lists of how we each could personally go the second mile in our relationships and situations.

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, study in the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible, do personal prayer and worship.  Together time: worship acapella and with guitar, pray with (or without) the prayer wall, narrate Bible readings (per curriculum).
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Memory Verses:

Matthew 5:1-16 (Beatitudes/Salt/Light)

Review:

  • 1 Corinthians 13, Isaiah 61:1-4, Psalm 23
  • December Verses

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

Good News From Heaven The Angels Sing

A Christmas Carol For Children by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.

This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford:
He will Himself our Saviour be,
From sin and sorrow set us free.

To us that blessedness He brings,
Which from the Father’s bounty springs:
That in the heavenly realm we may
With Him enjoy eternal day.

All hail, Thou noble Guest, this morn,
Whose love did not the sinner scorn!
In my distress Thou cam’st to me:
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child!
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

Praise God upon His heavenly throne,
Who gave to us His only Son:
For this His hosts, on joyful wing,
A blest New Year of mercy sing.

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Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: writing books, letters, cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work, copying verses from the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible.
  • Print to Cursive. (Faith) Hymns in Prose. (Noah)
  • Daniel practices his reading words on our little black chalkboards from Handwriting without Tears

 

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Image result for hymns in prose

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Spelling/Language/Story Crafting:

Faith studies, word builds, hand writes, and then recites the spelling of all new reading words from one Pathway Reader story a week. Noah does prepared dictation using classic literature selections in the curriculum Spelling Wisdom, and language lessons in Using Language Well.

Image result for spelling wisdom

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Sometimes Noah and Faith do creative writing using these story starters. Other times they write in their blank books in which they are making their own stories.

Image result for story starters karen

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Reading:

Once a week, Noah and Faith read from their Pathway Readers to practice prosody. The readers provide spelling words for Faith (she will switch to prepared dictation in 3rd grade). Daniel is doing Delightful Reading curriculum to learn to read.

Image result for pathway readersImage result for delightful reading

 

Vocabulary:

Most words are learned naturally in conversation and during read alouds as words in question arise. I also have Noah and Faith look up one word, any word of choice, once a week, usually in the Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary, and write out the definition in their vocabulary notebooks.

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

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Literature Read Alouds:

Image result for corgiville christmas

Image result for the dolls christmas tudorImage result for A book of Christmas tudorRelated imageImage result for the mansion henry van dyke

Related imageImage result for christmas in my heart joe wheeler

 

Image result for silent night the song and its storyImage result for the christmas cat tudor

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History and Geography:

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5 lessons a week from SCM’s Early Modern & Epistles history curriculum. Noah and Faith daily narrate readings orally, and also narrate in their ‘His Story’ sketchbooks with drawings once a week or so. For geography, we do 1 lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to North America geography curriculum.

History Curriculum Manual and Spines:

Image result for narration cards stories of nations

Image result for stories of america volume 1Image result for stories of the nations volume 1

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Living Book List:

  • Little Wolf Slayer by Donald Cooke
  • I Heard of a River by Elsie Singmaster
  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! by Julie Thompson
  • Pirate Diary by Richard Platt
  • The Story of William Penn by Aliki
  • The Folks in the Valley by Jim Aylesworth
  • Rudi and the Distelfinkby F.N. Monjo
  • Skippack School by Marguerite de Angeli
  • Presidents / by Martin W. Sandler ; introduction by James H. Billington

 

Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

Image result for visits to north americaImage result for material world

 

 

Image result for hungry planet book

 

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Living Book List:

  • Minn of the Mississippi by Holling
  • Discovering maps / Alma Graham, project educational editor

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Math:

Daniels Lessons:

Arithmetic for Young Children (mental math)

Spend a few minutes a week using “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). Count blueberries and grapes and other food at the table often.

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Image result for prek math kathy richardsonImage result for developing number concepts 1 kathy

  • Counting Stories (p. 30) Materials: Counters and Storyboards or blank paper. Lesson: Tell number stories and have the children act them out using some counters as objects in the stories. Children place the counters on a storyboard that represents the setting for the story. Pass out storyboards–paper with a simple picture of a two lane road for example. Say, “Four trucks are driving down the road. Two cars pass them. Count the trucks and cars.” Children place counters on the storyboard and add them up. Extensions: Have children make up their own counting stories. Write the numerals on a small chalkboard as you say them so the children can learn to associate numerals with the amounts they represent (or don’t say the number as you write it if children are familiar with numerals). Or have children write their own numerals (placing counters right on top of the chalkboard).
  • Creations (p. 33) Materials: Unifix cubes, creation cards. Lesson: Create a model out of unifix cubes (resembling a simple animal for example), or use the provided creation cards in the book. Have children build a matching creation exactly as shown by the model or creation card, and without laying it on top of the model or card. Extension: Have children record the number of cubes they used to build each creation (writing or numeral card).
  • Grow and Shrink (p28) Children roll a 1-6 number cube and place the appropriate number of counters on working space paper (paper with 10 dots to place counters on). Children roll again, then verbalize (and write) how many counters will need to be added or subtracted in order to change the first rolled number into the second rolled number. For example, child rolls a six, and puts out six counters. Then child rolls a four, so he says ” I need to take away two” and also write “-2” on a slip of paper. Then roll again to keep adding or subtracting from whatever number is on the paper. Use two working space papers if there are too many counters to fit, or say “not enough” if taking away more counters than what is left on the paper is required.
  • 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.

          Games:

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

Faith’s Lessons:

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  • Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book
  • Life of Fred Book 4

Noah’s Lessons:

 

Image result for life of fred

 

  • Elementary and Middle School Mathematics by John Van De Walle, Life of Fred Series, Your Business (pet Store), Kahn Academy, and an occasional Math Card Game.

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Science/Nature Study:

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Image result for nature laws guide

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Spanish:

Bilingual children’s picture books.

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Piano:

Online lessons at simplymusic.com (most weekdays 10 minutes)

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Keyboarding:

Mavis Beacon (twice a week 10 minutes)

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Videos:

On Fun Fridays, at family movie night we watch Moody Science videos, Winnie the Pooh, Land Before Time, BBC’s Planet earth and The Blue Planet, Little House on the Prairie (the mild episodes), the Sound of Music, and other (mild) family movies. We usually preview movies and decide if they are wholesome and mild enough for our sensitive kiddos. And we do use the fast forward button. 🙂

Image result for little house on the prairie

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Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Finish Painting Christmas Village Scenes

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Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Mini Party

Christmas Caroling

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Find or make an ornament that depicts what God has done in the past year for the family, or for each individual (so kids have their own set to take when grown)

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Shepherds Pouches to earn money for Samritan’s Purse

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Make a manger and a baby Jesus to put under the Christmas tree; nurture some stolen moments of fascination and worship of the newborn King with the littlest in the family

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Fieldtrips:

Piedmont Kids Choir Candlelight Service – December 2nd

Live Nativity in Redwood City – December 7th

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October Lesson Plans

2017-2018 * Preschool – Daniel * 1st Grade – Faith * 3rd Grade – Noah

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Fun Theme: When I Grow Up / Heroes (Christ, Parents, Community Helpers, Historical Figures, and Fictional Characters)

Seasonal Theme: Fall, Scarecrows

Character/Habit: Confidence

Bible: James

History/Geography: Middle Ages/Australia

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

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

Image result for Giotto Tended the Sheep by Sybil Deucher and Opal Wheeler

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture study:

Giotto

Music Study:

Orchestra Basics

Poetry Study:

Favorite Poems Old and New

 

Book list:

  • Picture That: Knights & Castles (Exploring History through Art) / by Alex Martin
  • The Carnival of the Animals / by Jack Prelutsky
  • Peter and the Wolf / by Janet Shulman
  • The orchestra / written by Mark Rubin
  • The story of the orchestra : listen while you learn about the instruments, the music, and the composers who wrote the music / Robert Levine
  • Discovering great artists : hands-on art for children in the styles of the great masters / by Kohl, MaryAnn F.
  • Giotto / by Flores D’Arcais, Francesca
  • Meet the Orchestra / by Hayes, Anne
  • Music of the Middle Ages Gregorian Chant / Hamburg

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Character/Habit Development:

Image result for miller missionary series

Image result for miller companion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for gladys aylward yWAMIMG_0247

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  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, 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; provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Child Training and Virtue Training Bibles during morning devotions
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete workbook page on Confidence in their Character Companion workbook, and together, read the suggested Miller Family stories that exemplify the trait
  • Use the stories and activities from various character development resources (like those pictured in my annual curriculum post) during circle time

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Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

Sing a song of blessing over my children; my kids LOVE this Aaronic Benediciton (alternatively or additionally, this song could be played at bedtime).

Choral confession: Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the one who trusts the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Prayer TimeIMG_0172

  • Use our Prayer Wall to help us pray for current/urgent needs (on the chalkboard), as well as our family (slips of paper with all the promises we have stood on over the years), the world (slips of paper with the names of the countries we have studied in geography so far), and our loved ones (slips of paper with the names of friends and extended family).
  • Print out and pray these parent prayers and scriptures for confidence this month, and the kids prayers for confidence.

Sharing Time:

  • Choose a promise from scripture for your life this school year based on your personal needs/desires that we can all stand on and pray over you regularly throughout the year. (Mine for this year is James 3:17: “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”)
  • Pray and practice confidence this month and share about your experiences at circle
  • Bring a picture and story of someone who is a hero to you
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Share some interesting information about that type of job.

Discussion Time:

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

Confidence:

Courage (Review):

  • “Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
    • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas about courage, discuss one a day:
      • selfishness makes us cowards, but thinking of others makes us braver
      • we become brave by doing brave acts
      • we practice bravery by acting brave when we don’t really feel brave
      • the brave person is not someone who is never afraid
      • the fear of failures never hurts as bad as we expect them to
      • we imagine our fears into existence (Job and Chicken Little)
      • to refrain from foolish cowardice, refrain from too much mountain-making our of molehills
  • “Heroism comes from a perception of what is good, right, and beautiful, and a will to claim it and defend it.” –Sarah Clarkson
  • Read short true stories about the lives of Christian heroes

Imagination (Review):

  • “There are no days in life that are so memorable as those that vibrate to some stroke of the imagination.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The Story of a Great Story An example of how the idea for Robinson Crusoe was sparked.
  • “Doubt and fear neutralize what God wants to do in your life. It takes courage to imagine. Do you know why most people don’t imagine? Because they’re afraid of failure.” -Rick Warren
  • Does fear or faith govern your imagination?
    If you let your imagination be governed by fear, you’re going to go around being freaked out, stressed out, and worried all the time. Imagination governed by faith is filled with all kinds of possibilities because “with God all things are possible.”
  • Imagination defined–mental pictures of things not present. Faith works with Imagination by allowing the Holy Spirit to develop a photograph upon our hearts of our potential destinies. 
  • The devil wants us to be blind to what God has thought and determined for us. When our imaginations are not Godly (provide examples), we need to cast down thoughts that steal our joy, and then raise up the vision of God for our life (provide examples). When God enlightens the eyes of our hearts, wonderful things begin to happen.
    • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5
    • I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18 (Enlightened is translated as ‘photizo’ from which we get the word photograph
  • Children have the strongest most unrestrained imaginations. What would God have you imagine while you are young, so that you may live it when you are old?
  • What/who we admire, we tend to become. Who are the people and what are their qualities that you imagine yourself becoming like? Who are some of your heroes and what are they like?
  • Everything that has been created by mankind: skyscrapers, skis, cars, computers, buildings, boulevards, coffee cups, cotton balls and even things immaterial such as concepts and philosophies all began in the mind of someone before they became reality. What could God use you to do?
  • Practice using imaginative narration methods such as puppets, or drawing or acting the story out more often.

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, study in the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible, do personal prayer and worship.  Together time: worship acapella and with guitar, pray with (or without) the prayer wall, narrate Bible readings (per curriculum).
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Thank you for creation

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Memory Verses:

1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ ”

Also we will review all verses from previous Octobers:

  • “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:1-2
  • And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17
  • Psalm 23
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  • “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

St. Patrick’s Prayer (400)

May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

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Handwriting:

  • Write for Real Life: written letters, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, His Story book, blank books/story writing, spelling words, poem or memory verse copy work, copying verses from the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible.
  • Print to Cursive. (Noah and Faith)
  • Daniel will practice his letters on our little black chalkboards from Handwriting without Tears

 

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Spelling/Language/Story Crafting:

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For kindergarten through second grade

Faith will study, word build, hand write, and then recite the spelling of all new reading words from one Pathway Reader story a week. Noah will do prepared dictation using classic literature selections in the curriculum Spelling Wisdom, and language lessons in Using Language Well.

For 3rd Grade and up

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For 3rd Grade and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noah and Faith will have fun with creative writing using these story starters once or twice a month.

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Reading:

Once a week, Noah will use the Pathway Readers to practice prosody; Faith will use them for reading practice. The readers also provide spelling words for Faith (preparing her to switch to prepared dictation in 3rd grade). Daniel will use our Lauri alphabet puzzle to sound out (reading) and word build (spelling) three letter word.

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Vocabulary:

Most words are learned naturally in conversation and during read alouds as words in question arise, but I will also have Noah and Faith look up one word, any word of choice, once a week in the Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary and write out the definition in their vocabulary notebooks.

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

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Literature Read Alouds:

Also see “Hero/When I Grow up/Imagination” themed picture books for Daniel in Literature Read Alouds of previous October lesson plans.

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  • Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe / adapted by Marianna Mayer ; paintings by John Rush
  • Chanticleer and the Fox / by Barbara Cooney
  • The Ink Garden of Brother Theopane / by C.M. Millen
  • The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur / by Margaret Hodges
  • The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor / by Patrick O’ Brien
  • Saint George and the Dragon: A Golden Legend / by Margaret Hodges

History and Geography:

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5 lessons a week from SCM’s Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, & Epistles history curriculum. Noah and Faith will typically narrate readings orally, but also narrate in their ‘His Story’ sketchbooks with drawings every once in awhile. 1 lesson a week from SCM’s Visits to South America and Central America geography curriculum.

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History Curriculum Manual and Spine:

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Living Book List:

  • Silk Route / by John Major
  • What You will See Inside a Mosque / Aisha Khan
  • Atlas of Islam: People, Daily Life and Traditions / by Neil Morris
  • Muhammad / by Demi
  • Islam / by Philip Wilkinson and Batul Salazar (DK)
  • Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky / by Barbara Schiller
  • Leif the Lucky / by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Alauire
  • Leif’s Saga / by Jonathan Hunt
  • Leif the Lucky: Discoverer of America / by Erick Berry
  • Once Upon a Time Saints / by Ethel Pochoki
  • Saints: Lives and Illuminations / by Ruth Sanderson
  • Arabs in the Golden Age / by Mokhtar Moktefi
  • Child’s Book of Saints / by William Canton
  • Favorite Medieval Tales / by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Roman Empire and the Dark Ages: History of Everyday Things / by Giovanni Caselli
  • Everyday Life of a Viking Settler / by Giovanni Caselli
  • Arthur and the Sword / by Thomas Malory
  • Fin M’Coul : the giant of Knockmany Hill / retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paol
  • Patrick : patron saint of Ireland / by Tomie dePaola
  • Saint Francis / by Brian Wildsmith

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Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

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Living Book List:

  • The Pumpkin Runner / by Marsha Diane Arnold
  • One wooly wombat / written by Rod Trinca and Kerry Argent
  • Big Rain Coming / by Katrina Germein
  • The Gift Stone / by Robyn Eversole
  • New Zealand ABCs /by Holly Schroeder
  • First Book of Australia / by Edna Mason Kaula
  • Red Earth, Blue Sky: The Australian Outback / by Margaret Rau
  • Starry Sky / DK Reader (science)

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Math:

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Daniel’s 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.

Daniels Lessons: Spend a few minutes once a week using “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). Count blueberries and grapes and other food at the table often.

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Mental Math for Noah and Faith: Everyday try to work in 5 minutes of “living math”–verbally present interesting scenarios that require students to do mental calculations with math concepts they have already learned.

Noah’s Lessons: Multiplication and Division book, Your Business, Kahn Academy, and an occasional Math Card Game. He will be learning his multiplication table and practicing addition and subtraction.

Faith’s Lessons:

  • Place Value lessons in Book #3 by Kathy Richardson on pages 14-31–learning to regroup by 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s (preparation for grouping by 10’s, the base 10 system).
  • Faith will continue recording subtraction facts in in her Number Book, as she has recorded all addition facts and some subtraction (up to 10) that she explored with manipulatives last school year.
  • Time to Any Hour (p. 61) Put the hour and minute cards face down in two separate piles. Provide a real clock. Have child form a time by turning over the top minute card and the top hour card, and then set the clock to match.
  • Compare Times (p. 62) Players take turns setting the clock. Then they make the time with their cards.
  • To One Hundred (p. 26) Make a stock pile of 5’s and 10’s cards. Player take the top card and enters that number of beads on his abacus. Players take turns adding by 5’s and 10’s until someone reaches 100 exactly. Variation: Use a hundreds chart instead of an abacus.
  • Addition War (p. 39) Using about 40 1-9 numeral cards, deal the cards out evenly. Players take the top two cards from their stacks, set them face up, add them together, and say the sum aloud. The player with the higher sum takes all four cards. Equal sums means war and each player places two extra cards face down, and then places two more face up to add together. The higher sum takes all the cards.
  • Showing a Number On Various Manipulatives Use an abacus, place value cards, unifix cubes, and a hundreds chart to show a number like 37 or 56 or 94 on various manipulatives.
  • Sort Attribute Blocks One person sorts all the blocks one at a time into piles according to a secret rule (thin and red), while the others watch and try to guess the rule. Or one person chooses a rule, and the other chooses a block and asks if it belongs. Play continues until the rule can be stated.
  • Make Attribute Block Patterns Also have the child find the error in a pattern or a missing block.Faith will continue recording subtraction facts in in her Number Book, as she has recorded all addition facts and some subtraction (up to 10) that she explored with manipulatives last school year.

Extra: Download and print open ended math questions to use as time allows. Ask Faith to provide as many answers as she can.

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Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We will be meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish!

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Videos:

On Fun Fridays, we do family movie night, and love to watch Moody Science videos, Reading Rainbow, Bill Nye, BBC’s Planet earth and The Blue Planet, Shirley Temple, Little House on the Prairie (the mild episodes), the Sound of Music, and other (mild) family movies from Netflix! I usually preview movies and decide if they are wholesome and mild enough for my sensitive kiddos. We still often need to use the fast forward button though! 🙂

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Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Watercolor resist leaves, crayon rubbings, or charcoal rubbings

CHARCOAL LEAF ART for kids. Charcoal is a super medium for kids to use to explore the shape, texture and patterns of leaves.:

Make a world architecture art project, such as a cathedral or

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Learn how to make something out of stained glass scraps

This is a mosaic table I made out of stained glass scraps!  This is actually my very first attempt...I was a bit ambitious!!!!!!!!!!

Make and Deliver Fall Blessings as an outreach to neighbors

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Dress Up and Play Heroes

Collect Signs of Fall

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Arrange a Community Helper Fieldtrip

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Do a Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt (provide a picture of a leaf and then hunt it down at the Nature Park, or provide a leaf and go find the tree)

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Fieldtrips:

  • Clayton Pumpkin Patch
  • Ohlone Cultural Celebration at Coyote Hills Regional Park
  • Fire station

 

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Four, Seven, and Nine are Simply Divine!

2017-2018 Curriculum Plans

For my preschooler, 1st grader, and 3rd grader

Hello homeschoolin’ mamas! Its planning time here! How is your planning going? I am praying that God strengthens us with vision so that we are able to customize our family’s plans according to His perfection. To that purpose, I encourage you to print and use these visionary prayers for your homeschool. Prayer based in the authority of scripture is our foundation for success.

If you are planning “outside of the box,” you know how it takes time, but that its definitely doable, and the resulting satisfaction in the following school year makes those summer planning hours so worth it. Despite the work involved, I look forward each year to planning because of the results: seeing my kids wild about books, seeing their character being nourished, and hearing them narrate with great accuracy is the Father’s reward for this mom’s heart. God has been so good!

Simply Charlotte Mason materials and book suggestions continually capture and thrill our hearts here. As I mention below in this post, “In my experience, SCM offers living book suggestions that can not be passed up they are so good.” The readings tug on my heart all the time! SCM picks the best of the best literature available. We sometimes use book suggestions from other Charlotte Mason type curriculum suppliers for extra summertime reading, so I know some of what is out there, but I always come back home to SCM books and lesson plans for their simplicity and sweetness.

The SCM forum is my favorite place to go for school advice. Whenever I have nitty gritty education questions, I do a search on the SCM discussion forum, and find answers abounding from the ladies, who strike me as so Godly and helpful and wise. Their wisdom really stands out. The CM guidance I glean from the Simply Charlotte Mason community is a blessing, and I am sure it will especially be a great assurance while planning and teaching the highschool years.

All these things aforementioned are really wonderful, but perhaps the principle reason we LOVE doing Charlotte Mason homeschooling is because first and foremost it allows us to be together. Its hard to describe how very very blessed I feel about the “togetherness” we are growing here. Our 4 years of CM schooling have been fruitful, challenging, and thoroughly enjoyable as we learn all together. Charlotte Mason says, “the souls of all children are waiting for the call of knowledge to awaken them to delightful living.” I so agree; as my family photos here may attest, school to me is about living a deeply rich and satisfying life all together. It is our lovestory.

I have often written about the loveliness of togetherness. In my post, Soul Filling Friendship, I encouraged, “As our children mature, we will have interesting and rich conversation with friends who truly love to talk about things that matter, and who love what we love…..As we lay down our lives to nurture our children, someday the friendships we have built with them will nurture us in return. Someday we will look into the eyes of our beloved children and realize that they have become our dearest friends.” True friendship is a most wonderful result of the togetherness we are creating in our homes day by day, the process beginning when our children are still young (and admittedly sometimes hard to be with). I recall the warm feeling of togetherness growing in my heart when I wrote my post Discipling our Children at HOME sweet HOME.  I gushed, “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.” Intimacy at home comes through many avenues, but I think doing school together provides families with one of the best bonding opportunities of all.

If togetherness in school is something you also desire, take a look at the SCM website and see how many subjects you can teach your whole family together, grades 1 through 12! It allows family to come together in a marvelous way! SCM is a logical choice for bigger families teaching lots of grades, and for creating a sweet sense of unity in any size family by allowing learning experiences to be shared by all. With other curriculum structured for teaching kids more separately, where different ages are reading different books in lots of subjects, natural conversations wouldn’t come up as much. For example, in a family with 5 kids there could be as many as 5 different time periods being studied for history, and so common ground is lost for conversations to occur about what is being learned. In SCM however, history might look like this: The whole family is reading Stories of America together. Oldest is also reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Next oldest is reading A Young Patriot. Third child is reading Johnny Tremain. Finally, mom is reading aloud Benjamin Franklin by the D’Aulaires to the two youngest. Not everyone is reading all the same books, but everyone is reading about people from the same time who all were part of the events of the American Revolution. There is common ground in almost every subject to prompt lovely conversation when you teach the family together, and this is one important way that a lovely sense of family togetherness may be fostered.

I feel that the simplicity of SCM allows moms to teach from a restful place. And for moms who want the ease of a complete open and go curriculum package, SCM now offers that as an option too! There are very few curriculum packages out there that are truly CM. I personally continue to prefer to use SCM’s original do-it-yourself curriculum overview chart, which is free. Either way though, SCM is nice because you get to secure your own books, which is one, very cost effective, and two, allows you to teach to the child (and his or her needs), not to the curriculum. Almost all of our books come free from the library and are hand selected by mom.

We are looking forward to sharing another wonderful year of homeschool here with you at Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs! May God continue to draw our hearts together through the amazing opportunity of homeschool, and may He allow us to write a lovestory of togetherness as we experience the many awesome living explorations of God’s truth, beauty, and goodness.

XOXOXO Lynn

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Now, onto the books!!! Of course some books remain the same in my plans from year to year, but I don’t want you to miss out on all the new things embedded in between, especially the Nature Study and History books planned for this year! I admit, it will be really something if you can get through all of this post! 🙂 Thanks for being patient with my gushing.

The following Annual Curriculum Plans are also available for other ages/content:

If what you see below in my plans looks like an impossible amount of material, remember Charlotte Mason methods use short lessons so that students can be exposed to a nice wide variety of subjects (the feast!). Here is a very doable sample schedule from Simply Charlotte Mason that shows how your week might look:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Scripture Memory (5 min.)

History (20–30 min.)

Picture Study (10 min.)

Foreign Language (15 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

History (20–30 min.)

Music Study (10–15 min.)

Habits (10 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Poetry (5 min.)

Geography (10 min.)

Handicraft or Art (20–30 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Bible (20 min.)

Hymn Study (5 min.)

Shakespeare (20 min.)

Foreign Language (15–20 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Bible (20 min.)

Nature Study (30 min.)

Habits (10 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

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My Precious Students

 

 

           Noah – 3rd grade                Faith – 1st grade                  Daniel – Preschool

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Mother Study:

As I am not very familiar with academic Bible study methods, my goal in recent years became to find a good study resource so that I might learn a thing or two, or more. However, the hunt for the right resource felt like searching for a needle in a haystack. I didn’t want to do one of the many “Bible studies” I typically see with lots of contrived questions based on the popular Christian book its paired with; I wanted to learn the basic “how to” methods of timeless Bible study that can be applied to all future studies.

I never guessed that what I needed was right under my nose all the time. So happy to have found this study from my beloved mentors at Simply Charlotte Mason–no fluff, just the real stuff.

Life in the Word is a handbook for teens (or adults like me!) that walks them through various Bible studies step by step: narrative studies, word studies, topical studies, inductive studies, character studies, and more.

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Devotions:

Personal and Family Bible reading/study, prayer, and worship

Morning Devos: Meeting with the Lord in morning devos is all about getting to know Him. Devotional time helps us to know Him for ourselves, rather than just knowing about Him. The discipline of meeting with Him everyday also helps us experience victory and stay in the Lord’s perfect will of joy and revelation and blessings. So we are careful to take our time each morning and meet with the Lord as long as we feel led. First thing in the morning we do personal devotions, then kids and mommy meet together right after for a group devo (and we also do night time devotions together as a family a few times a week). I guess we love devos.

During personal devotion time, I read my ESV Study Bible, Noah reads his Bible and then usually either he or I read The Preschoolers Bible to Daniel, who can’t read yet. Faith would sit and look at Bible story pictures for a long time before she could read, but now that she is reading, she is enjoying her (“non-twaddle”) Bible story book, The Children’s Bible Story Book by Catherine Vos. After separate reading, we worship, pray, journal, and/or read the Bible again together in order to narrate (as per our curriculum). Sometimes in the past we have used devotionals like Jesus Calling or Leading Little Ones to God or What Would Jesus Do?, but this year I think the kids will use their Study Bible (Child Training Bible) more instead, as I also work through my personal Bible study, Life in the Word, little by little each day. 

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Scripture Memory: We have always memorized one scripture verse or passage a month and reviewed the verses we learned during the same month in previous years. I usually picked a verse that was relevant to the character trait we were studying, I wrote the verse on our chalkboard over the kitchen table, and then we practiced it all together during breakfast. This year I would like us all to challenge ourselves with memorizing larger chunks of scripture, as well as begin to form the habit of independent scripture memorization, perhaps fitting some time for independent practice into our morning devotions routine. Just hoping to see scripture memory become somewhat more of an independent pursuit as we are growing in years. IMG_0041

Prayer Journal: This has been a blessing! In the past we would separate into different rooms in the afternoon for a quiet time where we would spend some time prayer journaling whatever the Holy Spirit puts on our hearts. Slowly prayer journaling has been moved into our morning devotion time as quiet time seems to have phased out last year with the last of Daniel’s naps. Journaling became a time and place for the kids to specifically respond to some of the life application questions or prayer prompts posed in our devotionals as well. Maybe we will find quiet spaces in the afternoon again this year, but either way, we will continue to write our thoughts and prayers out as it brings grace to our days. The kids pages make me teary eyed they are so sweet sometimes, so I can imagine how the Lord must feel to receive His little love letters.

Prayer Wall: Prayer Wall was a new addition this past year, and I am glad we have one now. I personally use a binder to keep track of what I am praying for, but the kids use the “Prayer Wall” to guide their prayers. The top chalkboard on our Prayer Wall lists current short term needs, and the 3 cups at the bottom contain long term prayer focuses for 1-Our Family, 2-Loved Ones, and 3-The World. For our family, since we have stood on God’s promises for various needs over the years, we now have the scriptures organized in one place (the “Family” cup) and easily accessible to the children to use in prayer. The Family cup has slips of paper with a topic such as ‘Godly Friendships’ or ‘Health’ on one side and our corresponding promise from the Word on the other. The ‘Loved Ones cup has slips of paper with the names of all the family and friends our kids could think of (they sounded out and wrote the names themselves).

The World’ cup has slips of paper with people groups, nations, and general world needs (natural disasters, government, missions, churches, etc.). The kids can use the map on the Prayer Wall to locate the nation named on their slip of paper. We are still enjoying learning about nations and people groups from our Window on the World prayer book (usually during geography lessons), and then praying for the people using the prayer points and background information offered. Faith really loves learning about people and cultures around the world, and it was sweet to see God draw her heart to the Native American tribes this year.

Worship: The kids and I sing accapella praise and worship to the Lord every morning together. It was cute to see them become a little more independent in initiating worship this past year, and sometimes find them leading Daniel in a rousing song of Praise Ye the Lord or This is the Day. Sometimes we enjoy singing simple spontaneous Spirit-led songs unto the Lord; everyone singing their new song all at once seems to help move us out of complacent worship. Our hymn books, which are simply printed off hymns put into binders, started a couple years ago, have become a great resource of songs for us to use together in worship time or to take to a care home and minister to the elderly. The words of hymns are poignant and the message is so beautifully articulated! We did slow down last year in learning new hymns, and so we probably need to try to make a point of learning more new hymns again next year.

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Literature:

These are some of the literature books I am thinking about buying/checking out from the library this year, but also much historical literature (not pictured), thanks our new resources All Through the Ages and the Truthquest History guides (see “History” below for descriptions).

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Image result for pollyanna bookImage result for winning his spurs G. A. hentyImage result for door in the wall hardcover

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Math:

Since preschool we have been using Kathy Richardson’s Developing Number Concepts math series for PreK-3rd. The more flexibly children can work with numbers and manipulate them in many various ways, the better they will be at math, and Kathy Richardson does a great job helping children to work deeply with numbers. We have been happy with this math curriculum that I found while student teaching in a elementary classroom before having my own kids. I think Noah will soon be aging out of this curriculum, so its time to start thinking about what to do next.

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In the meantime Kahn Academy has helped fill in the gaps for Noah with extra math practice that he really needed, since we never seem to do many math worksheets or workbooks. Its been nice to have a practice resource to supplement our math lessons that can also be done independently, especially on full days when I don’t have time to do another lesson.

We are also excited to try out this fun living math idea to supplement Noah’s math studies this year. In Your Business he will get to pretend he is running his own pet store business! Sounds fun!

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History:

My kids really really love history, but we have been “living” with the ancients for 3 years now, and honestly, I am eager to move up the timeline! I am excited, really excited to get into the stories of the Middle Ages and Renaissance! I am excited for my kids as well because knights and castles and kings and queens have been a major theme over the years playing at home. Now to bring it all alive!

The main goal of CM history studies is to allow the children to “live” in a time period and get to know what people and ideas were like during that era; and that goal can be accomplished through simply reading a variety of living books (spines are optional). I will explain below how we are going to greatly supplement the “living” aspect of our history studies this coming school year, while still using the wonderful living history curriculum offered by Simply Charlotte Mason as our anchor.

The Manual

In my experience, SCM offers living book suggestions that can not be passed up they are so good. For the most part, these are and have always been the living books we read together. However, next year, I also plan to begin to use two book list resources: All Through the Ages and TruthQuest, in order to pick and choose more of the best living books available for the time period we are studying (especially since we are now studying a period rich with literature compared to the ancient time period). Oh how I wish I could read all of the living books that my children will devour in their free reading time, but alas, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a mothers day to read the day away.

The Spines

Our SCM spine, A Castle with Many Rooms will serve as an introduction to each topic of our time period, and a springboard for further studies (through TruthQuest and All Through the Ages) into those topics. For example, I have cross referenced all the chapter topics in A Castle with Many Rooms with living books and commentary from Truthquest (below) so that each topic introduced in our spine can be fleshed out lots more through a good stack of living books.

We have slowly read and narrated the stories throughout most of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and Acts in our last 3 years of school, and learned A LOT. Next year we dive into the epistles with my ESV Study Bible as our other history spine, and I am curious to see how narration will go since the material will be theology and doctrine, rather than narrative. Thankfully, Bible this year is more than ‘read and narrate;’ the manual also includes family Bible study plans, probably to help abstract concepts in the epistles come alive in children’s minds.

 

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Living Books to Supplement the Spines (or use instead of):

Last year while studying the history of the Ancient Romans, I eventually found myself  inwardly wearying of their corruption, violence, and pride, while I found my kids still admiring them and cheering them on, “Go Romans! I hope they win!” Did I miss something here!? These kids seem to be missing the point!! Soon enough I was sighing and rolling my eyes –outwardly– as I continued to weary with the greed and debauchery present in every history lesson. Oh dear, mom was caving. I came to the conclusion that perhaps I need to rethink how I am teaching history. My kids seemed to need some wise Godly insight into what was really happening and I seemed to need some fresh air of hope over these dismal stories of never ending evil and murder in the history of mankind.

So I started doing my homework and found TruthQuest History, a curriculum that presents a historical focus in light of God’s truth. Author of the curriculum, Michelle Miller, says, “The exploration of history, then, should reveal God and His truth, not glorify the achievements of mankind……. Let us, then, not be found teaching humanistic history. Let us learn of civilization and its beliefs in a way that reveals and glorifies the God whose name is Truth.” Yes, yes I thought. Curriculum with a strong Biblical worldview is exactly what I want!

I found out that TruthQuest History is a deep and rich literature-based history study…but with a difference. Michelle explains, “You will not learn the story of mankind; you will learn the lovestory of mankind. You will not focus on the rise and fall of human civilizations; you will focus on the arrow-straight line of God’s unchanging existence, power, love, truth, and plan for civilization. You will not simply ‘meet the culture’ or ‘get the facts;’ you will probe the truths of history so deeply that your students will be equipped to change their world!” Well amen to that!!

TruthQuest history consists of a guide for each era of history with a fantastic booklist for each topic and subtopic within that era. Also included is a thought-provoking introduction for each topic, written in a lively conversational style, in order to provide context background that kindles interest (and promotes strong Biblical worldview). A unique aspect of TQH is a primary focus on the central questions of life: Who is God, and who is man in relation to God? If we want children whose minds are awake and alive to the most vital issues of life (which is what philosophy is about), then TruthQuest History is an outstanding choice. I love how the author says, ‘You won’t need any tests to show that your kids are learning: they’ll be living what they learn, playing what they learn, talking what they learn, and praying what they learn!’ Ok, that’s definitely what I desire for my kids!

All Through the Ages is another even bigger book list of living books.  I couldn’t help myself; I have wanted it for years, so I bought it too. With 7,000 books listed from every historical era and every reading level, all you need is a library card (using the interlibrary loan system is very helpful too for securing those hard to find rare gems, which ATTA is full of). All the research is done for you and the books are selections you can trust. ATTA is a such a worthwhile purchase for any homeschool; its comprehensive coverage provides families with the ability to spread a feast for their children’s minds and hearts for all 12 grades. I won’t have to hear my kids say, “I have nothing to read!” again, especially now that I finally know about the interlibrary loan system (can’t believe I just recently found out about it!). ATTA also includes suggestions for living geography and science books. Its a great buy for anyone willing to make good use of their library!

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Geography:

Forming a heart for the people we are studying, and have studied, by praying for them, is the most wonderful and important aspect of a child’s geography study.  When we found the book Window on the World by Operation World, with its cultural information, photos, and prayer points for countries around the world, I felt like we found the critical component that had been missing in our homeschool studies. The book is designed to help kids get started in praying for the world, but it has certainly served to soften my own calloused grown up heart. One day a week, on geography day, I send one of my kids to randomly pick a slip from the Prayer Wall’s ‘World’ cup. We read about that selected nation or people group in Window to the World, and then we each take a turn to pray over them before we dive into our geography lessons.

Since history next year covers early exploration in the Americas, our geography curriculum coincides by taking us on visits to South America and Central America. Visits to South America and Central America includes map drill, making your own maps, and living books. We regularly “visit” families homes from various countries to see how they eat and how they live in the fascinating books Hungry Planet and Material World, our geography “spines.” We love geography day because it feels so personal.

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Character Study:

Lots of missionary books this year. The Millers Series is incredible!!!

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YWAM Heroes books about missionaries are wonderful.

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Habit Training:

Almost every book we read is selected with the purpose of shaping and developing our hearts and minds, and so thankfully, much of our kids character development happens proactively, without much direct or explicit teaching necessary. In this way, there is lots and lots of habit training occurring everyday. However, habit training sometimes requires a reactive approach as well, better known as discipline. For our our bigger discipline needs we use the Child Training Bible, which helps children do topical Bible studies on things like anger, pride, or complaining. After studying all the verses marked on a topic, my kids choose one verse to handwrite out and hide away in their hearts so that they might have strength against future temptations. (We also plan to use the Child Training Bible for Bible study purposes, as mentioned above in “Devotions.”)

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will continue to use our Stewardship Street coin banks to hold earnings for Service Opportunities done at home (better known as chores). The kids are taking over the work around here little by little, and I am working myself out of a job; its great! Ok, it is lots of hard work staying on top of them, but I do think it is getting better with time. The life skills and the character that work helps develop in children is so important, so we keep at it.

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A to do: finish Faith’s street this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will continue to use the following excellent resources for habit training and character study: IMG_8343

Nature Study:

 

 

As the foundation of our nature study, we pray– that God will open our eyes, ears, and hearts to more fully see all the special things of His creation…. and He really does! This past spring and summer we fed 3 caterpillars at home, hatched baby praying mantis’ and raised one almost to adulthood, cared for a backyard lizard and a backyard frog in our terrarium, and caught and observed butterflies. A terrarium has proved to be quite helpful for nature study here. 🙂 And canning jars with some mesh or tulle on top too.

I was so happy to see Faith’s excitement over critters really reach an all time high this year! She ran around with her butterfly net catching all kinds of things as her gross motor skills caught up with her butterfly catching dreams in kindergarten. She was the one filling our terrarium this year with all of her special live critter finds. I have been waiting and waiting to see this kind of nature enthusiasm to emerge in my kiddos. Praise God!!

We have always enjoyed going out to hike, play, and observe the flora and fauna in various parks when the weather is nice. This past year we surpassed our previous comfort zone and actually got out hiking in the rain and were rewarded and wowed with sights we had never seen before, such as beautiful ephemeral waterfalls. Often we bring specimens home to draw, but I love sketching out in nature whenever possible. It is hard work with three young children and a backpack of supplies in tow, but once settled, nature journaling can be the quietest, most peaceful moments of homeschool; moments that nourish my soul like nothing else. I remember one day last year at the nature park with my children, we sketched together in sweet (voluntary) silence for at least half an hour–it was surreal. I look forward to more of that!

I am super super excited about an amaaaaazing nature study resource I just bought, The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. It teaches anyone how to observe nature and journal his experiences, plus it includes lots of art instruction–just the kind I have been looking for. John Laws also offers free nature journaling classes at some of the local libraries in the area.

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Handwriting:

 

First off Noah needs to finish up his second round of Print to Cursive this year (he is doing the book twice because he needs more practice). Hopefully by mid-year, or before, he will get into his next cursive book, Hymns in Prose. Faith will continue practicing printing and begin cursive in her first round of Print to Cursive.

Hymns in Prose Zaner Bloser Cursive

And little Daniel will start to practice his letters on our little black chalkboards from Handwriting without Tears, just like Noah and Faith did once upon a time.

Here is a flashback!

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Spelling:

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My 6-8 year old students spell words using a Montessori alphabet

Learning how to spell and sound out

My preschoolers word build using Lauri’s A-Z puzzle

 

We have used a unique but effective spelling method with little students 8 and under for a number of years now. I explain our methods step by step in this post (scroll down down down).

Following in Faith and Noah’s footsteps, little Daniel will begin using our Lauri alphabet puzzle to sound out and word build his first three letter words this coming school year!

 

“The gift of spelling depends upon the power the eye possesses to ‘take’ (in a photographic sense) a detailed picture of a word; and this is a power and habit, which must be cultivated in children from the first.” –Charlotte Mason

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As much as we have loved our self contrived spelling methods, we are excited to move our 3rd grader Noah up into prepared dictation using classic literature selections in the curriculum Spelling Wisdom. As Charlotte Mason students typically delay formal spelling instruction until the 3rd or 4th grade, next year will be the first “official” year of spelling instruction for Noah, and I think he has been well prepared for Miss Mason’s simple method of prepared dictation. He and I are looking forward to it!

 

Noah will also begin simple 10 minute language lessons next school year. Using Language Well pairs with Spelling Wisdom and teaches English usage, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and composition through great literature. And just for fun, we will try using Story Starters to have the kids write creative stories, which they love to do (the story crafting more than the writing). 🙂

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Vocabulary:

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

Produced during the years when the American home, church and school were established upon a Biblical and patriotic basis. The American Dictionary of the English Language is based upon God’s written word, for Noah Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions. Scripture verses are referenced throughout.

 

 

For vocabulary studies, I continually attempt to explain vocabulary words off the top of my head the moment we approach them in our readings, or use my phone to look words up super fast so we can quickly move on with better understanding of the material. Sometimes I highlight a few key words while reading that Noah can choose to define later. Noah looks up one word, any word of choice, once a week in Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary and writes out the definition in his vocabulary notebook. Next year Faith will join him in our old fashioned, but worthwhile, dictionary skills lessons. It should prove to be interesting! 😉

 

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Reading:

So thankful that I have two growing readers in our school. We reeeeally love our Pathway Series Readers, that are so full of wonderful character lessons. My kids are the ones who actually initiate reading lessons here by coming up and asking if they can read to me all the time because they enjoy the stories that much. All the stories center around an Amish family’s farm life. Children are expected to obey their parents, respect their teachers, ask forgiveness when they do wrong, and humbly submit to the discipline of those in authority! Yet they still enjoy life!! There are Pathway readers available up through an 8th grade reading level.

Noah uses the readers mostly for practicing good prosody; Faith uses them for reading practice. The readers have also provided spelling words for my younger kids (preparing them to switch to prepared dictation in 3rd grade). I explain the effective spelling method we have used for a number of years in this post -scroll down.

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Art Projects:

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Faithy’s Penguin Project from Preschool

 

 

 

I love kids art. Noah and Faith’s bedroom wall is covered in a growing menagerie of their beautiful artwork. This school year we will continue to do free art, directed art, and picture book inspired art as always. We do perhaps 2-6 “frameable” projects a year. Other areas of school such as nature journals, prayer journals, history/Bible narration drawings provide us with regular drawing practice as well.

 

 

Every once in while we use these worksheets with simple drawing tutorials for kids. These painting lessons could give me ideas simple enough to do with Daniel (4years). However, I have yet to find the kind of art lessons I am really desiring for the kids and myself, never the less, we seem to be doing fine and learning anyway. Plus, as I mentioned in “Nature Study” above, John Law’s book has great art instruction that I think is going to be super helpful to us across the disciplines.

 

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Art Appreciation, Music, and Poetry:

A Charlotte Mason school includes Picture Study, Classical Music Study, and Poetry Study. Simple exposure to the humanities is what Charlotte Mason said to give our children’s eyes and ears opportunity to learn beauty.

“We all have need to be trained to see and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.” -CM

For Picture Study, we found that having an actual book in front of us was a lot easier than doing picture study on the computer. We look for coffee table type books with large paintings so everyone can see (we will also find art books through All Through the Ages, and TruthQuest). Picture study will hopefully include several artists and composers this year as there are a plethora of choices in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. To begin with, Picture Study for us was simply talking about what we saw while we all looked at a piece of artwork during breakfast. Lately however, we study the picture, then I hide it, and we take turns listing all the descriptive details we can think of (with the intent of finding things others didn’t notice). Its fun to try and stump each other. Everyone is eager to see the picture again in order to find what he or she didn’t notice the first time. This basically is Charlotte Mason’s simple method of picture study.

A list of possible artists to study:

  • Giotto-1266-1337
  • Botticelli-1444-1510
  • Da Vinci- 1452-1519
  • Michelangelo- 1475-1564
  • Albrecht Durer- 1471-1528
  • Raphael- 1483-1520
  • Pieter Bruegal-1525-1569
  • El Greco- 1541-1614
  • Diego Velazquez-1599-1660
  • Rembrandt-1606-1669
  • Johannes Vermeer-1632-1675

Image result for Giotto Tended the Sheep by Sybil Deucher and Opal Wheeler

 

 

 

I hear Opal Wheeler writes great biographies on composers (and a few artists) for kids, so I would like to try Giotto Tended the Sheep.

 

 

 

 

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For Music Study, here are a few ideas from charlottemasonhelp.com for teaching young kids about orchestra, ballet, plays, opera…….and for exposing them to Medieval music.

Image result for The Orchestra by Mark Rubin and Alan DanielImage result for bernstein favorites peter and wolf

Image result for A Feather on the Breath of God: Sequences and Hymns by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen  Image result for Salve Regina - Gregorian Chant" by Benedictine Monks of Saint-Maurice

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For Poetry Study, we will continue to memorize one poem a month to practice recitation, try to read others from the following books, and attempt to write our own poem every once in awhile just for fun. You never know, poetry can sometimes turn out better than you think it will. Noah’s Mother’s Day poem to me was a surprising delight last year.

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Handicrafts/Life Skills:

My “Activity Brainstorm Page“, listed on my homepage menu has lots of crafty ideas. The craft projects include holiday, seasonal, and themed ideas which are an ongoing collection of various ideas collected from the internet. We purposely save art projects, craft projects, and fieldtrips for “Fun Fridays,” our light day of school. I would love to get scrapbooking and put all the family history info we gathered this past year into a keepsake book. We will also continue to try our hand at embroidery (a nice activity during read alouds) this next year since we took some baby steps towards learning it this past year.

Here is a plethora of life skill ideas as well.

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Spanish:

After two years of failed attempts at learning Spanish, it was wonderful to sign up for Spanish class with our native speaking friend Miss Maria and let her do the teaching. We were the only ones in the class, so we got a lot of personal attention. I am happy to say that we finally really enjoyed Spanish this year. We still haven’t watched these crazy silly Spanish videos for kids by Salsa, so I will leave it on the plans.


May God receive the glory in all we do this year my friends!!

“….according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:31

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A Eulogy for my Dad

My dad went home to Jesus on March 8th, 2017. We will miss you so much grandpa.

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My dad was tough as nails. He got a root canal with no anesthesia; he worked out 3 times a week during chemo. When he had cancer, I heard him fearlessly say, “I’m gonna be fine. I’ll get better,” and I never did hear a word of doubt. His eyes didn’t even have a flicker of fear. His words of faith were so believable that I forgot to be afraid for my dad and his health. He didn’t preach much, but his life exuded the message, “fear not,” and it made its mark on me. Much of the strength of faith that I have came from watching his living example of faith, and literally “forgetting to be afraid.” I always admired how he could strike up a conversation with anybody and made friends wherever he hung out. He was not afraid to be himself, that’s for sure.

But the memory of my dad that will remain with me most is him and his love of gardens. We thought we had died and gone to the country when he moved us out to Alamo and its acreage. My dad sacrificed a lot to get us on that land, and once he did, he worked it until it produced. Farmer John, as my mom called him, could grow the tastiest green beans, tomatoes, and corn on the cob. The joy of summer gardening, being in God’s creation there, with my daddy, are some of my sweetest childhood memories. I will always remember those summer nights in the warm rosy glow of twilight, with my dad harvesting in the field as my sister and I waded waist deep in the grass and fox tails collecting ladybugs….. That is the romantic part of the story at least, but I know there was much weeding, and planting, and fertilizing, and watering, and waiting in order for that sweet mouth watering cob of corn to magically appear on my dinner plate. Unfortunately, I think my sister and I did more bug collecting and frolicking than helping. 🙂 However, our joy was the fruit of his work. My dad was a hard worker– he worked by the sweat of his brow and he was a man who was never afraid to get dirty. There is something about a man who stays close to the dirt; he stays down to earth. In Eden I imagine God himself on His knees, with his hands in the dirt, fashioning man out of the dust of the earth.

My dad came down to earth in his garden, but I think he also ascended heavenward in his garden too. It was in a garden after all where God decided to first place man and then walk and talk with him in the cool of the night. I believe my dad loved gardening so much because it made him feel close to God and know Him better. One of his favorite songs was a hymn called I Come to the Garden Alone (he loved gospel songs with an old country twang). The Bible is rich with agricultural parables, which are understood on one level when read, but a whole other level when experienced. My dad read the parables in his Bible and experienced the parables in his garden–the principles of seed, time, and harvest; God as our gardener; Jesus as the Vine–in a way that made spiritual truths brim with meaning.

I think he would wish you to know and cherish some of these truths today as well: That God the gardener is intimately and constantly involved in tending the soil of your heart, for you were made to know Him in an Eden like intimacy of friendship. That God still has His hands in the dirt for your sake, taking the refuse of your mistakes and composting them into fertilizer for His garden kingdom. That as a gardener God delights in the beauty and fruit and fragrance of your life lived for Him; He even wants to invite others to come and taste and see that the He is good through the delectable goodness of your life. (Psalm 34:8) And that God invites all of us to join Him in His gardening work and help tend the soil of each others hearts as we nurture each other in the faith.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” (Gen 2:15) Like this scripture in Genesis, our God is still inviting us to till and keep His garden today. May we drop seeds of truth into the open soul of a child, an unloved neighbor, or a lost loved one, which shall in its time, germinate, blossom and bear fruit, with the watering of the Holy Spirit. I know my dad is now in the beautiful garden of paradise, walking and talking with his Creator, and that thought brings me great joy. Someday I hope we will all meet him there, but in the meantime, let us remember to encounter our Maker in the secret garden of friendship–for just as my dad found, we too shall find “that the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

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I love you dad. XOXOXO

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January and February Pictures

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February 26th, 2017– Noah’s water baptism was eagerly attended by grandpa and will always be remembered as a very special day.

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Regency Gate hike trying to get up to the waterfalls was a really beautiful hike along the creek (we went 5 miles; almost made it to the falls, but not quite) 🙂

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Little guy learning to climb the climbing wall

Making some fun experiences for our preschooler–homemade play dough

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We found another praying mantis egg case, they hatched in our jar, and now we are attempting to raise one little guy by feeding him aphids.

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Naoh’s catapult prompted some fun new ideas with time elapse and slo-mo video making

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Faithy math–memorizing addition and subtraction facts by recording her research in a blank book

A well timed new cash register for Noah prompts some imaginative and mathematical play

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106 Days of Creation Science has been so delightful for everyone (and we are only on day 16!)

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A hike at Castle Rock in the rain with cousins and aunty, ephemeral waterfalls, and an exciting impasse over the trail

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Little Laura Ingalls in her prairie dress

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Noah and Faiths Prayer Journals are a blessing (What Would Jesus Do? devotional has provided prayer prompts on some days, other days are free writes)

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Daddy built us our first fire at home

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Morning Chores in Jammas

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Air Pressure Experiment

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Float and Sink Experiment was a Hit

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Snow Play Day for Noah in Tahoe

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A Valentines Extravaganza!

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Noah’s written narrations, and his scripture promise for the school year

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Castle Rock, another beautiful hike in the rain with ephemeral waterfalls coming down the hills

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A Chocolate Milkshake with banana, avocado, coconut milk, stevia, etc. was yummy

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A Cameo for Bubs 🙂

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The School Table on any given day

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Forcing blooms to bring a pretty bit of spring indoors and provide easy nature study

Happy 8th birthday Noah!!! My Precious Little Lamb is getting so big.

He loves to make his own cake.

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Noah’s His Story book

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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

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Parent Study:

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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

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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

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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:

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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)

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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:

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Illustrated Hedge of Thorns, TheIllustrated True Princess, The

Bird's Nest, The

 

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History and Geography:

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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Observe and draw spring buds opening

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Plan a Family Passover Seder 

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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

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Year 2

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Year 3

 

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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

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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!

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I Didn’t Sign Up for This

I feel privileged to have for you a guest post from my best friend, Danielle, one of the most lovely and encouraging hearts I know. You are about to see what I mean! I asked if she would write on what she learned from studying Proverbs 31 (back in October), and it has been a blessing to more moms than we could have imagined. So I am excited to share it here and I hope it will be a blessing to you today as well!

“I didn’t sign up for this.” We’ve all had those days.

You’re running on four hours of sleep. Your house is a disaster. Your children are disobeying. Your husband is hours away from being home. Laundry is piled up. The sink is overflowing with dishes. There’s much to be done, and yet your sleepy body and tired hands are no match, even, for your mental exhaustion. Everybody needs all of you right this moment, and there’s just nothing left to give. Oh, and what’s for dinner? “I didn’t sign up for this.” It’s a sentiment that the world wants you to believe. “I didn’t sign up for this.” It’s a lie that the enemy tries to plant in the hearts of good women. Women who want to serve. Women who want to love. Women who want to be more than they thought they could ever be.  Well, let me tell you, sisters, you are in a sacred role, as wives and as mothers, a role that is unique and holy and beautiful. The Lord honors your sacrifice. He honors your commitment. He honors your giving of yourself. He honors your serving. And girls, He sees you. Your husband sees you. Your children see you. And as one who is in the same place in life, I see you.

But why does any of your work matter? Is it that important? Are you really doing enough? Are you making a difference? Do your chores honestly bring glory to Jesus? Let me remind of you of what the Lord tells us about The Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31:

(10) A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.

(17) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task.

(18) …her lamp does not go out at night.

(27) She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of  idleness.

(28) Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

(30) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

(31) Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

God speaks over our lives in a way that touches that tender part of our hearts; that part where we ask Him, “Am I enough?” This Word, ladies, is telling us, that YES, we are enough! In fact we are more than enough. We are worth more than rubies! When we serve our families with hearts that are pure and joy-filled, then we are seeing the bigger picture! We are fulfilling the work that God’s own hand is doing in us. He set you apart to be the wife of your husband. YOU! He set you apart to be the mother of your children. YOU! He formed your character, He knows your strengths, He blessed you with gifts, He knows your heart, and He even knows your each and every weaknesses. Given all of those variables, He still chose you…He chose YOU! Not in spite of those characteristics, but rather, in reverence to them.

Joy is a fruit that is only tasted, when received as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Without the presence of the Spirit in your works, Joy ~ real and true Joy is, quite frankly, not possible. There are many who seek Joy in the things that bring them happiness. Things that the world has to offer can and will, indeed, bring much happiness. But happiness will not satisfy, when what you hunger for is Joy. Joy is a fruit that will fill you and sustain you, like nothing this world has to offer. We might not always be “happy” on these hard days, as wives and mothers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be joy-filled!!! Stay with me here…

Girls, let’s change the mind-set that’s out there. Instead of dumbing down the work we do and minimalizing it to mere “domestic tasks”, let’s take these noble charges we’ve been gifted, as daughters of the King, and satisfy our hunger for Joy by serving our husbands and our children in the way God intended ~ with cheerful heats that know the worth of our efforts! Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” What an honor! When we do our daily tasks, we are working for the Lord! When we cook ~ we cook for the glory of Jesus. When we fold laundry ~ it’s for the glory of Jesus. When we clean the bathroom, pick up hubby’s dirty socks (again), tidy up the toys, scrape food off the floor, wash the dishes, make beds, bathe our babies, read bedtime stories, kiss away tears, and tuck little ones into bed each night… ~ you guessed it, it’s for the glory of the Lord! So, let me ask you, dear sisters: Did you sign up for this? Did you sign up for this honorable, noble, beautiful role that God has set you apart from every other woman in the world to do? Your Heavenly Father thinks YOU are so awesome that he gave you a beautiful gift in this family that He’s placed you in. Guard your hearts, dear ones. Don’t let the world steal your Joy by telling you that what you’re doing isn’t important enough. You are worth more than rubies! You are pleasing in God’s sight.

You not only serve, but you serve with the purpose of elevating glory beyond yourself, and above all men; you serve to exalt glory to The Father who created all things.  And when you serve with Joy, then your works are seen and honored. You will find favor in Him by embracing this high station of life, called motherhood. Did you sign up for this? When you spoke your vows and took your husband’s hand in marriage, THAT was your moment! That’s the moment you told God that you were ready and willing to “sign up” and step into this role that He destined you for. You did sign up for this, ladies! We all did! What a privilege! It’s not always easy. In fact most days, it’s quite challenging. But you know what? He chose YOU! God knows your heart, and He sees you. Remember, He chose you, not in spite of your strengths and weaknesses, but rather because of them. You are precious to Him. You are beautiful in His sight when you serve your husband and your children with a wholeness and a heart rich in Joy, simply because He called you to do it, and you’re up to the task! I encourage you, today, to find the Joy that has been served up for you. No task is too small, too insignificant, too petty, when it’s being done for the glory of the One who called you to it. May you be filled with a newness in your heart, a fresh perspective, a higher sense of worth, and a pure heart of Joy at the prospect of being a Wife of Noble Character!

Love, Danielle

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Over here at Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs we are taking it easy this month, so as usual, you won’t see any lesson plans for January because I am taking a break! Not from school, just from a lot of the “extras.” It’s nice to relax a bit and breathe deeper. Here is a peek at what we have been up to for the last couple months. God has been good.

November and December Pictures

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Devotions with all the friendly beasts.

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Spontaneous Space Art with Daniel

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Faith likes her “Little House” Christmas gifts (Johnny West wagon and figures)

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Noah’s gospel message in Ontario

 

Kid work is so cute (but man we’ve gotta work on those backward J’s!)

 

All Eyes on Me Please

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Can I clean the sink?! Next thing I knew she was in the sink.

 

 

Christmas Morn, so fun!

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A reenactment of the Christmas story with cousins was entertaining.

 

Caroling in the neighborhood to share the gospel; the kids sang The Friendly Beasts with solo parts just for fun.

 

Dear little Deers adorned our Christmas crafting this year (Noah and I).

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Making mounds of Marshmallows in preparation for Mom’s Night crafting. Yah, I overestimated a little.

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At Mom’s Night, we made cute hot chocolate jars adorned with ribbon and sculpey animals to give as gifts.

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My sister shared at Mom’s Night in December. We loved it! I hope to post her message soon too. 🙂 The invite was:

The Hope of Glory

“He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.”

C.S. Lewis

There is a purposeful and dazzlingly glorious design for your life, including the less glamorous painful parts. In our frail humanity and understanding, we often question, why must this life be wrought out in hard circumstances?

Come and be encouraged by my sister, Tara, at our Mom’s Night table as she shares that there is Purpose in the Pain; there is an eternal weight of glory on the other side of these light momentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:17). As you reflect this week on your process, may the Lord show you what He is teaching you through the pain.

While we discuss around the table. . . . . . we will also be busy little Christmas crafters making joyful and generous jars of hot chocolate with mounds of marshmallows to give as gifts (or keep!) And to make those yummy jars of hot chocolate even more fun, I will teach you how to create adorable miniature clay animals to sit atop.

Its going to be a delightful night as we lift each other up in community, glean wisdom from Tara’s passion and gifting, craft some homemade Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors, AND have a chance to splurge on ourselves too! We will hear from my friend Erin, a mom passionate about health and her natural beauty product line called Beauty Counter. Us moms deserve a few indulgences to help make us dazzle!

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A Happy Birthday Jesus Party planned and executed by Noah (with mommy to help); he had little Daniel in mind. Awww.

 

Honey to our Hearts

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Love you sweetheart

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Our yearly ornament tradition representing special memories from the year- Noah, a drill (inventions); Faith, Jack and prairie wagon (Laura Ingalls dream); Daniel, a bunny (friendship with a stuffed bunny); me, hot cocoa (Mom’s Night)

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Nativity Silhouettes–chalk pastels were quite fun this time compared to our first time

 

Live Nativity in Santa Clara

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Foggy and snowy Christmas tree cutting in Apple Hill

 

So proud of my little entrepreneurs who sold their hand made items at our homeschool group’s Christmas boutique. They sold clay deer, rainbow praise ribbons, and rainbow crayon shapes.

 

Counting up their Shepherd’s Pouches and boutique earnings for Samaritan’s Purse. Total:$65! Praise God!

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Holding onto these precious lasts

 

An unexpected lavishing of love notes……I have never felt so appreciated by my munchkins.

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Picking “blueberries” in our backyard.

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“I wish I could give 20,000 boxes like the one girl did for Samaritan’s Purse.” (Noah)

Lord, multiply our humble humble offerings.

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I think I want to be an artist

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A “real Roman Road” in the garden constructed by Noah and Faith

(and it was a foot deep I found out when we went to take it out a few months later, buckets upon bucket of rocks were unearthed)

 

Homeschool Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with cousins and friends

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Caught ya! The corn eating mystery was solved! We gleefully watched our little thief gorge himself just a foot away on the other side of the window pane.

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A nice chore arrangement for some I guess.

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A vintage rocking horse repainted and given by Papa (the eyeballs are up to me evidently) 🙂

 

Can you stay out of the kitchen mommy? We want to do lunch for you all by ourselves.

A sweet (and sugary) gesture indeed.

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Daddy being so silly.

 

Our Christmas card shoot….

 

this is actually how most of it went.

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What kind of ….?    Oh yes, its an invention.

 

A moment with you, too good to be true.

(Where was that smile when we needed it??)

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November Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Thanksgiving

Seasonal Theme: Fall

Character/Habit: Thankfulness, Generosity, and Compassion vs. Selfishness

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

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

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Parent Study:

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

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Giotto Di Bondone

Composer Study: George Frideric Handel

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 stories “Cheeseburger Pie” p. 31 and “Lending to the Lord” p.36 and “Timmy’s Blessing” p. 129 in Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. 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 (7) 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/Family Time:

Blessing Time:

  • Prophecy Philippians 4:8 over our thoughts.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, I think about these things.

  • Speak Psalms 82:3-4 and Isaiah 58:7-8 over our desire to reach out.

I defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, and maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. I rescue the weak and needy, and deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

I share my bread with the hungry,
I bring to my house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, I cover him…..
Then my light shall break forth like the morning,
My healing shall spring forth speedily,
And my righteousness shall go before me;
The glory of the Lord shall be my rear guard.

Prayer Time

  • Pray provision for the needy according to Isaiah 41:17-20

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

  • Pray these simple prayers with little ones:
  • Dear God, if I am being selfish or greedy, please show me so I can tell You I am sorry. Amen.
  • Dear God, please forgive me for thinking of myself instead of others. Please send Your Holy Spirit to help me be generous instead. Amen.
  • Dear God, please help me to be generous so I can refresh others. Amen. (The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. proverbs 11:25)
  • Dear God, sometimes I have selfishness in my heart. Please send Your Holy Spirit to smother it like water smothers fire. Amen.
  • Dear God, it is so easy to want things for myself. Please help me to think of others instead. Amen.
  • Dear God, please show my family and me how we can help the poor people who live in our community. Amen.

Sharing Time:

  • Share personal stories of experience with generosity, compassion, and gratitude. Thank God in prayer.
  • What are you tempted to complain about? What are you selfish about? Ask God for help.
  • What are you most thankful for? Thank God in prayer.
  • How would you like to generously help or give to others to help the world know Jesus? Ask God for help.

Discussion Time:

  • Pray over the stories we receive from Samaritan’s purse in their quarterly magazine, Prayer Point and the Voice of the Martyrs Magazine
  • Treasures in Heaven activity (use a 100’s chart and apply some math)
  • What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15)? Satan wants to steal joy from our lives by making us ungrateful for all that we have. He wants us to think about what we don’t have, instead of being thankful for what we do have. Is there anything you find it hard to thank God for?
  • Teach children how to give creative and powerful thanksgiving to God with Names of God Prayers
  • Seeing the Bright Side game
  • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas about generosity and compassion, read and discuss one a day:
    • “The miracle is this–the more we share, the more we have”–Leonard Nimoy
    • The Magic Penny song
    • Proverbs 11:24-25 “One person gives freely, yet gains even more….”
    • “If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that. –Frances Hodgson Burnett

    • Little Sunshine (story of how its the thought that counts)
    • Old Mr. Rabbits Thanksgiving Dinner in The Book of Virtues
    • The Legend of the Dipper (one small act of kindness can turn into something very great)
    • The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10
    • Grandmother’s Table (compassion requires putting yourself in someone else’s shoes)
    • Mother Theresa from Heroes for my Son
    • Read Elizabeth Fry’s story from Hero Tales
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Our Prayer Wall

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

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Memory Verses:

Review November verses from previous years:

Psalm 100 for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

  • “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27
  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

We are doing the playful and imaginative poems of Robert Louis Stevenson this year.

 Travel

I should like to rise and go   
Where the golden apples grow;—   
Where below another sky   
Parrot islands anchored lie,   
And, watched by cockatoos and goats, 
Lonely Crusoes building boats;—   
Where in sunshine reaching out   
Eastern cities, miles about,   
Are with mosque and minaret   
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far   
Hang for sale in the bazaar,—   
Where the Great Wall round China goes,   
And on one side the desert blows,   
And with bell and voice and drum
Cities on the other hum;—   
Where are forests, hot as fire,   
Wide as England, tall as a spire,   
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts   
And the negro hunters’ huts;—
Where the knotty crocodile   
Lies and blinks in the Nile,   
And the red flamingo flies   
Hunting fish before his eyes;—   
Where in jungles, near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,   
Lying close and giving ear   
Lest the hunt be drawing near,   
Or a comer-by be seen   
Swinging in a palanquin;—
Where among the desert sands   
Some deserted city stands,   
All its children, sweep and prince,   
Grown to manhood ages since,   
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,   
And when kindly falls the night,   
In all the town no spark of light.   
There I’ll come when I’m a man   
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom   
Of some dusty dining-room;   
See the pictures on the walls,   
Heroes, fights and festivals;   
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.

Handwriting:

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

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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 a long walk to water the boy whoImage result for the boy who harnessed the wind

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History and Geography:

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 53, 116-131, and  in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book

Faith’s Lessons:

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).

Writing Equations with Counting Boards (p 38) Children place counters on several counting boards, tell addition/subtraction stories, and write equations.

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.

 

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

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

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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:

100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference

 

Make and pass out soup to the homeless in our downtown area

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Pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

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Make a thankful tree

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Fieldtrips:

  • Markham Nature Park–observe and journal
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

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October Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

The Power of Imagination

Its hero month! Children, especially boys, are very naturally attracted to heroes. Sadly, marketers take advantage of our boys’ need to forge their identity (especially in adolescence) and sell them a narrow version of masculinity. Today’s superheroes are macho, aggressive, and sarcastic–sending a strong, but wrong message about masculinity. True heroism arises out of a perception of what is good, right, and beautiful, and that is why we need to point our boys to true men of courage, honor, and faith! October is one of my most favorite themes at Jesus’ Precious Lambs. We dream about what we will become, we imagine and play heroes, we stir up our faith in God’s promises over our life calling, and we let Jesus Christ form a more perfect picture in our hearts of our true identity.

I picked up Sarah Clarkson’s book, Caught Up in a Story: Fostering a Storyformed Life of Great Books and Imagination when God began showing me the beauty and power of imagination in shaping a child’s life. Often we study courage in October as our character development theme; this month we will also study the ‘Charlotte Mason recommended’ habit of imagination. One thing we heartily agree with in the book is purposely choosing slower days at home over the mad rush of modern family life, for the very purpose of fostering imagination. At this very moment, like so many afternoons, Noah and Faith are exercising their imaginations in the backyard inventing a cat trap, and Faith is spouting off a poem she made up while discussing an idea involving the creation of a fairy tale forest critter village with mushrooms and bark houses and so much more. Fun!

These are some of my favorite quotes from Sarah Clarkson’s Book:

“It is the memory of the beauty, and the hope for its restoration, that strengthens the hero or heroine in their battle and quest.”

“Before they can rightly cope with evil, children need a bone deep knowledge of what is good…..They need minds stocked with imagery of love, beauty, laughter, and song before they will have the necessary hope to shield then in their battle with sin.”

Distraction, whether via TV, constant activity, or ceaseless entertainment; cynicism, which is simply boredom with what is beautiful; and fear are the natural enemies of wonder.”

“…..really seeing is “wonder.” Wonder is a state of mind in which the sight and senses are wholly awake and engaged in what is before them. Wonder reveals the world as the miracle that it is–the veined crimson of an autumn leaf, the play of sunlight in summer trees, the ripple of light over water……Wonder is what compels us to notice with quiet, focused eyes, eyes that perceive the unique beauty of the people and the living world all around.”

“It is the flexed muscle called imagination that positions a child to hope, to dream, to live with soul alive and mind awake.”

“Imagination, as the driving force of creativity, insight, and faith, is a gift that can set any young child on the road to spiritual discovery and artistic ingenuity. But it is a faculty that must be actively kindled, cultivated, and nourished from the earliest years. Every child is born with a strong imagination and the human drive to discover and create. This is why it is no less than a tragedy when childlike imagination, our gift and birthright, atrophies and dies.”

“We live by a relentless cultural drive to produce and perform that causes us to focus children, even at an early age, on practical rather than imaginative activities. We bombard children with lessons, measure them with tests, and give them no time for boredom…..we devalue times of quiet…..we see things such as art, music, and literature as peripheral subjects……and then there is technology…..When children learn early in their lives to depend on technology for entertainment and information, they lose the habit of imagination.”

“But a child whose days are steeped in hours of reflection will have an inner picture, a self-made idea of the action he wants to accomplish. A child given the mental space and even the boredom necessary to prompt imaginative exploration, will have whole worlds of possibility driving her goals and dreams of real world accomplishment. The activities of artistic endeavor, leadership, and innovation all proceed from meaningful reflection; worthwhile action in life is driven by inner conviction, perception, and belief.”

“To a strong imagination any dream can be made real.”

God has been faithful to answer our prayers for imagination here as the kids had a summer filled with imaginative discussions and new inventions . . . . .  but now I would love to see some follow through on those ideas! I wonder what the Word has to say about that? 🙂

I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened (to imagine!), so that we will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18

More posts on imagination:

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: When I Grow Up. . . .  /Heroes (Christ, Parents, Community Helpers, Historical Figures, and Fictional Characters)

Seasonal Theme: Fall, Scarecrows

Character/Habit: Imagination

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

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

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Parent Study:

 

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

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

Picture study: Monet (by Taschen)

Composer Study: The Best of Vivaldi

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 stories “The Girl Who Couldn’t be Frightened” p. 12 and “The Bullet that Flieth by Night” p.66 in Growing with the Millers
  • Read through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends this school year
  • Use Keepers and Contenders of the Faith handbooks to work on spiritual life skills, personal skills, serving, homemaking, special knowledge skills, creative skills, and recreational skills. The kids can earn badges as they complete a checklist of activities for each skill. 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 (7) 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/Family Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

Prophesy Ephesians 1:18 over ourselves.

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

Prayer Time

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Our Prayer Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sharing Time:

  • Choose a promise from scripture for your life this school year based on your personal needs/desires that we can all stand on and pray over you regularly throughout the year.
  • Do something really brave this month and share about it at circle
  • Bring a picture and story of someone who is a hero to you
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Share some interesting information about that type of job.

Discussion Time:

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

Courage (Review):

  • “Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
    • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas about courage, discuss one a day:
      • selfishness makes us cowards, but thinking of others makes us braver
      • we become brave by doing brave acts
      • we practice bravery by acting brave when we don’t really feel brave
      • the brave person is not someone who is never afraid
      • the fear of failures never hurts as bad as we expect them to
      • we imagine our fears into existence (Job and Chicken Little)
      • to refrain from foolish cowardice, refrain from too much mountain-making our of molehills
  • “Heroism comes from a perception of what is good, right, and beautiful, and a will to claim it and defend it.” –Sarah Clarkson
  • Read short true stories about the lives of Christian heroes

Imagination:

  • “There are no days in life that are so memorable as those that vibrate to some stroke of the imagination.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The Story of a Great Story An example of how the idea for Robinson Crusoe was sparked.
  • “Doubt and fear neutralize what God wants to do in your life. It takes courage to imagine. Do you know why most people don’t imagine? Because they’re afraid of failure.” -Rick Warren
  • Does fear or faith govern your imagination?
    If you let your imagination be governed by fear, you’re going to go around being freaked out, stressed out, and worried all the time. Imagination governed by faith is filled with all kinds of possibilities because “with God all things are possible.”
  • Imagination defined–mental pictures of things not present. Faith works with Imagination by allowing the Holy Spirit to develop a photograph upon our hearts of our potential destinies. 
  • The devil wants us to be blind to what God has thought and determined for us. When our imaginations are not Godly (provide examples), we need to cast down thoughts that steal our joy, and then raise up the vision of God for our life (provide examples). When God enlightens the eyes of our hearts, wonderful things begin to happen.
    • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5
    • I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18 (Enlightened is translated as ‘photizo’ from which we get the word photograph
  • Children have the strongest most unrestrained imaginations. What would God have you imagine while you are young, so that you may live it when you are old?
  • What/who we admire, we tend to become. Who are the people and what are their qualities that you imagine yourself becoming like? Who are some of your heroes and what are they like?
  • Everything that has been created by mankind: skyscrapers, skis, cars, computers, buildings, boulevards, coffee cups, cotton balls and even things immaterial such as concepts and philosophies all began in the mind of someone before they became reality. What could God use you to do?
  • Practice using imaginative narration methods such as puppets, or drawing or acting the story out more often.

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

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Memory Verses:

Romans 15:1-2 “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

Also we will review all verses from previous Octobers:

  • ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17
  • Psalm 23
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  • “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

We are doing the playful and imaginative poems of Robert Louis Stevenson this year.

Handwriting:

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

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Spelling: (Noah)

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

Reading: (Faith)

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

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:

 

 

 

 

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Book Jacket for: LocomotiveBook Jacket for: Moonshot : the flight of Apollo 11

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History and Geography:

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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

Noah’s Lessons: Pages 50-56 and 76-85 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book

Faith’s Lessons:

Grow and Shrink (p28) Children roll a 1-6 number cube and place the appropriate number of counters on working space paper (paper with 10 dots to place counters on). Children roll again, then verbalize (and write) how many counters will need to be added or subtracted in order to change the first rolled number into the second rolled number. For example, child rolls a six, and puts out six counters. Then child rolls a four, so he says ” I need to take away two” and also write “-2” on a slip of paper. Then roll again to keep adding or subtracting from whatever number is on the paper. Use two working space papers if there are too many counters to fit, or say “not enough” if taking away more counters than what is left on the paper is required.

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 Equations to Label Addition and Subtraction Stories (p 29) Act out addition and subtraction stories using counters and counting boards, and have children practice writing the matching equation with or without a model.

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).

The Wall Game (p 59) Pick a number to work with for the day. Arrange that number of counters on a piece of paper forming a vertical line. Children use their hands to make a wall that breaks the line. Call out whatever number you want them to wall off. Children say the number combinations (2 behind the wall, 4 in front, 2 and 4 make 6).

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/herback, and have your partner predict how many cubes are hidden. Then check predictions.

Counting Boards: Reading Equations (p 33)

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

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

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

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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:

Watercolor resist leaves, crayon rubbings, or charcoal rubbings

CHARCOAL LEAF ART for kids. Charcoal is a super medium for kids to use to explore the shape, texture and patterns of leaves.:

Leaf Art

.Amazing DIY leaf craft inspiration from Look What I Did With a Leaf:

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Fall Snack

.16 Healthy Spring Recipes for Kids | GleamItUp:

Dress Up and Play Heroes

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Make and Deliver Fall Blessings as an outreach to neighbors

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Collect Signs of Fall

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Arrange a Community Helper Fieldtrip

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Do a Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt (provide a picture of a leaf and then hunt it down at the Nature Park, or provide a leaf and go find the tree)

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Rake Leaves and Jump In!

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Fieldtrips:

  • Markham Nature Park–observe and journal
  • Clayton Pumpkin Patch
  • Air Show
  • Ardenwood Harvest Festival
  • Safari West
  • Homeschool Day at Sacramento Railroad Museum

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