Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

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November Lesson Plans

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

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Fun Theme: Thanksgiving

Seasonal Theme: Fall

Character/Habit: Unselfish

Bible: Galatians

History/Geography: Middle Ages/Oceania

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

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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Picture study:

Leonardo Da Vinci

Music Study:

Opera

Poetry Study:

Favorite Poems Old and New

Book list:

  • The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera
  • Pet of the Met by Lydia and Don Freeman
  • The Classical Child at the Opera by Anastasi Mavrides
  • A Child’s History of Art by Hillyer and Huey
  • Leonardo da Vinci by Diane Stanley
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius Who Defined the Renaissance by John Phillips
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Artist, Inventor and Scientist by F. Romei
  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt
  • Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer by Robert Byrd
  • Leonardo da Vinci for Kids by Janis Herbert
  • Uh-Oh, Leonardo! by Robert Sabuda
  • Film- Leonardo: A Dream of Flight (Inventors Specials)
  • Leonardo da Vinci by Mike Venezia
  • Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew

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Character/Habit Development:

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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 pertaining to the character trait of the month
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete the workbook page “Unselfish” in their Character Companion workbook, and all 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: Proverbs 11:25 “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

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 selflessness this month, and the kids prayers too.

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:

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

  • 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
  • 100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference

 

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 Corinthians chapter 13

Also we will review all verses from previous Novembers:

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

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

over-the-river-and-through-the-woods

Thanksgiving Day

 

Lydia Maria Child (1844)

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To grandfather’s house we go;
       The horse knows the way 
       To carry the sleigh
  Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood—
  Oh, how the wind does blow!
       It stings the toes 
       And bites the nose
  As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To have a first-rate play.
       Hear the bells ring 
       “Ting-a-ling-ding”,
  Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
  Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
       Spring over the ground, 
       Like a hunting-hound!
  For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  And straight through the barn-yard gate.
       We seem to go 
       Extremely slow,—
  It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
  Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
       Hurrah for the fun! 
       Is the pudding done?
  Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

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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 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.

For 3rd Grade and up

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For 3rd Grade and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Reading:

Once a week, Noah uses the Pathway Readers to practice prosody; Faith uses them for reading practice. The readers also provide spelling words for Faith (preparing her to switch to prepared dictation in 3rd grade). Daniel uses 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 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 “Thanksgiving/Generosity” themed picture books for Daniel in “Literature Read Alouds” of previous November lesson plans.

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  • Marvellous Blue Mouse by Christopher Manson
  • Two Travelers by Christopher Manson
  • Tournament of Knights by Joe Lasker
  • Sailor Who Captured the Sea by Deborah Lattimore
  • Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite De Angeli
  • Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
  • Barefoot Book of Knights
  • Barefoot Book of Princesses

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:

  • Vikings by John D. Clare
  • Viking Town by Jacqueline Morley
  • Story of Roland by James Baldwin
  • Knights and Castles and Feudal Life by Walter Buehr
  • Duke and the Peasant: Life in the Middle Ages by Sister Wendy Beckett
  • Middle Ages by Gloria and Oriol Verges
  • How Would you Survive the Middle Ages? by Fiona Macdonald
  • Castle, Abbey, and Town by Irma Black
  • Medieval Life by Andrew Langley
  • Days of Knights and Damsels by Laurie Carlson
  • Knights and Castles; 50 Hands on Activities by Avery Hart
  • Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black
  • True Book of Knights by John Lewellen
  • Knights in Shining Armor by Gail Gibbons
  • If you Lived in the Days of the Knights by Ann McGovern
  • Armor Book  by Micheal Berenstain
  • Illustrated Book of Knights by Jack Coggins
  • Knights in Armor by John Clare
  • Knights in Armor Paper Dolls by Dover
  • Coat of Arms by Catherine Daly-Weir
  • The Tower of London by Leonard Fisher
  • William the Conqueror by Thomas B. Costain

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Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

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Living Book List:

Herbert: The Story of a Brave Sea Dog by Robyn Belton

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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.

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.
  • Telling Time tell time with clock cards, clock face and hands print out
  • To One Hundred (p. 26) Make a stock pile of 5’s and 10’s cards. Player take the top card and enters that number of beads on his abacus. Players take turns adding by 5’s and 10’s until someone reaches 100 exactly. Variation: Use a hundreds chart instead of an abacus.
  • Addition War (p. 39) Using about 40 1-9 numeral cards, deal the cards out evenly. Players take the top two cards from their stacks, set them face up, add them together, and say the sum aloud. The player with the higher sum takes all four cards. Equal sums means war and each player places two extra cards face down, and then places two more face up to add together. The higher sum takes all the cards.
  • Showing a Number On Various Manipulatives Use an abacus, place value cards, unifix cubes, and a hundreds chart to show a number like 37 or 56 or 94 on various manipulatives.
  • Corners (p.29) Practice sums totaling a multiple of 5 with Corners Cards
  • Go to the Dump (p.24) Repetition for memorizing facts to 10 (addition and subtraction)
  • Money set out an amount of money in quarters, have Noah exchange it for dimes and nickels and vice versa

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

Daniel’s Lessons:

Week 1  Hunt for It (p. 38)

Materials: counters, 5-6 bowls/margarine tubs, dot cubes (dice, or make your own) or numeral cubes (make your own) with quantities at your child’s level (1-6 or 4-9 or 7-12 for example) Lesson: Hide various sets of counters under five or six bowls. Name a number and have children hunt for that number, lifting one bowl at a time. Children say whether each number they find is “more” or “less” than the one named. Instead of naming a number, you could also provide a dot cube or numeral cube to teach recognizing quantities and reading numerals. Extension: Have children write the number of counters that were hidden.

Week 2 Shape Puzzles (p. 60)

Materials: unifix cubes, shape puzzles Lesson: The children estimate how many cubes will fit in a shape puzzle and then check to see how many cubes fit in the shape puzzle. Extension: Children can write the numerals down when they check each puzzle. Increase the size of the shape puzzle for children ready to work with large numbers.

Week 3 How Many Ways? (p. 100)

Materials: Various patterning objects (small colored square papers, buttons, unifix cubes, seashells, etc. Markers or crayons, and glue. Lesson: Give the children a pattern such as AABB, ABC, AAB, etc. Have them work to see how many different ways they can show that pattern using their choice of objects. Glue the objects down or copy the pattern down with markers or crayons. Make a chart/display of all the ways they came up with.

Week 4 Spin and Peek (p. 150)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

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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:

Draw and label Armor of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-18

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Learn calligraphy

Make Robin Hood Hats

Make a catapult out of popsicles sticks

Make Medieval Crowns

Medieval Crown craft

Make Coat of Arms

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Make Capes (as Christmas gifts)

Reversible Hooded Cape. Tutorial by danamadeit http://www.danamadeit.com/2011/06/reversible-hooded-capes.html

Write to firefighters

Make soup and pass it out to the homeless

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Pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

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Have a neighbor over for a cup of tea. Kids practice manners, hospitality, and social skills while making stronger connections to neighbors.

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Make a Thankful Tree

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Fieldtrips:

  • CHECC Hoedown
  • Apple Hill to cut down a Christmas tree
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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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November Lesson Plans

2015-2016 Preschool-2nd Grade

To better understand how we use these lesson plans below, and get the “full picture”, please see our curriculum overview for the whole school year, and a “hypothetical” daily schedule (it rarely happens in perfection). To let you know where our plans come from, we purchase Simply Charlotte Mason’s lesson plan handbooks for History/Bible, Geography, and Nature Study. We use their free curriculum guide, book finder, and discussion forum to help us select books for other subjects (no lesson plan books needed). Living books, being the emphasis of a Charlotte Mason education, means that most of our curriculum is purchased from Abebooks.com, or comes free from the library. School for us is just a big stack of carefully chosen living books, and narration; no textbooks, workbooks, or scripted lesson plans. We love how Charlotte Mason methods are easy and delightful!

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.Fun Theme: Thanksgiving

Seasonal Theme: Autumn

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

Bible: Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel

History/Geography: Ancient Greece, Middle East

Nature Study: Ponds and Streams

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Parent Study:

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

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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

Character/Habit Development:

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

  • Read Wisdom and the Millers: Pleasant Words p.97 and Envying Sinners p.121
  • Review Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, and review the “Go to the ant checklist” poster by Doorposts together. Refine work habits and servant attitude, offer opportunities for initiative and choice (like Observe and Serve). Pay Noah (6) in dimes and Faith (5) in stickers once a week (a natural math opportunity).
  • Have Noah study and write out verses on selfishness, generosity, and thankfulness from his Child Training Bible and Child Virtue Bible (Child Study Bible– also see “Bible” section below)

Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing Time:

  • Prophecy Phillipians 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.

  • Prophesy 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

 

Bible:

  • Early Morning: Personal time in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, Leading Little Ones to God Devotional together or a NT excerpt from mommy’s Bible
  • School: Read and narrate stories from Judges-1 Samuel in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, or my ESV Study Bible (about 2 chapters a day, 3x a week)
  • Afternoon Quiet Time: Read at pleasure in our Child’s Study Bible tabbed on various topics; Draw and write in Prayer Journals
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy 3x a week

Leading Little Ones to God BB01

Memory Verses:

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.

  • Review November verses from previous years:
    • “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:

Beauty

by “E-Yeh-Shure”
Beauty is seen
In the sunlight,
The trees, the birds,
Corn growing and people working
Or dancing for their harvest.
Beauty is heard
In the night,
Wind sighing, rain falling,
Or a singer chanting
Anything in earnest.Beauty is in yourself.
Good deeds, happy thoughts
That repeat themselves
In your dreams,
In your work,
And even in your rest.

 

Handwriting:

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

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Spelling: (Noah)

Noah will study, word build, hand write, and recite the spelling of all the new reading words from one story a week. We don’t use the Pathway Series readers as readers, but rather as a fun way to provide the words for our spelling. We love the sweet stories in these books.

Reading: (Faith)

Materials:  printed fable, loose letters, word cards for the title, the author, and “Some dogs, finding the skin of a lion”

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The Dogs and the Fox

By Aesop 

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

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


Reading Lessons: (the title, the author, and “Some dogs, finding the skin of a lion”)

1. Write one word from the poem on the board

2. Discuss the word

3. Study it closely, then erase

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

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

6. Find the word in the printed poem

7. Repeat steps 1-6 with each word

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

Word Building Lessons (spelling):

Using loose letters, build words that rhyme with each of the words assigned for this month (ex: dogs–hogs, bogs, jogs, logs, etc.).

(Lessons 9-12 in Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason)

 

Vocabulary:

Most will be learned naturally in conversation as words in question arise, but I also will have Noah look up words sometimes to learn dictionary skills and to spur a love for new words.

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

Literature Read Alouds:

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History and Geography:

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

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

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

  • We will also do a few lessons from Home Geography

Math:

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

Understanding Geometry Book

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

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

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Geometry:

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

Recording Designs and Creations (p.22)

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

Noah’s Lessons:

  • Place Value lessons in Book #3 by Kathy Richardson on pages 24-33–learning to regroup by 5’s, 6’s, and 10’s.
  • Noah will continue recording subtraction facts in in his blank Subtraction Book, just as he slowly made an Addition Book recording all addition facts (up to 10) that he explored with manipulatives last school year. For example, after doing the “combinations of 7” activity pictured below, he used colored pencils to record his findings (3+4=7, 5+2=7, etc.) with pictures of cubes labeled with number sentences in his book (held in his hands). Each 2 page spread was dedicated to the research compiled for one number. After each math lesson, he would look into his book to see if he had discovered a new combination or if he confirmed one that he had already recorded. IMG_0067

Games:

  • Telling Time tell time with clock cards, clock face and hands print out
  • Money set out an amount of money in quarters, have Noah exchange it for dimes and nickels and vice versa
  • To One Hundred (p. 26) Make a stock pile of 5’s and 10’s cards. Player take the top card and enters that number of beads on his abacus. Players take turns adding by 5’s and 10’s until someone reaches 100 exactly. Variation: Use a hundreds chart instead of an abacus.
  • Addition War (p. 39) Using about 40 1-9 numeral cards, deal the cards out evenly. Players take the top two cards from their stacks, set them face up, add them together, and say the sum aloud. The player with the higher sum takes all four cards. Equal sums means war and each player places two extra cards face down, and then places two more face up to add together. The higher sum takes all the cards.
  • Showing a Number On Various Manipulatives Use an abacus, place value cards, unifix cubes, and a hundreds chart to show a number like 37 or 56 or 94 on various manipulatives.
  • Corners (p.29) Practice sums totaling a multiple of 5 with Corners Cards
  • Go to the Dump (p.24) Repetition for memorizing facts to 10 (addition and subtraction)

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1  Hunt for It (p. 38)

Materials: counters, 5-6 bowls/margarine tubs, dot cubes (dice, or make your own) or numeral cubes (make your own) with quantities at your child’s level (1-6 or 4-9 or 7-12 for example) Lesson: Hide various sets of counters under five or six bowls. Name a number and have children hunt for that number, lifting one bowl at a time. Children say whether each number they find is “more” or “less” than the one named. Instead of naming a number, you could also provide a dot cube or numeral cube to teach recognizing quantities and reading numerals. Extension: Have children write the number of counters that were hidden.

Week 2 Shape Puzzles (p. 60)

Materials: unifix cubes, shape puzzles Lesson: The children estimate how many cubes will fit in a shape puzzle and then check to see how many cubes fit in the shape puzzle. Extension: Children can write the numerals down when they check each puzzle. Increase the size of the shape puzzle for children ready to work with large numbers.

Week 3 How Many Ways? (p. 100)

Materials: Various patterning objects (small colored square papers, buttons, unifix cubes, seashells, etc. Markers or crayons, and glue. Lesson: Give the children a pattern such as AABB, ABC, AAB, etc. Have them work to see how many different ways they can show that pattern using their choice of objects. Glue the objects down or copy the pattern down with markers or crayons. Make a chart/display of all the ways they came up with.

Week 4 Spin and Peek (p. 150)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

Nature Study:

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Spanish:

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

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Videos:

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

READING RAINBOW:DESERT LIFE

Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Write a thank you letter to a community helper

Pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

 

 

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

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Make a thankful tree

Fieldtrips:

  • Hidden Lakes Park
  • Nature Grubs Class–learn fun secrets about bones on November 4th with East Bay Parks naturalist Katie Colbert
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November Lesson Plans

2014-2015 Kindergarten and Preschool

On our last family movie night, Noah declared, “I want to see the world,” when piping up about what video he would like to watch. Faith loves Veggie Tales, and Noah loves documentaries. He can hardly handle the suspense in any movie with a plot, even a Veggie Tale, but eats up documentaries. Noah and Faith, two tiny world travelers, love to pretend all the time that they are visiting foreign lands, like the frigid climate in Antartica or the scorching desert in Africa. They like extremes. When I told them about the adventures of my past mission trips, they couldn’t wait to go on missions to sleep on the floor and bathe in irrigation canals too. I really hope their traveling dreams come true, especially if they are for Jesus, because I would love to go with them! So this November, with the 2014 Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Gift Catalog just arriving in the mail, highlighting the extreme needs of those around the world, I think its a great time to go ahead and “travel” to far away lands, while growing in compassion and generosity by focusing on the needs of others before our own, and remembering why we have so much to thank God for this Thanksgiving. I hope that these lessons, with the Holy Spirit’s help, will plant some of the first seeds that cause our children to grow up into world changers. Your declaration rings in my heart Noah. I so want to help you see the world sweet pea!!

“A world Christian sees beyond his neighborhood friends, his school, his everyday life and experiences.  He’ll be fascinated by the variety of people and customs next door and all over God’s wide world.  He yearns for the Manika of Guinea and the Sukuma of Tanzania to be his brothers and sisters just as he desires spiritual oneness with his best friend.  But those things will happen only if he’s exposed to a broader world than what he finds naturally.  Of course our most basic prayer for our children is that God will move them toward himself.  That they will be his people.  That they will be men and women of God.  And then our prayer is that, as they focus on God, they will be aware of the world that needs him too.” ~Noel Piper

The Chuppies blog provides ideas for helping our children become world Christians.

 
I invite you to join our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs school by following along with our lesson plans at home! You are welcome to homeschool with us! To better understand how we use these lesson plans below, and get the “full picture”, please see our curriculum overview for the whole school year, and our daily schedule. To let you know where our plans come from, we purchase Simply Charlotte Mason’s lesson plan handbooks for History/Bible, Geography, and Nature Study. We use SCM’s free curriculum guide, book finder, and suggestions from the discussion forum to help us select books for other subjects (no lesson plan books needed). Living books, being the emphasis of a Charlotte Mason education, means that most of our curriculum is purchased from Abebooks.com, or comes free from the library. School for us is just a big stack of carefully chosen living books, and narration; no textbooks, workbooks, or scripted lesson plans. We love how Charlotte Mason methods are easy, delightful, and a beautifully rich feast for the mind!

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.Fun Theme: Thanksgiving

Seasonal Theme: Autumn, Pumpkins

Character/Habit: Generosity and Compassion

Bible: Jacob and Joseph (Genesis)

History/Geography: Ancient Egypt, Africa

Nature Study: Trees and Chipmunks

Parent Study:

  • Learn some basic mission concepts to speak more knowledgeably to our children
  • Continue learning about creationism vs. evolution and young earth vs. old earth
  • Continue my own prayer journal and nature journal along with Noah.
  • Learn more about Ancient Egyptian life to be able to share with kids conversationally as interest and relevant opportunity arises.
  • Read a homeschooling book. Educating the Wholehearted Child is an awesome Christian homeschooling book!!! It covers everything.

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

  • Poetry: Various selections from Favorite Poems Old and New
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach— selections, biographies, and other suggestions from All Things Bright (Remind children that we already know and love these songs by Bach: Suite #1 in G, Orchestral Suite #3, Double Concerto in D minor, Suite for Solo Cello #1)
  • Artist: Thomas Cole, Christian American landscape artist, paintings speak volumes. Pictured here is ‘Youth’, a painting in a series called ‘The Voyage of Life’ (a series of paintings which represents an interesting allegory of the four stages of human life: childhood, youth, manhood, and old age):

Character/Habit Development:

Read one story a month from Storytime with the Millers.

Storytime with the Millers

Circle Time/Family Time:

Generosity: Liberal in giving

Compassion: Moved with feeling at the sight of sin, sorrow and suffering

Promise Time:

Bring prepared scripture verse promises to Circle Time for anyone pictured on our prayer poster to stand on together this month. Make it personal and based on real needs. Hold needs and corresponding promises close to our hearts in prayer this month. Teach children to pray over others using the Word of God.

Prayer and Discussion Time:

  • Pray for people of the nations, especially Africa and other places we have learned about in our ancient history studies. Use the children’s book, Window on the World:When we Pray God Works, to inform us about people groups and provide prayer points.
  • Pray for God’s hearts of compassion in us, as described in Psalms: “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4
  • 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 over the stories we receive from Samaritan’s purse in their quarterly magazine, Prayer Point
  • 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

 

Bible:

Read Jacob and Joseph’s stories in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, and/or my ESV Study Bible.

Memory Verses:

A Psalm for giving thanks.

100 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;[a]
    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.

  • Review November verses from previous years:
    • “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
  • Learn memory verse for our “Charity and Missions” coin bank (a lighthouse):
    • If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” James 2:15
  • Review “tithing” and “long term savings” coin bank verses:
    • “Tithing” coin bank verse: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
    • “Long Term Savings/Future Dreams Bank” (a rocket shaped bank): “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

 Hymns:

Fun Songs:

Click to insert.

 

 

 

I’m Thankful (#33)

 

  • Count Your Blessings (#15)

 

  • Praise and Thanksgiving (#14)

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Poetry Recitation:

A Child’s Prayer

God, make my life a little light
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright
Wherever I may go.

God, make my life a little flower
That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
Although the place be small.

God, make my life a little song
That comforteth the sad,
That helpeth others to be strong
And makes the singer glad.

God, make my life a little staff
Whereon the weak may rest,
And so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbors best.

God, make my life a little hymn
Of tenderness and praise;
Of faith, that never waxeth dim,
In all His wonderous ways.

– – M. Betham-Edwards

Handwriting:

Written letters, notes of encouragement, birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, poem or memory verse.

Reading:

First Steps, Preprimer | Main photo (Cover)

Word Building:

Preschooler Faith will sound out 3 and 4 letter phonetic words, and spell them out with letters (word build). Kindergartener Noah will build review sight words (non phonetic words) that he learned to read last year, practice building sight words from this years reader, as well as sound out and build an occasional phonetic word for phonics review (especially words with blends and digraphs).

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Literature Read Alouds:

 

Window to the World by Operation World provides short stories about featured countries or people groups and helps children relate to and learn how to pray for foreign lands and people.

 

History and Geography:

  • One lesson a day from SCM’s Genesis-Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt lesson plan book; living books that are suggested in the lesson plans

Math:

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

Noah’s Lessons:

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes a day practicing 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?” 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.

The Hiding Assessment (p 29) An assessment to see what children know about number combinations already. This will help determine the appropriate size number to give a child during math lessons who is working with number combinations. Starting with five counters, hide some behind your back and display the remaining counters. Ask, “how many are hiding?” Still with five counters, try hiding different amounts behind your back and asking, “how many are hiding?” See if children can say the missing number quickly and confidently, if they need time to figure it out, or if they are unsuccessful. Try larger numbers of counters if successful. Try smaller ones if unsuccessful.

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

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1  Hunt for It (p. 38)

Materials: counters, 5-6 bowls/margarine tubs, dot cubes (dice, or make your own) or numeral cubes (make your own) with quantities at your child’s level (1-6 or 4-9 or 7-12 for example) Lesson: Hide various sets of counters under five or six bowls. Name a number and have children hunt for that number, lifting one bowl at a time. Children say whether each number they find is “more” or “less” than the one named. Instead of naming a number, you could also provide a dot cube or numeral cube to teach recognizing quantities and reading numerals. Extension: Have children write the number of counters that were hidden.

Week 2 Shape Puzzles (p. 60)

Materials: unifix cubes, shape puzzles Lesson: The children estimate how many cubes will fit in a shape puzzle and then check to see how many cubes fit in the shape puzzle. Extension: Children can write the numerals down when they check each puzzle. Increase the size of the shape puzzle for children ready to work with large numbers.

Week 3 How Many Ways? (p. 100)

Materials: Various patterning objects (small colored square papers, buttons, unifix cubes, seashells, etc. Markers or crayons, and glue. Lesson: Give the children a pattern such as AABB, ABC, AAB, etc. Have them work to see how many different ways they can show that pattern using their choice of objects. Glue the objects down or copy the pattern down with markers or crayons. Make a chart/display of all the ways they came up with.

Week 4 Spin and Peek (p. 150)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

Nature Study:

Videos:

Show children how the Kingdom of God IS advancing around the world. “Dispatches from the Front” is a thoughtful, moving, understated, and ultimately convicting series of videos depicting the work of the gospel in some of the most challenging corners of the world.” – D. A. Carson

The First Thanksgiving clips by Scholastic

19 science DVDs on creation

God of Wonders

Awesome Science is a high quality DVD series produced by a family that homeschools and works on the series together. Noah is the field guide and host for all 13 episodes which explore the globe to discover evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. Noah contends that the earth is NOT millions of years old and the dinosaurs did not die from a meteor. These videos provide excellent science content as well as a theological perspective. They are an effective way to challenge evolutionary assumptions with scientific evidence while providing a very visual science education.

6 Episodes all compliment study of the account of the flood in Genesis.

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Library series on ancient civilizations:

Book Jacket for: Ancient Africa [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Ancient Egypt [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Ancient Mesopotamia [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Ancient China [videorecording]

 

Ancient Evidence - Mysteries of the Old Testament

photos/sweepstakes/MAD_Sweeps_DETAIL_460x304_2.jpg

Traditions, Fun Friday Projects, and Other Ideas:

Squash the “me me me” attitude that creeps up when holiday shopping time approaches by practicing thinking first of others who need Christmas gifts much more. Peruse and read the 2014 Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Gift Catalog together, and let selfless dreams of giving crowd out competing materialistic affections. Involve children in saving up for whatever dream the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to do for others.

Subscribe to Voice of the Martyrs free newsletter to learn about persecuted Christians and  ways we can get involved in serving them.

Map prayer needs around the world as we discover them, and use ideas from The Chuppies to form hearts for the nations.

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Read The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs, and then carve a pumpkin. God is the Farmer, and we are just like pumpkins, chosen by Him, made clean and given His light.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 5:16.

Click to insert.

Put some action to all those lessons about giving

Pack a Shoebox for an Operation Christmas Child.

Make Care Packages to Pass Out to Homeless People or hot “stone soup” for someone needy after reading Stone Soup

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Make a Thankful Tree (write something we are thankful for on a leaf each morning and attach)

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Make a leaf picture in our nature journals

Play in fall leaves and take pictures

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Have a neighbor over for a cup of tea. Kids practice manners, hospitality, and social skills while making stronger connections to neighbors.

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Fieldtrips:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Homeschool Day (we had to sign up last September)

Watch and learn about the amazing underwater world


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November Lesson Plans

2013-2014

I invite you to join our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs school by following along with our lesson plans at home! You are welcome to homeschool with us! Please take a look at Welcome Back to School & Fabulous Fours and Fives for a basic explanation of each area of study that you see here in this monthly lesson plan (bold blue headings), as well as a description of the beauty of Charlotte Mason education methods. To preview our monthly themes planned for the year, also see our 2013 masterplan. If you would like to call your school Little Lambs as well, see my post Founding Message of Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs, a sweet Bible lesson I presented during one of our very first circle times that you might want to use with your kids too!

Bible Truth Theme:  I am Thankful (giving, compassionate)

Preschool Fun Theme: Thanksgiving (pilgrims, Native Americans, turkeys)

Mother Study:

Before teaching your children, enrich yourself with Psalm 100 (Psalm of thanksgiving) expounded on by Charles Spurgeon.

Special Events:

Preview the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Gift Catalog and start thinking about what we want to give this Christmas–chicks, sheep, clean water, medicine?

November 12th–SHARING Put together a shoebox that we will send off to Operation Christmas Child. Watch this video and pray for our child.

November 19th–COMMUNITY OUTREACH Make soup, pass it out to homeless people, and pray with them. Keep them in our prayers.

November 25th-29th–NO SCHOOL Happy Thanksgiving!!

Bible Stories:

Week 1 Exodus 12-34

The Child’s Story Bible chapters 35-39

Week 2 Exodus 35-40; Leviticus 1-3, 16, 23, 25; Numbers 9

The Child’s Story Bible chapters 40-43

Week 3 Numbers 10-20

The Child’s Story Bible chapters 44-47

Week 4 Numbers 20-25, 31

The Child’s Story Bible pages 48-51

Memory Verse:

Review last years verse: Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27

Learn new verse: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ”  Thessalonians 5:16-18

Hymn:

For the Beauty of the Earth

Sheet Music Here

Bringing in the Sheaves

Sheet Music Here

Cedarmont Kids Hymns MP3s for both For the Beauty of the Earth, Bringing in the Sheaves

Poetry for memorization:

Memorize the first three stanzas of Thanksgiving Day.

IMG_1462

Handwriting:

The children will practice printing:

(Child’s Name) is thankful for (whatever he/she is thankful for)

and all the words from the fable in the reading lesson below.

Reading:

Materials:  printed fable, loose letters, word cards for the title, the author, and “Some dogs, finding the skin of a lion”

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The Dogs and the Fox

By Aesop 

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

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


Reading Lessons: (the title, the author, and “Some dogs, finding the skin of a lion”)

1. Write one word from the poem on the board

2. Discuss the word

3. Study it closely, then erase

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

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

6. Find the word in the printed poem

7. Repeat steps 1-6 with each word

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

Word Building Lessons (spelling):

Using loose letters, build words that rhyme with each of the words assigned for this month (ex: dogs–hogs, bogs, jogs, logs, etc.).

(Lessons 9-12 in Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason)

History Books:

Literature:

Math:

(Activities are from the book Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson)

After completing each of the following lessons, and the children feel comfortable with them, make the materials available during independent work time/free play for the children to practice the activities on their own.

Week 1  Hunt for It (p. 38)

Materials: counters, 5-6 bowls/margarine tubs, dot cubes (dice, or make your own) or numeral cubes (make your own) with quantities at your child’s level (1-6 or 4-9 or 7-12 for example) Lesson: Hide various sets of counters under five or six bowls. Name a number and have children hunt for that number, lifting one bowl at a time. Children say whether each number they find is “more” or “less” than the one named. Instead of naming a number, you could also provide a dot cube or numeral cube to teach recognizing quantities and reading numerals. Extension: Have children write the number of counters that were hidden.

Week 2 Shape Puzzles (p. 60)

Materials: unifix cubes, shape puzzles Lesson: The children estimate how many cubes will fit in a shape puzzle and then check to see how many cubes fit in the shape puzzle. Extension: Children can write the numerals down when they check each puzzle. Increase the size of the shape puzzle for children ready to work with large numbers.

Week 3 How Many Ways? (p. 100)

Materials: Various patterning objects (small colored square papers, buttons, unifix cubes, seashells, etc. Markers or crayons, and glue. Lesson: Give the children a pattern such as AABB, ABC, AAB, etc. Have them work to see how many different ways they can show that pattern using their choice of objects. Glue the objects down or copy the pattern down with markers or crayons. Make a chart/display of all the ways they came up with.

Week 4 Spin and Peek (p. 150)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

Fun Group Projects:

Read The Pumpkin Patch Parable

by Liz Curtis Higgs and then carve a pumpkin (we may be a little late, but since we don’t celebrate Halloween, fall is always a good time to carve!) The story tells how a Farmer harvests the pumpkin he has grown, scoops out the slimy pulp, carves a face, and places a light inside. The story ends by telling how God is the Farmer, and we are just like those pumpkins, chosen by Him, made clean and given His light.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 5:16.

Click to insert.

Pack a Shoebox for an Operation Christmas Child.

Make Care Packages to Pass Out to Homeless People.

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Make a Thankful Tree

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Make a Turkey Out of a Pumpkin

Click to insert.

Make Pumpkin Soft Serve

Autumn in a Bowl: Spiced Pumpkin “Granola”

Read Stone Soup and Make Stone Soup Together

Leaf Garlands Simple Enough for Preschoolers–Let them Decorate their Rooms with Fall!

Cute Little Acorn People!

Nature Study:

Make Leaf Crowns with Real Leaves and Let Your Children Play Imaginatively in Nature

Click to insert.

All good things are inspired by God! We share freely here to be a blessing to you with all that He has given us. Thank you for sharing what you have been given with others too. “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8

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November Lesson Plans

2012-2013

Thank you for sharing your input on our lesson plans! And homeschooling or not, let us know some of your upcoming activity ideas for the kids, or how it went if you used something from our plans.

Bible Truth Theme:  I am Thankful (giving, compassionate)

Preschool Fun Theme: Thanksgiving (pilgrims, Native Americans, turkeys)

Special Dates:

November 6th–SHARING Bring a few items to place in the shoebox that we will send off to Operation Christmas Child. Then we will watch this video and pray for our child during Circle.

November 15th–COMMUNITY OUTREACH Bring something to add to our care package that will go to a group of homeless people living under a bridge here in our community. Keep them in your prayers that you do with your little one.

November 20th and 22nd–NO SCHOOL Happy Thanksgiving!!

Bible Stories:

Week 1 10 Lepers

Week 2 Poor Woman Who Gave Her Last Pennies

Week 3 No School

Week 4 The Good Samaritan

Memory Verse:

Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.” Proverbs 3:27

Song:

(From “Little Ones Sing Along”, a 1963 record. You could make up your own tune.)

Thank You God for Loving Care

Thank you God for loving care

Round about me everywhere

Thank you for the food I eat

Thank you too for water sweet

Thank you God for loving care

Thank you for my mother dear

Thank you for my father strong

For my family everyone

Thanksgiving Hymns:

Print out the sheet music each month, put in a binder and voila! A hymnal!

For the Beauty of the Earth

(For many American Christians, “For the Beauty of the Earth” may be the perennial favorite of all Thanksgiving hymns. Who knew? Not me, but I am glad I know now. :))

Sheet Music Here

Bringing in the Sheaves

Sheet Music Here

Cedarmont Kids Hymns MP3s for both For the Beauty of the Earth, Bringing in the Sheaves

Poetry:

(for memorization)

We Thank Thee

For mother-love and father-care,

For brothers strong and sisters fair,

For love at home and here each day,

For guidance lest we go astray,

Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

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For this new morning with it’s light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For ev’rything His goodness sends,

Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

Anonymous

Handwriting:

The children will practice printing:

Thank you

Literature:

Literary Gems in a PC sea of bland, corny thanksgiving day books for children:

The Thanksgiving Story follows three Pilgrim children–Giles, Constance, and Damaris Hopkins–as they experience a trip on the Mayflower, settling in New Plymouth, being afraid of but then befriending some Indians, and finally sharing a feast together, each thanking God in their own way.

This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of the Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian, but God.

This year, take a biblical look at Thanksgiving’s original meaning and make traditions tailored to your own family.

This wholesome little book warms you from the inside with it’s tale of the Bassett childrens’ attempt to prepare Thanksgiving dinner while their mother and father are away.

Material World: A Global Portrait is a fascinating look at the material possessions of families throughout the world. These people have been determined “average” for their countries and the world’s leading photographers move the contents of their houses outside in order to create visible representations of their relative standards of living.

One reviewer said of Material World: “Although this book is a bit dated (from 1994), it singlehandedly explained so many concepts to my kids that it’s value can’t be underestimated. There are 30 countries portrayed and each features an average income family, many photographs of the family, explanations about their daily life, and tidbits about their income, life, and dreams. It is a wonderful resource, and really taught all of us (me included) to appreciate what we have, to appreciate different cultures for their own value, and to see these families- so diverse, with lives completely alien to us- as so very like us as well. What particularly struck me when reading this book was the smiles on the faces of the very poorest families, and the stressed out looks on the faces of the people who had much much more. Although technically it is a book about material possessions (and what that means to different people), I came away feeling that those things really mean less than nothing, that the lives of these people are in their stories and their faces, and that we Americans worry far too much about having the latest of everything.”

Math:

It is my executive decision that repeating our October math activities would be beneficial for all. 😉

Week 1 Pattern Blocks

Use a pattern template or build your own pattern

Week 2 Roll Again!

(p. 112 in Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Roll a die, tell the number, put out that many counters on an organizer (egg carton, ten frames, ten strips, etc). Then roll again!

Does the child take all the counters off the organizer before building a number? Is each number something new and different and unrelated to the previous? Or can the child count on or count back because they can see a relationship? Make a #5-10 die for children who are ready for larger numbers.

Week 3 Copy my Design on a Geoboard

Week 4 Cover Them Up

(p.138 in Developing Math Concepts in Prekindergarten)

Put counters on dot cards while counting aloud. Level 2: Label with a numeral card to show how many were counted.

Try to find/make dot cards in which the dots are arranged in various ways. Example: a “three” card is shown with two dots on the bottom and one on top, and another “three” card has three dots in a row.

Group Projects:

Tuesday, November 6th–Cooking Project by Miss Sheila. “Thank you!” cookies that we will deliver to the firefighters who let us come and visit last month.

Thursday, November 8th–Nature Park

Tuesday, November 13thArt Project/Homeless Care Package Project by Miss Lynn

Thursday, November 15th–Nature Park

Tuesday, November 27th –Art Project by Miss Cherie. Rainy day rainbow puddles using tempura paint and rain puddles on the ground.

Thursday, November 29th–Science Experiment by Miss Cherie. Food experiments–making natural plastic beads from milk, identifying starches with iodine, etc.

Nature Study:

Collect beautiful fall leaves and match them up to last years collection, check on the wasp eggs, etc.

Last Years Fall Leaf Collection. Beautiful!

May Our Homes Be Full of Giving and Full of Thanks this Thanksgiving Season!

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December Lesson Plans

2014-2015 Kindergarten and Preschool

Its time for Christmas bells to ring and proclaim throughout the earth that Christ the King of heaven is born! Our family is delighted that Christmas season has arrived and that God will continue to use the holiday to reveal Christ incarnate in our home and hearts. Last Christmas, we prayed for that very thing to happen in our children, and our 3 year old Faith fell so in love with baby Jesus. It was a sweet dream come true. Hearts falling more in love with Jesus is why a hungry anticipation fills each of our Christmas festivities, whether they be spiritual or very natural.

Christmas is a teaching opportunity in every home. In scripture, God ordained holidays to be times of recollection and teaching, when families bring back to mind the wonderful works of God and explain them to our children. Melanie Young, author of Raising Real Men, points out that holidays give us the opportunity “to draw the attention of our children, our family, our friends and our acquaintances to the truth of God’s Word in a winsome way. We rejoice in the Christmas season like the people around us, but with a difference!” How would we approach the holiday differently if we primarily thought of Christmas as a teaching opportunity?

The December character study in our Precious Lambs school is obedience, which may be considered the foundation of all other character traits. As much as Christmas time seems like its all about love and joy, scripture reminds us that true love must be accompanied by obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” Its only through obedience that we can show love.

Discipline is important in training children in obedience, but a loving relationship is a prerequisite if discipline is to be effective. In child rearing we must aim to win our children’s hearts (Proverbs 23:26; Malachi 4:6). If we discipline without having our children’s hearts then we are actually sowing the seeds of bitterness and rebellion. The more we have of our children’s hearts, the less we will need to discipline, and the journey towards obedience will be easier.

Charlotte Mason helps us to remember the importance of consistency in forming the habit of obedience. She states, “The mother’s great stronghold is in the habit of obedience. If she begin by requiring that her children always obey her, why, they will always do so as a matter of course; but let them once get the thin end of the wedge in, let them discover that they can do otherwise than obey, and a woeful struggle begins, which commonly ends in the children doing that which is right in their own eyes.” She reminds us that obedience means children respond right away, with a good attitude, and with thorough effort–anything less becomes a constant source of irritation. She says, “…..the mother will insist from the first on an obedience which is prompt, cheerful, and lasting–save for lapses of memory on the child’s part. Tardy, unwilling, occasional obedience is hardly worth the having….” How true!

I invite you to join our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs school by following along with our lesson plans at home! You are welcome to homeschool with us! To better understand how we use these lesson plans below, and get the “full picture”, please see our curriculum overview for the whole school year, and our daily schedule. To let you know where our plans come from, we purchase Simply Charlotte Mason’s lesson plan handbooks for History/Bible, Geography, and Nature Study. We use SCM’s free curriculum guide, book finder, and suggestions from the discussion forum to help us select books for other subjects (no lesson plan books needed). Living books, being the emphasis of a Charlotte Mason education, means that most of our curriculum is purchased from Abebooks.com, or comes free from the library. School for us is just a big stack of carefully chosen living books, and narration; no textbooks, workbooks, or scripted lesson plans. We love how Charlotte Mason methods are easy, delightful, and a beautifully rich feast for the mind!

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.Fun Theme: Christmas

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Obedience

Bible: Joseph and Hebrews in Egypt (Genesis and Exodus)

History/Geography: Ancient Egypt, Africa

Nature Study: Trees and Goldenrod

Parent Study:

  • Continue learning about creationism vs. evolution and young earth vs. old earth
  • Continue my own prayer journal and nature journal along with Noah.
  • Learn more about Ancient Egyptian life to be able to share with kids conversationally as interest and relevant opportunity arises.
  • Listen to/read classic AW Tozer books for better understanding and experience of worship, the purpose of man.

Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog

  • Poetry: Various selections from Favorite Poems Old and New
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach— selections, biographies, and other suggestions from All Things Bright (Remind children that we already know and love these songs by Bach: Suite #1 in G, Orchestral Suite #3, Double Concerto in D minor, Suite for Solo Cello #1)
  • Artist: Thomas Cole, Christian American landscape artist, paintings speak volumes. Pictured here is ‘Youth’, a painting in a series called ‘The Voyage of Life’ (a series of paintings which represents an interesting allegory of the four stages of human life: childhood, youth, manhood, and old age):

Character/Habit Development:

Read one story a month from Storytime with the Millers.

Storytime with the Millers

Circle Time/Family Time:

Promise and Blessing Time:

Stand on Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents,”  for ourselves and any other children who come to mind. Take time to speak a blessing, celebrate progress, and encourage more of the same behavior by speaking over our children:

  • ________ is such an obedient boy/girl.
  • I really appreciate how quickly you obey, ________.
  • God is pleased with such immediate obedience, ________.
  • Thank you for remembering my instructions, ________ . They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
  • Thank you for obeying, ________; it sure makes life easier for all of us when we obey.

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

Prayer and Discussion Time:

  • Ask God to search our hearts for areas of disobedience, acknowledge when and how we are/were disobedient. Thank God for ways we have been obedient. Ask God for our obedience and our siblings.
  • Use Instructions in Righteousness to help identify areas of persistant sin/disobedience, and its suggestions for rewards and pumishments.
  • Do some obedience drills with multi-step instructions (please wash your hands, get a baby cup and fill it with water, choose a snack for the baby and cut it up, then leave it all at his highchair). Assess promptness, attitude, and thoroughness.
  • Create an obstacle course, blindold children, and lead them through using only your voice of instruction.
  • Tangibly reward obedience to poignantly illustrate our memory verse Eph. 6:1-3; most of all pray that that God will reward their obedience and that our children will have eyes to see His rewards
  • Take an obedience test several times during the month
  • Slowly savor thoughtful ideas, poems, and stories about obedience; read and discuss one a day:

Bible:

Read Joseph (Genesis) and Hebrews in Egypt (Exodus) stories in the Children’s story Bible by Catherine Vos, and/or my ESV Study Bible.

Memory Verses:

  • Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on
    earth.’ ”
  • Review December verses from previous years:
    • “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
    • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
    • “For unto us a child is born , unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor , The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ”  Isaiah 9:6
  • Learn memory verse for our “Short Term Savings” coin bank (a gift store bank): “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Proverbs 21:20
  • Review previous coin bank verses:
    • “Tithing” coin bank (a church bank): “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
    • “Long Term Savings/Future Dreams Bank” (a rocket shaped bank): “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
    • “Charity and Missions” Coin bank verse (a lighthouse bank): “ If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” James 2:15

Hymns:

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

Joy to the World

MP3

Sheet Music

Silent Night

MP3

Sheet Music Here

O Come All Ye Faithful

MP3

Sheet Music Here

Poetry Recitation:

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.”

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow all white and red
“I gave Him my manger for His bed;
I gave him my hay to pillow his head.”
“I,” said the cow all white and red.
 
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.”
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn.
 
“I,” said the dove from the rafters high,
“I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry;
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I.”
“I,” said the dove from the rafters high.
 
Thus every beast by some good spell,
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.

Handwriting:

Written letters, notes of encouragement, Christmas and birthday cards, thank you cards, shopping lists, nature journal entries, prayer journal entries, poem or memory verse.

Reading:

First Steps, Preprimer | Main photo (Cover)

Word Building:

Preschooler Faith will sound out 3 and 4 letter phonetic words, and spell them out with letters (word build). Kindergartener Noah will build review sight words (non phonetic words) that he learned to read last year, practice building sight words from this years reader, as well as sound out and build an occasional phonetic word for phonics review (especially words with blends and digraphs).

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Literature Read Alouds:

 

 

 

 

History and Geography:

  • One lesson a day from SCM’s Genesis-Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt lesson plan book; living books that are suggested in the lesson plans

Math:

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

Noah’s Lessons:

Ongoing Review: Spend a few minutes a day practicing 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?” 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.

The Hiding Assessment (p 29) An assessment to see what children know about number combinations already. This will help determine the appropriate size number to give a child during math lessons who is working with number combinations. Starting with five counters, hide some behind your back and display the remaining counters. Ask, “how many are hiding?” Still with five counters, try hiding different amounts behind your back and asking, “how many are hiding?” See if children can say the missing number quickly and confidently, if they need time to figure it out, or if they are unsuccessful. Try larger numbers of counters if successful. Try smaller ones if unsuccessful.

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?

Number Shapes (p 65) Number shapes are distinctive arrangements of squares representing numbers four through ten. They can be filled with manipulatives in various ways to show number combinations. For addition use two different color counters and say, “Put three red and three blue counters on your six shape. This shows that three and three equals six. Can you find another way to arrange those counters? And another? How did you arrange them this time.” Then do 4 and 2, and other combinations of 6. For subtraction use one color of counters and say, “Fill up your shape with blue counters. Take one off. Can you tell what you did?” When children can use number shapes to find combinations independently, have them record their work with crayons or colored pencils on worksheets with predrawn number shapes. They can also write out equations to describe their combinations.

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. Pose some questions for an extra challenge such as: “How can you arrange cubes so that their full sides are touching?,” “What designs can you make that have corners kissing?,” or “Can you make a square with your number?” Have children record their arrangements on paper by gluing down small squares of paper to represent their cube arrangements.

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.

Plus and Minus Train (p 35) Make 2 gameboards with the outline of cube train 2o cubes long. Each player puts 20 cubes on a gameboard. 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.

Faith’s Lessons:

Week 1 Pattern Blocks

Use pattern block mats to build Christmas patterns (from Prekinders.com)–if building on top is easy, build next to.

Week 2 Sorting Toothpick Number Sets

(p. 144 in Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Have children place number sets (such as toothpicks pictured below; or stickers, coins, beans, paperclips, etc. mounted on cards) on the correct sections of a butcher paper number line.

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Week 3 Spin and Peek

(p. 150 in Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten)

Materials: Counters, eight or nine bowls, more/less spinner (use a spinner you already own, cover one half with paper labeled “More” and one half with paper labeled “Less”) Lesson: Played like concentration. Lift a bowl, count the counters, spin the more/less spinner to see if he or she should look for a bowl with more counters or less counters than the first bowl. If he or she finds it, take those two bowls out of the game. Play until all bowls are out of the game.

Nature Study:

Videos:

Show children how the Kingdom of God IS advancing around the world. “Dispatches from the Front” is a thoughtful, moving, understated, and ultimately convicting series of videos depicting the work of the gospel in some of the most challenging corners of the world.” – D. A. Carson

19 science DVDs on creation

God of Wonders

Awesome Science is a high quality DVD series produced by a family that homeschools and works on the series together. Noah is the field guide and host for all 13 episodes which explore the globe to discover evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. Noah contends that the earth is NOT millions of years old and the dinosaurs did not die from a meteor. These videos provide excellent science content as well as a theological perspective. They are an effective way to challenge evolutionary assumptions with scientific evidence while providing a very visual science education.

6 Episodes all compliment study of the account of the flood in Genesis.

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Library series on ancient civilizations:

Book Jacket for: Ancient Mesopotamia [videorecording]Book Jacket for: Ancient China [videorecording]

 

Ancient Evidence - Mysteries of the Old Testament

Traditions, Fun Friday Projects, and Other Ideas:

Pick out a Christmas Gift to give together from Samaritan’s Purse Catalog.

Shepherds Pouches can provide a meaningful way to help kids earn money for the chosen Samaritans Purse gift.

Have a Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Pajama Party!

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Decorate Faithy’s Dollhouse for Christmas.

Sylvanian family Christmas Decorated house / manor - FULLY furnished AND figs! | eBay

Build a manger for our baby doll Jesus from collected sticks.

Baby doll wrapped in white blanket lying on hay-lined wooden manger, nativity play prop, side view. : Stock Photo

Caroling around the neighborhood gives children an opportunity to spread the gospel. We will sing this song and and pass out goodies.

Melanie Young says, “Christmas is the only time of year that it is not only socially acceptable, but considered a gift to knock on stranger’s doors and sing hymns full of gospel truth to them! We don’t want this tradition to ever die out, so every year we invite like minded families to come caroling with us.”

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)

Nature excursions can provide opportunity to collect leaves, evergreen boughs, pine cones, and berries to decorate home. (and sticks for the manger above and star ornaments below)

Nature-Inspired Front Door Christmas Garland

Make baby Jesus a blanket

Make a Christmas Wish List to Keep

Have friends and neighbors over for Christmas tea

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Simple Homemade Ornaments to Gift

Fieldtrips:

See a live performance of The Nutcracker

Go to a Live Nativity in Santa Clara

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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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Stupendous Fives and Sixes!

Kindergarten Curriculum Plans for 2014-2015

Hooray for Kinder and five and six year olds!!! What a fun age to teach! We are joyfully diving into living curriculum by Simply Charlotte Mason next school year, and will be using the books listed on SCM’s free curriculum guide (1st grade books, although much of SCM curriculum is designed for “family study” and can be used with any age). I hope that some of you will decide to join us in this exciting Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool adventure! If you need some ideas for next school year, whether your child is kindergarten age or not, I would love to show and tell all the wonderful books we plan to use in each subject next fall, so that you can glean for your own curriculum planning.

If you like Charlotte Mason ideas, but feel unsure about how to teach all the various subjects, brush up by checking out the post Teaching Subject by Subject on Simply Charlotte Mason’s blog. Or if you can, splurge on SCM’s thorough training DVDs, ‘Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way’. I do not have these DVDs but I would love to get them someday. However, reading Home Education, Volume 1 of Charlotte Masons series, has been the best thing I have done so far to gain a more solid understanding of Miss Mason’s methods, and quite inexpensive training to boot.

First and foremost, Charlotte Mason is a 12-year Christian Character Building curriculum. Books are chosen for the literary quality with which they were written, and even more, their ability to develop the whole person and inspire character. Just look into the curriculum materials I have pictured for each subject area–literature, poetry, Bible, history, geography, reading, and science–and you will find that it all teaches character development!!! For all those years that children are getting a CM education, what’s really being trained more than anything else, is their character. If you agree that character development is your aim as well, then go ahead and read on about Charlotte’s 20 guiding principles for education to see how aligned you are. Realize that some (perhaps many) of her principles go against our common educational sense, but since we know traditional modern pedagogy is failing our children, let us open our minds to trying something different, and trust that if God is leading us this direction, we will come to experience the wonderful fruits of a CM education with time and trust, just as SO many other homeschool family’s who fully adhered to CM principles have.

A Charlotte Mason education is more than using living books and going on nature walks. It is only when used as a balanced whole, that Charlotte’s methods give the best results. Many CM families will vouch that the ‘more or less’ way of following Charlotte Mason doesn’t yield nearly as excellent results. For best results, don’t pick and choose through her tried and tested principles and methods, making a novice assumption that some probably won’t work for you.

“Charlotte Mason was right and my assumptions were false”

Anne White, a seasoned CM homeschool mom, writes on Ambleside Online, “…..Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and methods are so firmly rooted in the Christian view of a personal God, the created world, and people (as individuals created in God’s image) that they must work because they are true, because they fit the way the world works from a Biblical viewpoint.”

“When I began reading what Miss Mason herself had to say about her methods (rather than reading what others had to say about it), there were a few things she said that didn’t mesh with my own assumptions, so I did not at first try them. However, the more I used Charlotte Mason’s methods and saw good fruit, the more I began to wonder about those other things. One by one, I gave them a try, and I generally found that Charlotte Mason was right and my assumptions were false. Here are some of them:

Short lessons–I thought it best to keep going until we tired of a subject. But my kids are fresher and stay interested longer with short lessons (10-15 minutes for younger children)–they have better retention, too.

Slowly reading through a book a few pages at a time instead of sitting down for a gluttonous feast of cover to cover reading (it’s oh-so-fun that way!)–I thought it was ridiculous to make a child quit reading a school book if she was having fun with it. But I find that when I slow my children down with their schoolbooks, they think about the material longer, harder, and deeper. They remember details better, as well.

Unit studies–Charlotte Mason really did not much care for most unit studies. She has some very amusing things to say about them. I was using a unit study curriculum when I first read the six volume series, and I thought she was mistaken. But the fewer unit study projects I do, the more real learning my kids do, the more time I have, the less mess there is to pick up! Miss Mason talks about letting the kids make their own connections. The more I step back and let this happen, the more amazed I am at how many connections the kids make that I never thought of.

Dictation–I never did prepared dictation in a steady, organized fashion until around 2003. Since implementing it. I’ve seen big improvements in my girls’ spelling and writing skills.

Drawing–I thought drawing was something you either could do or you could not do–not a skill that could be taught. I tried some easy teaching programs, and found that the children who had the benefit of those programs did draw better than those who did not. They are not artists, and I didn’t stick to the programs as much as I should have, but there is definitely a difference.

Narration on every single reading–this is so important! I see much better retention, better interaction with the book, greater interest in the story, improved language skills, and better understanding of the material.

Show and Tell Time

Alright, let’s get to the point! Below I list all the areas of study we will cover in kindergarten and include pictures of lesson books, spines, reference books, living books, etc. that we plan to use for each area. I also include an “extras” section for most subjects– optional movies, links, CDs, games, extra books, etc., to further enrich our studies as time permits. My bookmarked research on the computer this year, emptied into one convenient place for you, and me too. The great thing about SCM lesson plans is that they are basic, like skeleton plans. Some people look at them and say that’s not enough, but many of us look at them and think perfect, they leave room and time to explore my child’s interests and lots of “extras” too. I think that’s important!

I basically bought all books pictured on this post from either Simply Charlotte Mason or AbeBooks. Most of the “living books,” I bought used very inexpensively from AbeBooks, and saved more than I could have by buying from Amazon used (I saved about $100, most books were half the price of Amazon). So try AbeBooks first!

For younger ages/lighter workload, foundational background, or alternative curriculum ideas, also see:

  • Welcome Back to School, my 2012-2013 curriculum post for “Thrilling Three’s and Fours.” Every area of study listed there has been the foundation of our Charlotte Mason preschool.
  • Fabulous Fours and Fives, my 2013-2014 curriculum post. Our Charlotte Mason curriculum plans are built up from the previous year to prepare us for kindergarten this year.

For a peek into our school supplies, other than books, like math manipulatives and art supplies, see last years post:

  • Getting Ready for School (A few of our supplies Noah doesn’t need anymore, but most will still be used in Kinder and beyond, and for next year I won’t need to add very much to what we already own.)

As far as a schedule for kindergarten for all you schedulers, I will blog later this summer, because I am still figuring that out right now! I can tell you this much: the plan is to do the next thing. Whenever we finish chapter one in a book is when we will move to chapter two. I will definitely not be scheduling out chapters and page numbers to cover each day 9 months out in advance just to make sure we squeeze every last drop out of our books by the end of the year. I feel suffocated by that kind of “planning”, and much prefer the flexibility of “do the next thing.” Life happens and staying flexible for important things that come up is an advantage of homeschool. We will just stay faithful to setting aside 4 mornings a week to do all of our book work, and 1 day a week to go out and have fun on a field trip or nature get away (Fun Fridays!). I will be planning which days of the week I plan to teach which subjects and a tentative time of day for each.

Bible, History and Geography:

“History is a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas, should enrich the chambers of his House Beautiful with a thousand tableaux, pathetic and heroic, and should form in him, insensibly, principles whereby he will hereafter judge of the behavior of nations, and will rule his own conduct as one of a nation.”
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“The fatal mistake is in the notion that he must learn ‘outlines,’ or a baby edition of the whole history of England, or of Rome, just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.”
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“….it is only as we have it in us to let a person or cause fill the whole stage of the mind, to the exclusion of self-occupation, that we are capable of large-hearted action on behalf of that person or cause.”
–Charlotte Mason
 

Click on pictures to find book descriptions.

Bible: Bible story book, commentaries, hymns, scripture memory (not pictured), and Bible/History lesson plan book.

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History and Geography: Lesson plan books, maps, history spine (Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors), and ……..

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Lots of living books!

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What’s great about the history spine, Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors:

“A living book that explores Ancient Egypt in a way that is suitable for younger students, yet interesting for older; that presents what the Egyptians believed, yet honors the one, true God; that doesn’t sensationalize the pagan customs, myths, or mummies; that traces the history of this ancient civilization, yet agrees with the Biblical account of creation and the beginning of mankind. The best part is that Lorene Lambert’s fascinating narrative also tells the stories of the other civilizations that existed alongside Ancient Egypt—her neighbors, near and far.” -Simply Charlotte Mason

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Bible Extras:

History Extras:

          More Ancient History Living Books:

         Movies to Supplement Ancient History:

          Well Written/Interesting Biographies :

. . . . . (we will deviate from ancient history here)

  • Childhood of Famous Americans series – Tells the stories of the childhood of many of our American heroes.
  • Landmark series – A most remarkable series of books about history written for children. The thing that makes them great is they asked real adult experts on each subject to write them. Irresistable. A very, very few mention       evolutionary ideas – the ancient history ones.

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Habits and Character:

“The habits of the child produce the character of the man.”
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“As has well been said, ‘Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’ And a great function of theeducator is to secure that acts shall be so regularly, purposefully, and methodically sown that the child shall reap the habits of the good life, in thinking and doing, with the minimum of conscious effort.”
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“The mother devotes herself to the formation of one habit at a time, doing no more than keep watch over those already formed.”
–Charlotte Mason

We will devote ourselves to the development of one character trait a month as we have done all through preschool (see our preschool masterplan). I will choose traits that need the most development in my children from Charlotte’s list and then we will work on them over a 9 month school year. We will most likely focus on the following traits next year: neatness and order, courage, generosity, obedience, self-control, courtesy and kindness and manners, usefulness, truthfulness and prayer, thanksgiving and praise.

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We bought these two quick reference charts from Doorposts so that we can handle discipline situations Biblically and teach our children Bible verses that apply to the issue at hand.

Click to insert.

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Service opportunities (better known as chores) will become a big part of our habit training this year. Our children will learn how to be good “employees” through Service Opportunities (ie chores). With Stewardship Street, they can learn to be faithful stewards of their earnings. We will be crafting our own milk carton stewardship street this summer, which will resemble the scene you see on the front cover (7 houses or “piggy banks” to hold earnings from seven important categories of stewardship–tithe, charity, living expenses, spending, short term savings, long term savings, and dowry). Noah has his own wallet now and can’t wait to get started. With all the crafting and chore training required to get started, this is a great summer project. That way we will hopefully have our Service Opportunities system up and running more smoothly by fall.

Math:

This will be our third year using Kathy Richardson’s series, and although next year we will probably delve into all 3 books, the main focus will be on the newer content of addition and subtraction in book 2. Noah has always enjoyed our math lessons from these books because they are hands on, full of variety, and the author really does understand how kids develop number concepts. You can find all kinds of sample lessons from the Pre-K book and Book 1 in “monthly lesson plans” under “categories” on our homepage.

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      Math Extra:

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The Arts:

“…..the appreciation of the humanities (culture) is not a luxury, a tidbit, to be given to children now and then, but their very bread of life.” –Charlotte Mason
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“…..we grow accustomed to what we are surrounded by. Our children’s sense of beauty and appreciation is being formed by what is around them. If they are surrounded by fast-talking, fast-moving cartoons or touched-up photos of pouty, anorexic young people, that is what they will get used to. That is what will cultivate their tastes, and soon that is what they will prefer because it is familiar. Picture study gives us a simple yet powerful tool to influence our children’s sense of beauty, to cultivate within them a taste for what is good. Charlotte Mason said that one of the parents’ jobs is “the cultivation of the power to appreciate, to enjoy, whatever is just, true, and beautiful in thought and expression.” –Simply Charlotte Mason

All Things Bright and Beautiful — Free art, music, and poetry appreciation studies all done for you at the blog All Things Bright and Beautiful! I am excited about this wonderful site provided by a Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom who simply wants to share in order to help other homeschooling families who may not have time or motivation for the artsy extras. It looks great, costs nothing, and so I think we will use her studies to beautify our homeschool mornings everyday at breakfast. I will also try to grab a book from the library containing works from the current artist being studied on All Things Bright and Beautiful so that all our picture study doesn’t have to be done on the computer. Next school year we may choose to study artists from the site that depict animals and nature, such as Robert Bateman and James Audubon, since we are really looking forward to starting up our own nature notebooks.

Living Audubon biography picture book

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We will also choose one poem a month to memorize and recite.

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Handicrafts:

Love that Charlotte includes handicrafts as a school subject! The American Boys Handy Book looks like it could be an interesting resource to use with Noah, but so far the plan is to keep using our “Activity Brainstorm Page“, which is listed on our homepage menu. The craft projects include holiday, seasonal, and themed ideas which are an ongoing collection of various ideas I admire while searching around on the internet. We are somewhat winging handicrafts because our family enjoys crafting, and I think we will always have our hands in projects whether they are assigned or not. Ideas conveniently, and sometimes inconveniently, abound as Noah never seems to stop thinking of things to make and do (nor do I).

Click to insert.

Reading (with Readers):

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Pathway Readers

Sweet readers that teach morals and spiritual values while providing insight into the life of the Amish people. First Steps and Days Go By are the readers we will use in kindergarten. I also pictured the other two readers we have been using. (Don’t forget SCM offers Delightful Reading if you are looking for a complete reading curriculum too. It worked well for us last year!)

       Reading Extras:

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Literature:

“Ideas must reach us directly from the mind of the thinker, and it is chiefly by the means of the books they have written that we get in touch with the best minds.” –Charlotte Mason

“For the books that we read aloud as a family, I do not require a narration. I want us to simply enjoy these classics together, to share the experience, to build memories, and to store up common ideas that knit our hearts together” –Simply Charlotte Mason

Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

         Literature Extras:

  • Librivox — free audiobooks, like My Bookhouse, take some of the pressure off mom having to read aloud all day! (just watch out for poor readers since audiobooks are read by volunteers). Lots of classic, well written books here since many older books can be found free in the public domain.

          Literature suggestions for boys from Hal and Melanie Young:

  • Jungle Doctor series by Paul White – Absolutely fascinating! Very respectful of the indigenous people without pulling punches toward their enslaving false religion. Exciting, funny, engaging.
  • Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens – Based on his life growing up with six brothers, the Sugar Creek Gang is a great way to show your boys what it means to be a Christian as a boy. Fun, funny, enjoyable, an essential part of childhood in our family. The new series by Pauline Hutchens Wilson and Sandy Dengler is not as good. (I hear the audiobook is great)
  • Little Britches series by Ralph Moody – The poignant, entertaining story of a boy whose father dies after they move to the West and how he helps support his family and then himself. He doesn’t always do what’s right, but he learns better! Great read alouds!

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Handwriting:

We will be spontaneous in selecting sentences to copy for handwriting practice. I think copywork phrases can be successfully chosen from favorite selections in literature books, scripture verses, poems, nature studies, or hymns–especially ones that really stand out to us, or our children. This way handwriting is more personal and inspiring. Picking selections ourselves should really only take a few more minutes than using pre-selected selections in a copybook.

We will continue to use the Draw and Write Notebook from Handwriting Without Tears because I like the simple lines, and because it was the next logical step after using HWT Double Line Chalkboard for the past two years of preschool (which proved to be a really great way to learn how to write letters). These two products from HWT have worked great and were all we really needed for handwriting!  This is a picture of Noah’s last handwriting sample from Pre-K this year in the Draw and Write Notebook:

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Creation Science and Nature Study:

“He must live hours daily in the open air, and, as far as possible, in the country; must look and touch and listen; must be quick to note, consciously, every peculiarity of habit or structure, in beast, bird, or insect; the manner of growth and fructification of every plant. He must be accustomed to ask why––Why does the wind blow? Why does the river flow? Why is a leaf-bud sticky? And do not hurry to answer his questions for him; let him think his difficulties out so far as his small experience will carry him. Above all, when you come to the rescue, let it not be in the ‘cut and dried’ formula of some miserable little text-book………As I have already tried to point out, to get this sort of instruction for himself is simply the nature of a child: the business of the parent is to afford him abundant and varied opportunities, and to direct his observations, so that, knowing little of the principles of scientific classification, he is, unconsciously, furnishing himself with the materials for such classification.”
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“This is the mother’s chance to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of a child, which shall germinate, blossom and bear fruit, without further help or knowledge of hers.”
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“No-eyes comes home bored; he has seen nothing, been interested in nothing: while Eyes is all agog to discuss a hundred things that have interested him.”
–Charlotte Mason on Nature Study

I am thrilled about nature study! Outdoor Secrets is so very sweet for littles. And its so much fun getting out in the wild blue yonder on all kinds of outdoor adventures.

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Beautiful living books used with Outdoor Secrets Handbook.

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Field Guides and reference books for nature study/walks. I still need to get a lot more field guides.

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Nature Studies out in the field includes regularly notebooking a few words about intriguing nature finds, and learning to draw/paint one small find at a time with watercolor pencils, watercolors, or colored pencils. I plan to keep a notebook alongside Noah since Charlotte recommended mothers to experience notebooking alongside their children.

“Yes, you can take digital pictures instead or look at close-up illustrations on the Internet, but there is nothing that will encourage you to look so closely and carefully than trying to draw for yourself the object that you are looking at. Use the field guides to help you label your drawings. Over time you will gain at least a “nodding and naming acquaintance” with God’s creation in your yard. And that is time well spent.” (SCM)

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Highly acclaimed 106 Days of Creation and its companion books for whenever we finish Outdoor Secrets.

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Moody Science DVDS (set of 19)— I really want to get this set of great creation science videos!

        Science Extras:

        Nature Study Extras:

  • see “Fieldtrips” below for some fun local nature study ideas
  • Enature.com — Online Fieldguide to help ID all those nature finds
  • Great Living Books for young children that are free in the public domain:

……………..The Storybook of Science (Audiobook, E-book)
……………..Among the People Series (Audiobook, E-book)
……………..The Burgess Animal Book (Audiobook, E-book)
……………..The Burgess Bird Book (Audiobook, E-book)
……………..Arabella Buckley Books (Audiobook, E-book)

Fieldtrips:

Also see last year’s fieldtrip ideas, check bayareakidfun.com, and current East Bay Park Activities periodically for more fieldtrip ideas

Anytime Trips:

Discover and Go Program — Discounted museum admission offered through the library

Delta Discoveries — Every Saturday from 11am til 2pm at Big Break Regional Shoreline

Village Theatre in Danville — Preschool Performance Series

BMX Track at Memorial Park in San Ramon and Bike Park in Pleasanton

Diablo Rock Gym — Kids Weekend Belay

Worlds Biggest Dinosaurs — A creationist dinosaur museum in Southern California. See their recommended article and booklist.

Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos

Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek

Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland

anaturemom.com — a mom who blogs about fun bay area nature places to visit

On The Calendar Trips:

July

East Bay Parks Outdoor Discoveries — “Astro Summer” for ages 3-6

Family Theater Festival at Dean Lesher Center for the Arts

August

Japanese Cultural Festival August 10-11

California Symphony 6:30 pm Thursday, August 28th at Todos Santos Plaza (free)

September

Tarantula hikes on Mount Diablo

Visit an apple orchard in Apple Hill

October

Harvest Festival at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Fire station fieldtrip

November

Free homeschool days at Monterey Bay Aquarium (make reservations in Sept.)

Hike Stream Trail at Redwood Regional Park to find hibernating ladybugs

December

Visit creeks in winter to find frozen ice, and visit waterfalls after rainfall to find rushing waters (Noah’s ideas)

Attend a performance of The Nutcracker

January

Whale Watching at Point Reyes and other spots along the coast, early morning is best

Newt and Salamander walks hosted at various East Bay Parks, or get out right after a rain, and search in the stream behind Tilden’s Environmental Education Center (near Little Farm)

February

Monarchs for kids at Ardenwood Historic Farm; also can see monarchs over wintering at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline, Muir Beach, or Natural Bridges State Beach.

March

Johnny Appleseed Day at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Marsh Meander at Coyote Hills Regional Park

Daffodils and beautiful gardens at Fioli, a country estate in Woodside

April

Tadpoles in the creek at Round Valley Park

Sunol Regional Wilderness Spring Wildflower Festival

Bees/Honey tasting at Tilden

May

Search for ducklings, goslings, and their nests at Newhall Community Park

Bird Days provided by many East Bay Parks

Little Yosemite waterfall hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness

June

Butterfly Festival at Coyote Hills Regional park

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“The end result of a Charlotte Mason education is the children ‘find knowledge so delightful that it becomes a pursuit and source of happiness for a lifetime.” –Catherine Levinson

Love, Love, Love This Baby

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3rd Swing? Maybe 4th…..1st Picture (3rd Baby)

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Faith Did a Good Job With Her Watercolor, We Were All Happily Surprised

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An Honor to Have Tayler’s 94 Year Old Great Grandma Come to School One Day

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Tayler Loves How Her Family Drops By School Often

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We Crafted Gingerbread Boys to Help Us Retell the Story We Know Well

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Darling Little Lamb

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Girl Turning Brave

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Planting Our Garden

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Horseplay with Noah

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Cooking Project–Greek Honey Yogurt Mixed with Whip Cream and Topped with Dried Fruit, Toasted Coconut Flakes, Nutmeg, and Lime Zest

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Our Prayer Posters Serve as Visual Aids & Hang By Each Child’s Bed; I Love How Faith is Especially Faithful to Use Her Poster

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With Three Small Children I Think I Would Spend Every Last Second of My Day Cleaning and Cooking If It Weren’t for Help From Noah, My Right Hand Man

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I Guess Its Time for Some New Dress Up Clothes

Noah has never been into role playing until recently. Now he says he wants a Roman Soldier costume, an army uniform, an astronaut costume, a new fireman costume, and an armor of God/soldier of Christ costume. Oh my!

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An Easter Service Invitation for Our Neighbor

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Dying Easter Eggs

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Glittering Just a Few Eggs Was a Nice Touch

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 “Easter Eggs” From Our Chickens for Neighbor Lois

(She Has Moved Into Assisted Living Now and We Will Miss Her!)

The cute little basket we made from a pint sized cream carton and scrap book paper.

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Our Resurrection Egg Hunt At School

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Our Easter Garden Basket Tradition Was Revamped (And Thus Also Very Affordable) This Year

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We Invited Over This Wooly Hebrew Abba To Lead Our Messianic Passover Seder on Easter 😉

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Family Egg Hunt on Easter

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Book Lover

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Cutting Practice with Spiral Snakes

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Thanks Tayler, Cutting is Easier With Help

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Putting #1-59 in Order on Our Hundreds Chart

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Domino Addition

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Watering Our Sprouts

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“I am Sorry You Fell Down Faith,” Gift from Noah and Tayler, and then a minute later…..

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“I am Sorry You Tripped Over Me Tayler,” Gift From Faith (and Noah). A minute later Noah Gets hurt…..

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FYI: The Black Widow has a Brown Widow Cousin. Also pictured, the tiny harmless male Widow, killed by the female when Dean shook her web (all 3 found living under the kids’ sand table).

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My Sweet Attachment

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Special Nature Treasures Discovered: Leaf Skeleton and a Giant Puffball Mushroom

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My Chicken Girl

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Noah, “Mr. Eyes”, Found a Birds Nest in Our Side Yard

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Daniel Sitting by the Creek at Round Valley Park

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Noah Enjoys Throwing Boulders

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Water Snake!! Found by a calm, cool, and collected Mr. Eyes.

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Daniel Starting to Feel a Little Too at Home at the Creek

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So Much Fun Collecting Tadpoles and “Frog Eggs”!

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Bummer, Our Tadpoles Only Lived a Few Days 😦

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Scads of Snails in Our Yard…..Noah Follows a “Poop Trail” to Find Even More

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May Was Such a Fun Month of Art…..Color Mixing, Pantone Color Book, Painting Butterflies

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Noah’s Butterfly

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Noahs Second Butterfly

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 Very Pleased With Noah’s Final Butterfly Painting, Symmetry and Wing Shape being the Goals

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Our Method Of Achieving Symmetry: Freehand One Side, Trace the Other

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Color Mixing Involved Creating Lots of Shades of One Color; Tayler Mixing Up Shades of Green

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 Using Her Greens to Freehand a Butterfly

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Tayler’s Symmetrical Princess Like Butterfly

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 Two Families Blessed to Continually Experience the “World as Our Classroom”

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So Pleased with Kiddos Growth in the Area of Drawing; Noah’s “Train” and Faith’s “Family” for Grandma on Mother’s Day

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To My Shock, Chef Noah Decided to Pile Raisins On The Meatloaf When I Stepped Out of the Kitchen For a Minute (Believe it or Not, It Turned Out Quite Yummy)

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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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