Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

Make No Little Plans

Christian Home Educators Association of California Convention

Even though I am definitely following Charlotte Mason methods in our homeschool, I still want to attend a homeschool convention where I will be exposed to a broad array of methods, strategies, curriculum, homeschoolers, etc. all at once in one place. It is like a homeschool party! It is a great way for some of us to simply get acquainted with homeschooling, and for others of us to dive into the the detailed specifics of each subject.

I recently recalled that the annual California Christian homeschool convention of the Bay Area, occurs every year in April–which happens to be right around the corner! This year the Bay Area conference is in Santa Clara on April 12th & 13th (there is also a conference in June for SoCal by the way). I found out that families whose eldest child is 5 years or younger can attend on Saturday for free if we register by March 11th. I know that is only a few days away, but I definitely want to go, and if you do too, let me know! We can meet up at the party!

A good alternative idea to attending the conference in person is to order audio recordings (only $4 each) of interesting workshops to listen at home. I plan on investing in this resource myself to glean from the 2009-2012 convention workshops that are of high interest to me, such as teaching creation science. If you are too busy during the school year to think about conventions, perhaps you could plan some easy at home development time into this coming summer for you and your husband with audio workshops. Personally, the free time of last summer provided a profitable season for my own learning and growth as a mom and home educator, and I look forward to doing the same this summer through books and workshops. I will keep you posted on these plans!

Baked Oatmeal Cooking Project Planned by Miss Sheila. Yummy!

Thanks for the recipe Miriah!!

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We Added Apples, Raisins, and Banana into Our Baked Oatmeal, but Berries with Bananas is also Delicious

(Click on Picture for a Recipe from Skinny Taste)

Beautiful Spring Art To Hang on the Fridge

We added each child’s favorite stanza from the poem Daffodils By William Wordsworth.

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Daffodil Art How-To

Supplies: 3 stems & several leaves (folded up a little for dimension), 3 flower cut-outs with 6 petals each, 3 fringed flower centers, and 3 stamens. Place an apple corer in the middle of each flower and bend the petals up for dimension. (Any similar sized cylinder would work if you don’t have an apple corer.) One side of the fringed center piece I notched so that the paper splays out a little for gluing purposes. The stamen is a rolled up long triangle shape with notches at the bottom for gluing as well. This was a great one on one project, but would have been too difficult to do as a group since preschoolers need a lot of guidance with a project like this.

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Book Time in the Sunshine with Peter Rabbit Books

(a cute idea planned by the kids’ themselves)

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More and Less Math

(see March lesson plans for instructions)

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Time to Start Planning a Garden!

Now is the time to decide together with your family if you will plant a garden this year, and if so what will you grow? Even if you plant one thing, I think its so worth it!! Our theme next month at Little Lambs is gardening and so we are already starting to make planting plans. We stopped by Navelet’s the other day and it was like kids in the candy store. Our kids immediately and enthusiastically started picking out seed packets for planting in our garden (unsolicited help, but very cute none the less). Noah had piles of seed packets in his hands and Daddy asked somewhat rhetorically, “What is he doing?” “Dreaming,” I said with a smile. Your kids will definitely want to help plan your garden too and a trip to the nursery is a great way to start.

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Our Other Little Garden Dream This Year

A botanical playhouse for the kiddos grown next to our vegetable garden (inspired by the book Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots). Your garden can be such a magical place for your little children with just a little bit of forethought and ingenuity!

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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Homeschool: Awkward or Awesome?

The Image of Homeschool

A feeling like I am in an “elite”, very very private school washed over me today as the beauty of our surroundings here in homeschool overcame my senses. Classical music playing in the background, a mommy’s budding artistic skills upon the chalkboard, voices lifted up in beautiful worship to the Lord during Circle, little prodigies of God sitting all around me with bright shiny face listening intently to my heart’s tale of Noah’s Ark…… If you are doing Christian homeschool with your child, you have every right to feel the same way!! Please don’t let the world influence your image of homeschool, especially your homeschool. I think the Urban Dictionary encapsulates people’s stereotypical thoughts about homeschoolers pretty well:

Homeschool: If you know someone with a matter-of-fact attitude who regularly makes awkward jokes/statements out of turn, exhibits hyper-White characteristics, or simply possesses a number less-than-desirable eccentricities, this is likely the agency to blame.

Pretty funny actually, but no, not the image you want to carry in your heart of your homeschooling. I pray your mind will not be conformed to the thinking of this world that there is something off beat, odd, or socially unacceptable about your children or your methods. I pray that you will see how VERY SPECIAL, very set apart, very extraordinary, how hallowed and holy your homeschool is. The Bible says foolish things shame the wise and weak things shame the strong (isn’t “foolish” how many people view homeschool?). Not to snub people who make other educational decisions, but to encourage you who may have ever felt mislabeled as a homeschooler: have no shame, your children are part of a very very elite Christian private school (and yet tuition is nil!). So I looked up the definition of elite to see if it rightly defined what I was feeling, and it brought up the image of Daniel 1:4 (the scripture promise I stand on for my homeschoolers).

Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, higher intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.[1]

I hoped it doesn’t sound like snobbery to you, but rather the calling of Christianity: having wisdom to govern, holding views that ought to carry weight in this world, exhibiting actions that build up society. Lets find some more analogies that show how awesome it is to homeschool children in the context of Christianity:

Ancestry: Christians are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ

Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

Intrinsic Quality: Christians are ruled by love

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Intrinsic Worth: Christians are being transformed into the image of Christ

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corintians 3:18

Higher Intellect: Christians think God thoughts

For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

Wealth: Christian have all their needs met according to His riches

And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs. Philippians 4:19

Specialized Training: Christians are trained by the Holy Spirit

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

The precious blood of Jesus paid the price for you to exalt in your inheritnance. The price was too high for us to cringe in these inherited robes of righteousness. Friend, see yourself as blessed— trained, intelligent, worthy to run a homeschool that matches the image stamped upon you.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18

What is your image of homeschool? The world’s or Christ’s? Burn into your heart the image of your inheritance in Christ as the image you carry of your homeschool. I hope your sights will continue to raise from glory to glory!

Atmosphere is 1/3 of an Education

Sometimes we forget just how noble and lovely homeschooling is when it feels like an enormous effort to do meals, laundry, spelling, handwriting, exercise, math, groceries, literature, and memory verses all in a morning. I want to encourage you with Charlotte Mason’s wise words that “atmosphere is 1/3 of a child’s education”. You are the absolute perfect person designed to educate your child through the Christian atmosphere of your home. And simply through exemplifying a Christ-like attitude hour by hour, before even pulling out a book, you have already achieved 1/3 of your child’s education for that day!

Our children are going to learn more by living with us day in and day out than they will by reading about ratios and proportions. What we are—the ideas that rule our lives, the attitudes that rule our hearts, the actions and words that stem from those attitudes—will have a bigger impact on them than what they learn about some historical figure.
Once again Charlotte gently reminded us that the atmosphere of our homes makes up one-third of our children’s education. What we are speaks so much louder than what we do or plan to do.
I want my children to be “hourly the better” for spending their days with me. It’s a tall order that can be accomplished only with much prayer. Let’s renew our commitment to put forth the effort—daily—of living devotedly, acting lovingly, thinking correctly, and speaking kindly before our children.
It bears repeating:
“To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the better for all that we are, is harder, no doubt, than to make one enormous sacrifice” (Vol. 5, p. 156). (SimplyCharlotteMason.com)

Nothing beats the atmosphere of a Christian HOME for educating children!!! Your Christ-like example and the Christ-like image of your homeschool will make a beautiful atmosphere for education. Your homeschool is extraordinary and distinguished, remarkable and distinct! Carry that image in your heart always.

Angelic Protection is a Promise

Beautiful Fall Art

Watercolor paper, white crayon, and quality watercolors (like Faber Castell, or even Crayola) are all you need to make these wax resist paintings. Make sure not to use poor quality watercolors (like Rose Art), to push down really hard when drawing a leaf pattern on the paper (before painting), and it should turn out gorgeous!

Pattern Block Math

Its good to use both templates and no templates

Holding Hands on a Nature Day

Roll Again Math

See October Plans for instructions

Snack Ball Cooking Project

I think you will love these super healthy snack balls! Even though the ingredient list looks expensive, they are cost effective because they are very filling. They are as yummy as eating cookie dough to me. 🙂

Gluten-Free Trail Mix Bites

1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 cup honey or less
2 Tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup any combo of chopped seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, etc. (Whole Foods “Oregon” trail mix is yummy, or I make my own mixture)
Pinch of salt, optional (recommended if using unsalted nut/seed butters)
1 tsp spices, optional (whatever spice flavor combos you like, e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)
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1. Combine first four (wet) ingredients in a large bowl and let sit several minutes in another bowl of warm water to soften/warm for easy stirring, then stir to combine (I personally just mix everything at once).
2. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix together. If too wet and sticky, add a little more dry ingredients. If too dry and crumbly, add a little more honey and/or coconut oil.
3. Scoop heaping tablespoon of dough into your hands, squeeze dough together firmly, then mold/roll into a ball with your hands.
4. Place mixture in fridge for 30 mins and then they are ready to eat!
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Put molded balls in airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week, or longer in the freezer.
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9/11/12 Pancakes and other Sweet Stuff

Cooking Pancakes with Miss Sheila!

Miss Sheila, our cooking teacher, is doing yummy and healthy recipes with the kids once a month this year. The recipe for September, gluten free pancakes, was compliments of Tayler’s mommy, Miss Afton, who tries to eat a Paleo diet. Since my kids and I don’t eat many grains or flours either, we never get to eat pancakes, and so this cooking project was a treat. These were actually Noah and Faith’s very first pancakes! Happy day!  I now I am smitten with this simple, healthy, filling recipe! I woke up the next morning and made up my own batch of pancakes along with whip cream and syrup (for me). YUM! You have to try this recipe!

The kids learned during the cooking project by listening to instructions, reading an ingredient list off the board, adding scoops of different nut butters, and practicing cutting, mixing, and cracking eggs. Best of all, all the kids enjoyed eating the pancakes, even the choosier eaters. I think back to my teaching days in pre-K and how the kids were served processed pancakes and syrup for snack. Between birthday treats, superstar treats, holiday parties, and unhealthy snack table options, it was out of control. I often wondered, ‘Whatever am I going to do to keep the constant flood of junk food out of my kid’s preschool experience??’ Learning that a healthy diet is not an option was a hard earned lesson for me, and so I found the preschool junk food problem quite vexing. Then when homeschooling came into view, the issue was circumvented altogether. What a blessing to be teaching and serving our children truly healthy, organic foods in homeschool. They won’t even know “processed” at Little Lambs. 🙂

Thank you Miss Sheila! It is a blessing to have a fun, healthy, cooking grandma at Little Lambs!

We Like to do Everything “Self” (as Faithy likes to say)

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Gluten Free Pancake Recipe

3 Bananas

3 Eggs

5 T Nut Butter

1 tsp flaxseed

Honey to taste

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Pancakes Garnished with Raw Whip Cream and Real Maple Syrup (grade B)

(I clarify lest you think I was being too unhealthy ;))

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I am Special!

We are taking every opportunity this month to point out how special each one of our children are in order to flesh out our “I am Special/I am a Child of God” theme. Our Bible Story in circle this week was about Abraham, told out of my own heart with the KJV on my lap. I asked/told the kids what their names mean. I explained that Abram, whose name means “father”, was very old and had no children. However, he was a righteous man who loved God and believed all He said. God told Abraham he would have many descendants and because Abraham believed him, God counted him as righteous. God changed his name to Abraham because he was going to become the “father of multitudes”. He had Abraham look up into the night sky and told him that his children would be like the stars in the sky, too numerous to count. It took a lot of faith to believe something like that, but he did. He is considered the father of our faith, and now anyone who has this faith is considered righteous through Jesus in the same way. We are all in God’s family, which makes each of us a child of God, a star twinkling in the night. So when you look up at the stars, just think that God has lit one just for you! Then we read this poem from our Christian Mother Goose Book of Poems:

Twinkle, Twinkle, little star
God has placed you where you are;
Up above the world so high
You’re God’s light hung in the sky
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
God has placed you where you are.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
When you look down from afar,
What’s the light you see
Shining here for God? It’s me!
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
God has placed you where you are.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
I can’t reach you in a car;
But someday, by Jesus’ might,
I’ll fly to visit you each night.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
God has placed you where you are.

Tayler Writes Her “Special Name” on Mamama’s Lap

Noah Spells Frog

Miss Cherie and Dalila at “Baby Centers”

Tayler Cherishes Her Hymnal

Hymnals were passed out at school for parents and grandparents to teach little ones at home. However, Tayler loves the hymnal and has claimed it as all hers. She brought it over one day when I babysat her just hoping we would be able to do some songs together. She drags her finger across the words when we sing and pretends like she can read. So cute!

Tayler and Faith Sharing a Quiet Moment Together Before Nap

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