Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

Less is More Homeschool

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Our 2014-2015 Yearbook. Click on the pic to look inside!

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“Instead of spending over 1,200 hours each year in school, [homeschooled] children can devote time to what more directly builds happiness as well as future success. Things like innovation, hands-on learning, and meaningful responsibility.” –Laura Grace Weldon

As I have been reading Laura Grace Weldon’s blog, author of Free Range Learning, I have been reminded again of why I love homeschool. To me, homeschool promotes a “less is more” mindset–less materialism, less structure, less entertainment and stimulation, less performance pressure, less conformity. I think all of us who grew up in school still fight the “more is more” school mindset to differing degrees. We want to pack as much as possible into a child’s day, buy them a lot of educational stuff, and make sure they have as many experiences and opportunities as we can afford to give them. And we think that its our job to keep them occupied, busy, entertained, happy, etc outside of “educational hours.” We have an innate distrust in a child’s power for natural learning during free play and self directed pursuit of interests. However, homeschool life can be very different than the norm, and very freeing. We needn’t model our homeschool hours, and after homeschool hours, to look like the alleged “more is more” school kid’s life.

If you decide to visit Laura Weldon’s blog, you may realize, like me, that your mind is still thinking a lot less free, and lot more structured by school methods, than it could be. Laura believes real learning happens in a natural and playful context. That sounds very possible in the early years, especially preschool, but how does that look as kids grow up? Well, have you ever thought of math being taught naturally like this, or how about teaching business sense like this?  Check it out, I think you will enjoy her “free thinking” ideas.

Here in bold are some of the things I have come to love the most about homeschooling with the “less is more” philosophy, and underneath are some of Laura Weldon’s related comments on each topic:

 Homeschool allows children to be self-directed

“The school mindset leads us to believe that children benefit from lessons, the newest educational toys and electronics, coached sports at an early age, and other adult-designed, adult-led endeavors. Well-intentioned parents work hard to provide their children with these pricey advantages. We do this because we believe that learning flows from instruction. By that logic, the more avenues of adult-directed learning, the more kids will benefit. But there’s very limited evidence that all this effort, time, and money results in learning of any real value. In fact, it appears too many structured activities diminish a child’s ability to set and reach goals independently.”

“We’re so committed to structured, top-down instruction that we impose it on kids beyond the school day. Young people are relentlessly shuttled from the classroom to enrichment activities to organized sports and back home to play with educational toys or apps.”

“This isn’t to say that all instruction is bad, by any means. It does mean that six long hours of school-based instruction plus afterschool adult-organized activities in sports or recreation or screen time supplants the kind of direct, open-ended, hands-on activity that’s more closely associated with learning. Most of the time this kind of learning is called play.

Homeschool allows for long play periods daily, which is critical to learning

“Unless they’ve been raised on a steady diet of ready-made entertainment, children are naturally drawn to free play and discovery-based learning. They make up games, daydream, pretend, and launch their own projects–freely seeking out adults for resources and guidance when necessary. They are naturally drawn to achieve mastery.”

“Often kids are gone at lessons, after school programs, or play dates. When they get home they sit staring at screens. Toys in their carefully decorated rooms appeared to be tossed around as if the small owners had no idea how to play, only how to root restlessly for entertainment.”

“Rather than developing the subtle awareness fostered by time spent in nature, in conversation, and in play, they instead are wired to expect overstimulation. Without it, they’re bored.”

“Ask the oldest person you know to share some memories about play from his or her childhood. Chances are you’ll hear about pick-up games, handmade toys, and free time that spun long summer days into marvels of imagination.”

Homeschool allows for real life work together

“In a way, doing household tasks together puts parent and child on more even ground. So often we parents are rushing to schlep our kids to practice or lessons or other kid-oriented events, making them the pivot around which a family’s activities revolve. Taking part in regular tasks together, even if we’re pulling weeds on opposite sides of the garden, affirms the sort of mutuality that advertisers tell us is only found in pricey vacations. Of course time afterwards for a nice game of hoops and some cold lemonade builds bonds too.”

We tend to spend a lot on activities and products for our children assuming this enriches their lives but if they don’t get the chance to take on real responsibilities, we’re depriving them of key components of adult competency.”

Homeschool allows for maximum creativity

“In today’s test-heavy schools the emphasis is on coming up with the correct answer, but we know that the effort to avoid making mistakes steers children away from naturally innovative perspectives. Divergent thinking generates ideas. It’s associated with people who are persistent, curious, and nonconforming. Research going back to the 1970’s shows that this generation of children are less imaginative and less able to produce original ideas. An extra whammy may very well be coming from increased participation in organized sports: more than a few hours a week appears to lower a child’s creativity.

This is dire news, because creativity is actually much more closely linked to adult accomplishment than IQ. In fact, 1,500 CEO’s listed creativity as the leading indicator of “leadership competency.”

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Our butterfly life cycle study

This was definitely our best nature study experience so far!!! It felt like a real gift from God as we were able to witness so many miraculous moments throughout……

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Faith’s Nature Journal Page

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Noah’s Nature Journal page

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My Nature Journal Page

One day in June we brought home a Monarch egg that was laid on a milkweed leaf. The next morning a tiny caterpillar hatched and began to eat its egg.

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Our Monarch caterpillar grew big and fat, and ate lots of milkweed leaves and flowers. We ended up raising two monarchs when we accidentally brought another egg home.

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We also found a Swallowtail caterpillar when it was small and black (this is a pic of when it had grown much bigger).

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Our Swallowtail caterpillar made a chrysalis and hung for 3 weeks, but then the butterfly emerged deformed. 😦

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Noah caught the moment our Monarch started to become a chrysalis, and so I snapped some pics! It was a caterpillar for a total of 14 days.

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Monarch chrysalis’ are a beautiful green and gold.

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Our Monarch chrysalis became clear the morning it emerged. The Monarch was inside its chrysalis for a total of 10 days.

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Then, as I was taking pictures, it started to emerge!

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We were so excited! The kids ran outside and were able to witness the butterfly coming out of its chrysalis and then drying its wings.

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We released our butterflies the next day. A final special moment was when Faith got to hold her Monarch for a few minutes before it flew away. Thank you God for all your blessings on our nature studies.

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Beach day at Half Moon Bay

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All 3 kids happily engaged in the sand

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Playing in the waves

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A family photo attempt

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A moment of asking for forgiveness

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A cozy morning devotions moment

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The harvest is eaten as soon as its picked 🙂

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We love our littlest helper. He loves to help spray the table or set the table, and shadow the older kids as they do their work around the house.

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You are so funny daddy!

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So cute

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Singing at VBS

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Noah plays dolls with the girls so that Faith will be happy (she doesn’t want to play without him)

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Make something out of foil

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Awww, Daniel feeding Faith his avocado

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Faith is little mommy

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Loves her baby bunny

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BMX with daddy (riding Noah’s bike)

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For Uncle Buz after he preached on Matthew 8 (the wind and the waves obey Jesus)

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A field trip to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge

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A new tradition: Sunday morning kind thing, with a not very creative name. A note for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

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Congraulations Graduates!!!

Congratulations to all of our graduating friends and loved ones! Whether it was graduation from school, homeschool, college, preschool, or anything in between, you’ve made it, and we are celebrating with you! We couldn’t be prouder of our little ones, Tayler and Noah, graduating here from Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs Preschool, and we just couldn’t let the event pass by without a party and cute graduation gowns. Noah now thinks that “graduation” would be a great way to end every school year– and why not when it involves yummy treats, special presents, and fun decorations!?

Our theme was butterflies because our kids are spreading their wings and fluttering up to new heights–aaaaand because we did butterfly art all month, so it made decorating easy. 🙂 The party was definitely not all fun and games as Noah and Tayler had some final requirements during our ceremony in order to officially graduate–recite a poem and memory verse, each read a story, and sing a song for the enjoyment of everyone present at the party. The best part was that graduation was so much more than a party, it was like a rite of passage, a dawning of a new day, entrance into a higher period of training towards Christian manhood and womanhood. Accomplishing this through a time of prayer during the party was crucial as we spoke over the futures of our graduates. And it really did feel like God sealed all the good work He has done heretofore, and ushered us into a brand new season.

All Praise and Glory to God!!!

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It is important for us all to recognize the gravity of the moment as we graduate our graduates, and to intentionally create a sacred moment in time in order to significantly direct the course of our children’s lives. A celebration is an opportunity to mark the point in which a boy becomes a man……. or even when a little boy becomes a big boy. A purposeful rite of passage celebration can allow for a clear point of transition in ours and our children’s hearts, an important mental shift, public affirmation and acknowledgement, a sense of permission to move forward, the articulation of a goal line, and peace for those questions, “Am I doing a good job?,” “Am I doing what God wants?” It all starts with a private heart to heart moment, when we sense that the timing is right, to share how we feel about our child, what we see for him, and then use the opportunity to speak a blessing. Then, we can create a meaningful moment within a purposeful gathering or celebration, such as a homemade graduation, to publicly affirm our children so that our words will be cemented in their hearts.

“The principle is clear: God has given parents the privilege and power to speak blessing upon their children and, with that blessing, to advance life, health, growth, joy and self-confidence! We need to learn to steward this privilege as a dynamic aspect of raising our children and bless them in every way we possibly can.” ~ Jack Hayford

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The training period for manhood and womanhood may be shorter than we realize, so lets mark it at the very beginning, and then get started without delay. Why is it  shorter than we might assume? Well, when is a boy a man, and a girl a woman? When does a person reach maturity? According to the Bible it has nothing to do with having a drivers license, voting, or a job, but rather having wisdom in knowing God and his will, and being able to carry it out in your life (Prov. 1:1-7). True maturity is spiritual maturity. At 12 years old Jesus had his own rite of passage into manhood. Jesus, our Savior and Representative, shows his maturity in his understanding of the Bible and his understanding of his role in Luke 2:41-50 (The Boy Jesus in the Temple). Wow, age 12. Let’s pray for the same uncommon growth in spiritual maturity to occur in our children as we enter or continue on in this special season of training them up!!!

It sure was sweet to see my kids sooooo excited about our graduation party. I am not a much of a party person, but boy my kids are. Honestly though, our graduation was a huge lovely blessing, not to mention a divine appointment. I think I am in agreement with you Noah–this may be just the way to celebrate the end of every school year. 🙂

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Caterpillar

Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry,
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk,
Or what not,
Which may be the chosen spot.

No toad spy you,
Hovering bird of prey pass by you;
Spin and die,
To live again

A butterfly

Christina Rossetti

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My Little 2 Year Old Caterpillars

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Speaking a Blessing Over our Graduates

Our Graduation Scriptures

Proverbs chapter 2

….youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace….
Daniel 1:4

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:17

…..and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.
Exodus 31:3

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
Job 32:8

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16

Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:12

When he was twelve years old…….[he was found] in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luke 2:47

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians:13

But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, 
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
         

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
         

The spirit of counsel and strength,
         

The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And He will delight in the fear of the LORD….
Isaiah 11:1-3

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My Beautiful 5 Year Old Butterflies

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Tayler’s Gift for Mamama is Awesome!

(we used a beginner paint set ……and I hovered a whole lot…. but she did 95% on her own!)

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Tayler’s ‘Mermaids in the Sea’ for Mommy

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Noah’s Graduation Gifts

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Our Graduation Ceremony

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May Lesson Plans

2013-2014

Preschool graduation for my sweet little boy is here, and with this last lesson plan of the year, the goal is to make closing memories, and to celebrate with exceeding joy all through our very last month of preschool together. Its been 3 AMAZING years recording Noah, Tayler, and Faith’s preschool experience right here with you. Its been lots of lesson plan writing too, and though the plans may change some next year in Kinder, I would like to continue sharing through our next season of homeschooling as God leads. I will also make sure to blog about our summer adventures and my latest various ruminations. Have a beautiful summer! 

Bible Theme: I have Joy

Preschool Fun Themes: Bugs and Butterflies

Mother Study:

Before teaching your children, enrich yourself on the topic of Biblical joy with Charles Spurgeon’s sermon: The Joy of the Lord, the Strength of His People

Special Dates:

SHARING Share favorite preschool memories through the years in pictures, and rejoice together in God’s goodness in all our accomplishments.

MOTHERS DAY TEA PARTY Celebrate moms and grandmas at our special annual Mothers Day tea party.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH Reach out to our fave neighbors this Mothers Day with extra treats from the Tea Party.

GRADUATION CEREMONY Bless and pray over the futures of our little graduates as they head into kindergarten.

Bible Stories:

The Children’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos

Chapters 22-40 in NT

Memory Verses:

Review previous years verses: “My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him. ” Psalms 28:7

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

New Verse: Numbers 6:24-26 – The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Classical Art Study:

Choose from hundreds of Mother and Child Paintings here.

Hymns:

To God Be the Glory

MP3   Sheet Music

Blessed Assurance

MP3 and lyrics

Poetry and Recitation:

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Handwriting:

The children will practice printing their memory verse and poem.

Reading:

Materials:  printed scripture verse, loose letters, word cards for “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly like an eagle.”

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Proverbs 23:4-5 

Do not wear yourself out trying to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly like an eagle.

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Reading Lessons:
“Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly like an eagle.”

1. Write one word from the selection on the board

2. Discuss the word

3. Study it closely, then erase

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

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

6. Find the word in the printed fable

7. Repeat steps 1-6 with each word

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

Word Building Lessons (spelling):

Using loose letters, build words that rhyme with each of the words assigned for this month (ex: not–cot, dot, got, jot, let, pot, blot, plot, knot, trot, spot, etc.).

(3rd reading selection, lessons 5-8 in Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason)

History Books:

Literature:

Place books on hold on your library’s website today, or order from an online bookstore, so they will be ready for you on time!

Insect fables, like The Grasshopper and the Ants, in:

Math:

(Activities are from Kathy Richardson’s book: Developing Number Concepts)

Week 1  Line Puzzles

Have children guess how many unifix cubes will fit on each line and then check and see how close their guess was. Have children compare two of the puzzles and write a number sentence such as “5 is less than 7”.

Week 2 Comparing Length

Children choose two pieces of yarn and use one kind of manipulative (paper clips or unifix cubes or beans) to measure each one. Count how many objects fit lined up next to each string. Have children write a number sentence about the two string such as “6 is 2 more than 4”.

Week 3 Comparing Volume

Have children discover which of two different sized containers holds more manipulatives (of the same size), and which holds less. Write a number sentence. Extension: compare the volume of three containers and put them in order from most to least. Use smaller counters to work with larger numbers.

Week 4 Break Aparts

Make a long unifix cube train with a repeating color pattern such as red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow, etc. Break the long train into shorter trains of all the same length, such as 4 cubes each. Align the short trains vertically under a “4” numeral card. Do the same with several different numerals. An interesting and different pattern will develop for each numeral.

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Joyous Family Traditions, Projects, and Events:

Is your child graduating? Make sure to mark it and celebrate it with something heartfelt, ceremonial, and purposeful. We are going to have a Graduation Send Off, an identity affirming “rite of passage” type celebration to prophetically call our little ones into the next stage of their life, and to speak words of blessing over them. Graduation from preschool marks the beginning of an important training period for children–a 10 or so year period for training in Christian manhood or womanhood, to one day become a mature disciple of Jesus. A Rite of Passage: Training Your Son for Christian Manhood.

Philippians 4:13 Ring                              Spinner Ring Silver Philippians 4:13 rings

We love celebrating Mothers Day with a Tea Party, and this year it will be grain free.

Seven Layer Bars

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Lemon Curd Bars

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Yummy grain free sandwich bread to make tea sandwiches

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Make Sculpey Clay Keepsake Lambs to memorialize our sweet preschool years as “Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs”

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Butterfly finger puppet using items collected from a nature walk

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Giant Joyous Bubbles!

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Water play brings so much joy to children!

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Joyful Cooking Project: Healthy Paleo Jello Shapes

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Memorial Day treat?

Berry Bliss Rocket Popsicles | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

 

 

 

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Painting the Windows Could Be Fun!

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Drawing Lesson

Nature Study:

Catch a butterfly, a dragonfly, or make a worm farm. Look for insect eggs, such as ladybugs or butterflies, on the underside of leaves. Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed, ladybugs lay on plants that have aphids. Consider planting  a butterfly garden so that butterflies will come to you, and so that you can study their life cycle with your children in subsequent years.

 

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Our First Few Days of School

It has been a beautiful beginning to the school year here at Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs! We are learning that God knows all his sheep by name, that our Creator knows us even before He formed us in the womb, and that we are so special because we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God our Maker. Our “I am Special/ I am a Child of God” theme for September helps to get the school year started with the important focus of viewing ourselves through God’s eyes. It is a well timed message. As homeschool starts up this year with some new and higher expectations, Noah has been sending out a few distress signals. I don’t know if you can relate to hearing the “I can’t” statement from one or more of your kids? In order to excel this year, and not crumble under the pressure, our kids first need to be sure deep down that their inherent God given worth far exceeds any value we place on their academic accomplishment.

You Are Special by Max Lucado, a book I read to Noah recently, speaks right to the heart of children when they struggle to believe in themselves. Punchinello, a small wooden character in the story, learns that he needs to meet regularly with his Carver in order to have literal gray dots of negativity, doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure fall right off of him. Just like Punchinello, we too need to be reminded of how much we are cherished by our Maker, and that no matter how we feel one day, or what we can or can not accomplish in life, God really loves us all the same. And these tender reminders are the beautiful gifts of a real relationship with our Maker built on regular quiet times together. The book You Are Special is such a poignant reminder of a person’s true worth apart from all striving and accomplishment for our children………and definitely for us moms too.

So instead of whimpering at the thought of tackling a difficult task or lesson, Noah goes to have some alone time in his room talking to God about it until he feels confident enough to try again. Thankfully, Noah is learning at a young age how to meet with God in quiet time whenever he feels daunted, so that his mind can be renewed with God’s thoughts about who he is and what he can accomplish through Jesus’ strength in him. We don’t just wait for problems to surface before seeking the Lord though. We make sure to meet with God separately and all together each morning so that God may bring out the best in us all day long–whether it be confidence, kindness, obedience, patience, grateful attitudes, etc. I can attest that a day built around time with the Lord, is a day that does not unravel. I thank God that homeschool allows for such life changing lessons to occur any day, any time, and just as the Lord leads.

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At the beginning of the school year, I love figuring out a flow for the day in order to maximize our homeschooling hours. Here is a peek into what has been working for us in Little Lambs!

Our Tuesday/Thursday School Schedule

Before 8:30 am, we do our jobs (make bed, get dressed, etc.), have personal time with God, and eat breakfast.

8:30-9:00

Math Exploration Time–play with math materials on the carpet

9:00-9:45

Circle Time–Prayer, Worship, Bible Story and Coloring Binders

9:45-10:30

Centers Time–Math, Word or Sentence Building, Handwriting

10:30-11:00

Snack Time–Calendar, Poem, Memory Verse, Classical Art and Music Exposure

11:00-11:30

Outside Time

11:30-12:15

Group Project–“I am Special” Books, art projects, cooking projects, science experiments, community outreach projects

12:15-1:15

Lunch Time

1:15-2:00

Independent Reading Time

Reading Practice in Readers

Story Time

2:00-3:30

Quiet Time in Bedrooms–worship music, time alone with God, nap, independent emergent pretend play, read books, workbooks, play dough, cutting, coloring, etc.

Our Mon/Wed/Fri Non-School Day Schedule

We do Circle Time first thing after getting dressed, and then about 20 minutes of lessons either before or after breakfast. Lessons are varied– reading lessons from our Delightful Reading curriculum, math, handwriting, drawing, or fun stuff like dot to dot worksheets and dot painting. The rest of the morning Noah and Faith play at home and help out with chores (like sorting and putting away laundry), or we go out to run errands, play in nature, or go somewhere fun. Our afternoons follow the same schedule as school days.

First Day Back to Homeschool Pic

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Faith’s First Year of Preschool, 2 years & 10 months–Bold and Confident!

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Handwriting Lessons

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Our first handwriting word of the year

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Transferring our writing to paper

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Wow, perfection!!

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Take a Picture of Me Too Mommy

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Math Lessons

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Bible Lessons

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So proud of Noah’s Bible story coloring work!

His narration (drawn) while listening to “Adam and Eve Disobey God” surprised me. My little boy never draws pictures! His drawing, or lack of, has actually been disconcerting enough that I took it to God in prayer–“please help Noah to draw!”. Praise God for caring about all the little things!

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Our Personalized Memory Verse Box from Gifts and Talents at Etsy

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Calendar Girl

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So Exciting, Tayler Can Ride a Bike Now Too!

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Working Hard on Our “I am Special” Books

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The Highlight of My Week

Noah started dusting the house with his doggie washcloth, even removing and replacing items off of furniture in order to clean the surface. He told me, “we need to help you dust mommy because you don’t do it that much.” Ha!! (How did he know?) Then he vacuumed the living room and said, “Is there anything else I can do for you mommy?” Four days away from my due date, I couldn’t have been more thankful. Doesn’t God use our children to minister to us? Just when I was silently feeling sorry for myself because of my workload at 9 months pregnant, God turns my little boy into an angel sent to encourage me. With his confident accomplishments in school lessons, kindness, and Godly servant attitude, I couldn’t have been prouder of Noah from morning until night that whole day. I love you so much Noah!!!

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A Year and a Day in the Life of Little Lambs

One more week and we are out of school for the summer, so its time to look back and celebrate the memories of our 2012-2013 school year! Praise God for all He has done this year!!!

A Year at Little Lambs

I just made a Little Lambs 2012-2013 Yearbook as a family keepsake to memorialize all the the precious and amazing moments we experienced this year (Tayler has her own special version too). I love the way it turned out and I would love for you to see it!

There are a few links to follow on the Shutterfly site in order to view our photo book in full screen (which is important because some of the print is very small). You can preview the pages full screen by going to “order” or “save to my account”. Here are all the steps:

  • Click “view photo book”, click “order” or “save” to account (at which point you may need to set up a Shutterfly account if you don’t have one), click “preview photo book” (upper right), click “preview” (upper left), click “full screen” (upper right).

If you like our yearbook, or you have been following along with our monthly themes at home, you have my glad permission to save our photo book to your account and use it, modify it, and make it a yearbook for your own children. It’ll save you so much work just to pop your own pictures into my layouts!

2012-2013 Yearbook

And since I never shared last years cute yearbook on my blog, here it is:

2011-2012 Yearbook

A Day at Little Lambs

I thought that some of you might also be curious what an average day at Little Lambs looks like, and so I recorded “A Day at School” for you. Its actually a few different days done as one because it was hard to get it done all in one day. You will see everything from an adorable clip of Faith reciting her memory verse to a clip showing the drudgery and frustration of using readers for decoding practice (I say drudgery because the kids do not look forward to reading. I admit that I have knowingly deviated from Charlotte Mason methods for reading this year, and now I can pretty much say that she was right all along–readers are drudgery, but I also keep in mind that the kids were young for reading instruction this year). I have never made an imovie before, so you can just smile while you watch my first attempt.

Noah 4 yrs, Tayler 4 yrs, and Faith 2 yrs

Ok, now I am going to go take a long nap because that all was a lot of work. 🙂 But no, actually we are going camping this weekend, so I will have to catch up on my sleep there…… (Ha!). 🙂

Silly Times

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Sweet Times

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Working on 4 Letter Words Now

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Building Tub from Grub

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Getting Silly at Math Time

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Praise Time with Instruments

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All About Me

All Good Things Are Inspired By God

We had our last day of All About Me theme at school today and we couldn’t be prouder of our little one’s accomplishments. From name writing to memory verses to poem memorization to singing hymns to sounding out words and building words–it all happened this month!!! The day Noah just chimed right in with me on our You Are Very Special poem blessed me. The day Miss Sheila, AKA Mamama (Tayler’s grandma), was very impressed by all the kindergarten level work that Tayler can do at Centers encouraged me. The way that David has matured in multiple ways seemingly overnight has blown me away. Plus, we just had SO much fun running through the trees, cooking pancakes, painting and drawing ourselves, and sharing the ways that we are special with each other! Thank you God for all that you did in September!!! All good things in Little Lambs are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

My Starlight, Starbright

Miss Sheila, Miss Afton, and I took the opportunity to bless our children in Circle time like Jesus did in the Bible story “Jesus Blesses the Children”. We laid hands on them and spoke blessings for them to grow in wisdom and stature with man and God, to learn knowledge, to enter their prophetic destinies, to shine like stars in the universe holding out the Word of Life. Tayler’s eyes sparkled after her blessing and she declared, “I am a star!” I reminded her that I called her my star student last year in Little Lambs and she nodded in recollection. It was a shining moment.

Honestly, my Little Star has been a little dim these last few weeks, as we have been going through a lot of testing and sorting out why we need to obey Miss Lynn. It even started to feel like it was a test to prove the very depths of our love. I knew that a deeper understanding of our relationship was dawning inside her as she asked me some hard questions. “Why do you need to punish me?” she asked one day on time out. I love you and want you to be a sweet, obedient girl. “Why can’t I ask why?” she asked, always with very squinty eyes. Some things require simple obedience without asking why. “But my mommy doesn’t do that”, “But my mamama lets me writes “r’s” from the bottom up”, and other “buts” were daily challenges. I kept helping her to recall a past memory verse, “Obey your parents and teachers in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1”. She was also questioning my love because she mistakenly thought that those who love her don’t punish her. I am punishing you because I love you, its my job to train you to be obedient and if I don’t, I am not loving you. The Bible says that God punishes those He loves too.

After a couple weeks going on like this, the battle in the spirit for her heart was heating up, and I was feeling worn. Actually, what I kept seeing was my own face in the mirror. I knew some of her behaviors were bothering me because they were mirroring something still ugly in myself. Tayler’s strong side was revealing a struggle for power within myself. I kept thinking, this wouldn’t even phase Miss Cherie, calm and cool, able to just smile through her way through a 3 year old telling her what to do!! Well just when you are on the verge of exhaustion, and after a weekend of praying on it, God always comes in to the rescue. This week was a whirlwind of accomplishment, and God brought opportunity for Tayler to remember that she is a star, that she is loved and has purpose. And after Circle time she burst out, “I LOVE YOU Miss Lynn!” What a gift it is to shepherd and speak blessings over the lives of these precious Little Lambs.

Tayler Shining!

Tayler shocked us all by whipping her name out in seconds with no help, and no visual example to reference. Way to go Tay Tay!

100% on My Own!

Mamama (and the Kids) Liked Our Math This Week

Click on the picture to read the instructions on the index cards.

Calendar Time!

Checking Out Our One of a Kind Fingerprints Under a Magnifying Glass

Thats Me–the Abominable Snowman!

Science: Measuring, weighing, and comparing our bodies. Good job Tayler tracing Miss Lynn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Job in School Today Mamama!

Self Portraits for our Portfolios

All good things are inspired by God! We share freely here to bless and encourage you with all that He has given us. Thank you for sharing our Jesus’ Precious Little Lambs site with those whom the Holy Spirit nudges you to.

“Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8

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I am a Child of God

Inordinately Blessed

God’s children are blessed. How could we not be? Those in the family of God have the King for a daddy! God blessings are like living in a happily ever after story. He loves us all so wildly! Sometimes His goodness to me just seems too good to be true, and the more I look for His blessings, the more I see them. When we count our blessings, and write them down, I think it helps us realize how much God does for us. It seems that the more we realize what He has done, the more He does………or perhaps its that our eyes are more open to see it all. Being in a royal family is living blessed for sure! Let’s look back at this past season and count our blessings together. What are your recent blessings?

        My Summer Blessings

  • Discovering Charlotte Mason
  • A clear vision for all our homeschooling years ahead
  • My dad miraculously healed of cancer
  • My best friend Danielle getting pregnant
  • My friend Mary deciding to homeschool
  • A new niece or nephew on the way
  • Answered prayer for more true friendships
  • The bliss of creation revealed through several glorious summertime nature experiences
  • This blog helping other moms
  • New furniture in the house
  • The calling to worship rekindled
  • Yummy gluten free recipes that improve my health
  • Being with my little ones every moment

What Does Your Name Mean?

Its profound how God moves through our Little Lambs masterplan of themes even in the hearts of grown ups! We have been focusing on how special our children’s names are at school, and God in His all encompassing goodness, is blessing me with more insight into the significance of my own name as well. I recently experienced a sudden recollection of various meaningful spiritual experiences and visions from my past. It felt like an unveiling of His plans for me that were formed before the foundations of the earth. A vision of me standing under a heavenly waterfall, Paul’s words “I am being poured out like a drink offering” seared into my heart, never ending worship like “times of refreshing in His presence”…….. All these seemingly isolated, disconnected, and forgotten snippets of long ago holy moments were connected in one recent revelational moment. All along these moments were Him pointing me towards my calling. Each has been a clue to my calling, a piece of the puzzle. The coolest part is finally realizing that who I am has been whispered all along in the meaning of my name. So what does my name mean? Lynn: refreshing, waterfall, pool of water. Some say coincidence, some say destiny, some say prophetic. Its hard to explain the prophetic, easier to feel it. Its like the handwriting has always been on the wall, but it was written in invisible lemon juice ink, which can only revealed by the heat of a Light source.

Think about how your name, and your kids names, can be like destiny. In the Old Testament, names were a huge deal. When a child was named, they were given their identity. It was a prophetic declaration of the destiny of the child. Abraham, father of multitudes; Adam, man; Moses, drawn out of the water. Many parents feel this important truth instinctually when selecting a name for a new baby: my child’s name must mean something noble or beautiful or important! By the power of God, we can each live up to the meaning of our own name. God has a special calling on each of our lives. Most importantly, thank God that the name of Jesus is over all who believe, and being one with Christ is the most beautiful calling of all!

Noah Means Peace and Comfort

Noah writes his name 88% on his own 🙂

Tayler Moves Past Scribbling

Our First Representational Piece of Art at Little Lambs!

Did You Know? The way children draw provides clues into their cognitive, physical and emotional development. Most preschool children’s drawing follows a certain pattern or stages; understanding these stages helps you with ideas about how to encourage her love and interest for art.

Miss Cherie’s ‘All About Me’ Fun Project

First, we traced Tayler’s dolly per Tayler’s request.

Next, we traced all the kids on the driveway using sidewalk chalk.

Faithy wanted a turn too.

Then we painted clothing on each person with sidewalk paint– a mixture of baking soda, cornstarch and food dye. Then everyone got to spray themselves “alive” with vinegar that made the paint bubble up. This reminded us of how God created each of us and then brought us to life.

Big ones help little ones

Faith waits patiently during activities like this one at school, but after everyone has had their turn, she knows it is Faithy’s turn! Tayler helps Fatih since she can’t work a spray bottle yet. Older kids helping younger kids is such an important part of developing into maturity, forming Godly character, and receiving a solid education too!

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“b” is for beautiful babies

To Tayler, David, Noah, and Cole & Madelyn too,

Our school year is already coming to a close in a few weeks, and what sweet memories my heart will always hold of our very first year of school. I am a little choked up saying goodbye to our first year, to little babes in their first school experience, but thank God, there are many more years to come. Is there anything in the world more precious than teaching 3 year olds? I can not imagine anywhere else I would rather be, or doing anything else in the world, than teaching your hearts. My dearest memories this year are with you and because of you. Your presence has been like sunshine in my home, your innocence making our days so bright, as we together opened ourselves up to the light of the Son. To witness your growth has been like beholding a continuously unfolding miracle. Your transformation more magnificent to watch than the emerging of a butterfly from a chrysalis. Little wings unfurling for the very first time; destinations unknown, but no matter, because wings will surely take you to the heavens. With what you accomplished this year, I stand amazed. It blows me away that at a preschool, most of you would have been in the 2 year olds class this year. I know of no 2’s class learning all that we did this year. I know that these memories will be so dim, barely remembered or not at all, when you are grown, but I believe that the mark of eternity has been indelibly placed upon you. Now my insides are screaming, “Don’t grow up!!!” I absolutely cherish your lingering baby fat, mispronounced words, and babyish ways. Yet something even stronger in me yearns to see the way God will pour out His glory in your life as you grow. A yearning that pulls so hard I feel all turned inside out. Noah, you are the apple of my eye, you made me a mommy, and my heart is cut in covenant with yours.

May all your days be this bright.

I love you, Miss Lynn

The Lord makes His face shine upon you. Numbers 6:25

Your light shall break forth like the morning. Isaiah 58:8

Arise! Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is upon you. Isaiah 60:1

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19

To Miss Cherie,

How can I thank you enough for being constantly present to share in the daily joys and miracles of our schooldays? How can I thank you enough for loyaly remaining through frustrations, weariness, and even occasional differing viewpoints? Our hearts beat the same as we share the insatiable desire to witness every precious moment of our young ones growing and learning. This journey would have been lonely without you friend, and entirely less encouraging without you to exchange ideas, stories, and dreams with on a daily basis. God has brought us together, equally passionate about homeschooling, and I pray that we will remain an unstoppable team united in our vision. You did not have to stay and help teach everyday, but you did, and I am so grateful.

To Miss Emily, Miss Sheila, Miss Carol, Miss Afton, Miriah, and all the Grandmas,

This would not have been possible without all of your love and support. We have done this together, and what an honor to be serving with such an incredible group of ladies. Thank you for loving our little ones so much, for all the kindness you have shown me, for humbly allowing God to form your very life. I pray you all are blessed in return a thousand fold over for the priceless things you have invested into our children all for the glory of the kingdom of God. If you want a heart that is totally given to your children, head over heels in love, keep homeschooling them. I know of no better way to lay down your life as a mother who wants to love and protect her children fiercely.

To Dean,

Thank you for being a dad who plays with his kids and is willing to answer a zillion questions. You were born to be a homeschool dad as you patiently explain and demonstrate your vast array of knowledge. You are so good at everything I am not, which assures me that our children will have diversified educations. I am thankful that you have seen the advantages of homeschool from day one as I eagerly shared every tidbit of information that I was discovering. Training up our own children will bring our family together intimately–no fragments. The sacrifice required will cause us to love more than we could have imagined as we learn to die to self together.

To My Heavenly Father,

My God, my God, what if you had not shown my spirit the possibilities of homeschool? I feel like we would have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. I would never have experienced the highs and lows that come from being acutely aware of how human I am in this experience, and how much I need you in an endeavour like this. I feel so alive, like you are allowing me to truly experience life, so that I can pass on what I learn to my own children. Every spiritual concept and thing worth learning is coming more alive to me as your Spirit shows me what I need to know…..simply because I accepted your call to teach my own children. While many people of the world go their whole life numbly engaged in unfulfilling careers, I feel extremely privileged and favored to be serving you in this exciting homeschooling adventure that fully awakens my senses. I feel fully awake while the rest of the world is sleeping. More fully aware of this life, your creation, your design for family, eternal things, motherhood, and your calling on me. Only you know the late nights and the giving of myself it takes to homeschool my children. You have been there in the wee hours of the morning, you have been there when no one else was…..where can I go from your Spirit?, where can I flee from your presence?…..If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139). So many years ago, before I was the least bit interested in homeschooling, I stumbled on a homeschooling moms blog that tore me up inside for the way she understood her calling of motherhood and spoke with an intense love for her children such as I have never seen. All I knew is that I wanted that kind of passionate heart, and now I am humbled to see how You are beginning to create that kind of heart in me. That makes me want to fall at Your feet and praise you endlessly for Your love for me. Why do you love me so much?! I want to tell the world of your goodness to me, my piece of heaven on earth.

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Giving God the Glory

February 2012 Reflection:

Love and Friendship

I want to testify to the work of God in my Little Lamb this past month to give God the glory. The whole reason we are homeschooling, even starting up our own school, is to bring God glory. I had the thought today that if we keep stories of His goodness to ourselves, we contain his glory; if we speak out, we unleash it. So here are my stories of love and friendship incarnate– to encourage you on your path and glorify God. I think the end of each month marks a good time to share what the Lord has done in Little Lambs. We would love to hear your stories too!!

Where friendship seemed to blossom the most this month for us was between brother and sister. Sister has now become interchangeable with friend, and for the first time ever Noah and Faith are self declared “friends”. Noah, not the most naturally affectionate guy, has surprised us this month with a new tenderness. Watching Noah and Faith play, I have enjoyed many “awwww” moments while simultaneously whispering “Thank you God!!” One day I couldn’t help but smile as Noah leaned down to Faith’s level and asked so sweetly over and over again, “Will you be my friend?” Today I overheard him murmur in his funny 3 year old language, “I can’t play because my friend is gone,” when Faith had wandered into the other room. I call them two peas in a pod now because they seek each other out and want to be doing the same thing–like run around in jubilant circles while eating peas out of a snack cup. I have seen Noah’s patience, respectful tone, and delightfully cute “parentese” (especially when I am not around) increase this month with Faith. And Faith just digs her brother and pretty much copies everything he does.

We have the privilege of babysitting Tayler outside of school sometimes, and I have witnessed the most precious exchanges between two preschool friends that I have ever heard. Last week, Tayler goes into Noah’s room with him to help him put on his shoes and they come out holding hands and smiling precociously. I needed a picture. The other day I had to whip out the video camera because “book time” before nap was just too sweet. On their own, Noah and Tayler decided to read to each other sitting on the couch, holding up the pictures for each other, and asking questions about the story just like a mommy would. Then Tayler goes and gets Noah her blanket and stuffed animal and you could see the warmness of being loved by a friend on Noah’s face as he wrapped up in Tayler’s precious lovies. It was funny because Tayler’s original intent was for them to share the blanket, but she looked on happily as Noah innocently kept it all to himself. Then a few minutes later, she announced matter of fact, “I am cold,” and I saw the need for my interception. “Noah, Taaayyyler is cooold,” saying it real slow to let it sink into his boyish mind……”Is there something you could do?” Ah! Success! Noah offered Tayler to use his beloved brown blanket that he usually never shares. Ok, so he told her where to go get it from instead of hopping up, but we can work on chivalry later. 😉

 During the month of February there was a special anointing, or you could say an open window, or a stirring in the area of love and friendship…..and I saw it happen here with my own eyes. We know that God works in seasons and I believe our Little Lambs master plan of themes is a God given, prayer birthed, marking of seasons that he desires to work through. Every month we put our faith out there believing that our children will grow in the themes of the month and God meets our demand (a request made with proper authority). As much as we request, he fulfills, and then some. I made some petitions in the area of love and fully expected some results, because after all, God has proved that He is intimately involved in Little Lambs, so why wouldn’t He want to respond to what He Himself has already put in motion? He responded to my request for growth in love and friendship. However, in retrospect I feel that there is more that God wants to do in us each and every month, but that it depends on the demand we place on the anointing. For example, my prayers, and the ways I stepped out in faith this past month, may have fallen somewhat short of what He was offering.  In the story of the widows olive oil in 2 Kings 4, what if the widow had been able to bring more jars to keep the miraculous oil flowing? And what if I had put more vessels of faith, or prayers, out? What if I had asked for more? Yes, God does abundantly above what we ask for, but our level of faith, the number of jars we put out, also determines what is given. So in the future, I know that I can and should believe for more.

How can we believe for more both individually and together as a group?

What are you personally expecting in March as we enter a new theme surrounding the work of the Holy Spirit and Easter?

 

Thank you Lord for answered prayers in February. You astound me.

1 Cor 1:31 (NKJ) …As it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

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December Memories

By Miss Lynn…. logged in as Emily (whoops)

Just to reflect on our first month of school in December……I feel blessed for so many reasons.

I was amazed that Noah fully committed his memory verse to memory. This was a first time milestone for him that I had been hoping for for the last year or so. I was so proud that my not yet three year old could memorize scripture! Another very special first time milestone was him singing with me. He would actually sing Away In a Manger with me–even asked to do it with me one night–in his sweet little off key voice. We sang it cuddling in his bed at night, sitting at the kitchen table, or the warmest memory, sitting in front of the Christmas tree. It was just about one of the sweetest things I have experienced as a mom. And finally, one more reason I was so pleased; Noah started counting to 10! Woo-hoo! You have no idea how long we have been working on counting and yet Noah could only count to two or three at the most. I was baffled because it seemed like all of his other same aged friends were counting to 10 a long time ago. I believe all of our past counting work contributed to his success, but I believe the final push was when he heard Cole count to 10 several times over the course of the month. He would always perk up and tune in when Cole would count for me, and I just knew it was going to spur Noah to want to do the same. It amuses me how a little person can sometimes more successfully teach my child something more than his own mommy can. What a victorious month!! Singing, counting, and memorizing in just one month! Wow, I can’t wait to see what else is in store as time goes by.

Another reason I feel blessed is because one night last month, it fully dawned on me how much is occurring through Jesus’ Little Lambs, and I was amazed and humbled. I realized how much I have to depend on Jesus to make school happen. Where does all this motivation come from to have a school? Its overwhelming when thinking about what it takes to make it all happen. I know that I simply could not do this on my own and so I give credit for this miracle to Jesus, my Savior. Its Him who gives all of us the oodles of motivation, the heart, the know-how, the resources–everything!  To me its a miracle that……. we have a game plan and that the plan is being effectively communicated; we have found mom friends who want to do school together; I have had the time and energy to clean house for school; we are learning to research, plan, prepare, and set up loads of learning activities; we made our own blog; we patiently and ceaselessly teach wonderful but sometimes stubborn and noncomplying 3 year olds; we still spend time with family and husbands; we let God guide and inspire our school plans through prayer and Bible study; we behold God breathing life into what began as just a small idea between two friends.   Who could have orchestrated something this complex but God?!

Thank you Lord for all the blessings! We have so much to be thankful for! How about you guys? What are you thankful for?

Cole feeding baby Jesus (Chesus).        Lots of Moms join us for Christmas time. Say Chesus!

It doesn’t get any sweeter than this.


Its snowing!

Making Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments.

Glittered Pinecones Art Project

Noah loved using Tongs! Noah and Cole on the 2nd day of school.


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