Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

December Lesson Plans

 

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

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Fun Theme: Christmas

Seasonal Theme: Winter

Character/Habit: Obedience, Worship

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 (7) 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).

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)

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  • 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 obedience this month, and the kids prayers too.
  • Use Instructions in Righteousness to help identify areas of persistant sin/disobedience (and its suggestions for rewards and punishments).

Sharing Time:

  • Share personal stories of experience with obedience or disobedience.
  • What are you tempted to disobey about? Ask God for help together.
  • Share about our most memorable personal encounters with God in worship.

Discussion Time:

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

Obedience defined: Responding to the wishes of God, parents, and others in authority.

  • 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:
  • Naughty Nellie
  • Dr. Johnson and His Father
  • Over in the Meadow
  • The Grizzly Bear and Her Cubs
  • Shining for Jesus
  • “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17) Sometimes the problem is not in what we do, but in what don’t do.
  • 2 Cor. 10:5 Even our thoughts need to be obedient.

 

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 Decembers:

  • “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
  • “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.’ ” Ephesians 6:1-3
  • “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
  • Stewardship Street verses

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

The Whole Duty of Children

A child should always say what’s true
 And speak when he is spoken to,
 And behave mannerly at table;
 At least as far as he is able.

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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 “Christmas” themed picture books in “Literature Read Alouds” of previous December lesson plans.

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A Tree for Peter is a favorite Christmas read aloud here!

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

Games:

  • Telling Time tell time with clock cards, clock face and hands print out
  • Money set out an amount of money in quarters, have Faith 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)
  • 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.

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:

Spanish class with Miss Maria

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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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We are really excited to do a Christmas Caroling Party with a group of neighbors and friends this year to teach our kids to be salt and light in our neighborhoods. Families attending are praying Isaiah 61:1-4 over each other, practicing a list of Christmas hymns at home, and then gathering to mingle over treats and hot drinks (with neighbors too) after caroling door to door. God has definitely grown this little family tradition! I am thrilled!!

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2016

Caroling in the Neighborhood

2015

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2014

We have been doing a Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Party (usually just us) each year.

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

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Make baby Jesus a blanket (still trying to do this after 5 years now! Haha)

Have kids make a Christmas Wish List as a keepsake

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

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Have a neighbor over for Christmas tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shepherds Pouches have been a meaningful way to help our kids earn money for a Samaritans Purse catalog gift.

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

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Field trips:

Ice skating

Movie: The Star

Live nativity in Redwood City

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Three Christmases ago Dean and I gave our kids knights and horses play figures and a wooden castle; I also blogged to parents about giving children imagination expanding gifts. I explained, “God is calling our boys to become the next ‘mighty men’, our girls the next ‘mighty women’, and it all begins in the precious imagination of a little child.” I was led on that very special Christmas to include personal heroic titles and poems, tokens of love that the children still cherish. We introduced the theme of royalty, knights, and chivalry along with the idea of being Ephesians 6:10-20 spiritual warriors. In our hearts we saw little Noah taking the first step towards knighthood for the King; he was now the Lord’s “page”. Over the years, the warrior theme has come alive in the imaginations of the children (definitely Faith too!) as they have played and played knights, while receiving a complimentary education that values discipline and duty, honor and virtue.

We were so excited to reach the Middle Ages period this year in history and experience all of the wonderful stories and ideas that bring it to life. It seems fitting that this year’s Christmas gifts would be a continuation of the knight theme that the Lord gave us originally. I hope to see our first little page ready to be promoted into a squire, ready for all the training that the Lord has in store for a boy maturing and growing into His kingdom calling. And Lord willing, some long awaited grand day there will be, The Accolade, his knighthood ceremony.

We are so excited for the gifts God has for all three kiddos this Christmas!

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

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~Noah~

Rescuer, Defender, Protector

God’s “Knight in Shining Armor”

Be steadfast, my boy, when you’re tempted,
To do what you know to be right.
Stand firm by the colors of manhood,
And you will o’ercome in the fight.

Knight’s tabard

Basic Tabard, Blue and White

Country peasant dress, comfortable enough for girl sword play

Velvet Cloaks

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Faith’s Sword

Small Sword, 60cm

Daniel’s Sword

Viking Short Sword, 60cm

Noah’s Sword

Squire Medium Sword, 85cm

Kids plan to paint their own wood shields

Sword belt for all their accoutrements

Money bag/Sword Holder

Merchant Purse, RedRight Hand Sword Frog, Brown

Leather Crowns for Princes and Princesses

‘The Accolade’ poster

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Sword for Sir Dean the Dependable

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Book for daddies training up little knights

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Parchment paper

7" x 10" Hand Finished Parchment Paper

Gold leaf

Gold Leaf Sheets 999/1000 Real Gold : 100 Gold Leaf Sheets

Calligraphy brush pens

Wax seal set

Mortar and pestle

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September and October Pictures

1st Day of School

Noah 3rd grade

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Faith 1st grade

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Daniel Preschool

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Our 2016-2017 Yearbook was a gift on the first day of school

Faithy’s new His Story book (for drawn narrations); the cover displays her pioneering spirit

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Yay! A Stewardship Street for Faith!!

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Learning to write my name for the first time

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Pumpkin Patch

Having a lot of fun at the care home with Helen and the ladies

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School time, and Faithy is the teacher, so pay attention boys!

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The Ohlone Cultural Festival; Faith ♥’s Native Americans

We learned about the artist Giotto, read A Boy Named Giotto, made our own paints like he did, and then painted on rocks, like he did. Super fun project for everyone.

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A multiplication pattern

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We ♥ mud We ♥ mud We ♥ mud

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Faith has really enjoyed writing and painting her own fairy tale story into a blank book (throughout kindergarten, and still finishing up)

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Noah (still) thinking he might want to be a train driver someday

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Warrior ready for his journey (that’s a map on his back)

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Awwww

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Fall Feast with friends (Mom’s Night)

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Art time while mommy reads history

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Its fun to be in preschool

Noah and Faith having a sweet picnic date for two by the water fountain

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Daniel using the Prayer Wall in morning devotions

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Nature Journaling at the park every week

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Nature Park Picnics are so peaceful

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A Leaf Scavenger Hunt got the kids adrenaline going one day (they think a stranger left the letter in the nature park mailbox, shhh)

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An Indian party for my precious girl

Faith's 7th bday

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Spanish class with Miss Maria

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Viking Coins came out cool

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Our Medieval Iluminated Letters

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Making stories to fit pictures in a book with no words was really fun for the kids (Journey and Quest by Aaron Becker)

Growing in our confidence found in Christ vs. a false confidence found in the things of this world. Character lessons are always my favorite part of school!

Queen of Laundry

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Palm Springs with Grandma XO

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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.

Image result for pathway readersImage result for lauri alphabet puzzle

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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:

Image result for visits to Central and south america simply charlotteImage result for material world

 

 

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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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Image result for al abacus math card games

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! 🙂

Image result for the sound of musicImage result for heidi shirley templeImage result for a dolphin tale

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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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October Lesson Plans

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

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

Seasonal Theme: Fall, Scarecrows

Character/Habit: Confidence

Bible: James

History/Geography: Middle Ages/Australia

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

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture study:

Giotto

Music Study:

Orchestra Basics

Poetry Study:

Favorite Poems Old and New

 

Book list:

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

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Character/Habit Development:

Image result for miller missionary series

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  • Teach Faith, and review with Noah, the Stewardship Street memory verses that go with each of the 7 categories of savings, Have children take a walk around the house each morning to observe what needs to be done and then select their own jobs on the I Can Serve board. Pay Noah (8) and Faith (6) in dimes once a week; provide coaching as needed for budgeting.
  • Have Noah and Faith study and write out verses from their Child Training and Virtue Training Bibles during morning devotions
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete workbook page on Confidence in their Character Companion workbook, and together, read the suggested Miller Family stories that exemplify the trait
  • Use the stories and activities from various character development resources (like those pictured in my annual curriculum post) during circle time

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Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

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

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

Prayer TimeIMG_0172

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

Sharing Time:

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

Discussion Time:

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

Confidence:

Courage (Review):

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

Imagination (Review):

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

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

Bible/Devotions:

  • Early Morning: Personal time: read in a variety of Bibles and Bible Storybooks, use prayer journals and practice listening for God’s voice, study in the Child Training Bible and Virtue Training Bible, do personal prayer and worship.  Together time: worship acapella and with guitar, pray with (or without) the prayer wall, narrate Bible readings (per curriculum).
  • Night: Family Bible study led by daddy

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Thank you for creation

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Memory Verses:

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

Also we will review all verses from previous Octobers:

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

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 Hymns:

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Poetry Recitation:

St. Patrick’s Prayer (400)

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

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

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Handwriting:

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

 

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Spelling/Language/Story Crafting:

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For kindergarten through second grade

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

For 3rd Grade and up

Image result for spelling wisdom

For 3rd Grade and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Image result for story starters karen

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Reading:

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

Image result for pathway readersImage result for lauri alphabet puzzle

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Vocabulary:

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

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

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Literature Read Alouds:

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

Image result for narnia set

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

History and Geography:

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

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History Curriculum Manual and Spine:

Image result for a castle with many rooms

Living Book List:

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

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Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

Image result for visits to Central and south america simply charlotteImage result for material world

 

 

Image result for hungry planet book

 

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Living Book List:

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

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Math:

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Image result for al abacus math card games

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

Daniels Lessons: Spend a few minutes once a week using “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Count blueberries and grapes and other food at the table often.

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

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

Faith’s Lessons:

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

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

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Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

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

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Videos:

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

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Traditions and Fun Friday Projects:

Watercolor resist leaves, crayon rubbings, or charcoal rubbings

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

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

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Learn how to make something out of stained glass scraps

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

Make and Deliver Fall Blessings as an outreach to neighbors

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Dress Up and Play Heroes

Collect Signs of Fall

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Arrange a Community Helper Fieldtrip

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

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Fieldtrips:

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

 

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Summer Pics

Daddy teaching Noah how to change a tire

Daniel learns his alphabet this summer!

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Noah’s Dream Project to Own and Repaint Eva’s Barbie Car Finally Comes True

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Faith Learning to Cook from her Paleo Cookbook

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Happy 4th Cowgirl!

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Mommy and Faith’s Pooh Corner Figures

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Sweet Moments

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Our baby mantis growing up

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Our Resident Robin!

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Camping at Pantoll and My First Fire

Reading in a Suit and Galoshes

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Making School Bookshelves for Mommy

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Hartland Christian Summer Camp 2017

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A Very Very Meager Harvest from the Vegetable Garden this Year

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September Lesson Plans

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

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Welcome back to school!! We are so excited about this year!

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Fun Theme: Me and My Family

Seasonal Theme: Apples, Back to School

Character/Habit: Respectfulness

Bible: James

History/Geography: Middle Ages/Australia

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

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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Picture study:

Giotto

Music Study:

Orchestra Basics

Poetry Study:

Favorite Poems Old and New

 

Book list:

  • Art of the middle ages / Jennifer Olmsted
  • The orchestra / written by Mark Rubin
  • The story of the orchestra : listen while you learn about the instruments, the music, and the composers who wrote the music / Robert Levine
  • A boy named Giotto / Paolo Guarnieri ; pictures by Bimba Landmann ; translated by Jonathan Galassi
  • Giotto / written and illustrated by Mike Venezia
  • Signs & symbols in Christian art : with illustrations from paintings of the Renaissance / by George Ferguson
  • Discovering great artists : hands-on art for children in the styles of the great masters / by Kohl, MaryAnn F.
  • Giotto / by Flores D’Arcais, Francesca
  • Meet the Orchestra / by Hayes, Anne
  • Music of the Middle Ages Gregorian Chant / Hamburg
  • Giotto Tended the Sheep / by Opal Wheeler

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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 Bible and Virtue Training Bible during morning devotions
  • Read Christian Heroes Then and Now as family read aloud before bed along with family Bible time
  • Have Noah and Faith complete workbook page on Respectfulness in Character Companion, and together, read the suggested Miller stories that exemplify the trait
  • Use the stories and activities from Laying Down the Rails for Children for the habit of the month during circle time

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Circle Time/Family Time:

Blessing and Promise Time:

Acknowledge each child’s unique traits and giftings, what I see ahead for this school year and how God can use him/her, my confidence and the Lord’s in his/her ability to succeed in areas of previous struggle, and pray scriptural empowerment that specifically ministers to each need as I lay hands on them. “Then Jesus took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

Choral confession: 1 Peter 2:17 “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the King.”

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  • 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 respect this month, and the kids prayers for respect.

Sharing Time:

  • Bring something really cool to circle that God created, talk about respect for God’s creation
  • Bring something to circle that we are really proud of, talk about respect for ourselves- as ones who have been made in the image of God
  • Mommy share: Warm hearts and enjoy a sweet slideshow made by mommy with pictures that show many different ways that each child is special
  • Mommy Share: Put together a shoe box box of things that are very special to me and give insight into who I am as a person, and share about myself with your children. (a favorite toy or book from childhood, a cherished piece of jewelry, a piece of school work, something I made yourself, my prayer journal, etc.) Then have children try to do the same thing with their own shoe box of items at circle time on another day.
  • Family Share: Let each person in the family have a turn to sit in the middle of the circle to be complimented and encouraged by everyone else. Talk about respecting each other.

Discussion Time:

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

  • Review Pride/Humility: (from Kids of Integrity) As people, we tend to become proud of our accomplishments and abilities. In Jeremiah, wisdom, strength and wealth are listed as things we should not boast about. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” One of the best ways to stay humble is to remain focused on God’s greatness. He is so much wiser than us and so much stronger, and everything in the whole wide world is His! God is pleased when we fear (or respect) Him greatly (Psalm 147:10-11). When we recognize the magnitude of God’s holiness, power and love, and realize how imperfect, weak and unloving we are in comparison, it helps us to stay humble. Complimenting God & Pride Comes Before a Fall
  • Review Initiative from last September: Do you wait to be told to do something that you know needs to be done? Initiative is: doing the right thing without being told. Doing it before someone else does. Also, it can involve doing more than what you were told to do. Being the first one to do something good. Lack of initiative is assuming someone else will do it. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 Talk about what the children are doing to take initiative. (teach Daniel the Bible, teach Daniel how to do housework, check the job board, pray out first in prayer) Now what else could you work on taking more initiative? (introduce myself to people at church, look for ways to help around the house without being asked, be the first one to smile or say I love you, do my lessons before I am told to, start a friendship with someone new, find a way to earn some money, look for ways to help around the neighborhood or church)
    • Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
  • Review Respect: consideration for others; to think highly of; admiration for something or someone because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Reverence is profound respect with a spiritual connotation/feeling about it. Honor is showing high respect for someone in a tangible way that comes from the heart. Honor is about going our of our way to treat someone as special, rather than doing only what is expected.
  • Review our Family Rules of Respect poster (no talking back, no antagonizing, look at someone when they are talking to you, answer when spoken to, respecting other people’s wishes, use manners, carry groceries for mommy, opening doors for others, greet daddy when he comes home, letting sisters go ahead of you, not damaging household items on purpose, greet and visit with elders at a gathering, etc.)
  • To continue to provide living examples, list words and deeds said and done this month in our family that show disrespect and ones that show respect or honor.
  • Talk about God’s way of disciplining disrespect (emphasis on work vs. play), which is also our way. Psalm 107:11-12  “…for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.”
    • (from Kids of Integrity)Talk to your children about God’s heart of love and willingness to forgive them when they are sorry. Encourage your child with Isaiah 57:15: “For this is what the high and lofty One says – He who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’ ”Explain that when we are deeply sorry in our hearts, God is willing to forgive us and continue His friendship with us. Affirm that earthly parents are also pleased to hear their children repent when they have done wrong and are quick to forgive as God is.
  • Read the following verses: Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Leviticus 19:32 “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Romans 12:10 “…Honor one another above yourselves.”
    • Brainstorm ways to show respect and honor to girls, women, boys, and men. How about parents and grandparents? Also list ways to respect widows, the elderly, the younger, the weaker by serving them.
    • Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.”
  • The First of April at Hazel Dell (LDR)
  • Egg Toss
  • Mealtime Manners

  • If you tend to think of only yourself what will you do when someone accidentally bumps into you? (get angry, think they did it on purpose) When they break your toy? When they say something unkind? How would your responses be different in each situation if you tend to think of others?
  • The Little Mother
  • Explain how learning about other cultures has helped increase our respect for other people groups around the world. Enjoy Wee Sing: Around the World during car rides.

 

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:

Isaiah 61:1-4

Also we will review all verses from previous Septembers:

  • Leviticus 19:32 “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32
  • “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
  • “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
  • “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ” Psalms 139:14
  • “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ” Jeremiah 1:5
  • Stewardship Street verses

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 Hymns:

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  • This is Our Father’s World
  • All Creatures of Our God and King
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God
  • Be Thou My Vision

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Poetry Recitation:

Review ‘My Shadow’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, and (for Daniel) revisit this sweet poem we did years ago in our 1st year of preschool:

https://jesuspreciouslittlelambs.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_6463.jpg?w=574&h=862

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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 start to practice his letters on our little black chalkboards from Handwriting without Tears

 

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Spelling/Language/Story Crafting:

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For kindergarten through second grade

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

For 3rd Grade and up

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For 3rd Grade and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noah and Faith will have fun with creative writing using these story starters.

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Reading:

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

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Vocabulary:

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

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

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Literature Read Alouds:

Also see “I am Special” themed picture books for Daniel in previous September lesson plans.

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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:

  • Castle / by David Macaula
  • A farm through time / illustrated by Eric Thomas ; written by Angela Wilkes
  • Saint Patrick : pioneer missionary to Ireland
  • The first book of the barbarian invaders, A. D. 373-511. Pictures by W. Kirtman Plummer
  • The barbarians; the story of the European tribes / by
  • Viking adventure / by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • The sword in the stone / by Grace Maccarone (reader)
  • King Arthur and his knights / by Mabel Louise Robinson
  • Illuminations / written and illustrated by Jonathan Hunt
  • The illuminated alphabet, by Theodore Menten
  • Arthur and the sword / by Sabuda, Robert.
  • The boy’s King Arthur; Sir Thomas Mallory’s history of King Arthur and his knights of the round table
  • Johann Gutenburg and the Amazing Printing Press / by Koscienlniak, Bruce
  • Life in a Medieval Abbey / by McAleavy, Tony
  • Marguerite Makes a Book / by Robertson, Bruce
  • Viking / by Margeson, Susan

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Geography Curriculum Manual, Spines, and Prayer Manual:

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Living Book List:

  • Top to Bottom Down Under / by Lewin, Ted
  • Koala Lou / by Fox, Mem
  • The Aboriginal Peoples of Australia / by Bartlett, Anne
  • Looking at maps and globes / by Carmen Bredeson
  • One wooly wombat / written by Rod Trinca and Kerry Argent
  • Australian animals / Caroline Arnold
  • Market! / Ted Lewin

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Math:

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

Daniels Lessons: Spend a few minutes once a week using “flashcards” with arrangements of items that can be counted (like toothpicks or buttons that can be grouped into two numbers upon closer inspection in order to quickly find the total). Count blueberries and grapes and other food at the table often.

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

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

Faith’s Lessons:

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

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

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Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

We will be meeting with Miss Maria and her family once a week to learn conversational Spanish through music and art! What a blessing!

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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:

Celebrate the first day of school! Show them how special this school year will be– as a new beginning, a fresh start– with a beautifully set breakfast table on the first morning of school. Set out any school supplies that can be given as gifts. Make a school year theme banner, and talk about goals and hopes and dreams for the year at dinner the night before with daddy. This is the first year that the kids keep telling me they are excited for school to start. Yay!

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Make a self portrait and/or fmaily portrait

Our very first self portraits (when we did homeschool with neighbors) and Noah’s portrait was barely a person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make an illuminated letter with copper foil or aluminum foil, and the book The Illuminated Alphabet

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Video: Explore a viking village

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Make viking treasure out of oven bake clay, use various objects to make imprints, and paint with metallic colors

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Paint/draw a picture of a viking ship

Make a scroll map of viking voyages

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Fieldtrips:

Apple Hill on or before Labor Day

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Four, Seven, and Nine are Simply Divine!

2017-2018 Curriculum Plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have often written about the loveliness of togetherness. In my post, Soul Filling Friendship, I encouraged, “As our children mature, we will have interesting and rich conversation with friends who truly love to talk about things that matter, and who love what we love…..As we lay down our lives to nurture our children, someday the friendships we have built with them will nurture us in return. Someday we will look into the eyes of our beloved children and realize that they have become our dearest friends.” True friendship is a most wonderful result of the togetherness we are creating in our homes day by day, the process beginning when our children are still young (and admittedly sometimes hard to be with). I recall the warm feeling of togetherness growing in my heart when I wrote my post Discipling our Children at HOME sweet HOME.  I gushed, “Home is where the heart is, and home is where we can best reach our children. It is our homes that give God the most undistracted access to our children’s hearts and minds. The home is a God designed dynamic learning environment for children. Therefore, we as a family commit to being at home, together, a lot, in order to build our home. We desire a slower paced environment and atmosphere in our home, where our children can soak and drink deeply of God, rather than us always rushing in and out, building up much of our lives outside of home, and separately.” Intimacy at home comes through many avenues, but I think doing school together provides families with one of the best bonding opportunities of all.

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

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

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

XOXOXO Lynn

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

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

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

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

History (20–30 min.)

Picture Study (10 min.)

Foreign Language (15 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

History (20–30 min.)

Music Study (10–15 min.)

Habits (10 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Poetry (5 min.)

Geography (10 min.)

Handicraft or Art (20–30 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Bible (20 min.)

Hymn Study (5 min.)

Shakespeare (20 min.)

Foreign Language (15–20 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

Scripture Memory (5 min.)

Bible (20 min.)

Nature Study (30 min.)

Habits (10 min.)

Literature (20–30 min.)

Math/Science/Language Arts per student

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My Precious Students

 

 

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

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Mother Study:

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

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

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

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Devotions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Literature:

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

Image result for narnia setImage result for CS Lewis letters to children

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

Image result for amazon robinhood audio david thornRelated image

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Math:

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

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

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

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History:

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

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

The Manual

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

The Spines

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

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

 

Image result for a castle with many roomsImage result for ESV study Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for all through the AgesImage result for truthquest middle ages

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Geography:

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

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

Image result for visits to Central and south america simply charlotteImage result for material worldImage result for hungry planet book

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Character Study:

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

Image result for missionary millersCharacter Companion for the Miller Family Series

YWAM Heroes books about missionaries are wonderful.

Image result for gladys aylward yWAMImage result for nate saint on a wing and a prayerImage result for jim elliot heroes then and now

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Habit Training:

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Nature Study:

 

 

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

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

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

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

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Handwriting:

 

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

Hymns in Prose Zaner Bloser Cursive

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

Here is a flashback!

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Spelling:

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

Learning how to spell and sound out

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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Vocabulary:

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

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

 

 

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

 

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Reading:

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

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

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Art Projects:

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Faithy’s Penguin Project from Preschool

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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Art Appreciation, Music, and Poetry:

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

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

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

A list of possible artists to study:

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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Image result for Pet of the Met by Lydia Freeman

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

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Handicrafts/Life Skills:

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

Here is a plethora of life skill ideas as well.

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Spanish:

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


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

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

1 Corinthians 1:31

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Wounds of a Friend

Dear Readers and Friends,

……May you be exhorted TODAY!
 
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
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Real friends tell us what we need to hear, not just what we like to hear. Compliments seem to be so easy to receive, but reproof never seems to feel very welcome. I think we tend to correct ourselves enough, and so we feel like we don’t need more from anyone else. However according to Proverbs 9:8, “reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” Ouch, that’s tough. I need to desire correction so much more than flattery!
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Are we willing to let friends speak hard to hear things? Do we have any friends who are willing to speak the truth in love to us? Sadly, those friends who speak “pretty words” and never the “painfully honest words” may actually be vain friends, there to get what they can out of the relationship, rather than true friends willing to say words that may wound, in hope that a friend may be restored in their path or relationship (nothing can be sweeter than this).
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“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6

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I pray that we realize who the honest friends in our lives are! I am thankful that God has been giving me friends who give and take earnest counsel, including hard to hear stuff, when necessary. For example, Danielle–a shining wise and gracious friend–has let me say so much over the years, and yet only seems to love me more (despite some of my fairly hideous deliveries, yikes). She has been a wonderful counselor in my life too. And of course, when you need someone to say it like it is, there is the honesty of sisters! We love each other most of all, and the conversations don’t get any more real and honest than the ones I have with my sis Tara. 🙂
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“A rebuke is kindness, it is oil for my head, let my head not refuse it.” Psalm 141:5
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Hmmmmm, kindness. Can we really say that we are anxious to have our faults pointed out? Have you ever asked a trusted friend what your blind spots and weaknesses are? In all likelihood, it could prove to be revealing.
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We are called to watch over each others souls as friends–which is no small task– and since we are all sinners saved by grace, we do need real friends who will give us real correction like sisters would, because we are after all, sisters in Christ. Iron sharpening iron is not always comfortable, but it is profitable as long as we don’t let friction severe relationship. Our purpose is to encourage each other day by day so that our hearts stay soft and do not fall away. Your spiritual journey and growth and encouragement are of utmost importance! Consider how very important our call to encouragement is:
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Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “TODAY,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13

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These verses tell us to exhort each other “daily,” because if we don’t, our hearts grow hard and then we become in danger of falling away from God (which includes falling away from community that nourishes us in the Lord too). So let us continue to be involved in each others lives, and encourage one another so that we don’t fall away.
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Superficial friendships often revolve around parties and pleasure, right?……..but true friendships, as exemplified in the Bible, stay together through serving and battling. You praying for me and encouraging me and serving with me is the sweetest oil of friendship, a very fragrant gift of God’s presence in my life.
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Sweet friendships refresh the soul, and awaken our hearts with joy, for the counsel of good friends is like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. Proverbs 27:9

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XO Lynn

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March, April, and May Pictures

Faithy and the spring flowers at Markham Nature Park

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We found some Wooly Bear Caterpillars on the trail at Regency Dr. and took 3 fuzzy guys home. We fed them cut-leaf geranium weeds (by Faithy’s trial and error method to find a food they would eat), they ate constantly for weeks, and then just stopped one day and wouldn’t eat another bite. That was probably two months ago now and we have since moved them to the garage because they won’t eat nor will they make a cocoon nor will they die. We check on them every couple weeks and they are still just hanging out. 🙂

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Wooly Bear eating cut-leaf geranium, and a green caterpillar eating Buckeye leaves. The spring nature experiences and memories of childhood held forever dear in our Nature Journals.

Ohhh, we should draw these beauties next March when they bloom at Markham

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Our baby praying mantis meets himself in Noah’s nature journal!

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My Winslow Homer painting of ‘The Canoe’

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Science time–making a thermometer

Can you draw some (processed) food that comes from plants?

Too cute Miss Ingalls

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Love my itty bitty bouquets

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A very busy Buds and Beans page in our Nature Journal. We grew a bean seed in a glass jar with no soil so we could see root growth, and recorded the growth process of the plant over the span of a couple weeks.

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Fun just to be a preschooler

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I love my “flowers” from my preschooler (all school year)

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Mommy Faith and Baby Nora

 

 

…….but still just Baby Faith sometimes

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Love our spelling routine.

  1. Read the next story in the Pathway readers (love, love, love these books) to mommy. Study 3 new words from the story, as listed in the back of the reader, until memorized. Close the book and spell out all three words using wooden letters.

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2. Open the book and check the spelling of the words, fix any mistakes as needed. (Faith has more fixin’ to do as she just started spelling this year. Yes, that is “buggy” and “grandmother” that she spelled there.)

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3. Clean up the letters (or mix ’em up) and hand write all 3 words in ‘My Word Book’ (notebooks that contain a personal collection of words that belong to the kids now because they can read and spell them, yay!). Open the reader and check one more time to make sure that everything was spelled correctly. By this time the kids usually know their words for sure! Just to make sure though, I quiz the review words on a subsequent day at spelling time (more Noah than Faith at this point).

4. Review time then leads into pre-test time to find the next three spelling words. After the last review word, I read aloud the next word from the list in the back of the book, and my child spells it to me (best guess); if its spelled incorrectly it is assigned as a spelling word, if its spelled correctly it can be skipped. Sometimes we go through 10 new words in order to find 3 that Noah can’t spell, where little Faith usually can’t spell any new words. So the pretest is usually skipped for her, but it is very useful for Noah, my more experienced speller. After the pretest, its back to step 1! We do spelling this way about 3 times a week for a total of 9 words or so a week.

As Charlotte Mason students typically delay formal spelling instruction, next year will be the first “official” year of spelling instruction for Noah, and so its onto Miss Mason’s tried and true method (although new to us): dictation! He and I are looking forward to it; I think he will be well prepared.

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Ah, the simplicity of a virtually no routine preschool day

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Trip to a favorite spot, The Lord’s Land

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Tea time for Faith and Mommy, oh and penguins too. She “planned it.”

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Spring Cleaning (I think the only spring cleaning we did was clean out the pantry)

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Easter dolls

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Easter Garden Basket 2017, with moss brought home from the Lord’s Land, and other shade loving plants

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Reading the Bible to Daniel

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This is the Bible Faith reads to herself every morning now, and with great tenacity is teaching herself how to read from the Word of God. So proud of you Faithy girl.

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Faithy’s Lizzy that she was sooooo thrilled to catch herself, so we just had to keep him

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Spring garden time (nothing ever came up in our winter garden)

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Noah’s pretty cool tree seeds Nature Journal pages (from last fall, just got around to finishing)

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Tartan Day at Ardenwood Historic Farms; Faithy was eager to see the queen because she wants to be one someday 🙂

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Weeding at grandmas, phew!

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Daddy’s never failing gesture of love upon arriving home, done with each little one through the years

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Praying and singing some hymns for the elderly with cousins around Mother’s Day was sweet

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Mothers Day handprint cards from the kids and daddy

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A forever keepsake: Noah writes his first poem……to me

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And of course, springtime hiking…..

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Sunol Regional Wilderness

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Father Noah. Daniel will go go go as long as Noah is holding his hand. He has really attached to Noah lately.

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I adore you little man

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Practicing capitals (a rare event here)

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Noah with his Roman face and Roman city map (an imaginary city plan), inspired by the book City by David Macauley

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Spring camping trip to Big Sur was cold but beeeeautiful

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Our second backyard cherry harvest (30 cherries)

Faithy and me, in the garden with tea. XOXOX

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Memorial Day at Pixieland

Cherry picking at a cherry farm- 13 pounds! We gobble cherries.

Staying cool at “daddy’s” pool (before all the other kids get out of school) 🙂

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May Lesson Plans

2016-2017 Kindergarten and 2nd Grade

Fun Theme: Bugs and Butterflies

Seasonal Theme: Spring and Mother’s Day

Character/Habit: Encouragement, Praise and Worship; Study the Gospel Message

Bible: Matthew-Acts

History/Geography: Ancient Rome, Europe

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

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Parent Study:

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Art, Music, and Poetry Study:

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All Things Bright and Beautiful Blog (for extra ideas)

Picture study: Winslow Homer

Composer Study: Mozart

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

Character/Habit Development:

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

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

Circle Time:

Promise and Blessing Time: Use God’s promise in Psalm 103 to command our souls to praise the Lord:Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” Also take a minute in circle time to verbally build our children up with spoken blessings.

  • Awesome praise! God inhabits your praise!
  • God delights in the sound of your voice _______.
  • You are doing damage to the kingdom of the enemy with your mighty weapon of praise!
  • _______’s worship in spirit and in truth is beautiful.
  • God loves your joyful noise!

Prayer Time:

Discussion Time:

  • Choose one person a day to go in the middle of our encouragement circle so that everyone else can speak lovely, thoughtful, personalized words of encouragement over that person’s life. Write them down as they are spoken and make keepsakes out of them.
  • Take a few moments to share verbally (and/or with a hand drawn picture) how we each have been blessed during this school year; rejoice in God’s goodness.
  • Bless and pray over each other’s futures as graduation approaches
  • Why do we worship? God is worthy. (Psalm 18:3, Psalm 33:1, Psalm 96:7-9, Psalm 145:3, Philippians 2:9-11) We were created to worship. (1 Peter 2:9, Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Revelation 7:9-12)
  • How do we worship? In spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24, Psalm 95:1-7)
  • Read out Psalms of praise such as 8, 29, 34, 40, 63, 92, 103, and 147 on various days.
  • Teach and practice commanding our souls to praise the Lord no matter how we feel. (see intro at top of this lesson plan)
  • Teach the children about the different ways people praised and worshiped God in the Bible. Let them know that there are many ways to express our thanksgiving and love towards God. The following are a few examples and scriptures that talk about praise and worship in the Bible:

TOWDAH- TO SACRIFICE – Psalms 50:23 YADAH-

TO LIFT YOUR HANDS- 2 Chronicles 20:19-21

BARAK- TO KNEEL OR BOW – Psalms 95:6

SHABACH- TO SHOUT – Ezra 3:11

ZAMAR- TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT – Psalms 150/1 Chron. 15:16

HALAL – TO RAVE AND BOAST – Psalms 44:8

TEHILLAH- SINGING IN THE SPIRIT – Psalm 22:3

  • Focus on growing in/practicing some of our more neglected areas of praise listed above
  • Let the Spirit move and allow children to minister. Let children share by asking them what they are thinking, feeling, hearing, or seeing. (My kids love to say what they are picturing when I ask.) Write down what they say or sing or see as the Spirit gives it.
  • Practice waiting silently in His presence. “Be still and know that I am God.”
  • When we are faced with hard times and tough issues that are beyond our control, instead of grumbling and complaining or being anxious, which hinders us from entering into God’s presence and steals our peace and joy, our goal is to learn to choose to rejoice in the Lord and enter into praise and worship. Make a list of complaints. Praise with all our might. Tear up the list when we feel that God has taken our burdens and heaviness has lifted.

 

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Bible/Devotions:

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

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Memory Verses:

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

  • Review May verses from previous years:
    • Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
    • “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
    • “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.” Numbers 6:24-26

 

 Hymns:

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

In the Garden

Sheet Music

Holy, Holy, Holy!
Sheet Music

Revisit many hymns in our hymn book that we have learned over the years

Poetry Recitation:

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Handwriting:

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

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Spelling: (Noah)

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

Reading: (Faith)

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

Vocabulary:

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

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

Literature Read Alouds:

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The Children’s Life of the Beesd

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

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

Noah’s Lessons: Build a multiplication table out of beans. Pages 123-150 in Place Value, Multiplication, and Division book; Kahn Academy free online math; Multiplication Math Card Games

Faith’s Lessons:

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

Number Shape Arrangements (p 87)

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

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

Grow and Shrink (p 28) Children roll a 1-6 number cube and place the appropriate number of counters on working space paper (paper with 10 dots to place counters on). Children roll again, then verbalize (and write) how many counters will need to be added or subtracted in order to change the first rolled number into the second rolled number. For example, child rolls a six, and puts out six counters. Then child rolls a four, so he says ” I need to take away two” and also write “-2″ on a slip of paper. Then roll again to keep adding or subtracting from whatever number is on the paper. Use two working space papers if there are too many counters to fit, or say “not enough” if taking away more counters than what is left on the paper is required.

Number Arrangements: Cube Squares (79) Using unifix cubes, can you make a square? What numbers makes a square and which don’t? (4 and 9 do) Could have children record their arrangements by gluing down small squares of paper on 6″x 9″ pieces of paper in the same way they arranged the cubes.

Number Arrangements: Using Toothpicks (p 82) Have the children use toothpicks to create a variety of arrangements for their number of the day. Have children make recordings by gluing toothpicks onto 6″ x 9″ pieces of paper to match their arrangements. Children an also label recordings with equations that describe the parts of their number arrangements.

Building and Rebuilding (p98) Fold a large piece of paper into 4 sections to use as a working space. Choose a number of the day. Children use one type of counter and build a different design to represent the number in each section of their paper. Then they write a number sentence for each design. When the children have finished, remove the counters. Then they reread the number sentences, and build designs to match, this time using a different type of counter.

Instant Recognition of Number Shapes (p118) Hold up blank number shapes and ask children to describe any number combinations they see.

Number Shapes or Number Trains Using Spinners (p 90) Make a +/- spinner. Choose a number of the day, provide that number shape/number train, and unifix cubes. If child spins +, roll number cube to see how many of one color cube to place on the number shape. Then child fills in rest of shape with another color and records the equation (can use Number Shapes Equation Worksheet). If spinner lands on -, child fills in number shape with one color cube, then rolls the number cube to see how many counters to take off, and records the equation.

Science/Nature Study:

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Spanish:

Spanish has ended for this year but we hope to continue with Miss Maria’s class next year. The kids had a great year of spanish (finally)!

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:

Mother’s day and father’s day hand print cards

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Pattycakeart.com hand print art

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Paint Butterflies
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Pick Cherries

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Hand raise a butterfly

 
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 Kids help and plan a Mother’s Day Tea for neighbors, grandma, or just mommy
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The kids love to do color mixing every year, and then make lots of paintings to decorate the house
 
 
 
 Requests for the Last Day of School: swimming and popsicles!
Berry Bliss Rocket Popsicles | recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com

 

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Fieldtrips:

  • The butterfly garden at Coyote Hills Regional Park and/or The Bird and Butterfly Festival there
  • The creek at Round Valley Creek
  • Little Yosemite Hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness
  • Monet exhibit at Legion of Honor
  • Cataract Falls in Tamalpais

 

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A Eulogy for my Dad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I love you dad. XOXOXO

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January and February Pictures

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

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

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Little guy learning to climb the climbing wall

Making some fun experiences for our preschooler–homemade play dough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Little Laura Ingalls in her prairie dress

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

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Daddy built us our first fire at home

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Morning Chores in Jammas

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Air Pressure Experiment

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Float and Sink Experiment was a Hit

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Snow Play Day for Noah in Tahoe

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A Valentines Extravaganza!

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

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

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

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A Cameo for Bubs 🙂

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The School Table on any given day

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

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

He loves to make his own cake.

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Noah’s His Story book

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