Jun 30, 2014

Tips for Bible Study with Kids

As a Christian, homeschool mom, I have one goal in mind: to teach my kids to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind. Your goal may be different than mine, and that's fine, but I have realized through the years how important our Bible studies are. Bible is not just another subject to get through like math or science...it really is the core of our life. I have learned so much from my son, and have really been amazed at how our studies affect his daily life. Well, they affect my daily life too. 

Anytime we spend time with our Creator affects our life in a mighty way...

1. Don't underestimate your kids when choosing a Bible.
Many people pick out the Bible with the "easiest" language. Why would you pick a diluted, watered down, imposter for the most important teaching moments in life? I don't want an imposter...I want the real thing! Most Bibles in our society are not truly the inspired Word of God. We use the King James with all of its "thee's" and "thou's".  It teaches so much even aside from the moral attributes of the scriptures. Yes, even those slightly peculiar, out of date words teach them deductive reasoning, inference, summarizing, making connections...and many more good reading and thinking strategies!  And they have no trouble memorizing it...another lie of Satan!

Teaching children how to pray using their hand print:  Things in the palm of your hand are things you can hold.  Things on your thumb - those closest to us.  Your index finger helps others - pray for helpers.  The middle finger is tallest, pray for leaders.  The ring finger is the weakest; pray for the weak.  Your pinky is the smallest - pray for your own needs last.    We traced her hand and she wrote the words;  we hung it by each kid's bed to remind them to say their prayers.
couldn't find link
2. Teach them to pray.

I guess I'm a little slow...it took me a while to realize that we have to teach our kids to pray. Otherwise, it becomes a habitual "Now I lay me down to sleep" style prayer, that really has no meaning...its just a nice rhyme.

You may want to make up some cards (like these) to remind your kids of things to pray for or just talk about it as a family.

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. Psalm 145:18

3. Teach them to recognize sin.

This is important as sin, most of the time, resembles good, not evil. The visual we often have of Satan with fiery eyes and a long forked tail is far from the truth. It's time to teach our kids that evil is all around...in the form of a nicely dressed man, a raved-about movie, popularity, trendy clothes, etc. There are MANY scriptures in the Bible stressing this fact.

4. Decide on a subject.

Or a book of the Bible, chapter, lesson, verse, story...somewhere to start. We usually choose not to buy a pre-made Bible curriculum because we just don't have the budget, and its hard to find something that works for us. I prefer more of a study guide with instructions to read certain verses, questions, and prompts for thinking skills. Something where the main focus is God's Word.

5.  Make it fun & applicable to their daily life.

There are so many exciting stories, people, places, and events in the Bible...there's no reason for it to be boring. Add in simple visuals, craft, games, and maybe even a field trip to let your kids know the Bible earns an important place in their learning.
As children get older, its important for them to be able to document their studies by notebooking, taking notes, or some other form of graphic organization. Bible maps are a great way to bring the Bible alive. It's important that they can remember and apply the lessons to their daily lives.

I also HIGHLY recommend the Mystery of History if you have a child/children who are interested in history. This allows you to study History along the timeline of God's Word. For example, when you study about King David...do you ever wonder what was going on in the world at that time...in China, the Middle East, etc.? It's great for multiple ages also! Check out the link below. Read more about our timeline here.

Do you have any goals or tips for teaching your child Bible? Leave me a comment...I would love to hear from you!

Jun 27, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: June comes to an end

This has been an eventful week in our house! The kids have been going to VBS every night with my sister in law...it's been weird having a quiet house at night.  Weird...not necessarily in a good way. 

The smallest member of our household is kicking and moving quite wildly. She gives momma heartburn and makes for very uncomfortable conditions in the belly...but I'm glad she's moving and growing! 8 weeks left!
Speaking of growing...our garden is doing quite well...if we can just keep our little Snoopy out of it! We've been getting rain showers about every day, which is kinda odd because June is usually a pretty dry month for us. I'm thankful for the rain though! It makes the heat and humidity more bearable. I can't wait for some homegrown tomatoes...hopefully we get enough to can or freeze for pizza sauce and other things!
As far as homeschool goes, we are finished with our official curriculum. I am finishing up getting our year organized. Jellyfish is doing piano, trumpet, and guitar lessons. He's getting ready for a major community band concert on July 1st. It's patriotic in theme, of course, and he is so excited and practicing like a maniac.  His music teacher is really great about getting him involved in stuff like this. 
Both kids are enjoying some pool time in between rain showers! Jellyfish is a little fish, and Millie is learning to swim this year. Snoopy does NOT like the water...don't ask me how I know!
We have so much to be thankful for and can look around and see so many in pain. I hope your week was as good as ours and I pray for many more wonderful summer days!  

Jun 25, 2014

Historical Field Trips in Southeast Missouri: Part I

If you're like me and have a history buff in the house,you probably are looking for some supplemental activities to keep his brain stimulated and challenged. Jellyfish is in 8th grade this year and we have done LOTS of field trips in the area through the years. I thought I'd share some of those trips, and let me just say: I know there are many more, and I will do some more in another post...leave a comment if you have a place to share!

Jun 23, 2014

Curriculum for 2014-15

Although we are on a year-round, 6 week schedule, we have put a halt to school for the 2013-14 school year. I am preparing for a new baby in August, yeah, I know perfect timing! I've got to get lots of things figured out before then, including our new curriculum for the next school year.

It's hard to believe, but I will have a Kindergartner and an 8th grader...and a new baby. How's that for spacing our kids apart...

Kindergarten Plans

Millie knows the basics and then some:
  • ABC's
  • Letter sounds/words
  • Counting to 100
  • Number recognition
  • beginning word families
  • addition
  • beginning subtraction
  • writes her first name
  • write all of her letters well on handwriting paper
I feel like we made a lot of progress this last year, and I really think she is already beyond the beginning of kindergarten. I have the curriculum plans for Abeka and she could easily skip the first six weeks of plans and be fine. I am debating whether to order her the rest of the curriculum. I am a "phonic-based approach" to reading advocate.  

8th Grade Plans

Here is a list of the books I am ordering for my Jellyfish!

  • Mo. History: a friend has a curriculum and he will be doing it together with them. We'll end the program with some awesome field trips. There's lots of historical places in our area!
  • Answers in Genesis: God's Design for the Physical World
  • Abeka: Math, LA, Spelling
  • Reading: we'll do the classics again using Easy Peasy. You just click on the individual course (English 8) on the right. We are only doing the reading portion. Since Jellyfish is a reader by nature, I really don't have to worry about this too much!
  • Art: the jury's still out on this one....
  • Music: He's taking piano lessons from myself, and private guitar lessons from a friend. He's also in a community band where he's learning the trumpet! He plays piano at church from time to time which is really good practice. I think we've got music covered!
  • Computer: Homeschool Programming (we have to decide where to start though!) 
Computer Programming courses for Kids and Teens!

That's all my little brain can think about right now. I am working on selling some of my books on Ebay so I can afford next year's curriculum! How's your plans going?

Jun 13, 2014

Kindergarten: Guji Guji

Our story this week is about some cute little baby ducks and a not-so-cute baby...something! 

The story is read to the children as the pictures are shown. You can also download an activity guide for extra ideas. Millie loved this story and asked to listen to it over and over each day!
Here are some extras we did...

Handwriting sheets
 from First School.

(Art) Draw a duck in its environment! Use whatever art supplies you have on hand. We visited a pond the week before and talked about all of the things we saw, smelled, etc.

(Phonics) Study short "U" sound. 
BBC Link

LOVE these Word Family houses from the Measured Mom. I printed them out on bright paper, laminate them, and they are very durable.  And they are free!
Short u word family houses the measured mom Free Word Family Houses   short u
Measured Mom

(Math) Calendar, Continue counting to 100, & work on number recognition (flashcards). I am also using this book (ages 3-5):
 It is somewhat challenging for her because the numbers are scattered a little and not in a neat row, but I just have to keep her frustration level down with a little help! Here are some shots of the inside. There are some color-by-number pages also in this book.

Have you tried ABC mouse? I've heard its all the rage, and their commercial always catches my 5 year old's attention...funny how that works! I'm gonna have to check it out.

Our school year is coming to a close, but Millie ALWAYS wants to do school everyday, so I'm sure we'll continue a relaxed regime throughout the summer. Plus, its really not good for kids to have such a looooong break....maybe good for the teachers though!