Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lessons With Toddlers

So. What DO you Do with toddlers all day? If you're anxious to start homeschooling, or you've agreed to take on the toddler class for your homeschool co-op, here are some ideas to get you started.

Divide up your day.

  • 15 minute increments are great at the toddler stage. You could have an activity/lesson ready to switch every fifteen minutes or so.


  • On the half  hour. You could have something planned to start on the half hour, then if your child begins to lose interest they can play with toys until the next half hour starts. You could also plan each thirty minutes with a different subject. For instance, 9:00 would be Bible and play with Bible toys; 9:30 would be science and play with science toys, etc.

  • Repeat this over the course of the week: Kids this age don’t get tired of the same thing over and over, so a recurring “theme” each week would be fine. Also, there is a lot the kids may not understand at this age, but it plants the seeds of learning to hear things and have them repeat things.

  • Just use discretion with the activities. Some toddlers are still putting things in their mouths, so just keep that in mind.

Subjects and Ideas 


Most importantly for this age is just to hear scripture repeated and Bible stories.  For Bible you could do the same simple verse each day for a week, and week two add on the second verse with the first, and so on. If your toddler isn't talking, they can still hear you telling them the verses!
-simple verses
-Bible storybooks and felt boards
-songs/finger plays


You could also do a weekly theme with math. Colors and shapes are great at this age. All week you could reiterate “This is round. Can you find something that is round, etc.” Also, you could have a special bag that contains items you found around the house with the shape or the color of the week. Each day bring out that bag and go over the fact that “This is round, etc.” or “All these things are blue” and let the kids have time to look at all the things from the bag. The next week choose a different shape or color.

Other math activities:

-dried beans in a container with plastic spoons, etc. to scoop and sort the beans (you could also use rice, but that’s harder to clean up. And, make sure they're not eating them.)

-gather about ten things and use them to count to ten- you could do this everyday.

-lacing shapes and beads….With the beads you can talk about patterns, “Here is a red bead, then blue, then red, what comes next?”


Check some books out of the library that have pictures of animals. Go through the book and talk about each animal “Look at this, it’s a tiger. God made tigers. They go roar. Can you roar like a tiger?" (Can you hop like a bunny? Can you crawl like a turtle? Can you jump like a kangaroo? ,etc.  Point out features on the animals, Does this one have feathers? Does this one have fur? Where does this animal live? (In the jungle, in the desert, etc.) You can also check out books and do this same thing with bugs, butterflies, birds, fish, etc.  "Look at these fish, it has orange and yellow. This bird has a small beak. This bug has six legs, etc."

Fun Science Fingerplays.....

 Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks that I once knew (hold up five fingers)
Big ones, little ones, skinny ones too (make big and little hands)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Down to the river they would go
Widdle, waddle, widdle, waddle to and fro (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Up from the river they would come
With a ho, ho, ho and a hum, hum. Hum (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Did you ever see a bunny? (To the tune of “Did you ever see a lassie?”)

Did you ever see a bunny, a bunny, a bunny
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?
He hops and hops, and hops and hops.
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?

(Also, hops backwards, fast, on one foot, etc.)
(Also, change the animal –Did you ever see a tiger…..He growls and growls, etc.)

Hop Little Rabbit

Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you hop, hop, hop?
Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you stop, stop, stop?
Hop Little Rabbit, one, two, three
Hop Little Rabbit, hop to me.

(can change this to run, march, crawl, tiptoe, etc.)

-God made dinosaurs, they were on Noah’s ark

Five Enormous Dinosaurs

Five enormous dinosaurs letting out a roar
One went away and then there were four
Four enormous dinosaurs munching on a tree
One went away and then there were three
Three enormous dinosaurs didn’t know what to do
One went away and then there were two
Two enormous dinosaurs having lots of fun
One went away and then there was one
One enormous dinosaur afraid to be a here
He went away and then there were zero.

The Caterpillar

A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree, (index finger of left hand moves up right arm)
“I think I’ll take a nap,” said he.
So under a leaf he began to creep (wrap right hand over left fist)
To spin his chrysalis and he fell asleep.
All winter long he slept in his chrysalis bed, (keep right hand over left fist)
Til spring came along one day and said,
“Wake up, wake up little sleepy head.” (Shake left fist with right hand)
“Wake up, it’s time to get out of bed!”
So,he opened his eyes that sunshiny day (Shake fingers and look into hand)
Lo-he was a butterfly and flew away! (Move hands in a flying motion)

The Insects  (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)

The bugs in the air fly round and round, round and round, round and round
The bugs in the air fly round and round all through the day
The spiders on the bush spin a web, spin a web, spin a web
The spiders on the bush spin a web all through the day.
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz all through the day.
The ants on the mound crawl all around, all around, all around
The ants on the mound crawl all around all through the day.

-Go through all the body parts, “God made my eyes so I can see. God made my ears so I can hear. God made my legs so I can jump”, etc.  This would be a great time to sing “Be careful Little Eyes what you see” and the Hokey Pokey (Put your left arm in, put your left arm out, put your left arm in and you shake it all about, you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.)

-Bring some leaves, twigs, flowers, rocks, etc. in and talk about them. Let the kids touch each thing and feel if it is rough or smooth.

-You could get a special bag of different food packages for your child to look through and talk about how God provides good food for us to eat to keep our bodies healthy.  (Hold up the packages, “We need milk to keep our bones healthy-who likes milk? Me! Me!, etc.)

Here We Go Round the Blueberry Bush

Here we go round the blueberry bush, blueberry bush, blueberry bush (Hold hands and walk in a circle)
Here we go round the blueberry bush so early in the morning.
Pick the blueberries small and round, small and round, small and round (pretend to pick blueberries)
Pick the blueberries small and round so early in the morning.
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet (pretend to eat the blueberries)
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet so early in the morning.
Help mix up the muffin batter, muffin batter, muffin batter (pretend mixing)
Help mix up the muffin batter so early in the morning.
Now let’s share the muffins, share the muffins, share the muffins (pretend to hand muffin to someone)
Now let’s share the muffins so early in the morning.

-What do we do when the sun is high in the sky? We skip, run, jump, etc. God put the sun in the sky to give us light during the day. What do we do when the moon and the stars are in the sky? We sleep. (Kids pretend to sleep.) God gave us the moon and stars for light at night time. (Twinkle, Twinkle little star...)

-Talk about each season and what the weather is like, what you would wear in each season and have children pretend to put on clothes for each season.  (Or you could raid the closet and bring in one type of season’s clothing each week for the kids to try on like all hats scarves and gloves for winter,etc.)
What would you do in each season? Pretend to swim for summer, pick and smell flowers in spring, pretend to swim in summer, etc.

-Talk about different kinds of weather. Can you whirl around like a tornado? Can you stomp softly like little rain drops? Can you clap loud like thunder?


-Opposites: Everybody stand up really tall, now shrink down really small; the block is on top, now it’s on the bottom, can we run in place fast, now slow, etc.

-Use the play mat (or if you don't have a play mat, you can just write the letters on card stock) to find the letter A, now let’s find the apple. A says “a” and apple starts with “a”; You could do one letter every week, or just spend a few minutes going over different letters.

-sing the alphabet song

-“Signing Time” Dvd’s (Maybe from your local library?)

-This is the letter that your name starts with….write with chalk on construction paper.

Social Studies:

-Talk about families and how God gives families moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandpas, aunts, etc.

-Talk about how we live in Oklahoma. Can you say “Oklahoma”? Oklahoma is in the United States of America. Can you Say “America”? Our president is President Obama. Etc.

-Walk through a typical day with the kids. When we wake up we stretch (kids stretch) then we brush our teeth (pretend brush teeth) then we put on our clothes (pretend to get dressed), etc. ending with pretending to go to bed/sleep.

-What kind of vehicles do we see in our neighborhood…talk planes, cars, trains, big trucks and what each would do.

Row Your Boat
Row, row , row your boat (act out rowing the boat)
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
(Drive, drive, drive the car, fly, fly, fly the plane, etc. acting out each action)

-shaving cream on construction paper. Could use dollar store paint brushes and let them “paint” the shaving cream onto the paper. Pretty easy clean up.

-playdough with cookies cutters

-sidewalk chalk on construction paper

-cut out people from magazines, paste on construction paper and glue to large popsicle sticks for puppets


-Get an inexpensive supply of musical instruments from your local store, (or you could even make your own with beans and cans).

-Play different types of music: classical, jazz, hymns in the background.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Musings Siri edition.

Whatever you search for with Siri will show up in Safari as suggestions for searching. I guess Bailey wanted to listen to Jesus Loves Me. This is what was in my search box.

"Please let Bailey get on Jesus loves me song Thank you"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Musings: Corn Edition

Travis (5):     Are we having that corn that is cut into a million pieces or is it stuck to the stick?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Musings: Chinese Edition

Brennan(3): What did you eat for dinner?

Me: We went to a Chinese buffet.

Brennan: Why did the Chinese eat your food?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Things To Do With Old Magazines

Have an abundance of old magazines lying around? 

Here are some ideas to put them to good, educational use!
  1. Make a personality collage or timeline.
  2. Story Starter: Pick 5 random pictures and use them to write a story.
  3. ABC Phonics Book: Choose cut-outs that represent each letter of the alphabet. (You can also include examples of blends, digraphs, etc.)
  4. Prek and Toddlers can glue simple cut-outs to construction paper.
  5. Cut out words to make simple sentences or more complex ones for older kids.
  6. Cut out letters to make simple words.
  7. Make a book of colored items for toddlers.
  8. Make a number book for toddlers.
  9. Cut out words and have kids glue them on a poster board under the proper part of speech heading. (You can also include cliches, idioms, homophones, synonyms/antonyms etc. for older kids.)
  10. Categorize advertisements according to correct ad approaches (bandwagon, emotional appeal, loaded words, plain folks, opinion vs. facts or testimonial.)
  11. Cut out body parts and make funny faces and bodies.
  12. Make a poster board map of the world and see if you can find cutouts to go on every continent.
  13. Laminate kids magazines and you can do "spot the difference" or mazes to be used over and over with dry erase markers.
  14. Make a poster with simple words at the top. (For example: car, boy, animal, or for older kids emotions, situations, etc) and have them search the magazine for a corresponding picture.
  15. Cut out pictures of food and have kids sort them out into the appropriate food groups. Older kids could put together pictures of a meal that would meet certain calorie or dietary guidelines.
  16. Draw a big house on poster board. Make sure to include basic rooms, and rooms your child may want in a "dream house". Paste on pictures for decorations, paint colors, furniture, games, toys, etc. that your child would want to include.
  17. Have older children choose an article and write an essay to critique the article. Make sure they use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  18. Make a travel guide promoting a certain destination with cut-outs for that location. (The cut-outs don't necessarily need to be for the same place, and the place could be imaginary!)
  19. Does the magazine have editorials? If so, have the children read them, and with what they can tell about this magazine, do they agree or disagree with the opinions? Have them write their own editorial.
  20. Scan through the magazines and cut out as many different jobs (or people doing jobs) as they can find. See how big of a list you can get. Discuss how/why these jobs are good/bad for the community. How would the community be impacted if that job didn't exist?
  21. Find five different pictures that adequately represent the current times, (For example, modern cars, electronics, current clothing styles, etc.) and explain how they are a good representation.
  22. Have students find ten numbers in the magazine that represent exact numbers and ten numbers that represent approximate values (many, few, thousands, etc.)
  23. Cut out fun pictures for preschoolers and toddlers. Laminate them with contact paper and glue magnets to the back for your refrigerator. (You could do this with words for the older kids to rearrange their own personal messages!)
  24. Make a simple graph on poster board. Label cut-outs across the bottom (flowers, foods, animals, etc.) and amounts across the side. Have younger kids glue the cut-outs to the appropriate graph columns.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ideas To Go Beyond the Textbook

Are you stuck in a textbook rut?

Here are two dozen activities and ideas to do that don't involve a textbook! You can customize these ideas for the age and learning style of your child.

  1. Plan a week's menu and budget shop for 1, 2, 4, 8.....people. You can include coupons, sales papers and comparison shopping.
  2. Compare/contrast alphabets from different countries or cultures or time periods.
  3. Make a timeline. You can print off clip art to include for a little extra visual appeal.
  4. Research and write biography reports on artists, musicians, mathematicians, missionaries, world leaders, presidents, first ladies, etc.
  5. Make a timeline or write an autobiography of your own life.
  6. Interview an older family member or friend and write a biography of their life.
  7. Research your family tree.
  8. Make a sketchbook of Jesus's life-maps of where he went, sermons, key people in his life.
  9. Make a sketchbook of key verses from each book of the Bible.
  10. Do a country or state study. Don't forget to include maps and an authentic meal.
  11. Make a travel guide collage for each of the fifty states or maybe even some countries.
  12. Memorize states/capitals, countries/capitals, major oceans, locations of major land forms.
  13. Make a critique notebook of books, movies, plays, poems, songs and hymns.
  14. Start a nature sketchbook.
  15. Research some famous poets and try to imitate their style, then find your own style.
  16. Write a script and make a home movie. This could be a period from history, a scene from a famous person's life or something from your own imagination.
  17. Make a Rube Goldberg machine.
  18. Research the holidays you celebrate and why you celebrate them.
  19. Make a journal with an important news clipping from the newspaper each day. You could also print out a story from an online newspaper site.
  20. Play some educational board or card games.
  21. Get out and visit the zoo, museums, nature centers and festivals. 
  22. Take a co-op class or educational class offered in your community.
  23. Start a new hobby-photograpy, sewing, letterboxing, or historical reinacting can all be educational.
  24. Start a collection-coins, bugs, leaves, or favorite words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Art for the Guilty Mom

I have always felt guilty about art. I'm not a real drawer/sketcher/ painter, etc. And I don't like messes. But, I felt that if I didn't teach art and offer my children the time frame per week to pursue art, and do prepared art lessons, then I would be stifling their creativity and in turn, ruin their lives forever.

I know!

The guilt.

The shame.

Then I realized that if a child has a natural inclination toward art, they will find opportunities on their own to be artistic. Some may not draw or sketch, but that isn't all there is to art. For instance.....

Brittany pursued (on her own) jewelry making, crocheting and cake decorating.

Bethany and Brooke have learned sewing, and Brooke does sketching and painting on her own.

The boys like grabbing paper and sketching out fight scenes and samurai figures.

See? There are many ways to be "creative" and "artistic",

I'm breathing a sigh of relief! The pressure is off! My children will find ways to express their artsy and creative sides and I haven't ruined their lives after all!

Here are some pointers to becoming an art-guilt free home school mom!

  • Don't feel obligated to schedule it into the homeschool day. Let it be a "free-time" activity.
  • Have a supply of different media the children could use on their own. (Just make sure it's kept far, far, far out of reach of the 2 year old.)
  • Keep younger kids media options to a minimum. Unless you like messes.
  • If a child is very interested in a certain art form, chances are there are books, websites and video tutorials that they can learn on their own.
  • If a child shows exceptional skill in a certain area and wants to develop it further, consider lessons from an outside source or co-op.
  • Encourage them to pursue something new, but don't be pushy. Maybe your child isn't artsy or doesn't like messes either.
  • Embrace the classical arts instead! Look at art books (there are a lot geared toward children), listen to composers, collect art prints and visit art museums. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Musings: Favorite Child Edition

Travis (5): MOM! Can I have some more please! Some more of that chili perfection?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ozarks in the Fall

Last week I took a day trip with some friends to Northwest Arkansas. We went to several different craft fairs, one being at the War Eagle Mill. It was a great weekend to go-gorgeous weather and leaves starting to change. We were gone all day and probably could have been home three hours earlier if there wasn't so much traffic around Tontitown and Springdale. (Although it was a good excuse to stop for dinner at a Chinese buffet- so it all worked out well.) I bought some Amish jelly and a key chain that would go on my wrist for my small wallet. I didn't see anything that I just had to have, but I did see a lot of great stuff. I got a lot of ideas for decorating projects that I want to do, but not until we move to a different house. We also each chipped in a few dollars and got our pastor a wooden plaque that said, "A pastor's retirement plan is out of this world."

This is a picture of the War Eagle mill's wheel.

This is the lake with the wheel on the left.

The rickety covered bridge we had to drive across. The mill was on the right.

This was a brief stop just to take a picture and see this sign. We
didn't go down to this mill, but I want to come back and explore!

Sitting on the hill for lunch with the mill in the distance.

Me, Jen and Gail

Our pastor's wife wanted to go with us, but couldn't this year. She said, "Whatever happens in Arkansas stays in Arkansas."   Hmmmmm....... Well, there was that one time........

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nature Study for the Guilty Mom

"Nature Study" evokes pleasant visions of children armed with crisp art pads and watercolors, serenely gazing at the pond reflecting sunbeams on their perfectly coiffed hair. The baby sits happily on the fresh linen blanket while you admire how the children churn out beautiful picture after beautiful picture of the winged water fowl and it's elaborate beak structure.

The reality is that as you hurriedly rush out the door you realize that your two year old has eaten the watercolors, although they blend nicely with the leftover peanut butter on his shirt, the three year old has ripped half the pages out of the art pads and the seven year old can only find one of his shoes. The nine year old is whining because it is "SOOO HOT out here" and the eleven year old asks, "Do we have to do this?"

Can I get an "amen"?

Every year I would think, "THIS. THIS is the year that nature study will work for us. And every year it has fizzled out before it has even begun.

I had to let go of those perfect and quite unrealistic visions of what nature study would be for our family, and once that happened, things went a lot more smoothly.

I realized that nature study for us is best done on the fly.

Not on an actual bug, mind you, but unplanned and unprepared. I'm the type of person that has to have every little piece of information before I do something. So, I thought I needed every tree identification guide, every art tool and read every library book on something before we could go out and observe it. Talk about setting yourself up for failure.

Here are several things we've done over the few months or so that were learning, but weren't planned....

  • My son noticed a wood pecker in a tree in our front yard.
  • We watched the lunar eclipse.
  • A (creepy) spider made its home outside the window by my desk. We observed it for weeks.
  • We went to the zoo.
  • We noticed a squirrel storing away some nuts in our backyard.
  • We picked and cooked some vegetables from a friend's garden.
  • That same friend has chickens we observed.
  • Observed worms, bugs and various creatures that have been in and around our house.
  • The little kids looked at leaves changing for fall.
  • We looked at a pond and the plant and animal life that lives there.

All of that was learning. It was nature study. And it was no stress.

So, nature study for us may never be that perfect structured and researched outing with beautifully illustrated and diagrammed notebooks, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tulsa State Fair!

Some of the kids made things to enter into the fair again this year. Three of the kids wanted to do pumpkins. They just added in a preschool catagory, but pumpkins were not a choice on that one, so Travis made a "holiday decoration" instead.

Travis won 2nd place!

Bailey won 2nd place for her "ice princess" pumpkin!

Trace and Brennan in the kiddie car corral.

Brooke got a participation award for her "Jack Sparrow".

Tristan got a participation award for his "caramel apple".

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bible Study for the Homeschool

We've used a lot of resources over the years, and organized our days differently over the years. But what has worked for us the last few years has been to do Bible study together as a group with all the kids eighth grade and under on Friday mornings, while Monday through Thursdays the older kids do their own personal studies and the youngers do study with me. (Sometimes I've included the high school kids in that group, but it depends on what the dynamics are and if the older kids are working or have other things going on.) For the last three years, the "middle" kids have worked on their Awana books as their personal Bible study Monday-Thursday.

Here are some things I've done mostly with the younger kids, probably around 3rd grade and under...

Betty Luken's felt set

I got this on sale with a coupon at a local Christian book store. It took me a sweet forever to cut out all the pieces, so if I had it to do over again I think I would have just ordered the pre-cut pieces. :) The basic set comes with 182 pre-written stories and pieces to go with them.


These are less Bible "story and more "theology" based lessons. I will usually switch off and do one every other year.

Bible Story books

These are great to read any time and there are so many websites available with coloring sheets to go with just about any story. Some sites to print off sheets are here, here, and here.

Sorting the Bible Books

You can use a file folder with a big piece of card stock for each side labeled Old Testament and New Testament. Secure this on the top or sides with tape. (You can put a card stock cross in the middle. (This is the top of the diagram, and is the inside, not the cover.) Under your card stock OT and NT, you will make small fold-overs for each of the Bible categories- Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, etc. If the kids are older I would let them write the Bible books under the flap for the appropriate category, but if they aren't writing well, then I would just type them on the computer and let them cut the lists out. If they want they can close the folder and decorate the outside.

These are things I have done with older and younger together.........

These are stories of people of the faith and missionaries. We've really enjoyed these. There are several different shorter stories on each person.

I picked these up at a discount bookstore maybe 15 years ago. They have great pictures with good background information on the location, history and culture of Biblical times. I don't have the complete set, maybe you can still find them all on Amazon? But, if not, you could probably find other similar books.

This has the potential to take up a lot of room, which we don't have, so I taped the timeline pages together and folded them accordian style so I could take it down and stash it away when we weren't using it.

This has been a lot of fun, and little kids are really good at sign language. I wish I could say my memory was as good, but it isn't. I have to practice something repeatedly to remember it and we didn't do this at all last year, so of course, I forgot everything. :(

Pilgrim's Progress

This very simplified version is really a kids' reader that I believe we were given second hand at some point. There are other versions and, also the original version, but I prefer something simplified for the younger kids. (We haven't done this, but it looks to be a good resource if you want to tackle the original. Or, maybe you would like to turn it into a unit study.)

These are are great for teaching about the lives of some missionaries and heroes of the faith. There are over a dozen stories with free printables under the kids' section. Also, the vidoes are available on Right Now Media, but before that I used to check them out from our library.

Songs and Fingerplays

Here is a great list from Calvary Kids.
Hand Signs for memorizing Scripture, also here and here.

Memory Work

Memory work is great for younger kids, because they are like sponges and will soak up scripture at amazing speeds. You can compile your own list to work on, but here is a good place to start.

Books of the Bible
10 Commandments
Romans Road 
Psalm 23
1 Corinthians 13 (Love is...)
Armor of God
Fruits of the Spirit
ABC verses, or other choices here and here.
52 Kid Friendly verses (maybe for the youngest kids)

Sword Drills

Here is a great list for drills.

Here is a great list for themes. Sometimes when there is a "theme" I won't tell the kids what it is. They have to guess after finding several scriptures.

You can also ask the kids different questions like "In what book/story would I find a story that includes a donkey?" or "In what book/story would I find a person named Jesse?"

Catechism Questions

Here is a list to give you an idea of what a catechism would ask. We got our copy from Abeka years ago. Just make sure the one you choose is in line with what you want to teach your children about Theology.

Character Traits

We have used different character trait resources in the past, but I just discovered these from Character First. There are 20 character traits that come with free resources, and of course you can purchase the entire set. The free resources have printables and videos you can watch with a poem, song and story. These are on the very conservative side. We've done three of them so far this year (Attentiveness, Availability and Compassion), and I like them.

ACTS Prayers 

A-doration: Giving some praise and admiration for God
C-onfession: What we have struggled with this week.
T-hanksgiving: What we are thankful for this week.
S-upplication: What we want to ask God for this week.

And for the high school aged kids..............


I recently came across this website that has printable worksheets for their survey courses. It's done by a Church of Christ, so make sure it's in line with your theology. I have my younger kids doing some of the elementary worksheets, but the adult would be adequate for high school. (The lessons seem to be pretty non-denominational so far as I have noticed.)

Theology and Doctrine

My husband put together a high school course with "Things that Become Sound Doctrine" by Dwight Pentecost for our kids.  I don't have any other examples of this, you would just have to find resources that fall in line with your theology.

SOAP and SOAK Studies


K-neeling in prayer

Basically your student can take a notebook and whatever passage of scripture they would like to choose for study. (Some of my younger kids have actually done this, also.)

Read Through The Bible

Here is a great list of plans from Bible Gateway, or here from RC Sproul ministries.

Map Work

This is a great source for charts and maps.

Other Studies

Greek Language Programs

Great Lives Series by Chuck Swindoll

Answers in Genesis  has a lot of information on creation vs. evolution. (They do have resources for kids of all ages.)

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis


Now, of course I wouldn't do all of these things everyday or even every year. Usually I choose a few things to do during the week, one for Fridays and I rotate things in and out every few years. For instance, if we read Pilgrim's Progress this year, then we probably won't do it again for several years.

Here is just an example of how I may schedule Bible:

Monday: Older/middle Awana or Survey work
                Younger Betty Luken's felt story and recite books of the Bible

Tuesday: Older/middle Awana or Survey work
                Younger Leading Littles to God lesson and recite books of the Bible

Wednesday: Older/Middle Awana or Survey work
                     Younger Betty Luken's felt story and recite books of the Bible

Thursday: Older/Middle Awana or Survey work
                 Younger Songs/fingerplays and recite books of the Bible

Friday: All kids together- practice signing John 3:16; read one chapter of Pilgrim's Progress and Acts

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Musings

Brennan (3): Mama I got clay in my hair. It was a ask-a-dent.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cheaper by the Dozen


It's about that time again.

This time we'll join the ranks of doughnuts, eggs and sodas-one dozen!

Baby number 12 is due around March 2016!

I decided to keep it on the down-low this time around. I really haven't enjoyed telling people that we're expecting since around baby number 5. Oh, I do love having my babies and it is an exciting time for me.

But. all. the. negativity.

On Wednesday night a lady from church asked me how many kids I had and I said 11. I thought, "you know, I'll just go ahead and let her know", so I said "And, we're expecting number 12!".

She looked right at me, scowled and said, "You are OUT of your mind!"

Dang, lady, you couldn't have even faked it and said "congratulations" or SOMETHING nice?"

I decided I wasn't going to let it bother me, because it isn't the first time or the 100th that someone has said something stupid and insensitive in what otherwise is a happy time for my family.

But, it did bother me. And I kept thinking and thinking about it.

I guess I feel like I owe it to people to announce that we're expecting, because that's what people do, right? And, then I brace myself for the all. the. negativity. And, then I just swallow and ignore it because I don't want them to steal the joy of my new little one.

And, then I started thinking this week. Why do I think I owe it to anyone to announce it? Announcing it isn't even where I find the joy anyway.  I told a few close family members and a few close friends, but I just decided I'm not throwing it out there to get a reaction, negative or not, from anyone. I just don't need it.

Now, don't get me wrong, not everyone is negative and my good friends and family who know us, rejoice with us, But some friends and family don't rejoice. Some CHRISTIAN people don't rejoice. Have they not read in their Bible ALL the verses that talk about children being gifts, blessings and rewards???  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one's youth-BLESSED is the man whose quiver is FULL of them?

Since I turned forty in June, I keep thinking "Why can't we just be who we are? Why do we have to always need to please someone else? Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't aim to be Christlike if we are Christians, or giving reasons to sin, I'm talking why can't we go gray, be chunky, enjoy what we enjoy and not need to feel guilty because we aren't like someone else? Why do I need to suck in this belly because it isn't "acceptable" to look pregnant at 10 weeks? Why would I need to compare myself to someone pregnant with their second while I've had SIX times more pregnancies than them? (Ok, maybe that's just a personal issue. Or the result of  a personal love of all things chocolate, but whatever.)

I know not everyone understands or agrees with our decision to have many children. But, that's just it. It's OUR decision to trust God and to have many children. Some may not agree with it, some may not like it, but in the south we used to say,


So, there you have the deep insight into my thoughtful week.

Maybe it's just the nausea talking.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings: Crime Edition

My six year old Bailey came into my room while I was watching the news. They were talking about a police chase.

Bailey: "Those two guys who were running from the cops? Well, they should have known better."


Friday, July 10, 2015

Easter in July.......

I'm still in "catch-up" mode here. lol! Only a few months behind!  I got a few pictures of Trace's first Easter. It rained that morning so we had to have the Easter Egg hunt indoors in our newly renovated student center. It was crazy and crowded so I didn't get any of the older three kids.

Tristan, Thomas and Travis

Bethany and Brooke



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