Friday, January 29, 2016

FIAR: Grandfather's Journey & Link-Up

This week in Five in a Row, Mercie and I read the book "Grandfather's Journey" by Allen Say.

Product Details
This was a beautifully illustrated book that we enjoyed reading each day.
On Monday, we talked about Japan. We read about Japan in Children Around the World. Mercie colored the flag and map of Japan, placing a star sticker where the capital, Tokyo, is. We also located Japan on her Asia map, colored it, and wrote "Grandfather's Journey" beside it.

On Tuesday, Mercie defined her vocabulary words {steamship, songbirds, and homeland}. We talked about how they were all three compound words.

On Wednesday, we talked about landforms since many are mentioned in the book. I printed out some worksheets from and she made a little landforms flip page.

 On Thursday, Mercie colored the parts of a bird and made a bird feeder from a tin can and some yarn. We hung it in the yard with some birdseed in it.
On Friday, we talked about the Five Essential Parts of a Story and did a worksheet. She really understood what we were talking about and had some great answers.
We also tried our hand at some simple origami. We made dogs, cats, fish, and frogs.

It was a fun week, and I tried not to do too much. Sometimes it's easy to over plan but I just picked the projects that I knew she would enjoy and that would benefit her.
The featured post from last week was:
stopping by woods
Thanks for linking up last week, and I can't wait to read the FIAR posts from this week!



Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Teen Girl's Quiet Time Devotional Journal & Coloring Book

Mikaela, my 7th grader, has been using this Teen Girl's Quiet Time Devotional Journal for several weeks now.">Just for Teen Girls ~ Quiet-Time Devotional Journal & Coloring Book: Trust in the Lord with all your Heart -  365 Pages of Faith, Joy & Creativity
There are lots of fun pages inside to get your teen's creative juices flowing while they study the Bible.
Here are the pages in this journal:
  • Topic Pages {love, forgiveness, trust, purity}
  • Journal Pages
  • Prayer Lists and Plans
  • Draw Your Dreams
  • Reading Time
  • Learn a New Skill
  • Thinking Time
  • A Hope, A Prayer, A Memory
  • To Do List
  • Draw a Meal Plan
  • Recipe
  • Pages with Titles like "Never Forget", "I Am Thankful For", and "Hopes and Prayers"
  • Listening Time
  • "What's On Your Mind?"
  • Quotes and Verse to Remember
  • And of course, tons of Coloring Pages
Mikaela uses a page or two each day in this journal after {or as} she is reading her Bible.
On the Topic Pages, she looks up verses on that particular topic using her concordance. I love that she is getting practice in this skill.
She writes her memory verse on the Drawing Time pages sometimes. She loves to draw and doodle.
Here are some pages she has completed.
Here are a few more examples of the inside pages.
 Mikaela loves using this journal because it allows her plenty of creativity while giving her some direction in her Bible study. This journal would  be perfect for any girl who loves to draw and doodle and read her Bible!
Check out some more of Sarah Janisse Brown's journals on Amazon! Just search "Sarah Janisse Brown Journals" and a ton will pop up! Or visit her website, Dyslexia Games.
If you want to read more posts about these awesome journals and how to implement them in your homeschool, visit the link up below:


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

52 Lists Project: Week 4

We are on Week Four of the 52 Lists Project, and this week we must list our current and future goals and dreams.

1.) Making sure I give my children a solid education, and more importantly, and solid spiritual foundation to stand on.

2.) Fostering relationships with my children, and fostering relationships between my children.

3.) Growing and maturing in my faith daily by seeking His presence and obeying Him in everything I do.

4.) Honoring and glorifying my Heavenly Father with my words, actions, thoughts, and attitudes.

5.) Memorizing large passages of scriptures this year.

6.) Teaching Silas to read.

7.) Nurturing my marriage.

8.) Developing a gentle, quiet, and humble spirit in my marriage, my parenting, my homeschooling, and my relationship with God.

9.) Finding the right balance of homeschool methods and curriculum for our family. {It's a work in progress!}

10.) Giving more - of my time, my money, my compassion, my spiritual gift.

I know this list probably doesn't seem like most - paying off debt, or building a house, or furthering my education or career. Those things are important to me, as my husband and I would like to build a house one day and pay off all of our debt. However, those things don't mean much in the eternal sense, and my goals are to always see things through God's eyes. I want to focus on the things that really matter - my family and our relationships to God and to each other, my children's education, and becoming the woman that God has called me to be. So these are my goals, my dreams, and my prayers for my family.

Linking up with Chasing Slow.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blogging Through the Alphabet: M is for Memorization

We are on Week 13 of Blogging Through the Alphabet, and M is for Memorization.

Memorization is very important to our children's success in school and in life. There are many different things your child will memorize, both voluntarily and involuntarily - their alphabet, the days of the week, their multiplication tables.

I am going to talk about the most important thing for our children to memorize - Scripture.

My children begin memorizing scripture at a young age. I don't force it; it just happens. Every morning, when we do our Morning Meeting Time, the kids and I work on our scripture memory verses. As we review the verse, the younger kids hear it over and over, and then they are able to repeat it.
For example, right now, my kids and I are working to memorize Matthew 6:5-15. We started last Monday, and they can already say Matthew 6:5-6. {We memorize a verse at time, adding a verse every couple of days.} We don't have any special tricks or a complex process for memorization. This is what we do:
  • I read the verse to them twice.
  • I read a phrase, they repeat, I read a phrase, they repeat, until we have repeated the portion we are learning.
  • Next, I say part of the verse and stop - they have to say the next word or two.
  • Finally, they try saying it without help.
We do this every morning for about 5-10 minutes. It doesn't take long for kids to memorize scripture!
I also have them write it down at least once a week. Writing it really helps if they are having trouble with a few words or the order of a few words.
I feel it is important for my kids to memorize passages of scripture. They have memorized Psalm 1 and Psalm 23 so far. Individual verses are great to memorize, but passages of scripture keep the verses in context and really cement certain things in our hearts and minds.
My oldest 2 are also in Bible Drill at church, so they have a list of verses, key passages, and the plan of salvation to memorize. My youngest 3 have a Bible Memory Club at church where they are to memorize a verse a week for a year.
It is so important for our children to learn scripture.
 Memorizing scripture helps us to combat satan and spiritual warfare. When Jesus was tempted by satan in the wilderness, he used scripture to stand against the devil's schemes. We can do the same thing! If we are tempted to watch a movie we know we shouldn't or read a book that is not honoring God, we can remind our selves:
We can also use scripture to help us in our prayer life. When we pray scripture, we are affirming that what we are asking for is God's will. It also helps guide us to pray the way God intends for us to.
It is also important to know the scriptures if you are witnessing to a friend or a lost person. When we are witnessing, and we know the scripture and reference to back up what we are saying, it gives us more credibility and gives God the glory.
I have scriptures all over my house - painted on canvases, written on papers, and hanging on my refrigerator. Looking at the scriptures daily keeps my focus on God. I have also memorized several scriptures without even trying just by seeing them daily.
Make scripture memorization a priority in your daily life and in the lives of your children. You will not regret it, and they will thank you for it one day!
What ways do your children memorize scripture?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Junior High Junction: Life Skills for Middle Schoolers

Welcome to the Junior High Junction - the link up for all things junior high! If you linked up last week, thanks! I look forward to reading all of the fun posts this week!
This week, I'm going to talk about life skills for our Junior High students.
{Life skills are skills necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.}

There are so many life skills that our kids are going to need as they graduate, find jobs, go to college, and {sob} leave home. I am going to mention five of the skills that my kids will learn while they are middle-school aged {around ages 10-14, or grades 5-8}. There are lots of life skills I will wait to teach them until they are high school aged.
1.) Manners and Etiquette - Manners should be taught from the time a child is old enough to walk and talk, but etiquette is a little bit different from manners. Here is the definition of etiquette: the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. There are so many etiquette rules that even I don't know, and I am 30 years old! I found this awesome, etiquette lesson plan book that I am ordering today for my children. It teaches things like addressing grown-ups, when to shake hands, attending parties, conversations, conversation no-no's, and so much more. There are 125 short, child-led lessons in this book.
2.) Laundry - Knowing how to properly load a washing machine, which clothes to dry in the dryer and which clothes to hang up to dry, and how to fold and put away laundry is a vital skill. My 13 year old daughter helps to fold and hang up  most of our clean laundry, and I have taught her how to sort laundry and load the washer and dryer. I have yet to teach my 10 year old son, but it is going to happen soon. Not only will this be a skill your child can use to help you around the house,  but something they will need to know when they have their own place to live {unless you want to do their laundry for the rest of their lives}. If you have to, make a list of laundry rules to hang up in your laundry room!
3.) Cooking Skills - My daughter loves to cook and bake, and she has been cooking for years. She can cook an entire meal if I need her to. The skills you need to show your child are: how to follow a recipe, how to properly measure dry and liquid ingredients {my daughter actually did a 4H demonstration on this last year and won 2nd place!}, how to peel vegetables, how to safely use a knife, how to boil pasta, brown beef, boil and shred chicken, and how to use kitchen appliances. If your child makes mistakes or their first meal doesn't turn out right, it's okay! My daughter has made many mistakes - using a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon, scorching food by forgetting to stir, and several more. I make mistakes cooking, too. Some easy things to start teaching your kids to cook would be tacos, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, soup, and a cake from a mix.
4.) Using Tools - Giving our children the opportunity to use real tools to perform real life tasks boosts their confidence and teaches them valuable life skills. Knowing how to use a screwdriver, hammer, power drill, hand saw, and tape measure are things every child should know. Give them a pile of scrap wood and access to tools and see if they don't create something! Help them build a bird house, a small sand box for a younger sibling, or even a bookshelf for their room. Let them replace the batteries in their brother's toys, hang a picture on the wall for you, swap out a door knob, or fix the broken chair leg. Even simple things, like changing a light bulb or installing a new toilet seat, are important to know! With supervision, middle school aged kids should be able to do a variety of things using real tools.

5.) Purchasing Items at a Store -  This may seem insignificant, but knowing how to find an item, pay for it, and receive change and a receipt is important. Allow your child to run into the grocery store to grab a bag of sugar or a gallon of milk, pay for it, and bring you the change. As they get older, give them a short list of things to buy. Allow them to use your debit card to pay to get practice. You could even give them a certain amount of money {say, $20} to buy the things needed to cook a meal. Let them chose the meal, find the ingredients, and pay for the items. Then, you could even let them cook the meal for another life skill!
There are so many more life skills I have planned for my children. I'll have to make another post with 5 more soon! Is there anything you have taught your kids that I left off my list?

Friday, January 22, 2016

BFIAR: Caps for Sale!">Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business
This week in Before Five in a Row, Silas, Titus and I read the book "Caps for Sale". They really enjoyed this book, especially the mischievous monkeys who steal the peddler's caps!

On Monday, we read the book and then talked about trees. I found a worksheet where Silas could label the four main parts of a tree - leaves, branches, trunk and bark. I wrote the words on the marker board, and he had to copy them on the paper. He did a great job!

On Tuesday, we talked about money since the peddler sold his caps for fifty cents each. I made a simple worksheet with a square for a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. I let them do a coin rubbing of each one and write the amount each coin is worth.

On Wednesday, we read about monkeys and made a mini-monkey book. We also counted the caps in the book, and Silas helped me "read" it.
On Thursday, Silas made a bar graph counting the different colored hats the peddler had. Then I had him draw a picture of his favorite page in the book. I found a short sentence to match the picture and had him do "copy work". I wrote one word at a time on the marker board as he copied them down. He did a pretty good job.
On Friday, we are going to make chocolate covered bananas and just read the story for enjoyment!
In math, Silas worked on addition with counting cubes. He practiced counting to 30 and saying the months of the year.
 In All About Reading, he learned the lowercase "q", "r", "s", and "t". I have discovered that Silas learns best when playing games - it engages his attention and helps him with retention. So I made a few file folder games and laminated some simple 4-6 piece puzzles {that are mixed up in a bag}. He has to draw a flashcard and complete the action - either say the letter or match it to the uppercase letter. Then he can draw one puzzle piece and start completing the puzzles or do one step on the file folder game. It helped a lot, and he didn't complain about "flash cards" as he usually does!
We had a fun and busy week! How about you?

FIAR: The Story of Ping

This was Mercie's first week using Five in a Row. We "rowed" the book "The Story About Ping", and it was a lot of fun! She had a great time, and is excited about next week already.
Product Details
Mercie is 7, in the 2nd grade.

On Monday, we read the story. She was really nervous the whole time that Ping would not get back to his family! When we finished the book, she said, "I should have known that books always have happy endings." So sweet!

We talked about ducks and how their feathers have a special oil to keep them waterproof. We did a simple experiment to show this. She cut out two duck shapes from a paper bag, and "painted" vegetable oil on one of them. Next, she used a medicine dropper to drop water on both ducks. The one with oil didn't absorb the water; instead, it bubbled up on top. The duck without oil absorbed the water and got wet.

Then, I poured oil into a glass of water. Mercie was amazed how the oil fell to the bottom, and then quickly rose to the surface of the water. She stirred it up, trying to mix them. She thought it was funny that they wouldn't mix, and that the oil kept coming to the surface! She laughed when she made an "oil tornado" in the water!

After that, Mercie looked in our Animal Encyclopedia and read about ducks. She then filled in a page in her "Do It Yourself Animal Book". I am going to have her use this to keep a journal of all the animals we read about in FIAR.

On Tuesday, we talked about China, since that is where the Yangtze River is. She colored the flag and drew the river on the map. We cooked chicken fried rice, too.

I also had her define 3 vocabulary words from the book: barrel, scurry, and paddle. She noticed all by herself that those words had double consonants! {I didn't even recognize it!} She got a little practice looking in the dictionary, but I had to help.

On Wednesday, we talked about ducks some more. I found a poem in the Fold 'n Learns about a duck going "bottom side up" to eat. It was really cute, and I had Mercie find the illustration in the book that fit the poem and draw it. She did a great job.

She also made a mini-duck book with pictures and names for several different types of ducks. She remembered reading about some of them in her Animal Encyclopedia.

We found China on the map and talked about continents and countries {still confusing to her.}

On Thursday, we counted all of Ping's family members - all 68 of them! We worked a few math problems from the book. We played our continents and oceans game a few times. She is getting much faster! When she masters the continents and oceans, we start on countries.

On Friday, I had her draw a summary page and the life cycle of a duck.

In math, she worked on mental addition and subtraction. I printed her some daily grammar practice sheets from to use this week. She worked in her Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal and her Bible Time  Kids Devotion Journal.

She enjoyed this week and loved doing Five in a Row. She is already talking about next week! We will be rowing "Grandfather's Journey".

How was your week?