I feel like we finally started to hit our post-Christmas homeschool groove this week. Plus the -30 C/F temperatures from last week gave way to -5C (23F) temperatures so that was also really helpful!
One thing I hope to add in for next week is the beginnings of a morning basket. I asked for some input over on Instagram the other day on what people’s favorite items are in their morning baskets and I’ve been pulling a few things out for ours.
Anyway, let’s chat about last week before I get too excited about a week that hasn’t even happened yet!
OUR HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW
For reference, here’s the low down on all the kids:
The Daughter – she’s 9 and in grade 4 The Son – he’s 6 and in grade 1 The Preschooler – he’s 3 The Toddler – he just turned 2!
(The preschooler and toddler came to us in the fall via foster care.)
Here’s a recap of our week:
+ We started back into our Bible journaling this week after taking a very unintentional extended break from it. I was feeling like reading directly from the Bible was going a bit over my six year old’s head so this week we used a children’s Bible which I think was too below my kids so I think for next week I am going to try reading from The Action Bible and we’ll see how that works.
+ Speaking of Bibles, I finally picked up The Beginner’s Bible. I know this is supposed to be a Bible to read to preschool-ish age kids but I thought it would be perfect for my six year old to read from. It seems to be a really good reading level for him.
+ One day this week we went to a local children’s museum. This was my six year old’s reward for finishing his reading lesson chart that I created for him. He gave the place a rating of 194/5 stars so I guess it’s a good thing I bought a membership. There were a few different areas the kids liked, this section was filled with tubes of air that you could stick giant pompoms into and watch them shoot through the tubes and come back out.
+ With the weather so much warmer we spent some time outside playing at the playground, it made me excited for spring but I need to remind myself that I still have to wait a few months before spring actually arrives.
+ The kids continued on with math this week and like I decided last week on Friday I gave them the option of doing two pages in their math workbook or playing SushiGo. Oddly the six year old decided to do the workbook so I played with the nine year old.
+ I am working on letters A-D with the preschooler, I’m very impressed with how quickly he has been catching on to everything I’ve been teaching him in the last couple of months. One of our favorite alphabet books for young kids is Dr. Seuss’s ABC.
+ My nine year old does a lot of reading on her own that I don’t usually mention every week (I do share many of them in my monthly reading wrap ups on my personal blog though), because she reads so much I don’t often assign her books to read but one thing I have challenged her to do this year is read through the Bible (my husband and I are also doing it as well). Most days she has her Bible reading done even before she gets out of bed in the morning. In case you are wondering, the Bible reading plan we are using is via the Read Scripture app.
Welcome to a new series where I am going more in-depth on all the different subjects we will be tackling this school year! If you want an overview of our homeschool day/week/month you can take a look at our three-part homeschool rhythm.
One area I knew I really wanted to do better this year in our homeschool was the Bible. I have tried a few different things (plans, methods, children’s Bible’s, etc) in the past and have not really been very good with sticking with them.
One of the ways I plan on making sure I follow through this year is by having our family Bible reading at the beginning of the day, since it is the very first thing we will be doing it will definitely get done.
My own personal Bible reading routine has changed a lot this year and I’ve gone from just reading the Bible to actually studying it, I don’t know why it took me so long to make the realization that I should do more than just read it.
I spent some time reading The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents this summer and it really made me want to step up how I approach the Bible with my kids. No one ever taught me how to study the Bible which is probably why it took me until I was in my 30’s to even learn how to study it, out of all the subjects I teach my children, the Bible should be my top priority.
OUR READING PLAN
The first thing I needed to figure out was a reading plan. I would love to one day go all the way through the Bible reading every chapter with my kids but we definitely needed something more manageable to start. (And, let’s be honest, there are some chapters I’m just not willing to tackle with my elementary aged children.)
Via some Google searches I came across a 90-day Bible reading plan that I mostly liked. I printed it out and have adjusted the lengths of some of the passages so far. Once I have the readings separated to my liking I’ll share it as a free printable. (Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter and you’ll be the first to get it.)
The Bible reading plan was originally a 90-day plan but it will take us longer than that since some days have quite a few chapters and I would rather take our time than just try to cruise through to check the boxes. I’m guessing it will take us all year to go through it.
Because our Bible reading takes place during our tea time and I’m usually sipping on my homemade, dairy-free hot cocoa at this point I usually use the Bible app and we listen to the audio version.
One thing I have been doing since the winter is taking notes when I study the Bible. For the new testament I’ve gone a bit more in-depth and the old testament has been more like chapter summaries. It has helped my comprehension and retention a lot so I knew I wanted the kids to do something similar this year.
Enter Bible Journaling.
All we did was get them basic composition notebooks and each day they write the title (the book and chapters we read) and then write and/or draw something from that chapter(s).
My daughter will often write questions that she thought of while listening to the chapter being read. As you can see above in the photo on the left, she wrote: How was the ark strong (enough) to hold all that (stuff)?
Also, I am not picky about spelling when it comes to their Bible journals, if they ask how something is spelled I will tell them but there are times when my fourth grader will write a page and a half long summary, I care way more that she is writing and processing the chapter than whether or not she is spelling things correctly.
Not only does Bible journaling have them thinking about the Bible for longer than if we just read the chapters and moved on but it can create some discussion as they ask for clarification as they write or draw. Plus they are getting writing and drawing in, honestly, if we just did our Bible stuff each day I would be okay with that, in my opinion it covers all the most important subjects.
And there you have it, our super simple and yet incredibly beneficial Bible reading and journaling time!
I am so excited at the treasure these journals are already becoming, I know they will be even more so by the end of the year.
I would love to hear how you study the Bible with your children, leave me a comment below and let me know what you do!
I remember one of my highlights from childhood going to AWANA each week – I would wear my little vest with the badges and the jewels. I learned so many verses because of AWANA, I would even go so far as to say that half the verses I know now are thanks to AWANA.
Unfortunately we don’t have any programs like AWANA around where we live but I still really want to make memorizing verses a priority in these early childhood years for my children.
I have made more of an effort in our homeschool this year with memory verses but it wasn’t until last week that something dawned on me. Because I have one pre-reader and one reader this year I’ve just been saying the line out loud for them to copy and memorize that way, which has been going great for my son but I realized last week that my daughter is more of a visual learner. Being able to read what she is supposed to memorize makes it a lot easier for her. It was such a light bulb moment that I should have clued in on early.
So, I made a list of 30 Bible verses and passages that I want to go over with my kids in the next year or two (or three, I really don’t have a set time) and I just printed them out and have been having my daughter highlight the verses we are/have learned. This way the verses we are learning jump out more on the page and she has the ability to read the verses instead of depending on me reading them.
I have included the list of verses below and in addition, I have a PDF with the verses that you can print out as well.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I mentioned in our grade two curriculum plan that this year we are focusing a lot on character. Throughout the summer I just kept coming back to that. Academically we are on par (or beyond) for Raeca’s grade level so I don’t feel much pressure that way this year but there is a lot I want to work on in regards to character development.
There are a few different things we are doing but the main one is being intentional with our memory verses.
When I was planning out the year I came up with a list of verses that correspond with different areas I feel need to be worked on: attitude, work ethic, etc. Raeca deals quite a bit with anxiety and fear so there are also a number of verses we’ll be memorizing to help with that.
I am often amazed at how many verses I remember from when I was young. Truth be told, I haven’t even memorized many as an adult, most of the ones I know are because I memorized them as a kid. Kids are so good at memorization and I want to take advantage of that and help my kids to store these verses in their hearts and their minds now before they get too old and their brain starts shutting down (or maybe that’s just mine).
There are a few different things we are doing to help memorize Scripture and make sure we retain it . . .
DISPLAYING MEMORY VERSES
One of my favorite ways to memorize Scripture is to make sure I have it displayed somewhere! We’ve had a lot of Scripture on our walls over the years, sometimes it’s as simple as Index cards stuck to the wall by my bed and sometimes it’s pretty art in a frame.
This year I decided to create some beautiful prints of the verses we are memorizing and the plan is to have our current verse displayed somewhere we will see it frequently.
I’ve actually decided to share our memory verse cards and have put them up for sale in the shop. I plan on continuing to add sets as we go on.
MEMORY VERSE APP
My husband created a simple memory verse app that takes a word away from your verse each time you tap the screen. This is one of the best ways I learned memory verses as a kid in AWANA, except back then it was on a chalkboard and we erased words with a chalk brush. 😂
MEMORY VERSE ART JOURNALING
I started really getting into art journaling right after the New Year, it feels like scrapbooking without the pressure and perfection. I’ve loved creating beautiful pages and then gluing my memory verse over top. It makes me want to come back to it again and again. And Raeca has been enjoying doing this along side me over the last few weeks.
Here are two of her pages and then two of mine:
REVIEWING MEMORY VERSES
Right now we are taking two weeks to memorize each verse and at the beginning of the week we review our previous verses. As more verses get added in we’ll spread this out and review a verse or two each day.