Category Archives: Bible

Child Training Bible

Oh how I love Pinterest! I’ve come across some of the greatest ideas on there, and also some of the neatest products that I didn’t previously know existed. This one in particular is among the most practical and useful products I’ve seen on there. I think I spotted and pinned this Child Training Bible maybe a week and a half before Christmas, and I made it very clear to my kids and husband that I’d love to get everything I need to make it (with Christmas and my birthday coming up…I knew there was a good possibility they might need gift ideas anyway). Lo and behold, my hubby made it happen. On Christmas, I got the kit and all the supplies needed to put it together. I got right to work and completed it in just over a day.
What is it that makes this product so great, you might ask? Well, for starters, the Bible has so much instruction and encouragement in it that could and should be used in the training of our children, however, if you’re like me, in the moment when it’s needed, you may forget exactly which verse you’re looking for and by the time you find it, that teachable moment has passed. To have handy scripture available, I’ve tried charts that have verses, along with index cards on rings, but they don’t quite have the same effect as opening God’s Word to see what it has to say. Caroline, my inquisitive and skeptical child, has asked me before when I’ve told her what the Bible says, “Does it REALLY say that?” (“Yes, my dear, I promise you it does say ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right’ even though I know you’d like to believe I’m making that up.”) So now, with this product, I can grab the Bible, quickly find several verses on a particular topic, and sit down with the child whose heart needs to be reminded of truth. THAT is what makes this product an incredibly useful parenting tool. I knew I had to have it when I saw it.

On their website, they list the exact materials you need to make The Child Training Bible.

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Their guide goes in the front of the Bible (that needs to be exactly 9×6) and allows you to easily find verses you’ve tabbed (they give you a list of recommended verses, but I also included some of my own personal favorites) on each issue.

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On the tabbed pages, you highlight the verse in the corresponding color to make it super easy to find. Some pages may have highlighted verses in various colors.

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This is something I decided to add on my own so I wouldn’t have to keep multiple guides stuck in the Bible all the time. The gospel section is broken up further into four parts, so I marked those on the inside so we could easily find what we were looking for.

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Nature Study, Art and Music Appreciation, Read Alouds and Bible

I’ve been planning for next year while at the same time really looking more into the methods of Charlotte Mason and there’s so much that she valued that I want to be including in our school routine. We’ve done lots of reading aloud, but other than that, I wouldn’t say we’re strictly following the guidelines she suggested, even though I have loved much of what I read about how she taught children. A phrase I found myself repeating a lot was “someday we’ll do more of that type of thing….” but recently I’ve realized that now, while my children are still young and fascinated by their world, is the perfect time to introduce this stuff.

Charlotte Mason emphasized letting children be outside as much as possible and letting them learn from their surroundings so we’re going to try to do frequent nature walks. I got the perfect little bag (bought it on etsy…isn’t it cute?) that I can keep our journals, pencils and things we’ll need when we head out for some outside time. I want to be more purposeful about encouraging the kids to be observant about what they see around them. We’ll be able to easily grab our nature bag to bring along during trips to the park, walks around the neighborhood, or even just out into our backyard when we can’t spare the time to go far.

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Another thing we’ll be doing next year is studying a few artists and composers. We’ll be doing several eight week studies on one artist and one composer at a time, for a total of four artists and four composers for the entire year.

I came across this great series that has tons of the greatest artists and composers. We’ll also be taking out lots of books from the library to learn as much as we can during each eight-week period.

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The kids will each have an art and music notebook. We’ll study specific pieces of art from each artist and the kids will have a chance to try to do their own versions of the artwork.
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I found several other fun things to add to our music section, while we enjoy listening to the music from these composers.
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We have loved reading aloud this year and have completed about eight books together, so I wanted to make sure I picked out some good ones for next year. Both of the kids have been dying to know about what we’re going to read and they want to know how soon we can begin!

Here are a few of our read alouds for next year that I was able to snag from Half Price Books. There are a couple others that go along with Elliot’s Five in A Row books that I plan to borrow from the library.

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We found ourselves coming across some great new words in our read alouds and occasionally Elliot would tell me a word he came across in one of his books, and I found myself looking up words all the time, so I decided we needed to keep track of these words in a journal. The kids are really excited about finding new words to add!

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We’ve come across a few great ones already, just since yesterday.
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I also came across some great printables on this blog recently and founds his one that will compliment our word journal nicely. I laminated it so we can reuse it with dry erase markers. We’ll choose one word from our journal each week as our “Word of the Week”.

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Another thing I’d like to do much better at next year is reading to the kids from the Bible…not a children’s story Bible, not a devotional, but the Bible! Not that those other things are bad at all, but I think I’ve relied on them too much and assumed my kids can’t handle the Bible. When I was looking for what we’d use for our morning devotional time this year, God really spoke to me and convicted me that His Word was enough! From what I had read about Charlotte Mason, I knew she was also emphasized reading to your children from the Bible often and from an early age.
There was still that question in my mind of “Okay, but where do I being and how will I choose what we read each day?” and a good friend of mine pointed me in the direction of Penny Gardner’s Bible Reading Plan. She has a long list, for both the Old and New Testament, broken up into “episodes”. It’s exactly what I was looking for! I tweeked it a little bit, printed it off and laminated it. We’re going to alternate between Old and New Testament reading and check off with a dry erase marker what we’ve covered.

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What’s New For Next Year

I’ve been super busy planning for next year these last few weeks. We’re keeping a lot of our favorites from this year (such as Math-U-See, Explode the Code, A Reason for Handwriting, Growing with Grammar, Pathway Readers, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, and Five in a Row) but we’re also going to be trying out a few new things as well. Here’s what’s new for next year.

We’re adding art because the kids have shown a real interest in doing more art work. This is a new curriculum written by How Great Thou Art. There are around sixty Bible stories in it with discussion questions and an art lesson for each one. I love that it’s so much more than just art!

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In addition to the book, you get all of the pages for the art lessons that you can copy as needed to use with however many students you have.
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I’m starting Caroline on a math curriculum next year. I wanted something gentle, fun and effective and I came across this. It’s a Charlotte Mason style curriculum, so it’s written in story-form (which is extremely unique for a math curriculum). It’s the story of a set of twins who go visit their grandparent’s farm for the summer and all of their adventures.
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All the extras you need are included in the back of the book and need only to be laminated for durability.
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How cute is this?!
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We’ll also be adding a Worldview curriculum for the three of us to do together. This is a new series written by Apologia (well-known for their excellent science curriculum). There are four books in the entire series and we’ll be covering one per year. We’ll also be keeping a notebook together where we’ll jot down memory verses, key terms, and answers to discussion questions. I think the kids will really grow in their understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. I’m super excited!
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And last, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I am doing for literature next year. Elliot and I will be continuing our beloved Five in A Row. I am going to be using titles from both volume three and four with him because I think he will be ready to move on to a more challenging literature program in third grade (I’m looking at a Total Language Plus or Progeny Press). We’ll be doing a total of eighteen FIAR books next year! For Caroline, I’ve come up with something on my own. We’re doing a family theme throughout the whole year and we’ll be reading a variety of books written about different family relationships. We’ll cover mother, father, siblings, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’ll also be using those books as a starting point for unit studies on a variety of topics like seasons, weather, money, etc.

Here are some of the books her and I will be reading together next year. She will also have eighteen total books for the year.

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The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Knowledge

Over the last few days I’ve had some extra time and have been able to peruse through a few new homeschooling blogs that I’ve found and I keep coming across blog posts conveying the same exact idea. It’s as if God specifically picked them out for me and sent them my way. The topic I keep seeing discussed over and over is that Christ should be at the center of your homeschool. Of course, I nod to myself and agree wholeheartedly. After all, that’s the main reason we chose to homeschool. The one thing I wanted emphasized in my children’s lives would be purposely left out in the public school. Though it can be done and I know people who do it well, the task of building upon the “neutral” (There is really no such thing. If you remove God from the picture, you are against Him.) foundation of school and weeding out all of the teachings that directly contradict our beliefs seemed more daunting than homeschooling itself.

So, here we are a year and a half later. Am I succeeding at what we set out to do or am I letting the pressure to succeed academically steal the precious opportunities to lead my children to Jesus? The other night Elliot was reading in his bed for nearly an hour, as he typically does these days. I peeked into his room and my heart soared. I said to myself, “YES! We are succeeding! He loves reading!” A few moments later my heart dropped and I immediately realized my error. The reading is wonderful, of course, but am I pursuing teaching him God’s word as strongly as I am chasing after these academic achievements? I cannot honestly say that I do each day. Do I often rush through our morning Bible time because we need to get our school work done? Do I allow the kids to pray quick thoughtless prayers as we begin our day and not challenge them to speak to God from their hearts because we’ve got to finish a book for school? Do I criticize and complain at them instead of using conflict as an opportunity to teach them by example with God’s word? Guilty. I’m so thankful that God is showing me these things now during the early years. If I can’t keep my priorities straight while we’re doing first grade, how am I going to do it down the road when pressure to “keep up” is much higher. These are things I personally plan to work on, because in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if my kids are reading three grade levels ahead. It will be of no value to them that they can name all the presidents in order or name the capitals of all fifty states. Being book-smart may benefit them to a degree until the end of this life, but it will have no eternal value.

In closing, I want to use my husband as a great example. He has an amazing ability to impart truth to our kids. I’m convinced he’d do a much better job at this if he were the one staying at home with the kids! He came home last night after a long day at work and was still able to begin a meaningful discussion with the kids at the dinner table. He talked with the kids about how they have the choice to either be a tool that God uses for His glory or to be an example of what God is not pleased with. He reminded them to ask themselves in certain situations if they were being a David or a Goliath. I found this simple question to be quite brilliant and will now be asking my kids on a daily basis during conflict if they are being a David or a Goliath. I pray that God can sharpen me in the way He has sharpened my husband so that together we can be effective teachers to these kids God has given us.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:5-9

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A Little Slice of Heaven!

We love our new schoolroom! It’s amazing how peaceful and serene things can feel when you have a nice organized space where you can learn and think without a bunch of clutter and distractions. The kids adore their desks and with all their supplies being right there within reach, I’m going through a crazy amount of paper these days.

Here are my two little students working in their Bible coloring books that correspond with our “Bible Stories to Read” that we do together in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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What about Bible?

The big question I’ve gotten a lot about this upcoming year is, “Are you using a Bible curriculum?” The answer is, “Nope, no big Bible curriculum this year.” At this point, I do want to be sure we’re teaching Biblical concepts, but I don’t want it to feel like just another subject to cover in school. There aren’t going to be written assignments to go with what we learn, but there will be plenty of reading aloud and discussions. I wanted something simple like a devotional or a book of Bible stories. I was torn between doing two different things, until I realized we have time this year to cover them both! Throughout the week we’ll be alternating between “Leading Little Ones to God” (that came highly recommended to me by my wonderful mother and father-in-law who did a beautiful job leading their five little ones to God, so naturally I’ll gladly take the suggestion!) and Rod and Staff “Bible Stories to Read.” Last year we did our devotional time immediately prior to lunch, but this year I decided I want to start our school day with it, so right after chores and quiet individual Bible time, we’ll head to the table and open our day with prayer and time learning from God’s word together before diving into the rest of our school subjects.

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Each reading is very simple and accompanied by nice illustrations. It’s very thorough and covers all the fundamental Bible truths. 20110812-032013.jpg

I found “Bible Stories to Read” for a dollar at a used curriculum store not too long ago and I decided to order a pair of the coloring books that go along with it so the kids can color the corresponding picture as we read the story.
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Bible for Storm in the Night

We did our last reading of Storm in the Night today! For our Bible lesson, we talked once again about fear and what the Bible says about it. We also read Mark 4:35-40, about the big storm that came while the disciples were on the boat, even though Jesus, the Son of God, was on there with them! We talked about how Jesus is with us too and how we can rest in that when we are scared.

So, that’s it! We’re done with Five in a Row for the year! We’ve got a big notebook full of fun projects we’ve done with these incredible books and we can’t wait to start up again with Volume two next year! Thanks so much for following our journey!

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“Oh no, You never let go…”

Oh no, You never let go, through the calm and through the storm….

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“So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I

“So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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Bible for Very Last First Time

We’re wrapping up Very Last First Time this week and today we did our Bible lesson from our FIAR Bible Study Supplement. We focused on fear and what the Bible has to say about it. As soon as I mentioned Isaiah 41:10, Elliot got a huge grin on his face and started singing “Do not fear , for I am with you!” It’s on of our favorite songs from our Seeds of Courage CD. (By the way, I highly recommend the entire Seeds collection. It’s all scripture put to music that is done really well. Even I really enjoy listening to them.) We decided it’s our theme song for the day.

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