With the busyness of life in full effect at the Homestead, I haven't been posting regular updates to the Homeschooling page. I will start putting together some video updates as well as some project updates. I apologize for the long delay in between posts! Looking forward to 2019 and the second half of the home school year! God bless and happy homeschooling!
WEEK 3 of our Christmas lessons for our Sunday School class was centered around the
Angels and the Star of David!
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.'
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."
An angel appeared followed by a group of angels to the shepherds, so this proved that they had a very important message to give to them. YES! Our Savior's Birth is TRULY a VERY Important MESSAGE! We don't know the names of the angels or how many there were of them, but in the Bible it says that it was a great company (which would mean A LOT) - so it would have been an amazing experience!
As the kids entered into the room, I put out another coloring page to start.
This is what they colored:
SONG AND STORY TIME:
The kids LOVE singing time...so like last week, we sang the songs that were our favorites. Check out last week's lesson on the Magi HERE!
We reviewed the past 2 weeks of stories and then moved on to the Angels and the importance of the Star. It is sometimes referred to as the Star of Bethlehem or the Star of David. We know that Astronomy and using the stars for mapping was important for navigation and many other things in those times. God showed us in the Old Testament Prophesies about the importance of the coming birth of the Savior. Even the STARS were involved!
The Wise Men had seen an unusual new star in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special King in Israel. But what did they see? The Bible says they 'saw it in the east' and then when they were in Jerusalem that it 'went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was'. AMAZING!
We even talked about what we thought the Shepherds were feeling when the sky lit up with all those Angels! It was in the middle of the night but the LIGHT that filled the sky was probably brighter than the SUN!
God went all out with making sure everyone knew how truly Magnificent and Magestic this GOOD NEWS was! HIS SON was born and it was TRULY an important message...lifesaving!
We moved over to the table to start some messy fun! You'll need Blue (or any color really) Construction Paper, Glitter, Coffee Filters, and Glue Sticks. The kids were making Angel Christmas Cards to share the Good News with someone.
We then moved on to making STARS!
So after the Cards, I gave each child a pre-made popsicle stick star. I had made them at home to make sure the glue was dry for the kids to decorate. I found that the Craft Glue was the best to use for these.
Each kiddo was able to pick out their own glitter and decorate. It is easiest to do this over paper plates (and having a few helpers).
The last step is to add a piece of curling ribbon through the top loop so the kids can hang their star on their Christmas tree! Perfecto...a cute, easy, and colorful Star Ornament!
We kept snack simple...first, washing hands, then saying a prayer thanking God for our food. The kids enjoyed Pretzels and Cheeze Crackers. The kids could make stars out of their pretzels. :) They have fun being given a challenge as they snack away.
With the little time we had left, the kids played a game of "Duck, Duck, Goose" over in the story time area. We modified it to be "Sheep, Sheep, Star" just to spice the game up a bit. :)
I hope your preschoolers have as much fun as mine did!
This is just so incredibly cute!
I see so many families doing the ELF ON THE SHELF each year during the months of December. I've never given it a try but if I wanted to do anything, I'd do this with the kids...this is just too cute!
I recently heard about this from our Aunt and also read a super review on one of my favoriteBLOGS.
Laura from HeavenlyHomemakers describes it perfectly on her site...check out her review!
How amazing is it to find a fun way to point your kids towards JESUS this holiday season? It comes with a beautiful picture book you can read and daily advent reading cards along with the Shepherds Doll.
You can buy them at www.sleepingbaby.com! Check out the video down below!
WEEK 2 of our Christmas lessons for our Sunday School class was centered around the Wise Men! These men were truly wise as they sought to honor God with their lives. They were obedient to the Lord's message to not report to Herod about the born Messiah.
It would have been so amazing to be there at the time when the Magi came to visit Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.
As the kids entered into the room, we had these coloring sheets out for them to use. My preschoolers LOVE to color so it is nice to always have this option...plus, they do like routine. When I don't have a coloring sheet laying out for them, they look at me cross-eyed and ask, "Where is our picture, Mrs. Cook!?" Ha...so I better stick with what they like.
SONG AND STORY TIME:
Once all the kids have been checked into class and they've had enough time to color, we moved over to the reading area for our singing and story time. We usually spend a little more time on the singing since this is one of their favorite things to do. We keep it pretty simple but I do try to sneak in a new song from time to time.
Here are their all-time favorites (classics but still just as popular):
"Jesus Loves Me" - We do the sign language movements with this one
"This Little Light of Mine" - Their favorite verse is about "Hiding It Uunder a Bushel, NO". Haha!
"The Lord's Army" - We sing this atleast 3-4 times through. If I forget this song, they always remind me.
365 Bibe Stories for Young Hearts is a GREAT Children's Bible. I love using this Children's Bible for our Story Time. It is our personal Bible from home and I love using it for class too.
We read through last week's story and added the next part on the Wise Men. This is a great way to review from the previous week and add a little bit of newer information.
We talked briefly about why the Wise Men (they were commonly referred to as the Magi) may have given Jesus these 3 gifts and what they actually were. Gold-because it is valuable and Jesus was a King, Frankincense-because it was a highly valued oil and used in priestly roles of the church, and Myrrh-this was a common and important incense for funerals and burials. They may have been familiar with the important prophesies of the Old Testament about Jesus' eventual death and resurrection.
(This is the condensed preschool version)
These Wise Men were obviously well versed in both the Scriptures and in Astronomy. They knew when the Star of David was in position to signal Christ's birth and understood how to follow it through the night sky towards Bethlehem. Their names were thought to have been Melchior (he brought the Gold), Caspar (he brought the Frankincense), and Balthasar (he brought the myrrh).
We then moved over to the table to make our Wise Men Picture. I had pre-cut different colored triangles, Light Tan Circles, and 3 varying shaped crowns. The kids were given these to glue onto their paper to form the 3 Magi. I even gave them the verse Luke 2:11 "For Unto You is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord". They could glue this on their page as well. The kids added faces and stars in the sky with crayons.
We kept snack simple...first, washing hands, then saying a prayer thanking God for our food. The kids enjoyed animal crackers this week and had to count how many camels they could find out of all their crackers. They had fun finding and counting them.
We ended by giving each kiddo a set of the 3 Magi Gift Ornaments. We didn't finish these up but they were sent home for the kids to complete at home. I printed out the black and white version of the FREE Printable from the sundayschoolcrafts website. There is a color version you can print out for FREE too. Once the kids color them, laminating them would be a super nice touch!
Click on the picture of the ornaments to print out your FREE copy!
Hope you have a VERY Merry Preschool Christmas!
Hallelujah, A Savior is Born!
It is my month for teaching the cute preschoolers at my church for Sunday School. Since I was given December, I decided to break down the Christmas Story and go over the important people God chose to be a part of it. We focussed on the Shepherds for the first week.
First thing, the kids came into the class and as I welcomed them, they can go over and color a picture to keep them busy as we wait for the kids to all get to class.
We then moved on over to our reading circle where we had our praise and worship singing time and then our story time.
We focused on the Shepherd's story. Before beginning the story, I talked with the kids about the importance of a Shepherd's job in the time of Christ's birth.
After our story, the kids moved over to the table to work on our Sheep ornament. It was simple for the kids to complete but kept them busy and engaged. I precut the sheep and the stars before class and hole punched them and strung them.
Click here for the sheep pattern
Click here for the star pattern
The kids added the cotton balls, googly eyes and glued the verse on the star. They LOVE having an ornament to take home for their tree. I used a verse from Veggie Tales that I found online but you could use any verse.
We moved on to our HERDING SHEEP game. This is so very simple and the kids had a blast!
I made 2 "corrals" out of popsicle sticks and put a bunch of sheep in random places in front of the corral. The kids had to "herd" the sheep (by blowing air) into the corral. We made it a kind of competition. Even my teen helpers had fun playing. haha!
The last thing we did was our snack time...this was a hands-on snack time today. We talked about the importance of the Shepherd's staff.
We had a box of fruit loops (I bought the fruit rings from Aldis) and a pipe cleaner for each kid. The were able to make a shepherd's staff with their pipe cleaner and fruit loops.
Of Course they were given a pretty large pile so they could also enjoy these for their snack.
We had a great class! It was fun and the kids learned a lot about the life of the Shepherds.
The Lord used them for an important role in the Christmas story. We will continue our study of the important people that God used during the birth of Christ with next week's lesson!
Even my son who was my helper, enjoyed making the shepherd's hook! :)
He was helpful with the other kids too!
Enjoy & Christmas Blessings!
This was a SUPER EASY Ornament Craft we put together for a fun Christmas time activity during our Astronomy Studies. Though this could be easily made at any time of the year or even during an Earth Day Lesson or a Unit on the Earth, we fit ours in at the holiday season.
**The kids really enjoyed making these. Another fun idea to go along with the Earth Ornament, is you could make one for each Planet you study and hang them up as a sort of Solar System display.**
Here are the steps:
ENJOY YOUR EARTH ORNAMENTS
& MANY BLESSINGS!
We LOVE History Pockets! There are so many different ones you can do. Here are the options:
We've done a bunch of them both at home and at our local homeschool co-op. So far, the Civil War History Pocket has been one of our favorites.
We used Time Travelers to help supplement for the older aged kiddos and their lessons. Homeschool in the Woods has some amazing history lessons packets that can be used along with your history pockets!
Last year my daughter used the "Moving West" History Pocket. This was a very thorough walk through of the time era around the Gold Rush and the Oregon Trail. It covered in detail about the way of life and the hardships of living in the United States during this time.
Each week the kids covered facts, read descriptions and stories about the history, and then were able to put together projects to go along with the lesson. Each pocket has a different topic that they work on over a few weeks.
Incorporating field trips is also a great way to reinforce the lessons...we have a few one-room school houses in our area. Visiting one is a GREAT way to add to the experience!
You will definitely need a nice amount of construction paper for these; plus glue, scissors, colored pencils and crayons. It doesn't call for any supplies that are not standard, around the house art supplies except maybe for the occasional brad or kite string. :)
I do have to add that the scotch brand glue sticks work by far the best of any I've found in the stores...
they are worth the little extra in price!
Here are more pics of some of the fun and creative activities for a few of the pockets with the "Moving West" book.
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed our review of the Evan Moore History Pockets! We plan to continue using them over the years and as my younger kiddos start school, I will get them started on them as well! They make the historical facts so much more fun to learn and much more memorable!
Plus, going back over them year after year is very rewarding for the kids. They love sharing their creations with family and friends as they explain everything they've learned from the lessons!
Check out our YouTube Review on the History Pockets Below!
I decided to try something different this year to help keep track of the kids daily assignments. I noticed it on another blog so I figured I'd give it a try. It is called HOMESCHOOL TRACKER.
To be honest, it looked a tad overwhelming at first, but once I took the time to play around with it and figure out how it worked, it has made my life so much easier!
I feel more organized and more on top of the kids' assignments. The kids enjoy having a list to go through each day with their assignments and they can keep track of how well they are doing.
Here is an example of my daughter's assignments that I entered in for a day. Once you click "add new", you can modify the subject, description, items needed, date and student's name.
For multiple, repetitive assignments, you can copy them and have them entered repeatedly each day for all the students. I'm pretty repetitious with some subjects such as:
There are some assignments we keep repeating over and over on our daily list just so the kids can see it and mark them off on the printable reports I give them each week.
Scroll down to see the actual report being used by my daughter
Here is the page showing my daughter's Grammar lesson's for the week. (We have our homeschool co-op on Fridays so we do our other subjects over 4 days at home.)
You can view them by student, by date, or by subject just to make sure I have it all entered in correctly.
There are so many options you could use this program for. I am just doing the basic now and I'm always learning more as I go. Above is the page you go to once you click on REPORTS.
I set the dates I want printed out and check the student I'm printing for then I can either preview it to make sure it is all correct or print it directly from this page.
It's been pretty handy!
Above is a picture of my daugher's weekly assignments. Homeschool Tracker has a printable Reports option. I print these out each week for each kiddo. Each day, as they finish an assignment, they cross it out with a highlighter.
Below is a picture of my daughter marking off an assignment that she has completed from the Weekly Reports of the program. The other one is a closer look at her assignments for the day.
This program has been super helpful for our homeschooling adventure this year. I've actually enjoyed using it and I feel so much more on top of the kids' assignments.
Yes, it is a bit time consuming.
Yes, I need to stay a step ahead of my kids to make it work.
No, I do not know all the features of this program yet.
There is a ton more it can do that I am still working to figure out; but, it has lots of options that can only improve my record keeping and organization as I homeschool multiple grades and learning levels.
So overall, I'd say that for a FREE Homeschooling planning program...this is fantastic. Maybe I'll upgrade to the next level someday but for now, living on a budget, this one does the trick.
Check out the link to see what else this program can do or to get the more advanced version.
Download HOMESCHOOL TRACKER today and give it a try!
Chapter 9 was all about MOLLUSKS. Mollusks are soft slimy creatures with squishy bodies. Snails and slugs are mollusks we find in our yards! The kids thought it was fascinating that mollusks MAKE their shells! When we study Hermit Crabs, we learned that they live in the shells make by these Mollusks.
Mollusks are broken down into 3 GROUPS:
For Week one, we worked on our Notepage after reading the first half of the chapter prior to class. We passed around a variety of Mollusk shells for the kids to examine.
We then began our folder activity page. The kids matched up a variety of shells with a picture of each and a description to make a flap book of Mollusk shells.
We began this week by filling out our 2nd notebook page on Mollusks. I passed out these paper rulers from Printable-Ruler.net and the kids were able to measure the rings on each shell they were passed and decide how old the shell was.
Lots and lots of shells for this chapter! It was fun sorting through them all and trying to figure out what kind of Mollusk it was and then how old we thought it was. Having a nice variety is really helpful!
Since we don't live by the ocean, we asked families within the co-op and found many willing to bring in shells to share with our class for observation and our Conchology Research. We had about 3 gallon sized bags full of different shells and a bunch of large ones. It was nice having the large Conch Shells & listening for the ocean!
It was really fun to also see the many shells with holes in them that the kids all immediately said were eaten by a predator. Some predators will drill holes in the shells to eat Mollusks.
There are some neat videos on youtube on Mollusks!
Well! We finished up Sea Creatures last year and are moving on to Land Creatures! We just LOVE Apologia Science! I still have a few chapters left to add for the Sea Creatures study but I wanted to go ahead and show you our set up for this year's classes.
We set up our lesson in a very similar format to the Research Notebooking Journal we used for Sea Creatures. We used a larger binder this year since our binder last year filled up super fast. We purchased a 1 1/2" binder to hold all the file folders, notebooking pages and activities. There is one colored file folder for each chapter. Check out our YouTube Video on how we put our research notebook together!
We tried to break up each chapter over a 2 week period since we studied this subject at our homeschool co-op. Grades 1st through 4th had this class (each were taught separately by grade).
**Click on our weekly reading schedule to the right to see how we divided up our chapters.**
I am teaching the 4th graders since my daughter is in this class. :) I taught them last year for sea creatures too.
A great group of kids!
The lessons were designed and planned out by a group of talented teachers. I can add my own twist and supplemental activities to mold the lessons to my class though.
It is such a GREAT book to teach!!
Some handy items to have on hand would be: Map of the world (for animal tracking), stickers of a variety of land mammals throughout the world, and mammals of North America (or one for your continent) Field Guide.
**There are some great stickers included in the
Apologia Student Notebooks you can use for tracking on your world maps**
We also placed a Map of Each Continent on our classroom wall.
As we go about each chapter, we'll add animals found in those areas to our maps! I got this fun idea from this site. She provides some fun Land Animals additions to your study. Check them out:
Come back soon to check out our
week-to-week lessons and activities!