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What Do Your Young Kids Really Need to Know About the Bible?...And How to Teach It to Them

Have you looked at a children' storybook Bible lately? I've seen a few that I actually liked, but I have to admit that I'm not crazy about most of them. Why? Because they don't really give kids a good idea about what the Bible really is.

Some of these story Bibles leave out bits of the Bible that don't seem child-friendly. While this might be necessary when it comes to some accounts- especially in the Old Testament- sometimes it means that really important things are left out. One storybook Bible I looked through recently had no mention at all of the crucifixion and resurrection. Really? While I understand that some things might not be appropriate for young children, Jesus' death and resurrection is a pretty vital part of the Bible, in my opinion!

What kids need to know about the Bible
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Bible materials for young kids often focus on topics such as "God Made You", "God Loves You", "You're Special to God." While all of these are true, there is much more to the Bible than that. There is much, much more to God's great story. And we do our kids a disservice when we don't teach them about the whole Bible, about God's plan from beginning to end.

So what do young kids need to know about the Bible?

The Bible is true.

How often do we sit down with our kids and announce that we're reading a "Bible story"? We also call fairytales "stories" and we call picture books "stories. What's the difference when we read the Bible?

The Bible is true. But do our kids know that?

When we read the Bible, we need to be very deliberate in how we talk about it. We need to emphasize to kids that what we're reading is true. Even if the Bible lesson comes from a curriculum book that we're using as reference, we need to let kids know that the account comes from the Bible and that, because of that, it is true.

The Bible is God's Word.

Young kids probably can't understand the concept of the Bible being inspired by God. I can't fully understand what that means. But we can explain to them, in words they understand, that the Bible comes from God. Even though men wrote it, God gave them the words to say.

This is a very important concept to young kids because it helps them to see the importance of what they're reading in the Bible. Because the Bible comes from God, what it has to say is important to us. If kids don't understand this, then the Bible is just one more book you're reading.

The Bible is a history book.

The Bible is the history of God's people, the Israelites. From Genesis to Revelation, we meet characters that will play a part in the history of God's people. We read about creation and how, even though God made a perfect world, people messed it up. We read about how God declared punishment for their sin but, at the same time, promised a Savior who would come and make things right. We read about how the people in Genesis led to the ancestors of the Jewish people. And we read about how God led them to a special place where they could live. We read about their struggles as a nation. And then we read about how Jesus Christ- who had been promised way back in Genesis- comes from the nation of Israel.

When we take the Bible and present it to kids as random, unrelated stories, kids won't see the big picture. They won't see how these "stories" are related and connected.

We don't take our homeschool history curriculum and randomly pick chapters to read to the kids. We read in chronological order and we help kids- through timelines, charts, graphs, and maps- to see how the events of history are connected. The Bible is a history book, and we should treat the teaching of it in the same way.

The Bible is all focused on the gospel message.

Do you know what the core message of the Bible is? It's the gospel. It's not too complicated for young kids to understand. You can sum it up in simple words.

Man and all the earth were created by God to be perfect. Man sinned when he disobeyed God. Because of sin he deserved to be punished, to die and be separate from God forever. God promised a Savior who would take the punishment for men. God chose a nation of people who would be special to him. Out of this nation, the Savior came. He died on a cross to take away the punishment we deserved. But he also came back alive! He went to heaven to be with God. And because he took the punishment we were supposed to have, we can also go to heaven and be with God when the earthly part of our life is over.

It really is that simple. All of the Bible points to Jesus- the need for Jesus, the looking forward to Jesus, the life and death of Jesus, and life on earth after Jesus' death and resurrection.

Every Bible "story" that we tell, every homeschool Bible lesson that we teach, should be pointing kids to that truth.

What kids need to know about the Bible

What's in the Bible?

So, if typical kids' story Bibles aren't teaching our kids these concepts, how are we going to make sure we cover them?

One of my very favorite resources is What's in the Bible? videos. The video series features Phil Vischer- one of the original Veggie Tales creators- as well as animation, puppets, and other visuals. Beginning with Genesis, the videos take kids on a tour through all the books of the Bible.

The series doesn't talk down to kids. Instead the truths of the Bible are presented in an age appropriate way that still gives kids the complete story. As the books of the Bible are presented, kids see how the Bible is connected. And, most importantly, kids are drawn again and again to the central truth of the Bible- the gospel.

Although the series is aimed at elementary aged kids- and probably most kindergartners would grasp much of the content- the humor will also entertain adults. So I love watching these as much as the kids.

We own a few of the What's in the Bible DVDs and have been able to watch others from friends. The videos began to come out right as my children were reaching the age to be "too old" or to need something a little more in depth. If I had been introduced to them when my kids were younger, I would have invested in the set of thirteen videos that cover the entire Bible, and I would have chalked it up to a homeschool curricula expense.

Currently you can get the entire set for $99. That's thirteen videos, each with two twenty-five minute segments. The videos cover the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. They include timelines, charts, graphs, maps and other visuals, along with Phil Vischer and the very funny cast of characters that present the Bible to the kids. They'll really give kids a complete picture of the Bible.

If you want to know more about the What's in the Bible DVDs, you can watch this YouTube preview.  (Watch with the kids 'cause they'll love it!)

You can find the whole set of What's in the Bible videos here. Check them out and see if they would be a good resource to help you teach your young kids what they really need to know about the Bible.

What's in the Bible videos for kids



The Homeschool Post


Get Kids Thinking Creatively With These Literature Extension Ideas for Harold and the Purple Crayon

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Activities for Harold and the Purple Crayon
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Harold and the Purple Crayon is a childhood classic. In fact, even my eleven year old recognizes this and confronted me because, apparently we don't own a copy of the book. I think her precise words were, "You've ruined my childhood." At least she's read the book. Anyway, there are some fun things you can do with the kids in conjunction with reading this book. And it can definitely inspire kids to get their own creative juices flowing.

Book Information

Title- Harold and the Purple Crayon

Author-Crockett Johnson

Recommended ages- PreK-2nd grade

Synopsis- Harold is an imaginative boy with a purple crayon. As he draws with his purple crayon, he creates an adventure for himself.

Language Arts

Real vs. make-believe- Talk with the kids about the difference between things that can happen for real and events that are make-believe. As you read through the book, have kids identify which events could really happen and which are totally make-believe.

Sequencing- Write a few sentences about each thing Harold draws on index cards. After reading the book, have the kids place the events in the order that Harold drew them.

Creative writing- Give kids the writing prompt- "If you were drawing an adventure like Harold did, what would you draw?" Let older kids write their own story. Younger kids can dictate.

Science 

The moon- Harold begins his drawing by drawing the moon, which follows him throughout the story. Share with the kids these fun moon facts from Science Kids.

The moon- This Free School video will teach the kids more about the moon.

The Forest- Harold draws a forest...but it has only one tree. Kids can learn more about forests in the kids' section of the U.S. Forest Service site.

Social Studies

Cities- Harold draws a city with large buildings. Kids can watch this video to learn about cities.

Cities- This site has two awesome printables to help teach kids about cities. One is a lesson plan that will walk older kids (intended for 3rd grade) though designing their own city, and one is a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt that kids can use to learn more about their town or city.

Policemen- Harold draws a policeman to ask for help to find his way home. Kids can learn more about policemen as community helpers with this interactive book on the Scholastic site.

Crafts and Fun


Crayon crafts- These crayon canvases are a cool art project. They'll require lots of parent help, but the kids can help make a color pattern with the crayons and help use the hair dryer.

Drawing- Type the words of the story- or part of the story- on to blank pieces of paper. Let kids draw their own version of Harold's drawing adventure.

Pie recipe- Harold drew nine different pies to try. Make a pie with the kids with one of these recipes from the Kidspot site.

Hot air balloon- Make a hot air balloon like Harold's drawing with one of these super cool crafts.

Activities for Harold and the Purple Crayon

More Books About Creativity






Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Other Resources

Learn more about the author- Crockett Johnson- on his website here.

Reflections on Psalm 49 and a Visit to IKEA (Devotions for Real Homeschool Moms)

I'll never forget my first visit to IKEA. If you are fortunate enough to live near one of these colossal stores, you can probably relate to my overwhelmed feeling. If you don’t have an IKEA close by or if you (like I was) are unaware of the magnificence, let me explain.

 IKEA is a HUGE home organization, home decor, and furniture sales place. Our local IKEA covers two enormous stories and houses hundreds of showrooms, a restaurant, a kids play place, a furniture warehouse, and a Swedish bistro. (IKEA is Swedish in origin.)

Reflections on Psalm 49
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As I wandered the store- everything is arranged in a semicircular manner, so you can’t walk the aisle, you have to circle around and see everything- I began to lust. I began to dream. I began to explain to my husband why we needed everything in the store and how we could possibly sell our children to get it. (Just kidding...sort of.) 

 Until my visit to IKEA, I had been fairly content. We are a one income family, and that doesn’t leave much room for funds for home decor- unless the hundreds of books I purchase to use for homeschooling count for decor. But, I wandered the IKEA store and dreamed of all I could have, if I were only “rich.”

I was rather convicted by the time I came home. Not because I had been to the store. It was a great store, and if you were in the market to buy furniture, they have some great prices. But, because I had allowed myself, if only for a moment, to get caught up in the mindset; “If I just had a little bit more, I could be happy.” 

 It’s a sneaky, devious thing. It can hit us when we visit a friend and see her new living room furniture. It can hit us at church when the new family pulls up in a brand new car. It can quickly go from admiring to wishing I had “just a little bit more.”



Later, I was reading Psalm 49. Even waaaay back then, apparently folks struggled with this. The Psalmist reminds us that wealth is fleeting:

10 For he sees that even wise men die; the [self-confident] fool and the stupid alike perish and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands their own [apart from God] and after their own names.

12 But man, with all his honor and pomp, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, yet after them men approve their sayings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!


We studied Ancient Egypt earlier this year in our homeschool and learned how the Egyptians used to put so many of their valuables and much of their wealth in their tombs to take with them into the afterlife. You know what, they had a bitter wake up. Those things do not last. They are temporal. We cannot take them with us.

So, it is fun to shop in a magnificent store like IKEA. It is even fun to buy something if you can. (I got some great plastic cups and bowls for my kids on my first visit, and we still use them today!) 

Reflections on Psalm 49 and a Visit to IKEA


 But, we must always be careful of that sneaky thought that tells us we would be happy if we could just have a little more.


Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: Literature Extension Activities and a FREE Printable Pack for K-2nd Grade

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Literature activities for why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears
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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is one of my favorite picture books to read aloud. The story is a cause and effect one that uses some great figurative language. It's also a perfect story to use when talking about story sequence- what comes next. You can use this story to introduce the idea of a folktale to kids as well.

In this post, I'm sharing some ideas that you can use after reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. I'm also listing several other folk talk picture books. And don't forget to pick up your FREE activity pack for primary grades. It has nine pages of activities that you can print and use after reading the book.

Book Information

Title: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

Author: Verna Aardema

Age Suggestion: K-2nd grade

Book Summary: Mosquito's bragging sets of a chain of events that leads to the sun failing to come up in the forest. Lion calls a council to see what happened, and the verdict is that Mosquito should be punished.

Extension Activities

Talk to kids about what a folktale is. You can find more information here.

The PBS Show Between the Lions has a fun episode all about folktales and fables.

This site has a large collection of folktales to read with the kids.

This folktale uses lots of onomatopoeia words. This video has a cute song that will teach kids what onomatopoeia means.

Have kids write- or dictate- their own creative folktale to explain why something happens (like the sun not coming up).

Literature activities for why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears

Other Folktale Picture Books

Free printable activities for why mosquitoes buzz in peoples ears


I'm linking up with...



“Mrs.AOK,


Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


Hip Homeschool Moms

Kids Experience Art with a Literature Unit Study for The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Literature unit ideas for The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

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Tomie dePaola is one of my all-time favorite children's book authors. I love his stories and illustrations. The Art Lesson is one I really love. It's a story that creative kids will relate to, and it will make a great springboard for talking about art and artists with the kids. 

Extension Activities for the Book

Thinking/writing- Tommy knew from the time he was little that he wanted to be an artist. Ask kids to talk about what they love and would want to be when they're older. Have them write or dictate a story about it. If they love to draw, have them draw a picture of what they'd like to be.

Art- If you have access to an easel, set it up and let kids paint with tempera paint as Tommy did in his kindergarten class. This post has a good idea for setting up your easels outside.

Art- This project from Five Walkers would be a fun one for kids to do after reading about Tommy and his big box of many colored crayons.

Thinking- Have kids think about these questions.
  • Why would Tommy's class get only one piece of paper?
  • Why do you think the teacher only wanted him to use school crayons?
  • Is it a good idea for people who want to be artists to copy a picture? Why?
  • Do you think Tommy's art teacher came up with a good idea?
History- Why do you think Tommy's class was drawing Pilgrims and turkeys? Let kids explore this Scholastic site all about the first Thanksgiving. There are some great videos and interactive features.

Art- Do a Charlotte Mason style picture study. Tommy didn't want to copy his teacher's pictures because he said real artists didn't copy. But enjoying art with Charlotte Mason's methods does involve studying the work of great artists and replicating it. This post is a great one to get you started in doing a picture study Charlotte Mason style.




Resources for Studying Art with Kids

KinderArt is a site that offers tons of free ideas for teaching art to kids. You can search for topics and projects by grade to easily find a project. There are also resources for learning about art history. (free)

Art Express has art activities for elementary grades. Click on the grade level on the main page to find activities. (free)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an awesome kids site with an interactive map that takes kids on a virtual tour of the famous art museum, as well as other goodies. (free)

Kids.gov has some art lessons for kids. Click on the grade level you want- K-5 or 6-8- and choose "art and music." There will be a list of art activities you can choose from. (free)

ARTistic Pursuits is one of our all time favorite art curricula. They have materials for Kindergarten all the way through high school. We've reviewed several of their books. Here's the review for one of their elementary art books. (purchase)

Literature unit ideas for The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

Booklist for Art Appreciation for Kids



Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl


Arnholt's Artists Books for Children by Laurence Arnholt- Covers the lives of many famous artists



Do You Need Awesome Homeschooling Advice from Moms Who Know?

Let's face it, friends. Homeschooling can be a big, scary thing sometimes. I mean, if your kids go to a traditional school and they graduate hardly knowing anything and not being prepared for college or work, you can always blame the school, right? But when we homeschool our kids, who do have to point fingers at? Um...no one.

And so we look to other homeschooling mamas who have been there, who are a little further down the road in their homeschooling journey, to help us know if we're doing it right. If you've ever done that, ever scoured the internet for information on a homeschooling topic, you need The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2.

Review of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2
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This book is a follow up to The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas , but even if you haven't had the opportunity to read that one, you'll find so much great information in this second volume. I  hadn't seen the first one until I had the opportunity to review Volume 2.

What is The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2?

The short answer is that it's a big book of information about a variety of homeschooling topics, all written by homeschooling moms who have been there. Thirty-eight homeschool moms have come together to write chapters on fifty-seven homeschooling topics. 

Homeschool advice from veteran homeschooling moms

What can you find in the book?

The book is divided into several topics.
  • Ages and Stages: Teen and Beyond
  • General Homeschool Helps
  • Learning Resources: Language Arts and Literature
  • Learning Resources: STEM
  • Learning Resources: Training Hearts
  • Learning Resources: Unique Needs
  • Managing Your Life: Unique Homeschool Situations
In each topic, experienced homeschool moms have contributed articles. You can learn about topics like high school electives, dual enrollment, learning with games, learning styles, different homeschooling methods, raising a child who loves to read, nature study for homeschoolers, teaching life skills, homeschooling gifted kids, homeschooling with a chronic illness, co-parent homeschooling, and homeschooling while you're working.

The articles are written in a simple, down-to-earth manner, in the voice of each homeschooling mom. You can easily read the book straight through to glean all of their collective wisdom or you can read about topics that are the most applicable to you right now. You'll be able to think of this book as a resource that you can come to again and again in your homeschooling journey.

Review of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2

Where can you find it?

You can find The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Volume 2 on the iHomeschool Network here. You can also find the book on Amazon here. The book is available as an ebook or paperback. If you purchase from Amazon, you'll receive a Kindle version. If you purchase from iHomeschool Network, you'll receive a zip file with a PDF version or Kindle version. You can also find a paperback version on Amazon here.



Chronicles of Narnia Literature Unit Study Resources

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, Venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Chronicles of Narnia resource list

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Unlike some of the other literature unit posts, this post is a little different. The Chronicles of Narnia hold a special place in my heart. I've read them at least five times all the way through for myself and to my kiddos. Although almost everyone has heard about the more common books in the Chronicles- like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- the lesser-known books are often overlooked. I always recommend that people read all seven of the books because they are so rich in language and in meaning.

If you're reading the Chronicles for the first time...or the five hundredth...this post has resources you can use to extend the books and make literature unit studies as you're reading. Some of the books have more resources than others, but don't let that keep you from reading them all. Many, many of these resources are free. If they aren't, I've noted that with a little $.

A Little about the Order of the Books

The Chronicles of Narnia were not written by Lewis in chronological order. The first book that he wrote was the very popular The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But the first book in chronological order is The Magician's Nephew. The true chronological order of the books is...
  • The Magician's Nephew
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Last Battle

Specific Book Resources

The Magician's Nephew

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for this book.

Lasting Thumbprints has an awesome post with activities her crew did while reading this book.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

youthESource has a Bible study to go along with this book. It's a four part study that looks at the theme of redemption through Edmund's story in the book.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for this book.

I always used to wonder what Turkish Delight was. With this recipe you can make some when you read this book.

Spark Notes has a great free guide for this book.

Walking by the Way has some great ideas for using this book in a homeschool co-op. You could certainly use some at home with your own kids as well.

Hands of a Child has an awesome lapbook for this book- grades 3 and up. ($)

Prince Caspian

Hands of a Child has an awesome Prince Caspian lapbook pack for grades 3 and up. ($)

The Horse and His Boy

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for this book.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

These boats would be awesome to make when you read the book. There's a free printable pattern.

The Silver Chair

Free Unit Studies.com has a free unit study for this book.

C.S. Lewis Resources

The C.S. Lewis Foundation site is an excellent resource for all things C.S. Lewis.

General Resources


The C.S. Lewis Foundation website has study guides for three of the books- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Teacher Vision has a general study guide that covers all seven of the Chronicles. It's a short resources with some background information and a few discussion questions for each novel.

The Lion's Call is a fan site that has some craft printables, Narnia themed games, and some fan created resources.

This Harper Collins kids site has online games that go along with all of the Narnia books.

Activity Village has a Narnia page with printables and crafts that go along with the books.

On this site you can find a printable Reading Group Guide and printable Classroom Activity Guide that have questions, discussion points, and activities to use with all seven books.

On this site you can find a free printable Narnia Activity Package. It's mostly based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There's a coloring page, printable map, Narnia quiz, and a few other activities.

If you're thinking of going through all seven books as unit studies with your kids, check out Further Up and Further In. This is a complete unit study with ideas and printable for all of the Chronicles. ($)

This BBC site is all about children growing up in war time. It would be great for a glimpse into life during World War 2, the time of the Pevensie children.

Audio Books and Other Media

You can listen to the books audibly for free here at Readings from Under the Grapevine.

Although I know there are newer movies from some of the Chronicles, I like these BBC editions- The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader / The Silver Chair) BBC Version. ($)


If you're looking for an awesome way to experience The Chronicles of Narnia, this radio theater set from Focus on the Family is wonderful. I love it! ($)




The Books and Other Great Books to Use

Note: Although the Chronicles of Narnia are often considered children's books, they are definitely books that I've enjoyed more and found to be deeper and deeper as I've reread them over the years. Many of the devotional books I've listed here are more for adults than for children. I recommend that you read them and experience the deep themes of Narnia for yourself and then share what's appropriate with the kids. I can guarantee that you'll find opportunities for some great discussion. These are the Amazon links to the books. You can search for many in your local library.

The Chronicles of Narnia boxed set

The Magician's Nephew

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Horse and His Boy

Prince Caspian

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Silver Chair

The Last Battle

C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller (This biography of Lewis from YWAM is awesome and is one of our favorites!)

A Family Guide to Narnia: Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia

Believing in Narnia: A Kid's Guide to Unlocking the Secret Symbols of Faith in C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia
Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition: A Complete Guide to the Magical World of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia



The Heart of the Chronicles of Narnia: Knowing God Here by Finding Him There

Hip Homeschool Moms





The Homeschool Post


Learn About Ancient History With Ancient Wonders of the World Project Packs from Hands of a Child

My younger girls and I are still cycling through history and are covering ancient history this year. I like studying ancient history, but this year it seems as if we've been stuck covering the same things over and over. All of us were definitely over ancient Egypt after weeks and weeks of reading about pyramids and now it seems we're thoroughly entrenched in ancient Greece. And so I've looked for ways to supplement our regular curriculum.

Lapbooking and notebooking have been pretty popular around here- especially with my girls-so when I'm looking for something fun to supplement with, I often turn to those. I was super excited, then, to be able to review the Ancient Wonders of the World Project Packs from Hands of a Child. You can find the Ancient Wonders of the World lapbooking pack and the Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack on CurrClick. Both of these packs are intended for grades 6-9, so I thought they'd be a perfect fit for my girls.

Ancient Wonders of the World activity packs from Hands of a Child

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Ancient Wonders of the World Activity Packs

Both of the Ancient Wonders of the World activity packs are complete and ready to use. Although there are some related reading books, the activities can be completed with no additional resources (except your basic scissors and glue). The packs are both divided into five days of work. Of course, we're homeschoolers, and we adapt. We took longer to do the activity pack because of the way I was using it as a supplement.
Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child

One of the reasons I've long loved Hands of a Child lapbooks is because they have a daily schedule broken down for you. You can change and adapt as needed, but I love having everything right there- vocabulary words for the day, reading pages from the packet, and activities to complete that day.
Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child


Both of the activity packs- the lapbooking and the notebooking contain...
  • A daily schedule that breaks down what to do when
  • A suggested reading list
  • Activity explanations for each of the different activity pages
  • Reading segments that cover each one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, along with other well-known and interesting sites from ancient times
  • Activity pages- each has fifteen activities
  • Vocabulary words
  • An answer key for the activities
Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child

Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child

Each day we would cover a few vocabulary words, read a segment of the reading pages in the pack, and then complete that day's activities. We chose to do the notebooking pack. We've done both lapbooking and notebooking in the past, and I let the girls choose this time.

The activities in each pack are mostly the same. In the lapbooking pack, the activities are completed as mini books that are glued into a lapbook. In the notebooking pack, the same activities are completed on notebooking pages to be kept in a binder.

The fifteen activities include such things as...
  • Creating a vocabulary section to keep track of vocabulary each day
  • A timeline that shows when the different wonders were constructed
  • Creating a travel brochure talking about each of the wonders
  • Writing about each wonder on a notebooking page or in a mini book
  • Critical thinking and comprehension questions that the kids answer on a notebooking page or mini book
Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child

Much of the lapbook pack or notebooking pack can be done independently by the recommended age- 6th-9th graders. I did more of the reading and overseeing of the girls' work because I was reviewing these and wanted to see them for myself. But you could probably turn kids loose with a little guidance and let them complete either the notebooking or lapbooking on their own.

Ancient Wonders of the World notebooking pack from Hands of a Child

What We Thought

As always, I loved these activity packs from Hands of a Child. I love the completeness and the fact that I don't have to run around gathering other materials before we can create our lapbook or notebook. I love the detailed daily plans that help me to know how to break up the material. I love the hands-on aspect of creating a lapbook or notebook that really helps the kids to internalize learning.

Either of these activity packs makes for a great addition to your study of ancient times. They can be used in the five days they are broken into or you could study the different wonders as you covered that culture/time period in your study of the ancients. The curriculum is flexible enough for you to adapt to the needs of your own homeschool.

Where to Find Them

You can find each of these activity packs on CurrClick, an awesome site where you can sign up for live classes or purchase digital downloads for your homeschooling use.





Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle? (Devotions for Real Homeschool Moms)

I've heard it said by well-meaning speakers, by friends, by family members. At one time I would have said it myself. "God will never give you more than you can handle." But I'm telling you, my friend, that just isn't true.

Does God give you more than you can handle
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The idea usually comes from this verse- 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

If you'll note, however, the verse is talking specifically about temptation to sin. You can see this in the context of the verse as well. (I like to use Blue Letter Bible for deep study of what Scripture really means in context.) The verse isn't talking about the things that come our way that are just downright hard.

I've heard moms say to me: "Well, you must be more (organized, together, patient, etc.) than I am because I could never have my children at home all day and homeschool them." Guess what. I can't do it either.

I can't handle the day to day grind. I can't handle dealing with sick kids while trying to homeschool the rest. I can't handle all the day to day decisions about how to handle it when kids won't do their work. I can't handle homeschooling with chronic pain, when there are days I can hardly get out of bed.

Friend, I can't handle it. So if God doesn't give me more than I can handle, something has gone terribly wrong.

"But," I can hear you saying, "you do handle it. You do make it through the daily grind. You do make it when life throws other curveballs- sick kids, chronic pain, death of a loved one. You do it."

But you're wrong. I can't do it, and I don't believe that God won't give me more than I can handle. BUT, I do believe that God will walk with me and give me strength. I do believe that I can only "make it" through Him.

Paul talks many times in his letters in the New Testament about how he has a thorn in the flesh that God won't ever remove. We don't know what the thorn is. Bible scholars have guessed, but we don't know for sure. What we do know is that Paul acknowledges that all he can do is through God's strength, not his own. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I believe that God gives us more than we can handle because when He does we acknowledge that all we do is truly through His strength, through His grace, through His power. 

Because I know that I sure couldn't handle all I do on my own, I can say without doubt that it's all God. I can give Him all the credit and all the glory.

So, yes, I believe that God gives us more than we can handle. But...I believe that He also will step in and give us what we need to walk through the situation we find ourselves in. I can't handle the day to day grind. But God can. I can't handle chronic pain. But God can. I can't handle all the issues that arise with my kids- their behavior, their school problems, their emotions. But God can. I can't handle it when problems arise in my extended family, when loved ones die, when relationships are strained, but God can.

I can't do it. But God can.


Does God give us more than we can handle?


Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


Learning About Geography and World Culture With Books About Feasts Around the World

Studying geography can be much more fun than just memorizing where countries are on a map. When I did a geography focused unit study with my younger girls a few years ago, we enjoyed finding out where places were, but we also loved learning about the cultures of different people groups.

One fun way to learn about the culture of an area is to experience food from that place. These books are all about feasts in different cultures around the world.

Before you begin reading about feasts from around the world, print a world map from this site. As you read about feasts and cultures, you can find the places you're reading about and mark them on the map. For older kids you can print a blank map that they will label. For younger kids you can print a labeled map and let them find the countries as you read about them.

Books about feasts around the world

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Practice Beautiful Handwriting and Create Beautiful Works of Art with The Art of Cursive Logic

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She went to a small private school and was a definite over-achiever. This little girl would have been on the straight A honor roll every quarter...except for one thing. She always got B's in handwriting.

Oh, yes, my friends. Handwriting was a graded subject. And each week, this little girl, along with her elementary-aged classmates, would have a handwriting "test." The idea was to copy a paragraph in perfect cursive, to make it look as much like the given sample as possible.

And every week this little girl was the last one finished with her test. She had spent over forty-five minutes, until her teacher insisted she finish. She had crumpled up four or five attempts and started over that many times. These tests usually ended in tears for her. And yet she still couldn't make A's on the tests.

Cursive Logic adult coloring book review
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The little girl in this sad, sad drama was me. I absolutely hated learning to write in cursive. As soon as I was beyond the point where cursive was required by teachers in my classes. I never used it. As an adult I've only ever used cursive when signing my name or on a very formal or legal document. I've taught my kids to recognize the cursive letters, but I've left it up to them to use cursive writing or not.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to review a cursive writing program through The Homeschool Crew. Cursive Logic has a unique approach to teaching cursive writing. I used the program with my youngest child who was then just learning to form cursive letters, and I was surprised to find that I actually liked this method of teaching cursive writing.

About the Cursive Logic Program

I went into detail about how Cursive Logic works in my first review. Basically, the program groups the cursive letters based on shape. Students learn through tracing and then writing a shape string. After all, cursive letters are connected, so it makes sense to learn them by writing them in a connected string.

The program uses different colors to differentiate the different strokes and shapes. It also involves lots of tracing, moving from heavy tracing to light tracing and then to writing independently. I was impressed by the way it worked for us, and I thought at the time, "I wish I had had the opportunity to learn cursive this way."

Cursive Logic writing page from The Art of Cursive Logic

The Art of Cursive Logic 

The company now has a brand new product that is perfect for adults like me who never really got comfortable with cursive handwriting and would like to improve. Their new book combines condensed lessons to teach the basic shapes and practicing shape strings with beautiful coloring pages and copywork pages so that older writers- like me- can improve in cursive handwriting while enjoying the relaxation of coloring. I got to see a sampling of the new book which is currently a work in progress.

The book has condensed cursive writing lessons. The lessons cover the basic shapes used in writing the lowercase cursive letters. After being introduced to the shape through tracing and writing, the user practices writing a letter string with cursive letters that use that shape.

In addition to the lessons are beautiful coloring pages. These pages have a design with a cursive quote woven in. Along with each coloring page is a copywork page that allows the user to trace and write the quote from the picture.

The Art of Cursive Logic book cover adult coloring book and cursive writing practice

How to Get the Book

The Art of Cursive Logic is currently in the development stage. You can learn more about the book and preorder it in this Kickstarter campaign. You can also get a free page from the book in exchange for a Facebook share. This will give you a chance to see this awesome book.

Who Will Love It?

Fans of the new adult coloring books will love the beautiful pictures in this book. I've been coloring as a relaxation method, and I love the coloring pages in this book. 

If you are an adult who wants to practice and perfect your cursive handwriting this is for you. The lessons are condensed and meant for older users, so you can learn the Cursive Logic method in a way that isn't necessarily intended for little people. 

Older teens who need to practice cursive handwriting but don't want a childish handwriting curriculum will love this book as well. When my sample arrived, I thought I was going to have to fight Kathryne, my oldest, for it. I think she'll end up wanting her own as well.

The Art of Cursive Logic review

I'm excited about using this new book to practice my cursive writing. I've been practicing the lessons in my sample, and I'd love to order the full book. If you love coloring and want to improve your cursive handwriting, check out the Kickstarter campaign and share on Facebook to get your free sample page.




 
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