Breaking Away…From the Typical Day

Last month, our family experienced one of the the most enjoyable school days that we’ve had in a long time.  You may find this silly, but I had been debating as to whether or not to take some time off from our regular history schedule.  I was desiring to focus on presidents near Presidents’ Day, but the time periods just weren’t lining up with our oldest children’s history curriculum. (Can you say, ‘overly tied to the curriculum’?)   I finally decided to set the curriculum aside, prepared the needed items the night before, and broke away from our typical school day.

So, what did we do?

Our PreK child….
   – listened to a book about presidents and colored a Presidents’ Day page.

Color Sheet(Here he is telling us a little bit about what is on his coloring sheet.
He wanted so much to share like his big siblings!)

Our first grader…
   – read a few books about presidents (in general) with me.
– wrote and drew what she would like about being the president.

img_4018 (2) (Yes, that is a drawing of her standing at the podium
– a podium with a unicorn on the front. =) )

Our three oldest children (3rd, 5th, and 7th)…
     – each chose a different book to read on a president
(either George Washington or Abe Lincoln since that is what we had on hand).

Reading

(Yes, we still enjoy the YWAM books around our home!)

    – took notes on a sheet that I had prepared for them (so they were guided in what to look for and how to organize their information).

    – did a Presidents’ Day crossword puzzle (to point out and review important terms and events).

Crossword
(Ahem.  He doesn’t always work in his pajamas.)

     – wrote a rough draft.

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img_4023 (2)

– proofread and made corrections with some assistance from me.

– typed (or neatly recopied) their report.

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    – completed a Draw Write Now drawing and copied a quote to be placed on their cover page.

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   –  orally shared their Presidential Report at dinnertime – with lots of applause and smiles.

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Yes, this was a lot of work, but it is ALL we did that day…and it was amazing!  Our kids took so much pride in their work and I genuinely feel that they learned a considerable amount.   It gave my heart joy to see my children fully engaged, interested in reading, and learning on their own.  I know that not everything can be covered in this manner and that not every day can be spent using this approach, but I came away from Presidents’ Day desiring to foster more of this type of learning for our family.

It gave my heart joy to see my children fully engaged,
interested in reading, and learning on their own.

 

Reports

Would you like the FREE Presidents’ Day pages that we used?
Head over to Hubbard’s Cupboard!

(Note: I’m still planning on using the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln printables with our first grader – since the time periods do line up quite nicely for her history. =)  She is looking forward to it!)

Preparing For Presidents’ Day

  
Washington CoverGeorge Washington: Our 1st Leader

….is here just in time for preparing for Presidents’ Day!

Look what’s inside!

1) Booklets

Who Was George Washington? Booklet
          – 8½ by 11 inch Color Version to enjoy and read aloud
          – Half page Black and White Version for children to color, read, and share at homeReader TVReader B&W

The Life and Times of George Washington
- 3 Black and White pages to print and read
Life & Times

2) Timelines

The Life of George Washington
      
- Cut out the pictures, sequence, and glue to the timeline.

1 Page Timeline (2 versions)
Sample Timeline

3) Recording Sheets
     
- Sheets designed to help students keep track of information they learn (record traits, jobs/roles held, etc.) for better comprehension and/or to prepare for writing about George Washington
What I Know

4) Copywork
        – Coloring sheets with names to trace for your youngest learners
        – 3 different quotes in both print and cursive
Color Sheet

5) Vocabulary (4 options)
         Word to Picture Match – Cut & glue each word to correspond with the picture
         ‘What Does It Mean?’ Skinny Vocabulary Booklet
– Assemble the booklet. Then cut out each picture to match the definition. Next, cut, fold, glue the top edge, and place to flip up the matching word. 
    What Does It Mean 4

        Vocabulary Match Up
– Glue the word under the correct definition
        Vocabulary Crossword
– Read the clue and write the word in the puzzle.

6) Extras
        – A simple Fact or Fiction Cut and Glue
        – George Washington Word Search
        – Then and Now Sheet – Draw or write to contrast the middle 1700’s to today
        – Small Picture Cards – Black and White as well as Color pictures to use in sorts, matching games, in the pocket chart, etc.
         -Words to two American Songs – ‘God Bless America’ and ‘America The Beautiful’

Looking at the samples, you’ll notice that the printables in George Washington: Our 1st Leader were designed with multiple ages in mind!  Just print the desired pages, grab a few books on America’s first President, and you’ll be ready to go!

George Washington: Our 1st Leader is available for just $2.50 at our Joyful Heart Learning shop at Teacher’s Notebook!

5 Ways to Remember Luke 2

During the days leading up to Christmas, regardless of the ages or stages of our kids, the crafts we were able to create, the baking projects we were able to do, or the activities we participated in, when we have taken time to read, recite, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas through the study of Luke 2:1-20 it has been a great blessing.  Looking back, I would have to say that it has become a family tradition to review and recite the Biblical account of Christ’s birth each December – and it brings joy!

Here are five quick ways to help hide God’s Word in your heart and focus on the birth of Christ Jesus this Christmas…

1) Read and Listen from God’s Holy Word

Read it daily and let it soak in!

Bible

2) Practice Reciting the Scripture Passage Orally as a Family

Simply sit together and recite the passage aloud with one another.
   OR
Take turns listening to each other say as much of the portion of Scripture that they know.
Try to encourage the use of emphasis and expression!  
   OR
Take turns tossing a ball or beanbag and saying a word or two from the text you are working on together.  For example, one child tosses the ball and says, “In”.  The child that catches the ball says the next word needed, “those”, and tosses it to someone else. Continue in this manner until the verse(s) are complete. 
toss and say

3) Use Pictures to Aid Comprehension

Luke 2:1-20 flows so well and is a great Biblical account to share orally.  Help your youngest children retain meaning by connecting the text to pictures!

You may desire to use printable sheets or cards, such as those shown below.
Luke 2 Scripture Cards

OR

Recite, Read, and Color using The Christmas Story Booklet!
(The text for this booklet is completely from the NIV, 1984 version.)

The Christmas Story Booklet Sample  Booklet

We have it in a Spanish translation as well!
The Christmas Story Booklet Spanish Cover

Our four year old enjoys coloring each picture after he has successfully memorized the verse on the corresponding page!
coloringbooklet

 

4) Write it out!

It is so easy to just copy the text from your own Bible and a great way to assist in memorizing God’s Word!

As part of our Celebrating Christmas eBook, we have included printable copywork sheets, shown below, in both print and cursive for each verse.

copywork sample- print copywork sample- cursive

A simpler version of print can be found at Hubbard’s Cupboard for free as well.

5) Retell Luke 2 in creative ways!  

Move pieces of a flannel board or of a nativity set as you recite Luke 2 from memory.
flannel board

Use nativity stamps to print the story.  Then, point and retell using exact wording from Scripture.Luke 2 Stamp Story

And, of course, it is always fun to gather props and willing family members to act it out!

 

May you and your family be blessed this Christmas as you learn His Word and reflect on the true meaning of the season!

My ABCs of Thanksgiving

Looking for some simple ways to encourage thankfulness?
Need a few extra printables to keep your sweet children occupied on a long trip to Grandma’s this Thanksgiving?

 

My ABCs of Thanksgiving: 26 Letters to Encourage a Grateful Heart

Cover      

My ABCs of Thanksgiving: 26 Letters to Encourage a Grateful Heart includes the following resources:

 

Verses of Praise – Look up Scripture references related to thanksgiving and praise!  Highlight each verse.  Choose one to memorize.

My ABCs of Thanksgiving Booklet - Draw and write A-Z about 26 things that you are thankful for!

Booklet Sample Page

Line By Line ABCs – For each letter of the alphabet, make a list of things that for which you are thankful!

Line by Line

26 Ways to Say Thank You – Brainstorm ways to say thank you to someone or to God (one for each letter of the alphabet).  Choose one or two to actually do to show someone your appreciation.

Color By Letter (t,h,a,n,k,s) – Designed with your younger kids in mind, children use a key to color a picture. photo 1 (2)

A-Z Letter Maze - Start at A and end at Z to make a path for the Native Americans to reach the Pilgrims!  (also designed to be used with younger children).

Word Search - Find the 26 hidden Thanksgiving related words Word Search

 

ABC Order- Write 26 Thanksgiving themed words in alphabetical order.

 

My ABCs of Thanksgiving: 26 Letters to Encourage a Grateful Heart is available for just $1 at our Joyful Heart Learning shop at Teacher’s Notebook!

And don’t forget to check out the other FREE Thanksgiving resources at Hubbard’s Cupboard as well as the free booklet ‘The Pilgrim Story’ available at the Joyful Heart Learning Teacher’s Notebook Shop!

photo 2 Happy Thanksgiving!

CVC Word Work

In anticipation of using them with my next little reader, I’ve been busy creating some simple CVC booklets and corresponding sheets…Sampling   

The CVC Emergent Phonics Readers come in both an 8 1/2 by 11 colored teacher version as well as a half page black and white student version.   These are freely available over at Hubbard’s Cupboard on the ‘Printable Booklets’ page!  There is one booklet per short vowel and three additional booklets for review of all the vowel sounds.  Here is a quick peek…

  CVC Phonics Reader Sample Page1 CVC Phonics Reader Sample Page2 

 

 CVC Phonics Reader Student Sample Page1 CVC Phonics Reader Student Sample Page2      

The corresponding CVC Word Work sheets are available for purchase over at our Joyful Heart Learning shop at Teacher’s Notebook.

Cover

For each vowel, you’ll find opportunities for your emerging reader to sort pictures and word cards, play Bingo, color pictures containing a certain vowel sound, read/match/and glue pictures, read/stamp/and trace CVC words, cut apart letters and manipulate them to form words to match the pictures and then write the words, read sight words and CVC words in context of a simple repetitive story, and more!

 Color Read Match Glue

There are also sheets designed for review of multiple vowel sounds at a time – including the following…
 Build Write Read   Paint Dot Match Print Cut Read Glue Booklet   Print Cut Read Glue Booklet Pictures

May you enjoy these resources with your budding reader as well!

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