His Great Grace

I remember this photo, this captured moment in time…
April 2010 kids (2)

That year our family grew from four sweet kids to five blessings aged eight and under.
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When our youngest child was born, we were a month or so away from wrapping up our homeschool year with a 2nd grader, kindergartener, preschooler, and toddler.

Yes, we were in the thick of it then– a beautiful mess of sleepless nights, diaper changes, toilet training, beginning reading, meal preparation and cleaning with little helpers wrapped around my feet, singing Bible verses, tears and crying out to God, survival mode, princess dresses, all the fun from this precious group of little kids, the exhaustion, the love, laughter, and hugs!
Chiris and the kids (2)DSC_2686 (2) DSC_1298 (2)
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And, as long and lonely as some of those days felt, I can never forget that this mama was being wrapped in the strong arms of God and His great GRACE.  Grace to say ‘yes’ for reading one more book, grace to keep going on planning and schooling through all the doubts and fears, grace to juggle and be spread thin each day, grace to grow through the reading of His Word, grace to have encouragement sent through a loving husband and friends, grace to share His love with these precious children that He sent to us.

His grace found me in the midst of it all.
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I look back at these photos and I can’t help but get all teary eyed.  Friends with older kids tried to tell me…  They’d say that the kids wouldn’t always be that little and to cherish every moment.  I think it was hard for me to believe.  You know, when I was in the midst of it, the days seemed so long, the nights too short, and it appeared as though those little ones would be at that stage forever.

But, five short years later, as if in the blink of an eye, I can honestly say that those years passed –way –too –fast.

Those tiny eight and six year old little girls… are now young ladies, bright, cheerful, helpers who come alongside their mama, independent learners, middle schoolers (gasp), and rivaling me in height!  That sweet, sun shiny toddler who would run around the school room and steal our hearts (and erasers) is now an upcoming second grader herself – still giggly and in love with her siblings and her Savior.
oiur girls

And, oh, those sweet boys (the once so small baby and the eager preschooler) are now handsome young boys – one preparing to enter kindergarten (how can it be?) and the other one a big 4th grader.  They love to wrestle with each other, build wonderful contraptions from Legos, are adorably goofy, help their mama, and of course argue as only brothers do.
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The seasons change.  Our kids grow and blossom.  The challenges are different.
But God’s great GRACE and love towards His children never change.

I’m praising Him for all these years – the past, the present, and those yet to come!
I’m still in need of God’s grace and am thankful for His loving arms wrapping me tight.  He is faithful and His Grace still finds me…

  ‘ Your Grace Finds Me
by Matt Redman

It’s there in the newborn cry
It’s there in the light of every sunrise
It’s there in the shadows of this light
Your great grace

It’s there on the mountaintop
It’s there in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

It’s there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace

Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Your great grace
Oh, such grace
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

So I’m breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
Forever I’ll be
Breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
Breathing in Your grace
For our God, for our God

Yes, Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me


”I’m breathing in Your grace and I’m breathing out Your praise…”

Silent e

Many of you know that Hubbard’s Cupboard has numerous FREE printable booklets. 
The collection of booklets for emergent readers has grown over the years and includes…
Sight Word Booklets
Word Family Booklets
CVC Booklets
and various booklets to correspond with holidays and picture books.

Are you ready for more?!  We now also have Silent e Booklets!

Just as with our other booklets, the Silent e Phonics Readers are available in both 8 1/2 by 11 colored teacher versions as well as black and white half page student versions.  There are four booklets (one booklet to focus on each of the four long vowels a, i, o, u) and three additional booklets to be used for review of all the CVCV words.  (We intentionally did not create a silent e booklet, as long e appearing as CVCV is rare.) Here is a sneak peak of one of the covers…

long a phonics reader student samplelong a phonics reader teacher sample

The Silent e Phonics Reader Booklets are available to download for FREE
over at the ‘Printable Booklets’ page at Hubbard’s Cupboard!

Of course, I couldn’t stop there!  I wanted to create a way for our emerging readers to have additional opportunities to detect, read, and spell those silent e words. 
Here is a sampling of some of these resources…

    listen and color read match gluesilent e notebook
 which word rhymesbuild and writeword hunt

The Silent e Word Work sheets are available for purchase
at our Joyful Heart Learning shop at Teacher’s Notebook.

Just one more way to build confidence and skills in our growing readers!

Steps to the Cross – A GIVE AWAY!

At Christmas, we celebrate God sending His Son Jesus to earth as a baby.  Steps to the Cross is a natural continuation of learning about Jesus Christ our Savior as we follow His steps to the cross.  This eBook contains daily readings of Scripture, a Bible passage to memorize, and ideas for activities and crafts for children to engage in during the 13 days leading up to Easter that will point them to the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In preparation for Easter, we are giving away 2 copies of 
Steps to the Cross: Celebrating Easter and Christ’s Sacrifice
2 Winners will each receive one PDF document containing…

  • 13 days of Scripture reading
  • hymn suggestions
  • ideas for building an Easter Reminder Basket
  • memorization of either Philippians 2:5-11 or Psalm 103:1-12
  • ideas (with photos and descriptions) for crafts and activities
  • printables to use with a Scripture Easter egg hunt
  • coloring sheets
  • copywork for memory verses in both print and cursive
  • 2 printable booklets
  • printable tags for decoration

Enter this giveaway by clicking on the image below!
Teacher’s Notebook will notify the winners and send a link
for your free download once the contest has ended.

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).


(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).

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

     – wrote a rough draft.

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– proofread and made corrections with some assistance from me.

– typed (or neatly recopied) their report.


    – 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.



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!

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