Steps to the Cross

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, why not try 
Steps to the Cross: Celebrating Easter and Christ’s Sacrifice
You will 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


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!


2) Practice Reciting the Scripture Passage Orally as a Family

Simply sit together and recite the passage aloud with one another.
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!  
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


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!


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


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!

A Taste of Fall

fall Do you have something that you look forward to all year long?  Maybe it’s an annual vacation, a gathering of friends, or a certain season?

I would have to say that autumn has always been something that I eagerly await each year…the breath taking colors in which God paints the leaves, fall flowers, and plants – hues of orange, red, yellow, and brown,

Autumn Colors   fallwelcome

the refreshing cooler days and the crunch of leaves underfoot, perfect for walks or romping through the woods,


scents of apples, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and of course, the tastes! 

appleorchard pumpkin field


Here is one treat that our family anticipates each fall…                 pumpkin pie homemade pumpkin pie! 

We acquired this recipe several years ago from a friend and are blessed each time we prepare it (usually in advance) and then savor it at special gatherings throughout the season.

Let’s Start!
First, you’ll need to bake your pie pumpkin.

Baking the Pumpkin

1) Take the stem off. 
2) Cut the pie pumpkin in half from top to bottom. 
3) Scoop out all of the seeds and pulp.  You may wish to use a melon scooper.  (If you desire, save the seeds for roasting.)
4) Place the shells cut side down in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish along with approximately 1 inch of water.  Do not cover. 
5) Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or longer. 


6) When you can poke it with a fork and it is soft, your pie pumpkins are ready to be removed from the oven.
7) Carefully remove the pumpkins from the pan and let them cool with the cut side up. 


8) Once cool, scoop out the pumpkin and mash it with a potato masher. 

 IMG_2615  IMG_2616

Now, for transforming our pumpkin ‘mush’ into delicious filling for a pie!  Make sure you have the following ingredients.   (Please note: 1 1/2 cups of mashed pie pumpkin is needed to make one pie.  It depends on the size of your pie pumpkin, but we typically are able to make 2 pies from each!)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 1/2 cups mashed pie pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 TBS melted butter
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp salt

1) Beat all of the ingredients together.  (Yes, it will be soupy.)  
IMG_2619 IMG_2620IMG_2622

2) Freeze the pie filling in a gallon freezer bag to save for another time or pour into a pie shell to bake right away.

3) When you are ready to bake a pie, simply thaw a bag of pie filling.  Once thawed, place it in a pie shell. 
4) Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake an additional 50-60 minutes. 
(The pie will be done when the top begins to crack and the filling is set and no longer runny and soupy.  It should jiggle a bit like Jell-O, but be firm.)

We have four bags of this yummy ‘taste of fall’ waiting in our freezer…IMG_2624
Well, make that three now. =)
Sometimes it is just too tempting to wait!

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