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!

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.


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!

Our 2014-2015 Curriculum

Planning, Printing, OrganizingPrep…and Preparing to Make Memories During a New School Year!

As unbelievable as it is, another school year is quickly approaching!  This coming year, our homeschool consists of a 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grader, and a PreK child.  Ready or not, here is a peek at what we have planned for the new year…

Our “Together” Subjects

- Heart Of Dakota Resurrection to Reformation (3rd, 5th, 7th)

    We are looking forward to progressing in our history study!  The HOD website explains this year’s history portion as providing…

a deeper look at the time period from the Resurrection of Christ to the Reformation. This year of study is meant to provide students with a Christ-centered overview of the growth of the early church, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the exploration of the new world, and the advancement of science. Within the readings, students will learn about each time period through the lives of the people who lived then. This biographical approach to history shows the strengths and gifts that people were given, along with the mistakes and errors that they made. Yet, the resources chosen for this study will show how God in His loving care watched over His people amidst persecution and trials. Church history is woven in and out of the narratives at the proper places in history, leading students to see that all of history belongs to God and is actually “His” story.

Independent History Reading and Read AloudsHistory 1
Extension ReadersHistory 2

- God’s World News current events (3rd, 5th, 7th)
– Mystery of History Vol 2 audio (7th)
Our oldest child LOVED Mystery of History volume 1 and begged us to let her listen to volume 2 as well!

Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day (1st, 3rd, 5th)
After having the opportunity to visit the beach and ocean this past year, our children are excited to be able to learn more about sea life and ocean creatures!
Swimming Creatures

Ocean Creatures Notebook
Free ‘My Ocean Creatures Notebook’


Bible and Apologetics –
– Hidden Treasures in Philippians study and Philippians 1 Scripture Memorization (3rd, 5th, 7th)
Philippians 1

Philippians 1 Copywork
Free Philippians Copywork Sheets

- Apologia Who AM I? (3rd, 5th, 7th)
Who Am I

YWAM Missionary Biographies
Our oldest kids continue to enjoy listening to these true stories!

Intro to Greek
– Greek Alphabet Code Cracker (3rd, 5th, 7th)
– Greek Alphabet Coloring Pages from Classical Academic Press (1st grader)
Intro to Greek
Free Greek Alphabet Coloring Pages



- Art Appreciation Looking at Pictures (3rd, 5th, 7th)
Art Appreciation
– Creating a Masterpiece Level 1
Art2 Art




Grade Specific Reading / Language Arts /Math

our 7th grader…

  • Literature-  Memoria Press (The Wind in the Willows, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table)
  • Reading – HOD extension reading and free choice reading
  • Spelling – Phonetic Zoo
  • Writing and Grammar:  BJU English and Writing 7
  • Horizons Math
  • Xtra Math
  • Handwriting – Philippians 1 Cursive Copywork
  • Science – Apologia General Science
  • AWANA – 1st year Trek, serving as a Leader in Training with a preschool Gopher Buddies class
  • Music – Violin, Pianimals piano practice
  • Devotions with Mom – Beautiful Girlhood, The Virtuous Woman: A Short Study on Proverbs 31 for Mothers and Daughters
  • Extra Bible – middle school Bible study, continuing to memorize Ephesians


our 5th grader…

  • Literature-  Memoria Press (King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood, Adam of the Road, Door in the Wall)
  • Reading – related history reading, Abeka readers, free choice reading
  • Spelling – Rod and Staff
  • Writing and Grammar:  BJU English and Writing 5
  • Horizons Math 5
  • Xtra Math
  • Handwriting – Philippians 1 Cursive Copywork
  • AWANA – 3rd year T&T
  • Music – Violin, Pianimals piano practice, Choir
  • Devotions with Mom – Beautiful Girlhood, The Virtuous Woman: A Short Study on Proverbs 31 for Mothers and Daughters

our 3rd grader…

  • Literature –  Memoria Press (Farmer Boy, Charlotte’s Web, The Moffats, Homer Price)
  • Reading – related history reading, Abeka readers, free choice reading
  • Spelling – Joyful Heart Spelling Skills (completing Part 2)
  • Writing and Grammar:  BJU English and Writing 3
  • Horizons Math 3 (continuation from last year) and moving into 4
  • Xtra Math
  • Handwriting – Philippians 1 Manuscript Copywork, A Reason For Handwriting Transition book (cursive)
  • Extra Science – Astronomy focus from HOD
  • AWANA – 1st year T&T
  • Music – Choir
  • Devotions with Dad – Boyhood and Beyond


our 1st grader…

  • Reading – ABeka readers, free choice reading (and starting a Book List)
  • Phonics – Explode the Code 3-4
  • Spelling / Handwriting – Joyful Heart Spelling Skills (starting Part 1)
  • Writing – Write a Super Sentence
  • Horizons Math 1/2
  • Xtra Math
  • Social Studies – History for Little Pilgrims, History Stories for Children, Selections from Draw Write Now (books 2,3,& 5)
    1st Grade History
  • AWANA – 2nd year Sparks
  • Music – Pianimals piano practice (with her big sister overseeing her), Choir

our 4 year old PreK child…


Would you like to see our previous year’s curriculum choices?
2013-2014 (6th, 4th, 2nd, K, preschool)
2012-2013 (5th, 3rd, 1st, PreK, 2 year old)
2011-2012 (4th, 2nd, K, 3’s preschool, toddler)
2010-2011 (3rd, 1st, PreK, 2 year old, 4 mo old baby)
2009-2010 (2nd, K, 3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived end of year)
2008-2009 (1st, PreK, 2 year old, 6 mo old baby)
2007-2008 (K, 3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived mid year)
2006-2007 (PreK, 2 year old, 7 mo old baby) – Joyful Heart Character
2005-2006 (3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived mid year) – Joyful Heart Bible and Rhyme
2004-2005 (2 year old, 6 mo old baby) – Joyful Heart Learning


This post is part of the 6th annual “Not” Back-To-School Blog Hop over at the iHomeschool Network.  This week, homeschoolers around the nation are sharing their curriculum choices for this coming school year!


My Ocean Creatures Notebook

ocean How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

 ocean 2


Our family has had the privilege to visit and explore the coastline during the past two summers. May we never cease to be amazed at the vastness of the ocean and the creative nature of our loving God!  So, it is with great anticipation as we embark on a new school year and begin our study of ocean creatures using Apologia’s Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day!  After studying Apologia’s Zoology 1 for our main science text last year, we knew that once again we would desire to spend time learning about science and nature using this God centered, creationist curriculum with multiple ages.

Swimming Creatures

As I read through the text and looked at the regular and junior notebooking journals, as excellent as they are, I realized that I wanted a slightly different design for our upcoming first grader.  So, of course, I created one – ‘My Ocean Creatures Notebook’!  This was a fun project to work on, especially since my oldest daughter teamed up to help me for the first time!

The ‘My Ocean Creatures Notebook’ does contain some writing spaces and true notebooking type sheets. However, there are mostly cutting, gluing, sorting, labeling, and coloring activities designed with lower elementary students in mind (advanced K-2nd grade) allowing them to learn alongside their older siblings. The topics and vocabulary correspond with the same ones as found in the Apologia Swimming Creatures textbook.


In this FREE resource you will find…

Coloring sheets with Scripture
Pages for Labeling anatomy of different ocean creatures
Experiment Sheets
Vocabulary Match Ups
Comparing and Contrasting Activities
Spaces to write facts to remember
Word Searches (with answer key in the back)
My Ocean Creatures Drawing pages
Ocean Creatures Report Sheets
Aquarium Field Trip Scavenger Hunt
Picture Cards (Photos)
Sorting/Matching Cards (ocean creatures and their names)


Ocean Creatures Notebook

Download the ‘My Ocean Creatures Notebook’ for FREE
at the Joyful Heart Learning Teacher’s Notebook Shop!


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