Hymn Study: Just As I Am

 

This hymn may be best known from the Billy Graham crusades but it was written in the 1800’s by Charlotte Elliott. Elliott wrote over 150 hymns but this was the first time I recall hearing of her and her story. She was a preacher’s daughter and granddaughter who became ill in her early 30s and was sick and considered ‘invalid’ for the rest of her life.

She became bitter due to the pain and the story goes that she made a rude comment to a preacher (who became a mentor for her) when he was talking with her. After she apologized, he told her that Jesus loved her just as she was. This conversation is what later inspired the now famous hymn.

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

 

 Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

This hymn is one that really resonates with me because so often I have heard people talk about needed to ‘get their life together’ so they can go to church or come back to Jesus, but Jesus wants us just where we are. He doesn’t leave us that way, he changes us to be more like him, but he wants us to come just as we are. There are many scriptures that could be used when studying this hymn, but one of my favorites is Mark 2: 17.  On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””

As we study this hymn there are some really beautiful versions to enjoy, everything from Alan Jackson’s county sound to Mahalia Jackson’s strong gospel voice. It is a wonderful opportunity to talk with our children about how God can take us where ever we are and bring us back to him.

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If you would like to add some art to your study this month, Nana has this wonderful chalk pastel painting of the Apostle Paul shipwrecked to match this Just as I am hymn. Verse three says, “Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt”. Paul was literally tossed about in his ship, but we can often relate to feeling like life is tossing us about.

I pray you enjoy time with your children studying this hymn this month. I would love for you to share your thoughts on this hymn in the comments.

Hymn Study Resources:

Just As I Am (Lyrics and Music)

Just As I Am ( Alan Jackson)

Just As I Am (Selah)

Just As I Am  (acappella)

Just As I Am ( Willie Nelson)

Just As I Am (Mahalia Jackson)

Just As I Am (sang with stringed accompaniment)

Just As I Am (piano instrumental)

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale! I have multiple reviews on the blog about different courses we use from them. This is an amazing price for an entire year for your whole family and lots of really neat bonus gifts! Simply click on this link and use code: 19GIFTS

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

 

 

 

Homestead Homeschool: Gardening

 

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We enjoy gardening and growing some of our own food, but sometimes life gets really busy and we just can’t keep up with it all. However, this time at home has come at the perfect time to really kick up our gardening plans. The weather is great, we have time to weed and water, and the kids are really excited to be growing vegetables. I want to share some of the benefits of gardening in our homeschool as well as some tips for getting started.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Benefits

Getting outside in the garden is a great way to get moving, get in some physical activity, and just enjoy time outside. There is plenty of research showing the benefits of getting outside for both children and adults and this is a great way to enjoy that time together.

Some children can be picky about what they want to eat and may not enjoy trying new foods. Gardening is a great way to help them overcome that challenge. Often children are more willing to try a new vegetable or fruit that they helped grow. It is also a great opportunity to talk about nutrition and vitamins as you plant a variety of different foods.

Finally, the rewards are in the tasty food that you can put on your plate and hopefully the lower grocery bills. A tomato fresh off the vine is far better than any tomato you can ever find in the store and an ear of corn picked and cooked that day, or even better eaten raw, still warm from the July sunshine is a summer delicacy.

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Gardening Tips

My first bit of advice is to start small. It can be tempting to go out and plant every vegetable you have ever wanted to eat, but if you start with just a few things it is easier to maintain. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your garden size.

There are lots of wonderful books and blogs about gardening, but one resource you do not want to forget is your local cooperative extension. Each state has one and in most states, there are county offices that can help you. We love our North Carolina Cooperative Extension for gardening schedules, soil testing, and more.

If you want this to be an enjoyable family experience, I highly recommend getting some input from your children. Let them help pick out which vegetables or flowers they want to plant. If possible, get them their own small garden tools and gloves so that they can really take ownership in the process.

Spend a few minutes each day weeding, watering, and checking on your garden. You can do a lot in a few minutes a day, but if you get behind on the weeding it can take hours to catch up and become overwhelming. In the summer I also recommend, when possible, working in the early morning or evening to avoid the heat of the day.

If you are concerned about physical limitations or are working on strengthening your core, my friend Beth over at Fit2b has created this free resources to help with safe gardening techniques. This can help you get the most out of your gardening while keeping your abdominal muscles safe and supported.

What If I Don’t Have Space?

It does not take a lot of outdoor space to have a garden. You can plant tomatoes or cabbage in a flower bed. We have onions lining our walkway. However, you may not have any outdoor space. You can still enjoy gardening. If you have a porch or balcony, you can do container gardening. If you need to be indoors, you can plant herbs, mushrooms, or even tomatoes in your home. Microgreens are also a great way to quickly grow something indoors.  You may not get the outdoor benefits of gardening but it can still be a fun and educational experience.

Whether you love gardening already or are just getting started, I hope these tips have been helpful. I would love for you to share your favorite resources in the comments. Also, if you have any questions feel free to ask those in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

Affiliate Disclosure and Resource Library

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Avoid Summer Slide with Evan-Moor Daily Summer Activities Workbook K-1 (Review)

Balancing four children, ranging in age from two to thirteen can be a challenge some days, especially when you add in homeschooling. I want to be sure that I am giving all of my children the time and education that they deserve and for me that often means utilizing resources that can help simplify our homeschool.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I personally believe that kindergarten work should be short and allow for lots of time for play, reading, and life skills. I also know that retention will be better if we keep doing at least a little reading and math through the summer.  I love how the Evan-Moor K-1 Daily Summer Activities book gives me age appropriate activities that reinforce key skills in just a few simple minutes a day and help us avoid the ‘summer slide’.

 

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The K and 1 Daily Summer Activities book is designed to be used during the summer between kindergarten and first grade.  We started using it as a supplement to some of the work our six-year-old was already doing  to see if it was a good fit for him as we are finishing up kindergarten and preparing for summer.

I really liked the fact that it is very open and go, there was no preparation needed on my part and each page or activity took just a few minutes to complete.  This book includes activities that cover reading, math, spelling, critical thinking, and geography skills. There are ten weeks worth of activities. Each week has five days of activities with two pages per day. There is a sheet at the beginning of each week with stars representing the different pages. The student can color in the stars as they complete each page. This is great motivation for young students. Each week also has a space to draw something fun they do each day and to track their reading time each day.

There is also a great chart at the beginning of the book that shows which skills are covered each week. In addition to showing you what skills are being covered through the summer, this gives you the opportunity to skip around and focus on skills that your child may need reinforced or skip activities that your child isn’t yet ready to complete.

In addition to the skills chart, there is a great book list with suggestions for books to read together and ideas for learning excursions and other ways to encourage your student and set them up for success.

Each day’s activities only took a few minutes to complete which is perfect for keeping students engaged and on track through the summer, but still allowing plenty of time for fun and recreation. Each page has a couple of different activities, from tracing letters, simple math facts, drawing, following directions, and matching sounds. There are even some fun mazes and dot to dot activities to keep things interesting.

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At the back of the book there is an answer key for parents. While I did not really need the answer key for this level, this feature will come in handy at the older levels when I don’t’ want to have to try to figure the math out in my head. It is also helpful if there is ever a question about an activity. There is also a page full of stickers that you can use to reward your child for a job well done.

Overall, my son really enjoyed this workbook and the quick review.  I loved having the review for so many subjects all together in one easy to use resource. I think this book is an easy way to keep children on track and ready to go when instruction starts back in the fall.  While he did the K and 1 level, they also have a book for the summer between PreK and K and levels that go up as high as the summer between 7th and 8th grades.  They are available directly from Evan-Moor or on Amazon and only cost $12.99 (Amazon price may vary).  Be sure to check them out and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer:
I received a FREE copy of this product through from Evan Moor in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Easter Resources and Ideas (at Home)

Easter is important in our home. It typically involves church services, big meals, and family time.  We primarily focus on the religious aspects of Easter and celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus but we also enjoy some of the other fun aspects of the holiday. This year Easter will, of course, need to look a bit different but our reason for celebration remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Easter Resources pinterest

If like our family, you are looking for meaningful ways to celebrate Easter from your home during this time of isolation and social distance, I have compiled a list of ideas and resources that may be helpful. I pray that no matter where you are and how you celebrate, it will be a blessed day of worship for your family.

This year we will be using our Resurrection Eggs each night for the twelve days before Easter to go through together as a family devotional along with the book Benjamin’s Box. If you are getting a late start, you can do several a day or even do them all in one sitting.

I ordered crescent rolls and marshmallows in my grocery order last week, so that we can still enjoy our Resurrection Rolls. These are always a lot of fun, but also a great visual reminder for my younger children.

We are going to use Alas, and Did My Dear Savior Bleed (At the Cross), as our hymn study this month to help us focus on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In addition to our regular Sunday morning service, we are going to be enjoying a Good Friday service and an Easter concert streamed by our church. There are many great opportunities available virtually.

Throughout this week we are going to be enjoying the Free Easter art lessons by You Are an Artist. We are also blessed that our church is providing a small craft idea along with a memory verse and song each day this week as we lead up to Easter. I highly encourage you to check and see what your local churches are offering virtually.I have also found these free Easter videos that I want to watch.

Finally, we are going to use this as a reminder to serve others however we can. For our family, that means some encouraging Easter cards being sent to those that might be lonely or discouraged, cookies dropped off to neighbors (on the porch with not touching), and face masks being sewn and delivered to those in need.

I have included a variety of resources below to incorporate Easter into your school day or family celebrations for students of all ages. I have also included some links to some other blog posts that have other creative ideas.  I hope that you find them helpful and that you have a Blessed Easter. Please share in the comments your favorite Easter tradition or resource.

Blog Posts:

Natural Food Coloring for Eggs

Eggshell Mosaics

Easter/Passover Resource List

Easter Books

Resources:

Easter Chalk Pastel Art Course

Videos, Music, Art, and Literature Lessons (Schoolhouse Teachers)

Easter Videos

Easter Story Cookies

Resurrection Rolls

Easter Science Experiments

Easter Resurrection Pack

Resurrection Day Preschool Pack

Easter Family Devotional

Resurrection Lapbook

April Hymn Study: Up From the Grave He Arose!

Magic Watercolor Art

‘Stained Glass’ Cross

Easter Bible Lapbook

Easter Notebooking Page

Books and Movies:

Resurrection Eggs

Benjamin’s Box or on Kindle for only $1.99

Tale of Three Trees

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Misfits Market Box, finally if you are having a hard time getting fresh produce in your area or you would just like the convenience of food being delivered to your door you can use code: COOKWME-IW0OPU to get 25% off your first Misfits Market produce delivery.

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

Hymn Study: Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed (At the Cross)

I always learn something new when I start putting together these studies and today was no exception. As I sat down to find out more about this history of the song the refrain kept playing in my mind. However, when I first found it on hymnary, the refrain wasn’t there and I thought somehow I was mixing up two songs.  However, a bit more research showed that the verses were originally penned by Issac Watts in 1707 without the now popular refrain. The refrain was added in 1885 by Ralph Hudson who also changed the tune.  The song goes by both Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed and At the Cross.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Alas, and Did my Savior Bleed

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

When Issac Watts wrote this song, it was viewed as sinful because it did not take its lyrics straight from scripture. However, he believed that just as we can pray using our own words, we should be able to sing using our own words.

As we celebrate Easter this week, this song can be a helpful reminder of the power of the cross. I would encourage you to talk about the meaning behind this song and how Jesus’s death on the cross changes our eternity. The link on hymnary will help you with the many scripture references that accompany this song.  There are many craft projects and art lessons that you can use as a hands-on component to this study. You can gather sticks from your yard and fashion them into a small cross, you can spend some time talking as a family about ways you can share Christ’s love this Easter even while we are apart from others, and here are a few free art lessons you can use this Easter week. The rainbow cross seems to really connect with this song and seeing the light at the cross.

This Easter, as we deal with a pandemic, many of us are facing a lot of changes in our normal Easter routine. It can be challenging to realize that we cannot visit with family, attend our sunrise services, or even go into the church building on Easter Sunday.  However, I pray that we all remember that the church is not a building and we can worship and celebrate our Lord and Savior from wherever we are. Events may be canceled but Easter cannot be canceled. May this song bless you and your family as you celebrate together this year.

Hymn Study Resources:

Hymn Story

Sheet Music and Information (without refrain)

Gaither Vocal Band

Red Mountain Church

Video with Lyrics

Congregational singing

Contemporary Worship

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Misfits Market Box, finally if you are having a hard time getting fresh produce in your area or you would just like the convenience of food being delivered to your door you can use code: COOKWME-IW0OPU to get 25% off your first Misfits Market produce delivery.

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

 

Adding Music To Your Homeschool (When You Aren’t A Musical Mom)

Anyone who knows me well, knows that music is not my gifting. I love to listen to music, but I do not have a talent for making music. I took piano lessons as a young girl, audited voice lessons in college, and had to learn the recorder for my Elementary Music course in college. However, I was never proficient at any of those and my ear just doesn’t hear tone the way some people can.

*Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links see below for more information. *

My children, however, decided that they really enjoy music and wanted to work at becoming proficient musicians. This put me in a situation where I needed help them learn content that I myself was not proficient with, but there are some wonderful resources available to help me encourage them in their musical passions.

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It all started with a three-month review of  Practice Monkey violin lessons. My daughter enjoyed the lessons so much that she has continued for about 18 months and just passed her assessment to move to level six. In addition, both my five-year-old and thirteen-year-old sons are taking lessons. My daughter also began piano in January.  These online lessons have been a real blessing to our family because they offer the musical structure my children need, but the time flexibility that we needed for our busy schedules. Their teacher, Mrs. Sarah Van Kleeck is wonderful!

We had been taking the children to local symphonies for years to give them exposure to a variety of music. However, once the children started playing, they really developed a deeper interest in music. Since they had such an interest and passion, I have been working to include music into our home and school in a variety of ways.

For my two younger children, I wanted some additional music instruction. We found another online program, Musik at Home. These are membership based on line kindermusic videos. There are a variety of courses geared towards babies up to about age seven. These lessons help teach rhythm, tone, repetition and more all through fun songs and movements. Some days, I just let them watch and participate as they desire and other days, I work through the videos with them, waving our scarves and tapping our rhythm sticks.

Next, I wanted to focus on exposure to good music and music appreciation to support what the children were learning in their Practice Monkeys lessons. One program that I have loved for music appreciation is SQUILT music. We have used two different programs from them depending on what else we have going on in our school at the time. The first thing that we used was their monthly music calendar. This super simple and inexpensive resource is a calendar with a link to a different piece of thematic music each day of the month. We loved using it at Christmas to hear a variety of pieces from Handel’s Messiah as well as other Christmas music. It only takes about five minutes a day but it exposes them to so much good music. During months when we have had a little more time, we enjoy the SQUILT membership. This gives us access to several live classes that focus on different music each month, as well as recordings, worksheets, and other resources. In January, they did musicals and my children LOVED the lesson on Mary Poppins. If you want easy ways to incorporate more music appreciation into your school, I highly encourage you to check out SQUILT!

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Last year, we had an opportunity to review the Zeezok Music Appreciation  course for middle schoolers. We enjoyed it while we were working through it but found we were having a hard time making time for the whole course in our busy schedules. However, since it is very literature heavy with biographies on the composers, I am going to use it as the base for my daughters seventh grade literature course. This will combine her love of reading and her love of music for an interesting and personalized course.

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My son is going to be a 9th grader next year. This is an exciting (if a little scary) time for us. Since he is enjoying his violin lessons, we are going to turn that into a high school elective for him. He was very excited to know he could get credit for work he was already doing for fun.  In addition to the lessons and practice, he and my other children are playing for residents at a local nursing home each month. This blesses the residents with music and gives me children a chance to practice playing for an audience. I will also be including some music appreciation into his high school course to round it all out.

No matter whether you are a talented musician or, like me, can only play the radio, there are many wonderful resources to encourage your children’s passion for music. I hope you find these resources beneficial and I would to hear about your favorite resources.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Play Beside Me Challenge — Hands on As We Grow is offering this FREE 5 day challenge to help out with activities that can keep younger kids engaged in play for 15 to 20 minutes while you get something else done. Great for those with toddlers and preschoolers.

Fit2B Sale If your gym is closed or you can’t get out to do your favorite workouts, you can try my favorite online program. They are having a great 41% off sale on March 26th and 27th!

Misfits Market Box, finally if you are having a hard time getting fresh produce in your area or you would just like the convenience of food being delivered to your door you can use code: COOKWME-IW0OPU to get 25% off your first Misfits Market produce delivery.

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Some of my favorite homeschooling people are joining together to do a FREE gala all about one of our favorite book series! I highly encourage you to sign up for the Green Ember Gala that is happening on April 2nd at Noon! You will get an art lesson, a nature lesson, and a chance to hear from the author himself!

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Make-A-State Activity-Pak Home School in the Woods(Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For history this year, out family decided to focus on state history. We had covered world history in a four-year cycle and completed a year of American history and we wanted to go more into detail about North Carolina. When I had the opportunity to review the Make-A-State Activity-Pak  from Home School in the Woods, I knew it would be the perfect way to round out all we had been learning and give them a fun way to present what they knew.

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The Make-A-State Activity-Pak is a large lapbooking set that includes geography, history, timelines, and landmark components for each state. We chose to just focus on North Carolina because that tied in best with our studies but you could even use it to work through each state if you were covering the entire United States. The project is recommended for grades 3-8 but I think you could use it with younger children if you were giving them more assistance or working on it as a family project.

I printed out all of the different components for each of my two older children (12 and 13) and gave them the instructions.  The components are each included as an individual PDF so you are able to chose to print as many of them as you wish to use and leave out any that do not apply to your study. They then had the task of doing the research, filling out the lapbook components, and putting them together in a cohesive way. The instructions included details about how to put them together but I allowed mine to follow the instructions or chose another format that worked for them. My son slightly modified the lapbook layout but stayed fairly close to the original design, but my daughter put most of her components on a poster.

When they finished, they each presented their work to the rest of the family and explained what they had learned. Some of the material was review, but my son said he learned a lot about the way the state government is structured and how many electoral votes North Carolina is allotted. He was also excited about drawing the state seal. My daughter said she really enjoyed the part of learning about the state symbols and finding out that milk is our state drink. She also said that she enjoyed coloring the pieces and making everything look pretty.

There is also a bonus game included in this set to help students learn to recognize and name the shapes, as well as learn other important information like the date the state was admitted to the union.

In addition to the Make-A-State Activity-Pak, Home School in the Woods has a wide variety of products covering both world and US History. She even has a lapbook to cover the US Elections which is very timely this year. I am considering using that in the fall as we gear up for the Presidential election.  You can also check out my reviews of Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Time Travelers , and Project Passport: Ancient Egypt (Review). Her blog also has some wonderful articles to help you as you teach and learn history, like this one on Charlotte Mason and Hands-On History.

Be sure to check out the Home School in the Woods website for more information about all of the wonderful products and don’t forget to click on the graphic below to check out the reviews from other Review Crew members which cover a variety of different products from Home School in the Woods.

Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

The Kingdom Code Journal #8

In the last lesson of  The Kingdom Code that we shared, my son learned about making sales calls and using his calendar to track his business obligations. Lesson 8 is titled, ” Are Your Books in Order?” and was a much needed lesson for my son.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Key to the Lesson: ” With my calendar and ledger, I will stay organized so I can have a successful Treasure Builder”

My son has a wonderful work ethic, but is not always great about being organized. This has caused challenges for him personally and academically, so this lesson was a great way to help him make sure it didn’t cause problems with his business. Hopefully, what he learned is helping him in other areas as well. I know that he is getting better about using his calendar for other obligations as well as his business.

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My son learned that he should keep all of his business materials together in a bag, so that they are easy to find when he needs them. We found him a bag that he could dedicate to his sales folder, receipt book, pencils, business cards, business wallet, and thank you notes. Since he does lawn care and is often outside, he chose this heavy duty bag to protect his books and stand up to the elements.

Next, he learned about bookkeeping in his business. The Kingdom Code program comes with a KCK ledger and this lesson teaches students how to use the ledger to track income, expenses, and money in hand for the business.  This was a little tricky for my son at first as he learned how to use the form, but once he had practiced a couple of times he got the hang of it and was on his way to keeping good records.

Stay tuned  for lesson nine of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

YWAM: Benjamin Franklin ( Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We have been blessed this month with an opportunity to review Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire which is a part of the Heroes of History series by YWAM Publishing. Through previous reviews and lots of family reading, we were already very familiar with this series. I did not have to ask my son if he wanted to participate in this review, just which title he wanted to try. There are so many great titles that it was a tough decision, but he finally decided on Benjamin Franklin.

YWAM Pinterest

The Heroes of History series are all biographies of heroes that had a historical impact and told from a Christian perspective. Some of these go back to the founding of our country, men such as William Bradford and Captain John Smith. Others are more modern day heroes like Ben Carson and Billy Graham.

Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire told the story of the life of Benjamin Franklin. The book shared stories from his childhood through his adult life including his inventions and political contributions. My son said his favorite part was when they were talking about Benjamin Franklin’s younger years, after he moved to Philadelphia, when he was working with the post office and helping with the fire service.

In addition to the book, we received a PDF study guide which included 83 pages of ideas and activities. You could use this to make the book into a complete unit study or you can pick and choose activities to make it fit your needs. There are discussion questions for each chapter, writing prompts, creative writing activities, hands on projects, and arts and crafts. The guide also included a timeline activity, basic information sheet, and several maps. We chose to select a variety of activities to expand on his learning through the book but did not attempt to complete all of it since he was also continuing his other studies.

I started by having my son complete the basic information sheet, timeline and a couple of the maps to help him show me what he had learned while reading the book. I also had him answer a small selection of the discussion questions. Then, he was to choose two activities from the wide variety in the study guide.

First, he chose to make a movie about Benjamin Franklin. He decided to use Stop-Motion animation for the movie. It was short and a bit silly (he is a thirteen-year-old boy), but it showed some of what he learned and he had a great time being creative.

Next, he decided to write a one act play about Benjamin Franklin and the Stamp Act. Again, I saw both a good understanding of the content and the silliness of a thirteen-year-old boy. It was a great way to allow him to express himself, share his knowledge, and yet not feel bogged down by a formal paper or book report.

 The books work great as a family read aloud, independent reading, or complete unit studies when combined with the study guides.  For our family, I prefer to use most of the books as read alouds or personal reading, but add in the study guide for a unit study once or twice a year. 

If this book interest you, you might also want to check out my reviews of one of a couple of the other books in the series: Alan Shepard  and Orville Wright. You can also click the graphic below to check out the variety of reviews by other Crew members. There are so many great choices to choose from. Which one would you like to try?

32 Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}

Scheduling Ideas Part 2: But What Do I Do with My Younger Children?

Keeping my younger children (especially toddlers) occupied while I taught my older children has probably been one of the biggest challenges for our homeschool. It is even harder than Algebra (thanks to video lessons and a helpful husband).  However, with some work and creativity you can make it all work.  Also, keep in mind that these years are short and they grow up fast. These challenges are not forever.

*Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links see below for more information. *

Last week I shared some ideas for scheduling your school days with little children. This week I want to focus on ideas that you can use to keep your young children safely occupied for short times while you work with your older children. I have broken the ideas up in to toddler and preschool ages, but use whatever works best for your situation and child.

scheduling ideas pinterest part 2

Toddlers

First, utilize nap time. I know that sometimes means waiting until after lunch if they have dropped the morning nap. However, it can be worth it to get a little bit of uninterrupted time to focus on subjects that need direct attention. For us the two that are hardest with a toddler, are math and spelling.  My children need more of my time and more quiet focus for those subjects so those are the ones I would do during nap.

Second, if the weather is good, think about working outside. We all enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and the outside toys and sandbox occupy the toddler for longer than anything on the inside. We can bring our books to the picnic table or on a blanket in the backyard and work while the toddler plays.

Never underestimate the power of a snack. I can put my toddler at the table with a slow snack like cheerios or cut up cheese and fruit. This will occupy him for ten or fifteen minutes while I work with the older children.

It can also be a good idea to have a few special toys that you only bring out during school time. This keeps them a little more interesting and helps keep them engaged longer. For one of my children we actually had five small plastic tubs with different toys and games. The tubs were labeled Monday through Friday and only came out on that day during school time. It wasn’t anything fancy of expensive, puzzles from yard sales, blocks, lacing boards, etc.

Finally, audio books can be a great way to help keep them entertained. Typically, they don’t have the attention span for a chapter book, but there are many picture books on audio. They can enjoy listening to the short stories while they play. As they get older, they can follow along in a real book.

My friend Tricia over at HodgePodge has a great article on Morning Room Time to keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained. We have not yet used this idea but I am working on getting it set up to use with my toddler soon.

Preschoolers

Many of the ideas that work with toddler will also work with preschoolers. In addition, they are much more able to sit and focus for longer times and engage in the day to day activities of your home and school.

First, I find that if you can spend time with them first, they are less disruptive to your day. They crave that attention and are not yet able to really understand the need to be patient. So, if I spend 30 minutes with my preschooler before to get to work with the older children, his need is meet and he is better able to play independently.

Some preschoolers love the idea of ‘doing school’ like their older siblings. For those children, I highly recommend having a school bag with worksheets and manipulatives that they can use. One that my son really enjoyed was pattern blocks. He could take out the papers and the blocks and work through them independently but felt like he was ‘doing school’. You can also pick up inexpensive workbooks or print off papers where they can trace letters or numbers.

Art projects are another big hit with preschoolers. We do a combination of structures art from You Are An Artist and just giving them a bucket of art supplies and letting them be creative. It is amazing what they can come up with when you give them paper, crayons, glue, and scissors. We also like to add in fun surprises like googly eyes and stickers to keep it fresh.

We also enjoy using the activities from the Activity Room both for me to engage with them and for them to work on independently. They are fun and educational ideas that are perfect for them developmentally.

Finally, don’t under estimate how much they can learn and participate in family activities. If you are reading history with your older children, they can listen while they play with blocks or color. If you are doing a science experiment, they can watch and help by handing you materials. Their minds are learning and growing so much just by hearing what is going on in your home.

Overall, do not be discouraged by your younger children. Expect to work in small increments and have plenty of ideas to keep them busy. Also, keep in mind that they are growing and changing. What works this year might not work next year, and even though something didn’t work this year it might work next year.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for keeping younger children occupied and engaged during your homeschooling time?

 

Ideas and Suggestions From Other Bloggers

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

HUGE Tuttle Twins Sale for the Lock Down, get the entire set and LOTs of extras for only $60.

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Little Women is only .99 on kindle right now! (Amazon prices subject to change always check before purchasing.)

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

All About Learning has released the best deal of the day: A FREE Snowman Pack with reading and spelling activities for a variety of ages.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)