Bible Bites, Week 2: Jesus Starts His Ministry

I had so much fun doing interactive Bible study with Mr. Moose this past week. As the 3rd child, he's definitely missed out on some of the fun PreK stuff I was doing with his sisters when they were 2 & 3. By pre-planning, hopefully I'll be better this year about giving him his own special PreK experiences.

Day 1: Jesus at the River
  • Show Mr. Moose pictures of his siblings. Talk about how each of the kids are part of our family.
  • Read "Jesus at the River", pg 260 (Matt. 3:13-17)
  • Point out that Jesus is God's Son, just like Mr. Moose is my son, and that God loves Jesus very much. (I know there is MUCH more to this theologically, but we're staying simple right now!)
  • Have some water playtime!
Day 2: Jesus in the Desert
  • Take a walk outside. Talk about Jesus walking for a long time in the hot desert. He probably got really hungry and thirsty! Then "find" some bread. Does Mr. Moose want it? We can't have it right now. We'll have to wait!
  • Sit down and read "Jesus in the Desert," pgs 262-263 (Matt. 4:1-11)
  • Talk about how Jesus obeyed God even when he was really hungry and thirsty. He always obeyed! 
Day 3: Meeting Jesus
  • Tell Hudson about a special treat. Does he want to tell his sisters about it? Let him go tell the news. When he gets back, sit down to read the Bible story together. 
  • Read "Meeting Jesus" pgs 264-265 (John 1:35-47). Andrew was so excited about finding Jesus he had to tell his friends! 
  • Let Mr. Moose call Nana and tell her some exciting news. 

Bible Bites, Week 1: Jesus is Born!

Our primary resource for reading will be the Day by Day Begin to Read Bible. I'm going to reference this book, but will also include the corresponding Scripture passages. (Note on book: I love the way it breaks Bible stories down into short, easy to digest chunks, but still includes stories and passages that other kids' Bibles skip over. Great home library investment, in my opinion!)

My lessons will be very light on crafts because, well, Mr. Moose isn't too big on arts and crafts. He likes them at certain times and places, but using them in devotions just feels like extra busy work to me. I'll save crafts for our alphabet/number time.

Day One: Mary Gets a Special Gift
  • Wrap up a gift and present it to Mr. Moose. Talk about how exciting it is to get a new gift. Tell him we'll open it after we read our Bible story about how God gave Mary a special gift.
  • Read "God's Son," pg 251-252 (Luke 1:26-38)
  • Discuss how God gave Mary the special gift of being Jesus' mommy! Let Mr. Moose unwrap his present and rejoice in the blessings of good gifts.
  • Memory Verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." (John 3:16a)
Day Two: Jesus is Born
  • Give Mr. Moose a suitcase. Let him pack some things to take on a "trip" around the house. 
  • Pull the suitcase from "Nazareth" to "Bethlehem." When we arrive at the reading spot, a cave made of 2 chairs and a sheet, read "A Trip to Bethlehem" pp 254-255 (Luke 2:1-7).
  • Discuss how God gave not just Mary a gift - He gave ALL of us a gift when Jesus was born! He gave us this precious gift because He loves us.
  • Memory Verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." (John 3:16a)
Day Three: The Angels Sing!
  • Sit together in a darkened bedroom with stuffed animals around us. Tell Mr. Moose the story of the shepherds taking care of their sheep in the fields, when suddenly the angels appeared and began praising God for His wonderful gift of Jesus! Shine flashlights and talk about how the angels shone.
  • Listen to a bit of the Hallelujah Chorus and talk about the angels singing beautiful songs. They were excited because God was giving everyone in the world such a wonderful present - the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ!
  • Get up and run to another room. Talk about how the shepherds ran to find Jesus after they heard the good news. They were very happy!
  • Memory Verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." (John 3:16a) 

Back to blogging!

Well, it's time for a new school year, and time to blog again. Last year was SO crazy with a new little one and a busy toddler and first grade academics that I decided blogging must go. But I think I'm back. Maybe. No promises.

I want to start doing more meaningful Bible devotions with my newly turned 3yo, Mr. Moose. I'm going to use this blog as a way to chronicle them and maybe be a help for others trying to do the same thing. At this point, my plan is to start studying the life of Jesus with my busy boy and also teach some much-needed character qualities at the same time. If anyone else is doing the same thing, let me know! I'm always up for inspiration.

Sonlight Core B (Core 1): Week 7

Hmmm - so I'm not very good at updating our Sonlight hands-on activities! Sorry. Miss Precious, though small, has caused my free time to shrink to almost nothing.

Here's what we did for week 7:

Animals of the World
  • Listen to rainforest sounds
  • Watch video of Anteaters
  • Giant Anteaters mini book
    • Walk on our knuckles: Anteaters walk on knuckles
    • Try to get candy out of bottle using our tongue. Now try again with straw: Anteaters’ nose allows them to go deep into the ant nest
    • Blindfold and look for something by smell: Anteaters find things by smell; eyesight is not good
  • Read Soaring with the Wind by Gail Gibbons
  • Do Eagles Nest & National Symbols minibooks from HSS

Houses and Homes
  • Try handwashing some socks or other items of clothing like the Indian women did.
  • Do the Follow thePlan activity
  • Read Alphabet City and A Year in the City
  • Make our own city
Akebu to Zapotec:
  • Locate Papua New Guinea on the map. Do minibook
  • Talk about how the Elkei people live in the jungle. Color some jungle pics
  • Color flag and put on poster
  • The country has amazing butterflies. Make a butterfly craft

    Teaching Preschoolers: My Notes, Part A

    I'm reading the best book right now: Mommy, Teach Me! Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning. It's got so many great thought and ideas on how to practically implement Montessori ideas in a homeschool setting. I wish I'd read this 2 kids ago! Here's some of my notes I'm taking as I read the book (only 3 chapters in at the moment) in case you're interested:

    Observation is important. I need to take time, even if just 2 minutes here and there to watch my kids and ask some of the following questions:
    • What does she like to do and how could we adapt it to create more learning opportunities?
    • What activities help him stay calm and focused?
    • What frustrates him, distracts her, makes her worried?
    • What produces a feeling of accomplishment? What a feeling of discouragement?
    • What brings out her best? What brings out her worst?
    • What hurts her feelings? What encourages her?

    My example is so important! I need to observe myself to find actions that aren’t good examples and conversely, begin to exhibit actions that are models for them to imitate.

    And what about my attitudes? My children don’t need a harried, distracted, depressed and frustrated mother. They need someone that’s patient, focused and filled with the joy of the Lord (key to remember - not my joy...His.)

    God gave children a drive to become independent that starts quite young! When they do something annoying, messy, etc. (like trying to pour the milk themselves), don’t react in anger and frustration. They’re not being bad and you don’t want them to feel like they are. If your child shows a desire to learn something and isn’t quite ready, find a way to get him there.

    Life is rushed, but it’s vitally important that we slow down and give a child time to learn how to master things himself. “Children are born imitators.The best way to avoid spills and messes is not by keeping everything out of their hands, but by using exaggerated care in the little things they watch us do and then giving them opportunities to join.”

    Find ways to encourage my children in independence. As they learn to tell time, give them a clock to let them regulate their own schedule. Teach them to make food for themselves, and then have them do it!

    Need help with toddler activities?

    I love my 2yo Mr. Moose. He gives the sweetest hugs, makes the cutest faces and delights his family with the funny things he says. As he's hit the big 2, I've noticed a marked change in his attention span and interest. He sits longer for books, is picking up more info like colors and numbers and wants to do more "speyschul" (special) activities with Mommy.

    And that's a problem.

    I'm running low on "special" activity ideas that fit his developmental stage and energy levels. We've been doing a different type of sensory bin every 2 weeks (confetti, flour, rice, oatmeal, etc.) and I've been emphasizing colors more, but other than that, it's just been a lot of trucks, trains and dirt.

    That's why I was SO excited to discover this toddler curriculum tonight. For each month of the year, there are simple, theme based activities grouped by week. How fun! And these types of activities are perfect for my little guy. Not heavy on the "learn this shape, learn this number" like so many of the tot time stuff is. Just fun books, games & crafts that are theme based so that I can start introducing him more in depth to the beautiful, amazing world around us. Hope you find it useful.

    Sonlight Core B (Core 1): Week 6

    Ahhh. I'm sitting in Panera, sipping a soda, enjoying a bagel and getting a few quiet minutes to myself. I've been reading through others' blogs and thought, "I should update my own blog as well!" So, here's our latest round of activities for week 6 of Sonlight. I actually took pictures this week, but don't have my memory stick with  me. Maybe I'll add them later...

    Houses & Homes:
    • Made a project from The Ultimate Building Book. We made a newspaper strut teepee. The first version kept collapsing and testing my sanity. The second version (with much stronger struts) lasted 2 days and restored my faith in my engineering abilities. 
    • Played "Build a House" online game
    • Made igloos with marshmallows and toothpicks. Fun idea in theory. It was a disaster in practice. Our igloos looked more like teepees (according to Happiness), but at least they were fun to eat.
    • Looked at pictures of Coober Pedy
    • Created our own underground homes out of sheets and blankets.
    World of Animals:
    • Read Littlest Llama - excellent living book on the wildlife in the Andes mountains
    • Watched video of leaf cutter ants
    • Created a rainforest canopy poster. The girls got to each choose an animal from each layer of the rainforest. We then found coloring pages for those animals, and while I was creating the canopy poster, they colored there pictures. Mr. Moose even got in on the fun and colored his own Toucan. He was very excited to add it to the poster. 
    Homer Price:
    • Created a large ball of string (actually, we didn't do this. I had planned it, but forgot to buy string in advance!)
    • Created a safe bug trap 

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