Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 2)

Should Christians Use Herbs? @jasminejlucero

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 2) has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.

High Five Moms: Teaching the Word to Our Little Ones

Last night my oldest daughter was sitting in my room talking with me before bed. She said that she couldn’t wait to get settled in Kansas, because she wanted to spend more time memorizing Scriptures. We have been busy traveling back and forth between Texas and Kansas, not to mention packing, cleaning, and the million other things that have to be done when you move. In all this “busy”ness, we have not been diligent with our daily family Bible time. I can tell that we are all missing it and hungering for more time with our Savior. There is something so sweet, so comforting when we all join together as a family before the Lord.

How We Do Family Worship

Over the years our family Bible time has gone through many changes. We have used many different curriculums and methods, but I have found that simple and flexible are what works best for our family.

Most of the time, we do our Bible time mid-morning after everyone has had breakfast and all the morning chores are finished. All the children that can read bring their Bibles along with them. Everyone finds a comfy place to sit. I keep the younger ones next to me so that I can also work on training them to sit quietly during this time. This helps them learn to sit during church without being disruptive.

Singing

Our Bible times usually starts with singing to the Lord. My older children will play the piano or the guitar and the rest of us join in to sing. We have a few hymnals that we gather around as we sing. I let the kids pick out which songs they would like to sing. We don’t have a set amount of songs we sing each day. There are some days when we are all enjoying the singing so much we spend most of our Bible time with music. Other days we cut it short, especially if the kids are playing around as we sing.

Prayer

There are some days when I say a prayer before we start. Other days we all take turns praying for whatever is on our hearts. When time allows, it helps if we talk about the prayer needs before hand so that the kids remember the things we need to pray about. I try not to pray in a general way, instead pouring my heart out to the Lord so that my children learn to lay everything before the Lord.

Reading

When we read the Word together, I have each child read aloud a portion of our reading for the day. The youngest reader might only read one verse as they are still learning to sound out the words. The older ones get to read longer passages. As they read, we also work on speaking clearly so that everyone can understand what they are saying.

In our family, we use the King James Version of the Bible. Growing up I had always heard that the KJV was so difficult to read and understand. Several years ago we decided to start using the KJV for our family. I didn’t know if it would be challenging for the children or not. I was surprised at how much each of their reading levels increased as they read aloud from the Bible. Aside from personal convictions, there are some very great reasons to have your children read from the KJV outlined in the Ambleside Online article entitled Why the KJV? By Lynn Bruce.

As we read the Bible, I stop and discuss what we are reading. This year we started using Balancing the Sword to accompany our reading. For each chapter of the Bible, Balancing the Sword has questions aimed at improving comprehension and retention. There are also maps, timelines, artwork, and quotes that add to the learning.

What I really like is the flexibility. There are some days we use the questions from the book, and other days we just talk about what we read. I don’t feel the pressure to “keep up” or make sure we do a certain amount of work from the book each day.

Memorization

A few years ago, I ran across a scripture memory method from Simply Charlotte Mason that has really worked well for our family. I have had to modify it slightly because we have so many different levels of learners in our home, but the overall concept works very well.

I usually pick verses to learn from our readings, but would really like to start working on targeting specific groups of verses. I recently bought the book Proverbs for Parenting. It has the proverbs grouped together topically. My goal would be to learn verses from one topic at a time as we work on that area of our lives.

One Last Thought

When we first started homeschooling over 10 years ago, I knew that I wanted to teach Bible as part of our curriculum. I was under the assumption that I would teach the kids the Bible as part of their studies, and I would do my own learning separate from them.

What I found to be true, is that I learn just as much as they do during our Bible times each day. When we come before the Lord as a family, the Holy Spirit teaches each one of us at our own levels and deals with each of our hearts individually. There is nothing sweeter than learning the Word right along with your children.

What about you, how to you teach your children the Word?

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href=”http://ponderthepath.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/highfivemoms.jpg”><img title=”highfivemoms” src=”http://ponderthepath.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/highfivemoms-300×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a>

Make sure and check out the other moms post to get some great ideas on teaching God’s Word to your little ones!

Andie @<a href=”http://www.happyandersons.com” target=”_blank”> Happy Andersons</a>

Stacy @<a href=”http://www.adelightfulhome.com” target=”_blank”> A Delightful Home</a>

Brandy @ <a href=”http://www.themarathonmom.com” target=”_blank”>The Marathon Mom</a>

Keri Mae @ <a href=”http://www.kerimae.com” target=”_blank”>The Happy Home</a>

Homeschool Planning: Bible and Language Arts

 

We started school this week, but I feel like I am still in the planning stages of this school year. I have chosen a few things we will be using that are new for us, and few things we are bringing along from last year, and a few things are yet to be determined.

Bible

For our Bible study, we don’t have a curriculum we follow. I did purchase Balancing the Sword this year, and although we have only used it a few days so far, I think it will be a great match for us.

During our Bible time (mid-morning after all chores are done and everyone has eaten breakfast), we usually start by singing a few hymns. I let the kids each pick a hymn. We all sing remembering the words the best we can (sometimes we use the hymnal if Kendra doesn’t need it to play the piano). My goal is to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” and to help my children prepare their hearts for the Word.

After singing, we all open our Bibles to the scriptures we will be reading. This year we started with Luke. I have each child of reading age read a section (depending on their ability I decide how long they should read). For my 6 year old who is still learning to read and sounding words out, I try to find one verse with simple words and help her sound them out. This encourages her to work on learning to read so that she can read more of the Bible like the older kids.

As we read, I will stop them and ask questions or discuss what they are reading. This is where Balancing the Sword comes in. It contains retention questions for every book in the Bible. It doesn’t add commentary, or ask opinionated questions, just questions about exactly what was read. It also contains maps and pictures related to the passages. When the 2 year old has trouble sitting still, I let him look at the pictures as we read. We generally try to cover a chapter a day, but for longer chapters (like Luke 1), we break it up into 2 days.

For scripture memory, I try to pick verses from the passages we are reading. As the year moves along, I will pick verses from other areas of the Bible, especially for the older kids who are able to learn more verses. I found a scripture memory method from Simply Charlotte Mason that I have modified to work for our family.  It involves writing each verse on an index card and reviewing them systematically throughout the month.  As we learn more verses, I hope to be able to get better at reviewing them.

~As a side note, last year I had a little boy who would dump the cards out of our scripture memory box when I wasn’t paying attention.  This year he is a little older, but just in case, I bought a small notebook that holds index cards.  I keep it with my Bible and so far, no scattered index cards.

For personal Bible reading time, I found a reading checklist online.  I just print off each of us a copy and we check the boxes as we read through the Bible on our own.

Language Arts

For the littles, this one is fairly straightforward.

1st grade – Hannah is still learning to read using 100 Easy Lessons.  She also uses Explode the Code to help cement the phonics lessons she is learning.  For handwriting, I have her copy scripture or she sometimes uses Draw Write Now.  I have her read various books at or below her reading level.

4th grade – Maddie is working on Learning Language Arts through Literature.  It is a workbook type curriculum, but I like that it follows a somewhat Charlotte Mason type learning style.  It includes grammar, spelling, reading (not much though, I supplement with extra), handwriting, and other extra learning activities.  She really enjoys doing it, so I am sticking with it.  Last year she did Phonetic Zoo for spelling (because I already had it and it is what her older brother was using), but this year I think I will keep it simple and just use the spelling word in her lessons.  She gets 5-6 words a week and it ties into what she is already learning.

9th grade – Tristan…OK, here is where I am still planning.  Last year he used Phonetic Zoo for spelling, Fix-it for grammar, and IEW for writing.  I would like to find a way to tie everything together in a more practical manner.  I feel like he is learning the mechanics of language without learning the usage, if that makes sense.    I will mark this one “to be determined”.

12th grade – Kendra will be reading some great literature through the Beautiful Feet history curriculum she is using.  I am having her focus on writing skills this year, through her blog, in a nutrition class she is taking, and in the history class.  I want her to learn to express herself in a structured way and basically find her writing “voice”.

Just so I don’t leave anyone out…

5 month old – practicing his babbling, cooing, and laughing.  No curriculum needed, just lots of encouragement from everyone around him.

2 year old – practicing answering mama in a kind tone without the words “No way, Jose”, memorizing every word of his Veggie Tale shapes and colors books, and keeping us in an uproar with the clever comments he comes up with.

In case you missed them, here are the links to find out what we are using for science and math or history and literature.