Gods Little Explorers – A curriculum review

For the last four weeks I have been using the Gods Little Explorers from the amazing mom over at Motherhood on a Dime. While being amazingly thrifty this mommy blogger has somehow managed to find the time to make her own preschool curriculum. While she does offer this for free she has a much more put together and refined version for only $17. I bought the updated version and I am so thrilled with this choice!

So the basic concept is that we go through the bible learning about Adam and Eve, Moses, Noah, Jesus, even King David and King Solomon. Along the way we are learning our ABC’s 123’s and shapes. There are also many extra ideas that you can do to learn memory verses, sorting and patterning and colors. There is a complete preschool education all surrounding a strong biblical foundation.

As I said we are on our fourth week with this curriculum and are loving it. I hear my son singing about Noah and how God loves him and if you have ever heard your child singing about the Lord you know the feeling it brings to your heart! He knows about Adam and Eve and what happened in the garden, all things I feel are important for him to learn.

In addition to the bible and basic preschool skills she has also included a special part of the lesson dedicated to manners,self help, chores, and serving.  Basic skills like zippers,buttons, and tying, saying please and thank you, and learning to do things for others. If you are like me you find yourself just zipping the coat or tying the shoes to just get out of the door and forget to take the time to give them an opportunity to learn these life skills for themselves so this is incredibly helpful to have time set aside each day to teach these skills!

The only things that I had questioned were that the alphabet is taught out of order and it is only a four day a week schedule. The alphabet being out of order while strange to us is actually not that big of a deal. As long as you teach your children the alphabet song they will eventually get the order. As Stacie puts it, “I would much rather my child grasp the idea that the Bible is a connected story from beginning to end.” and I must say I do agree with that statement.

While I prefer a five day a week curriculum and so does G the four days actually is nice. We go through the curriculum and then on the fifth day we can do other subjects that I feel are needed for our family such as Spanish, sign language and character traits. Also every fourth Friday we can do our field trip or community service project so it turned into a blessing for us!

All in all the curriculum has been great, my son has been learning not only what the world says he needs but also he is learning who God is and who he is to God and I can not think of a better thing for him to learn. All the while he is having fun and enjoying learning.

While she does have this curriculum for free the paid version is nicer int hat it is all together in one download and organized for easy access (love that!) She also has a page for she talks a little bit more about how its worth the little bit of money. If you are looking for a good biblical  founded preschool curriculum this is defiantly the one you want!

Who could have known?

According to the date on my last post it has been over two weeks since I have so much as accessed this site! Who could have known how fast time flies when you have three little ones running around! Not that I am making excuses (ok maybe a little)

Life with a four year old boy has just gone from joy to terror in our house. They say the terrible twos? Oh how I long for the days when he was two! With a sister who insists on copying everything he does, a daddy who insists this is all normal, and then baby girl who wants nothing more than to be held day and night, mommy is going a little crazy! So we have decided to take some more drastic measures! That’s right the gloves are off the consequence charts are up and we  will have a peaceful if noisy home again!

Besides those fun things (ha ha) we have had church activities, weird work schedules, and a whole assortment of distractions for this mommy, not to mention my birthday today! (21 Yay!)  So rest assured I have not given up on this and I am here and will plan to come back soon to tell you more about our adventures with Gods little explorers, Creative corrections, and planning for a missions trip! Hope you guys will check back in with me for these exciting things and I hope you haven’t given up on me yet 😉 I am going to just keep swimming (only a mom could pull off that nemo quote!)  through His majesties country!

One month down twenty years to go!

This is officially our fourth week of homeschooling and we are loving it! While we have made some changes and are still trying to smooth out our schedule I would say we are rocking it! A is no longer doing classes with her brother and she is not thrilled about that. G is soaring sky high with all of his lessons and the husband is doing a fantastic job helping keep the girls entertained while I am teaching G! I really never thought it could go this smoothly but God works things out to give us the desires of our hearts!

A has been trying to do the lessons with her brother and while she was very patient and great at coloring, she just isn’t ready for school. I knew this going in but I thought maybe she could just tag along so to speak. That wasn’t working. Bless her heart she just can’t keep up or keep from distracting her brother! So now she hangs out with daddy and the baby while G and I do class. This works much better for us as G can concentrate and she is not getting frustrated (and neither am I!) I look forward to seeing if she will be ready next year as she is incredibly smart and I know already has a desire to learn!

G is doing great in his classes. We are using the “Letter of the Week Preparatory” curriculum and we both love it. The lessons are pre planned for me but are super easy to change up to fit our family. One letter,number, shape/color a week with a weekly theme, vocabulary word, and song. I found these great poster cards online that has each letter of the alphabet with a Bible verse that starts with that letter so I use those each week and we memorize the verse. There is also a nursery rhyme to go along with the theme but I found a site Mama Lisa’s World that has Mexican nursery rhymes to help us learn Spanish.  I also add a character trait for the week and get curriculum to go along with it from Character First Education.Changing this up a bit to fit us has been no problem, not even really any extra work for me either! G has got this stuff down and I am one proud mama! Today he recited Ephesians 4:32 to his daddy all by himself, needles to say dad was impressed!

I am so thrilled that this has all gone down so smoothly. I really can only give credit to my Heavenly Father for giving me the patience and strength to do this. I know that this is the best thing I can do for my children right now and I am so grateful that my crazy hectic life worked out so that I am able to do this for them. While we are still learning and rearranging and probably will for some time, I think this has been a very promising first month of the next twenty years(at least!) I am privileged to home school my children in His Majesties Country!

 

Making Transisitions

What do you know, miracles do happen, two blog posts in one week!

If you have lived at all, you know that life requires us to make changes and changes require transition. This is one of the hardest things for me to do and I am hoping I am not the only one out there. Of the many changes we have been making in our family these last few months the most recent and probably the most significant for us is transitioning into a new church

There were several things leading up to our decision to change our place of worship and one of the biggest was that we no longer felt the connection and presence of God there. Not to say that it was the churches fault, it wasn’t. God has ways of telling you that you need to move on and sometimes if you are as thick headed as we are the only way for Him to tell you is to leave and wait for you to seek Him. Amazing how God works! Well we started seeking.

It was a whim to go to this new church, a co-worker invited my husband to the Hispanic service and we decided to check out the regular Sunday service. It was a wonderful, beautiful, failure. The music was old fashioned hymnals with one song being contemporary like we are used to. The people were welcoming and friendly, and as it turned out we even knew a few of the people! It was so far out of our comfort zone with the different music, older crowed, lack of fire in the crowd and many other things, but we found what we were looking for. God. 

We have now gone three weeks in a row and it is still weird. It’s a baptist church, we are non denominational. I raise my hands and cry when I worship, they do not. Have you ever tried to worship in a room that has no fire in the people? Let me tell you it is AWK-WARD! I am learning however, that these differences don’t really mean much. Especially when we are praising our Almighty Creator. I think I can say with a good amount of certainty that God does not favor the one who raises their hands higher, sings louder, praises more humbly, as long as we are truly praising Him.

It is still a transition, moving from one church to another, especially with such obvious differences but sometimes change is good. As long as I still get the Word and I feel Gods presence, I don’t mind being the only one raising my hands. Who knows maybe others will too, fire does spread after all! Maybe it will spread all throughout His Majesties Country!

The truth about fictional books…

First off I will apologize for the delay in my posts. I am an avid reader and when I get caught up in a series I tend to have tunnel vision! I’m sure someone out there can sympathize.

After reading this series I feel I now have to explain to everyone out there authors and aspiring authors why I choose to read a fictional book rather than one based on reality. For me it is an escape. Even though I don’t watch the news, even if I could close myself up in my room and hide from the world I still am aware of some of the harsher realities of this life. Life isn’t always fun and it isn’t all joy all the time. We have challenges, trials, and struggles. We live in a broken, sin filled world and sometimes it is all just a little overwhelming. So I read. Fiction.

I start with a great book that draws me in wanting more and more details and yearning to know how it ends. Then the sequel is just as good. More character development, shocking twists that I never saw coming. It has all the promise of a great series, one I could read again and again. Then the third book. BAM! The main character or someone close to the main character dies. Right at the end. They make it through the whole series just to die in the end and then there are always those last few chapters where you are supposed to get closure but the whole time you’re speed reading praying,hoping, and pleading for some miracle that they didn’t really die. Sure you could make the argument that I shouldn’t get so attached to fictional characters and maybe you are right, but I do. I love reading. I love learning about these characters and their adventures, trials, and triumphs, even if it is all fictional.

It makes it worse when an author defends this by saying, “But in reality there aren’t always happy endings.” They are right there are not always happy endings in reality, but you do not write reality you right fiction! I read fiction because I have enough reality in real life. Sometimes, and I know I can’t be the only one, I need an escape. I demand a happy ending for characters that you have built up and made me watch as they grew into who they were and faced challenges and adversity. There are so many unhappy endings in this world that sometimes it is best to end a story with a happy one even if you feel it makes it a little typical or makes it more unrealistic.

Maybe it is just me and maybe I am being a tad over emotional over a fictional book and make believe characters, but maybe I am not the only one out there that can use an occasional happy ending to help you get by in His Majesties Country.

Our first week…

We have officially completed our first week of homeschooling. It may not sound like much but for any mothers out there that have done this, I am sure you understand what an accomplishment that is for me! With three children ages 4, 2, and 16 months this was no simple feat!

First, I will let you in on why we decided to go this route in the first place. My son, we will call him “G”, went to the local preschool for one year. Week after week it was the same cycle of bad behaviors, breaking it over the weekend  only for him to return to school on Monday and come home with the same bad behavior. To us having Godly character is an essential life skill our children need in this world and he was not getting this in the public school system. Besides that we are an active family and his school schedule just did not work for us. So after careful consideration we decided to home school.

This first week I have learned a lot. First off mornings are the best time to teach. Giving them an opportunity to get all of their wiggles out first helps too! Home schooling has made me have to get organized but also really decide what values and focuses we want our children to have. I have also learned that we need a structured plan. Some mothers are really great at coming up with their own plans for their families but I am simply not good at that. I was able to find lots of help and ideas on the internet, including a couple of good structured preschool curriculums for us to follow with minimal prep for me!

One week down and a new week coming I feel confident that we are doing a good job. Not having our focus on what the public school system says we should be doing but focusing on what suits our family and our values will be our best plan to continue on strong in His Majesties Kingdom!