Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to Homeschool Joyfully all Through Autumn

When I think of Autumn, squeezing every last second of color and light and energy before being tucked in cozy in front of the fire with a white blanket of snow covering the ground comes to mind. While mittens and pumpkins and hot apple cider and jeans and flannels and campfires and hot dog roasts all come with Autumn, our homeschool has many rich, vibrant days of learning.

So it is no wonder why our family spends so much of our time outside soaking in the remaining warmth with lots of field trips and nature studies. 
Autumn Homeschool Studies
Here are some of the studies and field trips we've worked on in Autumn:

Nature Studies
Cabbage Whites
Painted Lady
Pearl Crescent
Puffball Mushrooms
Sunflowers and Golden Rod Soldier Beetle
False Potato Beetle
Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly
Chestnut Tree
Praying Mantis 
Golden Rod
Oak Tree
Field Trips
Pumpkin Farm
Dairy Farm
Glass Museum
Renaissance Festival
Bridge of Dreams Hike
Indian Mounds
Scavenger Hunt
Fire Station
New Harmonies
Ice Cream Factory

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NIV First-Century Study Bible {A Review & Giveaway}

 I received a free copy of NIV First-Century Study Bible from Family Christian 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 information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

I have always enjoyed learning about the past. When I studied Anthropology in college, I knew that I wanted it to be my concentration. And I have been known to spend many, many hours working on tracing my genealogy at the library, on the computer, and in the field. Learning about where I've come from, where my ancestors trod, is a true delight to me.

And I often wonder what it was like to walk with Jesus. To see his face. To live in the world that he lived in. If I could step back in time and be with him, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Of late it seems the good Lord has been bringing more of the past to light for me. In my studies with the kids, in my Sunday School class, in the sermons on Sundays, I'm finding a new closeness to the scripture. It brings so much understanding to me to have insight into the daily life and culture of the Biblical times.

After reading Matthew 17: 24-27,

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?"

"Yes, he does," he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes-from their own children or from others?"

"From others," Peter answered.

"Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. But so that we many not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it them for my tax and yours."

I was delighted to learn there is a tilapia found in the Sea of Galilee that carried its small young in its mouth, picked up small pebbles in its mouth, and was attracted to shiny objects. The fishermen of that time, like Peter, would have known that those fish did just that. Life was breathed into that passage for me.

I recently read that Winston Churchill was quoted as saying, "The greatest advances in human civilization have come when we recovered what we had lost; when we learned the lessons of history."

Isn’t that so true. Understanding the past, helps us understand the present. That is why I'm so excited to have the opportunity to review the NIV First-Century Study Bible. It is packed with information that gives me perspective on the people, the times, and the culture into which God chose to breathe his word for all times.

We are at a unique time in human history. We have the benefit of a compilation of sources that provide information about the past in a way that has never been before. And while the scriptures in the original context and culture do not change, our understandings of them can be much, much deeper.

While our lack of understanding the culture and times of Biblical events never will stop God, in his goodness, from revealing himself to us from the scriptures in a way that is unique and personal to each of us when we delve in his word, we now have the opportunity to study the scripture with a new depth of knowledge.

Do you ever feel like you are missing something? That there is a gap in the context of the scripture with what you are taking away from your study? Do you want to know more?

NIV First-Century Study Bible has color pictures,

word study,




textual articles,

day in the life articles, 

explanation of ancient texts,

chronology time lines,

detailed introductions,

and study notes.

In our homeschool, we have begun using the NIV First-Century Study Bible for reference with Ceesa's Bible readings. She has started reading through the Bible one book at a time. Before she begins a new book, we will read about the book together, look at the maps, and use the information to get deeper knowledge of the book, culture, time, and people.

Family Christian has generously offered to giveaway one for free to our readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Bethany from Little Homeschool Blessings via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, Instagram, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The prize will be issued by Family Christian. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Homemade Checker's and Othello Game for Travel

Inspired by an old edition of FamilyFun magazine, we decided to make a homemade checkers board, travel edition. But we decided to make it do double duty and put a checker board on one side and an Othello board on the other. 

What you'll need:
two colors of duct tape
1 inch wood disks
paint and paint brush
gallon size baggie
wax paper

Start by covering your baggie on both sides with one color of duct tape.

On the Othello side draw squares, about 1 1/4 inches.

For the checkers side, use the other color of duct tape and put strips on the wax paper. Cut them into 1 1/4 inch squares. Then affix them to the board, alternating with the background color.

Paint one side of the disks and leave the other plain.

Then you are already to play or pack up to take with you.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Altered Book Art

One of our local libraries (There are 4 that we can go to. :), had an altered book art day.  We listened to a bit of reader's theater and then worked on our own altered book art.

Li chose an Eric Carle book to alter.

Jo-Jo picked one that announces a new baby, so she could make it about Wheel.

And Ceesa chose one about a dog and grandparents, so she could write about Grandma, Pap, and Shadow.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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