Monday, November 25, 2013

Training Children To Take Notes During Sermons

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven    and do not return there but water the earth,making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty,but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isiah 55:10-11
When we consider the words of Isaiah 55:11 we cannot help but look at our little ones and think that he is also talking to them. For our family the words of Isiah 55:11 ring in our ears that the Lords word "it shall not return to me empty". Well our current church hands out a children's sheet that covers some of the basic information from the passage.

Our kiddos love it, in fact they love it so much they work on it during the sermon and do not listen to the Pastor. It has become for us a distraction from the word of God. That said there is not anything wrong with the sheet itself in fact we will have them complete the sheet when we get home after service but during service if you are old enough we want you to listen to the word of God and taking notes. Because it accomplishes that which it purposes.

Our youngest Children, who are 3 year old twins, get a spiral and a pen or a crayon to write in. I may write a picture from the story or like today I drew a turkey using Bubba's hand because the sermon was on Thankfulness at our friends church. But they just scribble, color & draw in it which is preparing them to take actual notes when they get a bit older.

Our next youngest child is 8 and she uses this two page form Sermon Worksheets for Kids from Forest Baptist Church:
Forest Baptist Church » Sermon Notes Worksheet: For Kids!!!!!

Although I was unable to get a good copy from their site this form is 2 sheets long and it asks her if they took offering, were the ordinances done. We are Baptist so this Baptism and Lord Supper so this causes her to think about what she is seeing and becoming an active participant. The second page has a space for the child to draw two pictures that pertain to the sermon.

Our older two children in 10 & 15 (Autism delays) use Printable Sermon Note taking sheet for kids from Ministry for Children
Sermon Note taking printable for kids

Since our kiddos are still young we wanted something that help would train them to pay close attention to the sermon and that would guide their note taking. this is a pretty simply form that they write down verses used, main verse, words they don't know and a place to state "What should they do" which really translates to how shall I live this out in my life. 

 Each of these forms are free and the links for them are found above. 

Finally, we review what they learned during the sermon at dinner time and they get their little note sheets out as a reminder.I think we are going to build in some sort of rewards during this time for good listeners! I am planning on having these sheets bound into spiral books for the children as one of their meaningful Christmas Gifts. 

It is our belief that his word will "accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11 so we press on with training our kiddos to sit and listen carefully to pastor. Because it is time well spent, when you are abiding and listening to the word of God!

Sola Scriptura! 

P.S. if you need some more of these or you'd just like to pin them you can head over to our Christian Education pinterest page and follow me and pin like crazy!

Linked to: 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Aspiring Week 12: Our Curriculum

So I thought this week that I would give y'all a look see at our curriculum choices for this year. We had a bit of upheaval here at the beginning of the year but it has settled down now and we have smooth sailing.

We currently have 3 students, we have two student in the Knowledge Stage one in the Lower Knowledge and one in Upper Knowledge Stage.Our third student is on a Special Education Track. We do school in two stages the Family Gathering and Independent Studies.

Family Gathering

All the students participate in the family gathering for at least a portion of the time.

 Independent Studies

Grade 5

  grade 3
Math Christian Light Math 3
IEW-SWI A & Medieval based writing lessons
Pearables Home Economics 1
  • Extra Curricular: Choir & Orchestra, Soccer, Piano Lessons, Bright Lights, HEAF Co-op
  • Due to her autism she is on more of a Special Education track. We use ACE because it provides excellent academics and it is ALWAYS the same there are no surprises. The predictable nature of this curriculum works well for our Curl.  
  • Curl
  • Grade 7
  • ACE Math 
  • Xtra Math Drill 
  •  ACE Word Building
  •  ACE English
  • Christian Light Education Home Economics
  • Extra Curricluar: Piano Lessons, Bright Lights,HEAF Co-op

The Twins are in Pre-Knowledge stage...
  • Montessori Style Educational Stations
  • Kumon Skills Workbooks
  • Hubbards Cupboard
  • Read Alouds Year 0
  • They also do IEW's Poetry Memorization and Truth & Grace during the Family Gathering at a much slower pace then the bigs and they really enjoy it. 
  • Extra Curricular: HEAF Co-op and attending their sisters activities.

An Aspiring Week...

Confederate Battle Grounds

At the beginning of this week we were on vacation at our friends Lake House. This time we decided to explore the history surrounding the area. And we journeyed to Fort Parker and to the Confederate  Battlegrounds. These were very interesting trips and I'll do a field trip post on them later.

Mother/Teacher at work
 I worked on their assignment sheets. Every year I make them assignment sheets so they are able to complete their independent work, independently. As they get older they become able to manage their school work with very little direction from me. Our first kiddo to hit this stage was Bullet at the end of 3rd grade.

The confederate Battle Grounds 
I watched IEW's Teaching Writing with Structure and Sound for the Lessons that we are working on. I also watched some of the extra DVD's and I am really glad that I did they are updates tot he program that he filmed several years ago and provide a few additional insights he's gained over the past 10ish years. These extra light blue DVD's are well worth your time.

At the end of the week it was my turn to watch my friends kiddos and as usually it was like have 4 free hours to complete chores while the kids happily played outside with their friends.
Old Fort Parker
We have begun to work on the character quality of dilligence with our children. Sadly, we have neglected this and now as our family is growing our ragged edges are waving in the wind. I have a desire not to impress folks with nice and neat edges but to be faithful to the Lord as we train our children in the fear and admonition of Him. This training will most likely take the better part of the year due to our failure to catch it earlier.

Well, I hope you are having a wonderful  and productive school work seeking to please the great I AM!

Linked to:The Homeschool Mother's Journal 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


-Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life-

I thought I would share  the cover on my facebook right now,  the view was glorious! 

For part of this week we went on a little miniature vacation to our friends lake house. However, since it's Fall we thought it would be fun to explore the surrounding area. We visited the Confederate Reunion Grounds and Fort Parker State Park. These were both very interesting sites, however, I would suggest planning to visit both sites on the same day if you are going to make a special trip to see them. Fort State Parker is very small.  The woman who works at the Confederate Reunion Grounds is very well versed on the site and it is more then worth it to go into the gift/resource center and pick her brain! 

Confederate Reunion


This is the preschool group from our co-op. This week the preschoolers got to dip their hands into pumpkins for exploration time during co-op. I was surprised at how many of them didn't want to get their hands dirty. My two however were all about digging out the goup and getting the seeds! They enjoyed learning about pumpkins and 'most' of them enjoyed the baked pumpkins seeds. But I do need to brag on these tiny tots for a moment all of the children from the five families tried at least one pumpkin seed!

We took our Christmas pictures at the lake and I took a few individual pictures of the children and this is just such a sweet picture of Shooshoo,  that it makes me smile.


A whole room full of kids dressed as astronauts in winter clothes during a hot Texas fall. Seriously, I think it was like 85 or 90 degrees outside. My kiddos are even wear parts of my husband's bee suits to complete  their intergalactic look. The kiddos also all agreed that it must be very difficult for astronauts to work in their space suits.


Our real life organization...I have to say that since this blog is weeks behind our actual life that we have really made some very real strides in organization since these photos were taken. In fact, yesterdays bill payments & filing only took a few minutes to complete and I was able to quickly call the 1 person that needed a follow up. A miracle has occurred, I do not have lots of stress in regards to wondering what is in the pile of bills & misc. papers that I am missing. In fact there is no pile! This has been accomplished through utilizing a bill organization system and a filing system from a VERY organized woman on YouTube. Getting more organized has given me a lot of mental peace in my heart!

Remember we serve a God of order not of chaos!

Linked to:
 round button chicken

Monday, November 18, 2013

4 Steps to Stress Free Activities

When we just had a couple  of kids I could get all kinds of things done with out a list and we rarely arrived anywhere without what we needed. But as we have grown in size I have found lists to be invaluable tool .

Why use lists & bags? 

I have use lists both to efficiently complete the things the Lord (and sometimes myself) have laid before me as well as a way to empty my mind of those nagging thoughts that just keep popping up until they have been written down. If I am unprepared for an activity the our departure from home can look a lot like an episode of Married with Children instead of a loving Godly Family going on an outing! I use lists and bags to create a low stress environment around my house while we are heading out the door to your activities.


  1. Start a running list of all of the things you will need for the activity. No matter how trivial you think it is and put it on the list. If it's a reoccurring activity it may be worth you while to make an excel spreadsheet that you use each time the activity occurs. Add to the list consistently as you think of things, so the list is accurate and up to date. If the baby is 6 it may be time to remove diapers from the list, just sayin'. 
  2. Don't lose the list. If your life is like mine a little scrap of paper has no hope of making it to the activity. So my lists are written in my planner or on our white board, where normally I can find them. 
  3. Follow the list on the day of the activity and have children help you follow the list (with your double check)
  4. For reoccurring activities I would suggest a dedicated bag that houses all the items for the activity then as you think of something you need to bring you can just put it in that bag. I have a co-op bag, church bag, random activity bag. 

My homemade planner is full of random lists that I have made and I have a couple of excel spreadsheet lists for annual trips we make. But for the most part I either write them on the back of  a planner page or employ my dry erase board.

Here are a couple of examples of what my lists might look like...
  1. Day Before
  2. clean your row (of the van)
  3. Clothes for tomorrow (This translates to get out your clothes and drape them over your dinner chair along with your shoes, socks and any other thing you plan to take!
  4. soccer clothes, cleats, shin guards & socks because we will probably roll into town about 5 minutes before practice starts. 
  5. Tomorrow's dinner in the crock pot and the bread machine ready
  6.  Make Lunch (Sandwich, chips, fruit, juice, water)
  7. Cooler 
  8. Remove Goodwill donation from the back of the van.
  9. Clean the cooler
  10. Put in the stroller for the twins
  11. Check Houston's weather
  12. Candy for Diabetic
  13. chips into the cooler
  14. kid & Mom & Dad drinks into the cooler
My original list stopped at 3 then as the day went on I've continued to add to it. I also start a list of what to pack in the morning

To do in the morning
  1. Ice in cooler
  2. 8 sandwich bags into the cooler (yes I include the number of sandwiches after we have left sandwiches a couple of times we now count them.)
  3. Grapes into the cooler
  4. Make sure everyone has on shoes (seriously you don't know how many times we've gotten somewhere shoe-less!)

I have found that having dedicated bags & lists to be an invaluable tool in home management. I normally keep my planner next to the bed. So if we are getting ready for a trip or an outing I am continually jotting down the items we need. When I try to do it on a wing and a prayer it never works out well for us we always end up needing to purchase both major and minor items. More importantly I end up senselessly fussing at the kiddos and damaging our relationship because I'm stressed .

Why should you bother with a list if you manage to get it done and get everyone into the car and get on your way. Is it peaceful?

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints" 1 Cor 14:33
 Because we serve a God of order and of peace.

May your next trip be orderly, peaceful & fun!

Friday, November 15, 2013

An Aspiring Week 11: Teaching the Trivium

Do you really want to teach the Christian Classical Trivium? I mean really want to teach it and have that dreamy creamy kind of homeschool we all imagine? Well, that's pretty much what I'm going for, a joyful school with independent scholars lulling around the house reading wonderful whole books and engaging in spirited debates. Teaching the Trivium was one of those transformational books for me, because it changed my view of classical education. and I began to look at a classical education as something I could really mold to fit the needs of our family.  

"Most Homeschoolers are familiar with the different methods and approaches to Homeschooling, and they may employ several of them. We wish to examine these approaches in order to see what light the Applied Trivium Sheds upon them. Before doing so lets review the Trivium model of child development" pa 278 Chapter 10. Our school is a combination of a classical & Charlotte Mason as we wholeheartedly educate our kiddos as the Lord guide us! Your school may be Principal approach, unit study or whatever wonderful approach the Lords has lead you to implement for YOUR children, regardless of approach we can all apply the Trivium's child development model, if we wish!

As I have been diving into the Trivium method of education I ran across this wonderful YouTube video. What makes it wonderful is that it is rare to see the Bluedorn's speaking. It's my understanding that the Bluedorn's no longer travel and during the height of their speaking tours we didn't have YouTube like we do now so I really haven't found a lot of video of them.

That said but here is Mr. Bluedorn giving a wonderful Introduction to the trivium. It is well worth the hour to watch it,  so get a notepad and some tea and take some teacher in service time. You won't regret it!

I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please let me know what you think of the video and the Trivium.

Homeschool Happenings:

What's Happening in School
When teaching our Curl one of the first rules is not to get behind in checking to make sure she is actually doing her work. She will sit and play princesses in her head and other such games instead of working. Well this was one of those weeks where I realized she was weeks behind in her work and it was my fault for not checking. I have remedied this with my new school check off lists. Which I love but none the less she has wasted at least 3 weeks (Seriously) by moving her pencil and randomly turning pages and actually completing her favorite subjects (Home Economics & Personal Finance). Sadly, this is not the first time she has managed this feat and every time I feel sick in my stomach as I go and tell my dear husband. The we sit down with Curl and outline her "make up work plan".
Recently, I was talking to a dear friend (who also has a kiddo with autism)  who made a good point that she has to want to do it and that she may have reached a cross roads in education. A place where capable and willing are battling, a place where only she can forge a road. It is my hope that her road leads forward. But right now I am just waiting to see what she shall do.

"Our [house] is alive with the sound of music"
 I think this is going to have to include this regularly in our progress updates. Because along with really enjoying Chopin on the radio our three little pianist are preparing for Hymn Festival.
Beginner Band with retired Public School Band Director/Homeschool Grandpa leading
What is Hymn Festival you ask? Well our local music teachers association puts on a hymn competition during which they play two hymns for a judge and they are graded from unprepared to superior.The children receive a ribbon and a score sheet with constructive comments. Ultimately, at the end each child will be able to play their two hymns very well and what a blessing that is during family worship! We are really looking forward to the competition as we grow the next generation of church piano accompanist. Sweet Curl has been rather limited in her ability to do extra curricular activities but music is her acumen and she is even interested in a professional career in music.

Bullet is still learning to play the clarinet in the Homeschool Orchestra and we are encouraging her to continue to persevere through the squeals & honks, because the beauty of the instrument is just around the corner.

What I'm Cooking
Well I am an THMer so I've been working on some S recipes and this is our tostadas. I had to ditch the beans though after a chat with the moderator, but still super tasty!

What am I reading:
I finished Wuthering Heights and I'd like to tell you that is a depressing piece of literature about the depths of hatred, self loathing and foolishness. I am glad I listened to it because it was certainly engaging and I am still thinking about it and rolling it around in my head and trying to decide if I want to "read" anymore of the Bronte Sisters.

Well, I certainly hope that you have had an aspiring week too! Blessings! K
Linked to:
Living and Learning at Home Great Peace AcademyThe Homeschool Mother's Journal

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

 ~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~  

Why do they have to grow up so stinkin' fast? Our little man is already learning to cook, he made some wonderful egg rolls...
Here he is diligently working on his school work (okay, he's watching a leap frog video but he's 3 and this is his school work :D) .


 We have a tie for {Happy}...first we have Sugarpie whose U-8 soccer team went undefeated.We ended the season with a super fun team pizza party. Next we have Shoo-Shoo who was all grins as she worked on the insect match game during the twins station time. So cute!

Sometimes I wonder about the life of my phone when I am not around ,and sometimes, I find out what my 'phone' is up to when it is left alone..... This is why my phone is password protected. Hello Sugar pie!

I am really working on getting this house organized if it kills them.  So every payday I head over to the dollar tree and buy about $10 worth of containers and bring them home and put them to use. It's working, slowly but surely we are reestablishing order in this aspired jungle. 

I hope you enjoyed your week with your precious families.

Linked to:
round button chicken
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...