Thursday, June 25, 2009

We love Jelly Telly!

Here's a great find! Our family has really been enjoying an online Christian kids' show called Jelly Telly. It's on five days a week, free to watch on your computer and on the weekend, there is a special "movie of the week" which kind of reminds us of watching Wild Kingdom and Disney on Sunday nights with the jiffy-pop. Yup - we're middle aged.

Anyway, our favorite day is Monday because there is a segment called "Kidmo" - it's weird and funny and passionate about God. How can you beat that? Although Science Day is pretty cool too - that's Thursday.

Check it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Around the world resources

Because we have an extremely limited homeschool budget AND because we are so very blessed to live directly in back of our town's library, we plan to use the library extensively during our world studies this year. I have actually gone so far as to make "books to order" lists on i-Cal for the entire year. I told you I was a planner. Nevertheless, there are quite a few resources that I've purchased because they are a) not in our library system, b) some are consumable and/or c) we'll use them for all or most of the countries we visit.

ART: We plan to study the famous artists of the countries we visit and also use Global Art by MaryAnn Kohl. Have you seen her books? She has many and they are full of good, do-able ideas.

MUSIC: we have Wee Sing Around the World. It comes with a CD (or cassette, in our case) and very simple sheet music. Since a wonderful friend (thank you Lorie!) gave us a piano keyboard, I'm thinking of attempting to teach Z-Man to play some of the songs. This may or may not happen, you understand. We may just listen to the song from each country and I'll be fine with that.

As we study famous composers from some (not all) of the countries we visit, we'll try to find a broadcast on Classics for Kids, a great radio show with a large archive that you can listen to online. Here, you can click on a country to see who lived there. There are also printable activity sheets and games. Very cool!

BIBLE: In addition to our regular Bible reading program (right now we're using the Bible Study Guide for all Ages and we love it,) we'll also read a little bit about some of the missionaries that have served in the countries or regions that we're studying. Since we loved Wisdom and The Millers, I bought Missionary Stories with the Millers at our Homeschool Conference. I also borrowed Hero Tales (thank you Sharon!) and found Hero Tales volume 2. Since Z-Man is a pretty sensitive kid, these will be read-alouds so that I can edit on the fly if need be. 

Another book my kind friend loaned me is Window on the World. This is a fascinating book with great photos that lists people groups from A-Z, tells what they primarily believe, how they live, all kinds of facts about them and how to pray for them. We also have From Arapesh to Zuni: A Book of Bibleless Peoples. I'm sorry to say that there are many people groups in these books that I have never even heard of. So we'll all be learning a lot this year!


GENERAL: Atlases and lots of them! Mostly children's picture atlases. Oh, and this well-illustrated DK book about children, which I really like, and a fun coloring book:


Here are a few I'm still planning to get:


And finally, since I went a touch overboard on science this year, I think I'll save that for another post.

Fun Bible memorization for tots

As I was thinking about working with Little Man on his letters in a slightly more formal way today, I remembered something that Z-Man and I did when he was a tot. (And when I say tot, I honestly can't remember if he was 3 or 4. People told me that would happen, but I didn't believe it!) We made an alphabet book with short Bible verses for each letter and cut and pasted magazine pictures to decorate each page. 

I put my hand over his and we wrote the verse together*, we would say it over and over until I could just say the letter and show him the picture and he could respond with the verse. Now, we didn't do EVERY letter (like X) but that's still a lot of verses! He had quite a sense of accomplishment and took pleasure in showing friends and family. Of course, he's that kind of kid - Little Man, on the other hand, isn't big on performing. At all. But I think he would still enjoy making the book and learning the verses.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I remember getting the idea from this book, which is excellent:

Here are the verses we used, for anyone interested in doing this with their own tot:
  • A  All we like sheep have gone astray. Isaiah 53:6
  • B  Be kind one to another. Ephesians 4:32
  • C  Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
  • D  Don't fret or worry; it only leads to harm. Psalm 37:8
  • E  Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
  • F  "Follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mat. 4:19
  • G  God is love. 1 John 4:16
  • H  He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
  • I   "I am the Bread of life." John 6:35
  • J  Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me." Mat.19:14
  • K  Kind words are like honey, enjoyable and healthful. Prov. 16:24
  • L  Love one another. John 13:34
  • M  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
  • N  Now is the time to come to Jesus. 2 Cor. 6:2
  • O  Obey God because you are His children. 1 Peter 1:14
  • P  Pray about everything. Philippians 4:6
  • Q  Quick Lord, answer me, for I have prayed. Psalm 141:1
  • R  Remember your Creator now, while you are young. Ecclesiastes 12:6
  • S  Sing a new song to the Lord. Psalm 98:1
  • T  Thank God for Jesus, His gift too wonderful for words. 2 Cor. 9:15
  • U  Underneath are God's everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27
  • V  Visit the orphans and widows. James 1:27
  • Y  You must be born again. John 3:7
We didn't do W,X or Z. Obviously, this project is much easier to do with a stash of magazines that you don't mind cutting. Some verses are more challenging than others to illustrate, but as long as your child associates the verse with the picture, that's all that matters.

*Z-Man now tells me that one of the things he liked best about doing this project was the smell of the marker. Hmmm...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We purchased our passports very inexpensively from Rainbow Resources but there are some printable passports online. Here is a printable one and here is another that can be ordered from the Lutheran church by email or toll-free number. Also on the Lutheran church site are some beautiful, printable passport "stamps." 

This is the stamp for Australia:
And here is Cambodia:
Aren't they lovely?

Map Skills around the world

As we travel the world this year, we'll be working on map skills. My goal is to do one fun mapping activity per week - to be put in Z-Man's workbox. And if you haven't jumped on the workbox bandwagon yet, go here and you'll want to! I first heard about it on the Five in a Row message boards and it really is a great system. The kids love it and look forward to it, we get WAY more done in a day and it keeps me accountable. Z-Man has been able to work a little more independently and I can do some focused activities with Little Man.

Back to our subject -

For our introduction, we have this book - Me on the Map

which can also be combined with an art lesson as the main character draws her room, her house, her street, town, state... you get the idea.

As we visit each country, we'll locate it on our world map (which is actually a very detailed plastic shower curtain from Target), color it on an outline map and put it in our notebook. Another fun idea I found somewhere but can't recall where: look at the stickers on your fruits and vegetables, labels on clothes, etc. and locate their countries of origin on the map.

But what I'm most excited about are these two books, which I was fortunate to find at a used curriculum sale:

One has 18 activities and the other has 20, so at one per week, that will easily take us through the whole school year. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our Trip Around the World!

This year, Z-Man will be in third grade and Little Man will be a 3 year old pre-K. We are planning to take a trip around the world! Wouldn't that be awesome? Some day... 

In the meantime, we'll do the next best thing - we'll study the countries and cultures of the world! I'm so excited about doing this and have actually been gathering resources since last year. I'll try to post my plans country by country and then come back and show some pictures of what we actually end up doing.

Our first week will be devoted to an introduction of the topic. We'll (hopefully) memorize Matthew 28:18-20:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

We'll put photos in our passports. We also purchased world flag stickers that we'll put in when we visit each country. 

Cool books we plan to read:

P is for Passport: A World Alphabet
OH MY GOODNESS!! Have you seen these beautiful books from Sleeping Bear Press? They are truly wonderful. And if that's not enough, their website has EXCELLENT, free teacher's guides here.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World - this is a Five in a Row book (we LOVE FIAR!) 

Somewhere in the World Right Now

People by Peter Spier - these are always fun books

And a beautifully illustrated version of All Things Bright and Beautiful

This book is SO gorgeous that I actually considered buying two so that I could cut them apart and use the pictures as a border around the boys' room. I just couldn't bring myself to hack up a book! We'll use this book to remind us that a) the world we're going to study IS beautiful and b) God made it all!

We can't wait to get started!