Thoughts on Where We’ve Been and Where We Are Going…Using the Bible as Our Main Text

bbhslooklike

 

I don’t know if I can fully explain in words what our experience studying Genesis this fall has been like, but I will sure try! You can read about why we chose to use the Bible as our main text this fall here.

We started in September studying Genesis as a family and this past week, we completed the book. It has been quite a journey. We really dug into the Word as a family, and I believe God led us here for many purposes at this time in our lives. Back in October my husband lost his job. It has been a journey that has been very difficult, but one I wouldn’t trade for the world because of all that we have learned through it. God has increased our faith so much through this trial.

Consider it Joy

I believe that we were able to get so much out of the lessons in Genesis because of what we were experiencing in our lives at this time. It was like God knew exactly the lessons we would need.
Abraham’s faith was huge for us. It really came alive to us because of what we were going through. Isn’t God truly amazing?

 

And Joseph. Oh how I trembled when we got to the end of Genesis and read about Joseph. How God worked through that situation that seemed so dire…He worked for good. That is where we are in our current situation…seeing how what we thought was a bad situation, being used for good.  My favorite verse of the entire book is this:

Genesis 50.20

Joseph-thrown in a pit, sold as a slave by his brothers…jailed…then by God’s grace alone, saved those very brothers during the famine years later when he ruled Egypt. Unfathomable in human terms, but not on God’s. And He saved the very brothers through which Jesus would come- through the line of Judah. Unbelievable. God’s plans are SO much bigger and so much better than others. Often times they are what we can not even imagine.

The whole book of Genesis sums that up. Beginning with Creation…God intended it all for good. It was very good. Yet, Adam and Eve fell…yet the Savior was already planned to save us all. God always works for good.

I am so glad we decided to take the leap and use Genesis as our foundation this fall. We are moving into Exodus now and will start by studying Moses and ancient Egypt, and oh, there is so much in there too. 🙂

As I look forward, I believe we will always do in depth Bible study like this as our foundation. I also know that I will add in other things as needed. The Bible is our main text, but not our ONLY text. I have a son who is very interested in inventing, building, and physics. So I have ordered him a book for this. I  want to add things that interest my kids and cultivate their natural curiosities and talents. Let them spend the afternoons exploring and learning according to their natural God-given inquisitiveness.

I am so grateful to God for all He does for us each day. Letting Him lead our homeschool is the only way for us. As soon as I start to get off course, I know I need to submit to His plans and cling to Him in prayer and in His Word. Praise Him for all He has done in our homeschool and what He has in store for us next!

truth

 

Ancient Egypt Resources

Ancient Egypt

As we begin Exodus, I am just starting to compile lists of resources for studying Ancient Egypt. Here are some I have found so far and some we will be using. I will be updating as I find more!

Bible Archeology- Egypt and the Bible

Egypt Top Ten Gallery( Beautiful photos)

Ancient Egypt for Kids

Ancient Egypt Coloring Pages

Heart of Wisdom Bible Plans

Simply Charlotte Mason- Genesis to Deuteronomy, Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Activities-teacher’s notebook

Bible Study Resources

Boy of the Pyramids- Simply Charlotte Mason

Tirzah

The Golden Goblet (Newbery Library, Puffin)

The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt (Dover Children’s Classics)

God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah (Living History Library)

The Story of Moses for Kids

Blank History Notebooking Pages from the Crafty Classroom

More Egypt Resources from Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Glimpse Into Our Day

A Glimpse Into Our Day

This was written back in the fall on Simply Living…for Him. It’s another glimpse into our day…{although reading it I realize we have not been doing nearly as much “fun” stuff lately…life got busy…must work on that! 🙂

First we all took turns reading through our passage for the week, and reciting the memory verse. (Genesis 1:1.) We talked more about the Hebrew word “yom” in Genesis meaning “day”-a literal day (24 hours, which also brought us to review astronomy-why the 24 hour day, etc.) We discussed this word in detail and why we must believe God’s Word to be true. Without believing the first passage of Genesis 1, the rest of the Bible would mean nothing. Great discussion!

We read Chapter 8 from thAnswers Book 1, by Ken Ham.

We then focused on verses 1:26-27, and being made in God’s image. The littlest guy made a booklet that I printed out for him all about himself.  While he colored that, the older kids and I discussed how we were made in God’s image. We talked about being image bearers of Christ. More really good discussions.

We went around the room saying one thing about each person they loved, and then one thing they loved about themselves. We talked about how every single person was made in God’s image, and God loves all people, no matter who they are. Therefore, we treat all people accordingly.

Next we made fingerprints and colored a worksheet about being unique.

One on the most important things I want my children to know is that their identity is in Christ, their value in in Him, and their worth comes from Him alone.

We then sang “How Great Thou Art.”  We are memorizing the words. I love how this song starts at creation, then talks about Jesus’ death on the cross, and then culminates at then with Christ’s return. I tear up every time I sing it, and get goosebumps!

For fun we all sang Happy Dayjust love the excitement on their faces when we sang this one! {Click the link, it’s so fun!}

We talked about the historical timeline of creation. We remembered the American History we have been studying and I made sure everyone grasped the concept of time and where we are at now in our studies in history-the beginning of time. {even though God was always present}

Next we discussed our senses and how God made our senses to enjoy His creation. We explained them all to the preschooler. Then we did an experiment specifically on taste. With their eyes closed, I placed the following on their tongues: salt water, sugar water, lemon juice, coffee.

Before lunch we ended with a scavenger hunt. The preschooler had to find things of different colors, animals, bugs, etc.  The older kids did a Creation scavenger hunt. They called it a “Sketch-en-ger” hunt because I had them sketching in their notebooks each object they found.

Our “Sketch-enger” Hunt:

Find:

-Something created on Day 4

-Something created on Day 3

-Something created on Day 6

-Something created on day 5

-Something created on Day 2

– Something created on Day 1

– Something seed-bearing

(I put them out of order purposely to make sure they knew what was created each day)

 After lunch each child worked on their individual work: Math (we use Math-U-See), writing assignments, spelling words, copywork, reading, Spanish, and then they were able to explore on their own: legos, outdoors, computer time, drawing, painting, crafts, video making/editing, etc.)

{All spelling words, some reading assignments, writing assignments, copywork come directly from the passages in scripture that we are studying this week.}

 

And finally…some fun highlights of the day:

 

Crayola Window markers- one person outside, while one inside draws accessories on the other! Funny mustaches, eyeglasses, etc. SO much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Preschool bean fun!

 

 

Practicing spelling words by jumping to each letter- especially helpful for the boy who can’t sit still!

 

 

Our Study Of Joseph

StudyingJoseph

We have been studying Joseph for the past few weeks and it has been amazing.

Here is what we have done so far!

We have read through the Bible passage each day together. Everyone follows along in their Bible and looks for their spelling words of the week as we read. We discuss the passage while we read using the Life Application Study Bible.

 

Writing Prompts for this topic: 

  • Write about a dream you once had. What do you think it meant?
  • You are in Ancient Egypt. Write a letter home to tell me about it.

Here are some resources about Joseph and/or Ancient Egypt that we’ve been using:

You can read more about what we have learned by visting Simply Living…for Him, my other blog, where I wrote about some lessons we learned through this story.

And finally…here is the little on wearing his colorful coat that we made out of a brown grocery bag: 🙂

 

photo

 

A Typical Day in our Bible Based Homeschool

 

typical Day

So many of you have written to me asking if I could share what we do on a daily basis. So I will do my best to address that in today’s post. Let me start by saying…there really is no “typical day.” Everyday is different. Yet we do have a general rhythm and flow to our day.

We begin at 9:00 with our Bible passage. This time is pretty consistent each day. We have been in the book of Genesis since September, and we have been reading anywhere from 1-3 chapters per week. Each morning at 9:00 we read the passage for the week together. I like reading it out loud everyday together for five days. Everyday it speaks more to us. Each child follows along in their Bible while I read, and sometimes we take turns reading.

Every week I choose spelling words for each child from the passage of the week, and I enter them into lists inSpelling City. While I am reading aloud, if they come across their spelling word, they say, “Stop!” and they then spell the word out loud.  I like that they see their words in context each day and it helps them to learn spelling and vocabulary of many words.

After reading the passage we will discuss it. Any given week I may have pulled together some resources in preparation, such as articles from Answers in Genesis, commentaries, or using my Life Application Study Bible. We may also point out various words or translations.

Then we will use additional resources depending on what we are studying. For instance we may pull out A Child’s Geography: Explore the Holy Land to learn about Ancient Israel or Egypt. We may use Google earth to “visit” some of the place we learned. We may watch some videos from Answers in Genesis (huge when we studies Creation) or we may watch a DVD about another topic.

We may also do some timeline plotting. For instance, one time we made a “human timeline” with the kids each representing different years to get a visual of the historical events. I like to remind them the order of things in history.

Some weeks are very history focused in our activities and some weeks may be very science focused. I don’t really break these things up into scheduled “times.” They are an outflow of what we are learning in our Bible passage. When we were in Noah’s Ark there was lots of science to learn. When we were learning about Joseph there was more history. It just depends on what the topics are for the week.

While doing all of this the preschooler may be involved as little or much as he wants. I will generally print out coloring pages for him that relate to the topic, or he may do more involved activities such as sorting and classifying objects (when we studied animal classification in Creation this was perfect for him.) Or he may work on learning his days of the week {tied into creation studies, etc.}

We usually are in the Bible for about two hours and then the children begin their “individual work.” This includes their math (Math U See) and language arts. Their spelling words are practiced on Spelling City, and copywork comes directly from the passage of the week. I also assign writing assignments based on the passage. Examples would be “Explain why you believe Creation over evolution” (for the olders) or “You live in ancient Israel. Describe your typical day.” The younger ones may just draw a picture of it.

Each day we practice a different type of writing- Creative, Letter Writing, Poetry, and we have a “free writing” day. I also assign “reports” at times, which just entails picking out books from the library on a topic that interests the child and learning all they can about it and presenting it to the family.

After all of our work is finished, the kids usually go outside, do crafts, build circuits, work on the computer, or other interest led activities. Sometimes we just “veg” and watch movies 🙂

Our Bible based homeschool is just that- Bible based. It doesn’t mean every single thing we do is from the Bible, but it is definitely our foundation. We try to always point to God in all we learn, whether from the “plan” that week or not. After all, the best lessons we learn often weren’t planned.

I am flexible in our schedule as we try and stick to the flow, but I am open to life getting “in the way” at times. 

Bible based homeschooling is very natural, as we learn what God has created for us. He is the greatest teacher there is.

 

BibleBasedEducation

 

Bible Based Homeschooling- What Does It Look Like?

bbhslooklike

 

This is the first post in a series about just what does Bible Based Homeschooling look like. Today I will address why we are doing this and how we got here.

This past Spring I spoke at the ENOCH State Homeschool Convention (NJ.) While there I had the privilege of listening in on one of Mark Hamby’s talks. I love Lamplighter Publishing, and Mr. Hamby’s teaching was wonderful. Toward the end of his presentation, he made a comment that stuck with me well afterwards. He stated that if he could homeschool all over again, he would take a year  and take out all of the textbooks away and to just study the Bible. Perhaps at around the age of twelve. That statement played in my mind all summer.

As I thought about it, I didn’t think we would do exactly what he had stated, yet it made me think about being in the Word much more as a family. Really studying it. I thought about how could we NOT be transformed as a family if we were in the Word together everyday for hours at a time?

I prayed, I sought scripture, and I decided to take a leap of faith. I read Ruth Beechick’s, A Biblical Home Education and it confirmed even more what I wanted to do.

I decided to commit from September to December using the Bible as our main text. I spent a fair amount of time in the summer preparing for how we would do this (more on that to come in the next post.) Then with God as our leader, I set out to do it.

Now with several months under our belt, and no sign of changing things just yet,

I can tell you how this way of homeschooling has changed our family.

open_bible1

We are studying in depth the Bible as a family- we are not merely just reading Bible stories. We are digging in deep and learning so much together.

The Bible is full of history, geography, and science. It is a unique book of literature. It is full of wisdom. It truly is the greatest textbook. He has blessed us already in so many ways. I see how doing this is really a very natural way of learning. Much more natural than just breaking up subjects and teaching them at different blocks during the day. 

God has weaved together quite beautifully in our world all things-
and learning about them is also a natural weaving together of His creation and His story.

 

I enjoy that we are working through as a family, from the 4 year old up to the twelve year old. Each gleaning exactly what God intends for them at this time.

More importantly though, I will say that while we love learning all of those things, and while it is vitally important to learn each subject, the most exciting thing for me is what our studies are doing in our family. To all be sitting around the dining room table each morning and reading God’s Word together each day, discussing it, and analyzing it….it is almost hard to write in words how it excites me. The questions that the kids come up with-the discussions that arise-are all incredible. It has brought us closer together as a family.

And the lessons don’t stop at the dining room table. We find ourselves discussing things all throughout the day and evening-bringing up lessons we learned through God’s Word. It’s been simply beautiful.

I have seen Matthew 6:33 at work. We are seeking Him above all and He is providing for their academic needs. I see their learning exploding in all subjects, but most importantly we are getting closer to Him.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

I will write next time more about our daily schedule and lesson planning…make sure to Subscribe to Bible Based Homeschooling{on a budget} by Email.

Also check out my eBooks about simplifying homeschool and about the calling to homeschool, and letting God lead your homeschool. Both are just $0.99 and available for PDF download or at Amazon.com, where they are on the best-seller list!

calledhome_book2 coversh