Fun Activities For Kids At Home

Here are some creative and fun learning activities links from my blog for your children to enjoy at home as we move into unprecedented changes in our lives with self-isolation and lockdowns due to the global covid-19 outbreak.

May I offer a few practical suggestions with these at-home activities?

  • Look for items that your children would enjoy.
  • Plan for 1 activity per day.
  • Keep things informal.  Don’t try to do school at home!
  • Take your time.
  • Don’t rush through a list.
  • If something sparks joy and delight — stay there and look for other similar activities rather than moving on to the next thing on your list.
  • Repeat.  Especially young children love to repeat an enjoyable activity.  Don’t be afraid to print things out and do it again if your child loved it.
  • Photograph and video them doing their activities.
  • Display their finished work each week on a door or shelf “gallery”.
  • Share their activities with grandparents and social groups to stay connected.

So here we go ~

  1. Paper dolls and paper men from different historical eras to colour in and cut out.  Use these as puppets for narrations.
  2. Narrations are the child “telling back” what he heard in a read-aloud. Narrations are the cornerstone of a Charlotte Mason education.  Children must pay close attention while they listen to the story so that they can make it their own and express what they remember and understood as they narrate.   I have collected over 100 narration ideas for every learning style.  In this Ebook, you will find lists of suggested activities for audio, visual, kinesthetic and creative learners along with templates and printouts.  You can see examples of the templates and ideas in the original post.
  3. Letterboxing – a great “treasure hunting” geography game to practice in your house and garden. Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring skills.
  4. Current Affairs is the study of social, political and important happenings in the world at the present time.  Use this Current Affairs download with calendar pages, maps, flags and symbols to chart the events around the world during the coronavirus crisis.
  5. Nature Study and enjoy the great outdoors with fun nature activities in three Smash Nature Journals.  Go to my  Packages page to order your Smash books.  If you order all 3 you get the third book free!
  6. 3D models such as the Little House in the Woods.
  7. Art appreciation activities of famous artworks and famous artists~
  8. Creative projects ~
  9. Bible activities ~
  10. Sight Words are frequently used words that your child should easily recognize in his reading.  In my Sight Words Ebook, you will have all the word lists, words in sentences, games and activity templates.spelling-templates-ideas.png (390×401)
  11. Handwriting practice with laminated charts and games. I have created a 20-page E-book is packed with practical tips and it includes helpful activities and fun pre-writing games to build up your child’s gross motor strength, develop fine motor control and develop their spatial awareness, correct posture and pencil grip for maximum control and minimum stress while learning to write.   Handwriting Tips Booklet $5.00 / ZAR5.00
  12. Hands-on activities ~ Here is a list of some of the many hands-on activities and posts on my blog ~

I hope that these posts and links and downloads inspire you in your homeschooling!

Wishing you all health, happiness and precious family times.

Blessings, Nadene

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Beatitudes Copywork Pages

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount contain His “Blessed are …” blessings called The Beatitudes, one of the most loved portions of the Gospel.

Jesus describes a character trait or action that is often not associated with blessedness. He then describes the reward or blessing of such people who follow God’s ways.

I have created these Beatitude Copywork pages which include a detailed discussion of Charlotte Mason’s Copywork approach, the full Beatitude Scripture followed by a copywork page for each verse with a personal response or interpretive writing prompts.

Charlotte Mason’s  Copywork lessons are power-packed and very naturally offer short lessons where the child can practice beautiful handwriting, develop correct grammar and improve spelling, increase vocabulary, and seamlessly teach good writing style.

More importantly, these Scripture Copywork lessons provide an opportunity for your child to learn, understand, memorize and make the Scriptures a meaningful personal part of their lives. (Read this post describing Copywork stages in detail.)

Back in 2010 I created a Beatitudes slide strip page to help memorize the scriptures.

The child inserts the 2 strips and slides them to match.

 

For greater mastery,  when the child knows the verses well, she can leave one strip out and memorize the missing part of each verse.

A great way to help memorize the scriptures.

 

For fun, I made a Matching Beatitudes Card Game.  Here 2 or more people can play “memory” with the Beatitudes cards.

 

Here are your  Free Beatitude pages ~

Pop over to my Copywork Pages for all my other free downloads.

Blessings, Nadene

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Sacred Eating Bible Reading Plan

Sacred Eating describes a meaningful, deep, contemplative way of reading God’s Word.

Several years ago I wrote about how I usually follow a Bible reading program and systematically read through the entire Bible every year.  But for some time I had missed the revelation and intimacy of my more detailed, slower Bible studies.   I was hungry for more growth, for deeper insight and God’s personal revelation while I read.

I want the Word to be my daily bread that fully nourishes me, feeds me, makes me grow, and changes me.  I want the Lord to teach me how to really read His Word so that I grow, change, become more like Him.  And so, instead of reading long passages, I began a season of reading and meditating on just one or two verses …

A creative Bible note on one verse … I compared different versions to extract as much meaning as I could …

Reading (the Word), as it were, puts the solid food into our mouths, meditation chews it and breaks it down, prayer obtains the flavour of it and contemplation is the very sweetness which makes us glad and refreshes us.” ~Guigo

So here’s how to read the Word as sacredly as the bread of life.  When you read the Word you

  • Linger over the Word, reading deliberately, slowly, savouring and re-reading the words.  We chew the words over, understanding their meaning as a living message.
  • Listen to what the Lord is saying, as if spoken to us personally, listening to the still small voice of God that speaks to us personally, uniquely, and intimately. We meditate on this Word, letting His Word becomes one with our being.
  • Lift voices to pray, asking Him to forgive us where we fail to fulfil His Word, to fill us with His Spirit and make His word real and alive in us.  We sing songs of praise, thank Him, worship Him,  and respond personally to Him, asking Him to help us trust and obey his words.
  • Live out the Word as a lifestyle as His Spirit leads us.  We apply these words in our daily living, practically, obediently, faithfully, reverently.  In this way, the Word in the Bible becomes flesh in us.

What simplicity.  It is easy enough for a young child to learn and practice.

I have created a free download for you which includes ~

Free Download ~ Sacred Eating God’s Word

May the Lord faithfully lead you deeper in, onwards and upwards.

Blessings and much grace, Nadene

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Easter Pictures & Hands-on Activities

Here are some Easter hands-on activities inspiration ideas!

I wanted to involve my daughter fully in our Easter Bible readings.  She LOVES reading her comic-style Illustrated Bible Story New Testament book.  It is very visual and makes the stories “come alive”.  I wanted to add loads of hands-on activities. 

I created some Easter picture collages.  Easter12These are suitable for middle school children and contain some images that may not be suitable for young children.

Instead of me secretly preparing the lesson activities, I asked her to join me and gather all the objects we needed.  (Note to self: This is an amazing motivation!  She loved helping create the lessons with me!)  I wanted her to use all her senses and physically act out as many of the scriptures of Easter as we could.

These are the items we collected for each theme:

  • palm leaf – we were both surprised how huge the branch was!
  • perfume – perfume essence & spraying alcohol mixed in a bottle with cork and candles to seal the bottle
  • coins – in a little bag
  • wine & bread – for Last Supper and communion.  Matzos is unleavened, pierced bread.
  • bowl, water & towel – to wash feet
  • cock’s feather and sound recording of cock crowing
  • thorns twisted into a crown – rather painful job!
  • whip – a cat-of-nine tails with leather strips
  • purple cloak – purple cloth and sticks to make lots
  • hammer & nails – hammer into thick plank of wood
  • vinegar & sponge – taste the bitter vinegar
  • stone & cave – sealed with some clay

Some of our first activities were lovely.  Waving a long (taller than her very tall brother) beautiful palm branch and singing praise songs was wonderful.  Easter1

Making perfume and sealing the bottle with melted candle wax was soothing and it smelt delightful.  We acted out Mary’s act of worship; anointing Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair.  Intimate. Easter

We tasted the bread and wine.  The matzos bread is pierced and striped, just like Jesus’ whipped and pierced body.  The red wine reminded us of His blood.  Reverence and deep gratitude filled our hearts. Easter3

We washed one another’s feet. Just like Jesus did to His disciples. Humbling and so lovely. Easter10

Then things became tough.  Count out 30 pieces of silver, which was the price of a slave. Judas was mean.  While Mary broke the seal and poured out anointing oils worth a man’s whole years wages, Judas snatched up 30 silver coins.  Worship breaks open and pours out, selfishness takes for itself. Easter2

We went to our chicken coop and found a lovely long rooster feather.  The rooster strutted about with his hens.  Did we hear him crow?  Could we also betray our Lord?  Would we cry bitter tears?  Somber reflection. Easter4

And then the scenes with Jesus’ scourging.  Painful.  See the thorns in the leather?  A cat-of-nine has bone or stones tied to the leather strips to inflict greatest pain and injury.  Our minds reel.  Hear the whip as it snaps in the air … 39 times!  Exhausting.  How could Jesus survive?  Easter8

Thorns pricked us as we made the crown and really hurt!  Easter5

Hammering in nails into wood it a tough job.  Bang! Bang!  Imagine nailing through hands and feet?  How awful!  Our hearts ached. Easter9

We cast lots for the robe with our sticks.  If you win, you take the piece of cloth and feel its rich texture.  When I win, it is all mine. It is so easy to be callous and greedy, and all the while our Lord hangs, suffering. Collages1

Now Jesus cries out and someone gives Him vinegar.  Yech!  It tastes bitter.  No one can drink that stuff! Easter6

Finally we made a small tomb using a rock that had a cave-like shape.  We found a flat stone to fit in front.  Pressing some clay around the flat stone, we sealed the tomb. It is dark inside. Closed.  It is finished. Easter7

For families with younger children, I created simple Easter Flags. Easter14Each flag covers the same themes as the activities above, and young children can do many of the hands-on activities.  Be sensitive and adapt your lessons to suit your child’s age and temperament.  Your children can cut out, color-in and hang folded over ribbon as bunting.

Join us for your Easter Bible studies.  Here are your free downloads ~

Blessings in this Easter season, Nadene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice Board – Bible Verse

In my previous posts featuring our new homeschool notice board I shared details on our clipboards with Current Affairs and Nature Study.
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Today I would like to share a bit more about our ~

Bible Verses

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For many years we used the Simply Charlotte Mason memory verses card system. You can download memory verse cards that I have created ~ Free Pages – Bible

But this year, focusing on my youngest visual-learner, I trusted the Lord for a fresh way to present her memory verses.

Faithfully the Lord led me to Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience who has started “The Jesus Project” and she says,

“Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The Jesus Project. We’d memorize the Soul Sustaining Words of Jesus. From the Gospel of John.

We’d start with just 24 verses (or you could choose just 12 of the 24) — all that would be rendered artistically, to make us see Beautiful in the Words of God. It would sort of be like this —  ”More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints… 24 verses that would chronologically unpack across the Gospel of John. We’ll memorize at least one verse from every chapter in the Gospel of John. Sometimes several verses from each chapter.”

In her amazing style, Ann created visually representative fonts, color and layout prints of each verse that emphasizes the scripture’s meaning. They are meant to be displayed.

I downloaded the large display format for our notice board and the small display for my child. I punched a hole in the corner of each verse and used a small plastic ring to keep them together. I have encouraged my child to review the memory verses daily – either on the notice board or in her file.

(Scroll down to the bottom of Ann’s post for the pdf file downloads.)

This year my youngest daughter asked me to re-use the Picture Smart Bible Homeschool Bible Curriculum program from www.bibledraw.com, focusing on the Old Testament.  (You can see my previous posts about our first experiences with this fantastic program here.)

Bible

May I quickly explain the Picture This! program ~

The lessons essentially form a single-page overview illustration of an entire book of the Bible.  Children draw, color in and label over a very light outline of the picture, as the lesson progresses.  The master copy and teacher’s notes are broken into sections with accompanying thumbnail illustrations and they have excellent cross-references, additional notes and wonderful life-application discussion suggestions.  They have linked each book of the Bible to reveal Christ which appear as a “star-burst” on each page. The kids love to draw and color as I read, and I love the pace of the lessons; slow yet detailed, full and flexible. When the page is completed, each child has a unique full-color page with a powerful, visual, symbolic summary of the book.

When I planned this year’s eclectic curriculum for my youngest daughter, I prayed and sought the Lord, then looked for suitable programs, themes or ideas.  I jotted some of these down and when I asked her what she  would like to study, she suggested the Picture This! OT program.  I asked her if she would like to memorize the Jesus Project memory verses with me this year.

Two seemingly separate approaches to our Bible Study lessons, but the Holy Spirit has marvelously joined them together in ways that bring tears to my eyes!  I call these moments “silver threads” where verses confirm and repeat, where His message is connected across the Old Testament and the New.

Here are two examples that blessed my heart and reassured me of the Lord’s intimate presence and provision in our homeschooling ~

When we started our Bible lesson the first week, we used our new memory verse prints and learnt  John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word …” and our first Picture This! lesson introduced the Bible as the miraculous living Word of God!

The next week, when I introduced our 2nd memory verse; “The Light shines in the darkness …”, we found the same message in our Picture This! lesson where it shows the Bible as the “light to our path and lamp to our feet” (Psalm 119:105). What amazed me was that we had stopped randomly in the previous Picture This! lesson and yet when we continued the next week, the Lord highlighted, connected and confirmed His Word across both Old and New Testaments.

I pray and trust that these precious memory verses and Bible lessons are faithfully written on my children’s hearts and minds so that the Holy Spirit can use His divine words to “light their way.”

May you be encouraged to see the divine hand of the Lord leading and guiding you in your homeschooling.

Blessings and much grace,

Parable Minibooks

blog parable minibooks

My 10-year-old loves our daily Parables minibooks.

She enjoys reading the full, MKJV scriptures in each booklet by herself,

and then narrate the parable back to me.

We have wonderful discussions

and she amazes me with her spiritual insights.

Most of all, she loves to add some things to each minibook  ~

a patch on old cloth,

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some seeds,

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a few grains of yeast,

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jewels,

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a pearl,

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some netting and some colored fish,

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a fluffy lamb

P1160232Her simple delight in these little “add on’s” is a reminder that

young children love the concrete, hands-on activities.

My child’s inspiration has transformed her ‘ordinary’ Bible Notebook pages

into something unique and special!

I am a facilitator to her creativity.

Her notebook pages may turn out quite differently to the way I imagined them,

and that is precisely how it should be ~

HER own!

How do your children make their Bible Study personal?

Blessings,

Discipleship with Stones & Rocks

I love combining subjects and themes!7-stones-300x240

Our Nature Study and Outdoor Hour Challenge (OHC) theme for this month is

ROCKS

It works wonderfully with a Bible Study!

Here’s your free week’s discipleship with stones and rocks ~ Discipleship with Rocks and Stone

stones & rocks 1

Each day presents a simple practical outdoor activity, provides prompts for personal reflection, includes some relevant scriptures and suggests an application.

stones & rocks 2Inspired by Leef met hart & siel (A South African Christian Magazine) November 2012.

Enjoy!

Blessings,

Free Parables Lapbook

I’m delighted to release my latest free lapbook ~

Free Parables Lapbook

Features ~

  • chronological order parables master list with scripture references in all gospels
  • 38 parables (almost every parable!)
  • complete scripture quotes for every parable in each minibook
  • Modern King James Version
  • simple square design in different folded minibook formats
  • colorful front page art work
  • many minibooks have blank pages inside for the child’s own notes or drawings
  • matching choice of notebook pages, some lined, blank, half page lined, or primary lines

My lapbook elements can be used as ~

  • minibooks and pasted into a lapbook, or,
  • combined with the notebook pages provided, or
  • Collected and stacked as stand-alone minibooks (maybe create a little square box for the pack?)
  • scripture memorization cards

Here are your free downloads ~

  1. Parables Master List  (2 pages)
  2. Parables Booklets 1-9  (10 pages)
  3. Parables Booklets 10-19 (9 pages)
  4. Parables Booklets 20-27 (9 pages)
  5. Parables Booklets 28-34 (11 pages)
  6. Parables Booklets 35-38  (5 pages)
  7. Parables Notebook Pages  (4 pages)
  8. Just for fun, a 1-page-into-10-page minibook ~ Parables – Kingdom of God is like …

I humbly ask that you respect my copyright and request that you link back to my blog if you wish to share these with others.

Be blessed as you dig into God’s word with your children.

Blessings,

Nativity Puppet Play

My youngest daughter enjoys telling stories.

She loves plays.

As she’s alone at home with me for 2 weeks while her older sisters are away,

I thought how best to channel her creativity and dramatic flair …

… A Nativity Puppet Show!

We took out our faithful hand puppets (from our Esther play)

and changed them to rod and wire puppets.

(This was so that we could quickly swap puppets,

and hold more than 1 puppet in each hand,

and prop a ‘quiet’ puppet up on stage while working with others.)

We sat at the laptop with our Bibles and created a short Nativity play.

It has 4 simple scenes.

A narrator (usually mom or older sibling) does most the “speaking”

while the characters each say a few lines.

It rhymes for easier memorization (and for fun!)

We listed all the extra things we needed to make:

My daughter painted the large backdrops ~

We painted these the large paintings on the whiteboard paper.

We use the white board behind us for our backdrop.

Then she sewed some felt animals by hand and on the machine – all by herself!

She created a few props.

She had fun.

We spent delightful days creating together.

I sewed the wire rod into the hand of each puppet.

We practiced with out puppets in front of a mirror.

We learnt how to make the puppet seem real when speaking ~

turning its head, using its hand.

And we learnt our lines.

Then we practiced with the props and changing backdrops.

Here is my free pdf download for you ~

Nativity Play

Included in this download are ~

  • The script
  • Background designs
  • Puppet pattern
  • Props patterns
  • Stage layout
  • Tips and suggestions

Celebrate Nativity with your children

and adapt this to suit your own needs.

Your children can make simple finger puppets, or shadow puppets.

Enjoy!

Blessings,

Jesus’ Name Strips

Our family celebrate Jesus during the Christmas season.

Every year it is different.

Last year, during Advent, we did  The Jesse Tree.

This year my youngest child

gently laid out our porcelain Nativity Scene.

She added

Jesus’ Names Strips

~ a colourful paper chain.

During Advent we focus on Him.

My free download for you ~

Names of Jesus Strips 2 sets

I created these strips with 2 different font styles.

Simply chose the style you prefer,

put several different coloured papers (we used cheap sugar paper)  in your printer tray,

print the selected pages,

shuffle the strips to create your paper chain.

Staple the paper rings to form your chain.

We studied the names on the strips during our morning devotions.

Blessings as your family celebrate Him,