Planning for the 2018-2019 Homeschool Year

Here we go again, embarking on a summer planning for the 2018-2019 homeschool year. After each school year, my husband and I sit down and over coffee discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what changes we need to make.

What worked last year… A year round homeschooling schedule fits well with our family. We were able to schedule multiple breaks for observance of Biblical Holidays, and three weeks for Summer break.  The bonus was that the kiddos loved the structure.

What didn’t work… We both felt that last school year we had lost our focus on why we started homeschooling. We started homeschooling because it was our desire for our children to be like the great warriors of our faith whose faith defined and separated them from others because they knew to whom they belonged and whose blood redeemed them. We want Christ as the cornerstone upon which we will build our plans for next year’s homeschool program.

Therefore, we want to focus our time on developing our children as warriors for Christ. We have chosen Zechariah 10:5 as our guiding verse for the 2018-2019 school year, “They will be like mighty warriors in the battle, trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the LORD is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the enemy’s horsemen.” (TLV)  We also reaffirmed that our basic mission as a family is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ by being His hands and feet on earth.

So, we have decided to make significant changes to our homeschool program for the next school year, which are as follows:

  1. Scripture memorization will be a number one priority. (Psalms 119:11)
  2. Biblical character studies will take center stage in our homeschool program. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
  3. Block Scheduling (Mayer Family Schedule) to help teach time management skills to our children.
  4. Each child will have responsibilities for which they are accountable for that will include daily morning, afternoon and evening chores. (Chore Chart)
  5. Health and wellness will be priority for my family and myself. I will seek to develop nutritious and healthy menu plans (Generic Family Menu Plan) and exercise schedules that help all members of our family. (Proverbs 31)
  6. Morning basket and afternoon tea basket materials that we will read together as a family will encourage us spiritually in our relationship with G-d.
  7. Evening family worship, in our house our daily Parashah readings, will be made a priority.
  8. My primary responsibility as a keeper of the home is to make my home a healing and calming space where my children can grow first and foremost spiritually and then academically. (Titus 2:5)
  9. All home management systems will be reviewed for efficiency.
  10. Melodious hymn music will continually play throughout our home. (Psalm 95:1)
  11. Friday Fun Days for the elementary aged children within our homeschool will focus upon our electives and offer independent directed learning opportunities for the children. Thereby, allowing for the focus of our Friday’s to return to Sabbath preparation. Sabbath preparation is vital for welcoming our rest in L-rd each week within our home.  We were designed by G-d for weekly rest in Him in order to rejuvenate us both spiritually and  physically.

My husband and I believe by making these changes back to our basic mission as a family make a significant change in the environment of our home.

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 10th Grader:

  • Biblical Studies – Life of Christ by ACE
  • Literature – British Literature by Learning Language Arts Through Literature
  • English – Intermediate Composition by Jensen’s Format Writing and for daily grammar practice, Easy Grammar
  • Math – Algebra 1 by ACE
  • Science – Biology by Master Books
  • Social Studies – British History by Master Books
  • Art – Fundamentals of Drawing by EasyPeasy
  • Music – Church Choir and Individual Performances
  • Health – Health 2 (Sex Education from a Biblical Perspective) by Abeka
  • Electives – Etymology by ACE, Evangelism (Soulwinning) by ACE, and Biblical Hebrew by Kim McKay

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 5th Grader:

  • English – Learning Language Arts Through Literature Purple Book, Writing Strands, and Word Building by ACE
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education by Master Books and Flash Kids Workbook
  • Science – ACE
  • Social Studies – ACE
  • Elective – Getting Started with Engineering by Camille McCue, PhD

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 4th Grader:

  • English – Learning Language Arts Through Literature Yellow Book, Writing Strands, and Word Building by ACE
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education by Master Books and Flash Kids Workbook
  • Science – ACE
  • Social Studies – ACE
  • Elective – Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock

Curriculum Choices for Our Rising 1st Grader:

  • English – All About Reading Level 1, Writing Strands, and Spelling with Flash Kids
  • Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education
  • Science – A Lego Adventure in the Real Word: Lego Science
  • Social Studies – Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason

Corporate Subjects for Our Elementary Aged Students:

  • Biblical Studies – Foundations: Creation to Christ by Foundations Press and Biblical Character Studies by IBLP
  • Art – Modern Artists Study utilizing the Who Was Book Series
  • Music – Hymn Study within Biblical Character Studies by IBLP
  • Physical Education – Physical Activity Log and Baseball Legends through Who Was Books Series
  • Health – Prudence and the Millers by Green Pastures Press and My First Human Body Coloring Book by Dover Publishers

Morning Basket Materials:

The plan is to cycle through these books during the course of the homeschool year.

  • Polite Moments by Gary and Cathy Maldaner
  • Lessons in Practical Christianity for Children Volume 1 by Keepers of the Faith
  • Wisdom and the Millers:  Proverbs for Children by Mildred A. Martin
  • The Bible Promise Book:  One Thousand Promises from G-d’s word by Barbour Books
  • 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants of Faith by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • The Great Bible Question and Answer Book:  From the Old and New Testaments by Claudia Vurnakes

Afternoon Basket Materials:

The plan is to cycle through these books during the course of the homeschool year.

  • Prudence and the Millers
  • Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children
  • Missionary Stories with the Millers
  • The Building of Our Nation by Eugene Barker
  • G-d’s Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays by Barney Kasdan
  • Live Like a Jesus Freak by DC Talk
  • The Physical Death and Resurrection: A Surgeons View by Dr. Joseph J. Norberto
  • YWAM Heroes for Young Readers Books 1-6

Friday Fun Days

After morning basket and Bible study, the elementary aged children can choose from these activities:

    • Nature Study
    • Flash Kids Workbooks for Math Practice and Review
    • Interest Lead Reading
    • Cap Stone Art Projects
    • Engineering Projects
    • Coding Projects
    • Educational Play Such as Puzzles, Games, Legos, or Playing Store to Practice Money

 

I hope that this post encourages you as you contemplate your role as the Keeper of the Home, contemplate homeschooling or seeking to change up your homeschool routine.

Blessings,

K

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Parashah Va’Era – “I Appeared”

Please join my family in studying the Scriptures for this week’s Parashah Va’Era, which means “I Appeared”.

10-Plagues

Scripture Readings:

  •  Torah – Exodus 6:2-9:35
  •  Haftarah:  Ezekiel 28:25-29:21

B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant)

  •  Bestort HaGe’ulah (Gospels):  Luke 11:14-22
  •  Iggerot (Letters): Romans 9:14-33

Parashah in a Nutshell:  G‑d reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring them to the land He promised to the Patriarchs as their eternal heritage.

Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of G‑d, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. G‑d then sends a series of plagues upon the Egyptians.

The waters of the Nile turn to blood; swarms of frogs overrun the land; lice infest all men and beasts. Hordes of wild animals invade the cities; a pestilence kills the domestic animals; painful boils afflict the Egyptians. For the seventh plague, fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as a devastating hail. Still, “the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go, as G‑d had said to Moses.”

Study Aids, Children’s Activities, Projects, and Homeschool Connections:

  1. Audio of Torah Parashah
  2. YMTOI Parashah Pearls for Va’Era (Has Snack and Craft Ideas)
  3. Torah Explorers
  4. Adult Study
  5. Torah Class (Just choose Old Testament Studies, Exodus, and chapters 6-9)
  6. Video:  Context for Kids – “Va’Era”
  7. Video: Torah for Children – “Va’Era”
  8. Video:  G-d Cast (BimBam) – “Va’Era”
  9. Video: Animated 10 Commandments Movie
  10. Homeschool Connection:
  • Language Arts – Write an essay on the Ten Plagues. Why did G-d send them? What Egyptian gods did they target? What were the plagues significance.
  • Copy Work – Exodus 9:16
  • Hebrew Lesson – Nun
  • Art – Make a collage of the plagues discussed in this Parashah. Use watercolor, oil pastels or other medium to create the collage.

Based upon all these resources, I created this Parashah Vaera Worksheet for my children to use to study and dig into G-d’s word for this week’s Parashah.

Blessings,

K

 

Calendar Time

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Every morning before my five year old begins his kindergarten work, we complete a Calendar Time worksheet. It’s proven to be a fun way for us to ease into our homeschool day.

For our Calendar Time in kindergarten, we go over the days of week, months of the year, seasons, weather, temperature, and time telling concepts. Since he enjoys video learning, I have developed a YouTube play list for Calendar Time.

Calendar Time provides time for him to get adjusted to the day and warm up his handwriting before we dive into his kindergarten curriculum.  This has helped to reduce the reluctance of wanting to start his school work.

Calendar Time can be customized to meet the needs of your family and child. It can even be implemented with older children and include warm-ups of language arts, math, and problem solving skills or even cover upcoming Holy Days or holidays that your family celebrate.  Typically, for older children the term “Bell Ringers” is used. Bell Ringer Journals are available online for download from various teacher-to-teacher sites for a nominal fee or be creative and make your own.

Blessings,

K

 

 

 

Parashah Vayera “He Appeared”

Please join our family in studying the Scriptures for this week’s Parashah Vayera, which means “He Appeared.”

abrahamentertainingangelsgenesis18-1-141

Scripture Readings:

  • Torah:  Genesis 18:1-22:24
  • Haftarah: II Kings 4:1–37
  • B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant)
    • Bestort HaGe’ulah (Gospels):  Luke 2:1-38
    • Iggerot (Letters): 2 Peter 2:4–11

Parashah in a Nut Shell:  In this week’s Parashah, G‑d reveals Himself to Abraham three days after the his circumcision at age ninety-nine.  Abraham rushes off to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert heat. One of the three announces that, in exactly one year, the barren Sarah will give birth to a son. Sarah responds by laughing.

Abraham pleads with G‑d to spare the wicked city of Sodom. Two of the three disguised angels arrive and Lot extends his hospitality to them; as well as, protects them from the evil intentions of a Sodomite mob. The two guests reveal that they have come to save Lot and his family. Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt when she disobeys and looks back at the burning city as they flee.

While taking shelter in a cave, Lot’s two daughters (believing that they and their father are the only ones left alive in the world) get their father drunk, lie with him and become pregnant. The two sons born from this incident father the nations of Moab and Ammon.

Abraham moves to Gerar, where the Philistine king Abimelech takes Sarah—who is presented as Abraham’s sister—to his palace. In a dream, G‑d warns Abimelech that he will die unless he returns the woman to her husband. Abraham explains that he feared he would be killed over the beautiful Sarah.

G‑d remembers His promise to Sarah, and gives her and Abraham a son, who is named Isaac (Yitzchak, meaning “will laugh”). Isaac is circumcised at the age of eight days; Abraham is one hundred years old, and Sarah ninety, at their child’s birth.

Hagar and Ishmael are banished from Abraham’s home and wander in the desert.   G‑d hears the cry of the dying lad, and saves his life by showing his mother a well. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham at Beersheba and Abraham gives him seven sheep as a sign of their truce.

G‑d tests Abraham’s devotion by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Isaac is bound and placed on the altar, and Abraham raises the knife to slaughter his son. A voice from heaven calls to stop him; a ram, caught in the undergrowth by its horns, is offered in Isaac’s place. Abraham receives the news of the birth of a daughter, Rebecca, to his nephew Bethuel.

Study Aids, Children’s Activities, Projects, and Homeschool Connections:

  1. Audio of Torah Parashah
  2. YMTOI Parashah Pearls for Vayera (Has Snack and Craft Ideas)
  3. Torah Explorers
  4. Adult Study
  5. Torah Class for Ch. 18, Ch. 19, Ch. 20, Ch. 21, Ch. 22
  6. Video:  Context for Kids – Vayera
  7. Video:  Torah for Children – Vayera
  8. Video:  The Parsha Experiment: – Vayeira: the Power of Abraham’s Influence
  9. Video:  Shaboom! Hachnasat Orchim: How to Make People Feel Welcome (Hachnasat orchim is the Jewish value of making guests feel welcome.)
  10. Video:  Shalom Sesame: Abraham and the Three Visitors
  11. Song: Three Guests Are Coming to Visit Us 
  12. Song:  Home, Home in My Tent
  13. Craft: Welcome Mat
  14. Craft: Salt Art – Lot’s Wife
  15. Snack: Roasted Pepper Dips
  16. Snack: Homemade Matzah with Butter
  17. Snack:  Barley Cake
  18. Activity:  Washing of Feet (Genesis 18:4)
  19. Activity:  Teaching Children About Hospitality
  20. Homeschool Connection:
    • Language Arts:  Write an essay on what it means to practice haschanasat orchim or hospitality. What can we do to make guests welcome in our home?
    • Copy Work: Copy Genesis 18:3 in your best handwriting.  Worksheet – gen183
    • Social Studies – Research the timeframe of the Parashah and add the following elements of the Parashah to your timeline – the 3 visitors, Isaac’s birth, destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Hagar and Ishmael are banished, and the binding of Isaac.  Label your map the ancient middle east with Sodom and Gomorrah.
    • Science: Video – What is Sulfur?  Read:  Sulfur Facts Video – Sulfur Experiment  Either write an essay or give an oral presentation on what you have learned about sulfur.
    • Art: Video- Where does a Shofar Come From and How is it made? Coloring Page
    • Music: Learn the songs listed above. Video – Learn to play the shofar.
    • Hebrew Lesson – Dalet

Blessings,

K

 

 

Parashah Lech Lecha “Go Forth”

Please join our family in reading Scriptures for Parashah Lech Lecha, which means “Go Forth”.

lech-lecha

Scripture Readings:

  • Torah:  Genesis 12:1-17:27
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
  • B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant)
    • Bestort HaGe’ulah (Gospels):  Matthew 1:1-17
    • Iggerot (Letters): 1 Peter3:18-22 and Romans 4:1-25

Parashah in a Nutshell: 

In this week’s Parashah, G‑d calls Abram commanding him, “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” G‑d tells him he will be made into a great nation. Abram, his wife, Sarai, and his nephew Lot, journey to the land of Canaan.  Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of a one G‑d.

A famine forces them depart Canaan for Egypt. Before entering Egypt, Abram tells his wife because of her beauty they will kill him and let her live. He tells his wife to tell everyone that she is his sister. The princes saw her and they thought she was very beautiful and she was taken into Pharaoh’s palace. Abram escapes death because they present themselves as brother and sister. A plague prevents the Egyptian king from touching her, and convinces him to return her to Abram and to compensate the brother-revealed-as-husband with gold, silver and cattle, as if Pharaoh was paying a bride’s price. This same type of pattern will be repeated during the Exodus with Moses.

They travel back in the land of Canaan and Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sodom where he falls captive when the mighty armies of Chedorlaomer and his three allies conquer the five cities of the Sodom Valley. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem). Abram gave the king a tenth of everything.

G‑d seals the Covenant Between the Parts with Abram, in which the exile and persecution of the people of Israel is foretold, and the Holy Land is bequeathed to them as their eternal heritage.

Still childless ten years after their arrival in the Land, Sarai tells Abram to marry her maidservant Hagar. Hagar conceives, becomes insolent toward her mistress, and then flees when Sarai treats her harshly. An angel convinces her to return, and tells her that her son will father a populous nation. Ishmael is born in Abram’s eighty-sixth year.

Thirteen years later, G‑d changes Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of multitudes”, and Sarai’s to Sarah, which means “princess”, and promises that a son will be born to them.  This child is named Isaac, which means “will laugh”, will stem the great nation with which G‑d will establish His special bond. Abraham is commanded to circumcise himself and his descendants as a “sign of the covenant between Me and you.” Abraham immediately complies, circumcising himself and all the males of his household.

Study helps, Children’s Activities, Projects, and Homeschool Connections:

  1. Audio of Torah Readings with Summary and Commentaries
  2. Quick Study
  3. Adult Study Outline
  4. Children’s Study Outline
  5. Torah Class Studies on Genesis – Ch. 12, Ch. 13, Ch. 13 part 2, Ch. 14, Ch. 15, Ch. 16, and Ch. 17
  6. The Parsha Experiment – Lech Lecha (Video)
  7. Lech Lecha for Kids (Video)
  8. Torah Tots: Lech Lecha (Video)
  9. Craft & Treat Ideas:
  10. Hebrew Lesson: Gimmel
  11. Homeschool Extension Activities: These are suggestions on how to incorporate the Torah Parashah into your homeschool curriculum.

Blessings,

Kay