It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

This first week of December has been a fun one!

Each Christmas we do something a little different.  One year we chopped down our own Christmas tree and one year we celebrated Minecraft style. This year we decided to keep things simple.  We pulled the fake Christmas tree out of the attic and set it up.  It stills needs to be fluffed and the ornaments still need to be hung but it’s out!  We also decided to create memories during Advent this year.  We haven’t really made a big deal or talked about Advent in the past.  We’ve always read stories and talked about the birth of Jesus but this year we decided to use Truth in the Tinsel to prepare our minds and hearts for Christmas.

Truth in the TinselMy boys are 9 and 6.  Truth in the Tinsel is geared for the younger ones but can be adapted to any age.  It is a 24 day study.  Each day  you will read a bible verse with your kids, talk about  what you read and make a craft.  The first day we started Truth in the Tinsel I  told my boys they could create a craft, build a LEGO creation or build a Minecraft creation.  They chose Minecraft and LEGOs.  So, our mornings go like this:

My boys open an envelope that contains the word they need to listen for during our bible study time.  When they hear the word they can do whatever they want.  Jump, make a noise, whatever.

We talk about what we’ve read then address any questions that may have come to their minds.

We pray and then instead of doing the ornament/craft that goes along with the study they create it in Minecraft.

Here are this weeks Truth in the Tinsel Minecraft and LEGO creations.

Advent with Truth in the Tinsel

Advent with Truth in the Tinsel

We love movies in this house so I wanted to start watching a few Christmas movies with the kids this week as well.  I was a bit disappointed with some of the movies that I chose for my boys from Netflix.  They appeared harmless but  let’s just say we had to talk about issues other than Christmas once the movies were over.  So I hopped on over to RightNow Media and found a fabulous movie from Phil Vischer called Why Do We Call It Christmas.  It was great!  It answered so many questions about Christmas like:

  • Why do we have Christmas Trees?
  • Why do we hang stockings?
  • Who is Santa Claus?
  • Is December 25 really Jesus’ birthday?

If you don’t have access to RightNow Media you can purchase the movie from Amazon. I think both you and your kiddos will learn and get a kick out of Why Do We Call It Christmas.


Word Up! The Vocab Show from Compass Classroom

Our homeschool groups have gone on Christmas break but that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped our schooling.  We have decided to change things up a bit though.  Learning Latin and Greek roots along with vocab words has been such a chore for my boys which is why I was super excited when asked to try out  WordUp! by Compass Classroom.  It is awesome!  It’s so much better than the boring flip cards that I’ve been using.  Dwane Thomas keeps my boys entertained with his hilarious comedic style of teaching.  My boys don’t even realize this is a part of their “school”.  You can try out a sample lessons HERE if you’d like.

I plan on sharing more of our Christmas season in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links.

Western Civilization With Brimwood Press

This summer we had a lot of fun traveling, relaxing by the pool, visiting with friends and learning about western civilization.  We read through the book Calender Quest by Brimwood Press. It is a fabulous story filled with adventure, mystery and fun! The perfect combination for my 7 year old.  We had the opportunity to review three of their books which allowed us to learn about western civilization through the story of the calendar.  The books we reviewed were Calendar Quest, What Every Child Needs To Know About Western Civilization and Color The Western World.
Calendar Quest
This book covers 5000 years of history through the eyes of two children and their pet as they are transported through time in a refrigerator box.  As they travel to several different eras in history they actually get involved and experience life during that time period.  They take on different jobs, end up in jail and take part in important meetings.  This book really brought history to life for my son. At times he didn’t want me to stop reading which is a big deal for him.Brimwood Press -Caleb
What Every Child Needs To Know About Western Civilization
This is a workbook that blends nicely with the Calendar Quest book.  Each chapter contains the following sections: Teacher Preview, Learning from Literature, History in a Nutshell, and Games and Activities.
  • The Teacher Preview gives you a list of items you need in order to prepare for each lesson and explains which objectives will be covered during the chapter’s lesson.
  • Learning From Literature tells you which chapter to read from the Calendar Quest book, lists discussion questions and writing activities for the chapter. It also explains which Timeline Activity to follow, provides a Geography Activity and keeps you on track with your Hats of History Cards.
  • History in a Nutshell explains on a deeper level what you and/or your child read in the Calendar Quest book.  This section lists all of the information you or your student will write on the Hats of History card for the time period/chapter you are studying.  It lists what you will need to do for the Color and Stick Activity and the Sticker Activity.  It also provides  Review Questions for you and your child to think about.
  • Games and Activities or “Optional Activities” are listed at the end of each chapter in the workbook.  They have lots of activities listed including ideas for creating visual displays, research activities and online activities.
Color The Western World
This was one my boy’s favorite parts about this curriculum.  He loves to draw and color and this HUGE coloring book allowed him to do that.  As I read Calendar Quest he would color the corresponding pages in the Color The Western World coloring book.  Each picture has a corresponding description so we would go back and read the descriptions and talk about them.  Additionally, the back side of each coloring page is blank which allowed my son to draw about the things we talked about.  Drawing solidifies things for him so the blank pages were a big plus for us.Calendar Quest2
As a former Classical Conversations teaching momma and tutor I can definitely say this curriculum is wonderful!  It re-enforced many of the history lessons that we learned in CC in a fun and enlightening way. There were many times when my son would say, “Hey mom! I remember him.”  My favorite part about this curriculum was the  Hat’s of History cards.  Placing them in the proper order was fun for my son and really helped him connect the “historical” dots in the story.  My son’s favorites were the Calendar Quest book and drawing and coloring in the Color The Western World coloring book.  We will be using this curriculum again as my boys get older and look forward to enjoying more Brimwood Press stories and products in the future!
BrimWood Press history and worldview curriculum for homeschool
*I received the products listed above from Brimwood Press in exchange for an honest review.  Brimwood Press did not require that I express a particular point of view.

Studying The Bible With Your Kids

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thouroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-19

I believe it is my responsiblity to to make sure my children know and understand the bible, the Word of God, so that they will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I also believe that learning the bible should be fun and engaging for me and my children. I’ve tried several studies but have found my favorite to be Grapevine Studies. Let me tell you why.

Grapevine Holds Their Attention

The lessons are simple and engaging. I read a passage of scripture, talk about what we read with the boys and then ask them to draw me a picture about it. I’ve tried other studies where there is a short to medium verse that is read and then a story and description pertaining to the verse but by the time I’ve reached the second sentence the boys are fighting, crying or asking to go play outside. At this age short and to the point is what they need. Usually, throughout the day they will ask me questions regarding our morning study and when that happens we are able to study the scriptures even further.

Drawing Helps Them Learn

My children love to create and one of their favorite forms of creativitiy is drawing. They draw on paper, on canvas, on the fence and yes even on the walls. With Grapevine Studies they solidfy what they learned during the lesson by drawing about it. Now, I am not an artist so I like that with Grapevine we draw by stick figuring. My teacher’s edition ebook gives me examples of stick figures to draw for my kids. I usually draw them on our little white board then the boys draw the same and then embellish quite a bit. They absolutely love it!

They Want To Build Their Own bible

Once the study has been completed and the pictures have been drawn we place the boy’s pictures in their very own folders. The boys drew on their folders so that we know who each folder belongs to, and because just writing their names on them didn’t look right according to my oldest. When we have company over they like to pull out their folders to show everyone what they’ve done. They also explain the stories which is great because this is teaching them how to share the bible with others. They are also very quick to let everyone know that they are making their very own bible. I love it!

Will they be missionaries? I don’t know. I do know that studying the bible with Grapevine has given them the knowledge they need, in a way that they understand, so they can tell others about Christ.

You can download a free sample lesson from Grapevine here. You and your kids will love it!