Saturday, August 22, 2009

Free curriculum - Bible

This is my 12th/13th year to homeschool. I began midyear, after being thoroughly disapointed and discouraged with our schools here. The teachers quit trying to teach my children, who were bored in their classes. (I'm assuming you know bored children do anything to be un-bored!!) So, after seeing the teachers quit teaching my oldest son, I talked to Jerry and we decided that I could do a better job.
I began with an inexpensive all in one curriculum workbook, since I was starting a bit after mid year. It was ok, wasn't too impressed with it. He did learn, it was just not very interesting.

The next year, I tried Alpha Omega. Then SOS, then Abeka.... By this time, I was homeschooling my daughter, as well, so I was buying for 2 grades. I wasn't pleased and the kids were bored! Care to add up how much money I threw away?
So, I began googling. There were a few resources for homeschooling for free, but you had to spend hours looking for them. What a difference a few years makes! Now, it takes hours to go through the results!

So, I've decided to share some of our favorite resources. Here are my tried and true Bible resources along with the ages I use them for. Some color pages, I will use all through high school, as they still like to show their artistic ability.

For Younger kids (Pre-kinder through about 1st grade) This site has a quite a few bible stories with color pages and online activities, a memory verse section (some can get pretty long), and crafts for kids! Love the memory verses! has awesome color thru the bible sections. Great for all ages! If you look around the site, you will find resources for teens, adults, movie and game reviews, even the Dinosaur issue is discussed!

Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd grade
) This site can be used for beginning readers - each lesson can be printed or your child can read along on the computer. There is a printable worksheet/test upon completion.
Also, if you look around, you will find a wonderful bible study for young ladies here.... great for mom's too!

Mid-Elementary thru Jr high I use this for older kids. Detailed worksheets for going through the entire bible. Each lesson has about 7 pages - the last one being an ink hogging puzzle (I rarely print the last page) There are no answer keys I'm aware of.

Teens - mostly girls is the newest one I've found. I have done some as well as giving them to my daughter. There is a link to another page with even more young women studies. I liked the free one so much until I purchased the set. My daughter likes them more than any other study I've printed for her. This is the only one for sale, but we really liked it and it was so inexpensive.

Bible Tools
I have used a few online and tried a couple of download bible study programs, and I prefer Bible Explorer You can get over 200 free bibles and books with the free program. The bibles are reasonably priced. I like the multi window feature. AND, if you are reading a passage you wish to study further, you click on the passage, and the program displays all your resources on that topic, including commentaries, devotionals, art, maps, counseling, theology, etc... There is also a bible reading program that allows you to miss a few days and catch up, instead of always feeling overwhelmed when you have to take a few days off.

Tips For Older Kids

As my kids get older (or got older) they wanted to learn new things. You can purchase wood plaques at hobby stores, tracing paper and a wood burner tool for under $20.00.
Have your child trace the bible color page onto the plaque and trace using woodburning. If you use oil pastels, they can color areas. Then cover with a bit of a glaze. A little creativity and you can make clocks (clock kits sold), jewelry boxes, wall hangings, name plaques, etc....

You can also find a free cross stitch or embroidery program (or just trace). Trace the color page onto cloth and you can do a cross stitch or other embroidery. Plastic canvas works well, too.

Younger kids can trace a color page onto a blank tote bag, backpack, tshirt, apron, etc... and color or paint using fabric crayons, markers or paints.
Want to expand? How about beading? Buy alpha beads and let the kids make bracelets, bookmarks, etc, with their fav verse! Spell the book and verse, maybe add a few colorful beads or charms...

An older child could spell an entire verse with beads on wire and wrap a votive or other candle. (place on a candle holder, add a few glass rocks and you have a beautiful gift for a few bucks!!)

These are not all my resources or ideas for teaching bible, but they are my favorites and the ones most used. I find and try others, but keep coming back to KidsHeart, Garden of Praise, Calvary Chapel. Enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We have a groom...

No, not the wedding kind. Pixie was groomed. No trimming, but she got everything else.
It took us months to get her comfortable enough with the groomers to let them take her away from me for a few minutes for her bath. Elsie and Jennifer have been absolutely awesome in working with her!

Every week, I took her to Petco to visit the groomer. They would spend a few minutes getting Pixie familiar with what would happen during a groom.
Well, on Monday, August 3rd, Pixie received her first Strawberry Lemonade Spa treatment with a Blueberry Facial.
She did well until about halfway through, and I had to go help them hold her. She was then able to continue the grooming.

So, after about 30 minutes, Pixie had been fully groomed in her spa day, she received a strawberry lemonade collar charm and smelled wonderful for about 6 hours! At that point, the dog in her took over and rolled in the grass to get the "pretty" smell off. Not to worry - this mom bought puppy safe scented conditioning spray... LOL

As you can see, the final results. She was a bit antsy when they tried to clean her tear staing, so I cleaned them at home. However, she is fully conditioned, moisturized, pampered, and "charm"ing... Notice her charm - almost as big as she is! The bows lasted a couple of hours but matched her charms and a t-shirt I bought her! This is one pampered pooch!