My Favorite Preschool Resources {Home Preschool 101 Series}

This post is part of the series “Home Preschool 101.” It is a peek into how we do homeschool preschool.

Here are all the posts…

Our Home Preschool Goals

Our Simple Preschool Plan 2015-2016

Our Top Eight Preschool Building Materials

Our Top Five Preschool Science Supplies

Our Top Ten Preschool Arts and Craft Supplies

Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum Review

Home Preschool Room Tour

Back to {Pre} School resources

For this last post in the Home Preschool 101 series I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite preschool resources. These resources have both shaped my educational philosophies and give me daily inspiration as we do preschool activities.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Websites

An Everyday Story – Kate from An Everyday Story is amazing. I follow her blog and her Instagram account and I love what she does with her two kiddos. She uses an inquiry-based, Reggio Emilia approach to her children’s education and does an amazing job explaining her thoughts behind what she does.

Simply Charlotte Mason – I love Charlotte Mason’s methods! I never was able to find a great book on CM, so I have been really grateful for the Simply Charlotte Mason website. It is full of explanations of CM philosophies and tons of amazing resources.

I Can Teach My Child – A wealth of information on early childhood education with tons of lesson ideas. This website is also really easy to navigate with everything organized by age.

Christian Montessori Network – A great resource for those who want to incorporate Montessori methods into their home preschool.

Books


The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer – This book only includes a short section on preschool/kindergarten, but I still found it very helpful! As mentioned in this post, part of my goal for preschool is to slowly transition into what I want school to look like in the future. For us, that means some Classical Education elements. So, it was good to read this book to get a better idea of what we are shooting for.

Montessori From The Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen – This book was great. Even if you aren’t planning on homeschooling for preschool, I still recommend this book for just general parenting. I read it quiet a while ago, so I really need to go back and read it again!

Teach Your Own by John Holt and Pat Farenga – John Holt – the original homeschooling pioneer. I finally read this classic homeschooling book this past spring and I loved it! Even if you think you are the farthest thing from an unschooler, you will still be able to learn so much from this book.

Instagram Accounts

Note: Instagram is one of my favorite-ist places to get homeschool inspiration. Personally, I love getting glimpses into other families lives. However, you do have to guard yourself against the jealousy monster and against the temptation to try and do allthethings. 

Left Brain Craft Brain

Charlotte Mason Living

Munchkins and Moms

Kinderfarmhomeschool

Artful Parent

An Everyday Story

Nature Pal Exchange

Wild and Free Co.

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there! Follow me here!

What are your favorite preschool resources?

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum

Teaching the Bible Using Different Learning Styles

from guest poster, Anne Marie.

Children come in all shapes and sizes. Each has differing abilities and talents. Each looks at the world differently. While it is important that Biblical Truth not change, how we *teach* the Truth can, and should, differ.

learning styles

Many teachers of the Bible, parents and lay church workers, can become set in “how lessons have always been taught.” Or, we do not feel like we are equipped to teach the scriptures well.

Our God is great because he supplies all our needs and He commands us to teach our children. Therefore, we should never worry about what to say. The Lord will provide the words. We must always be ready for the moment though. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to diligently teach God’s words to our children. We are to do this when walking, sitting, in the morning, and in the evening.

But HOW?” you ask. “Each of my kids are different. How can I teach so each understands and grows in the knowledge of the Lord?

Study God’s teaching style. He used object lessons AND taught to different learning styles. You can do the same thing!

Visual/Spacial Learning Style:

The greatest way God used visual learning was when he created. Nature is the largest object lesson. Pick up anything in the woods, backyard, beach, desert, and mountains and God will teach you something about himself. Have your children go into the backyard and find something God created. Ask them, What can you tell me about this object? and then ask, How does this object remind you of God? You might be surprised by your conversations.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20 (NASB)

Verbal/Linguistic Learning Style:

I find it amazing that God spoke and everything was. He is that He is. God is verbal and he desires to speak with us. Scripture memory is vital to wielding our sword of the spirit. If you aren’t already, introduce a new Bible verse to memorize each week. You can chose a topic such as ‘wisdom,’ or you could chose to memorize an entire section of scripture, such as Psalm 1.

Saying the scripture, doing copy work, or playing with words are wonderful ways to teach Truth to our children. My children and I have a index cards which I put on a ring to hold our verses and we recite them every day.

scripture memory 2

Aural/Musical Learning Style:

Music is a fantastic way to teach! There’s a song I teach that lists the 50 states in alphabetical order. I still have students 17 years later telling me they *still* remember their states! Scripture CDs are a great way to teach scripture memorization. Bible dramas on CDs are good too. For a struggling reader, you might find it easier to read a passage of scripture aloud and then have the child tell you about the story you just read. There are also audio CDs you can find that tell missionary stories. Our favorite series is The Brinkman Adventures.

Physical/Kinesthetic Learning Style:

Any time you can add moving the body into a lesson the better! Assign parts to each child and then read a Bible story aloud while the children act it out. Using hand motions to help memorize the 10 Commandments or the 12 disciples will make learning a list easier. Have your children think up hand motions to go with scripture they are attempting to memorize. You may find they have an easier time remembering the words if their is a motion to go with it.

Logical/Mathematical Learning Style:

God is a God of order, not chaos. Logic and mathematics are daunting to many, but it has such strong significance when it comes to scripture. For children who enjoy numbers, have then think about every time the number 40 is used in scripture. The numbers 12, 3, and 7 are used quite a bit as well.

Consider studying the genealogies of the scriptures and creating timelines of the births and deaths of the patriarchs. Click the link below for chart genealogy lesson:

Biblical Genealogies 2

Teaching scripture does not need to be a fearful activity for parents and lay teachers. Our God is a creative God, and if you find yourself stuck on a Bible lesson that seems boring or confusing, talk to Jesus about it. He wants to be found. He wants us to seek him. Count on him to help you be creative. You will find that the Bible will come alive for you and your children when you teach using different learning styles!


businesscardheadshot

Anne Marie has a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on Christian Education. She is the author of the blog Future.Flying.Saucers. Anne Marie has a passion for biblically equipping parents and teachers so children can fly for Jesus. On Wednesday nights you will find her teaching Biblical concepts to Awana clubs at her church. All of her Awana and Bible lessons can be found on her blog.

5 Tips for Including Young Children in the Kitchen {while still staying productive!}

Five Tips For Including Young Children In The Kitchen (and Still Staying Productive!)

It’s 5 o’clock and you know bellies are going to be rumbling soon. It’s time to make dinner. You start pulling food out of the fridge and pans out of the cupboard. It isn’t long before you hear the patter of little feet and a small but willing voice asking, “Can I help?”

The only problem is these little helpers aren’t always the most helpful.Oftentimes, by the end of a long day the last thing you want to do is take twice as long to cook dinner due to the “help” of your little ones….

What are you going to do? 

I’m over at Intentional By Grace today sharing five tips for including those little helpers in the kitchen, while still saying sane and productive! Read more here.

Noah – Play Through The Bible – Week Three

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.comWeek 3 of Play Through The Bible is all about Noah. Although Noah and the flood is a common story used for children’s toys, books, and activities it can still be overwhelming to think of breaking down such a complex story for little ears. We decided to focus on one very important part of the story – that Noah obeyed God – remembering that further themes can be delved into in the future.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For week one’s plans you can go here. For week two’s plans you can go here.


Week Three – Noah

Focus Point

Noah obeyed God.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Safe in the Boat” starting on page 28 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “The Floating Zoo” starting on page 18 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • When you finish reading through the story, go back to the beginning of the story and talk about how God was sad (make a sad face) because no one was obeying him and everyone was being mean and bad. Flip back a few pages and ask “did Adam and Eve obey God?” Talk about how Noah did obey God.
  • Keep the main focus on Noah obeying God, even though no one else was. However, you can also point out that because Noah obeyed God, he kept Noah safe in the boat.

Activity

Gather up some stuffed animals and a laundry basket. Tell your child he or she gets to pretend to be Noah and put all the animals in the laundry basket “boat.” Then, he or she can climb in and sail the boat through the storm (we put a blue blanket under our “boat” and I shook it for “waves”). Finally, take all the animals out when the storm has past and the flood is over. This a great activity for reinforcing Noah’s name and what he did by calling your child “Noah” and asking if he is obeying God.


Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Discussion

Parent: “Did Noah obey God?”

Child: “Yes”

Parent: “What happened when Noah obeyed God?”

Child: “God kept him safe in the boat.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Noah Coloring Page

http://www.coloring.ws/noah.htm

Day Two – Build an Ark

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Materials needed:

  • Recycled container (that won’t leak)
  • Stickers
  • Toy animals and people (optional, not pictured)

 

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

I gave K the option of what container to use and he chose the big one (I think it originally had spinach in it). Any kind of water proof container will work. I later came across a rotisserie chicken container that would have been perfect!

Use stickers to decorate the boat. You could also use permanent markers, but stickers were good enough for K.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Grab some small toy animals (any kind will work!) and a few people to be Noah and his family. Load them into your ark.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

You could just pretend to float the boat with what you’ve got so far, but if you’ve got the time add some real water for more fun! Grab a tub (we emptied out our tinker-toys to use this one) and fill it with some water. This activity kept K engaged for a long time. He is a big fan of the water and thought it was pretty awesome that his boat actually floated! If you don’t have a good container another option would be to bring your ark into the tub for bath time.

Day Three – Animals on Board

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Materials needed:

 

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Put some glue on the half circle and place it at the bottom of the blue paper.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Then, glue the rectangle and place on top of the half-circle.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Use the animal stamps to make animals on and around the ark.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

And/or you could use animal stickers. If you don’t have animal stamps or animal stickers you could cut pictures of animals out of a magazine (or print off pictures from the internet) and glue them onto your ark.

Day Four – The Floating Boat

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Materials needed:

 

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

First, take the skinny piece of blue paper and trace some waves on it. It’s a crazy storm, so don’t worry about them looking perfect!

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Once you’ve traced your waves, cut them out.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Next, fold your other blue piece of paper in half (hamburger way) and draw a line two thirds of the way towards the bottom. The line should start in the center and almost reach the outside of the paper.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Cut along the line. This is a great, easy cut for a beginning scissor user.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

 

Open up the big blue paper and put some glue on the back of the waves.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Glue the waves just below the line you cut.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Next, color those white clouds gray so they look more like storm clouds.

Noah - Play Through The Bible - Toddler Bible Lessons - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Glue the clouds to the top of your page.

Use the blue marker to add some rain.

Next, you are going to need to assemble your ark puppet. First, glue the top of the ark to the bottom.

Then, glue the ark to the craft stick.

Put the puppet through the slit on your paper and you’ve got a stormy background for your ark to float in.

Day Five: Rainbow

Materials needed:

  • White piece of paper with a rainbow outline drawn on it (or you could print one out here)
  • Markers or crayons in the color of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

After yesterday’s detailed craft, I decided to go for a simple one on day five. All we did was color a rainbow, talking about how God made a promise to Noah. Since K is getting a little better at coloring, I decided to give him the challenge of putting the right colors in-between the lines. I made it a little easier on him (shown in the top right picture) by marking which color went where. We worked on it together and he did a pretty good job!

After he was done coloring I cut the rainbow out for him and he was pretty proud of his work!

Extra Resources

I found two songs via youtube about Noah that K loved.

Mr. Noah Built an Ark

Arky-Arky (Rise and Shine) 

We also enjoyed the book On Noah’s Ark by Jan Brett


 

I hope you enjoyed week three of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum

Overcoming the Need to Rescue

photo-13 copy

There’s no denying it, my son is an explorer. He is fearless. Nothing deters him when he has his eyes set on a goal. Because of this, he has been getting himself into sticky situations since he learned how to scoot his chubby little baby self around the room.

As soon as he realizes he’s met his match he calls out to me. “Help!”

My first instinct is always the same. Rescue. Get him down from the ledge. Unstick his foot from the crack. Pull him out from under the couch. Fix his problems.

However, from the beginning I’ve also realized that coming to the rescue might be a short term fix, but it’s not a long term solution. Whether it’s figuring out how to get down from the ladder at the park or learning how to put on his pants, knowing how to problem solve is an important life skill. I want him to grow up knowing how to keep his cool in tricky situations, having the confidence to solve his problems and clean up his messes. This isn’t to say that he will never need help, or that I expect him to do everything on his own, but it is important that he think through his actions and learn from his mistakes.

photo-1 copy 2

So then, what’s a rescuing mama to do? Lately, I’ve been trying to do these three things:

  1. Calm. When you are stuck in a tricky situation, your brain starts to panic and logic flies out the window. My first step is to get him to take a breath, letting him know I am here to help, but first he needs to calm down.
  2. Coach. Now that he’s calm (hopefully!), I guide him through the process of solving his problem. Sometimes this means asking questions to get him to think of a solution and sometimes it means teaching the steps to solve the problem.
  3. Congratulate. After the situation is over, I make sure to tell him that he did a good job and encourage him to do it again next time.

My first instinct may still be to rescue, but with these three steps in mind I am able to slow down and use these moments to teach, rather than just solving the problems for him.

Are you a rescuer? Give these three steps a try and let me know if you have any luck!