Paradise Praises – Bible Activities Review

I am so excited to share this review with you guys today! One of the things that drives me crazy is searching for extra worksheets to give Boogie for busy work when we are studying something in particular and I need to give her something to do while the littles need my attention.This book completely solves that problem for our Bible studies!

I love love love this book! My only complaint is that it would be easier to make copies of in a spiral bound book or even a loose leaf binder or perhaps a book with easy pull out pages. I’ll probably tear this apart and put it in a binder for easier copying for my kids.

As you can see in the above image, there are a ton of worksheets and coloring pages to choose from! Some are above my children’s levels just yet, but we are already utilizing some of them! For instance, as I will state in my video (hopefully I’ll have that posted tonight), we are learning the books of the Old Testament…. first worksheet in this book is a word search containing the Old Testament books! Boogie LOVED it! It kept her busy while I did some other work with Bubby and Bird. I’m excited to utilize this book some more and I’m even more excited to see if the creator, Katie Hornor, comes out with more books like this!

You can find out more about Katie at ParadisePraises.com or purchase your own copy at Amazon HERE! Be sure to check out Paradise Praises, there are some awesome posts and other resources there for everyone, not just homeschoolers!

I received a free copy of this activity book in return for a review. All opinions and statements are my own, a positive review was not required. Affiliate links are included in this post, any money made goes back into this blog! Thank you for visiting Mustard Seed Mommy!

New Beginnings

The old has gone, the new is here! How amazing is that? How wonderful is it that God can wash away all the old and spring forth new goodness and hope into our lives? We are officially NC residents again, we are getting settled into our new home and gearing up to get started into Boogie’s second semester of first grade and Bubby’s second semester of Pre-K. It’s been a hard few months, but we are HERE. God has truly been merciful to us, I’ve been reminded again and again to lay my burdens at His feet so that He can take on my burdens… it’s not been easy, but we made it through this trial.

I’m excited to start this year anew with some changes to what you’ll be seeing in the coming months on my blog. I have been taking a long break from writing really, with the exception of some reviews and random posts here and there because I really just didn’t know what I wanted to do with Mustard Seed Mommy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue or what I should use MSM for anymore. I love blogging, it’s always been a way for me to share family adventures with our friends/family who live out of state, it’s also been a way for me to share my faith and to share things that I love with my readers.

This past month I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about where I want to go with MSM and I thought, what better way to start this year blogging, then with my “Word” for 2018?  It’s something I’ve also been praying over, I wanted something that would push me this year… and it’s a word that’s been whispered in my ear over and over and over. Rest.

Yea, you heard me. REST. I know what you’re thinking. Rest? Trust me, I’ve said no over and over again to that word for this year. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom alone, how would I have time to rest? Guess what? Through Him I find rest. It’s as simple as that. I have to strive to be like Mary of Bethany, to rest at the feet of Jesus, to choose Him above all else. I have to say no when I want to be like Martha, running around like a crazy person attempting to make my home spotless, my home perfect for my guests… I have to find rest in Him. Always. Every. Single. Day.

So this year, you’re going to find more posts about my family and our adventures. You’re going to find posts about homeschooling and my faith. Because those things are what keep me going. Family and faith. Homeschooling is part of our family right now and I am SO SO excited to share some curriculum with you this year. I’ve got some pretty cool things up my sleeve, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve also got some things planned for a mom’s group at our church that I’ll also be sharing, lots of neat things to come.

Thank you for sticking by me all these years, it’s a big one y’all…. April will make TEN years since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings. God Bless!

 

1st Grade Curriculum for 2017-2018

I thought now that we are “officially” homeschooling this coming year, meaning we are registered and under an umbrella now that Boogie is 6 and old enough to be an official homeschooler, that I would share what curriculum we have chosen for this year. Then mid year I will do a little review and then an individual review of our favorites at the end of the year!

Since this is our first year using a full curriculum I wanted to piece together things and stay within a budget. While the big box curriculums were tempting, I just couldn’t spend that much on something we might not reuse in the future. For preschool and kindergarten we use Easy Peasy – this is a FANTASTIC site with full and free curriculum for every grade! All the way through high school! Boogie learned to read with Easy Peasy and Bubby and Bird are currently learning their ABC’s with it as well. I don’t however like using the computer for everything so 1st grade is the beginning of less computer time for my big girl.

Alright! So, this is going to seem like a LOT of curriculum, but some of these things will only be done on a once a week or two/three day a week intervals. Language Arts consists of four different curriculum pieces as I have separated them into spelling, grammar, literature and handwriting.

I have included links to where I purchased our curriculum, so I wanted to note that if you purchase anything from an Amazon link that I am an affiliate and do receive a small monetary percentage of sales from these posts. This compensation goes to maintaining this blog! The rest of the links are not affiliated. 

Art – World’s Greatest Artists (Vol 1) : This curriculum was created by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We have used her Preschool curriculum as a supplement as well and she truly makes some fantastic resources! We are planning to utilize this, from what I’ve scheduled so far we should cover 4 artists this year. We will rotate each year between these and her World’s Greatest Composers sets until we finish them all!

Bible – Jesus Calling for Kids and Awana : I love Jesus Calling for Kids devotional. We will be utilizing this daily as well as doing some scripture copywork to go with her handwriting practice. I’m also considering sending Boogie, Bubby and Bird back to Awana as a little extra. We’ll see how that goes, it was rough last Fall because I was pregnant and we were rushing out the door when J got home from work, but it may be easier now that I know the area we live in better now and I’m not suffering from morning sickness, ha!

History – My America and My World and History for Little Pilgrims : Boogie has had lots of questions since this past presidential election, so I thought we would cover American History for 1st grade. First semester we will be using the first half of My America and My World since for Geography we are learning about the world and it includes some history of other countries as well. Second semester we will utilize History for Little Pilgrims, it reiterates some of the things we will learn in the first book, but has some great information I think she will enjoy as well. So you will see a review of the first book at the end of first semester, and then the second book at the end of second semester.

Language Arts (Literature) – Classic Literature Unit Studies : I went ahead and purchased the entire set of volume 1 literature units from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I’m in love with this curriculum. It’s going to be so fun and I know Boogie will really enjoy this. We are going to start with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then we will move on to Black Beauty and start Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She has several different volumes, and I will definitely be purchasing the other volumes when we finish this set. I’m excited to dive into some classics with Boogie, we might even do some read alouds with this during lunch for everyone!

Language Arts (Handwriting) – Writing with Phonics (Manuscript) Grade 1 : We will be using this workbook for daily handwriting practice as well as doing scripture copywork. We didn’t focus on this much this year because truly, Boogie isn’t into it. She’d much rather read a book (or lots of books) then write. But it’s something we need to work on, so we’re diving in! She won’t have much daily writing with this, so I’m hoping she will enjoy it just a little…

Language Arts (Spelling) – K12Reader : I did not want to pay for a curriculum for spelling… no thanks! So when I came across this I thought it would be perfect! No work on my part to write up our own spelling words for the year, I just had to print everything out! You’ll find that a lot of homeschool moms don’t bother with spelling, but I personally feel it’s important. Yes, she will gain spelling knowledge from reading books, but it will not only help with how she writes and spells words, but also help her sound out and identify trickier words when she is reading. So we will be using this awesome site, and if it works well for us, they have spelling worksheets for all the way up to high school!

Language Arts (Grammar) – Scott Foresman Reading : This is another subject I wasn’t interested in paying for, I think this free resource will do nicely and I can pair the worksheets with youtube videos and/or my own teaching. Grammar is so important… I think social media makes this very obvious. So, as we move on to higher grade levels I will definitely look more into a more in depth curriculum for this. But for now, this will work for what we need! There are printables for Grades 1-6 on this site.

Geography – Expedition Earth : Yes, another Confessions of a Homeschooler curriculum! I told you I loved her stuff! This is a really neat curriculum for learning the geography of the earth, I love that it includes all kinds of fun info and even some fun Christmas Around the World Activities for December! It even has a section for animals you will find in each country so there’s a little science thrown in as well! I also purchased the Road Trip USA curriculum to use next year.

Science – NONE! We are going to use the outdoors as our teacher this year. We will utilize the zoo, the aquarium, the museums, and our own outdoor adventures to learn about nature. We have our sketchbooks ready and a library waiting for us to dive into books about nature! This is going to be so fun!

Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education : So technically I haven’t ordered this yet, but I’m pretty sure this is what we are going with this year. I love how colorful everything is, I love that with these math lessons your child is learning “real life” math and that it doesn’t take all day to complete your daily work. I still need to give Boog her placement test to make sure I’m choosing the right level before I order as well… and we have a curriculum sale to go to tomorrow, so this could absolutely change (but probably not… because I think I’m pretty sold). I’ll keep you posted on this one.

That’s it! That is Boogie’s curriculum for first grade! Yikes, I can’t believe my big girl is already gearing up for first grade, does that make her officially a big kid? I’m hoping that we can get into a groove come July (yes, we are starting in July… kind of going with a year round schedule with a 4-5 week break during the summer) and that I can get her doing some independent work while I work with the littles as well.

Keep an eye out, I’m thinking about posting a video or maybe doing a live video over on my Facebook page to show you how I’m organizing and scheduling our school year. I think this will help a lot with independent work now and in the future. I’ve gathered some ideas from fellow bloggers and created my own ideas as well! Thanks for reading!

Child Training Bible Review & Giveaway

When we found out we were expecting our first child, my husband and I discussed all of the things we wanted to teach our child… one thing we didn’t discuss was discipline. It’s not really something you think about when you have a baby, it’s not really necessary at that point! As our family has grown, we knew that as they needed more discipline and training that we wanted to do so in a way that glorified God and taught them right from wrong biblically. I wanted to use our bible to help teach our children when they did something wrong or needed to learn why something they did wasn’t right or Christ-like.

I was incredibly excited to come across the Child Training Bible, an incredible resource made by a homeschooling mom named Mindy Dunn. As a mother of five children she wanted to raise her children and train them up using scripture. Just like us, she tried many different ways to utilize her bible in a way to teach and discipline, but found that directly using her bible over outward sources was the best way. So she created a system that anyone could use to create their own training bible.

All you do is head over to Mindy’s website and order the chart set HERE. You can order one set, or order larger quantities for your group (and receive a discount depending on how many you purchase). The sets include a training bible key, three tabbing charts, and a set of instructions. Then, you will have to purchase a set of highlighters, tabs and the bible you hope to use.

You can click the images below to order your highlighters and tabs.

        
I chose to use my Message bible for this, though I will say it was a little harder to find what I needed to highlight because of the way the Message bible is laid out compared to your typical bible. I may end up redoing it in my NIV bible at a later point, but for now this is working just fine!

We’ve started using this whenever we find a need to teach or discipline our children, some of the biggest issues we come across with our children are fighting, lying and tattling. They aren’t always very excited about this, but we’ve found that when we use the word of God to help teach them, they listen more and care more about what we are saying. Especially Boogie… she was incredibly upset the first time we did this with her. She was constantly hitting and scratching Bubby, it’s such a competition with them and that’s how she was reacting to his behavior. So I sat her down and we went over the verses on fighting and had her do some copywork and then write a prayer in her journal. She was ANGRY, she was upset, and then when she finally finished she realized why her mommy was having her do all of this.

Using scripture teaches our children not just what WE want them to know, but what God wants them to know… and I think that makes a world of difference. I saw my child’s heart soften as she copied her bible verses, and I saw my child write a prayer that asked God to help soften her heart towards her brother.

If you have ever desired an easier way to find the scriptures you need to help teach your child, this resource is the way to go. It’s also a great resource to use for your bible curriculum, we’ve really been able to utilize this during our bible studies!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Mindy has graciously offered up a chart set to giveaway to one of my readers! Just fill out the widget below, entries will be verified.

The Beginner’s Bible Review & Giveaway!

Now that Boogie is an excellent little reader (and she really really loves it!), I’ve been on the hunt for a book or curriculum to use for her Bible lessons. When I came across The Beginner’s Bible I knew that it would be perfect for her…. the book is a bible for little ones, with simple to read stories that go in the correct order that’s in a typical Bible. Boogie LOVES it.

There are some bigger words that she needs help with, but otherwise she can do this daily reading on her own, then discuss what she learned with me after!

The illustrations are bright, colorful and vivid, any child would enjoy glancing through the pictures even if they can’t read. These illustrations are fresh and new, but the book itself was originally released in 1989 and has been a popular book for many children ever since.

The Beginner’s Bible has a great website with games and activities for kids including printables of all sorts and videos to watch. You’ll also find some great resources for parents and teachers that coincide with each story in this bible. You can find that website HERE. Be sure to enter for a chance to win your own copy of this great bible, or head on over to Amazon to purchase! It’s currently on sale for $12.88!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”