Well my boys are reaching a milestone in their journey to manhood. This winter they have been adventuring into the woods to practice survival skills they have learned. The older three are 12, 14, and 16 and have been learning many survival skills over the past few years. There is also a an 8 year old and 5 year old following in their foot steps. They’ve learned how to pitch a tent, make fire, cook food, chop wood, use an ax, use a hatchet, make various knots, use tools, shoot bow and arrows, shoot a shot gun, butcher a deer, catch fish, and build a camp site.
Though they all enjoy being outside, the 14 year old is the most outdoor loving fella of the older three and his passion for nature has inspired the others. You just can’t hardly keep him indoors. He decided a few weeks ago that he wanted to start his own You-tube channel with his brothers, and he is still toying with the idea of writing a website. He would love to write reviews of outdoor gear and tools and trucks if the opportunity opens up.
The boys have tossed around a few different names like the Horseless Cowboys, the Backyard Boys, and Boys In The Woods. Not sure what the final name will be just yet, but they plan to document their adventures. Some of their adventures are “in the woods” and some are “in the backyard”. Our yard is surrounded by woods, where one ends the other begins. We also live about 1 mile from a lake where we enjoy fishing and hiking and playing at the park. Still working on the name. They decided to do a series called “Backyard Camping”.
His first video was walking the woods to locate the fallen tree he heard crash during a storm. It was a fun adventure as he came to various fallen trees spread throughout the 8 acres we live on. He also crossed a small stream and checked water depth along the path after the storm.
A few days later he went back into the woods to scout out a place for a camp site. He found a couple locations he liked. We went out and helped him clean up one of the locations, removing several layers of dead fallen leaves and some dead wood that was in the way.
This particular location gets a few minutes of morning sunshine currently as there are no leaves on the trees yet this time of year. We are not sure if it will get any sun once the leaves return as it is a densely wooded location. We are concerned about having a camp fire in that location , so for now, he must use the grassy area of the backyard for his campfires where it is safer. That’s one of the reasons he dedicated the series to backyard camping to inspire other kids to get outside and camp in their yard too.
The next video he made was about making a small bait trap at a nearby lake. We took the boys to the lake to fish and we were able to buy worms, but the bait shop was out of minnows.
So he and his brother decided to catch their own minnows and small bait to fish. They used a plastic bottle, pocket knife, a few rocks, a worm, and fishing line. They created a trap to catch minnows and crawdads.
The next video he vlogged about making dry tinder to start a fire. Then he showed how to use his striker and rod to create a spark to start the fire.
He built a spot to have a fire surrounded with rocks we have laying around in the woods. They were very pretty rocks most of them being white quartz that is abundant everywhere. Then he used his tinder and small branches and wood he chopped to create a camp fire. Next on his camp fire embers he cooked his supper. He cooked a can of beef noodle stew and boiled water in a steel cup to make chicken noodle soup.
At the end of the day, these boys are learning and practicing great skills for their future. They are looking forward to their next outdoor adventure in the woods.
My kids are enjoying Times Alive online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way. Fun animated stories are a refreshing way to learn and remember math facts. With Times Alive, it is so easy for kids to master learning multiplication.
Online Math Learning Program
Multi-student use on the same computer.
Retail $9.95 per month.
Additional products are available.
Please check the website for more information.
Recommendations and Requirements:
To use Times Alive online learning program, you will need:
A computer with internet access
A mouse or other pointing device
Video at 1024 x 768 or higher
400 mhz or greater
128 MB of RAM or greater
You can use this program daily for 20+/- minutes. Some children will move faster and others will progress slower due to variations in skill levels. If you don’t prefer to use it daily, it is recommended to use it at a minimum of twice a week for progress and retention. However each family can find a pace that feels right for their learning needs.
How We Used Times Alive
This is a “no tears” method of learning math. My kids don’t like math practice and try to get away with the bare minimum. If one lesson is all that I have scheduled, then they do the one lesson and nothing more. I have suggested some days to do additional practice work in our regular math program, but those requests are usually met with grumbling.
Times Alive came to the rescue! The online lessons, stories, and animated songs in the Times Alive lessons are fun. The kids don’t complain to add in a few extra minutes of practice learning about math times tables.
We have six kids in our family and they were able to share the Times Alive program on the same computer. The program is set up for family use and each of my kids can log in and log out and then the next one can use it. This program worked out great for our family. The subscription doesn’t allow for use with more than one computer, but it will keep track of all of my kids progress in their own dashboard, as long as they use the same computer each time they log in.
My kids enjoyed reading along with the stories. Most kids love stories and Times Alive tells silly math stories that makes learning math facts fun and easy to remember. These stories are filled with goofy characters and it is fun to see the characters come alive in the story and find out what adventure or dilemma they go through and this triggers you to associate the fact and remember it later.
As the lesson progresses, the story lesson is followed by another video with a catchy song that also helps my kids remember the facts they learned in the story. Then there are interactive games and fun quizzes to engage their interests and these serve the purpose of testing their math fact recall.
There are also progress reports that keep track of quiz scores, dates the lessons were completed, how much time they spent learning, and also summarize their overall learning.
Another thing we really liked about the program is that we could stop and go as the kids needed. There is no set schedule in the program so we were able to use the program as it fit into our schedule. Each time they use it, the program keeps track of where they left off, so they could resume the learning the next time they logged in. I found the progress reports to be a helpful tool. You have the option to print off their progress reports and use them how ever you wish. This is a great to put into their portfolio if you desire.
Check out this fun video from Times Alive.
City Creek Press
Times Alive is created by City Creek Press. It you are looking for great learning products to boost your child’s learning and retention skills, be sure to check out all of their other great products such as books, DVD’s, Computer programs, etc. They have been producing learning programs since 1992 and many of their resources have proven to boost student skills and retention above 95% with some post test scores reaching 98%.
Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Times Alive in their home. The Homeschool Review Crew is a great way to see how products fit into different families with different learning styles. There is a wide variety of families who volunteer to try out these great products and share their experience. I hope you will check it out!
Three of my teens want to start their own businesses. We are exploring various ideas they have and I thought I would share some of them.
One idea they are putting a lot of thought into is running a catering food cart business. We thought it might be interesting to share a few different types of simple food carts we found on the internet and some basic business plans in case there are other families wanting to check into this too.
Food Cart Business
We found a variety of food cart business examples online. There are so many different kinds of “mobile kitchens” . Some are built into carts, onto trailers, and others are vehicles. Most of these mobile kitchens specialize in selling a specific food or foods, and they have specific equipment set up for that specific food type.
Mobile Kitchen Carts range in price from $1,000 to $10,000. These can be push carts, bike carts, or pull carts pulled by ATV, electric bikes, or small cars. Carts are great for a single type of food such as hot dogs, or burgers, coffee cafe, or lemonade shake ups, shaved ice snow cones. These carts handle smaller crowds.
Mobile Kitchen Trailers range in price from 5,000 to 100,000. These kitchens are great for cooking and selling multiple items. These are great for pizza shops, ice cream shops, fried food shops, and even bbq smokers and catering large events.
Mobile Kitchen Vehicles (usually trucks or vans) range in price from 12,000 to 150,000. The advantage of a kitchen on a truck is that you don’t need to pull a trailer, so you won’t need as much space to park your business. Like the trailer, these kitchens are able to handle multiple items and large volume crowds.
Since they would be starting with a small budget, the kids are looking into buying a Mobile Kitchen Cart. One of the boys wants to sell coffee, and another boy wants to sell hotdogs. My daughter has also shared that she would like to run a bakery cart to sell cupcakes and cookies.
This most versatile set up we found was the Shop Trailer. It is basically a “blank” canvas to start a mobile food cart business of any kind. This would work for food and non-food types of retail. A Shop Trailer could be used outdoors and indoors and would be a great simple set up for “expos” and conventions, churches, fairs, farmer’s markets, as well as just vending along the street in various locations.
This Wheelys Cafe is my favorite mobile coffee shop. They are set up with solar power and wind power making them totally independent for power. You can get them set up to serve various kind of coffee that each require a different type of brewing system. You can also serve smoothies or have a juice bar. They also have retail cases for pastries, fruits, sandwiches, etc. and you can get an add on trailer for specialty items too. One option is a living mobile greenhouse trailer that allows you to serve fresh herbs or greens.
We are still exploring more Food Cart ideas as well as other potential business ideas. The plan is for the kids to run through a hypothetical company with spread sheets for inventory and expenses and profits etc, before they would actually open a real business someday. This will be an invaluable learning experience. I am sure they will gain insights and skills that will last them long into their adult life.
3 Ingredients stuffed inside a toasted tortilla. How simple and easy is that?This is a great sandwich to let your kids make in the kitchen.
We sauted sliced mushrooms in olive oil until done. Then removed them from the heat and added a little more olive oil and diced potatoes. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook them until soft. Then combine mushrooms and potatoes together. Place a slice of pepper-jack cheese on a tortilla and add the potato mushroom filling. Toast on each side. Served with a side of Jalapeno Kettle chips or tortilla chips and salsa and this sandwich is a win win! Even my teen boys enjoyed it and asked for seconds.
Optional: The only thing I might add next time to my sandwich is a slice of avocado and some spinach leaves or I would like to have a slice of fresh from the garden tomato would be a great flavor combo with the cheese.
Have you ever watched the setting of the sun at the beach?
It is such a beautiful site.
We spent a November evening on a North Carolina beach watching the sun go down.
The Fall air was cool and crisp, but we didn’t let that hinder our joy.
There is something very special and exciting about being at the water’s edge.
The colors in the sky were beautiful!
The smell of the ocean and the sensation of breathing in the salty air is a completely different experience than our day to day experience. If feels energizing, like it is renewing something inside the body and the mind.
I could watch the ocean and sky for hours and never get tired of the view.
The sand feels amazing and was cool to the touch. We collected some seashells along the beach.
We saw a flock of pelicans flying above us.
Even though it was chilly, we decided to get our feet wet.
We tried to catch the waves coming into the shore.
The waves and the pull of the under tow current were quite powerful and knocked us off our feet several times.
One fella didn’t want to get wet. He said it was too cold.
But the rest of the group was eager to get wet from head to toe even though we only agreed to get our “feet” wet.
Even though the water was cold and the current was strong, I enjoyed getting my feet in the water too. The waves kept a constant rhythm with perfect timing.
It felt so peaceful.
We enjoyed an evening walk on the beach and walked to a fishing peer not far from where we played.
The sun set was stunning behind the peer.
It gave the appearance of a glowing fire off in the distance.
The fishing peer went out so far and then was blocked at the end. It seemed as if the peer would have gone further, but perhaps had been lost in a storm.
Even though a major hurricane, Hurricane Matthew, had come through days earlier, the rest of the peer was still in good standing and many folks were using it for fishing and enjoying the evening.
I loved the contrast of the peer and the evening sky and ocean waves.
You could sense the determination of this peer to withstand whatever the elements of nature could beat it with.
The structure seemed to rebel against the constant waves, the salty air, and the gusts of wind.
The setting sun was gorgeous! It peered through the dark clouds sandwiched between the sky and the water.
This experience reminds us of what it might of been like at the beginning. The bible talks about the beginning.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”
Looking away from the sun, in the opposite direction, the sky and the water seemed to be a reflection of each other, a matching blue that seemed to go on forever.
But looking towards the sunset, the colors were vibrant and seemed layered like a rainbow that had been deconstructed.
Sitting above the waves, felts as if we were sitting on them. Resting on the benches of the peer was a special experience.
The peer puts you out on the water, away from the shore.
Though you are sitting still, everything around you is in motion and has a rhythm of it’s own. Everything is moving with a beat, the water, the sky, the salty air on your face, and the sound it all makes has a nourishing rhythm that feeds the soul.
All your senses are enhanced and focused on the beat, the soothing sound of the moving water and the amazing colors of the sky.
After we watched the sun set, we walked up the beach a little bit further for some food. Later we came back outside to watch the beach in the darkness.
We sat on the steps of a small gazebo looking out over the water. It was so peaceful.
A long way out, there was a small twinkle of light from ships on the water.
We could also see the lights of the fishing peer reflect on the water.
But otherwise, we could no longer depend on our eyes to understand our environment. We could not see the sky, and we could not see the water, we could only sense they were still there in the darkness.
Instead of using our eyes, we tuned our ears to the sounds of the night. All we could hear was the familiar sound of the waves hitting the beach in a soothing rhythm. It was peaceful.
The older kids and I wanted to stay outside all night, but the younger kids and daddy were getting sleepy, so it was time to head inside. Bedtime seemed to come too quickly, yet we welcomed the end of this day feeling relaxed and renewed.
We definitely want to experience the sun setting on the beach again soon.
If you are looking for curriculum, or help with lesson planning, or just want a helpful time management resource, you might want to try SchoolhouseTeachers.com They sent us a Yearly Membership to review.
Whether you want education courses (preschool through highschool), or you just want some resources for managing your household more efficiently, they have something for everyone and you can get started for just $1. Be sure to check out the website for special offers too. They currently are running a great sale for 50% off their yearly membership.
Online Education Resource
Preschool through Highchool
Resources for Teachers
Resources for Parents
Yearly Membership – Premium Access
Our Thoughts about SchoolhouseTeachers.com
I spent some time looking around this website and planning several of the courses they offer in our curriculum for the remainder of this year. I am impressed with the huge variety of resources available at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
We have 6 kids and they range from preschool to highschool. We have a child in preschool, first grade, third grade, sixth grade, eight grade, and tenth grade. Having a resource like this with something for each one of them, all in one place, and for one low price, is a huge blessing!
There are no additional textbooks required. The classes are an online format and video format. They offer printouts with various classes and you can print as many as you need. Some classes may suggest additional reading materials that can easily be found online or free at a local library. They offer lots of planning resources to coordinate your classes and materials so you can plan your days, weeks, months out as far as you want to best meet the needs of you and your family.
We can choose a class based on the grade level or based on the subject matter. We are not locked into selecting a class and we can change the class at any time. There are 300 classes and we can choose one class, two classes, or we can do all 300! There is only one small fee and our entire family can benefit. This is such an amazing opportunity to learn what we want when we want.
I love everything they offer, but I am especially fond of the support they have for parents just getting started and for veteran homeschool parents of highschoolers. They walk you through the homeschool process at each stage and grade level. They have help for families with children of special needs too.
Some of the supportive benefits of using this program with my older students for me as a parent of older are: Portfolio Assistance, Tracking Courses, Report Cards, A Scheduler, and help creating Transcripts with lots of tips and suggestions.
Another resource that I am so excited about is the menu planner. They have recipes organized for months at a time. Not only can I use them, but I can also use these to motivate the older kids to plan and fix meals too.
My younger kids are excited about all of it. This resource opens so many fun classes for them. They are excited about the art classes, unit studies, guitar classes and Spanish. My oldest is excited about the science classes and foreign languages he will be able to complete for his highschool credits.
I am thrilled will be able to do these classes together from the comfort of our home. I don’t have to hop into the van and run them to lessons here and there which takes a lot of time and extra resources. I am also excited we can go at our own pace. We can log in when we want and stop when we want and each class will keep track of our progress no mater how fast or how slow we go.
Check out this short video clip to hear first hand from another homeschool mom about how easy it is to use SchoolhouseTeachers.com with her family.
50% Off Special Offer:
SchoolhouseTeachers.com is running a 50% off special offer until January 15th. LOCK IN NOW at the $9.95/month rate so that you save 50% on the NEW regular price that will go up the 15th of January to $19.95 /month. Even at the full price, this is such a great deal the whole family will benefit from using! And if you just want to try it out, you can get started for $1.
Be sure to follow SchoolhouseTeachers.com on their social media links for all the latest news on resources, course updates, and special sales offers.
This is a nutritious, fun and easy to prepare snack or desert for kids. It makes a fantastic breakfast too!
Kids can be picky eaters. Setting them up for success with good nutrition is key to maintaining good health. Including a variety of foods, like yogurt, fruits, veggies, and nuts in their daily routine lays a great foundation in good nutrition choices.
Adding nuts (for those who are not allergic) is a great way to boost nutrition. There are so many different kinds of nuts to choose from. The most popular nut used, peanut, isn’t even a nut but is actually the seed of a legume. But there is a huge variety of nuts and seeds that are seldom included in the standard American diet for kids that are great options.
A few of the nut and seed varieties to try out with your kids are:
Hazelnuts / Filberts
A fun way to get nuts like walnuts in your kids diet is putting them into special treats like a sundae. If you grind the nuts, they hardly know the nut is there. Walnuts have a stronger taste and most kids don’t usually choose to eat them on their own. If I leave out a big bowl of nuts of different varieties, my kids would eat all the cashews! Next they might finish of the peanuts. Then the rest of the nuts would sit there until Dad and I ate them. So to get more variety of nuts into their diet, a sneaky banana nut sundae piled high with lots of yummy ingredients is a win win!
Walnuts are great for brain food. They also help to purge parasites from the body. They contain essential fatty acids that are needed by the body
Banana Nut Sundae
Set out your ingredients out on a table or counter and let the kids fix their own sundaes.
Optional: Syrup, berries, chocolate chips, chocolate covered nuts, ground nuts, whole nuts in the shell that they must remove before using, nut butter, ice cream, angle food cake, cookies, pumpkin cake, etc.
We used vanilla yogurt, ground and halved walnuts, bananas, chocolate covered peanuts, and chocolate syrup. I also set out some grapes and nut butter covered pretzel crackers in case they wanted to experiment with some other ingredients.
We have made similar treats for desert too. This is a fun and delicious way to eat nuts and eat healthy!
Similar ingredients with pecans and whip cream.
Substitute angel food cake for the yogurt.
Serve as a fancy desert for company.
We also made homemade nut butter with a mixed nuts. We ground some smooth and some chunky and mixed it together for a delicious spread for our pretzel crackers.
You can add mini chocolate chips and these will taste like Reese Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Treats! Even Daddy likes these treats!
The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way to encourage children to listen and read Bible stories. We were sent The Beginner’s Bible for review and I was very excited to receive this new updated version with bright 3D art work and fun illustrations to use in our home.
The Beginner’s Bible
90 Brightly Illustrated Bible Stories
Retails for $16.99
Additional discounts up to 50% for bulk purchases
Recommended for Kids ages 6 and under (Read Aloud)
Easy Read for kids 7-8
But also great as an easy reader for older kids and ESL too.
The Beginner’s Bible was first released in 1989, and has sold over 25 million copies in the past 27+ years. 25 MILLION! That is an amazing testimony of how this wonderful gem, filled with timeless wisdom, is to share with each generation of children around the world.
Why Use An Illustrated Bible For Kids?
There are many reasons to use the bible in your home. It is so important to incorporate the truths from the bible in raising children. It is Father God’s love letter and instruction manual to all of his children, young and old. Using an illustrated Bible helps kids “picture” the events and people they are learning about. I like this illustrated version because it simplifies the learning for younger children without taking away from the message that God put there for us to learn.
In addition to advice and instructions in the Bible, you also read about the fascinating lives of the men and women who lived during the time it was written. Reading the Bible actually causes your faith, and your children’s faith, in Father God and his son Jesus to grow. The bible helps you see how consistently faithful God is and how much he loves us. It shows you the ups and downs in people’s lives and how God brought them through the good and bad experiences that people live through.
The bible teaches us how to handle good and bad experiences we go through in life and how to trust in God who hears our prayers and helps guide us everyday. The bible gives us values to live by called a biblical worldview. People still go through good and bad experiences today and we need God more now than ever. The bible tells us about his only begotten son he sent to save mankind from their sin and eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price so that we can spend eternity with God if we will believe, love and obey his teachings.
A few ways we can incorporate using The Beginner’s Bible with kids in our every day life:
Read aloud by parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
Read along for beginners.
Independent reading for beginners.
Circle Time, Quiet Time, Bed Time
Retelling the stories using additional props such as Legos, Crafts, Puppets, Diorama, Costumes, etc.
Homeschool Projects, Home, Bible Study, Get Togethers, Sunday School
Create Lap Books, Note Books, Timelines, etc.
Writing Practice as children copy the story onto their own notebook pages.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The Beginner’s Bible Experience In Our Home
We have been using The Beginner’s Bible since the beginning of having children in our family. Let me see…that is over 16+ years! We received our first copy as a gift when our oldest was born. We have purchased a few more copies over the years. Our current version is still on our bookshelf and has lasted through lots of little hands, quiet times on the couch, and several moves across country. This illustrated bible for kids has been a family favorite of ours for many years. We have six kids and each one started their Bible learning with The Beginner’s Bible.
We have made it a priority to spend time reading in the bible each day. Our younger kids listen to bible stories being read to them and our older kids read the bible themselves and also read to their younger siblings.
Once a week we set aside time for the kids to retell bible stories they have learned. They can choose any props or make crafts or use Legos, etc. The older boys also like to make Lego stop motion movies to retell the events in the bible stories.
Sometimes we turn the learning adventure into a Unit Study and spend an entire month on a specific theme such as “forgiveness” or “Ancient Egypt” or “the miracles of Jesus” etc. This is a great way for the kids to learn hands on and practice sharing what they have learned with each other and also share with daddy when he gets home from work.
There are 90 stories in this illustrated Bible. That is over a year’s worth of stories if you focus on learning one new story a week. Or complete it in a year if you read two stories a week. If you want to go faster, you could read this in 90 days if you do one story each day. You can go at a pace that works best for your family.
Another great way to use The Beginner’s Bible with your kids is to include the free printables and games on The Beginner’s Bible Website (recommended for kids 12 and under). Perhaps you can print them off as you read each story or print them off ahead of time and make a folder with the printables for each story and build a story unit study. You can also add more materials to your folders as you find additional resources.
Since we love making unit studies with stories we read, we are using two to three related stories each week. It will take us about a year to do the entire book at this pace.
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study
Be sure to check out a story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible called Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study. Unit Studies are one of our favorite ways to learn. They are cross-curricular and subjects (math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a theme, they are hands on, and they help children retain what they have learned.
We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities, including the FREE sample curriculum lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study. These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.
The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son” , watching the lesson video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.
The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.
This was a lot of fun for the kids. You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.
We used The Beginner’s Bible and Legos as a way to retell the bible story of Noah. That story includes more fun ideas on using this children’s illustrated Bible in fun hands on learning ways.
More Learning Fun
After reading the stories in The Beginner’s Bible, my kids love to watch the animated videos by the same company.
You can find these on “youtube.” There is also an APP from their website for these stories, games, and videos for your smart phone.
The videos are a great way to reinforce the learning. They are entertaining and engaging. We set aside time to fix a snack like pretzels and apple slices and my kids sit down to watch the bible stories.
Check The Beginner’s Bible website and youtube for more details on fun ways to enhance the learning.
The Beginner’s Bible
Website & Teaching Resources
Please check out The Beginner’s Bible website for wonderful FREE resources to compliment your child’s learning and enjoyment using The Beginner’s Bible.
They have free printouts for coloring pages, word puzzles, mazes, online learning games etc. Print as many copies as you need and create your own folders filled with fun learning projects to go along with the bible stories.
Free Stuff From The Website To Use With The Beginner’s Bible:
Read Together Sheets (print and bind these for an additional story book)
Writing Sheets (practice writing letters and numbers)
Place Mats and Posters (so many uses!)
Book Marks (everybody needs book marks!)
Online Games, Quizzes, etc
Word Puzzles Printouts
Recommended Bible Story Reading Schedule for the year.
APP for your phone or electronic device with stories and activities.
They also offer 2 lessons for free from their curriculum kit: “Creation” and “Jesus Rescues the Lost” . I would encourage you to get a copy of these free lesson plans and see how easy it is to use this illustrated Bible in your learning adventures.
If you want to purchase the complete lesson plans, they are available for an additional purchase on the Zonderkidz website and are called “The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit”. After using the free lesson plan they offered, I think this would be a great resource. It would make it simple to use The Beginner’s Bible as a curriculum and the lesson planning work is all done for you.
The kit comes with a hardback copy of The Beginner’s Bible and a DVD with a year’s worth of lesson plans including 30 teaching lessons that incorporate the 90 bible stories, and a DVD with 28 animated video stories, fun activities, and lots of additional classroom use ideas. There is also a family take-home page for each lesson for kids to share with their parents and to further the learning at home.
The Beginner’s Bible Is Fun For Kids
The Beginner’s Bible is full of faith building stories and fun illustrations to enhance the learning. It is a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, classrooms, and kids clubs. Zonderkidz also offers resources in English and Spanish, I can Read Books, The Beginner’s Bible Deluxe, The Beginner’s Bible For Little Ones, The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit, etc. as well as additional resources on their website. I think using this children’s Bible is a an essential piece for teaching young children about the stories and people of the Bible. Every page is filled with full-color illustrations that retell 90 Bible stories in a fun and engaging way.
Our younger kids love the bright colors of the illustrations in this children’s Bible. Looking at colorful pictures helps keep their attention whether they are listening to it as a read aloud, or if they are reading the stories for themselves. It is a great way to include Bible learning in our home and incorporate into our homeschool learning too. I am sure they will continue to use this treasure this illustrated Bible for many more years to come.
The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.
Be sure to connect with Zonderkidz on their social media links for all the latest news, special offers, and resources to further the learning.
If you would like to motivate and encourage your kids to learn stories from the bible, I would encourage you to read Bible stories with your kids and make the stories into Unit Studies. Unit Studies are cross-curricular and subjects (such as math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a central theme and are adaptable so they are great for teaching all ages.
For example, if you are learning about apples, all the curriculum subjects will have an apple theme. You might do apple math, or apple science, or apple history, or write a poem about apples, etc. Unit Studies are hands on, they can be as simple or specialized as you design them to be, and they help children retain what they have learned. You can teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school all at the same time by varying the level of difficulty of the worksheets, experiments, and reading materials.
This school year we are doing lots of Unit Studies with a bible story theme. Each Unit Study is different, with different themes, but they all center around a theme that came from the bible. For example, if we are learning about musical instruments, we might choose the ones found in the bible, or if we are learning about castles or fortresses, then we can choose a story or few stories in the bible that mention this and then build on our learning about the history and construction of fortresses. Perhaps we want to learn about the eyes and we focus on sight and the brain, calculate vision, learn about colors and light, the disease of blindness, and the miracles of healing sight of the blind that Jesus did.
If you have younger kids, an easy teaching resource like the illustrated The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a wonderful way to get started. It contains 90 Bible stories at an affordable price of $16.99. They also have The Beginner’s Bible Website for families and teachers to use with lots of coloring pages and activities for free to compliment the stories you are reading.
A quick search on the interenet will provide you with lots of other ideas you can add to your Unit Study as you build it such as more free printables, lesson plans, craft and recipe ideas, etc. and you can use many of the printables to create lapbooks or keepsake notebooks of their projects too.
The stories in The Beginner’s Bible are written in a simple to understand way and include colorful illustrations that engage the kids and keep their interest. So I wanted to use this as the foundation of the Unit Study learning projects and built additional materials I found into our learning adventure.
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study & Lapbook
We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities from The Beginner’s Bible Website. They have lot of resources to choose from including two FREE sample curriculum lesson plans. They sell a curriculum kit too. We do not have the kit, but the free lesson plans give you a great teaching format to use to build your own lessons.
I printed out the free lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study. These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.
I made a “Bible Teaching Binder” for myself, and a “Bible Lapbook” for the kids with all of these wonderful free printables. On the front of the binder I put the suggested reading schedule. Inside the binder I put the printalbes and any lesson plans I find or create myself.
I keep all of the Unit Study and Lapbook materials in a basket, with pencils, crayons, markers, glue, etc with our Bible so we can easily set this up for our learning time each day. I also put in any other resources we will be using that relates to the story such as a science experiment, crafts supplies, recipes we will make and other activities, and other books related to the subject we are learning. There are lots of varieties of ways you can set this up easily so if you don’t like the basket idea, then you could put the printables in folders or daily workboxes or use another method that works in your home.
My binder is huge and will hold all the lesson plans from the Unit Studies I create using The Beginner’s Bible. I added dividers to help me stay organized. I kept the first section inside the binder for the Unit Study we are currently working on. This is where I put a copy of the free lesson plan “Jesus Rescues the Lost” in my teaching binder. The lesson came with 8 pages of free lesson plans! Next, I added in various coloring pages and other printables and craft ideas and directions. I will use the additional sections in the binder the same way for more lesson plans as we create more bible themed studies. I plan to have about a years worth of plans in the binder by the time we are finished. The kids will have completed about 30 Unit Studies and 30 Lapbooks by the time we are finished.
The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible and watching a video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on. The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page. You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.
The Unit Study in Action
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study based on the illustrated stories in The Beginner’s Bible and the free lesson plan and suggested printables from the website:
Bible Reading and Speaking:
Read 3 bible stories outloud: “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son“.
Audio Video Observation:
Watched the Free Video for Lesson Plan#23 Jesus Rescues the Lost.
Watched a video about the modern life of sheep in Idaho. This video goes over many different things such as economics, land management, herd management, wool, and contains interviews with the sheep farmers too.
Learned about the history of shepherding sheep.
Counting: Younger kids counted cotton balls to represent sheep’s wool.
Graphing: Older kids learned to make a graph that followed the sale price of sheep over a period of time. They also made a graph for the lambs showing the amount of food the sheep eats compared to the rate of growth.
Learned the major body parts of sheep.
We found this worksheet on Page 23 of a 4H manual we found online and it has worksheets for different animals.
Practice writing pages. Here my youngest son is practicing the letter “P” from the story of “The Lost Son” about the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pig pen and later returned to his father who welcomed him home.
Additional letters to practice are: J (Jesus), R (rescue, redeem), L (lost), I (inheritance), H (healing), S (Samaritan, shepherd, save, and sheep).
We also practices spelling the word “sheep” with this printable.
Colored print out pages from The Beginner’s Bible website that correspond to the stories we read. In this picture, my daughter is coloring a page from the story “The Lost Sheep”.
Created paper sheep puppets with printouts included. You can glue cotton balls onto the sheep (younger kids can practice counting the cotton balls) and put construction paper on the back and attached to a popsicle stick, and the children can hold onto the stick to retell the story. You can also glue the printout to a toilet paper roll and that helps the sheep stand up on their own.
We used two folders and some glue and created a Jesus Rescues the Lost Bible Story Lapbook to store their finished learning activities. If we continue to create lapbooks like this for the entire illustrated Bible, combining two or three stories per lapbook, the kids will have 30+ Bible Unit Studies and Lapbooks for the year.
The last step in our learning adventure of Jesus Rescues the Lost, was to create a Lego sheep and shepherd diorama and use them to retell the bible story of Jesus (the shepherd) looking for the lost sheep (us).
Building with Legos or other building blocks to create scenes from a story you have read is so much fun.
I hope to have time for the older boys create a movie with these props they made where they can record their own retelling of the story. They love to make stop motion animation movies with Legos. We ran out of time to make the movie, but I hope we have it completed soon for a followup story.
Optional ideas to include in this Unit Study are:
Field Trip ideas: take a field trip to a sheep and goat farm.
Crafts and activities ideas: that would make this project lots of fun such as make a donkey, horse, pigs, a farm, a special ring, a shepherd staff, create a money bag, etc. Older kids would have fun creating (sewing or crafting) costumes to use to retell one of the stories. Perhaps they could also wear the costume and retell the story to a homeschool coop class or at a family gathering.
Math ideas: you could practice counting sticks to make a fence or pig pen, or count money in a money bag. Perhaps they could figure out a pretend hospital bill for services and supplies used for the injured man.
Science and Health ideas: You could also learn about health by making a first aid kit or herbs for healing supplies to care for the wounds of the injured man and nurse him back to health. You could learn about bacteria and healing wounds and learn the feed rations, nutrition, and digestion for pigs, sheep, and horses.
Cooking: You could also throw a feast and serve guests to represent the father welcoming home the prodigal son. You could research meals that were served to back in bible times to include in your feast. You could wear the costumes you made or decorate the table with the crafts and props you made.
There are so many fun ways to create a Unit Study with this illustrated Bible as the central foundation for your themes. I am very pleased with how this has turned out and I think this is a wonderful way to learn. I think Unit Studies and Lapbooks are a special way for kids to share what they have learned, and store the worksheet pages they have completed.