May 192017
 

Kid in Library

With summer looming very close in front of us, one of the items on my non-gardening to-do list involves signing up for various summer reading programs.  This is also a great reminder to keep participating in other reading programs that are not season oriented.

One of my highest goals for our kids, to love reading.

Participation in summer reading challenges is one of the ways we use to hopefully create kids who turn into young adults who love to read. My thinking is that if they can read, they can learn anything.  They can also travel to places otherwise unavailable to them.

In addition to your local library’s reading program, here are a few more you can check out.  (Pun intended.)

Meatheads Burgers currently offers the Voracious Readers reading program during all seasons.  There is no guarantee that this program will continue, so make use of it while it is here.  The kids love being able to order their own burgers and ‘pay’ for them with the certificate they earned by reading books.

 

book cover 2

From the website:

The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to help you on your way, encouraging you to read books of your own choosing and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (English or Español).

2. Tell us which part of the book is your favorite, and why.Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017. Find a Store

3. Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

My kids are excited about being able to choose from the books and have already selected the ones they want to work towards.  I love the fact that they are excited to be reading.

 

Download Now!

Books-a-million’s 2017 Summer Reading Program runs now through August 16th.  As the image above shows, read 4 books from their Reading Challenge secelction, fill out the form and return to receive a free Maze Runner series water bottle.  Click here to find a store near you.

There are book selection for both kids and teens.  The Kids’ selections online are not easy readers, so you may have to help your young reader choose something appropriate (or maybe read aloud to them).


Half Price Books’ summer reading program for kids 14 (or 8th grade) and under is for June and July.

Once you’ve read 300 minutes, turn in your completed log to earn HPB Bookworm Bucks.   By August 31, cash in your HPB Bookworm Bucks in store for books, music, movies & games.- Half Price Books bookmark

While 300 minutes may seem like a large amount, it works out to just 10 minutes a day for 30 days.

If you need ideas for young ones, they have put together a list of Alphabet books as well as books for even younger ones. You are encouraged to read aloud to your kids if needed.

LifeWay R.E.A.D. - Summer Reading Program 2017

Join us on our 2017 Summer Reading Quest with Bibleman, June 1 to Aug. 31. We want to help you and your family promote the love of reading in your home as well as encouraging the love of God’s Word through reading His Scripture. This program is geared toward grades 1 through 6, but all are welcome to join in the adventure.

Read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses. Then, turn in a completed summer reading journal at your local LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible.

Join them in-store for a Kickoff Party May 26-27 to receive your FREE Summer Reading Program Journal, Bookmark and Pencil. At that time you will also be able to purchase books from the recommended reading list at 40% off!

Turn in your reading journals by August 31, 2017

Read 10

For every 10 books you read, we’ll give you one free*. What’s the catch? You just have to write a short report telling us: 1. Your name and age 2. The title and author of the book 3. Why you liked or disliked the book You can even include drawings. When you’ve finished your 10 book reports, bring them to your favorite Bookmans and we’ll reward you with a free book for all that hard work.  – Bookman’s Programs Page

Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange has locations in Arizona.  While many of you may not live or visit these areas, it is a great example of finding a reading program at a location you may not have thought to look.  We visited a Bookman’s a few years ago, while in the Tuscon area on vacation, and loved it.  The initial reason for going was to attend their story time, as we were looking for things to do with 4 little boys  under 4 (we had nephews along with us).  While the kids were listening to the story, I got to indulge myself (my husband was with the kids) and look through a large selection of used books.  We came away with several classics for a very reasonable price.  I probably would have bought more, but we were flying home, so space was limited.

There is also a Kid’s Club, which offers enrolled kids a discount on books, as well as sending them a gift certificate on their birthday.

*The free book come in the form of a $10 certificate to be used in the store. I could not find the information online, but a call to one of their stores confirmed they are still doing this program

mcalendars

Chuck E. Cheese is a restaurant I did not grow up living near.  However, there was a time or two that we went for a party and I always had fun going.  With George and Jack being on the young side, and easily overwhelmed, we have not gone before.

I was surprised to find that they offer a very diverse reward program.  Fill out one of the calendars, bring it in, and earn 10 free tokens.  Their calendars are one that will help you form good habits in your kids and include the following calendars: reading, picking up your room, doing homework first, no picking your nose, daily chores, and more.  In all, they have 15 different calendars to choose from.  Additionally they have other awards you can earn and redeem for 10 free tokens.

A food purchase may be required to receive your tokens.

“Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.” – Book Adventure website

We have yet to participate in Book Adventure, as our kids have been too young previously.  Their prizes page does include some unique items that the kids can earn points toward.  Teachers can also set prizes for their classes.

summer-reading-challenge

“The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online program designed to motivate and excite your kids around reading books this summer. Kids can log the minutes they spend reading, play games, earn virtual rewards, and enter sweepstakes, all in an effort to set a new reading world record for summer 2015!” – Scholastic Reading Challenge

Scholastic’s 2017 Summer Reading Challenge begins May 8 and ends September 8.

“During the summer months, DoD-MWR Libraries around the world will host a range of free activities for children, teens, and adults that encourage and support a love of reading. Participants also can earn incentives by reaching their reading goals.”

If you do not live near a base or libray on base, there is also a Virtual Summer Reading Program available.

 

Keep an eye out for the following programs this summer:

Kids can earn $10 with our Summer Reading Program.

TD Bank had a summer reading program in 2016, which rewarded readers with money in their bank accounts for reading so many books.  They have not said yet whether they will do it again in 2017.

 

 

Sep 222016
 

child running into fountain

Goodbye, Summer.

We have enjoyed all the blessing and surprises you have given us. The days at the pool, trips to the park, bike rides, camping trips, farmers’ markets, reading programs, extra sunshine, and chances to kick off our shoes and run bare footed through the grass.  You will be missed.

Hello, Autumn.

We are looking forward to what you will have in store for us this year. Will there be pumpkin pancakes and roasted sqaush, days jumping in leaves and drives to see the leaves change, canning up tomatoes and other produce to last us through the rest of the season?  Or will it hold changes that we have yet to be aware of, things we can only guess at and trust will bring other new adventures?  Will we look back and say, “It was a great season full of old friends and comforts.” Or “It was a season of stretching, of trying new things and letting go of what has passed?”  Whatever is to come, may happen with the grace and beauty I have come to love during my favorite season of the year.

Happy First Day of Autumn 2016.
boxes of pumpkins on barn wall

Jul 082016
 

fire pit

Way back when, I needed a blog name for Jack.  Nursery rhymes were the source I was using for inspiration, but which one?  Then the day happened and I knew very clearly what it was.  Jack!

The nursery rhyme of Jack Be Nimble always confused me. Why would one jump over a candle, burn themselves, then say they wanted to do it again?  Then I became the mom of one such little boy and it made perfect sense – because it was there and he could. (Okay, that is not the historical reason, but it now seems like a valid explanation to the boy of this mom.)

Here are some adventures to give you insight:

My husband and I were looking to go out one evening for a few hours.  We have tried several babysitters, but yet to alight upon one we really thought would work well at this time of day/night.  I called a friend I knew who had a daughter with several younger brothers.  “Perfect.  Maybe she will be able to handle the boys even though they will be really tired.”  Three hours later we get back, 1.5 hours past their bedtime, and they are all watching a movie.  No problem as I told her she did not need to even try doing bedtimes.  Here is her quote, “They ate supper, played inside for a bit, then we went outside to play.  We ran around for quite a while playing X game and Y game.  We came back in to watch a movie. …. They weren’t even tired. They have a lot of energy!”  Glad to know that it isn’t because I am getting ‘old’, even the teenager was worn out by them.

They have a LOT of energy

While carpet shopping for the house, I spaced out the trips so it would not be a long day.  Instead, my goal was to make it a few shorter mornings in Big Town, thereby hopefully avoid the following scenario:

I had gathered up prices and determined where I wanted to go.  Jack and I went to the store first thing after dropping George off at school.  Mornings are Jack’s best time, so I was trying to utilize this knowledge to my benefit.  My phone is charged and his favorite app game is loaded.  We get to the store and he sees a table, with some kids toys, sitting in the middle of the carpet selection area.  With some hesitation I agree to let him  play there instead of on my phone right by me.

All was going well till toward the end.  As I was narrowing down the choices with the salesman, who had left to get another sample board, I realized Jack was not at the table.  A quick search revealed that he was hiding on the other side of the show room, among some other samples.  I brought him back, reminding him of “expected and unexpected behaviors in a store.” The sales man came back, we went to his desk to get finish some paperwork.  Jack was playing nicely at the table full of toys.

Someone walked up beside me and politely said, “Ma’am, your son is in the back room behind rolls of carpet and won’t come out.  He is not supposed to be back there, it is dangerous. He needs to come out.”  I had to bite my tongue on that last part to keep from being too sarcastic. I would have thought it was pretty obvious after the first sentence.  But, I know this was definitely unexpected behavior and something none of the adults in the room would have even considered another kid doing.

Sure enough, I found him (finally) hiding under rolls of padding, in a space about 1.5 feet high.

bike meets deck steps child

Do not ride bikes down steps…

Amazingly, we have only been to the ER once with our Lover of Life.  I was so proud of myself, keeping the kids entertained in the sand box on the deck while I cleaned out the shed.  It was a sunny afternoon and we were all in the backyard together.

Obviously my eyes did not catch everything.  I heard a thump and a cry.  Turning I found Jack face down on the ground, his bike (with training wheels) at his feet, at the bottom of the stairs to the deck.  My first concern was that his nose was broken or pushed up into his head.  Once I felt everything and found nothing broken, I carried him inside to address the gushing of blood.

We have had bloody noses before, the kids would get them by crying too hard as smaller kids, so this was not exactly a new thing for us.  George was a great help in getting door opened and toilet paper to wipe off the blood in between splashes of water.

My husband? Well, not such a big help.  At least at first.  I yelled for him to come help, as I was not sure if teeth had been knocked out, or if I needed to leave George at the house and leave with Jack.  When he walked in and saw Jack’s face covered with blood and George and I standing around the sink, his first reaction was to get mad. “What were you thinking?!”  Granted, it was out of being scared and concerned for Jack, but it was not helpful.  I told him to leave the bathroom, then closed the door.  Once the shock was gone he was much better and held and cuddled Jack on the way to the ER.

The result of this stunt was a very swollen upper lip for almost a week and a detailed report to our foster care agency.  No teeth knocked out.  No broken nose.  No black eye.  He had missed the wood border of the landing by about 2 feet.  If he had hit that, the outcome would have been very different.

But I wanted Daddy

In the time before learning how to swim well, which was any time before this summer season, the kids were required to wear life vests in the pool when swimming.  The only times they were allowed to be without them was if they were in our arms.

Even after being shown over and over how they would sink if we let go of them, how they could not walk on water (sorry, you are not Jesus), and how they had yet to learn to swim, they still did not fully believe us.

George had a healthy fear of the water.  Well, maybe a bit too much fear, but it served him well enough.

Jack, though, thought we were being mean and restrictive.  “By Golly, I want to be in the water and they are keeping me from what I want! How dare they!”  Yup, pool day was fun, full of holding Mom’s hand until she properly suited you up.

It was the end of swimming time, we were all getting out of the community pool to head home.  As it was late afternoon, my husband was also there.  I had gotten out and was ready to help the kids dry off.  Jack had been put out of the pool, I removed his vest and dried him off.  We were walking around to the other end, to get George out, when I realized Jack had turned back.  He wanted Daddy. Who was still in the pool.  Looking the other way.

In one swift move, he walked up to the edge and stepped right off into the water.  Then promptly sunk to the bottom.

I could not get there fast enough, though I tried, and yelled at my husband.  Thankfully, he turned around, scooped Jack up and sat him back on the edge.  We had one scared child. Well, at least for about 5 minutes.  He was not any worse for the wear, though it could have been a whole lot worse.

And this is why I did not take them at the busiest times of the day, even now.

May 222015
 

our school week collage 2

It used to be that the idea of having both kids home all day made me nervous and filled with dread.  It took so much energy to keep them calm and entertained as they had no self-discipline and no idea of how to play by themselves.  I am so glad those days are (mostly) gone.

I was reminded of this time, when I heard more than one parent say how they were dreading having their kids home from school this summer.  Each had their own reasons, usually which they did not expound upon.  The sadness I felt was intense, but also mingled with guilt, as I had been there once too.  Do not get me wrong, there are still some very hard days, but they are getting better.

As I looked towards summer, I was actually really excited about having both of the kids at home.  It is amazing what a few years of time and maturity can do for personalities and relationships.  Some the most important differences now are:

  • the kids can play by themselves for periods of time
  • they know our basic routine and what to expect
  • events bringing their trauma to the forefront of their minds is not happening weekly or every other week

Add to that, there are more activities available for kids their age, or rather I have the energy to take both of them to things like the library or bowling.

Earlier this week, when I was looking forward to today, the first day George would be home for summer break, I knew that I did not want to jump headlong into our summer routine.  I also knew that I did not want to take several days with no routine at all.  This meant I needed to find a balance between the routine I wanted and the routine we had on a typical school day.

I spent a few days reworking ideas of what to do today, trying to plan for all the things that would go wrong.  Okay, not the most optimistic of thinking, but I was trying to keep it real.  One scenario that I did not foresee was that I would be woken up from a deep sleep 3 hours into my nightly slumber, then woken up again 2 hours later, and an hour later, only to then not go back to sleep.  Instead of getting 7 or 8 hours of good rest, I got 3.  As the day began, I started to feel grumpy.  I had a talk with myself and said, “You can choose to stay in a bad mood and make excuses about being tired, or you can pretend you have energy and have a good day.”  Well, we ended up having a great day, but boy-oh-boy am I tired!

The routine for today turned out to be a blend, introducing parts of the day I would like to have this summer, while keeping it lighter and fun.

  1. Wake up and start the day as usual (make beds, get dressed, have breakfast).
  2. While at breakfast, I explained what the morning would entail, giving them  a feel for what was to come.
  3. We got stuck at the breakfast table talking about music. (Did you see the Facebook post this morning?) We had in impromptu lesson about beats and rests, crescendo and decrescendo.  It was fun.homeschool guitar music
  4. After breakfast, we cleared up the dishes and brushed our teeth.  We also did a walk through of the house picking up toys.
  5. Then we all sat on the couch and read for the next hour.  The selection ranged from a portion of a chapter in The Story Of The World to a book of poems.  We ended with a fun, but totally fluff book.  The boys had never read a story where you were able to choose what happened next in the story.  They thought it was silly and loved it.
  6. We did a quick run to the grocery store for 2 items.  Yeah, bad planning on my part last shopping day.
  7. Back home, the boys picked up all their toys in the playroom and helped switch them out for new items.
  8. After switching out toys, I began lunch while the kids entertained themselves.  It was blissfully quiet in the house, something I was not at all expecting today.
  9. Lunch time.
  10. Quiet time for 30 minutes.  The boys read in their QT spots, while I cleaned up from lunch and switched out laundry.  Jack ended up falling asleep, which is a first for him.  Usually if he has any toy/book he will not fall asleep.  He must have been pretty tired after keeping me up all night last night. 😉
  11. George came out after the 30 minutes and preceded to begin a craft.  I sat down with him and helped him persevere through it.  The fine motor skill needed taxed his focus.  It was fun though, and his love of randomness came out.  It took a great effort on my part not to create patterns with the colors.homeschool fine motor craft
  12. I woke Jack up after 30 more minutes.  Once he came out, both he and George decided to use their earned screen time to play a game.  (I had hoped to write this post during that time, but got caught up watching them.)
  13. Once their time was up, Jack wanted to put together a kit he had gotten some time back.  I looked fun … then I opened saw all the little screws.  All 37  of them.  I think the box lied when it said “6+”  After a while Jack got better, but it was still difficult.  The instructions didn’t help either; they were more of complex diagrams than instructions.homeschool craft fine motor car tools
  14. Jack’s kit took longer than we had thought, so we ran out of time to go outside.  Instead, I put things up halfway through and went to make supper.
  15. Bath time while supper was being made.
  16. Ate supper together.
  17. Finish getting ready for bed.
  18. zzzzzzzzz … well, for the kids at least.  I went outside and did a bit of gardening.  🙂

All that may look a bit complex, as it did not all turn out like I had planned.  Nothing much does, but it is good to have a general flow to things.  Things like the impromptu music lesson above are just a part of our day, and not scheduled in.

  1. Wake up. Make beds. Get dressed.
  2. Eat breakfast and Bible time.
  3. Clear table and brush teeth.
  4. More chores, if any.
  5. 1 hour of school, if it takes that long.  This will include reading aloud daily (if possible), phonics/math online program, 2-sided workbook page daily (if possible).
  6. Free Time/Craft Time/Errands/Out-of-home activities/time for Mom to do larger jobs around the house
  7. 11:30 Lunch Time
  8. 30 minute Quiet Time, after Dad goes back to work.
  9. 1 hour Outside Time/Free Time
  10. 5:00/5:30 Supper
  11. 6:00 get ready for bed
  12. 6:30-7:30 bed times

I find that having a general flow to the day works better for our family at this time than a schedule based on time.  The meal times are the main things in the day, now, that happen at about the same time every day.  This is due to my husband’s schedule and kids’ bed times.  Not having to meet certain time goals throughout the day means that I can take time to do the extra games and crafts and play and fold that extra load of laundry as needed.  It also allows me to go to produce auctions on the days I desire to do so.  🙂

I am really hoping today was a glimpse of things to come, that the next few month will flow smoothly and be a time of enjoyment rather than stress.

May 052015
 

Kid in Library

With summer looming very close in front of us, one of the items on my non-gardening to-do list involves signing up for various summer reading programs.  This is also a great reminder to keep participating in other reading programs that are not season oriented.

Participation in summer reading challenges is one of the ways we use to hopefully create kids who tern into young adults who love to read.  This is one of my highest goals for our kids, to love reading.  My thinking is that if they can read, they can learn anything.  They can also travel to places otherwise unavailable to them.

In addition to your local library’s reading program, here are a few more you can check out.  (Pun intended.)

Voracious reading rewards

Meatheads Burgers currently offers the Voracious Readers reading program during all seasons.  There is no guarantee that this program will continue, so make use of it while it is here.  The kids love being able to order their own burgers and ‘pay’ for them with the certificate they earned by reading books.

Reading rewards calendar

Chuck E. Cheese is a restaurant I did not grow up living near.  However, there was a time or two that we went for a party and I always had fun going.  With George and Jack being on the young side, and easily overwhelmed, we have not gone before.  I was surprised to find that they offer a very diverse reward program.  Fill out one of the calendars, bring it in, and earn 10 free tokens.  Their calendars are one that will help you form good habits in your kids and include the following calendars: reading, picking up your room, doing homework first, no picking your nose, daily chores, and more.  In all, they have 15 different calendars to choose from.  Additionally they have other awards you can earn and redeem for 10 free tokens.

Read 10

“For every 10 books you read, we’ll give you one free. What’s the catch? You just have to write a short report telling us: 1. Your name and age 2. The title and author of the book 3. Why you liked or disliked the book You can even include drawings. When you’ve finished your 10 book reports, bring them to your favorite Bookmans and we’ll reward you with a free book for all that hard work.” – Bookman’s Programs Page
 

Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange has locations in Arizona.  While many of you may not live or visit these areas, it is a great example of finding a reading program at a location you may not have thought to look.  We visited a Bookman’s a few years ago, while in the Tuscon area, and loved it.  The initial reason for going was to attend their story time, as we were looking for things to do with 4 little boys  under 4 (we had nephews along with us).  While the kids were listening to the story, I got to indulge myself (my husband was with the kids) and look through a large selection of used books.  We came away with several classics for a very reasonable price.  I probably would have bought more, but we were flying home, so space was limited.

There is also a Kid’s Club, which offers enrolled kids a discount on books, as well as sending them a gift certificate on their birthday.

From the fine print on their Reading Journal – “Summer Reading Program Offer entitles Customer to one (1) complimentary book listed in the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination Journal upon return of a completed Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination Journal to a Barnes & Noble store. This Offer is only valid at participating Barnes & Noble retail stores and may be redeemed once per customer from May 19, 2015, through September 7, 2015, at close of business, while supplies last. In order to take advantage of this Offer, Customer must return a completed Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination Journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 19, 2015, and September 7, 2015, at close of business.”

My kids are excited about being able to choose from the books and have already selected the ones they want to work towards.  I love the fact that they are excited to be reading.

*affiliate links

 

“Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.” – Book Adventure website

We have yet to participate in Book Adventure, as our kids have been too young previously.  Their prizes page does include some unique items that the kids can earn points toward.  Teachers can also set prizes for their classes.

summer-reading-challenge

“The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online program designed to motivate and excite your kids around reading books this summer. Kids can log the minutes they spend reading, play games, earn virtual rewards, and enter sweepstakes, all in an effort to set a new reading world record for summer 2015!” – Scholastic Reading Challenge

Scholastic’s 2015 Summer Reading Challenge begins May 4 and ends September 4.

Books-a-million’s 2015 Summer Reading Program runs now through August 16th.  As the image above shows, read 6 books, fill out the form and return to receive a free Theodore Boone Pencil Case and Pencil.  Click here to find a store near you.

Half Price Books’ summer reading program for kids 14 and under is for June and July.

“Once you’ve read 300 minutes, turn in your completed reading log to earn your $5 HPB Bookworm Bucks reading reward for the month …. HPB Bookworm Bucks coupon valid through August 27, 2014 only.” – Half Price Books

While 300 minutes may seem like a large amount, it works out to just 10 minutes a day for 30 days.

Pizza Hut’s Book It! Summer Reading Challenge kicks off June 22, 2015.  Details are forthcoming so check out their website as time approaches.

 

Besides your local library, are there any other reading programs/challenges that you would like to share with others?  Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Aug 092012
 

I originally posted a review of this book, but did not include any details about what I planned to do with it, or even what the stories inside were about.  There was just too much for one post.  Here is the second part of that review, the more practical and active part.  This is as much a place for me to record the sources I want to use, as well as a place for me to share with others in case they are looking to do something similar.

Each story title is listed, followed by links or notes about optional activities or crafts that go along with the story or theme.

  1.  God Makes Everything – creation coloring pages, walk around neighborhood looking for things God has made, song: “God Made the Big Round Sun”
  2. One Good Man – a basic ark picture, Noah with animals, ark, and rainbow coloring page, trip to the zoo or get out animals, a boat and some water to reenact the story of Noah
  3. A Very Tall Building – coloring page, build towers with blocks or Lego’s, view movies in different languages or using foreign words for common every day objects (to demonstrate how confusing it may have been)
  4. Can You Number the Stars – coloring page of stars, star gazing
  5. No One Has a Coat Like Joseph – watched “Joseph: King of Dreams” on Netflix
  6. Moses Is the Leader – Plauges coloring page
  7. A City Falls Down – walls falling down coloring page, played “Jericho” in the garage with boxes, cups … basically anything I could find and an odd assortment of kid instruments and music makers … they like “knocking” the walls down … not sure if the point actually got across though
  8. The Strongest Man – carrying city gate coloring page, fighting a lion coloring page
  9. Ruth Meets Boaz – gleaning in the fields coloring page
  10. Hannah Has a Baby – praying for a child coloring page, holding the hand of a child coloring page
  11. Who Will Fight the Giant? – basic coloring page (David with sling and Goliath)
  12. Best Friends – two … playing in the garden coloring page (I know the picture says girls, but I think they could pass for boys)
  13. The Golden Temple – a basic King Solomon coloring page
  14. Elijah’s God Is Your God – offering on fire coloring page
  15. Horses of Fire – chariot in the air coloring page
  16. Jonah Learns the Hard Way – praying inside a whale coloring page, watch “Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie”, watch a video of whales in the ocean (it is hard to understand being swallowed by a big fish if you don’t know what one looks like)
  17. How Old Is King Josiah? – coloring page, make crowns to wear
  18. The Lions Are Hungry –   read “Dinner In the Lions Den” it may not be theologically accurate, but it is funny; watch “Veggie Tales Classics: Where’s God When ….?” or “Veggie Tales: Lions, Shepherds and Queens”; listen to an MP3 version of the story of Daniel, coloring pages
  19. Esther Gives A Party – Esther praying coloring page, make a ‘banquet’ for lunch, watch “Veggie Tales: Esther, listen to an MP3 of the story of Esther
  20. Nehemiah Builds A Wall – Building a wall coloring page, build a wall with legos
  21. An Angel Came One Day – Zechariah Can’t Talk coloring page, try to not talk for 5 minutes, do an activity without talking (how hard was it?)
  22. He Was Born in a Barn – coloring page (front 2D view of stable with angels, manger, shepherds, etc.)
  23. They Follow a Star – single star coloring page
  24. When Jesus Was Twelve – “Jesus with the teachers in the temple” coloring page
  25. Come to the River – coloring page
  26. Only Jesus Can Do That! – coloring page (healing of lepers)
  27. Love Each  Other – Good Samaritan coloring page, Jesus loves children coloring page
  28. Up a Tree – Zacchaeus coloring page
  29. Hosanna! – (Didn’t print a coloring page, just read the story.)
  30. Jesus Says Goodbye, for Now – http://www.gratismalvorlagen.com/religionen/dettagli.php?id=14623
  31. Nighttime at Noon – (I couldn’t find a coloring page I liked)
  32. Jesus Lives Forever – http://www.biblestoryprintables.com/files/BibleColoring/Easter/EasterColoringJ.pdf
  33. Let’s Follow the Wind – http://littlelambsministry.freeservers.com/coloringpageholyspiritcomes.htm
  34. Saul Can’t See – http://www.christiancomputergames.net/dutch/kleurplaten/Saulus_licht_onderweg_damascus.html
  35. Peter and Dorcas – http://littlelambsministry.freeservers.com/coloringpagepeterraisesdorcas.htm
  36. Peter and the Angel – http://www.biblewise.com/images/kids_korner/fun_games/2006/january/coloring_book.pdf
  37. The Color of a King – http://www.kidscorner.net/media/pdf/coloring-pages/the-story-of-lydia.pdf
  38. The Adventures of Paul – http://raisingourkids.com/coloring-pages/printable/bible/028-paul-bible-page-to-color.html
  39. The City of Gold – http://www.temkit.com/01-Art/Art-Bible/Dan-Rev/rev21.pdf,
  40. Jesus is Coming Again – http://www.temkit.com/01-Art/Art-Bible/Dan-Rev/rev22.pdf
  41. The Twenty-third Psalm – http://www.biblewise.com/archives/2004/march/kids_korner/fun_games/coloring_book.htm, http://www.sermons4kids.com/psalm_23_colorpg.htm
  42. The Lord’s Prayer – http://www.coloring.ws/prayer.htm (my favorite, praying hands with no words http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/bible/nw-lordsprayer.gif)

A website with links to many free coloring pages, some linked above: Old Testament, New Testament.

Coloring page of Paul’s journeys.  This was just something extra to do.

——-

Update #1 – July 1, 2012: We have been doing this for most of the summer, or so it seems.  We are currently on Story #17.  There have been a few stories that we went back an repeated.  Also, we take the weekends and other days off as the schedule or attitudes call for.  We are definitely not as far along as I thought we would be by this point.  We are about a week behind where I wanted to be.  Since there is no set deadline, I’m not stressed out about this fact.

Some things I have learned are:

  1. If we take off several days, the coloring improves greatly.  It seems like the kids just aren’t into coloring.  It has gotten better though.  When they scribble during other times, it seems more controlled and focused.  Perhaps even a little each day is enough to improve noticeably at other times?
  2. They also seem to be less distracted and more likely to color if the pictures are basic, with not a lot of detail or background imagery.  That is why some of the linked pictures above are not the most elaborate of examples.

Also, I have linked to a few MP3’s from Amazon; these are not affiliate links.  I also used some free MP3 credits to purchase those stories.  I thought it might be a different way for the kids to hear the story.  Perhaps you have a kids who is more of an auditory learner who will benefit from these.  Either way, hearing the story once more is never a bad thing.

Update #2 – August 9, 2012 – I skipped a few days of coloring, because I didn’t think they were into it.  Well, apparently I was wrong because it was asked about and I was reminded to “find pictures for tomorrow”.  It was said so matter of fact and in a great tone that all I could do was hide my smile and say I would.

We have added in learning some new songs and the books of the Bible.  We are currently learning the New Testament ones.  The songs were because I realized they didn’t know a lot of the ones I had learned growing up and also they like to sing. I tried adding in memory verses, but they just were not into that.  However, if I can find ones that are set to song, then we can also work on that goal.

Learning the books was something I had hoped to do but hadn’t gotten around to.  While sitting in children’s church (held during the sermon at our church) I realized they were working on it there.  At that time they had only learned the first 4 or 5.  I was amazed to hear the oldest one remember them later that week.  Since he already knew those, we just kept going.  We take turns saying the ones we have already learned, learn a new one (one or two per week), then sing the song that I know which goes with them.

My hope is that they will know all the books of the Bible by the end of the year.  It seems like such a large goal to me, but one I think we can achieve.  8 books have already been learned, which leaves 58.  That works out to 2.9  per week.  It does help that there are books like 1&2 Corithians or 1&2&3 John.  Not only do we put these to song, after everyone repeating them (and others hearing them multiple times), but actions as well.  The shovel and pail drum has been known to make its appearance during the second or third round of singing the song.

 

Do you (or, at this point, did you) have plans to do something similar over the summer?  What activities do you like to do over the summer?  How about for Fall? I think I know what we will be doing next.  This time I will take more time to plan it out ahead of time.  I like having a plan.

Jun 072012
 

One Sunday I quickly needed something from the Children’s’ Library at church.  Often when I see children’s Bibles I am disappointed.  I have not actually found one I like and am in general against them because of this.  Most seem to make it into more of a rhyme book or are drawn out and are not suited to young listeners.  Due to being disappointed so often, my common response is to not even pick them up.

While quickly glancing over the available options in the church library, I came across a book that caught my attention. I flipped through it and saw that with each turn of the page there was a different story, but it was short.  Exactly what I needed at that moment.  “What?! A children’s Bible?!”  So even though it was a Bible for kids I picked it up.

My Bible for Preschoolers by Ellen W. Caughey was the book that I picked up and used that day.

As I started reading through it that day I became more impressed.  So much so that I checked it out and have used it for over three weeks.  The kids like it, know what it is when they see it (“It’s the Bible!), and the stories are short enough to keep their attention.  Each story only takes a minute or two to read.  However, the part I like best about this book is that it stresses the key lesson of the story, not necessarily just the details. At the bottom of each story it gives a one sentence summary as to the meaning of the story for kids.

My plan (hope) for this summer is to read a story each morning, Monday through Friday.  Then have a song, craft/coloring page or movie, and an activity for each lesson.  The activity part  may end up being just one or two each week.

I also want to start the kids memorizing scripture.  Surely if they can learn the names of all the characters on their favorite shows and in their favorite books they can learn other things too.  Being as they are not even school age yet, we’ll save memorizing chapters for later.  For that matter, I’ve never done a whole chapter, except for Psalm 23, so perhaps I shouldn’t ask something of them that I haven’t even done yet.  Instead, we will start with a shorter verser from one of the stories from that week.

So, that is the plan.  We’ll see how it is actually works out.

Update: Between the time of writing this review and posting it, I contacted the publisher to ask a few questions.  Sadly, I found out that this book is no longer in print.

Note: This review was of my own accord.  I wrote it only because I really like this book, especially after being disappointed by so many “children’s Bibles”.  I was not compensated for doing this review.

This post contains affiliate links.