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  • Betsy James

Truth, Beauty and Virtue


It's Christmas in July around here! I just finished ordering our 2017-2018 home school materials and the Amazon boxes are piling up! Since I'm still new to the school-at-home scene it's taken a bit of time to decide on the resources that are the best fit for our family. I must admit, I'm pretty excited about the items arriving on my doorstep and I thought I would take a few minutes to share these treasures with you! If you aren't homeschooling you may still find some great resources you could use with your family - just give a quick scroll through the pics to see some of our favorites. If you are interested in seeing our Kindergarten picks you can view those here.

*And if you would never homeschool your kids and can't understand why our crazy family would do such a thing, you can read more about our thought process here.

This year Raleigh will be starting Kindergarten and Reagan will enter 1st grade so we'll be doing a few things all together and several grade-appropriate subjects separately. One of the things we plan to do together is our Morning Basket (aka Morning Time). In the homeschool community, Morning Time is basically a basket full of items you rotate through during or after breakfast while everyone is still fresh. The focus is on truth, beauty and virtue. For us that will mean Bible lessons, scripture memorization, music or art appreciation and character development. If you are like me, these subjects are some of the main reasons you have chosen to homeschool but they are also the subjects that can easily get crowded out of the day...I mean, Math and Reading are pretty important too!

The beauty of a Morning Basket is that you are intentionally beginning your day with truth, beauty and virtue and that becomes the launching pad for whatever else the day holds. I've included a picture of our morning basket selections and I will also include links at the bottom of this post. Again, you don't have to homeschool to participate in a Morning Time routine. Many families who have chosen traditional education still have family devotions before heading different directions. And if your family is barely making it to the bus each morning, perhaps this could become a new summer tradition. You don't have to do every item every day so this routine could be as short or long as you desire. (I hope to spend 20-30 minutes snuggled up on the couch enjoying these items together, but in reality, baby sister will determine the length and flow of our time.)

1st Grade Fun!

Reagan is showing an interest in science so we are going to place a special emphasis on that this year. I'm not crazy about experiments so we are going to start by studying science in and through nature. I like the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum because they give ideas for things to study, look for and collect for each week of the year.

We made it about halfway through The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading in Kindergarten so we'll finish that up this year.

Write Through the Bible brilliantly combines hand writing lessons with copy work with vocabulary and spelling and scripture memory! Um...yes.

We've been enjoying Math U See. Reagan already worked through Primer and Alpha so we'll see what Beta has in store.

I also found some really fun art projects from Deep Space Sparkle that include notes about how to teach "art vocabulary" and various techniques. I've already learned a few things! The following picture shows most of our curriculum but the links at the bottom will be more complete. (I'm still awaiting a few packages!)

In addition to our Morning Basket and our grade-appropriate curriculum, we are going to rotate several specials.

Morning Specials:

Bible Study Fellowship (This is amazing - I will probably write a separate post just about this ministry someday. For now, check it out. They offer classes all over the world!)

Ninja Class - basically a tumbling class (but much more manly!)

Nature Walks - Exploring Nature with Children gives ideas for things to explore and gather for every week of the year. I like that this will get us outside for a few minutes in the middle of the morning

Deep Space Sparkle - artwork is created constantly at our house but once a week I plan to teach one of the techniques from this fabulous curriculum.

Science video or project - Mystery Science has some fun online videos and our Astronomy textbook includes occasional projects

Afternoon Specials: (right after quiet time - perhaps while enjoying a snack)

Brave Writer Program - Jot it down looks like a fun introduction to storytelling

Apologia (Astronomy) - This teaching is from a young-earth, biblical perspective and I am excited to learn more about this right along with my boys!

Piano Lessons - once a week (we use Bastien Piano books)

Tea and Poetry! - This is lovely. Even though I have young boys, we are all enjoying pouring apple juice into fancy cups and nibbling snacks while we read a few poems. This is quickly becoming a highlight of our routine. You can read more about this idea here.

We plan to read, read, read. And when baby sister won't let mommy read, we plan to listen to audio books! Some of my favorite places to find quality literature are:

Read Aloud Revival

Honey for a Child's Heart

Read for the Heart

Game-schooling!

Lastly, we are going to play at least one fun/educational game everyday! Cait at www.my-little-poppies.com has some wonderful suggestions about how to start "game-schooling". I've pictured a few of our current favs.

I hope some of these resources will be a help to you as you invest in the lives of your children. We must teach our kids reading and writing and arithmetic, but there is SO MUCH MORE to teach! May God give you wisdom and endurance as you pour truth, beauty and virtue into the heart of your child.

Phil. 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Apologia - Exploring Astronomy

Brave Writer - Jot it Down

Exploring Nature with Children

Math U See

Write Through the Bible

First Language Lessons

Deep Space Sparkle

Q and A a Day Journal

Children's Book of Virtues

Hymns for a Kid's Heart

Character Sketches

I Am - 40 Reasons to Trust God

Come Look with Me

Tea and Poetry

You May Also Enjoy:

Kindergarten - The Things We Loved

2 Simple Routines that Will Change Your Family

Don't Eat the World

#homeschool #morningtime #morningbasket #christiandiscipleship #family #firstgrade

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