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The new website is still in progress, so you may see many updates and changes in the near future. All the content and resources you have been enjoying are available on the new site.



Reading Together- Homeschool Preschool Ideas

As I shared in my last post, over the month of March I will be giving you many ideas to get started doing homeschool preschool in your home. The ideas I am giving you this week focus on activities to do with your child while you read aloud together. Consider putting some of these into your calendar. Continue to follow along with me through the month of March for more ideas!

Read 20 Minutes a Day

The children’s reading foundation recommends reading with your child at least 20 minutes per day, ages birth and up. I remember reading with my oldest when she was a newborn. We would lay on the floor together and I would hold the book up and read to her, it was a wonderful way to bond!

The Children's Reading Foundation

Take the Reading Pledge

Use Local Resources

Where we live now we have access to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The Imagination Library sends us 1 book for each registered child ages birth through 5 EVERY month! My children LOVE getting a book every month in the mail. This is a free program, but is not available everywhere. See if your town has access to the imagination library. One thing I love about many (but not all) of the books that come from the imagination library is that they have questions and activities to go with each book on the inside flap, these help us teach our children reading comprehension.

Here are some more reading ideas for you to work on this week:

As You Read:

  • Let your child pick the book off the shelf, if they want to read it over and over again try these ideas:
    • read the same book different ways, one time make all the voices different, one time just look at the pictures, one time talk about the feelings or what everyone is doing
  • Ask your child about the cover of the book
    • have them identify the cover
    • ask them where the author is (read it to them)
    • ask them where the title is (read it to them)
  • Before reading a book, ask your child what they think the book will be about by looking at the cover
  • While reading together, clap the syllables of a few words or pictures
  • Point to a picture in a book, work with your child to come up with rhyming words (remember, nonsensical words are okay)
  • Talk about how the characters in the story feel
  • Relate any activities your child has experienced with the story

Relate To The Story:

  • Do something related to the story
    • After the book Blueberries for Sal, go pick blueberries together, or can blueberries, or make blueberry jam
    • After the book I am Bunny, talk about what season it is, go and do what bunny does in that season
  • Act out the Story
    • After the story, put on a play, acting out what happened in the story
  • Draw a picture of what happened in the story, let your child draw whatever they want, do not direct it
    • after they draw, ask them what character they liked best, have them draw the character
  • Make food relating to the book

Make it Fun:

  • Talk to your child about being their own author, make a book out of paper and have them illustrate a page or 2 each day,  ask them what they drew and narrate the book for them
    • read the story together when it is finished
    • We usually use something like this:

  • Start a chapter book at meal time or bedtime
  • Get some non-fiction books from the library
  • Focus on some books that relate to something your child enjoys (horses, tea, tractors, dogs etc.)
  • Try to find an interactive book at the library
    • One of our favorites:

Getting Your Child READY! for Kindergarten-Homeschool Preschool Ideas

READY! for Kindergarten is a national program through The Children’s Reading Foundation, originating in Washington State we have family members that teach and participate in this program. The thing I love about READY is they focus on ages birth through Kindergarten and give parents tools, resources, and ideas to use in every day life or in a more focused “homeschool” preschool atmosphere. I highly recommend finding a local READY! for Kindergarten program if there is one near you.

One of the recent tools I have from them is a calendar with 2-3 activities per week. Some of these activities are simple things we already do every day, others are new things that focus on a skill my children are learning. What a great way to work home school preschool into your schedule if you have not already! Make a list (or use one of mine) and plug 2-3 activities for the week into your calendar. I love using the reminder function in Google Calendar, it emails me a reminder for the day to prep and incorporate the activity.

Here are some more ideas:

  • Work on learning a song or finger play this week
    • think of a rhyme, song, or poem from your childhood you enjoyed
    • Check out Dr. Becky Bailey’s book I Love You Rituals
  • Have child match up numbers 1-9 with another number set (think of a puzzle, numbering 2 sets of spoons, numbers on a calendar etc.)
  • Roll 1 foam dice and turn another foam dice to match the dots
  • When reading a book ask your child “What will happen next” or “what was the story about” or “what did ____ do in the story”?
  • Sort coins or buttons into piles (start with 2 piles of likeness then do more)
  • Count stairs when walking up or down in your home, library, or community center
  • Name an item and take turns saying rhyming words (nonsensical words count too!)
  • Sing the ABC song while brushing teeth
  • Roll 2 dice, put a bear on top of each dot, ask “which has more? less?”
  • Make a two color pattern with counting bears or buttons (ababab pattern)
  • Find a book of Rhymes at the library, memorize one
    • try acting it out together for fun connecting time
  • Show several objects, take away one while child closes eyes. Ask “What is missing?”
  • Ask child open ended questions while reading “what would you do if”, “How do you think ___ feels”?
  • Talk with child about schedule for the day, at bedtime review what they did
  • At bedtime ask child what their favorite activity was
  • Check out a non-fiction book from the library, learn the meaning of some new words, have your child repeat the words back to you

For more ideas check these out:

Over the next month I will also be posting several ideas each week to try. I have also found that once I get my homeschool preschool supplies established and a schedule going, it becomes easier to come up with my own ideas to help my child grow their skills where they are at.

Happy learning!

Sharing My Story

Your story of how Christ redeemed you and what he is doing in your life is one of the most powerful stories you can share with others. It points to God’s holiness, love, and shows his glory. Your story is your witness of Christ’s power, it is your experience. No one can argue with it. The question is, how many of you know your story? I somewhat knew my story, but I had very little practice sharing it and had never written it out. In one of my leadership roles this last winter our team was challenged to each go through a devotional and follow the guiding questions to know and practice your personal story.

If you have never written out or thought about your story of how Christ has changed you consider reading Mark 5, then answering the following questions. Here are my answers:

When did you first realize your need for Jesus?  I don’t remember the very first time. I know I was somewhere around 5 when I decided to follow Christ, my parents did and I felt like I wanted to as well. As an adult there have been so many times that I realize I need Jesus. Recently I feel like it is often when I am emotional- either with anger, depression, or sadness. I break down, I want to have love, joy, grace, compassion, but I know those things don’t come from me, they only come from God and through Jesus is the only way I can have them. I turn to him in desperation, wanting an instant change, I cry out in my heart for him.

What have you focused on in the past that didn’t fulfill you? How did you discover that Jesus was the only one that can make you whole? My own pride, my own wisdom. I can have the best of intentions, but when I rely on myself so often I screw up and hurt someone or things don’t work out like I planned. I start out thinking “this is a problem”, which it may be, then I go on “this is what I need to do to fix it”, instead I should be turning to God and asking him, “Lord, what do you want me to do about this?”. Continue reading

Living in the World

We live in a world where people have different spiritual views, many have turned away from God. So how do we prepare our children to be a light in the world, to show love, while still keeping a holy life? Here are some thoughts.


I believe that since my job is to prepare my children to be adults in the world, shining a light for Christ, I need to show them how to handle the world. This means I do not “hide” them from the “evils” of this world. However, I also do not throw them into it and say “good luck”. If you have read through many of my articles, I am very intentional about the books we read, people we interact with, shows we watch etc.

What I Do

Identifying Sin

I believe a solid foundation starts with a strong spiritual foundation at home. We talk about sin, what sin is, what people might do that is a sin. We focus on age appropriate sins–sins they may encounter.  Much of this comes up organically, but I don’t hold back when the topic comes up, I say what the truth is, I do not try to make “everyone feel happy”, because sin is sin and the result without Christ is death, this is a SERIOUS matter. Continue reading

Scheduling Your Toddler’s Day

When my daughter was 3, she began asking me “what’s next”, followed by “then what”, and “what’s after that”…? Day after day I began to be worn out by the interrogation. It was understandable that she wanted to know what I had planned for the day, but I didn’t always know myself.

I sat down and wrote out a recurring weekly schedule. This is a picture/paper schedule I hang on the fridge for my little ones. As my children get older and start to have separate schedules I have switched to Google calendar so that I can input several events at the same time. In the summers, we usually go back to the picture/paper schedule.

Make Your Own Schedule

To get started on a schedule for your littlest of people:

  1. Break each day into time chunks. I started by breaking each day of the week into chunks of time, early morning, late morning, lunch, early afternoon, late afternoon, dinner, evening. There are many options on how to break up your time, start simple and pick something that will work for your family.
  2. Plug in your commitments. Remember this schedule is for your toddler/preschooler and yourself. I do not put school pickup and drop off for other siblings on this schedule.
  3. Look at your goals and list out what you want to accomplish. Some things that fall on my list are: bible lesson, homeschool preschool, discipleship night, library, game night, family walk, nature center etc.
  4. Plug your list of activities into your time chunks for the week. I also find pictures to represent each activity since my little ones can’t read. I then print and laminate this schedule for the fridge.

Continue reading

Date Night

With Valentines Day approaching I thought I would talk about how we do date night. We do not actually celebrate Valentines Day, but since most couples do and are now thinking about their marriage, and love and such I figured I would join the crowd.

Personal Failure at Dates

Not too long ago we tried to occasionally “go out” on dates. We were constantly being told by those wiser than us that “going out” and “leaving the house” was important for our marriage. After many attempts at this we felt it was actually draining our marriage. We do not enjoy eating out that much and felt there was not much else to do. We did come up with a few ideas that we enjoyed, like going for a run or walk, seeing a play, skiing or kayaking. However, we usually missed our family and wished we were home.

Date Night.png

Our Date Nights

The date nights that work best for us are simple. They are focused on each other on learning about each other, on quality time, and on growing together. While we do enjoy a good movie or a mystery play, and these shared experiences can give us something to connect and talk about, they are not the experiences where we grow the most. So what do we do? We do what we enjoy. We enjoy exercising, so we do this together, we enjoy playing games, we do this together, we enjoy reading we do this together. Occasionally we choose to make the other spouse happy, sacrificing our wants. My husband would love for me to play billiards with him every night… I like it, but don’t love it. Some nights date night is choosing to do what he wants, we will turn on some music, get snacks, and play a few games of billiards.

There are other nights that are more special, that have more planning, these happen when we have been busy and need to re-connect or when there is a special occasion. This last year for our anniversary my husband put together a dessert of fondue. He got this idea from one of our special memories while we were dating, we were really into fondue. This anniversary night he put together was a special memory and we both loved reconnecting. It cost very little, we did not get a babysitter, instead we had our date after the kids went to bed a little early and the only cost was the food. The atmosphere was a picnic in our backyard, beautiful and serene, quiet and in God’s creation.

Another special date night that my husband planned was not for a special event, but just to connect. During a meteor shower, in winter, my husband layered the ground with a tarp and blankets. After the kids went to bed we laid out under the stars and watched the meteor shower, it was amazing!

What is Important

Re-connecting with your spouse is important, reflecting on your marriage and your goals in marriage and your life goals are important. Sharing your heart, soul, and mind with your spouse, growing with them in the Lord and life are important. I do not find it necessary to leave your home, to spend money, or to do something new or incredible to accomplish this. However, it is important that our children give us space and quiet to connect and to grow our marriage, and they are learning that. Our children go to bed at a reasonable time and on the extra special nights they go to bed a little early, we tell them why, we tell them daddy and mommy need to spend time together.

Valentines day is about re-connecting, about showing your love and commitment to your lover. We believe this should be done frequently, not just on valentines day, and sometimes when it is a surprise instead of a planned or expected day, it is more fun and meaningful.