Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Because child rearing takes so much thought, especially when home educating.

Two Free Summer Studies: Bugs and Stars

I found a website that is offering two free studies this summer. They will begin next week.

Backyard Bugs

The first is a study on backyard bugs. Go here for a description and to sign up. I think it looks really interesting and wish it’d been available when my bug-loving boys were little. ;)

Stargazing

The second is Summer Stargazing for Families. I actually signed up for this one and intend to “play along”. It’ll be fun to get Michael’s laser out and share this with my family, even though we are all adults now. :) Go here for a description of the “course” and to sign up.

I hope you’ll check these out and have some interesting endeavors this summer!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Revisiting Some OLD Websites with Good Educational Content

I’ve got way too many emails in my inbox! Seriously, thousands and thousands of them. So the other day I was going through and deleting some. But because I’m a packrat, even digitally :D , I couldn’t just blindly delete some things.

I opened some and found some very old links still active. I’ll be sorting through these and deciding what is good to share here and what isn’t. Today I’ve got one that is good, especially for younger children. :)

Learning Treasures is one that I found was still active and still had some working links and cool ideas. There are lots of things to do with younger children and even some for older children. Some links don’t work any longer but there are some good things here. So spend a little time and see what fun you can find.

There are some interesting science ideas as well as some spelling lists and worksheets for grades 1-3. I really liked the parts of the plant salad activity. :) I think the Printables links all work but I haven’t checked every one of them.

One of the links on Learning Treasures site goes to another neat site: Kids Kreate. This one has some nice printables and overall cool things. The homemade stickers made with jello is cool. Most of the links on Kids Kreate are active working links. :)

I hope these are helpful to you. It was interesting to find some active links from emails that were soooo old (2012) :D.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Site Reminder: Homeschool Freebie

Periodically I feel I just have to remind you of the Homeschool Freebie of the Day website. If you are a subscriber, you receive more freebies there. I love their resources. Recent gifts have been the Handbook of Nature Studies.

They haven’t had consistent updates on the website lately but I scrolled back and found some really nice ones. There’s some on music theory and stories of great musicians. There’s also a link for visual processing skills, which I thought was neat. There’s also an exclusive pdf for Kids in the Kitchen.

It really is a treasure trove of resources. I hope you’ll go check them out and find something useful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How to do a Biblical Character Study

I was reading in Acts and came across Barnabus and Paul. I started wondering about him because I’d only ever thought of him as Paul’s “side-kick” so to speak. So I did a quick Bible study on him and I thought I’d share my process with you today, even though it is quite simple. Sometimes the simple things are easily overlooked. ;)

  • Step One:  look up the person’s name in the appropriate Bible concordance (I believe there are different ones for different versions of the Bible). I think there are others but I use the Strong’s Concordance or sometimes I’ll use the referencing system in my Sword Bible. At any rate, look up all the verses with the name of the person you are studying in it. Be sure to read before and after the stated verse to get the context and find any scriptures that use a pronoun to refer to your character.

Be thorough! You never know what small piece of information you may glean.

:D Well, that can be the end or if there isn’t much information, you can move on to other resources and see what Bible scholars and historians have to say about your character of choice. Be sure to read your Bible’s information about the book(s) that have verses containing the person you are studying. My Bible has an introduction to each book of the Bible and sometimes has good information there.

For my study of Barnabus, I found that he was actually the one that brought Paul to the disciples (in Jerusalem, I think) and stood up for him in the very beginning. I found that quite interesting. There were a number of things I found interesting but I’ll share that another time.

As you read each passage for the character chosen, be sure to take notes. I took notes and since I haven’t done this in a while, they weren’t precise enough and now I’ll have to go back and look at it all over again. But that is a good thing because it will give me time to look at the passages again with fresh eyes.

I know this is pretty simple but it really is that easy. Just let the Bible speak for itself and read enough of each passage to be sure you understand all of what is going on in the passage.

I hope this helps you and your children as you study God’s Word. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Using Art to De-Stress for People of All Ages

Art is a great de-stressor. I’m guessing that during a time like this, even children can use some de-stressing. :)

I highly suggest introducing them to Zentangle. Look at most of my Wednesday posts or ones tagged zentangle, to get an idea of what it is.

It is simply a process of drawing simple patterns together. There are some websites that have a collection of these patterns.

  • Pattern Collections This one has skill level groupings of the patterns so that you can start with easier patterns.
  • Tangle Patterns There is a selector on the left side of the webpage, which allows you to select patterns of a certain type among which include hearts, orbs, diamonds, grid based, and a number of other ways.
  • Musterquelle This one is in another country and language but it also includes fragments and reticula, which are fun to play around with.

The basics of drawing a tile are to

  1. take a three and a half inch square paper (but you can use any size you desire)
  2. put a dot in each corner
  3. connect the dots, in straight, curvy, wavy, or even loopy lines
  4. draw a string be it a Z or X or loops or whatever (those sites have some string suggestions as well)
  5. then choose a pattern and fill a section the pattern
  6. add a little shading, either simple or more complex

It really is easy and can be quite fun. I hope you and your children will give it a try.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Subtly Observing for Anxiety, Depression, Pain, and more

I wish I would have known what I know now, when my kids were young. Tiffany has learned in recent years that she fights anxiety and depression and has for many years. Of course, I feel horrible that I was oblivious and that she suffered so much.

I asked her how I can help others. We talked about it a bit and have some ideas for future help but I felt the need to bring this topic up now. I am not a very observant person. I play hidden object games to help me in this area but I’m not sure it is helping. :D Any way, she said what she recommends is just simply observing your child.

Observe your child

Watch them. See how they react under different situations, different times of day, after eating different foods. Even take notes to refer to later. Observe how they act or what they do in social situations, as well as before and after being social. Do certain social situations make them nervous or anxious? Do they get ‘drained’ by being with certain people or all people? Do they need to recharge upon leaving a social situation?  And for girls, as they approach puberty, you will need to observe them over longer periods of time, looking for hormonal cues.

After taking time to really see your child, you can ask questions–kindly, inquisitively–be sure they understand that there are no right or wrong answers and that you really care about them and their answers. Are they in physical pain? Is it more than growing pains? Do they sit in a way that causes pain?

Gently Ask Questions

If your child is old enough, consider having him/her keep a journal, noting their feelings and any physical symptoms. Keeping a food diary can be a good idea. Then ask your child to share it or some of it with you, so that you can better understand them and what they are dealing with, as well as hopefully provide some insights or help in some way.

Noticing trends of behavior can help you help your child.

Please! Take some time (a week or so), pray about and for your child, and really observe him/her. I wish someone had advised me to do this; maybe I could have helped Tiffany deal with anxiety and depression earlier in her life.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ps 103 Songs

I bought this inductive Bible study several years ago when I went to a homeschool convention. It was $10, which I thought was a bit pricey but my sister bought one too so we figured we could each do both of them, so not such a bad price then. :)

The one I got was Psalm 103. I’ve loved this psalm, or at least the first several verses ;) , for a very long time so I thought it would be nice to delve into a study of it.

As I read through the psalm again, I found myself singing an old song with that first verse as its basis. Then I looked at the next lesson and was directed to listen to some other songs with this psalm in it. There was supposed to be a webpage on their website with links to all the ones she listed but alas, the page was no more, nor could I find it on the archive. So, I set out to locate them myself and decided to share it here with you. I hope you find some you like. :)

This first one is THE one I hear in my head when I read verse one. It is the one I grew up with. Bless His Holy Name by Andre Crouch. (Here’s one from Your Living Manna broadcast that included the Crabb Brothers, which is my favorite part of this one. ;) It is unrehearsed/impromptu and includes a few bits of a few other good songs.)

This one is probably my favorite in the whole group--I Won’t Forget by Anthony Evans.

Of course this one is another favorite, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

Clint Ross put this version together with Matt Lavender, which I also like a lot. The study mentioned a good video to put on in the background while doing other things but this one isn’t long enough for that, in my opinion, so maybe she meant this one which has around 30 songs on the playlist.

Here are some more:

Don’t Forget His Love sung by Ellie Holcomb

This one is a bit more folksartsy: Psalm 103 by Sons of Korah

This one is from Brush Arbor. I loved that group back in the 80’s. :)

Here is a men’s glee club singing the arrangement by J.Q.Mulholland. There was another college men’s choral group singing it too.

Although this one is a bit . . . it has the entire chapter included in this rendition and is KJV. It’s not that great but it is all there. ;) They have over 50 of the psalms put to music.

This one has the words and chords to this version by Sovereign Grace.

Here is the same song by Zach Jones on the album Fuse, with lyrics; I have to admit I like this version better than the previous rendition. I really like this one a lot. :)

So that’s it, the list of a dozen plus songs with Psalm 103 in it. I was really surprised to see so many. It makes me want to search youtube for songs for more scriptures now. :)

Until next time, Bless the Lord,

Michele ºÜº

Cool Website and Free eBooks

First I have got to share this website that I found recently. It is DIY Homeschooler. There are good units to study, reading lists,  some guides, and even suggestions for each month. It is a really neat website!

Free on Amazon

I also wanted to share how to find free eBooks. You can go to amazon.com and type free books in their search bar. When the results come up, you want to ensure that it does NOT say Kindle Unlimited because that is a subscription thing. But any that just say $0.00 can be gotten for free, as long as that is the price.

If you don’t have a kindle device (the paperwhite is wonderful) you can download the free kindle app to read the books on whatever device you have, be it laptop, desktop, ipad, or phone.

When you type in “free books” you can also specify for kids or for certain ages. (It will put some suggestions for you to choose from.) There are a good supply of free books classics. These change so be sure you click to buy them while the price is still $0.00 and verify it again before clicking. :)

Free on Libby or Overdrive

Many libraries participate in Overdrive, which lets you borrow digital content in the form of ebooks and audio books. You sign in with your library card. It is really a great free service.

I don’t prefer electronic books but am sure glad to have them available when I cannot get to the library. :) There are other resources available for electronic reading that I’ll share another time.

I hope these resources are helpful to you and give you some good reading material. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Preparing for Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Easter is Coming

Easter is just around the corner. Take some time to study this special time with your children this year. Many kids are home with their parents that are not generally there as much, because the schools have closed for now because of Covid-19. This gives families some extra ‘together’ time in which they can talk about the specialness of this season.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is celebrated this Sunday. Here are the passages that correlate to this time.

  • Matt 21
  • Mark 11
  • Luke 19 (beginning :29)
  • John 12

I recommend keeping it in context, so back up as far as you feel is necessary to keep it straight. Then I recommend just continue reading on throughout the week.

Jesus’ Final Passover

These are the scriptures that include the final days of Jesus’ life. They are not easy to read but so powerful and necessary. The chapters and verses between the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and the final Passover scriptures below happened all in the same week, at least as I understand it.

  • Matt 26
  • Mark 14
  • Luke 22
  • John 13

I had to remind myself that Passover is a week long celebration/observation with both the first and last days being big days. Since I have not observed Passover in the ways the Jews did, I forget this and what all went on during that time. (Maybe another study to be had. ;) )

Jesus’ Arrest, Suffering, and Death

These are the chapters of the account from the night of the arrest through to the death of our Savior. Most of these accounts have the arrest in the same chapter as the last supper but notice that there are five chapters in between the two events in John. Seeing as John was one of the closest to Jesus (along with his brother James and Peter), I think these give some special insight into that time. So many times when verses are mentioned in these chapters of John, it is forgotten when they were spoken.

  • Matt 26 (beginning :47)
  • Mark 14 (beginning :43)
  • Luke 22 (beginning :47)
  • John 18

Resurrection Account

Here are the passages that share the testimonies of the resurrection itself.

  • Matt 28
  • Mark 16
  • Luke 24
  • John 20

I enjoy reading about the interactions with Jesus after His resurrection! This is further proof that He is Alive and Risen from the dead. :)

I hope this breakdown is helpful to you and your children this year. You may need a bit more planning for your Easter baking, so you might check out these past pages too.

Here are my other Easter pages, which include ideas for little ones too.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating our Lord.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Links for P.E., Art, and More While Homeschooling and Any Time

This week I saw this link for The Body Coach who is offering free P.E. videos every weekday. They are about 30 minutes long. I watched just a bit of yesterday’s video. My connection to the internet wasn’t that great, so I didn’t check out the rest.

It is a new series he’s started this week. I’m not sure where he lives but I’m pretty sure it’s not the USA, so watching it live streaming would be difficult but you can always watch the recording.

Free Video P.E. Class on YouTube (click here)

Art

I found this webpage that has her favorite dozen of art channels with descriptions of each. There are channels with short videos around 3 minutes long for those with short attention spans, one teaching how to draw without distracting chitchat, and so much more, including calligraphy with crayons and even how to trick the eye. There really is something here for most everyone and she’s already sifted through and found the top ones. :)

12 Free Art Lesson Channels on YouTube (click here)

Online Resources

Now this one is a little bit questionable, but worth looking into, because it is aimed at people in the UK, so there may be some things that aren’t usable here in the USA. But the links were interesting enough I wanted to share them with you today, in case they may be helpful to you.

10 Online Resources to Check Out

Well, that’s what I have for you today. I hope it is helpful. It’s supposed to be in the 90’s here today, which I am not looking forward to. So I’m going to try to keep cool.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº