Hezekiah lesson for kids, or why Hezekiah is a great example for me to follow

I love reading the story of Hezekiah because he’s not a giant of the faith praised all the time like David, and he’s not just a terrible person like you see of King Ahab. He’s not perfect, but it’s more in the way that I’m not perfect.   It’s also why Hezekiah makes a great lesson for kids.


What I learn from Hezekiah

Hezekiah's response to problems is prayer.  What is yours

Hezekiah is great a prayer.  I mean over and over again in the passage it talks about him praying.  But, and here’s where I find hope.  He doesn’t always remember to pray before he acts.  See, I’m rather noted for acting and then praying.  Or not praying at all.  Which, I’m rather ashamed to admit.


On the whole Mary or Martha continuum, I’m much more of the Martha who is going to demand why Mary isn’t helping like she should be.


But, I’m working on it.  I’m working on responding more often to struggles with prayer.  I’m committing to praying for missionaries we support every Tuesday, and almost every Tuesday I make it.  I’m making progress.



Now on to the Hezekiah lesson for kids

Hezekiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem

When Hezekiah became king of Judah, the walls of Jerusalem were weak.  Much like a child’s faith often is, because they are young.  So the kids built some weak walls for Jerusalem.  Superman in particular had fun building some strange structures to make the walls particularly weak.

Hezekiah lesson

He set about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Slowly bit by bit he rebuilt them, and as the kids built up the walls of Jerusalem I had them tell me ways they could build up their faith.

Hezekiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and we rebuild the walls of our faith

It started off with easy answers, “read your Bible,” pray, go to church.  Then as we built more and more walls, they started to go deeper, “serve God by serving others,” “ask questions about what you read in the Bible.”

Hezekiah rebuilt weak walls, what do you need to rebuild

Then we reached the part that Superman had built, and it was hard to let us knock that part down, because he liked what he had built.  I reminded him that sometimes it’s hard for us to let God knock down things we like in our lives but we need to because it can make us stronger.  Then we knocked down those weak walls and built stronger walls.

Hezekiah lesson for kids how are you growing your faith?

Walls that can stand up to life’s pain and troubles.  And there are so many troubles in life.  We just found out yesterday that Tara’s Mom has stage 4 breast cancer.  It’s bringing back painful memories.  But, God is good, all the time as I tell my Sunday School class every Sunday as we start our lesson.


I just need to remember to respond as Hezekiah did, and go to my knees in prayer, and build up those walls.

Hezekiah lesson for elementary kids

Supplies used for our Hezekiah lesson

When I grow up writing assignment

I have to admit I struggled for this month’s Poppins Book Nook idea.  When I grow up is a hard one because my kids’ ideas are all unlikely.  Their current plan is to open a breakfast restaurant together because they are good at cooking breakfast.  Princess will make toast.  Batman will make oatmeal, and Superman will make scrambled eggs.  They are very excited about this.

When I grow up writing assignment

I actually encourage this kind of dreaming because it lets them think through what might happen someday.  Right now we’re reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (affiliate link) and in the book they kids are starting to realize they will have jobs someday.  They start dreaming about magical jobs and all the exciting jobs out there.

That’s one of the things I appreciate about Harry Potter they don’t make growing up appear boring.  You still have adventures and still enjoy life as a grown up.

I had planned to do this activity last week, but as you all saw in our back to school post it was jam-packed.  So potentially I’m going to challenge them to think ahead like Harry, Ron, and Hermione and think of “when I grow up”.

I also think this can be a great start of school activity because it’s fun to see from year to year how your kids’ answers change.  I know a few years ago my boys were convinced they could grow up to be superheroes.

when I grow up printable

Click on picture for your own “When I grow up” printable


 Check out some other When I Grow Up ideas from my fellow co-hosts

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Now link up your When I Grow Up posts to share the fun!

The Sun Unit: hands on projects and an excuse to use chocolate

I figured starting out with a title like that will get your attention, right?  I’m sure you’re wondering how we used chocolate for our sun unit.


I’ll also admit part of why I’m excited by our sun unit is I actually used one of the ideas I linked to in the astronomy ideas for kids post.

{This post contains affiliate links.  For more information read my disclosure page}

Sun unit activity 1: Rotation and Revolution around the sun

This may not be true for your kids, but I’ve found ways to get them excited about learning, and one of those is to say: “all right, now let’s go outside.”  Their curiosity is immediately piqued.

So we headed outside, and I drew a chalk sun on the ground and told them to grab some balls.  Now they were even more interested.  They reappeared about 2 minutes later with a Basketball, Volleyball, and a Soccer Ball.  I drew a chalk circle on the driveway and wrote sun.  Actually I appropriated a chalk circle from an earlier activity, crossed out the number 3 and wrote sun.



Then they got to work revolving around the sun.  First I just had 2 planets and they all revolved around the sun.  Then I added in the moon revolving around earth as the two planets revolved around the sun.


This of course meant there had to be a lot of giggling.  A lot of giggling.


Finally they all had to revolve and rotate at the same time.  That ended with dizzy but happy kids.  Oh, and then they all had to change jobs.  It got very confusing and hectic after a while, but they got the concept down.


Sun unit activity 2: Focus the power of the sun


You want to know the next best way to get your kids excited about learning?  Involve chocolate and fire.  I can guarantee your kids will love the lesson.


Supplies: Jumbo Magnifying Glass for Kids , Hershey Bar (wow Amazon your price is terrible), white dish set (I have to admit I’m linking to this for purely silly reasons, last year my MIL gave me a very nice set of white dishes, which was perfect because we’d just broken ANOTHER plate so we didn’t have enough for us to eat on as a family)


Each kid had their own chocolate bar, which I broke in half, because I knew the kids would like to have some unmelted chocolate to eat, but we did this experiment on a plate so they could still eat the chocolate afterwards.  That and I didn’t want ants swarming my driveway to eat the mess.

I pretend to have standards of cleanliness.


I showed the kids how to focus the sunlight with the magnifying glass and how if you held it at different heights and different angles you got different sizes of circles.  The smaller the circle the more focused the sunlight.  We all noticed that looking at the super small focused sunlight reflecting off our sidewalk was rather painful.

Then we set about melting and making the chocolate smoke.  Which the kids all thought was impressive Mommy, but please, let’s not ruin the chocolate for eating.  I don’t want to eat burned chocolate.

Or, that’s how I’m interpreting the cries of dismay at the scorch marks.

using a magnifying glass to show the power of the sun as part of our sun unit

They liked it much better when I showed them the power of the sun by burning a hole in a leaf.  For about five seconds.  “Mommy, there’s chocolate to eat, and my feet are burning on the hot sidewalk.”


All right, then we’ll move on to:


Sun unit activity 3: Art project


I’ve had this sun craft pinned forever for this year, and now we finally completed it, in some ways I think hers turned out better, but we enjoyed ours, so I’m not complaining.


Supplies: Crayola Washable Kids Paint (though I will admit I buy mine in giant paint bottles like this: 12 pints Crayola WashableTempera Paint , I really like the Crayola tempara paint), Ziploc Double Zipper Gallon Bags , and Card Stock

Sun unit make a sun craft


  1. Put random blobs on your circle of card stock (on the actual link she has a better plan)
  2. Seal your paint blobbed cardstock into the ziploc bag.  Promptly have your daughter fail to listen to directions and take it out of the bag.  Suppress a sigh, and tell her to put it back in and seal it.
  3. Smash the paint all over, this is really really fun.
  4. Decide you don’t quite like how it looks and add random extra paint.
  5. Glue your sun to a piece of black construction paper.
  6. Use some leftover paint from the bag or that you’ve blobbed on again to add some solar flares.
  7. Step back and enjoy your sun craft.

oh the drama

Oh and a certain little drama queen had to get this pose taken.  She’s meant for acting classes, isn’t she?

Sun unit activity 4: demonstrate a solar eclipse


Oh, wait there was one last activity in our sun unit.  We learned about an eclipse and HAD to, I say HAD TO simulate a solar eclipse. [I may be writing on too much caffeine and sugar right now]


Supplies we used: Inflatable 12In Globe (I got as a freebie from Great Homeschool Conventions) Tennis Ball (we found in the woods on a walk), and a Mini LED Flashlight (I would not use a mini flashlight if you duplicate this, it’s not quite strong enough to truly demonstrate)

sun unit demonstrating how an eclipse happens



However that mini-flashlight does make it convenient for taking pictures… That and our new black puppet theater for a backdrop.


When you shine the light on the globe it does a great job of displaying how half the world, or in our case with the weak flashlight, one third of the world is lit up by day, and the rest is in night.  Then our tennis ball moon got to rotate around the earth, and finally we maneuveredfor quite a while for the moon to block the sun and create an eclipse.  Of course the moon was huge in comparison to our earth, so rather than showing an eclipse covering a small part of the earth at a time, it covered continents.  Whole continents.  It was rather impressive.


end of Sun unit test

And as a complete and total end to our sun unit they took a test.  I’m slowly accustoming the kids to taking tests by making them rather low key for now (especially since Princess freaks out when she doesn’t get everything right).  The tests are open notes, so if they’ve written it down they can use it.  They also know the contents of the test because it’s in their notebook, so they could cheat, but they haven’t figured out to try and do that yet……

I’m sure someday they will give in to that temptation.


Now, what have you done this week?  After anatomy last year astronomy is seeming downright easy, so we’ve completed 2 weeks of materials in 1 week.  It’s rather refreshing change to our taking almost 3 weeks a chapter to complete.

Back in the groove of homeschooling

This past week we dived back into our homeschool schedule.  None of that sissy easing this for us this year, no we leaped back in because we’re taking next week off because Tara is visiting and staying here.

I don’t expect we will get much done during that time.

First week happy memories

I’m sneaking in some pictures from last week, because I have to admit these pictures make me happy.  Especially that picture of Jeff holding Princess after the movie.

The others are all rather typical of our week, lots of silliness, including a ghost costume made out of a trash bag.


School business

I had grand plans to give you a blow by blow of our week, but Superman is sick and wants to cuddle, and I kind of think that’s a bit more important than writing a detailed report.  So, here’s the list of what we’ve accomplished! (a lot of these are affiliate links)

  • We achieved everything on our Illuminations schedule for week 1!  And part of week 2!
  • We started our earth science and the kids loved the game we played.
  • Batman is loving his Chinese class.
  • We had 2 playdates, a going away party for friends, sleepover, AND a mini-waterpark swim day with my Mom.
  • We learned all about the sun, and if the weather is good today, we’ll be melting chocolate with a magnifying glass (and if Superman isn’t THAT sick).
  • We finished TWO weeks of Mystery of History 2!
  • We reviewed all of the Old Testament history as it leads to Christ
  • We learned about Jonah
  • We reviewed last year’s math.
  • The kids all worked on reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4).

I’m linking over to:

Typekids: online typing course for kids

Let me tell you a story.  About a year ago I set out to find a touch typing course for my kids.  I had several people recommend a FREE online typing course to me.  I was immensely excited, I liked free.  So I happily set out to use this free typing course.

Only to have my kids constantly accidentally clicking on flashing ads, and being redirected elsewhere.  Then to make matters worse I got so many viruses and Trojan horse programs I had to spend about 4 hours getting rid of all that junk.

By the end of those 4 hours I was on the verge of crying, strongly considering throwing my laptop, and had vowed never to touch a free online typing course again.

TypeKids painfree typing classes

So I started looking at touch typing courses for kids on Amazon.


And I ran into more problems.  Every program I saw had rather iffy reviews.  So I started asking around “What are you using for a typing course for your kids?”  And I got various answers, but I didn’t get any great answers.


{ Disclosure: I received a copy of Typekids for free and was compensated for my time trying this out}

High interest engaging graphics from Typekids


Enter Typekids: online typing course for kids

I keep emphasizing typing course for kids, because I know my kids will not tolerate the same type of typing course I learned on.

I learned back when the course was just the letters appearing on the screen and when you messed up the letter you typed wrong changed to bright red.  That’s not going to cut it.

My kids need bright colors, an engaging lesson, and fun.

And that’s what Typekids has done.


It’s got games, it’s got a nice engaging screen, AND it’s educational.


Princess is enjoying her typing lessons and happily sits there typing away, and occasionally I catch her brothers trying to sneak in and see what she’s up to, and if they can play too.  It’s really rather cool to see.


Let me tell you about the benefits of Typekids:

Typekids online typing course progress report

  1. It’s not just games.  My daughter has to actually practice typing and earns the games by completing activities.  This is good because other “educational” programs are more games with a bit of education.
  2. I get progress reports every time she finishes a unit.  As you can see Princess is moving slowly along, and is okay, but not great yet in her typing.
  3. It’s personalized, so I’ve seen her doing a lot of lessons going over the letters up there.  This is not coming easily to her, so she is doing a lot of repeat work on it.


Those last two are the big things for me.  They make for a great combination because I can know how she’s doing without literally sitting over her and watching her type, and I know she’s getting all the practice she needs in her typing.

Typekids typing course

 Find out more about Typekids

If you’re ready to learn more and have been looking for a typing program like I was, then check out the Typekids course website.  Wander around there and check out the intro video and the sample lessons (you can do 3 lessons for free).

How the Old Testament points to Jesus

This Sunday we are reaching the new school year.  Last week we celebrated and promoted all of the 4th graders up into the youth group (5/6 grade class), and this coming week we will be reviewing what happened so far for our class and the new incoming 3rd graders.

How the Old Testament points to Jesus

As we review for everyone, we’ll be talking about how the Old Testament points to Jesus.


How the Old Testament points to Jesus



It all starts with Adam.  God created Adam perfect without sin, just as Jesus is without sin, but Adam sinned, and because of that through him sin entered the world.

But God had a plan right from the very beginning.  God tells Adam and Eve someday their great-great-great-great…. grandson will save the world from sin.  He will crush the snake, and death will be conquered.  But there is much pain to come in the meantime.

Abel showed us Jesus because he died blameless for someone else’s sin, just as Jesus died blameless for our sins.  But Abel’s death cannot save us.



Through one man, Noah, mankind was saved from sin, just as through one man, Jesus all the world was saved from sin.


God sent Abraham away from a loving father into a dark world to act as a light to the rest of the world.  God sent Jesus to act as a light to a dark and sinful world to show them the way back to God.

Isaac was a willing sacrifice on that altar, fully believing his father that all would be well.  Jesus was a willing sacrifice for us on the cross, knowing His death paid the price once and for all for our sins.

Jacob shows us how far God will go to pursue a lost sheep.  Just like the story of the prodigal son, Jacob was brought home to God.

Because of the sins of his brothers Joseph was handed over into slavery, but because of their actions Joseph was able to save his family in Egypt.  Jesus was handed over to death by lies and half truths, but because of his death and resurrection we are saved from sin.


Moses was called out of 40 years of wilderness to lead his people to freedom from slavery to Egypt.  Jesus was called out of 40 days of wilderness to lead his people into freedom from slavery to sin.

The 10 Commandments point us to a loving and holy God.  You need both sides to truly understand God.  A holy God would instantly punish you for any sin, and the punishment is death.  A loving God would not be able to correct you because they would not want to hurt you then.  But a holy and loving God offers correction and support to bring you back to friendship and trust.

Ruth and Judges point to Jesus because all of the Old Testament points to Jesus

Ruth was rescued from poverty by her bridegroom Boaz.  The church was rescued from their poverty of sin by its bridegroom Jesus.

Samson shows the folly of trying to do it all yourself.  We can do many of the right things, but without the light of the world we cannot truly follow God.

The Old Testament history points to Jesus

Saul looked like the perfect king.  He was handsome, he was tall, he was strong, but he did not follow God and ultimately was a weak king because of it.  Jesus did not look like a king, he was common, he was a carpenter, but he is the True King.

David showed us a true king.  He ran hard after God, and loved God with all his heart.  David pointed his people to God.  But David was a man and he sinned, because no man can live a perfect life.  Jesus was both man and God and lived a perfect life.  Jesus is the perfect king of all.

Solomon shows us the folly of a church not daily relying on God.  He followed God for a while, but his house was built on his own wisdom, not God’s and at the end of his reign it was washed away.


History and Prophecy in the Old Testament point to Jesus

All the kings of Northern Israel show us what life without God is like.  It’s painful, there are lies, murder, blasphemy, and more hurt.  In the end a world without God falls, and the kingdom of Israel fell.

Hezekiah became king after many who had not followed God.  He wanted to bring Israel back to God, and did.  Jesus wanted to bring Israel back to God, and there were many Pharisees telling him it could not be done.  But ultimately Jesus brought the world to God.

Jonah ran from God, which Jesus never did, but then Jonah sat in the belly of a big fish for 3 days, and preached the words of redemption just like Jesus.  Jesus was dead and in a grave for 3 days, and resurrected to preach the words of life to the world.

Isaiah was given a vision of heaven and what Jesus will come to do.  He tells of Jesus birth, and his eventual death and resurrection.

God called Hosea to love and marry a woman who did not love him, he stayed a faithful bridegroom, though his bride was not faithful.  Jesus too has married a faithless wife, the church.  Though we wander far from His love at times, Jesus will always stay faithful.

All of history hinges on Jesus

Josiah became king as a young boy.  He followed God from a young age, just as Jesus showed us in Luke that He followed hard after God from a young age.

In Daniel we see Jesus ruling and triumphant.  We do not see Jesus the sacrificial lamb, we see Jesus coming at the end to punish and to reward.  He rules eternal and forever.

Jeremiah the weeping prophet shows us a Jesus who cries for the world’s sins.  Jeremiah cries for the fate of Jerusalem, a city he loves and knows will be destroyed.  Jesus hundreds of years later cries for Jerusalem as He looks at a city caught in sin and bound for judgment if they do not repent.

Ezekiel gave us Jesus’ favorite title, the Son of Man.  Over and over God calls Ezekiel “Son of Man,” and Jesus called himself “Son of Man.”

Through one woman her people were saved.  Through one man the world was saved.

Through one woman her people were saved.  Esther was chosen to be queen in a foreign land.  Her people were about to be killed, but she stepped forward and risked herself to save her people.  Through her actions her people were saved.  Jesus came to this world and through his death on the cross all can be saved.


And someday he will return to rule and reign forever

But, the Bible doesn’t end with Jesus birth, death, and resurrection.  There’s instruction for how to live now, and a promise.

Jesus promises someday HE will return and set all things right.  Will you be ready when that happens?

How does the Old Testament point to Jesus printable

***all links lead to the appropriate lesson if we’ve covered it.


And that’s my last Bible lesson for this week, next week I might try to get 2 lessons done also, we’ll see……..  I’d like to get a little further ahead so I’m not in panic mode trying to get lessons up to share.  That’s my dream.  I can dream.

Jonah and the Whale

Or as it’s more accurately described, Jonah and the Big Fish.

Jonah and the whale

But, I always liked the idea of it being a whale, so I’m going to say Jonah and the whale.


Two views of Jonah and the Whale

So back when the boys were infants Jeff and I took a “How to study the Bible class,” and one of the first books we studied was Jonah.  Well Jeff and I studied and studied the book and discussed it and we came to the conclusion Jonah is a great book to study for parenting.

  1. God the Father gives instructions and expects them to be obeyed.  Jonah disobeys.  Just like happens to us parents.
  2. God the Father sends trouble (the storm) to get Jonah’s attention.  Jonah recognizes it, but at first still tries to hide.  Sometimes we as parents let our children do something we know is the wrong decision to let them learn from their mistakes.
  3. Jonah repents and changes his mind.  God provides a rescue for him.  Our kids recognize their mistakes and we help them make it right.
  4. Jonah spends 3 days in the belly of the whale.  Sometimes even being sorry is not enough your kids still need a time out.
  5. Jonah shows his changed heart with his actions and preaches to Nineveh.  Our kids show their changed hearts by asking forgiveness or other actions.
  6. Jonah messes up again and throws a fit because God is merciful.  Our kids mess up again and throw a fit because they don’t like our actions.
  7. God reminds Jonah of his love for all of His children.  We remind our children of our love for not just our children and why we must correct them.

It’s a great parallel, but ultimately that’s not what the book is about.

Jonah is about God pursuing a wayward child to bring him back into grace.

And that’s a much more powerful story.

Oh, and Jonah is one of the Christological figures you see in the Old Testament that points to Jesus coming.

{This post contains affiliate links.  For more information read my disclosure page}

Jonah and the Whale craft

Supplies: empty cardboard milk carton (I asked my local elementary school for a few), Construction Paper, wiggle eyes, Washable Kids Paint

making our Jonah craft

I made my own version so I could have photo instructions for ya’ll (which are in the Jonah book), but the kids just went at it.  It was fun to hear them say what their fish were going to be.  Princess decided her was a dolphin, and it had lots of glitter on it.  Superman decided on a whale shark, and Batman made a manta ray.  Of course both of the boys’ whales ultimately turned out to be giant monsters.

Jonah and the whale versions

But, it made them all happy, so I’m not going to complain in the least.

Jonah and the whale milk carton craft

Of course this was how I thought it was going to turn out.  I should have realized my kids never follow directions.  As a side note, our cartons were spray-painted from when my Sunday School class did this craft 2 years ago, and I had some leftovers.  Spray paint seems to stay on the best of all of the paints.

And if you’d like a different Jonah and the whale craft, if you don’t want to try and collect large numbers of milk cartons for your Sunday School class, then try out the paper plate Jonah and the whale craft I made for our VBS this past summer.

Jonah preschool craft with paper plate and tissue paper printable on the blog

It was quite fun to see a bunch of 2 year olds putting tissue paper all over.  Of course theirs looked even less like the sample than my kids.  But, boy were those kids happy to see it.

Jonah and the Whale resources

Jonah and the Whale crafts discussion questions and story


And don’t forget this week only is the Omnibus, some important things to know if you’re thinking about getting it:


Getting ready for a new homeschool year

All of us homeschool Moms are getting into our version of nesting.  We are checking our last minute curriculum.  We’re cleaning out the dried up markers and broken crayons.  We’re making sure we have enough pencils, where do they go?

Preparing for a new homeschool year

And printing, don’t forget the printing.  So much printing.

I’m trying something new this year.

Want to know what it is?

{This post contains affiliate links.  For more information read my disclosure page}

Individual schedules with Illuminations scheduling

I’m making each of my kids their own schedule with Illuminations.  I hope to teach the kids how to track what they should have done each day.

Confession: I’m also hoping that with 4 copies of the schedule printed I can go a week without losing the schedule.

I spent way too much time putting my subjects in order for Illuminations

However, I just spent 20 minutes rearranging the subject order on my compute screen.  Why?  Because I can.  I’d get it all planned out, and then decide I didn’t like the order, OR I’d remember a subject one kid has that another doesn’t.


That’s right my kids also now have different classes they’re taking.  Batman has Chinese class.  Princess is potentially taking a weekly dance class.  Superman doesn’t know what he wants to do on his own, but he wants something special.  Preferably on the computer.

But, it’s getting harder to keep track of.  And, I’m not organized.  One look at my desk right now would prove it.  I’d show the pictures, but really.  It’s horrid.


So, I’m struggling to get control in small ways.  This weekend, it’s putting together our history notebook for the year.

My best friend the printer scanner

Last year found me standing here at the last minute an awful lot.  I’d suddenly remember there was a great map for the lesson.  Or, I’d printed off a lapbook page and had lost one piece.


This year I planned ahead, check this out.

Creating a history notebook

I went through all of Wondermaps for the middle ages, and printed out every map I thought we might use.  Not all of them, but a fair number.

Then I went through the notebooking pages for The Mystery of History 2  and printed micro versions of the pages to look at them all together.  I checked off which pages to pick on my printout, and did the same with the lapbook from the Super Supplemental Collection.

I had one more thing to print out.  I printed out ALL of the quizzes and tests.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I printed out the ones I liked, and left out all of the pre-tests.  I’d already killed a couple of trees with all of this printing.

Finally I spent hours sorting it all.  At first I watched TV and it was 2 neat little piles.  Then, I moved to the dining room table.

You know, the big huge table that seats 10 people. THAT table.

And I spread out.  I had piles of paper all over as I sorted.

Finally I needed the Table of Contents on MOH2 because it was THAT much stuff.  But I didn’t have the hands to hold the book open and sort the pages I needed, so…

preparing for Mystery of History 2

I grabbed the stoneware pitcher from our wedding china to hold it open.  I figured it’d be heavy enough to do that.

Slowly, very slowly, there were several interruptions.  My book was put together.

And as I finish typing this post, the last few pages are printing.

Confession: I’m only printing up the first several weeks on my printer, and I’m going to finish the printing tomorrow night at the copy shop to save my printer.


Confession 2:  I’m also saving my printer ink for the paper planners I want to print from the Omnibus.  Because there are some things that DEMAND a paper planner.

I think this year is my most prepared year of all.  We’ll see if I’m right…………


PS: Expect several Bible posts this week because I want to bank several for my Sunday School class parents to be able to refer to, right now I’m running a week behind where they are, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll get Jonah up, and then go from there.  Fingers crossed, and hopefully I’m organized.  I’m very very hopeful.

Earth Science activities for kids

So funny story.  I promised Batman 2 years ago that we would study astronomy this year because the year before that I’d promised Superman we’d study anatomy.  Then I saw Susan doing all of these great earth science activities using Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space (affiliate link).

And I really wanted to do CKE Earth and Space.  But, I’d promised Batman astronomy.  I looked at it, and I knew there was no way I could convince him enough of that was space for what he wanted.  This is the boy who’s asked for a telescope for Christmas.

So, I cheated, and we’re doing both.  They don’t know it yet, they’ll find out tomorrow when we have our “first day of school.”

All that to say, here’s our earth science activities:

hands on earth science activiteis for kids


As before, these are arranged in order by chapter for CKE Earth and Space.

(Side note, one of the things I’m really liking about the look of CKE is how it’s laid out and there are just so many activities perfect for my kids)

Getting Started Earth Science Activities

Layers of Earth paper model

Playdough layers of the earth model AND Montessori 3 part cards

Earth revolving around the sun

Landform flipbook

textured landforms


The Lithosphere Earth Science activities

Making super edible rocks

Caves unit

Volcano demonstration (no baking soda and vinegar, I love this variation)

Types of Fossils

Volcano unit (I love all the ways she explored this concept with the kids)

Rock collecting and identifying FREE PRINTABLE

Plate tectonics

One last one: the crayon rock cycle

I have a bunch more on my earth science pinterest board, so make sure you check that out.

Earth science for kids

The Hydrosphere Earth Science activities

Erosion experiment (you will need the page translated)

River beds experiment

Ocean currents

water cycle unit

water unit study

groundwater experiment


The Atmosphere unit

At what temperature does air move faster?

Atmosphere unit study

Okay, I’m gonna admit that a lot of the things I have pinned walk the line between atmosphere and weather, but lean more towards weather……


Earth’s Weather activities

Cloud categorizer

Cloud in a bottle

Make an anemometer

Make it rain in a cup

Storm chasers thunderstorm video (I include this because I think this video is amazing)


Beyond Earth (Space) activities


And for space ideas head over to my Astronomy ideas for kids post.


***Image by DonkeyHotey by permission, text and overlays have been added



Science Sunday

<div align="center"><a href="http://adventuresinmommydom.org/category/science-sunday/" title="Science Sunday"><img src="http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g344/Ticia1/AiMScienceSundaycopy.jpg" alt="Science Sunday" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now link up your SCIENCE posts, new and old, and then visit some of the other posts linked up and say hi. I’m going to be pinning, commenting, FBing or tweeting all of the posts linked up as the week goes by. At the end of the month I’m going to feature the best posts linked up.

Make sure to include a link back to my blog so people can come back from your post to see what others have done.  By linking you are agreeing I can feature your posts in a round up post later (I may use a picture to feature, but will link back).

Why go on a family mission trip?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to best share this.  Because there was a lot to process and a lot happened in a week.  And some of the things would probably sound horrible if you weren’t there.  But it was an amazing week.

practice for family mission trip

First we practiced and trained for our trip.  All told it was probably about 6-8 hours of training and practice, 4 hours was the kids practicing their skits for the VBS.  It was quite impressive.


family mission trip

Then we traveled for what is supposed to be 14 hours to get to the reservation.  But 46 people traveling in 15 passenger vans adds a lot of extra time, especially when 26 of them are kids 10 and under.  Just to make that clear, let me repeat it: Over half of our group was under 10, and most of those were in the 5-7 range.  My boys were among the older kids.

That meant a lot of unscheduled bathroom breaks.


What did we do on our family mission trip?

family mission trip construction work

Construction work.  The men put siding up on the missionary’s house, and rebuilt parts of several other homes.  I think all told they: put up siding, rebuilt a door, put up more siding, and carried a lot of heavy equipment.

There was also a team of kid construction workers.  The first day they built a giant hill of dirt so the men could put siding up.  They painted houses because the houses always need repainting because of the climate and how they heat their homes.  They cleaned, it’s a land of dirt, so it always needs cleaning.

One thing when you have kids doing the work, there’s only so much they can do.  So the house is only painted to about 6 feet high, because that’s as tall as we could reach without a ladder.

Family mission trip serving God by making blankets

We made blankets for the kids.  The Navajo kids go to a dormitory for school.  Many arrive there with no blankets and very few clothes, so they rely on donations for the kids to have blankets.  We made 26 blankets over 3 days.  It’s just the simple fleece knotted blankets, but when you have 5-7 year olds making the blankets, that’s a pretty impressive amount of work.

After working on those blankets for a few hours your fingers feel old and gnarled, and you don’t think you can straighten them out.

Family mission trip to help others

We loaded and unloaded massive amounts of food.  The church receives donations from various different stores, at least part of it is food the stores couldn’t sell.  The week we were there we saw over 20,000 pounds of food come in. 20,000 pounds of food was then given away to whoever needed it.

family mission trip doing VBS together

We hosted a VBS, about 20 or so kids came and had a meal, made crafts, played games, and heard the gospel.

The kids did all of the skits, it was quite fun to see these young kids memorize a lot of lines, and act it out.  We had quite a few hams in that group.


Three days of skits, sadly I only have a good video of day 1.  Day 2 one of the kids had stage fright and ran off the stage, so I had to take her part.  Day 3, I was holding the mike for kids, and so I couldn’t record it.  Instead one of the kids tried to record it, which was……  interesting.

family mission trip making others feel special

On Tuesday night our ladies treated their ladies to a manicure and pedicure.  Actually I hid in the back and helped boil water for cleaning their feet and hands, because I can’t paint nails for anything.  It was amazing to see the happiness this simple act gave them.  It also brought home for the kids the part of the Last Supper where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.  Their feet looked a little like the disciples might have looked because it’s so dusty.

It just tickled the missionaries so much to see all these older woman who hadn’t had this very often get manicures and pedicures.  The older men even got in on the deal with some foot soaks in hot water.

What we learned from our family mission trip

family mission trip learn about the culture

We learned not everyone in the United States has it easy like we do.  We have a nice air conditioned house.  We have hot and cold running water.  We have indoor plumbing.  We have electricty.

Many in the reservation do not have electricity yet.

They go to the pump for water, and it’s not even potable.  They use it for bathing.  That means, they don’t have control of the temperature.

Many use generators to get electricity.  That means constant runs to the city to get the gas needed.

Most do not have heating.  They come to the coal seam and dig out coal.  By the end of winter their walls are covered in soot and need to be painted again.  A few years ago the church had several hundred Franklin Stoves donated to them, they were able to distribute them to families who needed them.

Many of them struggle to read and do basic math, despite going to school for years.  But they know how to operate most new electronic devices.

Many of the men there suffer from alcoholism.  We could not leave hand sanitizer out because the men might steal it and drink it.

It’s a sad thing to see.

But, it’s also a land of great beauty.


You see the rock formations and the storm over the desert and you can’t help but think of how amazing God is.


You see your daughter making friends with two Navajo girls as if they’ve known each other all their life.


You make memories as you do silly things with new found friends.


And you see how God can change you in just 1 week.

That is why you go on a family mission trip.

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