I thought it would be fun to record my goals this year, one subject at a time. We'll keep tweaking it as we go, but here is the start.
1. Hide God's word in our heart through bible verse memory
2. Develop habitual family devotions
3. Develop personal quiet time with God for K (as she can read)
Resources to achieve these goals:
ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. We'll work through 3 verses a month, leaving a week each month to review. I love the little devotions that go along with each verse in this book! We'll introduce the verse on Monday with the devotion and memorize it through the week.
Hymns for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada. This book is fabulous and the CD of 12 hymns is included. We plan to learn one hymn each month. The book includes a story about the writer of the hymn as well as a devotion that reflects on the meaning of the hymn. We began in August with, "Holy, Holy, Holy" and have enjoyed starting our day in worship this way. I hope to do a few activities with the hymns as time and creativity allow. There are some great vocabulary words to study and add to our vocabulary list too.
Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. We are using this book at dinnertime for family devotion. Devotions were previously done in bedrooms at bedtime, but our desire is to have the whole family together so we moved the time. These devotions are basically a walk through basic theology with little ones. There is a devotion, scripture reading, a bible verse, questions, song, and prayer. We are reading the devotion, answering the questions and praying together this year. We will probably do them again and add in more in the future. I highly recommend them!
The Young Readers Bible. This is a bible we found at a yard sale a few years ago. I can't say it is my favorite, but it contains 70 bible stories that K (age 5) can read by herself. She reads it each night and often throughout the day. She loves it so this is where we will begin encouraging her to read a bit on her own. I'd love to have her journal a bit regarding her reading, even with just a picture occasionally, but we'll ease into that.
My First Prayer Journal by Karen Hill. My mom bought this journal ages ago and K has finally grown into it. It is probably more appropriate for older children who can read and write with ease, but she enjoys it. We keep it in her bin and occasionally do an activity/prayer in it.
I also bought the Veritas Big Picture Bible Timeline for this year, but have not determined a way to "fit it in" the picture here. We'll probably hold off until we finish our current devotions and perhaps move into something with it while reading the Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos.
This is definitely an area with lots of goals and resources, but this isn't just school for us. Our relationship with God defines our lives and the way we interact with the world. We want to establish a good foundation for our children to help them establish a biblical worldview as they grow.
Speaking of world view, it is also my desire to have my children see beyond their own bubbles. I want them to view God's ENTIRE world as they grow. I want to encourage a mission focus in their hearts so they see service to others as a way of life.
At a homeschool fair, I was delighted to discover an organization called Kids With Purpose. They have created a Family Guide to Monthly mission Activities. I LOVE it. The mission activities include helping at a homeless shelter, supporting the military, supporting local community helpers, working with project literacy, and so much more! (they are listed on the website) Each month includes a family devotion, question/answer time, fact sheets, a scripture verse, as well as ideas for providing practical help to people in need all around us.
For example, Share The Bounty and Thanksgiving, is the title of chapter 11. After a time of devotion and discussion, the family makes a thankful tree together. Also included is a fact sheet about poverty with accompanying websites. The final culminating activity is preparing a holiday box for a family in need at Thanksgiving. The list of what to include is provided as well as suggestions for finding a family in need of such a thing. Also included in the chapter is the basic cost of a Thanksgiving Meal.
I seriously love this guide and highly recommend it. I was only able to share a small flavoring of what is provided in it.
That about sums up our current desires as we follow God's direction for our family.