Tuesday, September 20, 2016

LDS Baptism Study Journal

I'm here with an announcement today: New in the shop!  LDS Baptism Study Journal!

I am so excited to offer you this baptism study journal.  I put this together with my 7 year old son in mind. I wanted to help him understand the covenants he'll be making in just a few short months.  I'm sure I'm not the only parent who would like their child to have a deeper understanding, so I spent many hours studying and preparing and praying and putting this journal together in the hopes that it would benefit more than just our family.

Here's a more detailed description of the journal:

LDS Baptism Study Journal from A Lively Hope.

This 32 page study journal is designed to help your child prepare for and understand their Baptism Covenants.

This journal is for parents and children to work through together. It covers baptism and confirmation topics in depth and may be too involved for a child preparing for baptism to do on his or her own.  I hope it is a good jumping-off point to discussions about baptism and the blessing and responsibilities of becoming a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It includes:
- lots of journaling questions
- pages to help your child better grasp the concept, symbols and purposes of baptism
- in-depth studies of several baptism stories from the scriptures (Noah, Christ, Alma, Joseph Smith)
- questions to help children understand confirmation and the Holy Ghost
- places to draw and doodle
- questions and activities to help you internalize the scriptures and strengthen your testimony
- pages for your child to record his or her testimony and thoughts on their baptism day
- pages for baptism guests to sign their names and additional pages for cards and/or photos

This book is designed to serve as a place to record your study of baptism and confirmation, as well as be a keepsake when it is complete.  As you progress through the activities, I know that your testimony will be strengthened and you will grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

This book is also designed to be fun!  Feel free to add lots of color and make this journal your own.
Download the journal from my Etsy shop.

**You may print this as many times as you would like for personal, family and classroom use.  Please share printed copies, not the digital version.  Thank you!**

This is an instant digital download file. As soon as your payment is complete you will receive an email from Etsy to notify you that the file is ready for download. Due to the nature of digital sales, all sales are final.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our Medieval History Reading List

At long last, our list of history read alouds for the year is complete!  I spent the summer researching and carefully selecting the books we'll read in Morning Time this year, using several book lists and other resources.  I checked to see if our little library had each book, and ordered the books that were not available there.

Much of our school time each day is spent reading.  We don't use text books, but "living books". Books written by authors who love the topic at hand and who share their enthusiasm for the topic or person they are writing about.  Living books make up the majority of our curriculum.

This year we have a list of 92 books relating to Medieval History that we'll be working our way through.  Many of these books are picture books and take only one sitting to read through.  But some are longer and will obviously take us longer to read.

We spend about 15-20 minutes reading from our History list every morning during Morning Time. As far as tracking goes, I keep a checklist of these books in my morning time binder and cross it off after we've read it.  The kids will often draw pictures or write a little bit about what we've read, but I don't necessarily enforce that every time we read. My main goal is exposure.  I want to get these stories into their minds and inspire them with the incredible stories of both fictional and real-life heroes and heroines.

Our Medieval History Reading List

The last snake in Ireland : a story about St. Patrick
Patrick : patron saint of Ireland
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
The Legend of Saint Nicholas
More saints : Lives and Illuminations
Ali, Child of the Desert
Muslim child : Understanding Islam Through Stories and Poems
Ten Kings : and the Worlds they Ruled
East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
You Wouldn't Want to be Joan of Arc! : a Mission You Might Want to Miss

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

2016-2017 Homeschool Plans

A new baby will be joining our family at any moment. In fact, for a few hours today I thought she might be on her way already.  But contractions have stopped for now, and I'm hoping she'll hang on for one more week.  The next few days are pretty full, but after that we're wide open and ready to be in full-on Newborn Mode.  I'm crossing my fingers that the little one will adhere to my timeline. :)

Because of that pending major life change, our homeschool plans are very simple this year.  No big hairy projects or intense outside classes on our docket.  Only Ellie will be attending our beloved co-op, while I stay home with the younger three.  As I've been researching and planning over the summer, I realized that one thing will remain the same: lots and lots of reading.  I've created an extensive list of read-alouds for both our history curriculum (this year we're studying the middle ages) and our science curriculum.  The majority of these books are picture books that can be finished in one sitting.

Our homeschool days are divided into two parts: Morning Time and Independent work.  

Morning Time Subjects:

Memory Work: We rotate in new memory work during each 6 week term.  I pick a hymn, a poem for each child (and myself) to memorize, a passage of scripture, and we are currently working on helping Ethan memorize the Articles of Faith.  We go through each of those things every morning, which generally takes 10 minutes or so. We also review one item from the previous terms each day (so we'll sing one hymn or recite one scripture or poem in addition to our current work).

History: Every day I read aloud from one of the books on our history reading list for the year. This year is all about Medieval History. (full list coming soon.  I'll link here when it's ready).

Map Work: We're working our way through this amazing series.  This year we'll do Asia, Europe, and Africa.  We'll just cycle through the books as many times as we can during the year.  We've already worked through the first Asia volume once this year and will move onto volume two next week. The big kids take turns using the book and drawing their maps while I read our history book for the day.

Loop Topics: We rotate through these topics on a loop schedule, meaning that we rotate through each subject in order but don't have assigned days of the week for the topics.  That way if we have a really busy/hectic/grumpy day, there is no guilt about skipping one of these subjects, but if our day is more relaxed we can get to multiple lessons at once.  

This year we're looping the following:

Science: Exploring Nature with Children  (I'll link to our science read-aloud list here when it's ready), Fine Art: SQUILT Music Appreciation, Drawing with Children, and Gift-Making.  We'll work our way through each curriculum until it's complete.  We're currently using SQUILT, and will finish it in its entirety before we move on to Drawing.  During our late November-December term we'll focus on crafts and making gifts for neighbors, family and each other.

Independent Work:

While we don't really pay much attention to grade levels, I'll include them here so you have a general idea of what age/ability level our kids fall into.

6th Grade

Math: Teaching Textbooks
Language Arts:  
    20 minutes assigned reading daily (books that Mama chooses)
    One Year Adventure Novel through our homeschool co-op
One day per week at co-op
Swim Team
One-on-One Read Aloud with a parent each evening

2nd Grade

Math: Mathseeds
Language Arts: 
     15 minutes read-aloud to Mom (he chooses the books from a collection I've put together)
   Ethan and I do a "project" together every day.  This boy requires uninterrupted time with parents on   a regular basis so we try to make that happen with each parent daily. He and I usually to a simple         art/craft project or a science experiment and he usually plays frisbee or practices soccer with Jason.
Soccer and Jump Rope 
One-on-One Read Aloud with a parent each evening

2 Year Old

" 'Lijah School" consists of lots and lots of books and some creative time every day.  Building with Legos, painting, "helping" in the kitchen, preschool-type games and crafts, etc. Basically anything we can do to keep him from destroying the house.

This list looks more intense than it actually is.  We generally spend about 2 hours per day on school.  One hour for morning time and one hour for independent time.  For the first few weeks after Baby arrives, we'll probably scale back even more.  But this simple, living-books based curriculum is flexible and easy to complete each day. I am hopeful that our school time will go smoothly despite the major changes heading our way.
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Friday, September 2, 2016

New Articles of Faith Coloring Book in the shop!

Sometimes I have an idea and I know exactly how I want it to turn out.  And sometimes I need to mull things over for a while before finally something clicks and I know just what I want to do. This coloring book falls into the latter category.  I've had this project in the back of my mind for at least a year.  I've tried various ideas, spent countless hours thinking and trying new ways to make it happen and nothing seemed quite right until just recently.

Once the inspiration sorted itself out in my mind everything came together pretty quickly, and I'm so happy with how these coloring pages turned out.

This coloring book includes 13 different geometric coloring pages overlaid with the Articles of Faith.  The designs are intricate and interesting and offer hours of entertainment for the colorist in your life. Not only that, but they will be internalizing the words of the Articles of Faith at the same time.  The finished pages will be a beautiful way to display and memorize our fundamental beliefs.

You can purchase this coloring book in my Etsy shop or by clicking the Add to Cart button below. This is an instant download, so as soon as your payment goes through you'll receive an email with a link to download the pages.You may print as many copies as you'd like for personal, family or class use. Do not share, email or alter the digital file. 

I'd love to see your finished pages!  Tag me on Instagram @alivelyhope so I can see your work.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

My Alaska Travel Journal + Tips for Keeping A Travel Journal

While we were traveling through gorgeous Alaska earlier this month I created a travel journal to document the amazing adventures we were experiencing.  Creating this journal made the trip much more meaningful for me and when I look back through it I am flooded with memories from an incredible once-in-a-lifetime vacation.  Below are a few tips for you, if you'd like to create something similar based on your travels this summer.

I'm currently using a classic moleskin journal.  I love to include little odds and ends from our travels, as well as sketches of places we've visited. The pages of this journal can handle a little watercolor, but be careful! I recently ruined a page with a cheap watercolor set that bled all over.

Take a few supplies with you.  I took crafter's tape, a couple small rolls of washi tape, blunt children's scissors, a couple sets of travel-themed stickers (I even found one specifically for Alaska at our local Hobby Lobby!), Micron pens and my travel watercolor set. All of this fit into a small bag that I kept in my backpack.  I also added brochures, etc. to the bag as we collected them during the trip. Of course, you would probably use different supplies, but this gives you an idea of what I used to create the spreads above.

Gather brochures, ticket stubs, maps, tags and postcards as you travel.  I recommend having one consistent place to stash all this stuff while you're traveling, so it's not spread all through your luggage.  Then when you have a free moment you can pull it all out and decide what you'd like to use and what you can get rid of.

I like to tape one side of the postcards down and use the back to journal on.

Keep a list of memories you'd like to journal about later. I kept mine in Evernote (though you could do it on paper, or any other way that works for you) and it was very simple.  Just a few words to remind me of the story I wanted to document (ex: "bus tour driver throwing tootsie pops out the window to hikers" or "fireweed lining the train tracks")

Because we had a lot of time on various travel vehicles (two 8 hour train rides and about 12 hours total on a plane) I was able to complete much of the layout for the journal while we were actually on the trip.  I lettered one quote each day, no matter where we were, in keeping with my daily challenge for the year.  And most of the rest was completed on our train ride back to Anchorage after our stay in Denali.  I listened to Hannah Coulter while I worked and it was quite an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

The photos were printed once we arrived home (they are 2x3" prints.  I made collages with two photos apiece and had them printed as 4x6" photos and then cut them in half.  Make sense?) Much of the journaling was also completed once we arrived at home.  I get very motion sick, so writing on a train/plane is not an option for me.

All in all I spent just a few minutes each day we were traveling working on the journal and then a couple of longer sessions: one for layouts and one for journaling. And I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

**This post may include affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting A Lively Hope!
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