How to Start Your New Year Right

How to Start Your New Year Right

A new year is truly a new season that God brings us. And what we do with that new season is just as important. So, let’s look at how to start your new year right and enter this new season.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

God knows infinitely more than we do; He is Creator and without Him there would be nothing.

He knows the end from the beginning. So to get the heart and mind of God for our lives in the season we’re in, is significant so that we can continue living purposeful, intentional, power-filled, full lives.

Scroll down to get your FREE 30-Day Renewing Your Mind Challenge!

The Lord Has Good Plans For You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Here are some promises you can be certain of from God:

  • The Lord makes all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
  • What the enemy intends for evil in your life, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20)
  • We cannot do anything without the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. (John 15:5)
  • For all the promises of God are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God. (James 1:17)
  • We are to fill the earth with His glory by living our lives fully for the Lord, hearing what He says and doing it. (John 17:20-23) 
Renewing My Mind Scripture Challenge + FREE Printable

** Get your FREE printable at the end of this post **

Embrace The Season

With the confidence in the Lord concerning His promises, we know that whatever season we’re in, it’s is not meant to last.

Seasons in our lives change constantly. 

Not every season is easy, and not every season is hard. Just as sure as we can be that winter turns to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn and autumn to winter, what we’re facing is always temporary and meant to change.

And the season you’re in right now is not only about you; it’s about what God wants to do in you, so that He can reach others through you.

God sees so much more than you do about your life and how you’re to impact others through the season you’re going through. So, moving forward in your season, whether it’s easy or not is for your growth, for the glory of God to be seen, and your testimony as a witness of God’s goodness.

Consider embracing the season you’re in. 

By recognizing the season, you choose to change or at the very least know that things are going to change. You choose to move forward in your life by embracing the season.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

It’s Time For Transformation

We become like what and whom we surround ourselves with.

Everything around us, including social media, friendships, relationships, media, government, education and those you follow, are all forms of influence.

Whatever or whomever you allow to speak into your life is feeding your mind. So it’s crucial to protect yourself from being influenced, and instead be an influencer for Christ.

So what we need to do is change the way we think.

God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. By having a relationship with Him, it’s about becoming conformed to the image of Christ and our the renewal of our minds is where it starts!

How we do renew our minds?

By digesting, meditating and speaking the Word of God!

Romans 12:2 TPT says,

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

How to Start Your New Year Right

IDENTIFY, ACKNOWLODGE, CHANGE

A new year brings about a desire to change things in our lives and resolve to create goals and achieve them.

Let’s go through a process of self-examination through identifying what in our lives needs to change, acknowledging that change is needed, and finally, making and seeing the change.

ACTION STEP #1 – IDENTIFY

Examine your life in the areas below and identify how you’re doing. By doing this, you’re empowering yourself to start the new year right!

  • How do you spend your time?
  • Whom do you spend your time with?
  • How are you doing in your health in these areas:
    • Mentally
    • Emotionally
    • Physically
    • Relationally
    • Financially
  • Am I being fully present and engaging mindfully in all that I do?
  • How am I moving from information and inspiration to application and transformation?
  • What new goals do I desire to see in my life?

ACTION STEP #2 – ACKNOWLEDGE

So now that you’ve identified how you’re doing in the areas above, acknowledge what you need to change and that you need to change.

Acknowledgement is important. Without recognizing that these areas need your work and attention, you’re denying yourself God’s empowerment to change these areas.

God’s grace is sufficient for change. But, if we don’t want to change and see that it’s necessary, the enemy would love nothing more than for you to stay the same.

Be honest with yourself this area; it’s important!

ACTION STEP #3 – CHANGE

With the areas you’ve looked at above, fill in these statements.

  • I need to stop spending my time ________________ and start spending my time ________________ .
  • The people that I need to spend less time with are ________________ . The people that I need to be spending more time with are ________________ .
  • For the sake of my:
    • mental health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • emotional health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • physical health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • relational health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • financial health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • In order to be fully present and engaging mindfully, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • I’ve taken in a lot of information and inspiration in these areas ________________ and now I will apply what I’ve learned so that I experience transformation in these areas ________________ .
  • I desire to see these new goals in my life ________________ .

 

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

Be Doers, Not Hearers Only

To see the results of the change you are hungry for in your life means you’re acknowledging that you need to change, identifying the steps to change it, and putting in the work which is the most challenging part.

We often lack consistency, dedication, self-discipline and self-control when it comes to putting in the work.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV

We deceive ourselves and deny ourselves change when we don’t follow through with it. And we have a habit of making ourselves feel bad, wrong and guilty for it.

But God is so much greater than our insufficiencies.

He is faithful when we bring our challenges before Him. He knows that our pursuit is His pursuit, especially when we’re living set apart for Him, and the changes we want to see are positive for our lives and others.

I encourage you to spend devoted time in prayer, fasting and journaling this new year.

God will speak to your heart as you hunger and thirst after Him. And then rest in who God is by trusting in Him.

You can’t control the outcomes, but you can do what you know to do and God does the rest. His grace fills the gaps, because God can do things that you can’t.

Respond to the Word of Truth, allow it to change and transform you, and see what God will do. This is truly how you start the new year right.

Take the 30-Day “Renewing My Mind” Bible Scripture Challenge below. Refresh yourself concerning the very nature and character of God!

Renewing My Mind 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

How are you starting the new year right? Let me know in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Cultivating a Heart of Thankfulness + 30-Day Thankfulness Scripture Challenge Printable
Trust in the Lord + 30 Day Bible Scripture Trust Challenge FREE Printable
11 Ways to Surrender to God + 30-Day Surrender Challenge FREE Printable
5 Ways to Find Hope + FREE 30-Day Hope Challenge Printable

30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family + FREE Printable

30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family + FREE Printable

What if the Word of God is powerful that it could change circumstances and situations for your family as you pray?

You’re Made In The Image Of God

When I think about us — God’s creation, His children — we were created in the very image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-28)

A child will often model and imitate those who they are around, often becoming a lot like their parents or their peers. You are the product of your environment.

Did you know that God wants to be our environment? He wants His Word to be the lens we look at life through.

God created us in His image and likeness, which means that we don’t live by what we naturally see, but rather by the spirit. Our reality can so easily be formed on the things which we’re experiencing.

Romans 8:5 says,

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family + FREE Printable

The Power of Scripture

God’s Word is powerful. In it, it reveals His heart towards us and how we should live. But, sometimes we don’t see in the natural the things we know by the spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Reading the Bible and taking it in does something in our hearts. When we read God’s Word, we are connecting with spiritual matters and God Himself. We are learning more about His character and nature and ours through Him.

What we need to do is allow God’s Word to become a part of who we are and not just words on a page.

Prayer Changes Things

First of all, prayer is not a suggestion in the Bible. Jesus often said, “When you pray,” as He was speaking with his disciples. So it wasn’t a matter of not praying, but when you pray.

Prayer is a lifestyle of communion and intimacy with God. We are designed to connect, to speak to and hear from our heavenly Father and it’s done through prayer.

Prayer is not just about saying mere words. That’s repetition – it becomes religious, a law and of no use. When it comes to prayer, it’s about our hearts as we share in the desires of the Lord, a hunger for things to change and a yearning for His will to be done.

Praying Over Your Family

These 30 scriptures below are powerful to pray over your family. We want to agree or confess God’s Word, to make a declaration in accordance with His will, which is His Word.

It’s not God who needs to change; we do. We are not trying to convince God of anything. In fact, we need to convince ourselves of something — we don’t have it right and we aren’t perfect, but God is. His ways are perfect.

So we need to surrender and trust God instead of our own way of thinking. This is why prayer is so important; it changes you and me, not God.

Be sure to grab my 30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family Free Printable below. Consider memorizing them, praying and declaring them or use them for scripture writing.

30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family + FREE Printable

30 Powerful Scriptures To Pray Over Your Family + FREE Printable

I’d love to hear if these scripture challenges have been helpful for you. Feel free to share with me in the comments below!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Are you wondering how to teach your kids to pray? Use this Prayer Bible Study For Kids as a guide to help you teach them to pray.
30 Scriptures About God’s Grace + FREE Printable

30 Scriptures About God’s Grace + FREE Printable

What is God’s grace and why do we need it? What if the grace of God was not just Him being gracious to us, but empowering us and enabling us to do what He’s called us to do?

What Is The Grace Of God?

A Look Into The Old Testament (Hebrew) Meaning of Grace

Let’s look at Genesis 6:8, the first occurrence in the Bible about grace. It says,

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

The Hebrew word for grace in this scripture is: chen (noun)

This word means:

  • favour, grace, charm
  • favour, grace, elegance
  • favour, acceptance

So Noah found favour, charm, elegance, acceptance and grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Why is it that Noah found grace or favour in the eyes of the Lord?

30 Scriptures About God's Grace + FREE PRINTABLE

Let’s read Genesis 6:5-12:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

This section of scripture talks about the wickedness of man – that their every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually

The Lord felt sorry He made man. And then verse 8 goes on to say, “BUT NOAH”.

What do you think was different about Noah?

It says in verse 9 – Noah was:

  • a just man
  • perfect in his generations
  • one who walked with God

For Noah to have these qualities about him would indicate that He’s developed character. The character of Noah made him different from the rest of the people and as a result he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The scripture does not say that Noah worked hard to earn God’s grace. In fact, God’s grace was attracted to Noah as a result of his relationship with the Lord.

When you look into the words just and perfect, you find that Noah was about what was lawful and righteousness. He was a man who was sound, healthy, upright and full of integrity,

Now Noah sounds like a person you can trust.

When you walk with someone, what happens?

You get to know their heart, you hear from them and exchange conversation. There’s something special and significant about the relationship you build with that person. For Noah, I can imagine that if he walked with the Lord he got know His heart.

So then, finding grace in the sight of the Lord is not something you can manufacture, work towards or ask for; it’s a gift from the Lord. There’s no equation to grace.

A Look Into The New Testament (Greek) Meaning Of Grace

Let’s look at another verse, this time in the greek language.

The greek word for grace is charis. And the first occurrence of charis is found in Luke 1:30, which says:

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

The word favour in this scripture is grace.

Charis means:

  • grace
  • that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
    good will, loving-kindness, favour
  • of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
  • what is due to grace
  • the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
  • the token or proof of grace, benefit
  • a gift of grace
  • benefit, bounty
  • thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Do you suppose Mary had a relationship with the Lord?

I believe she did, just like Noah! She called herself a maidservant or handmaid of the Lord. She was likely surrendered to His Lordship therefore found grace or favour in His sight.

What Does God’s Grace Do?

The grace of God is available for a purpose and does many things:

  • God’s grace can be seen
    • Acts 11:23 – When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
  • God’s grace is the gospel
    • Acts 20:24 – But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
  • God’s grace is the passageway to salvation
    • Acts 15:11 – But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.
  • God’s grace enables and empowers us
    • Acts 4:32-35 – All the believers were one in mind and heart. Selfishness was not a part of their community, for they shared everything they had with one another. The apostles gave powerful testimonies about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great measures of grace rested upon them all. Some who owned houses or land sold them and brought the proceeds before the apostles to distribute to those without. Not a single person among them was needy.
    • Ephesians 3:8 – To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
  • God’s grace is a free gift
    • Romans 11:6 – And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
30 Scriptures About God's Grace + FREE PRINTABLE

All other religions tell you what you must do to make yourself acceptable to God, what things you must perform, what you must accomplish and what you must do. Christianity, on the other hand, centers on what God has done to make us acceptable to Him.

Grace is unmerited and unearned favour. It is the inexhaustible supply of God’s goodness whereby He does for us what we could never do for ourselves. God’s grace is what He does for us independent of us.

When we look at the references of grace, we find that it’s an environment with which we live. While grace can’t be earned, it must be accessed. You access grace by faith, you don’t earn it.

Access what has been given to you freely so that you can do what God has called you to do!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

FREE Valentine’s Day Countdown Printable

FREE Valentine’s Day Countdown Printable

How do you create a fun time with your kids as you approach Valentine’s Day?

As a Christian, we choose not celebrate the meaning of Valentine’s Day with the world’s perspective, but rather, we celebrate God’s love for us, our love for Him and our love for others.

One way we like to celebrate God’s love for others is by sharing Christan Valentine’s Day cards.

Countdown to Valentine's Day with  a scripture each day with this FREE PRINTABLE

FREE VALENTINE’S DAY COUNTDOWN PRINTABLE

Why not lead up to Valentine’s Day with an easy-to-prepare countdown.

I’ve created this Valentine’s Day Countdown printable for FREE to help add some fun.

Countdown to Valentine's Day with  a scripture each day with this FREE PRINTABLE

I’d love to see how you set up the countdown. Will you tag me on Instagram @wildlyanchored to share how it looks in your space!

ANCHORED IN CHRIST,
Melanie

Christian Valentine's Day Cards Printable
Love Bible Study for Kids Printable
How To Teach Kids To Guard Their Hearts

How To Teach Kids To Guard Their Hearts

The heart is a very special place. It’s the place of our inner-most being where passions, desires and interests are formed. It’s also a place that needs protecting. As a parent, it’s our responsibility to teach our kids to guard their hearts.

But how do we do this big job?

The heart is a special, sensitive place that needs protecting, and it's our responsibility to teach our kids to guard their hearts.

What Is The Heart & How To Understand It

The heart isn’t an easy place to understand, so how can you teach your kids about it especially when it isn’t a physical place that nobody can see?

If you look up what the heart is in the Bible digging deep into the Hebrew or Greek, you’ll find that it means:

  • inner-most being
  • inclination
  • resolution
  • determination (of will)
  • conscience
  • seat of appetites
  • passions

These meanings are a lot for an adults and kids to understand.

So, the only way I was able to talk about the heart with my daughter was to say simply, “The heart is the real you. It’s where you decided you like something or don’t like something, where you decided how to treat someone.”

It’s at this point, where it seemed my daughter was starting to catch what the “heart” was. And so we began the journey to look into a few more scriptures to help gain understanding, including the story of David found in 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

The heart is a special, sensitive place that needs protecting, and it's our responsibility to teach our kids to guard their hearts.

How To Teach Kids To Guard Their Heart

Firstly, it’s important for kids to learn what it means to guard their heart and why they need to do so.

A great way to study what it means for kids to guard their heart, based on Proverbs 4:23, is this Treasures In My Heart Bible Study For Kids. The Bible study helps kids to dig deeper into the word, “guard” and then use an activity to illustrate it. Not only that, the Bible study looks into why their heart is important to God and that good treasure is to be stored in it.

 

Let’s help kids learn how to guard their hearts – the most precious place!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Ways to Practice Spelling For Grade 3

Ways to Practice Spelling For Grade 3

We needed ways to practice spelling. This was an area of struggle for my daughter and up until now I’ve learned that although she’s learned spelling rules which have been helpful, she also learns through repetition. 

I’m now really seeing how my daughter learns and so is she. We’re at a place in our homeschool where we’re able to talk about various homeschool curriculums, what they offer, the goal and what she thinks she can commit to. By this, we’re able to determine whether we’ll invest the money and the time to achieve the goal.

I had a look at the Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills Grade 3 E-book, and had my daughter look at it, too. She was able to feel confident about giving it a try, so we did. I reached out to Evan-Moor and they gave me this product in exchange for my honest review.

Help your child retain how to spell words with the Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills Grade 3 E-Book

How My Daughter Learns

My daughter appreciates learning why words are spelled the way they are. Though the rules are not enough to hold a word’s spelling for her. She needs more. She needs repetition.

Incorporating PRACTICE is an absolute must when it comes to spelling. Just like learning to read requires repetition, everything else does too, including spelling. Well, at least it does for my daughter.

So, we looked for ways to practice spelling without it feeling too mundane. (Let’s face it, word lists aren’t that much fun). Another important item on my daughter’s wishlist, was that it needed to have some fun elements.

Fun elements involved different ways to incorporate spelling without it feeling like spelling. Activities, exercises or games are the perfect compliment for her learning style. 

Help your child retain how to spell words with the Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills Grade 3 E-Book
Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3
Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3

What We Like About Building Spelling Skills

  • Variety – each day’s assignment was different and each week’s involved different elements
  • Amount – easily doable each day
  • Practice – lots of repetition in different ways
  • Printable – we could review a portion of a day’s lesson again if needed by printing it out
  • Inexpensive

What We Left Out

Some portions of exercises we left out.

This had nothing to do with the program itself, except that we had other work that day that required a lot of writing.

This is the best part of homeschooling – you know what you’re doing for the day. So, don’t do it all. Just because a book has a portion in it that you’re doing in a different way that day, doubling up can be too much. 

Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3
Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3
Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3

What We Think About Building Spelling Skills

I really like being able to ask my daughter what she thinks about a program. I can see how much it’s helping her and she can give her honest feedback, too.

My daughters thoughts – she like this style of program. Although spelling is not her favourite subject, she knows she needs repetition to master it. As a result, she highly recommends the program because it involves different exercises and it’s helped her remember how words are spelled.

My thoughts – my daughter was able to retain words that she was spelling. She doesn’t always think about the rules when she spells (and neither do I). My daughter is very much like me. So although she doesn’t quite understand that she’s a visual learner through seeing words and remembering how something is spelled by how it looks, my guess, is that she’s like me. So we’ll continue to use this program because it’s been effective.

Ways To Practice Spelling For Grade 3

Check It Out!

I highly recommend you check out Evan-Moor’s Building Spelling Skills. They have samples of their product which is really helpful to gauge which grade is appropriate and if your child would like it!

2020-2021 Grade 4 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2020-2021 Grade 4 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

It’s that time of year again! I’m revealing and sharing with you our 2020-2021 grade 4 homeschool curriculum picks.

BUT, FIRST THINGS FIRST… it’s important that you know I have two children – one in grade 2 and one in grade 4.

The reason that this is important for you to know is that in some of my homeschool curriculum picks, I’ve involved curriculum where both my kids will participate in the same content. I’ve learned that where you can condense curriulum, you should.

The subjects my kids will have the same curriculum is in Bible, character, science, social studies, read-alouds, poetry, and art. My children will participate in the content of these subjects and from there, I will give them work based on their skill level.

Avoiding undue pressure and stress is the key for us all.

And now, here’s the reveal…

2020-2021 Grade 4 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Bible

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids

How Great Is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions About God and Science

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

Character

The Book of Virtues

Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes, Volume I

Stories Worth Re-reading: 72 Heart Touching Stories

Laying Down The Rails (this is more-so for me)

Check out our 2020-2021 grade 4 homeschool curriculum picks! We'll be doing All About Reading, Brave Writer, Mystery of History, Saxon Math and more!

Homeschool Planning

Now from here, I’ve been putting my curriculum into a plan by using my Google Sheets Homeschool Planner. But, it doesn’t stop there.

The Google Sheet Homeschool Planner just gives me an overview of how everything will work together. The plan is not actually what we do; it’s a guide or map if you will giving me an idea of how it’ll come together.

From here, I record what we actually do in our homeschool in an empty lesson planner. Some call this concept planning-from-behind, some call it reverse planning. Either way, recording what we do (and not following the plan) creates the most restful way of homeschooling that I’ve found.

I’d love to hear if you have any of the same picks for your homeschool. Let me know in the comments below!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

2020-2021 Grade 2 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2020-2021 Grade 2 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Planning our homeschool curriculum is one of my most favourite things to do. With that, I’m thrilled to reveal and share with you our 2020-2021 grade 2 homeschool curriculum picks!

FIRST THINGS FIRST… it’s important that you know I have two children – one in grade 2 and one in grade 4.

The reason that this is important for you to know is that in some of my homeschool curriculum picks, I’ve involved curriculum where both my kids will participate in the same content. I’ve learned that where you can condense curriulum, you should.

The subjects my kids will have the same curriculum is in Bible, character, science, social studies, read-alouds, poetry, and art. My children will participate in the content of these subjects and from there, I will give them work based on their skill level.

Avoiding undue pressure and stress is the key for us all.

And now, here’s the reveal…

2020-2021 Grade 2 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Bible

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids

How Great Is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions About God and Science

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

Character

The Book of Virtues

Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes, Volume I

Stories Worth Re-reading: 72 Heart Touching Stories

Laying Down The Rails (this is more-so for me)

Check out our 2020-2021 grade 2 homeschool curriculum picks! We'll be doing All About Reading, Brave Writer, Mystery of History, Saxon Math and more!

Homeschool Planning

Now from here, I’ve been putting my curriculum into a plan by using my Google Sheets Homeschool Planner. But, it doesn’t stop there.

The Google Sheet Homeschool Planner just gives me an overview of how everything will work together. The plan is not actually what we do; it’s a guide or map if you will giving me an idea of how it’ll come together.

From here, I record what we actually do in our homeschool in an empty lesson planner. Some call this concept planning-from-behind, some call it reverse planning. Either way, recording what we do (and not following the plan) creates the most restful way of homeschooling that I’ve found.

I’d love to hear if you have any of the same picks for your homeschool. Let me know in the comments below!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Free Homeschool Planning Using Google Sheets

Free Homeschool Planning Using Google Sheets

If you’ve wondered how to plan your homeschool and are feeling overwhelmed, sign-up for my FREE Homeschool Planning Using Google Sheets and plan your homeschool with me!

My First Failed Homeschool Plan

When I first started planning our homeschool, I wrote a beautiful lesson plan with everything that we were going to do.

Then life happened. Living happened.

I had a 5 and 3 year old at the time. My 3-year old wasn’t interested in my well-intentioned plan. And I felt like I didn’t get to my 5-year old’s learning the way I had planned. The satisfying idea of checking off what we were going to do dwindled to a halt. I felt like a homeschool planning failure.

I wondered, “How do you plan your homeschool when you can’t get done what’s on the lesson plan?”

I like visualizing how everything will look when it comes to homeschool curriculum. There are many things to consider in homeschool planning, such as outings, extra-curriculur activities, holidays, etc. I don’t like not having a plan – it makes me feel ill-equipped and stressed.

I HAD to come up with a different method of planning where I could lay out a plan but not have it written down as something to follow.

And so my method of a simple and restful homeschool plan was born.

Let's plan our homeschool together! Join me for FREE homeschool planning using Google Sheets!

FREE Homeschool Planning Using Google Sheets

This method of homeschool planning I’ve now used for several years. It’s helped me to relax about homeschool, know that I have a plan in place that’s not a law-abiding lesson plan, while also seeing that my kids are learning and moving foward.

What I do is use Google Sheets to plan our homeschool for the year. I then use a simple weekly printable recording what we actually do.

This combination has worked so wonderfully for me, and I want to share it with you!

If you’d like to plan your homeschool using Google Sheets sign-up for my FREE Homeschool Planning Using Google Sheets below.

Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids

Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids

Have you wondered how to help your kids with their thoughts?

Our conversations with our children are really important. How do you find out what they’re thinking unless they say what’s on their minds?

What We Think On Matters

As we hear our kids talk, we find out what’s in their hearts and what’s on their minds. This helps us to get to the root of something that they’ve learned and been informed about or even did – whether it’s right or wrong.

What we think on truly matters. And it’s takes an intentional process whether we’re adults or kids to change our thoughts according to Romans 12:2 NKJV, which puts it this way,

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids

Your mind NEEDS renewing so that you can:

  • stop conforming to the influence of the world’s ways
  • be transformed
  • prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God

In fact, in Philippians 4:8, we find out what we should think on, which includes…whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.

The process of renewing our minds will happen for the rest of our lives.

So how do you start to help your kids with understanding what to think on, that they’re in charge of their thoughts and that they can change their thoughts?

The Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids is a great way to start and help your kids on a jouney to learn that their thoughts matter.

Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids

Inside this Bible study, your kids with focus on two lessons, entitled:

  • Think On This
  • Renew My Mind

Each lesson includes:

  • The Big Idea
  • Prayer
  • Bible Reading
  • Questions and Reflections
  • Vocabulary
  • Bible Verse Scripture Writing and Memorization
  • Praise and Worship Songs
  • Activities
Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids

Would you find the Think On These Things Bible Study For Kids helpful for your kids?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

How To Start Teaching Your Toddler The Bible

How To Start Teaching Your Toddler The Bible

Teaching your kids the Bible at a young age is a wonderful opportunity for us as parents. But you may be wondering how to start teaching your toddler the Bible.

First of all, we always make something out to be harder than it really is. So take a deep breath; this isn’t hard nor time consuming, but, it is important work.

Why Should You Read The Bible To Your Toddler?

A misconception I hear is, “Since my kids are so young, they won’t understand the Bible anyways.”

The journey in our life begins as young as a baby in the womb. A toddler will absolutely start to digest what you read and teach them from the Bible. Their spirit, the person who they really are, is engaged with all that’s being deposited in them that reflects the nature and character of God. Their spirit is hungry!

Our role as parents then is to begin connecting our kids to the Father; He is truly THEIR life-source.

We have VERY important work in raising and discipling our kids to discover who God is and who they are through Him. We get to and are able to teach them simple spiritual disciplines at such a young age by what we do.

Please, I urge you… do not dismiss the importance of reading the Bible to your toddler.

Now, let’s move on to find a Bible appropriate for your toddler…

How To Start Teaching Your Toddler The Bible

Step 1: Choose A Bible Appropriate For Toddlers

We immediately think we have to read our toddler from The Holy Bible, the gigantic Bible that we ourselves as adults find a challenge at times. It can almost do more harm than good to read straight out of The Bible to your toddlers.

Unless you have a way to take the wording from The Bible and what’s being taught, and put it into a format designed for toddlers to digest, then I would suggest reading from a Bible that’s appropriate for their age.

 

Misconceptions about toddler Bibles…

  • #1 – missing parts will harm or lack the depth of the Bible in our kids. As you go on, you’ll choose Bibles appropriate for your children’s age and learning ability. By this, they will get more and more out of the Bible as they grow and will start to ask more questions. This then opens it up for you to read out of The Holy Bible to them or with them.
  • #2 – the Bible is a dry, dull, boring and hard to understand book. The Bible should not be introduced to your kids as such; it should be viewed and taught as fun, full of action and life!

Bibles Appropriate for Toddlers:

Teaching your kids the Bible at a young age is important. Find out how to start teaching your toddler the Bible and develop a love for it.

Step 2: Start Reading The Bible To Your Toddler

You may be asking yourself where to start with the toddler Bible.

The best place to start reading at the beginning. There is no need to have all kinds of materials either to create this special time with your toddler. In fact, follow these points below, and you’ll experience a beautiful time together:

  • Read one story a day!
  • Interact with your toddler about the story. You can do this easily by pointing at the pictures in the story talking about what they see. (ie. Is the coat red? Is he happy or sad? Where do you think she’s going to go?)
  • No need to ask your toddler questions about the Bible stories. Toddlers are too young for question and answer at this point, as it relates to the story itself. Though, their age is wonderful for sharing information and age-appropriate questions, like those listed in the example above.
  • Create a routine, if you can. If you’re able to, read the Bible at the same time every day to create a routine. If not, that’s okay, too. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice to add-on if you can as routines help children anticipate what time it is and what’s next, which is the advantage of routines.
  • Give yourself grace. Toddlers are also learning and exploring a lot, among finding boundaries, and feeling a wide array of emotions. If you have littles at home, don’t push things. Often we are too hard on ourselves, especially in the season of having young kids. Do the best you can and God will fill any gap because He cares for you and your precious children.

Adding Bible Learning Components For Toddlers

If you’ve wondered how to start teaching your toddler the Bible, it really doesn’t need to be complicated or filled with lots of things. That said, maybe over time, as you develop a routine of reading the Bible with your toddler, you may want to add a few more Bible learning components.

Below are some great add-ons to your toddler Bible reading time:

  • Prayer – say the simplest prayer out loud together with your toddler. It can be the same prayer every day. Toddlers are really great at catching onto things very quickly.
    • Before you pray ask your toddler to:
      • Clasp their hands – so they don’t touch other things (you must also do this so your toddler will follow what you model)
      • Close their eyes – so they don’t look around (and yet they probably will)
      • And say, “Thank You Lord for the Bible which helps me know You more. In Jesus Name, Amen!”
  • Bible songs for kids – they are a great way for kids to remember Bible stories. If the Bible songs have actions, that’s a bonus! Here’s a link to YouTube for free Bible songs for kids.
  • Bible colouring pages – toddlers can add a colour sheet, which also helps them build motor skills. Consider colouring books to go with the toddler Bible of your choice, like:
  • Memorize scriptures – kids can memorize things easily. What they need though to succeed in this, is repetition; it’s that easy!

If you’re looking raise kids who put their trust in the Lord; who depend on Him; who hear from Him; and who live their life by faith doing all that God has called them to do, the place to start with the Bible.

Nuture what you do with your kids in your own prayer time with the Lord and see what God will do and how He’ll lead and guide you in your efforts to share the Bible with your kids.

Enjoy this precious Bible reading time together with your toddler.

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie