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 our minds is a daily challenge as a child of God. Commit to the challenge with this 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge! #Renewingmymind #scripturechallenge #ChristianlifestyleHow To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

** 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 Thanksgiving Bible Verses + FREE Printable

30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses + FREE Printable

What a wonderful time of year to celebrate the season of harvest and all that the Lord has done!  And there’s no better way to renew your heart with thankfulness and count down to Thanksgiving than with Thanksgiving Bible Verses!

Be sure to grab the FREE 30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses Printable below as you countdown the days to Thanksgiving!

30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses

  • Leviticus 22:29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
  • Psalm 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.
  • Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
  • Psalm 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works.
  • Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
  • Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
  • 1 Chronicles 16:8 Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!
  • Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
  • Psalm 140:13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence.
  • Mark 14:23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
Celebrate the season of thankfulness with these 30 Thanksgiving Bible Scriptures. Includes FREE Printable!
  • Luke 17:16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
  • Ephesians 5:20 …giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
  • Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
  • Psalm 107:21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
  • Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
  • Psalm 79:13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.
  • Luke 2:38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
  • Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses + FREE Printable

  • Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
  • Matthew 15:36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.
  • 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
  • Colossians 2:6-7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth…

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Bible Study Guide For Kids FREE Printable

Bible Study Guide For Kids FREE Printable

Helping our kids dig into the Bible for themselves doesn’t just happen; it’s learned. And how do they learn if we as parents don’t show them? This is why I’ve created a Bible study guide for kids!

Scroll down to grab your FREE Bible Study Guide for Kids printable below!

Children learn by modelling.
They do what they see you do.
They see what it’s like to have a relationship with the Lord by what you do and don’t do; not just by what you say and don’t say.

Helping our children get to know the Lord personally and more intimately takes effort on our part. This is what teaching, leading and discipling our kids is all about.

Ways To Read/Study The Bible For Kids

We can read the Bible daily with our kids as more of a casual reading, such as before bed.

The Bible can also be dug into like a study.

Jesus taught in parables to those who were around Him, like one about the Seed and the Sower. Parables have greater meaning but only to those who are searching for it and inquiry of the Lord.

Our kids need to learn to dig deeper – to discover for themselves through a journey of study who God is. In this, they find such treasure! They’ll find knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and revelation that only can come from God. Our kids will be changed from the inside out now confident that they can be bold and courageous for the Lord, doing great exploits for Him. Isn’t that so encouraging?!

Teaching our kids then how to study the Word to dig out everything they can is absolutely imperative for their walk with the Lord and living this life.

If you feel that you’ve been looking for a way to help guide and develop your child’s ability to study the Word of God, the free printable Bible Study Guide For Kids (found below) might just be for you!

Bible Study Guide for Kids + FREE Printable

About The Bible Study Guide For Kids

This guide is designed to help kids independently study the Word of God.

Over time, they may not need this guide and might want to start using their own notebook, which is wonderful, too!

How To Use The Bible Study Guide For Kids

I would recommend working through this guide together with your children, especially the first few times as they begin to study out the Word. You can work side-by-side as you study the same Bible passages.

As a helpful resource, be sure your child has an age-appropriate Bible.

n this guide are 7 steps to experience an effective Bible study time. Your child will:

  1. Pray – Begin their Bible study time in prayer, asking the Lord to reveal His Word to them.
  2. Read – Write down the portion of Bible scripture(s) being read.
  3. Learn – Write down what they learned about God from these scriptures.
  4. Apply – Write down how they can apply what they’ve learned to their life.
  5. Have Questions – Write down any questions they may have as it relates to the scriptures. Perhaps there’s a word not understood and needs a definition. (As there are questions here, be sure to spend time with your child and review them to help open up good discussion.)
  6. Memorize Scripture – Write down a scripture they can memorize. Perhaps it’s a verse in the reading, or maybe one that’s related to it. (They may need some guidance here)
  7. Respond – Finish their Bible study time with a thankful heart, asking for forgiveness of sin and praying for others, in the name of Jesus. Amen!

As your kids are experiencing this precious time with the Lord we know that God is looking to drawn near to them as they have drawn near to Him. We know He is looking and longing to show Himself to our children, as they begin to yearn, knock, ask and seek for Him.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 NKJV

What More Could Happen?

As your kids have studied the Word of God, they may coming out of their seeing more, knowing more and experiencing a depth of revelation that so so intimate.

Holy Spirit might share with them:

  • where they need God’s help and can feel confident in asking for His help.
  • feel a conviction as they’ve been led into all truth.
  • a sin in their life, where they can ask for forgiveness from the Lord and thank Him for being cleansed by what He did on the cross for them.
  • someone that needs prayer.
  •  sense of who God is that they didn’t know before.
  • a prophecy, a vision, a dream.

Anticipate that your child will never be the same as they’ve encountered Jesus.

Be sure to grab the FREE Bible Study Guide for Kids and see what God will do in their hearts.

FREE Bible Study Guide for Kids

Bible Study Guide for Kids + FREE Printable

Please let me know if you find this Bible Study Guide for Kids helpful.

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

30 Bible Verses To Help Overcome Stress, Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

30 Bible Verses To Help Overcome Stress, Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

You know that disclaimer on vehicle mirrors that says, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? 

This is what tends to happen in our lives. 

Be sure to grab your free printable below of the 30 Bible Verses to help overcome stress, fear, worry, and anxiety.

Distortion

There’s no doubt that we all deal with big issues in our lives. Often they aren’t what we wanted or what hoped for. However, sometimes the situations we face really aren’t as big as we perceive them to be.

Our mind has the ability to create what’s not really there; it can make something larger or bigger than it appears.

Our flesh craves a way that is not living the way we are called to as children of God. Our minds need to be renewed constantly in order to live Godly lives. But, if we aren’t watchful, we’ll tend to our flesh’s desire to either blow things out of proportion (which is distortion) or we try and control what we can’t control. 

We don’t outright intend to over-exaggerate what goes on in our lives; we often do it unknowingly.

Our thoughts run rampant and uncontrollably at times. But, in doing this, the enemy who’s not a creator, but a distorter, will help you take your view of something that’s not accurate and feed it incorrectly if you don’t take your thoughts captive.

We tend to over-exaggerate the size of our problem to justify our fear.

– Pastor Bill Johnson

Help overcome stress, fear, worry & anxiety with these 30 Bible verses + FREE 30-day Bible scripture challenge

Out of Control

Our life is filled with situations we can’t control. And what we can’t control we also tend to feed.

If you’re afraid of feeling hurt (again), abandoned (again), lost (again), in pain (again), you can find that fear is looming its head. And often it’s the unknown, the parts that are out of our control that we have stress, fear, worry and anxiety about.

You may remember this quote:

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

– Erma Bombeck

I used to agree with this statement, however, I don’t completely agreed anymore.

Yes, worry definitely gives you something to do, but I would say it gets you somewhere unknowingly.

You see, I have a rocking chair at home. It’s smooth in it’s rock. It makes me feel safe and comfortable. But after rocking consistently over a period of time, I find that the chair that once had room to rock, no longer does. It’s moved back and it’s moved back the slightest amount without me noticing.

To me, this is what worry does.

Worry gives us something to do, but what it does to us, in fact, gets us to places we don’t want to go. We go back. We find ourselves in a darker place. 

Worry is like a rocking chair where you meditate on all the wrong things.

What Are We To Meditate On?

As Christians, what are we to meditate on?

Joshua 1:8 NKJV says,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

So we are to meditate on the Word of God!

And what does it mean to meditate? To meditate means to: to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, speak (source)

And what does the Word of God contain? Promises, life, God’s ways which are higher!

So if you’re sitting on the rocking chair of worry, you are muttering, speaking, and plotting on the things you can’t control fostering fear.

Worry Isn’t New

Even Jesus knew worry would consume people. In Matthew 6:25-27, 31-34 He says this:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

 

 

 

 

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What We Magnify We Give Power To

The truth of the matter in our stress, fear, worry and anxiety is that what we feel appears more real to us than who Jesus is. This is a hard truth and perhaps not easy to take.

Instead of exaggerating and magnifying the size of a problem, situation or issue, or thinking on the things you can’t control, choose (yes, it’s a choice) to magnify our Father in heaven.

To magnify is to make bigger or larger than it appears… sounds like the mirror on a vehicle.

So whatever size God is in your mind, make Him even bigger. The reality of not magnifying who Jesus is means that we’re magnifying something or someone else. We’re in fact putting trust in ourselves instead of God. It doesn’t outright look like it, but it’s true.

Think of it, if you’re worrying about something, do things change for the better because you’ve worried? Or does it in fact make you feel more stress, anxiety and even sick as you worry?

What you magnify, you give power to. You are putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your life.

And an even harder truth… stress, fear, worry and anxiety is a lordship issue. 

Ask yourself this: “If Jesus is really Lord, what does that mean? What does that look like and how do I apply that to my life?”

 

Jesus being Lord means that you are trusting Him with the outcome no matter what. You are choosing (not feeling), but choosing to worship Him through it all. You are giving everything to Him!

ACTION:  Take something that you’ve been magnifying and spending time thinking on and STOP right now. Cast what you’ve been thinking on repeatedly that you can’t control and give it to the Lord. Repent. Ask the Lord for help and then magnify Him, worship Him and set your gaze and your focus on Him. This will be freeing!

In what you’re going through, the Lord wants you. He wants your heart in full. He wants you to yearn for Him and be so hungry for who you know God to be—which is good, gracious, loving, kind, merciful, and generous. Stress, fear, worry and anxiety cannot live in this atmosphere of faith; you’ll starve it.

Grab your FREE 30-Day Overcome Stress, Fear, Worry and Anxiety Scripture Challenge Below

Help overcome stress, fear, worry & anxiety with these 30 Bible verses + FREE 30-day Bible scripture challenge

What Bible verses do you lean on to help overcome stress, fear, worry and anxiety?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Create A Simple and Restful Homeschool Lesson Plan + FREE Homeschool Lesson Planner

Create A Simple and Restful Homeschool Lesson Plan + FREE Homeschool Lesson Planner

With my first homeschool lesson plan, I thought that I had to have everything figured out, planned out and written out. What a misconception! I stressed out…and we were just doing Kindergarten! With a change of approach I went from an unachievable homeschool lesson plan to a simple and restful homeschool lesson plan, and you can, too!

Too Much Is Too Much

I cannot handle if things aren’t simple. Too many fields to fill in, too many prompts to complete or really, too much of anything at all and I become paralyzed with overwhelm.

Yes, I’m a recovering perfectionist and high over-achiever. Anything too complicated, overwhelming and busy-feeling equates to stress and inadequacy.

How I Went From Stressed To Rest In My Homeschool Lesson Planning

My first homeschool lesson plan was filled with changes.

Every day of the week we moved something around, every week felt like catch-up from the previous week and every month… well, I could hardly make it a month and knew I needed to change the way I planned.

The first thing I did to simplify our homeschool plan was stop planning. I needed to figure out a way to plan without planning. (Does that even make sense?!)

When I stopped planning, I naturally did some things that turned into more of a record-keeping approach or planning-from-behind approach.

Just because I stopped planning didn’t mean we stopped homeschooling.

As we finished a lesson, chapter or page, I would put a sticky note on the page or lesson that we were to start at the next time. A commonality developed naturally. I saw that we’d complete lessons, units, random side-tracks, nature walks while adding in books, videos and field trips. The stuff I wanted to do in our homeschool got done and the unexpected and unplanned learning also happened. This all worked.

I then had the realization that a homeschool lesson plan for me wasn’t so much about planning ahead, it was planning from behind.

Recording and writing down what we did proved to be outright successful for me in comparison to writing down what we were going to do.

Create A Simple and Restful Homeschool Lesson Plan + FREE Homeschool Lesson Planner

A New Way Of Homeschool Lesson Planning

When I had this “AHA!” moment to a new way of approaching our homeschool lesson plan, we kept doing what we did and I began recording it. I used a notebook to write down the date, the book we did and the pages or lesson we completed. That’s it! There were no check-marks, no strike-outs, no arrows. It was clean, simple and restful.

Being that a homeschool lesson planner isn’t really called a homeschool record book per se, it was that to me.

So after a couple of years, I began using a simple homeschool lesson planner (and now created my own below) to record what we did. I’ve never looked back!

There are so many beautiful planners out there, and honestly, I’d LOVE to try them all, but I’m hesitant.

The expectations I put on myself are unreasonable at times, and because I know this of myself, I need to stay away from it, too. So until I feel confident about one stage of homeschool lesson planning, I begin adding more components.

Be sure to grab my simple homeschool lesson planner below!

An Added Method To My Homeschool Lesson Plan

As I continued to record what we did in our homeschool year after year, I felt comfortable and it was doable! As we’re getting into the higher elementary grades, I’ve found that the homeschool curriculum gets more involved. I then began to wonder how long curriculum would take to finish.

Being that we live in Canada near the Rocky Mountains where chinooks and snow can fall from September to May, I cherish our outdoor time in the warmer months. There’s no question in my mind – we get out from May to August with there being NO PLAN of homeschool curriculum.

Now after developing this method of my homeschool lesson plan, I felt like I needed to look at a whole year perspective which would help me with how long curriculum would take. So to solve this challenge, I began adding in a year-at-a-glance homeschool planning method using a spreadsheet.

This gives me a better insight into the full scope of a homeschool year.

Get Your FREE Homeschool Lesson Planner

(includes a routine, schedule, loop, year-at-a-glance planning, undated weekly lesson planner and undated monthly planner!)

Create A Simple and Restful Homeschool Lesson Plan + FREE Homeschool Lesson Planner

Let me know if this homeschool lesson planner was helpful! Also, what tips do you have when it comes to creating a simple and restful homeschool lesson plan?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Here we are, entering the new year and I’m excited to share with you our 2019-2020 grade 1 homeschool curriculum picks!

Being that my daughter is in grade 3, preparing for grade 1 and the curriculum choices seem easier, but my son definitely has a different learning style than my daughter. So I’m wondering if the same homeschool choices that we went with for my daughter in grade 1 will be okay for my son. The only way to find out, is to do it!

Combining Learning

One thing I like to do is combine learning where I can. My children are just 2 grades apart which makes learning the same thing altogether (for certain subjects) adaptable and doable.

With my children being in the elementary grades, my involvement is heavier and more hands-on. This is totally fine, but I need to plan accordingly and combine learning to avoid my potential burnout with too much curriculum.

Fueling Curiosity

I haven’t included everything that we’ll be doing in our grade 1 homeschool curriculum picks as I tend to add more materials along the way as needed.

This summer I read the book, The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart, and it really enlightened my perspective in homeschooling and children when it comes to exploring a topic as curiosity stricks a child and digging deep until the flame is no longer there. I will be more intentional in this area as I feel this is truly what education is all about. It’s not about fitting into a box, creating a template of people and leaving them to enter workforce and community.

Homeschool is about fostering a love for learning while helping our children find their God-given gifts to share with the world and impact others with the love of Jesus by their character and actions.

That said, I will choose to fan the flame of curiosity this next year!

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

My little guy will be learning alot as he will be taking in what my grade daughter is as well!

 

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Art

Music

  • Piano Lessons
  • Drum video tutorials on Youtube

Bible

Health

  • Fitness – BMX, swimming, some physical education challenges at home and other activities as they come up in the year.
  • Food – Talk about healthy food choices in our everyday life during shopping, meal preparation and snacks.
  • Bodies/Mind – Recognize how much time to spend on devices, moving is good for the body including stretching and strengthening it.
  • Relationships/Friendships – Talk about these areas as they come up.
  • Safety – Talk about naturally as they come up.

Planning your homeschool curriculum is easier than you think! I use a Google Sheets year-at-a-glance planning calendar, and I’m happy to share it with you for FREE! Be sure to grab it below.

Get Your FREE Google Sheets Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Below

Have you used any of these curriculums above? If so, which one?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

I’m so excited to share with you our 2019-2020 grade 3 homeschool curriculum picks!

I LOVE the process of choosing curriculum – which for me is finding out and keeping tabs throughout the past year on all that’s out there and the possibilities. If our choices of curriculum can help you in any way with your choices, than I’m so happy I’ve shared it with you!

Combining Learning

First of all, where I can, I’m combine learning. My children aren’t that far apart in age, so to have materials that are designed for a grade 3 child can easily be adapted for a grade 1 child.

One thing I don’t want to do is become anxious and stressed out about having materials for every child in every grade and the pressure I put on myself to get it all done. This means only one thing for me and it’s burnout.

My children are at the age where I’m heavily involved and hands-on, which is totally fine, but recognizing it and acknowledging it is part of knowing that you can’t do it all.

Fueling Curiosity

What is excluded in my grade 3 homeschool curriculum picks for the year are all the other materials I naturally add along the way.

I struggle with feeling like I’m out of control and not having my children finish a particular curriculum or that we’re not going to get it done on time. But after reading Julie Bogart’s book, The Brave Learner this summer, it’s given me the confidence to fuel my children’s learning by the curiousity they display about a certain topic. This year, I WILL choose to fan the flame of curiosity.

Let’s also be real here – I want to keep to the curriculum and not loose ground so that we’ll finish by May AND I’ve checked all the boxes. That said, WHY we homeschool, the beauty and benefit of this lifestyle isn’t about keeping to a box or a formula and being held within its parameters; it’s about a fluidness to learning when hunger is deep. It’s about permission to explore a topic by means of library books, videos, documentaries, field trips, etc. until the topic is exhausted and the flame has sizzled (as far as my kids are concerned).

Fueling my children’s curiosity is definitely what I’m doing different this year.

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

So, here we go – the feast of rich learning we are diving into for this upcoming year…

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Art

Music

  • Piano Lessons

Bible

Health

  • Fitness – Dance, swimming, some physical education challenges at home and other activities as they come up in the year.
  • Food – Talk about healthy food choices in our everyday life during shopping, meal preparation and snacks.
  • Bodies/Mind – Recognize how much time to spend on devices, moving is good for the body including stretching and strengthening it.
  • Relationships/Friendships – Talk about these areas as they come up.
  • Safety – Talk about naturally as they come up.

Planning your homeschool curriculum is easier than you think! I use a Google Sheets year-at-a-glance planning calendar, and I’m happy to share it with you for FREE! Be sure to grab it below.

Get Your FREE Google Sheets Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Below

Have you used any of these curriculums above? If so, which one?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

REVIEW: Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children

REVIEW: Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children

I’ve actually wanted to get my hands on Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children for a while now. First, because it’s for Grades 1-6. I have children within those grades this year. And the second reason is that it covers a wide range of art elements teaching it progressively.

Although we’ve done other art programs with my daughter who is now in grade 3, my son who’s in grade 1 is at the beginning stages of learning about art. And this year, I’m catering art to my son while the older one will review what she’s learned and I’m sure she’ll learn more along the way!

How to Teach Art to Children is an easy open-and-go curriculum with 96 projects, step-by-step instructions, art appreciation and ease for you and fun for the kids! #evan-moor #evanmoor #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolart

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children Enhanced E-book free with my honest review.

What This Curriculum Contains:

  • FREE downloadable e-book about art and artists
  • Material list (most, if not all these things are in our homes already!)
  • Words to know (vocabulary is important!)
  • 2 parts: Learning About The Elements Of Art and Using The Elements Of Art.
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • 96 projects
  • 159 pages

What I did notice about the curriculum is that there’s no schedule or lesson plan to follow. This wasn’t a deterent for me as I like to go with the flow as far as art is concerned. With 96 projects, you can do an art lesson once a week for 2-3 years while never repeating yourself.

This curriculum is the perfect open-and-go format where a lesson is short and simple, (one page typically) and to the point.

Part One: Learning About The Elements Of Art

This portion helps your children learn all about the seven basic elements of art:

  • line
  • shape
  • color
  • value
  • texture
  • form
  • space

Part Two: Using The Elements Of Art

This portions focuses on 23 famous artists, cultures, and types of art. It’s accompanied by an activity for kids to experience the style of each artist.

What Is Included In Each Lesson?

I love a good illustration to help me understand what the project is about, and this e-book is not short on diagrams! 

Each lesson contains:

  • an overview of what your children will be learning
  • materials list
  • step-by-step instructions for completing the project

This curriculum really couldn’t be any more simple!

How We’ll Be Using How To Teach Art To Children

In terms of our homeschool schedule, art is part of our afternoon loop. We incorporate it as part of our Brave Writer lifestyle and it’s been placed on Day 5 – our most relaxed day!

Now I’m not opposed to doing art more. It certainly is a subject we enjoy easily, so if we need to change things up in our atmosphere, whether it’s been a big emotion kind of day or an intensive type of learning day, art is a great place to bring us all together (and some snacks help too).

Printing This Curriculum

I love the idea of receiving digital e-books, especially in cases where I don’t want to print them. Instead, I keep them stored on my tablet or laptop for ease.

Now in this case, I printed it for you so that you could have a glimpse at the curriculum. That said, I would not recommend printing this e-book to save on ink and paper. The color is great for visual appeal and general helpfulness to show projects, but not necessary for printing as a whole.

Who Is This Curriculum For?

Not all curriculums are for every child or family. Perhaps if you’re looking for who this curriculum is for, I’ll put it this way. It’s a curriculum designed for:

  • homeschool families who have multiple children in multiple grades
  • open-and-go style of format
  • an inexpensive purchase (including the e-book itself and materials needed)
  • art fundamentals building on each concept.

To get your copy or have a look at Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children curriculum, visit their site here.

Have you used the Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children before? If so, how did you like it? Did this review help you? Let me know!

Anchored in Christ
Melanie

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

I’m so excited to be using Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 this upcoming year with both my grade 3 daughter and grade 1 son. We had such a wonderful experience last year when I purchased the Daily Science grade 2!

Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 is open-and-go with short lessons, packed full of information, including vocabulary, copywriting, hands-on activities and more! #evan-moor #evanmoor #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolscience

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 Enhanced E-book free with my honest review.

About Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

Here’s what you need to know about the curriculum:

6 Big Ideas (or Units)

There are 6 topics being covered over 5 weeks. The topics included in each unit are living things, plants, fossils, air, light and electricity.

The first 4 weeks explore each topic, while the fifth week is a unit review that includes comprehension, visual literacy, hands-on activity and vocabulary.

Unit Introduction

  • Teacher Background – gives you information on a topic before you cover it with your children. This can help bring confidence to what you’ll be studying.
  • Unit Overview – before beginning the big idea (unit), this overview helps you see what will be covered each week along with the vocabulary.

Weekly Lessons

At the beginning of each weekly lesson is a more in-depth look for you at what will be covered each day, including vocabulary, materials, and the presentation of ideas and concepts.

  • Days 1-4 – daily Lessons ask a question and provide an in-depth look at the answer. As part of the daily lessons over a 4-day period, the lessons include written work, comprehension, vocabulary, critical thinking, visual literacy and oral language practice.
  • Day 5 – reviews the week’s lessons.

Answer Key

If you’re feeling stumped on the answers, there is a handy answer key at the back of the book.

Printable E-Book

I choose to get printable e-books whenever it’s most suitable. With an online printing subscription that I have, a laminator and comb binding machine, we can make printing and binding a breeze!

What We Really Like About Evan-Moor Daily Science

  • Short lessons. Each lesson is full of information, and it’s not wordy. Kids don’t have to sit still for a long duration and feel overwhelmed by what they just learned.
  • Vocabulary. This is perfect for copywork and memorization.
  • Hands-on activities. My children like to experience what they learn wherever possible, so these activities help enrich and enlighten what they’ve digested over the 4 weeks.
  • Printable e-book. I get to choose if we print it out or not.

How We’ll Use Evan-Moor Daily Science

My children and I love information and it’s important to me that we practically apply, explore or dig in further discovering each unit.

I really like that the lessons are short. It allows us the ability to expand, dig in and explore more as we feel we’d like to. This includes drawing, talking, writing, watching and experiencing what we learned first-hand. So, I’ll have my kids each create a science notebook/nature journal where they can draw, color and write.

Additionally, we’ll pull out more books and videos from the library that go alongside each unit. I want my children to be given every opportunity to investigate their learning. So if we need to take longer on a particular unit, we will!

I’ll also have my kids work on vocabulary in oral and written format for the purpose of copywork and spelling. I’ll also have them narrate to me what they just learned.

To get your copy or have a look at Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 curriculum, visit their site here.

Have you used Evan-Moor Daily Science curriculum before? I’d love to hear about your experience. Was this review helpful?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

When I first started homeschooling, I thought I needed to create a homeschool curriculum plan by writing it down in a planner and following it. Boy was I wrong! I want to share with you how to plan homeschool curriculum using Google Sheets and what saved me from continuing to feel like a failure!

Creating a lesson plan, writing it down and following it DOES NOT work for us. It took about two weeks into our first homeschool year to feel like a complete planning (and homeschooling mom) failure.

At first I didn’t know what to do, because I felt that maybe I wasn’t doing this homeschool thing right… or maybe I wasn’t even doing life right. It really had me question things.

Instead I knew I needed a fresh planning idea that would save my sanity and yet help us accomplish our homeschool learning outcomes. And I’m so happy to say that I’ve found it… and would love to share it with you, if it can help you, too!

The Planning Failure

I felt like a homeschool planning failure because we were already behind.

I couldn’t keep up. I planned too much and there were unexpected things that happened in the week which took our schedule onto another path. And I had this question come up in me, “If we miss a few days, will we need to do math in the summer?” 

I was petrified that if we missed homeschool days due to sickness, dealing with kids emotions, field trips, play dates, and all the things that aren’t scheduled, would we ever stop homeschooling in the year? I couldn’t bear to never stop pulling out the math book.

I need rest from homeschooling and a break to refresh my heart concerning it all and that is why we don’t homeschool in summer.

After feeling like a failure, I began using these steps in our homeschool to start off the process for the year in a prayerful and mindful way.

Then from there, I developed a homeschool curriculum planner using Google Sheets. This reassures me that we’ll have a summer because I’ve planned for it!

I soon find out that, not only are we doing math 4 days a week instead of 5, we’ll also finish earlier than the year-at-a-glance curriculum planner! This includes having 4 weeks off in the year for holidays/vacations and a 3-month long summer.

Homeschool Planning Idea

This is what I’ve determined… I need two planners each year. The planners I need are:

  1. Planner #1: Year-at-a-glance using Google Sheets 
  2. Planner #2: Hard copy homeschool planner

Planner #1: Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Using Google Sheets

The year-at-a-glance homeschool planner gives me an overview of the entire year as it relates to curriculum.

It’s a guide to help me gauge how we’re doing, if we’re keeping up and if what I set out to do was reasonable. It also helps me start the year off with a postive outlook because I’ve “seen” that the plan will work. This, however, is not an etched-in-stone plan that I have to abide by. 

Planner #2: Hard Copy Homeschool Planner/Record-Keeper

The hard copy homeschool planner is where I write down what we actually do each day. This becomes more of a homeschool record-keeping journal, if you will.

The two of these planners proves successful for me. I refer back to the year-at-a-glance planner occasionally throughout the year. This allows me to review how we’re doing in comparison to the hard copy homeschool planner that I have as a record-keeper.

Just a side-note: I read Julie Bogart’s book this summer, “The Brave Learner” and found out that writing down what you actually do in your homeschool is a type of planning called Planning From Behind.

How to Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets

Before I start using Google Sheets, I do the following:

STEP 1: Determine The Number of Homeschool Days/Weeks

  • Print out a full year/annual school calendar (you can find this easily by googling).
  • Indicate your homeschool start date and end date.
  • Mark off the days you’ll take off as holidays or vacation.
  • Mark off weekends if you don’t homeschool over the weekend.
  • From there total up the number of homeschool days and weeks. (I total homeschool weeks using Mondays).

STEP 2: Start a Google Sheet and Update Fields

Open up Google. Find your Google Drive. Select New and select Google Sheet. Name your Google Sheet.

At the top of a Google Sheet, add the following columns:

  • “Week” (for the week number)
  • “Week Of” (for the Monday date of each week)
  • “Days” (for the number of homeschool days that week).

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

Complete each of the fields below the column titles filling in the information from your annual/school calendar that you determined in step 1. (ie. Add Week 2, the Monday date and the number of days in that week. Add Week 3 and so on)

On the Google Sheet there are tabs at the bottom. Create as many tabs as you need for each child and one for Altogether if there are subjects you do together with all your children. Here is an example:

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

Note: Be sure to copy the columns of Week, Week Of and Days to each of these tabs at the bottom.

STEP 3: Add Curriculum Subjects and Lessons

At the top of each column add the subject, below the subject add the curriculum title (shown below).

Review each curriculum. Read what’s suggested for the pace of time to do a lesson or unit. Determine what you’d like to do in your homeschool and fill in each field to know what lessons you’ll be looking to do that week. (ie. Lessons 1-3 for Bible on week 1, Lessons 4-8 for Bible on week 2, etc.)

Part of planning homeschool curriculum for the year is the routine, loop or schedule for each day/week. For our family, we work by routine and not so much a schedule.

Once I’ve determined how much time is required for the curriculum or what I want to see, I form the routine/loop.

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

 

If you’d like to see a video of my homeschool planning process with the above steps in action, visit my Instagram Stories here.

Also, I’ve decided to make my Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner using Google Sheets template available to you FREE!

And not only that, as an added BONUS, I’ve included an undated weekly and monthly planner in the template for you to use helping you keep a record of what you do in your homeschool (also known as planning from behind).

Get Your FREE Google Sheets Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Below

I’d love to hear from you. Was this process of how to plan homeschooling curriculum using Google Sheets helpful? Did the template help you as well? Let me know!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

Choosing homeschool curriculum is exciting for some and yet stressful for others. Find out some of the ways I personally use in how to choose homeschool curriculum for my kids and our family!

A New Season

Each year with our kids brings a new season.

What worked last year may not work this year. Maybe your kids are now preparing for post-secondary education. Or you’re hitting a roadblock when it comes to your child’s desire to learn and it’s felt like a chore lately. Maybe one of the curriculum’s chosen just didn’t fit your child’s needs. Or perhaps, you’re tired and feeling burned out.

No matter what, choosing homeschool curriculum can feel like a daunting task. But if we see that we’re able to provide our children with amazing resources and an education that fuels who God has designed them to be, it truly a privilege to homeschool.

7 Helpful Tips on How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum + FREE Homeschool Plan Checklist

7 Helpful Tips For Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

Sometimes throughout the year, I’ve learned about a curriculum and know in my heart that it’s the one I need to buy when it’s time. At other times, I hear about curriculum that I’m finding out that others are doing and feel interested, yet unsure. This then requires me to go on a hunt to find out more information.

Below are 7 helpful tips for choosing homeschool curriculum:

TIP #1: Prayer

This is a must for me. I believe that as we turn our hearts toward what the Lord that He shows and reveals His heart for us and our children. I also love to pray intentional prayers over my children, our homeschooling endeavours and our homeschool plan. God has us on a journey individually and together as a family, so it’s important to yield our ideas and exchange them for the Lord’s.

TIP #2: Homeschool Blogs and Websites

There are so many amazing and encouraging homeschool moms that are helpful in their ideas with curriculum including curriculum reviews, working with their children, homeschool organization, homemaking and more.

Lots of homeschool blogs and websites also offer great resources either for free, at a steep discount or reasonably priced.

TIP #3: Online or Physical Homeschool Stores

Scroll through online homeschool shops or if you can take a visit to a physical store (sans kids), do it! Touch and feel the books and glance through them.

TIP #4: Conferences

Whether it’s an online conference or you’re able to physically attend a conference, there are so many great curriculums you can check out and look into with the vendor hall.

TIP #5: Homeschool Communities

Join Facebook homeschool groups or get together with other local homeschool moms where you can ask questions or get recommendations or experiences using the curriculum.

TIP #6: Hashtags

Homeschool moms and homeschool mom bloggers create hashtags on Instagram which turn out to be great resources when looking for curriculum ideas.

TIP #7: Video Reviews

If you have a curriculum you’re thinking about using, search youtube to see if there’s a review or an in-depth look at it. This is as close to going to a physical store as possible.

FREE PRINTABLE!

11 simple steps to plan your successful homeschool year

How to Plan Your Homeschool Year in 11 Steps + FREE Printable Checklist & Worksheets

What are some ways you go about researching and choosing homeschool curriculum? Share any tips you have below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie