How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

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We tend to think of gratitude like a warm greeting card, a kind sentiment sent to someone special or a journal entry listing 5 things we’re grateful for.

Although gratitude certainly includes these things, it can also be more.

What if gratitude is a response of faith? A posture during times that aren’t easy? A trust in the Lord that goes beyond natural comprehension?

Find out how to teach gratitude to your kids and help your kids develop a deeper relationship with the Lord.

What Is Gratitude?

The word gratitude is not used in the King James Version (KJV) or New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

That said, if we do some digging, we find that gratitude is defined in the 1828 dictionary as this:

  • An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness.
  • An agreeable emotion, consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy.
  • A virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.

If gratitude means thankfulness, thanks and thanksgiving and we go back to the greek meaning of the word thanks, it means to be grateful; to express gratitude towards.

Looking up scriptures with the word thanks, thanksgiving, or thankfulness, there are an abundance.

Find out how to teach gratitude to your kids + FREE Bible Study Guide for Kids

How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

Gratitude is a learned behaviour; it isn’t something that comes naturally.

One of the first things we as parents teach our kids is manners.

We prompt them to, “Say please!” or “Say thank you!” Or in our family’s case, I chose to teach using sign language first when they couldn’t speak words yet.

Now just because we teach our kids to say, “Thank you”, doesn’t mean they’ve connected the dots to know when to respond with gratitude. And though we’ve taught them doesn’t mean they’ll respond as they should. Gratitude an ongoing process of prompting and reminding.

Helping Our Kids Understand Gratitude

As our kids grow older and into the elementary years, we move on from prompting our kids to show gratitude, to helping them understand and show gratitude.

Teaching our kids gratitude comes as a result of not seeing our kids express it when we feel they should.

Kids can do what they’re told, but when they’re given an opportunity to show what they know and we don’t see it coming from them naturally, we teach. And this is where we can share the importance of gratitude helping them gain understanding. From there, we pray for gratitude to become a personal revelation as they get to know our Father more and more.

The World vs. The Bible

The world teaches gratitude, too. But is the world’s gratitude different than the Bible? Absolutely.

The difference? Biblical gratitude is about putting our eyes and our focus on Jesus instead of ourselves, others, things or the universe.

The world doesn’t recognize that it’s God who created and provides all the things for us to enjoy, experience and embark on.

Want to focus on the Bible verses that are related to gratitude, thankfulness and thanksgiving?

This 30-day Thankfulness scripture calendar may be helpful! It’s perfect for scripture writing, declarations and scripture memory.

How to teach gratitude to your kids

Biblical Gratitude

We wouldn’t be on this earth if it wasn’t for God’s master plan.

In recognizing that God is Creator, we then also see our need for Him. He’s not just God; He’s Father, Lover, Provider, Sustainer, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, and so much more.

The Foundation Of Gratitude

The correct foundation is necessary. And as children of God, our foundation is built on the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s about Him being glorified and not ourselves, others, things or the universe.

We’re not just teaching our kids gratitude as a way of life to help them with a healthy and good habit and to be good people… gratitude is a spiritual discipline to help us grow and deepen our personal relationship with the Lord.

Why Is Gratitude So Powerful?

Jesus, being the Son of God is our example of how God provides so powerfully when we look to Him with gratitude.

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. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of. Matthew 15:36-39 NKJV

What does Jesus do with what God has provided knowing it’s not enough in the natural? He gives thanks. He shares His gratitude to the Lord for providing in the midst of a challenge.

The kind of gratitude that’s in the Bible is also not about whether you’re looking at life from the negative or the positive, seeing the glass half-empty or half-full, what you have verses what you don’t have or seeing the bright side of things. No, in fact, gratitude is being able to thank God in the midst of hard and challenging times, which means Biblical gratitude doesn’t necessarily come as a result of something, but Someone. It’s about our dependency on Jesus and not ourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

How Can I Express My Gratitude To God?

The ways that we can express our gratitude to God is by:

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. Psalm 26:7 NKJV

We don’t want to be thankful for something without recognizing the One who gave and provided. Otherwise gratitude is empty and void and becomes about about us, instead of God.

 

  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the gifts and not recognizing the Giver.
  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the healing and not recognizing the Healer.
  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the money and not recognizing the Source.
Help your kids discover Biblical gratitude with scripture, scripture writing, memorization, activities including gratitude prompts, thankfulness tree and gratitude cards.

How To Help Your Kids Grow In Gratitude

If there wasn’t an expression of gratitude towards our Father, we would have an entitlement mentality. We might find ourselves being prideful and arrogant lacking humility and our need for God.

To help our kids understand thankfulness and gratitude to God, first have them consider what surrounds their life. This is a natural way to help our kids. When they do this, they can begin to see God’s goodness – what He provides, how He creates, what He does when we don’t expect it, etc.

For example: looking around at nature is THE best way to begin with gratitude.

Have your kids complete these sentences:

“Thank You, Lord, for _______________________ because ______________________.”

“Thank You, Lord, that _______________________ because _____________________.”

Another way you can dig into gratitude with your kids is a gratitude Bible study designed for them! 

Maturing in Gratitude

As kids continue their walk with the Lord learning gratitude and sharing what they’re grateful to Him FOR, ultimately, we want to help our kids progress in seeing that gratitude is deeper than being grateful for something. Gratitude that’s maturing learns that it’s about surrendering and yielding ourselves to God recognizing that without Him, we are nothing.

To help your kids dig deeper into the Word, grab the FREE Bible Study For Kids printable below:

FREE Printable Bible Study Guide for Kids

There are different ways in how to teach gratitude to your kids, however, these are ways we’ve found that it develops over time.

I pray that your kids are deepening their relationship with God through the spiritual discipline of gratitude. May they experience Him in ways they haven’t before.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses + FREE Printable

30 Thanksgiving Bible Verses + FREE Printable

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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

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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

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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

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

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

How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

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