Love God and Love People + FREE 30-Day Love Challenge

Love God and Love People + FREE 30-Day Love Challenge

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The foundation and motivation for anything and everything we do as children of God is based on love. A short way of looking at it is to love God and love people.

So what is love?

There are four different types of love in the Bible and the one we’re looking at is agape love. Agape love is the highest form of love; it’s selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It’s more than a feeling that affects our emotions; it’s active and it demonstrates itself through actions.
30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Two new commandments

Jesus shares two commandments in the New Testament where all the laws in the Old Testament are fulfilled. And those two laws are found in Matthew 22:37-40, which says,
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
From this scripture, we need to know where love stems from and why we CAN love our neighbor.

God is love

God doesn’t have love; He IS love. 1 John 4:16 says,
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The very essence of love stems out of who God is. And not only that, if love is unconditional, selfless and is revealed through action, God truly showed us how much He loves us. He gave His very best, His one and only Son (John 3:16) so that we could have a relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.  
30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Loving God

To love God, is to recognize who He is in our lives, and that without Him we are nothing.

As we devote and surrender ourselves to God in meditating on the Word, prayer, worship, praise, we are opening our heart to Him. We want His very nature to penetrate into every fibre of our being so that we are children who are led by Him.

When we love someone, our heart and affection is turned toward them. We can use words that are said or written that express our love to God. But, the ultimate way we show God that we love Him is by doing what He says and loving others.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20

So then the question is, how do we love people?

Loving People

It can be easier to love people that you connect with, are friends with or are really close to.

But, Jesus doesn’t want us to just focus on those that are easy to love; He wants us to love those we don’t know, the ones who are hurting and sad, who are in need, and even the unlovable – those that may not have treated you right.

1 John 4:7-8 says,

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

If we can view every person on this earth as someone created by God (because they are), we are choosing to see others through the lens of love.

But if the lens we are carrying about ourselves is distorted, we will pick up that same lens when we look at others and view them the same way.

 

30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Loving ourselves

If we are to love others as ourselves, loving ourselves doesn’t have to do with finding 5 things about yourself that you like and then doing the same for another person. To love yourself has everything to do with looking at the One who created you and seeing the value that you have because you are here on this earth. You are born for such a time as this and there is no one like you. You are uniquely created with a purpose, calling and destiny to be fulfilled impacting the earth with heaven.

Putting it together

Now, the ability to love others should be seen with the same lenses that you look through when you look at yourself. When we view others as insignificant, we’re really saying that we view ourselves as insignificant. If we don’t value who we are in God, we’ll never value another person, because just like us, they are also made in the image of God.

Get 2 FREE 30-Day Love Bible Scripture Challenges!

Is loving ourselves always easy? Or, is loving others always easy? Nope, it’s not!

But, it’s a beautiful thing when you can look past imperfections and insecurities and choose to look through the lens of Love, the One who made you. Then, we all are significant and beautiful no matter how messy our lives are.

Nobody loses when we choose to love each other.

How do you keep your mindset in a frame to love God and love people? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

How to Start Your New Year Right

How to Start Your New Year Right

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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) 
How 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

Scriptures for Encouragement + FREE 30-Day Scripture Challenge Pack

Scriptures for Encouragement + FREE 30-Day Scripture Challenge Pack

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We all experience challenges in our life and the Bible is the perfect resources as our scriptures for encouragement.

Fill our hearts, renewing our minds and speaking the Word of God stirs with us faith, the promises of God, strength by the power of the Holy Spirit and so much more!

In fact, this is what Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

Filling Our Hearts

Our hearts are a very sensitive place where we hide God’s Word.

Out of our hearts also flows everything we are whether good or evil. It’s essential then that we protect our hearts.

How do we protect our hearts?

We protect our hearts by being mindful of what we choose to allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear.

Everything around us can affect us, so guarding and protecting your heart from what could penetrate it is of highest priority.

In Proverbs 4:23 in The Passion Translation it says,

So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.

The Word is also something we can hide in our heart.

Our loving Father allows us the choice of what we fill our hearts with and we can either choose to pursue the Lord and His ways or the ways of this world.

For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure. Matthew 6:21 TPT

 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NKJV

Transforming Your Mind

Renewing our minds is a process of setting or fixing our mind and thinking on things that are from God. As we do this, we start to become who God says we can be.

We are to also be the salt and the light of the world by thinking differently, acting differently and speaking different. By having scriptures for encouragement, we can constantly examine if we’re staying true to the Word.

If we’re no different than the world then we’ve conformed and lost our flavour.

The environments around us can change us if we’re not perceptive and watchful of what’s going on around us. What we allow in our minds can conform us to this world and the way it operates.

Transformation is a continual process and not something that happens overnight.

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.

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

Speaking the Word

We need to intentionally meditate on the Word so that that is what comes out of our mouth.

Joshua 1:8 NKJV says,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you 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.

To meditate means to: moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot and speak (source).

We are to literally utter, mutter and speak the Word of God.

It’s not to just speak words either for the sake of saying them. It’s that we’re to say these words to hear them, and when we hear them it’s affecting our heart and the way we think.

Just as food is fuel and nourishment to our bodies, the Word of God fuels our spirit and the way we think allowing our words to change.

Download your FREE 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge Pack

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

What are some scriptures for encouragement that are your go-to?

Let me know in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Teach your kids obedience with this 60+ page family Bible study!

Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

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There’s nothing like coming together as a family every night, lighting a few candles, grabbing a hot chocolate or tea and reading a passage that leads up to the birth of Jesus.

Take a journey over 30 days with a Christmas Bible story scripture challenge, from the prophecies of Jesus, to Mary and Joseph’s encounter with the angel, and then finally Jesus’ birth.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

Read the Christmas Bible Story in 30 Days

The story of Jesus is significant.

Why? Because without Him we would not have been redeemed and restored living in a new covenant of grace.

Our loving God in His great mercy, having given His created image (people) the ability to make their own choices, made a plan of redemption from the beginning.

Jesus was already prophesied about in Genesis 3:15, which says,

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

As you continue to look in scripture, Jesus is prophesied about and foreshadowed in the Old Testament. God was set on redeeming His people, and there was an appointed time for Jesus to come.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

The Unlikely…Mary, Jesus’ Mother

I love a good story about an underdog.

I think about how Mary must have felt being visited by an angel to say she will carry the One whom God will send to redeem His people AND have a child without being intimate with a man.

To think that God would plan something so unlikely, having a woman become pregnant miraculously, by the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her, is beyond my understanding.

Can you relate with Mary in trying to figure this all out? Our mind just can’t fathom this kind of thing.

The angel, Gabriel, actually encourages Mary about God’s miraculous nature by reminding her that Elizabeth was pregnant in her older age.

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:36-37

And immediately, following Gabriel’s reminder, Mary says the most powerful words of faith.

“Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Get your FREE 30-Day Christmas Bible Story Printable

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FaREE Printable

How do you celebrate Jesus in this season of Christmas? I’d love to hear what your family does. Feel free to share 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-Day Homeschool Prayer Challenge

30-Day Homeschool Prayer Challenge

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Prayer can change the atmosphere or direction of anything, including your homeschool. But most often, it is us who needs to KEEP praying and speaking God’s Word. Join my 30-day Homeschool Prayer Challenge and see what God will do through daily prayer prompts, scripture, prayer, encouragement and support.

The homeschooling lifestyle isn’t easy.

Let’s just look at a list of what a homeschooling mom deals with:

  • Education – hoping that they’ll engage with what’s being taught and the ability to teach so that it’s understood.
  • Household – cooking, cleaning, laundry, finances, yardwork, organization.
  • Driver – activities, homeschool co-op’s, sports, kids/youth groups.
  • Relationships – having a good relationship with your kids, husband, parents, siblings, friends.
  • Ministry/Volunteer – getting plugged into a local church, charity or other volunteer organization.
  • Self-care – where does this fit in?

A homeschooling mom’s plate is full.

Just looking at this list makes me feel overwhelmed, but thankfully, it doesn’t all happen at once.

You can feel joy one minute and a failure to your kids the next. Emotions are everywhere for everyone.

We can do our best to prevent hard homeschooling days, but ultimately we need the help of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and help us soften our hearts, discern what’s going on, pray into all things and believe that outcomes will change by the power of God.

You can change the direction and atmosphere of your homeschool with prayer. Join my 30-Day Homeschool Prayer Challenge and receive 'My Homeschool Prayer Journal" FREE!

So what does prayer do?

…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)

Prayer intervenes, interposes, intercedes and makes supplication. (Source)

Life isn’t easy; it’s tough. We have an adversary, the devil, walking around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

The goal of the enemy is to have you think that God isn’t good, causing you to question everything about Him, ultimately becoming separated from Him and even to the point of denying Him.

God has given us a free will. Everything about life is a result of choice, but not everything that happens to us is our choice.

Cling to God as if your life depends on it.

There are times when relationships with friends or loved ones are in turmoil, children are making choices that aren’t good for them and they’re not happy with the consequences of their actions, or there’s a lack of finances to pay all that’s due. You could also be experiencing ill-health in your body, mind or emotions or a tough go at homeschooling trying to figure it all out.

Whatever the case, we need to know that although our life experiences are tough that God does allows them and it gives us an opportunity to cling to Him as if our life depends on it. 

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (James 1:13)

Know the difference between God and the enemy.

God is so much greater than to teach us with evil, sickness or lack. These experiences do exist, but they are not from God, they are from Satan, whose purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came so that we would experience life, and life more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Be aware of the enemy’s devices. If we know the difference between God and the enemy, we’ll avoid falling prey to his schemes of doubt and questions.

God’s character. If we know the character of God by reading the Word, we’ll know that anything that we’re experiencing in life that doesn’t line up with who God is only temporary, but a matter of prayer.

Prayer connects our heart to God’s heart.

God is supreme and the final authority, which means if our heart isn’t longing for what God would have happen, it’s us that needs the change, not God.

By you being here on this earth at this very moment in time, is for your heart to connect to God’s heart through prayer impacting earth with the influence of heaven.

If God can make all things work together for good (Romans 8:28), then likely He wants you to reach out to Him, like a child reaches out to their father. God wants you to fervently knock, ask and seek Him, pursuing Him with hope as your anchor to your soul.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)

 

Prayer requires us to stand.

We have to know that prayer is a fight. 

Prayer is not a matter of flesh and blood (physical people), but of power and principalities and rulers of the darkness.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Angels are waiting for your spoken word.

God needs you to agree with His Word and speak it out loud. In fact, the angels are waiting for His Word, so that they can get to work actively accomplishing His will on the earth.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
(Psalm 103:20)

Would you like to join my 30-Day Homeschool Prayer Challenge?

Who is the 30-day Homeschool Prayer Challenge for?

This challenge is for someone who:

  • desires to see change in their homeschool environment.
  • craves creative and innovative homeschool ideas to help their children be their best at learning and your ability in teaching them.
  • hungers for other homeschool moms to be encouraged about their homeschooling endeavours.
  • longs for their marriage to grow stronger.
  • yearns for their children to fulfill their life’s purpose, destiny and calling.
  • believes they are blessed to be a blessing helping others in need.
  • desires to see their family’s income increase, so that they are the lender and not the borrower.
  • wants their relationships (family, friendship, etc.) strengthened.
  • believes they can be better and healthier in their body, mind and emotions.

 

What will you get from being involved in the 30-day Homeschool Prayer Challenge?

You’ll receive:

  • My Homeschool Prayer Journal ($6.00 value), absolutely FREE, when you join!
  • Daily prayer prompts will be posted, along with a scripture.
  • 30-day scripture challenges to continue on our journey of prayer
  • Prayer as you submit your prayer requests.
  • Encouragement, support and love from this group that is the praying homeschool moms.

 

Will you join me to see change?

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Picks for 2018-2019

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Picks for 2018-2019

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

A lot of people don’t choose kindergarten homeschool curriculum because really, you don’t need it. I, however, prefer a little something to guide our efforts.

I’m not looking to do school at home, but I do need help in seeing what’s possible to challenge my little guy with.

Check out our Kindergarten homeschool curriculum picks for this year! #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolkindergarten

With our current routine involving my older, grade 2 child and my younger, kindergarten child, the advantage of all that my kindergartener gets to learn just by nature of being around my older one is a beautiful thing!

My 5-year old son is a kindergartener whose active, is at times strong-willed, and a solution-minded kinda guy. He likes a challenge and loves it when you reward his efforts.

So to have his older sister sit in a desk across from him brings on his eagerness to have something of his own. And why not?!

Our Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Picks for 2018-2019

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons (Second Time Around) + FREE sticker chart, letter sound flashcards & word flashcards!

And just by nature of my son being with my daughter whose in grade 2, he’s also participating in our Brave Writer Lifestyle (explained here), which includes:

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons Printables

(includes: sticker chart, letter sound flashcards & word flashcards)

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons (Second Time Around) + FREE sticker chart, letter sound flashcards & word flashcards!

I’d love to hear if you include any of these elements in your kindergarten homeschool curriculum. Share in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie