Bible

A Charlotte Mason Bible Study Lesson

A CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE STUDY LESSON

“But let the imaginations of children be stored with the pictures, their minds nourished upon the words, of the gradually unfolding stories of the scriptures, and they will come to look out upon a wide horizon within which persons and events take shape in their due place and in due proportion.” (Mason, vol 1)

Bible
Bible

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. I also include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama. Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B. This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

SPREADING THE FEAST IS GOOD

“As a matter of fact, it is the man who has read and thought on many subjects who is, with the necessary training, the most capable.” (Mason, vol. 6)

Ms. Mason suggests spreading a wide feast in education, in order to nourish a child’s mind. A Charlotte Mason curriculum aims to be wide and varied. This gives the child a chance to develop many interests and become well rounded. A Charlotte Mason education certainly intends to be rich, varied, and life giving, and this is partly why I choose to focus on her philosophy of education.

“He requires much knowledge, for the mind needs sufficient food as much as does the body.” (Mason, vol. 6)

I became interested in healthy eating almost 12 years ago as a yoga instructor. Once my children were born, I became more focused on nutrition. Thankfully, I was able to breastfeed both children, as babies, because it was a wonderful nutrition option for them.

When I became a Health Coach last year, I focused even more on nutrient dense foods to nourish my family. I aim to give them a great start in their little lives.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Presently, I continue to to give them a varied and nourishing feast. This carries over to their education.  I take it as my job to give a nourishing feast for their minds and body.

Ms. Charlotte Mason also says,

“But, believing that the normal child has powers of mind that fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, we must give him a full and generous curriculum…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Bible
Bible

A CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE STUDY

WHAT

“Children between the ages of six and nine should get a considerable knowledge of the Bible text.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, Charlotte Mason says a standard Bible should be used. The Bible lesson should not come from a children’s Bible or devotional. Instead, the child should hear the actual text of the Bible since the stories of the Bible are so rich. Therefore, children are worthy of the very best, and rise to the occupation of listening to the Bible in its whole form.

Personally, I choose a beautiful and journaling Bible because I thought I would really enjoy it. So, I’m using a King James Version. Its called Praise: A Creative Journaling Bible.

In Parents and Children, Ms. Mason says the child, “should not be able to recall a time before the sweet stories of old filled his imagination.” (Mason, vol. 2)

If you have preschoolers, this is my FAVORITE Children’s Bible…though the true Bible should also be read to them from a young age.

Finally, THIS is my dream Bible set! Look how beautiful! But, clearly, for a special occasion, because its a little expensive!

WHEN

Charlotte Mason called the Bible lesson, the “chief lesson.” Its upheld as the most important subject, since it teaches a child right from wrong. Therefore, she urges the Bible lesson to be the first lesson of the day. The lesson should be about 15 minutes long. A Charlotte Mason Plenary has linked to the Parent’s Union school Form 1 schedule, which shows “in all cases the Bible text must be read and narrated first.”

Finally, a Bible lesson should occur once a day, five days a week.

Additionally, Sunday readings were recommended from: Parables from Nature.

WHY

“And perhaps it is not too beautiful a thing in this redeemed world, that, as the babe turns to his mother though he has no power to say her name, as the flowers turn to the sun, so the hearts of the children turn to their Savior and God with unconscious delight and trust.” (Mason, vol. 1)

I love this quote because it shows we should model humility, and faith for our children so they may come to have a relationship with God. Perhaps most importantly, the child learns to have a heart for God, and to develop a personal relationship with God.

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven? And He called a little child, and set him in the mist. Here is the divine estimate of the child’s estate.” (Matthew 18: 1-2 King James Version, and Mason, vol. 1

Then, the Bible goes onto say that those who enter Heaven must be like the child. Since children are so precious to Jesus, we should respect them as persons and nurture them in this endeavor.

“…their Bible lessons should help them to realize in early days that the knowledge of God is the principle knowledge, and therefore, that heir Bible lessons are their chief lessons.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Also:

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name…” (Psalms 92: 1 King James Version)

The purpose of the Bible lessons is to lead the child to the knowledge of God.

HOW

“Read your Bible story to the child bit by bit; get him to tell you in his own words (keeping as close as he can to the Bible words) what you have read, and, then, if you like, talk about it; but not much.” (Mason, vol. 2)

For Form 1B, in other words, first grade, the Bible lesson encompasses most of Genesis from the Old Testament. Also, it is suggested to cover the appropriate portions of Matthew from the New Testament. A Delectable Education recommends to alternate Old Testament and New Testament daily for lessons because it may hold a child’s attention better. Each Bible lesson should cover about 10-20 verses per day.

Additionally, Charlotte Mason says the parent should continue to read aloud the Bible passage, even after a child can read it on his own.

NARRATION

  • First, read the Bible passage to the child once.
  • Then, ask the child to tell back what he heard, using as close to the words he heard as possible. This is narration.
  • Finally, Mama and child can discuss what was read.
  • As an option, Charlotte Mason Poetry notes suggest on how to begin the lesson: ‘Tell the story to the child, only giving the necessary explanations.’

RESOURCES FOR MAMA

Here are some suggested readings for Mothers to prep Bible lessons and discuss with their children following their narration.

“But it is well to let the pictures tell their own tale. The children should study a subject quietly for a few minutes; and then, the picture being removed, say what they have seen.” (Mason, vol. 1)

PICTURES

Moreover, you can choose to share pictures to compliment the Bible stories following the narration or Bible lesson.

RECITATION

“The learning by heart of Bible passages should begin while the children are quite young, six or seven.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, you can have young children learn by heart parables and stories from the Bible. For recitation purposes, the Homeschool Mama should read aloud the passage a few times. Then, the child can narrate back only when they feel they know the words.

praise-bible
praise-bible

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Also, some of these listed below are specific to a Charlotte Mason Bible lesson study.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Finally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information, feel free to check out these previous blog posts:

Thank you so much for checking in! Please stay tuned for the next A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books since I have gained so much from them! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

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Preschool Living Books

29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books

 

First, I list our favorite preschool, or early years, read alouds! Next, I explain my journey of how I began homeschooling my children. Next, I discuss my favorite method and philosophy of Education.

  • Please keep reading to the bottom for some great homeschooling resources!

FAVORITE BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

A big part of Charlotte Mason was her belief in God. However, I also come across another secular early years CM resource and it can be found here if that suits you better: Wildwood Curriculum.

BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. The Jesus Storybook Bible – ABSOLUTELY our favorite Bible for the younger years!!!
  2. The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  3. The Random House Book of Bible Stories– gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  4. The Wonder Book of Bible Stories – recommended by Ambleside online

FAVORITE GENTLE LEARNING BOARD BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

GENTLE LEARNING
GENTLE LEARNING
  1. 1 is One – Beautiful, timeless illustrations and gentle introduction to counting numbers 1 through 20
  2. Counting with Barefoot Critters – you can’t beat these sweet illustrations and carefully created stories for each number 1 through 12
  3. Adventures with Barefoot Critters: An ABC Book – the illustrations are incredible and I love how this story includes both ABC’s and the calendar months
  4. B is for Bear: A Natural Alphabet – a nature inspired alphabet book
  5. In a Pumpkin Shell – a beautifully illustrated alphabet book based on mother goose nursery rhymes
  6. A to Z Picture Book – wonderfully illustrated alphabet book by Gyo Fujikawa

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS TO PREPARE FOR HOME EDUCATION

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

Although I’m no Charlotte Mason expert, I believe these books in the list below, represent Living Books. These books:

  •      create imaginative play in my children
  •      contain beautiful stories that my children ask for over and over
  •      are comprised of beautiful literature and pictures
  •      inspire good values and
  •      are passed down from generation to generation
Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books
Charlotte Mason Preschool Books
Charlotte Mason Preschool Books

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. Albert – a sweet story about a man overcoming his fears and how nature helped him learn how
  2. Blueberries for Sal – a sweet story, we just love almost everything from this author
  3. Corduroy – a sweet story of hope, adventure and an adorable bear
  4. Make Way for Ducklings – both kiddos (ages JUST now 4 and 5) LOVE this book
  5. Miss Rumphius – what a lovely story…I may have shed a tear or two… We have read this one MANY TIMES by request of my kiddos
  6. One Morning in Maine – I just love everything by this author
  7. Roxaboxen – what a lovely story about the freedom of childhood and playing in nature
  8. Story of Ferdinand – a lovely, classic story about self-control and kindness
  9. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit – my oldest REALLY loves these stories
  10. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter – if you can swing the whole set, this is wonderful and my children love these stories! (The literature is rich, so its a nice preparatory for their future formal school readings)
  11. The Little Engine that Could – I love this version because of the lovely illustrations
  12. The Little House – a sweet tale of patience and kindness
  13. The Little Red Hen – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  14. The Three Bears – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  15. The Three Bill Goats Gruff – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  16. The Velveteen Rabbit – love this original version and illustrations
  17. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree – this one has made me cry happy tears each time I have read it aloud to my children
  18. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh – I can’t recommend this one enough! My boys love these stories
  19. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – this version by Tomie DePaola looks fabulous!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN/FIRST GRADE READERS

Finally, here are some suggested wonderful First Readers if you are Preschoolers are beginning to read on their own!

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

First Readers
First Readers
  1. Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury – my children BOTH love the stories in this Treasury. Its going to be a great stepping stone to reading on their own!
  2. Little Bear – My children LOVE these stories and I’m excited for them to learn read them aloud to me one day!
  3. Treadwell Primer – these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read
  4. Treadwell First Reader– these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read

PRESCHOOL YEARS

My greatest joy is spending as much time with my children as possible. Have you read The Five Love Languages? It was recommended to me by a friend to strengthen my marriage, and I highly recommend it! The most important thing, to me, is building a relationship with my family.

CHARLOTTE MASON

Charlotte WHO???

When I first heard about Charlotte Mason, I had NO CLUE who she was. I searched homeschooling styles, and took this quiz  and was surprised I scored the highest in a Charlotte Mason education style. Since I had no idea who she was, I did some research! WAY TOO MUCH RESEARCH.

Then, I reached out to the Peaceful Preschool Facebook group I was a part of, and the creator of the group, (and a very experienced homeschool mama) along with other mamas, steered me in the direction of some of my favorite and first Charlotte Mason resources: A Charlotte Mason Companion and For the Children’s Sake.

 

LOVE AT FIRST READ

From the first few pages into A Charlotte Mason Companion, I was IN DEEP! It was like the author, and Charlotte Mason herself, were speaking directly to my heart. Since what I was reading made so since much sense to me, I wanted to begin educating my children using the Charlotte Mason method immediately!

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS

The BEST WAY to learn about a Charlotte Mason Education is to read her volumes. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you begin with Volume 1 Home Education. Really, I recommend the whole set of Charlotte Mason’s volumes since they have SUCH great value to parents, mamas, home educators or anyone caring for children.

Home Education lays the foundation for children ages 0-9 years old therefore it is a perfect starting point for your preschoolers. Charlotte Mason (CM) stresses the importance of forming good habits, points out the value of spending long hours outdoors daily, reading good quality literature through read alouds, and introduces the concept of the early lessons. She recommended formal education began at age six for the child.

Some of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes:

  • “Never be within doors, when you can rightly be without.” CM Home Education pg. 42
  • “In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part in fresh air.” CM Home Education pg. 43
  • “An Observant child should be put in the way of Things worth observing.” CM Home Education pg. 69

 

 

EARLY YEARS (PRESCHOOL) CURRICULUM RESOURCES 

These are MY FAVORITE PRESCHOOL CM RESOURCES and I’m happy to share them with YOU!

  1. Ambleside Online – Year 0 Explanation and Book List (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  2. Charlotte Mason Help –  Preschool and Kindergarten Book List and Schedule (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  3. A Delectable Education – Episode 79 Podcast : The Early Years (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  4. A Charlotte Mason Soiree – Free Charlotte Mason Courses and a wonderful Facebook Community!
  5. Exploring Nature with Children – A Beautiful and Gentle Introduction to Nature Study that we LOVE! Make sure to click on “Preview” if you click on this link to see a sample of the curriculum!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL BOOKS

Favorite-Books
Favorite-Books

Reading has always been a big part of my family culture. My mom would scour countless garage sales for me and bring home boxes of books, much to my delight! I was an early reader and an avid reader and I know this is because my parents and Grammie made it a priority to read aloud to me daily. As I entered into middle school, my parent’s built their dream home and created a room dedicated to books…so we had our very own library!!!

Finally, I have used the Early Years Curriculum Resources above, as well as suggested books from the Peaceful Preschool, to hone and curate my very favorite Preschool books. I hope you enjoy this list as much as we do!!! Since we have ALL OF THESE BOOKS, I highly recommend them to you! If you have any questions about a particular book, please let me know because I would love to help!

LIVING BOOKS

Part of Charlotte Mason’s education philosophy was utilizing Living Books. Listen to this wonderful podcast which describes what Living Books are and why you might want to use these. According to Livingbookslibrary.com, Living Books contain, “literary power, rich ideas, are virtuous, inspiring, told in narrative form, span generations, and inspire imagination.”

Why Living Books

 

 

 

GENTLE LETTER LEARNING

Read about our gentle letter introduction. We are currently slowly and carefully are moving through the Peaceful Preschool and Exploring Nature with Children in order to provide a gentle introduction to learning.

Finally, here are our favorite Preschool Supplies!

In conclusion, I hope this helps provide a resource to you in your preschool and early homeschooling years. If you are taking on a Charlotte Mason education, what are your favorite resources? I would love to hear from you!

 

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Winter Trees

Winter Nature Activities for Preschoolers

EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their Preschool/Kindergarten years. These early years are so precious. First, I share examples of our nature studies with Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children. Keep reading to find out how we explore nature during the Winter! Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the Preschool/Kindergarten years.

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors (HINT: If you click on this link, make sure you click “Preview” to check out the preschool curriculum!)
Winter Trees
Winter Trees

WINTER BIRDS

In December, we studied winter birds with Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children. Almost daily, we pull out our Nature Anatomy book and use it as a lovely learning resource. We also LOVE these sandpaper letters for early letter formation and writing skills! They are so affordable to beautiful in their simplicity.

I have been wanting to collect some field guides, and we finally picked up a few at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. I choose the following guides since I felt they would get us started off on the right foot: Texas Wildflowers, Birds of Central Texas, and Owls of North America.

Finally, we read through Owl Moon. Have you read this story? If you haven’t, I highly suggest it! The last page in the book is so sweet:

“When you go owling
you don’t need words
or warm
or anything but hope.
That’s what Pa says.
The kind of hope
that flies
on silent wings
under a shining
Owl Moon.”

Winter Birds
Winter Birds

We also created bird’s nests from play dough and used some old string and feathers and twigs from the yard.

Also pictured are two other highly recommended books that we read regularly: Albert and A Nest is Noisy.

Winter Bird's Nest
Winter Bird’s Nest

Albert is a sweet story about birds who build a nest in Albert’s hands and help him overcome his fears. It is beautifully illustrated by Jim LaMarche.

Winter Bird's Nest
Winter Bird’s Nest

Now that my oldest is five, he is beginning to want to practice handwriting. I’m super gentle with their learning since I feel that is best for the littlest of children. I’m grateful for these letter worksheets from simplylearningkids.

Finally, we read through Are You My Mother? My little ones created another nest made from play dough and I loved when they added in eggs. Its such a joy to see their creativity come alive from play, good books, and nature! Here is the link to these lovely letters again! sandpaper letters

Winter Bird's Nest
Winter Bird’s Nest

WINTER SKY

Since we don’t have much snow in Texas, the boys don’t often experience what I would consider a true Winter. My husband and I talk often about taking them to a colder place in the Winter sometime so they can experience snowflakes and nature in wintertime.

To explore the Winter sky, we used coffee filters to make snowflake shapes, and also read the Snowy Day and Nature Anatomy again to look at different snowflake shapes.

Winter Snowflakes
Winter Snowflakes

Then, we read this sweet book called Snowmen at Night. I think its perfect for preschoolers since it seems like the boys enjoy to have this book read aloud often!

Winter Snowmen
Winter Snowmen

WINTER MOON

Once again, we utilized the Nature Anatomy books and these sandpaper letters . Seriously, we use them almost daily!!!

Winter Moon
Winter Moon

First, I drew in pencil the phases of the moon and then I invited my oldest to watercolor the picture however he wanted. I love his close attention to detail.

Winter Moon
Winter Moon

We also added in gluten free oreos into the study of the phases of the moon! The boys LOVED this part of course!

Winter Moon
Winter Moon

We don’t often buy cookies so this was a treat! I may or may not have a cookie or two with them!

Winter Moon
Winter Moon

My sweet friend sent me these beautiful moon resources.

Winter Moon
Winter Moon

 

WINTER TREE STUDY

The Exploring Nature with Children curriculum is so lovely written. She states:

     “Winter can be a very interesting time to observe trees. Their beautiful silhouettes stretch across the  winter sky line, revealing their shapes more clearly in the absence of leaves.”

My littlest one (age three) painted a tree from the Perfect Christmas Tree. Oh my goodness…this is SUCH a sweet story to read at Christmas time! You know a good book when it stirs your emotions and brings you to tears! This book was recommended from the Peaceful Preschool curriculum, which we use to gently introduce letters to the boys.

Winter Tree Study
Winter Tree Study

We have very loosely kept a nature journal. I tried my hand at drawing an evergreen with John Muir Law’s drawing tutorials, and my son wanted to draw a tree right next to mine! So sweet. I love his creations.

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

Then, we collected twigs and branches from outside in the yard and read this LOVELY book of nature winter poems.

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

We also read Winter Trees and painted using our tree branches.

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

Again, we used our Nature Anatomy book again to identify different kinds of bark. We also wound twine around some branches. The boys had fun figuring out how to wind the string around the tree!

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

Little Tree is another sweet story that shows the seasons nicely. Its a sweet story of a little tree who is afraid of change. Also, I love the illustrations by Loren Long.

Winter Trees
Winter Trees

CANDLEMAS WEEK

This beeswax candle making kit is so affordable, simple, and my boys LOVE to make candles. The boys also played with the letters beads and used their fine motor skills to string them on pipe cleaner.

Candlemas
Candlemas

EARTHWORM STUDY

Next, we read about earthworms and they colored in a picture of an earthworm that I drew. We briefly discussed the anatomy of an earthworm. I don’t focus on much detail at this point…I just let them observe as much as they can on their own.

Then, my boys had fun using play dough to form earth worms. We enjoy this natural play dough for playing, and forming letters.

Winter Earthworms
Winter Earthworms

I was completely shocked to see my oldest want to copy this poem that comes in the curriculum. Once he was finished, I didn’t pressure him to keep going. This is considered copywork and its AMAZING handwriting/language arts practice!

Exploring Nature with Children also has a Guided Journal and its so lovely! We have used it many times, though I can easily seeing using it weekly as the boys grow! The copywork pictured below came from the Guided Journal!

Winter Earthworms
Winter Earthworms

WINTER FIELD TRIP

We also took a hike to Pedernales Falls State Park. My hubby loved it so much that he purchased a state pass for the whole family.

Winter Field Trip
Winter Field Trip

Our boys and dogs loved it!

Winter Field Trip
Winter Field Trip

We have been a handful of times, so we can’t wait to return.

Winter Field Trip
Winter Field Trip

Finally, I hope this helps inspire you with some Winter Preschool/Kindergarten activities! I sure love this precious time spent at home with my kiddos. Finally, here is our curated Preschool supplies list!

If you are interested in Exploring Nature with Children, I encourage to check it out! Its super affordable and I intend to keep up this curriculum every year for many years to come! Make sure you click “Preview” so you view a sample of the rich curriculum!

SUPPLIES

Nature Anatomy Series
Owl Moon
Watercolors
Nature Journal
Paint brushes
Sandpaper Letters
Winter Trees
A Nest is Noisy

OUR PICKS

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Letter J Study

Letter J Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter J. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Boys
Boys 

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land
Letter J Study
Letter J Study

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

LETTER J REVIEW

Its so exciting to discover a new letter together! The focus books for letter J are The Giant Jam Sandwich and Sheep in a Jeep. We also added  Jack and the Beanstalk since we all love reading, and I already had a few different older versions from my childhood on hand. Finally, we read the Jesus Storybook Bible  Jonah and the Whale story.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk

GLITTER GLUE LETTERS

Next, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

My parents gave the boys some Glitter Markers so they were eager for this letter to try them out.  Typically, however, we use the glitter glue as mentioned above for this activity since it is recommended by the Peaceful Preschool.

Letter J Study
Letter J Study

J IS FOR JEEP

For our first book, we read Sheep in a Jeep. The boys liked this book because it is simple with lots of rhyming words. After reading it through the first time, we read through it a few more times, and they took turns finishing the sentences!

I found a tutorial on You Tube on how to draw a simple jeep. We each drew a jeep on these watercolor postcards we had left over from my older son’s art birthday party. My older son did an excellent job drawing out his jeep, although he got frustrated with some of the process, so he made a second drawing.

Jeep Drawing
Jeep Drawing

My youngest son LOVES these oil pastels so I thought he would be interested in coloring in the jeep I drew with them. When he finishes up a picture, he loves to rub his fingers all over the chalk or oil drawing. We have so much fun using our hands to create and learn!

Jeep Study

COUNTING

Since we were focusing on a jeep/car theme, we gathered toy cars from around the house. Next, the boys sorted them by color, and matched them with their corresponding number cards. My youngest loves to trace the numbers and letters with his fingers, and my oldest also sorted them by size!

Number Study
Number Study

J IS FOR JONAH

We LOVE Jesus and the Storybook Bible. Next to Nature Anatomy, it is probably one of our most well-read books. My boys love manipulating the play dough. Since I try hard to keep natural materials for our children to play with, I usually purchase natural options or make our own. We purchased this lovely wooden play dough set more than a year ago and it has had lots of use! I love how it comes with some lavender and chamomile calming herbs to enhance the senses.

Jonah and the Whale
Jonah and the Whale

We also brought out some sea creature cookie cutters we used in our letter F unit  to go along with the Jonah and the Whale study. The boys took turns making sea creatures from modeling clay.

Jonah and the Whale
Jonah and the Whale

LETTER J WRITING PRACTICE

I saw this idea from my friend on Instagram. She traced over this letter board so we just had to try it too! The boys were delighted to see the letters show up on the paper because they are beautiful! My oldest son is interested in handwriting and therefore we practice handwriting often in the car. I love using these mini chalkboards because they are convenient, a great size, and come in their own pouch for easy clean up!

Alphabet Tracing
next, Alphabet Tracing

J IS FOR JAM

We make it a priority to eat nourishing foods, so when I found this lovely wildberry jam at Whole Foods that contains no sugar I was super excited! The boys spread it on gluten free toast on their own and made a delicious snack to enjoy while we read through the Giant Jam Sandwich.

We were able to check this book out, from our local library. It was a big hit because it was also the audio version. We read through this story about 15 times. The boys didn’t want to take the book back to the library since they loved it so much! If you have never read this book, I highly recommend it!

Giant Jam Sandwich
Giant Jam Sandwich

Previously, we made homemade strawberry jam together. Here is the recipe here if you want to give it a try because it is so simple and easy!

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam
Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

Finally, we painted our letter J template with jam!

Letter J Study
Letter J Study

J IS FOR JELLY

These three part cards can be found at Simply Learning Kids. My boys are finally grasping this activity well enough to do all of the cards in one sitting. We finished off the activity with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabar! I feel good about giving these as a convenient snack to my boys occassionally because they are gluten free, contain simple ingredients, and they love them! I have found the price is better on Amazon so if we are going to have them, I make sure to order them there.

Letter J
Letter J

Finally, we practiced handwriting skills with these free sheets from Simply Learning Kids. We have used these alphabet stamps many times. This was one of the first times my oldest son tried to write the word completely on his own, which was super fun to observe!

Letter J Stamp and Write
Letter J Stamp and Write

SUPPLIES

The Giant Jam Sandwich
Jesus Storybook Bible
Glitter Glue
Oil Pastels
Modeling Clay
Alphabet Stamps
Watercolor Paint Brushes
Tactile Letters
Rainbow Stamp Pad

 

OUR PICKS

Finally, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

NATURE BOOKS GIFTS

Top Gift Ideas for Mama, Toddler, and Baby

TOP GIFT IDEAS FOR MAMA, PRESCHOOLER, TODDLER AND BABY

Over the last six years, we have found some wonderful children’s items. I wanted to share some of them with you!

This post includes a list of some of our favorite things. Hopefully, this inspires you with some Christmas gift ideas! I start with gifts for baby, learning toys, gifts for nature loving kids, nature book ideas, and finish with gifts for mama. Many of these items we have and love, and many are on our wish list! Most items included have a nature or natural theme since that is one of the things we value and cherish.

GIFT IDEAS FOR BABY

Baby Gifts
Baby Gifts
  1. Organic Muslin Swaddle Blanket – We had similar blankets for the boys when they were babies and LOVE them. I almost always try to give this as a gift to my mama to be friends. They are super soft, organic and so versatile. They are large enough that you can swaddle babies and use them as the children grow! My boys continue to seek their blankets in cold weather.
  2. TinyTot Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle – This is so adorable. It is so beautiful! I would have purchased one of these for my boys in their younger years if I had seen it! This seems to be a great price for a balance bike.
  3. Nature Wooden Mini Puzzles – These are super cute and perfect for little fingers.
  4. Natural Wooden Baby Teether – These are super cute and so important when baby wants to explore by putting objects in their mouth.
  5. Baby/Toddler Bamboo Spoons – I didn’t include these on the picture above, but these are so adorable. Its great when you can find perfect feeding spoons for the first couple of years!

GIFT IDEAS FOR LEARNING

LEARNING TOYS
LEARNING TOYS
  1. Wooden Xylophone – I’m not sure about your children, but my children would LOVE this toy! Last Christmas, we purchased them a mini piano and drum set and they STILL love to play on them! Children can learn so much from music, songs, and learning to play an instrument.
  2. PlanToys Wooden Bee Hive – This is so adorable and great for learning! Children can count, recognize colors, make patterns, and work on fine motor skills with this fun toy!
  3. Hape Alphabet Learning Puzzle – We have a colorful wooden alphabet puzzle but I have always been interested in this one. It seems this year, Hape has reduced the price quite a bit! If I we didn’t already have a wooden alphabet, we would snatch this up.
  4. Oil Pastels – I had to include these here too. My youngest son (age three) especially loves making art with these!

Here is a helpful list of our favorite, well-used Preschool Supplies.

GIFT IDEAS FOR NATURE LOVING KIDDOS

Nature Gifts
Nature Gifts
  1. Classic Wooden Swing for Adults and Kids – I have a hunch my nature loving boys will love a wooden swing hanging from the oak tree out front. This one can also hold an adult as well! It seems like such a great price!
  2. DIY Terrarium Succulent Planter Kit –  We made a terrarium this year as part of our Exploring Nature with Children curriculum and my boys loved the whole process. They really enjoy caring for plants of their own. Also, its such an easy and beautiful addition to your home!
  3. Wooden Hand-Carved Jump Rope – This would make a great pastime outdoors. My children love to be outside and active. What a unique jumprope to add to their outdoor collection!
  4. Lift and Learn Leaf Puzzle – This would be a beautiful puzzle to have lying around. Kiddos are learning so much about leaves, trees, and each leaf lifts up to reveal more facts about the leaf.
  5. Wooden Insect House – I have seen these at the garden center and I know my boys would delight at housing some insects!

GIFT IDEAS FOR NATURE BOOKS

NATURE BOOKS GIFTS
NATURE BOOKS GIFTS
  1. Animalium Activity Book – This looks amazing and I have heard many mamas recommend it! This would have been super to have on our long road trip we recently took. The Animalium Activity book and also Animalium is on our wish list.
  2. Usborne Outdoor Book – I supported a friend who sells Usborne books and the boys are getting this book for Christmas! My boys love the Usborne books. They are so informative and captivate their attention so these are a win.
  3. Nature Anatomy Collection – We use these books almost every other day with our homeschool preschool studies. They are SUCH a wealth or resources. I love the simple, watercoloring drawings and my oldest loves to draw and watercolor using these images as examples. There are so many fun projects in these books to try out as well.
  4. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh – I think this is a MUST on any children’s book list. We have several copies from when I was a child. This particular copy is so beautifully illustrated and my boys and I have begun reading it through the second time. I highly recommend it!
  5. The Elves and the Shoemaker – I love the classic fairytales. The boys are getting this book for Christmas. I thought it would be a perfect addition for this time of year. I love the author and illustrator so I can’t wait to share this story with the boys!
  6. Tommy Smith’s Animals – Now that my boys are a year older, we have started formal school lessons. This is one of my son’s favorite books. It is a GOOD animal story and so informative.

GIFT IDEAS FOR MAMA

Mama gifts
Mama gifts
  1. Dead Sea Bath Salts CALM – Anything that evokes a warm, CALM, bath captures my attention. One of my favorite self-care indulgences is a long slow soak in the bath. My boys have even taken this on and we sometimes purchase bath salts at the grocery store to add to their bath. Such an indulgence and pretty inexpensive.
  2. Puracy Natural Household Cleaning Bundle – I have the Puracy dish liquid, hand soap and multi-purpose cleaner on Amazon subscription, which ships to us regularly. I love these cleaners because they are a wonderful product free of harsh chemicals you don’t want in your home. They do a great job and cleaning and smell wonderful too!
  3. Weck Glass Airtight Food Storage Jars – We cook most meals in our home. I’m always on the watch for functional, affordable glass containers to store our pantry items. These are beautiful as well as functional and I can’t wait to snag some for my pantry grains!
  4. Handbook of Nature Study – This giant book is a wealth of information on nature study. I have only scratched the surface, however, I have learned a great deal already. This helps me feel comfortable exploring nature with my children, therefore, it is highly recommended!

GIFT IDEAS FOR FITNESS MAMA

FITNESS GIFTS FOR MAMA
FITNESS GIFTS FOR MAMA
  1. Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Blender – We have this blender and it has been well loved and used. I love this bright, cheerful red Christmas color too!
  2. Yoga Mat Bag – This would be a great bag to store your yoga mat in when running to class or while traveling.
  3. Dumbbells – Over the last year, I have added weights into my workout routine. I feel its super important to use some weights occasionally with your workouts especially as we age (hello 35!). I really enjoy these weights and I personally use 3 and 5 lb. weights.
  4. Lululemon Juice Energy Sports Bra – Lululemon makes some really great workout clothes. They are my favorite brand because of their quality and comfort. I have this bra in white but would love it in pin as well!
  5. Stainless Steel Water Bottle – This is not pictured above, but I love a nice quality stainless steel bottle that is not terribly expensive! These are so versatile and we have smaller ones for the boys.

I hope this guide was helpful to you in your Christmas gifts for you and your loved ones. I could keep going….but Mama is ready to rest now 🙂 Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season!

OUR PICKS

 

letter H preschool unit

Letter H Preschool Curriculum

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our preschool curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter H. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

letter H preschool unit
letter H preschool unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors (HINT: If you click on this link, make sure to click the “Preview” button!)
  • Ambleside Online – In my extensive Charlotte Mason research, I have decided ultimately to draw upon Ambleside Online as our basis homeschool preschool curriculum.

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit.

letter H preschool
letter H preschool

LETTER H REVIEW

We began the letter H unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter H are The Little House, The Little Red Hen, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Also, we read through B is for Bear, a beautiful nature alphabet book, however, any alphabet book would be perfect to review your letters.

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

H IS FOR THE LITTLE HOUSE

One of my favorite childhood books was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I’m so thankful to be able to share this beautiful story with my children. For those who haven’t read it yet, its a sweet story about a house in the country who is filled generation after generation. Eventually, a city grows around the little house, there are no more inhabitants, and the house is abandoned. Its such a great book so I hope you check it out!

LETTER H HOUSE

Both boys created a letter H house and I love seeing their unique creativity blossom through art projects. We also found an additional house book called The Old House at the library.

the little house
the little house

I love how my oldest son attempts to draw exactly what he sees in the picture. He made sure to include the little house eyes, shingles and apple trees!

little house
little house

LITTLE HOUSE CRAFT

We used these house shape templates to create houses. This book is a favorite around here!

 

little house
little house

My three years old ended up making more of a tent house and I loved it!

also little house
also little house

LITTLE HOUSE DRAWINGS

My children no longer take naps so I LOVE to do a quiet activity such as art after lunchtime. Their creativity really shines and Mama can get some work done around the house.

These chalk pastels have been a favorite of ours. They make beautiful pictures and are so fun to use. My youngest son picks this art medium to use most frequently because its so sensory. He usually ends the art project by rubbing his fingers all over the painting to spread the color around.

little house art
little house art

My oldest son chose watercolors to create a little house. He usually asks me to draw an outline so he can paint or color it in. By far, these are our favorite watercolors to use, and they are affordable too! I’m so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to observe my children’s first learning.

little house drawing
little house drawing

LINCOLN LOG LITTLE HOUSE

Finally, my children constructed a log cabin out of Lincoln logs. They added a horse barn and created lots of rooms inside for play. This story has sparked several discussions about moving our house from the country to the city. I hope you read the story with a beautiful ending.

log house
log house

NATURE FINDS

Next, since we use Exploring Nature with Children, we gathered nature treasures from our yard. In the hill country of Texas, we mostly have cedar trees so we were able to see the colorful change happening to the leaves that had fallen off the trees. We sorted our nature finds and counted them.

I love to read a seasonal poem for the change of the months. Be Blest: A Celebration of Seasons is a beautiful story with a poem and lovely illustrations for each month. We typically begin and end the month reading from this book.

leaves
leaves

Then, we read the Little Red Hen from my childhood and also this version from Paul Galdone. I have heard my children act out the Little Red Hen story numerous times over the last couple of weeks. I found some felt at Michael’s for a few dollars and they helped me cut out the characters and use them to tell the story back to me.

little red hen
little red hen

H IS FOR HEN

Keeping with the hen theme for letter H, I found several hen books at the library. Henny Penny is another great classic story about a hen who thinks the sky is falling. Hedgie’s Surprise is a cute story about a hen who wants to be a mother hen and a hedgehog named Hedgie who helps her. Finally, Hattie and the Fox is a simple barnyard story that my children love to retell to me.

h is for hen
h is for hen

LETTER H REVIEW

We stamped our letter H template from Simply Learning with our alphabet stamps. We are super excited to try the lowercase ones too!

letter H
letter H

I often leave this beautiful alphabet board out in our homeschool space for the boys to find, since it is so beautiful. They practice drawing the letters on it and its another great quiet activity.

alphabet review
alphabet review

H IS FOR HONEY

We read through Are You a Bee? I loved this book so much that I can easily see purchasing more by the same author and illustrator.

We made bee cards on white card stock using our Nature Anatomy book as a template for the bee. Finally, we made homemade beeswax candles which were a great purchase. This was my children’s first experience with candles. I think it was also one of their favorite crafts we have made together.

h is for honey
h is for honey

Next, we read the Honeybee Man and drew an outline of a bee. My children are three and four, so normally I draw an outline for them, and they color it in. I love to provide choices of different art options and witnessing which ones they choose. These oil pastels are a great favorite of ours!

honey bee
honey bee

H IS FOR HORSE

Then, we read through The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. Another story I read growing up, it was great to read it to my children. We used a q tip to watercolor our horse templates from Simply Learning.

h is for horse
h is for horse

This was one of the more engaged times for my youngest son, at three years old. I love how he used several colors and mixed them together to paint his horse.

h is for horse
h is for horse

H IS FOR HAROLD

Finally, we read through Harold and the Purple Crayon. This book really brought me back to my childhood favorites. My boys also love Harold and the Purple crayon and we read it often before bed!

Harold and purple crayon
Harold and purple crayon

They choose different drawings which was fun!

Harold
Harold

H IS FOR HARVEST MOON

Finally, we did a moon craft of the Harvest Moon.

harvest moon
harvest moon

We used white paint mixed together with flour to make a paste. Then we painted in the moon which was drawn on black construction paper. This was super fun because of the textures!

harvest moon
harvest moon

SUPPLIES

Nature Anatomy
The Little House
The Little Red Hen
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
B is for Bear
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Watercolors
Cardstock
Felt Fabric Squares
Chalk Pastels
Crayons
Candlemaking Kit

OUR PICKS

Interested in more preschool curriculum? Here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

Letter G Preschool Unit

Letter G Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter G. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

 

Letter G Preschool Unit
Letter G Preschool Unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit.

Letter G Preschool Unit
Letter G Preschool Unit

LETTER G REVIEW

We began with the letter G unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter G are Go Dog Go, Goodnight Gorilla, and Goodnight Moon. We also read through Eating the Alphabet, an alphabet book, but any alphabet book would be perfect to review.

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

glitter glue letters
glitter glue letters
glitter glue letters
glitter glue letters

G IS FOR GO DOG GO

Then, we created a dog party with our lego pieces and read through Go Dog Go many times. I’m thankful my parents held onto many of my childhood books, this being one of them. The day after they created this, my eldest found more dogs which he then added into the party fun!

dog party
dog party

G IS FOR GORILLA

My youngest LOVES Goodnight Gorilla. It is truly one of his favorite stories. When we get to the page in the book that is completely black, and the zoo keeper’s wife eyes are open, my boys laugh hysterically. This is such a simple book, they have it memorized. I love how this book could teach colors, patterns, observing clues, and how it encourages the imagination.

We love to paint with watercolors and they loved designing a zoo for their animals to play in.

goodnight gorilla painting
goodnight gorilla painting

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES 

G IS FOR GARDEN

Next, we read through Eating the Alphabet, a wonderful ABC book. We are two weeks into Exploring Nature with Children so we connected some of our gardening theme of seeds and mini beasts in this week! So, we gathered seeds from the yard and painted a picture from the Tiny Seed. I love art work because my children become so focused. It is the perfect activity when we need to wind down or find some quiet time too.

SEED DISPERSAL

seed dispersal
watercolor
seed dispersal
seed dispersal
seed gather
gathering seeds

MINI BEASTS

Over the course of the week, we also collected mini beasts from our yard – caterpillars, scorpions, wasps. We went on a mini beast hunt and looked at ants, bees, spiders, grasshoppers, and praying mantis.

mini beasts
mini beasts

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman has been such a great resource! Typically, I do an outline of what we are studying in pencil in their notebooks, and the boys watercolor in what they choose. However, sometimes they do it all on their own.

mini beasts
mini beasts

FUTURE GARDEN

We are also ambitious to make a larger garden this year. My boys took a trip with me to the Natural Gardener and we purchased some vegetable seeds. They are itching to plant them!

garden seeds
garden seeds

FIELD TRIPS

We visited the Natural Gardener and purchased our seeds which we will plant in our Fall garden. The Natural Gardener is a wonderful place because you can explore a food garden, chickens, goats, and purchase any kind of plant, tree or herb you could possibly need.

nourished children wildflowers
nourished children wildflowers

 

NUMBERS AND SHAPES

Finally, we used glitter glue to trace over our number cards and played with some blocks.

number cards
number cards
block building
block building

ADDITIONAL BOOKS AND RECIPE

Finally, we read through The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. My favorite versions are by Paul Galdone, which we first discover at the local library. We made porridge which is simply oatmeal topped with delicious topping such as fresh berries.

oatmeal
oatmeal

SUPPLIES

Nature Anatomy
The Hungry Caterpillar
The Curious Garden
Watercolors
Cardstock
Kids Magnifying Glass

 

OUR PICKS

Here is how we enjoyed the letter H unit. We had so much fun with letter H and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

letter F preschool unit

Letter F Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter F. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

letter F preschool unit
letter F preschool unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles in order to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit.

Letter F Preschool Unit
Letter F Preschool Unit

LETTER F REVIEW

We began with the letter F unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter F are Fish Out of Water, Jonah and the Whale story from a Children’s Bible, and Ten Little Fish. I purchased one book from Amazon and we reviewed the other books through a Read Aloud video online.

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

F IS FOR FISH

We added these adorable, affordable fish and flower posters to our homeschool area.

nature posters
nature posters

We loved the fish theme focus for the letter F. I found these adorable fish cookie cutters and my oldest son immediately got creative with them. My boys use play dough almost daily. I love the creativity they come up with while they are playing. Hands on learning is excellent for pre-writing skills.

Fish play dough
Fish play dough

We used organic goldfish crackers to practice simple counting. This delicious snack didn’t last too long in this house!

Organic goldfish crackers
Organic goldfish crackers

SENSORY WATER PLAY

Then, we pulled our fish bowl out and created some fun water play! My boys enjoyed putting their hands in the water. We read the Rainbow Fish, which I happily purchased for $7 at Barnes N Nobles. Sometimes, they include an additional children’s book for $7 with the purchase of any other children’s book. If you haven’t read this story, its about a beautiful, unique fish who doesn’t play with his friends because his pride gets the better of him. Once he starts sharing his unique beauty with others, he finds joy and many friends to play with.

Fish bowl play
Fish bowl play

SENSORY BEAD PLAY

We used our sensory blue glass vase beads to fill in our rainbow fish template. We also painted in the template with watercolors, and used glue, salt and a tiny amount of watercolors to create a salt color fish. The results were beautiful and I’m thankful my boys had so much fun.

Rainbow fish template
Rainbow fish template

Here was the beginning of their salt watercolor fish.

salt watercolor fish
salt watercolor fish

WATERCOLORING A FAMOUS PAINTING

Finally, we wrapped up the fish study by painting a famous painting “The Long Leg” by Edward Hopper. I drew an outline and my oldest son painted in the painting. My husband and I were pretty amazed at how well he painted! It is such a joy to witness our children’s skills blossoming.

The Long Leg
The Long Leg

RECIPE

We tried a new recipe – Fish En Papillote – and it was so delicious, nourishing and simple that we have it on regular rotation now. My boys love to help with this recipe because its so colorful. Simply add salmon or fish of your choice on a piece of parchment paper. Then, top it with lemon slices, asparagus slices, and corn. Next, bake it in the parchment paper, add fresh tomatoes and herbs when the fish is cooked.

Fish En Papiollote
Fish En Papillote

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES AND BOOKS

FERDINAND AND HIS FLOWERS

I was blessed to grow up with many classic books in my childhood. I reintroduced one of these stories, Ferdinand with my children. If you haven’t read this story, I highly recommend it! Its is a beautiful story about a strong bull who chooses to be calm and peaceful and loves flowers and to relax under his cork tree.

Ferdinand and his flowers
Ferdinand and his flowers

There are many versions of this story, but I adore this one since the story is simple, and the illustrations are lovely.

Ferdinand
Ferdinand

Next, we gathered wildflowers from our yard and added them in for some color.

Ferdinand
Ferdinand

We also used vegetables drawings from Farm Anatomy to add into our journals in order to gather ideas of what we will be planting in our garden soon.

FLOWER ICE CUBES

I found a tutorial on making flower ice cubes with edible flowers. We had so much fun with the activity! My children helped add edible flower petals to the ice cube trays. Then, we filled them with water and froze them. It was a good lesson to be patient and wait for the finished product.

flower ice cubes
flower ice cubes

We added the ice cubes to water and had a refreshing and unique drink. They turned out beautifully! They would be really beautiful for a party.

flower ice cubes
flower ice cubes

We also matched edible flowers with the ice cubes when they were finished. Finally, we read A Reason for A Flower.

edible flower matching
edible flower matching
flower ice cubes
flower ice cubes

SEED BOMBS

We also created seed bombs with wildflowers. This project was simple, messy and fun. We read A Seed is Sleepy before starting the project.

seed bombs
next, seed bombs

All that is needed to make the seed bombs, are air dry clay, water, potting soil, and flower seeds. We are looking forward to throwing these out before a good rain!

flower seeds
flower seeds

F IS FOR FARM

We read through an adorable story Anywhere Farm, which is recommended by The Abundant Gardener curriculum we follow. We also read through a childhood book of mine, the Animals of Farmer Jones. Thankfully, my parents saved tons of my Little Golden Books. Finally, we read our Usbourne Look Inside a Farm, which is so informative and has tons of fun flaps to lift.

f is for farm
f is for farm

FIELD TRIPS

The Peaceful Preschool recommends a field trip day each week. Since our boys are at home for preschool, we have the luxury of taking many trips! We visited the Austin Aquarium and learned about fish. This was so fun because we were able to touch sting rays, sharks, birds, and iguanas!

jellyfish
jellyfish

Finally, we visited the Arnosky Flower Farm which was beautiful.

flower farm
finally, a flower farm

We are looking forward to returning in the Fall because their fields will be full with wildflowers.

flower farm
flower farm

SUPPLIES

A Reason for a Flower
A Seed is SleepyFerdinand
Farm Anatomy
The Rainbow Fish
Watercolors
Tactile Letters
Montessori Letters
Crayons
Flower Seeds

Here is how we enjoyed the letter G unit. We had so much fun with letter G and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

Children's Table

Before and After Homeschool Space

Children's Table
Children’s Table

First, I wanted to share our homeschool style and why we went this route. Keep reading to see what’s in our homeschool space.

HOMESCHOOL STYLE

WHAT STYLE OF LEARNING MAKES SENSE TO YOU?

I’m super excited because my children are home for preschool. We began the Peaceful Preschool very slowly last year. My oldest, at four, loves it and asks for more activities! My youngest, at three, sometimes joins in and sometimes simply observes his older brother. I connect well with a Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling. However, I also score highly with Montessori and Waldorf.

Reading quality literature, and having plenty of nature play and free time is important. Our home is filled with natural light, and beautiful, simple materials. Some may call us minimalists. We include our children in our daily life as much as we can. We also make many of their daily tasks easy for them to accomplish independently.

homeschool space after
homeschool space after

HOMESCHOOL LEARNING QUIZ

I found this great quiz to determine your best homeschooling style and was surprised at the results. I was most drawn to Charlotte Mason, followed by Montessori and Waldorf, however, I also scored high on many of the other styles. Since I scored positively on all areas of learning, I realized I would be willing to try any learning approach that may suit my children best. You can also learn more about homeschooling styles hereThe Peaceful Preschool has been great for us because it incorporates Charlotte Mason, Montessori and Waldorf styles.

HOMESCHOOL SPACE BEFORE

Before Homeschool Space
Before Homeschool Space

I craved a simple learning home space for our boys. The space pictured above is next to our dining room table. It is our only dining room wall. For many months, these fabulous open-ended toys were here for the children to play with. Kitchens, farm stands and toys such as these are great because they encourage imagination, language, social skills and team work. However, it turned into an un-organized mess in a prime space in our home. Finally, the children’s table was covered with clutter making it unusable.

HOMESCHOOL SPACE AFTER

nature posters
nature posters

We do most of our school activities at the dining table. It really made sense to use this space for learning since it is next to our dining table. It felt so good, once we refreshed this space!

overview after space
overview after

WHATS IN OUR SPACE

  • TABLE: I found our adorable children’s table at sprout-kids. We purchased it for my youngest son’s third birthday. I ordered the table set with stools (it was a better price) and they accidentally sent us the chairs. So, they offered for us to keep the chairs since it as their mistake. The boys love having their own furniture that is their size.
  • CHALKBOARD: We ordered this huge magnetic chalkboard for a great price! My children have a great space to practice handwriting and hang their artwork and projects too! This has been such a valuable resource for us and we love it. It also comes with a shelf to store your chalk.
  • CHALKBOARD MARKERS: We love this best seller of colorful, non-toxic, dust-free chalk markers.
  • MARKET BASKETS: I have a slight love for market baskets. We use these to store our books for the week and for daily books we pull out during morning time. These baskets are also in various places throughout our home to store our children’s toys.
  • NATURE POSTERS: I found 15 small posters for $3.50 TOTAL through Smokey the Bear. These are also adorable.
  • CAVALINNI POSTERS: I ADORE these. They were $15 for two.
  • MAPS: We have these are they are super great for a beginning student!
  • ART SUPPLIES: We store nice quality crayons, colored pencils, paintbrushes and pencils in recycled mason jars.
  • NATURE TREASURES: We love taking nature hikes in the back. My children gather treasures from the ground and we bring them back to display on our table. We have also used air-dry clay to make an impression of the treasures. Finally, we paint the dried clay and have an ornament to keep forever.
  • PLANTS: My favorite plant is the fiddle leaf fig. It is a fast growing plant. We purchased a small plant at a nursery and over the years, it is now taller than my husband. Its great to have real greenery in your children’s learning space. The boys help water and take care of the plants too!
chalkboard view
chalkboard view
chalkboard side
chalkboard side

What does your homeschool space look like? Do you have a designated homeschool space, or does it simply take place organically at your table or living room? I believe any option works well! Simply find the space that makes sense for your family. Finally, check out our favorite supplies.

ADORABLE POSTERS…Fitting to our area!

 

OUR PICKS

 

Letter A Preschool Unit

Letter A Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter A. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Letter A Preschool Unit
Letter A Preschool Unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land
letter A apple preschool
letter A apple preschool

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles in order to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter B unit.

Letter A Preschool Unit
Letter A Preschool Unit

LETTER A REVIEW

We began with the letter A unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter A are How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World and Ten Apples Up On Top. I found the books at a local library and we also reviewed the books later in the week while watching a Read Aloud video online. Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

Next, we created our texture letters
Next, we created our texture letters

A IS FOR APPLE

My boys enjoyed exploring the map in How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World because they are interested in maps! I pointed out all of the locations the main character visits in the story. If you haven’t read the story, she travels all over the world to gather ingredients to make apple pie.

VEGAN APPLE CRISP

Next, we baked an apple crisp together! I love cooking and baking with my children in the kitchen. They are learning so many practical life skills along with gathering an interest in the food they are making and eating! My oldest son peeled all of the apples for this dish. Then, both children helped stir and pour the ingredients. Here is a helpful resource on cooking with your kiddos in the kitchen.

 

vegan apple crisp
vegan apple crisp

Here is the link on Pinterest to the vegan apple pie crisp we made. We have made it many times because it is simple, healthy and delicious.

apple pie crisp
apple pie crisp

APPLE ART

Next, my children used toothpicks to remove the seeds from the core. They counted and sorted the seeds. Finally, we recycled the cores of the apples, dipped them in tempera paints and made fun apple art!

apple core art
apple core art

Then, we cut an apple together, removed the seeds, counted them, and moved onto apple art. We also had so much painting a large apple template together. It was fun to see how the colors from the painted apple hit the paper to make a beautiful picture.

apple art
apple art

ADDITIONAL APPLE BOOKS

We love the library because we have access to books we otherwise may never have the chance to read! These books came recommended by a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum and our favorite from these was certainly The Apple Tree’s Discovery. Its a cute story about an apple tree who begs God for some stars like he sees in the night sky, and its about his patience in the process.  I highly recommend it because it was a neat story! Arnold’s Apple Tree was a cute story by children enjoyed, and Johnny Appleseed was a sweet poem with beautiful illustrations.

apple books
apple books

Applesauce Season, Apple, and The Apple Pie Tree are some of my children’s favorite stories about apples. We loved studying apples this time of the year since its Fall.

apple stories
apple stories

ADDITIONAL BOOKS

the giving tree
The Giving Tree
Johnny appleseed
Johnny Appleseed
the apple pie tree
The Apple Pie Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite books from childhood was the Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein. I read this story to them while they played with play dough and made apples. When a child plays and uses their imagination, so much valuable learning is taking place. We also read Johnny Appleseed and my boys asked for this story to be read many times! Now, they want to plant apple seeds everywhere! Next, we read The Apple Pie Tree and my youngest son really loved this book.

the giving tree and apples
the giving tree and play dough apples

APPLE LIFE CYCLE

My oldest son completed an apple tree life cycle, which you can find on Pinterest. He cut out the cards, and then glued them on the correct order. Last, he discussed with me how the bare tree with branches could be at the end after the apples, since trees lose all of their leaves in the winter.

apple tree life cycle
apple tree life cycle

We used our Farm Anatomy book to outline and water paint how an apple blossom turns into an apple. First, I outlined the drawing for my son, and he did the rest.

apple life cycle
apple life cycle

APPLE WATERCOLOR ART

Next, we filled in our apple template. I love how this activity promotes focus, attention and fine motor skills because they use their hands and fill in the space.

apple template
apple template

My youngest son wanted to use the pencil to color in the apple stem and I thought it turned out beautifully.

apple template
apple template
apple template
apple template

Finally, we used watercolors to paint an apple tree. We used The Apple Pie Tree as a template for a tree since it is basic. My four year old painted the drawing on the right and below, my three year old son painted a free style painting.

apple tree watercolor
apple tree watercolor
watercolor art
watercolor art

FORMING LETTERS

I purchased some modeling clay for them, which is similar to play dough. They used their hands to create letters out of them and apples. They also made stick figures for fun. Side note: we love these travel chalkboard sets! I usually give these to them in the car and they are so convenient because they come in their own carrying pouch. Also, they are small enough to fit in my purse too!

clay letters for fine motor skills
clay letters because they promote fine motor skills

ROOTED CHILDHOOD

Also, we made apple snacks with homemade caramel sauce (using dates, salt, almond milk, and vanilla extract). It was a hit! I highly recommend Rooted Childhood for handicrafts, recipes, and adorable projects to do together as a family. If you decide to check it out, use “nourishedchildren10” code for a discount!

SUPPLIES

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
The Giving Tree
The Apple Pie Tree
Johnny Appleseed
The Apple Tree’s Discovery
Glitter Glue
Montessori Moveable Letters
Watercolors
Construction Paper
Travel Chalkboards
Handmade Play Dough
Modeling Clay

OUR PICKS

Here is how we enjoyed the letter B unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!