Week In Review- I am A Child of God, Plan of Salvation Pt.1

 Last week I received the very distinct impression that I was to change up our normal school routine.  I can honestly admit I was a little sad, and discouraged, because I really like the Five in a Row program.  There was no question what I was supposed to be using instead.  Meet our new curriculum.
Yup, that's right, it's the Church Nursery Manual.
  Since I was sure that I'm still supposed to be teaching "academic" subjects, I was a little scared.  (Okay, a LOT scared.)  But I just started praying and searching and asking the Lord to show me how to teach His children.  I know this isn't a surprise to anyone, but He did, and it was amazing!
We started with Lesson 1, "I am a child of God".  We talked about how God created our bodies, and used our picture cubes that Grandma made us with these pictures from 1+1+1=1 in each pocket. We threw, rolled, and chased them around, identifying which body part was on top, quite a bit this week.
Not really school related, but Lettie figured out how to put these little containers over head, and crawled around with them this week.  It made me laugh every time I saw it.
 It was great using the nursery manual because then, I just extended the lesson, and used it for Family Home Evening as well.  Bitsy and Manly really enjoyed working on this fun booklet.   
I loved it because it is a great sensory book.  We used sandpaper for the first letter of each child's name, foam numbers for their age, and then I let them pick the number of objects that corresponded with their age to put on that page as well.  (You can just barely see the sandpaper sticking out in Manly's book, because I wanted his name to remain anonymous.)
They also added stickers of their favorite things, and a picture of themselves.  They added yarn that was the color of their hair, and noodles, or felt buttons that are the same color as their eyes.
 On Tuesday we did this animal puzzle, and matched baby animals to their parents.  We talked about how just like bunny's grow up to be rabbits, we're God's children and can grow up to be like him.  Puzzles are one of Manly's favorite educational activities!
 Lettie REALLY likes puzzles!
 On Tuesday, we talked about Moses, and how God saved Him because he had an important purpose on earth.  We acted out the story, and then pretended to be different things God might want us to be when we grow up.  In addition to that we read just about every Max Lucado book in the house several time over the the two days.  

Wednesday we switched over to the Plan of Salvation, and just when I thought it couldn't get any more fun, or amazing, it did.  We had to run to the store, and it was a great opportunity to talk about maps, and what happens if we don't follow the map.  I used the break down of "I Am A Child of God" in Lesson 2 of the Nursery Manual to explain the parts of the Plan, and when we got home we made the mobile included in the manual.

Thursday we started off with a maze, and talked about how much easier it would be to do it if we knew the answer.  I explained that through scripture we are able to learn exactly what Father's plan is for us.  After that we opened up the map and found where we live, and plotted a path to see daddy.  (Unfortunately we didn't follow our path.)  :(  We continued our map time by locating our grandparents, and aunts and uncles on the map as well.
 We talked about how we each lived with Him before earth, and how he has given us bodies, and talents that we each have to use for His good.  This turned into a great math lesson, as we each jumped as far as we could, and then "measured" our jumps with blocks.  We talked about how the blocks are a uniform size, so even though we didn't have a ruler, we could still measure.  Lettie want to "help" with the blocks so much that we had to cut our lesson short, but I have plans on revisiting it during her nap time soon.
 On Friday we discussed the next part of the plan, coming to earth.  We talked about the order God created the Earth in, and how it had to be that way.  We discussed the benefit of order in our lives and homes.  I had planned to take the children on a nature walk, and then our housing office sent out a notice that they were giving out free pumpkins, so I decided to make our walk into an object lesson.

I told the children we were going for a walk, and that because we had to be back in time for lunch, we had to take the most direct route, other routes would get us where we needed to go, but they wouldn't be the "best" or "right" way.  I told them that if we went the right way, when we got where we were going there would be a surprise.  If we took a different way, we might not make it in enough time to get the surprise. 
 They were pretty happy with their surprise!  We enjoyed looking at leaves, birds, mountains, the ocean, the sun, and sky, and this little lizard that Bitsy spotted on our trip, and the little ones wanted to pick up every piece of trash they spotted.
 When we got home we decorated one of our pumpkins as a scarecrow, and Bitsy informed me that the others are for pumpkin pie next Monday.  :)  Later we practiced order, by emptying out Bitsy's dresser drawers, and putting everything back in its' place, no more mismatched socks and pj's here!
 We read lots of books about staying on the right path, and following directions, like "Tootle", "Follow the Drinking Gourd", "The Duchess Bakes a Cake", "Oh the Places You'll Go", "A New Coat for Anna", "The House that Jack Built", "The Story About Ping", and "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel."  Since one of my favorite parts about Five in a Row is that it is literature based, I was thrilled to actually increase the amount of time I spent reading to my children.  It is truly one of the GREATEST joys I have in motherhood.

I'm excited to finish up with the Plan of Salvation next week, with some family history activities, some more mapping, a few games about obedience, and a culminating party. I can't wait to share it with you.
And, before I go, the little ones called me Friday afternoon and asked me to come out and see the house they had built, and put in order.   They put one of their stumps, and some of their outdoor kitchen supplies under their slide to make their own little home.  It was so cute to see how they are applying the lessons, and really learning! 
I am so grateful for the Lord's guidance in our new plans.

Jeanne  – (October 31, 2011 at 2:24 PM)  

I am so glad I subscribed to your post- this is something I have been thinking about a lot as well- What to teach His children? I have a 7 year old and an almost 4 year old and I have felt that spiritual learning is probably the most important learning they will have. I am new to trying homeschool out this year and just feeling my way along. Maybe I need to get one of the manuals!

Abby  – (October 31, 2011 at 10:51 PM)  

Jeanne, I highly recommend the manual. You can look at it all online at the link above, or you can order one through Distribution services. You might want to consider one of the Primary 1 manuals as well, as I got several ideas from that. There is a wealth of inexpensive tools available for teaching children through the Church. Maybe that is something I can do a post on soon. Good luck with your homeschooling, and remember the Lord will guide you in how to teach His children!

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