N.T. Bible Study

This Spring we’ve studied through some Bible books together, but I had no specific plan of where to go next. I spent some time in prayer and began to think through our direction. I wanted something that could be worked on independently by all, but still discussed daily together when we had time. I had already decided I wanted to do a “90 day” reading plan over the summer, so decided that this would be good for our older children too. I also wanted to encourage them to keep studying, not just reading (as much as they are able). Last week I made my plan, and we’ve started, our summer Bible study.

I chose a three month chronological reading of the New Testament. (This would work out to 1 semester of “school days”, if you choose to do it that way.) We are following the Biblical Principles method of study detailed in R Road to Biblical Wisdom. This is simplified for Bible Study in our Spiritual Journey journal pages.

Perhaps you’d like to join us (do this same study on your own.)

You can find the reading plan we are using at Bible Study Tools. You can also get a free iphone/ipad app for it.

You can get the Spiritual Journey pages to customize your your notebooks for this study, or use a Composition Notebook. The Spiritual Journey pages are colorful pages with nature photos as backgrounds that you copy and put in a half-sized (8.5″ x 5.5″) 3 ring binder.  A composition notebook is a sewn, handy sized notebook with 100 sheets, perfect size for a 3 month study. See our simple instructions below. If you’d like more in-depth information on how to study anything by Biblical principles get R Road to Biblical Wisdom.

Study instructions:

We read and study that we might know our God better and love Him even more as we see more clearly through His Word, Who He truly is. Pray that your heart will open open to receive God’s Word, to know Him better, and that the Holy Spirit will teach you, and give you grace to apply what you learn.

Read the day’s passages and check them off on the reading plan.

Journal your study under the following headings (1 page – front and back – per day.)

  • Read: Note the references of the passages you read.
  • Record/Rewrite: Write a very short summary or outline answering “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” about the reading.
  • Reflect: What does it mean? What is its context? What does it show me about God, Jesus, man, sin, grace, the gospel, the law, cause and effect? Use cross references, concordance, Bible maps, commentary, or other study tools as needed. If you have further questions about the passage that aren’t answered in your study today, write them down.
  • Relate: How does this apply to me? What am I to think and do?
  • Recite: Copy a verse/verses to meditate on throughout the day.

Pray to close out your time of study. Ask God to lead you to greater understanding and answers to your questions, and grace to walk out what you’ve learned; that you would not only love Him more but also show forth His love to others. 


Homeschool High School

I’ve been corresponding with a mom about high school, and decided to share here with you some of the things I’m sharing with her. In particular, how we map-out what we cover in high school, since we don’t use textbooks and laid out (by others) courses. We aren’t so much focused on “college prep” for its own sake, but rather on preparing our children for adulthood and making an impact for Christ on culture. But that doesn’t mean our children that choose to go to college aren’t prepared. They have done very well. We adjust each area below as needed for each child depending on their strengths and gifts and interests, but this is pretty much what we do for all, just changing emphasis a bit.

Bible: Survey, key doctrines, how to study, and life principles/wisdom application.

Apologetics/ Worldview: very important preparation for young Christian adults. We use several resources that I scope out on: Knowing What you Believe, Coming to Beliefs, Reaching Others, Exposing False Beliefs.

Governments: manhood/womanhood, family, church gov types, local, state and national gov – Constitution, helping in politics, becoming informed and involved, etc.

History: We don’t do a year of world and a year of American, but 4 (+) years of Ancient, Early Church-Middle Ages, Reformation – Founding of America, -> America and World now, including geography.

Economics: Household (budgeting, personal/family finances), Business finances, World economics.

Science: Creation Foundations, Earth: Surface (Geology, Oceanography), Sky (Weather/Climate), Space (Astronomy); Physical: Physics, Chemistry, Technology; Life/Biology: Plant, Animal, Man.

Health: Nutrition & Exercise, Disease & Health Care, Human Development, Physical Exercise program.

Language: Reading (research and study skills, literature), Writing (Grammar, Vocabulary, Composition), Public Speaking and Debate, Logic, Foreign Language.

Math: typical Algebra, Geometry, etc. Applied Math (Family Finances above).

Practical Arts: includes Home Management, Life Skills, Business Skills (General), (specific) Occupational Skills.

Fine Arts: Music, Visual Arts, Performance Arts, Home Arts.

Finding Freedom & Simplicity™ – Free

Finding Freedom & Simplicity™Our newest Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ Guide has been released! This guide will be a great help and introduction to those new to home education or veteran home educators looking for a change from typical school-at-home to a more family lifestyle approach to biblical home education.

Finding Freedom & Simplicity™: Home Educating with Real Books, Natural Methods, & Biblical Principles is available to download now at the Introductory price of only $3. But the first 7 people to order it today can get it for FREE with this Coupon Code: FINDINGFREE. All I ask in exchange is that if you find the guide helpful, you post a review/comment on its order page and recommend it to your friends.  Enjoy! 

If the Coupon Code doesn’t work, the limit of free copies has been reached. It’ll be worth your 3 bucks though.

Books of Remembrance

Journaling to Document Our Studies

In Exodus 17:14 God tells Moses to write a book of remembrance and to tell it to another; “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua.” There are many other Scriptures about journaling too, both commands and examples, the greatest being God’s Book of Life. We don’t need a command to journal in order to apply it. We can take these principles and apply them to all our educational studies in our homes and see for ourselves the benefits it brings.

Journaling is the method we use to remember what we study. It is so much more than just our documentation to show that we studied the topic. It is our own personal journey of the study, our reference work for future study and expansion. Journaling is, in a sense, the antithesis of workbooks. It is the production of something individual and worthwhile, not the consumption of something pre-fabricated.

We keep several types of Book of Remembrance Journals of our studies. We produce CopyBooks of Remembrance, primarily in sewn Composition Notebooks. We produce Book of Remembrance Journals, in 3-ring binders with sheet protectors, writing our own personal living “textbook” of the topic we’ve learned, that we can teach others from. We produce MyMini Books of Remembrance, mini-booklets secured on file folders, as personal creative expressions of what we’ve learned. And we produce PIPEline Books of Remembrance, both in wall and book formats, as a chronology of HisStory. We also keep other types of Books of Remembrance–Worship journals, L.I.F.E. and Vision journals.

Life and learning is a journey, and that journey is worth journaling. We are not “just passing through” this life. We have a purpose, a commission, and journaling is a way to keep us focused on what that is, and to share the message we have with others.

Some of the various types of Journals we do:

CopyBooks of Remembrance

  • Copywork – what is it and why do it

MyMini Books of Remembrance

Book of Remembrance Journals

PIPEline Books (& Walls) of Remembrance

Worship Journals

L.I.F.E. Journals

  • L.I.F.E. – Living in Freedom Eternally™
  • Vision Journal

Learning Maps Win – Win – Win

It’s a win – win – win situation for Learning Maps™! Me and My House is now an affiliate partner of NovaMind, meaning you Win! Win! Win! You get the convenience and great looks of a computerized Learning Map™. You get a great mind mapping software to help you do it, NovaMind. And you even get an educational discount on the Pro edition; (home educating families qualify). Both Windows and Mac versions are available.

Me and My House also wins! Your purchase through our website helps support Me and My House ministries.

You don’t know what Learning Maps™ (mind mapping) is? You haven’t hung around me long enough! 🙂 Mind mapping is an AWESOME and POWERFUL tool for learning, for gaining and retaining understanding! It is a natural with biblical principles learning because it shows relationships!

Basically a mind map (our terminology is Learning Map™) is a way to graphically/visually outline and organize, brainstorm and research, plan and present, educate and evaluate, comprehend and communicate. We first learned how to make these as a pre-writing help many years ago. I was impressed by their usefulness and benefits as both a learning and teaching tool, and it grew from there to be one of the primary tools we use in education – both learning and teaching.

You start with a word/picture/idea in the middle of a paper and then branch out from there – first your main points, then each of those branched into subpoints. Utilizing color and pictures, as well as the design, helps us to remember the ideas and information easier. (Schools sometimes call these “webs”.)

I originally drew my Learning Maps™ by hand, and my children still do most of the time. But software is available to make our Learning Maps™ on the computer. That makes them super fun and convenient, as well as enhances our use of color, pictures, and all sorts of design. (I LOVE color and design. — And I own 3 different mind mapping apps.) 🙂

We use Learning Maps™ to plan studies, to document studies, to outline lessons (for me to teach from – or the kids outline as I’m teaching/ what they learn), to outline writing assignments, to brainstorm anything, etc…… I even made a Learning Map™ of their daily responsibilities. 🙂 And I make them of each seminar session I teach, as well as for the books I write.

You can take a peek at a few of our simple Learning Maps™ on our webpages.

Then look at what others have done with them. (It’s up to you how elaborate you want to make them.) (Please note, these are examples of the types of things you can do with mind mapping – not recommendations of the content within the examples.) 🙂

There are several editions of NovaMind to choose from.

NovaMind Pro – for advanced Mind Mappers, senior school and university students, coaches, and for general business use. The 30% educational discount is available to home educators for NovaMind Pro.

NovaMind Express – an entry level product, providing excellent Mind Mapping capabilities for schools and beginning Mind Mappers.

There’s a Pro edition too. You can compare all three here: NovaMind Feature Comparison.

AND here’s another way you WIN! You can download a 30-Day FREE Trial.

What are you waiting for? Have some fun over the next month as you work on your Lesson Planning for next year!


Feature Friday – Inspiration

Feature Friday – sharing a Recommended Resource for Freedom & Simplicity™

Graphic organizing or conceptual outlining or “mind-mapping” is a memorable way to outline ideas through diagramming, using colors, symbols, levels, and relationships.

Inspiration is one of my favorite computerized mind-mapping apps. I use it to plan lessons, workshops/seminars, and just about any other brainstorming, planning, researching, organizing, presenting, etc-ing that needs to be done. Although my dc do most of their Learning Maps (mind-mapping/graphic outlining) on paper – generally as we walk through a lesson or they study it more in depth, Inspiration can be a more fun tool to use when it is handy to do so for them.

A Little Class Friday – Lapbook Key Sheets

I’m always looking for ways to add a little extra spark in our studies and notebooking. I’ve blogged before on lapbooking, a fun way to journal our studies, and (I think) on key sheets a style of “learning map” we use to help in our principled studies. (If I don’t explain it in a blog post, it is well explained in Freedom & Simplicity™ in HisStory.) This idea is a combination of those two things.

We’ve done many things to “spice up” our key sheets. And at other times we just take a sheet of paper and draw lines to divide it into quarters. This last term I came up with a new idea that has become a hit!

I designed 1/4 page “book covers” for the authors we studied, with their picture, name, and a heading, on the “front cover”. (In my “sampler” – see below – the children will glue on a picture and write the info themselves.) I printed these on cardstock and we cut them apart and folded in half to make our “book covers”. Then the children made 4 page booklets, 1/4 sheet size, (called “bound books” in Dinah Zike’s Big Book of Books. You could also use mini stapled books.) Then they glued these into their book covers. They wrote one of the four “key sheet” categories on each of the pages and filled in the info for each writer. Ta-da! Fancy, fun key sheet!

These key sheet booklets can then be glued into a regular lapbook, or (as we did) glued – 2, 3, or 4 – onto a sheet of cardstock. (We then slipped these into a page protector in our notebooks.)

I’ll try to get a pic or 2 added to this post later. AND (Lord willing) a “sampler” and full instructions will be our next newsletter Free Gift! So if you are not receiving our monthly newsletter yet, click here to subscribe. In addition to getting monthly news, tips, and ideas from Me and My House, you’ll also get our (near) monthly Free Gifts, including this Lapbook Key Sheets sampler (or whatever name I give it.) 🙂


Add a Little Class Friday – Early 1800’s I

The last two weeks I’ve been buried in our lessons, and books, books and more books. I love it! Although my eyes have begun to go a bit buggy. 🙂 And it means I have to back date this post, so I can post another for this week. But I want to do that, as I have a great idea we used that I want to share with you.

We’ve lingered a bit longer on these last 2 terms because this time period is SO rich in literature. We’ve been studying the early 1800’s including the beginning of modern missions and the expansion of America. But this is also a time period when America’s literature was born, and great or enduring literature was produced throughout the western world.

English Literature (outside of America) began our studies last term, as England/Scotland somewhat set the tone for our own. Yet, American Literature is still very distinct in style. Our nation was becoming its “own person”, individual, apart from the “mother country”, at this time after gaining our freedom. Much as I wanted to just jump into OUR literature, I had to set the stage.


Sir Walter Scott was our focus our first term, as we love him. I wish I’d thought ahead, and ordered the syllabus written by F.A.C.E. before we did this topical study. We may have had a been more in-depth study that way. But I didn’t, so we did what we did. My children all LOVE Ivanhoe. We had to watch the movie AGAIN. And we looked at paintings that Eugene Delacroix (one of our artists this term) had made from his books, such as Rebecca’s kidnapping.

We also introduced other authors that our children love, but may not have known were contemporaries, as well as the most famous poets of the time and their poetry. Our oldest (at home) dd’s favorite author is Jane Austen and she has read several of her works. The rest of the family has watched several of her movies, (including the current PBS series on Sun. evenings) and dd can tell them the points of variance from the books. Charles Dickens is another familiar author around here, coming just a bit later in our time period. Our youngest student is currently reading several of his short children’s stories on her own.

Leaving the British Isles, another of our faves wrote at the same time, Johann Wyss and The Swiss Family Robinson. We’ve read and listened to this book over and over, as well as watched the movie, OVER and OVER. This was our other focus as a Christian writer. We also introduced another author that the children have listened to his audiobook over and over, as well as watched a couple different versions of the movie, Victor Hugo and Les Miserables. We did not reread the works of these authors, but the children did want to at least rewatch the movies, so we’ve had more DVD time lately.


The poets we covered in our first term were William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They didn’t become endeared to us. So because the War of 1812 is a focus in this time period, our poet focus became Francis Scott Key. We studied not only the Star Spangled Banner, but also a tremendous hymn written by Key, Lord With Glowing Heart I’d Praise Thee. We also looked at Oliver Wendell Holmes’ poem, Old Ironsides. (We had to get some American’s in there. 🙂 ) Our younger children learned poems by Charles and Mary Lamb.

Our other Hymn Writer focus was an author to study in more depth in the time period before this one, but he sets the stage as the first hymn writer in free America, Timothy Dwight IV.


We began with American artists, Charles Willson Peale (our focus) and John James Audubon. We also introduced 2 English artists, John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner, to set the stage for our next term’s artists.

Till next time –
I have so much to share on this exciting subject – like some links to old books we are using.


The Best Laid Plans

Sometimes this journey of home education is not just "The Road Less Traveled", it’s a roller coaster of ups, downs, and sharp turns. As we follow and teach Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™, education based on biblical principles, we try to present the Freedom & Simplicity™ of home education in the Spirit, grounded on the Word. Well, my nicely laid out chart for our Freedom & Simplicity™ in Bible course is, of course, completely grounded on the Word. But following the direction of the Spirit within that sometimes leads to an adventurous ride.

We just completed this term, which for our Bible course covered the PIPEline period of the Patriarchs to the Law, Abraham to Moses. On my chart it had a few nicely termed titles for the themes of each week, but as I studied to prepare to teach, I saw how God had orchestrated it to come together. A clear theme of Covenant was being laid through each week, each lesson.

The first week we studied Abraham. We studied the giving and the promise of the covenant – initiated by God, the sign of the covenant – circumcision, faithful to the covenant – the test of sacrifice.

The second week studied Isaac, heir of the covenant. We studied human covenants under God’s – and those under covenant in a covenant household, the servant sent for the Bride, the marriage covenant.

The third week we studied Jacob, unworthy of the covenant. The unlikely choice for the covenant, wrestling to enter the covenant, servant of the covenant.

The fourth week we studied Joseph, learning to walk faithful to the covenant. We studied his knowing the call but being proud – pride comes before a fall, his faithfulness through his humbling – God’s means of refining, and God lifting him up – and Joseph seeing "God meant it all for good."

The fifth week we studied Moses, re-instater of the covenant. We studied Moses’ confronted by the covenant – and his excuses, his failure to bring his son up in the covenant, and God’s power through the covenant.

The sixth week we studied Israel and symbols/representations of the covenant. We studied the passover – and its relation to salvation, the crossing of the Red Sea – and its relation to baptism, and the manna and water in the wilderness – and its relation to communion.

The best laid plans are those directed and brought together by God Himself, the author and finisher of our faith. As I studied His Word, He was faithful to lay out our plans in such as AWESOME way.

We didn’t just study these stories in and of themselves, reading, researching, and recording what we found. But we studied through them in relation to what God had for US in them, reasoning, relating, and releasing the application to our lives, and how God wanted us to grow through studying this.  It is amazing, but I still continue to be amazed at how home education in the Spirit, grounded on the Word brings such Freedom & Simplicity™.

Notebooking Quote of the Day

Many people tend to get hung up on Notebooking and what should be going into them. Here’s a quote for your ponderance:

“(3) The notebook is not a filing cabinet to catch every piece of paper throughout the year. It is a permanent record of the year’s work collecting the substance of the study of the subject. (4) The object is not to contain all the facts in the binder. The object is to make a record of research, reasoning, and relating of the subject throughout
the year.” (Noah Plan Lessons Kindergarten, pg. xiv)