Making a P.R.A.Y. Journal

faveformsOne of the Prayer Projects we utilize with our children is a P.R.A.Y. Journal. This is for them to record their prayers, giving them 4 areas to pray about, using the acronym P.R.A.Y. Daily specifics are written for each area. We want to teach them to think about their prayers, not utter vain repetitions.

P. is for Praise and Thanksgiving. We write our Praise to God and what we are Thankful to Him for.

R. is for Repentance. We ask for forgiveness and help to turn away from our sins.

A. is for Ask. We ask that our needs and those of others be met.

Y. is for Yield. We surrender all to Him, for His service.

We utilize pretty P.R.A.Y. Journal pages that are 1/2 letter size. You can put them in a 8.5 x 5.5″ binder, or spiral or comb-bind them. (Spiral is probably the easiest for children to use them.) Utilizing these journal pages works best, at least until the children are old hats at this, because each page has a section labeled as to what area they are to pray and write about.  There are many styles to choose from, showing the wonders of God’s creation. You can make a whole journal of just your one favorite, or mix and match them for variety.

If you don’t want to print off a page for each day and bind them, you can just print off the instructional page and paste it into the front of a Composition Notebook, to serve as a reminder of what to pray for and write. This works OK with older children who are already doing P.R.A.Y. Journals well, but is not as helpful for younger children or those just starting.

Enjoy this helpful way of teaching your children to Pray through Journaling. It is an awesome tool for both your children and yourself.

See other ways we help our children learn to pray here.


It’s Our Birthday

It’s our BIRTHDAY!

Well, really it’s MY Birthday. Our business doesn’t really have a birthday/anniversary, so
we’ll celebrate MY BIRTHDAY instead – with a get together and gifts!

The best birthday celebration is a get together, and in June we have our  biggest annual get together for Me and My House ministries – Freedom & Simplicity™ of Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ ~ The Seminar LIVE!

We’d love to have you join us for this full day seminar on Biblical home education!

Freedom & Simplicity™ of Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ ~
The Seminar LIVE! 2009

June 13th from 9:30-5:30
Fun, bonus session for registrants Friday 7:30 pm-9:30
North Platte, NE

Registration $30, due June 5th.

The full day seminar will take you from establishing a Biblical foundation, philosophy and principles of education, to learning the Freedom & Simplicity™ methods of home education through L.E.D., to the practical application of scheduling and planning. Discipleship yoU! follow-up exercises will help you apply what you learn.

Join us for the LIVE Seminar – presented by Lisa Hodgen, mom of 10, home educator of over 22 years, and founder of Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ – and get your Biblical Principles education off to a great start.

Click here for more details and to register.

No birthday celebration is complete without gifts of blessing either. For our birthday celebration , you get the blessing. For the month of  June we’re offering 3 of our core Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ Exclusive Resources for 1 fantastic special price.

Freedom & Simplicity™ of Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™ ~ The Seminar (audios and handouts) AND
Freedom & Simplicity™ of HisStory AND
PIPEline of HisStory

These 3 resources will help you lay a good foundation and get started in Freedom & Simplicity™ in home education – for ONLY $45 for the month of June 2009!

Beginning Reading

In this series, we’ll follow the steps to learning to read. Where to start? Reading really good books to your child, talking with your child, and teaching your child to listen. Today let’s take a look at a couple of ways we can work on the listening part of this.

Teach your child to listen.  Listen to sounds, wherever you are; what do you hear?  “Can you repeat the sound?” (Have him try to mimic animal sounds, machine sounds, weather sounds, etc.)  “Can you describe the sounds?” (What does it sound like?) Teach him to repeat patterns or sequences (clapping or saying words or numbers, etc.)

©  – from Freedom & Simplicity™ in Reading

In addition to general sounds around him, you can help him begin to listen for sounds in words.

Auditory Recognition:
In Phase One the child learns to recognize various sounds auditorily. In other words, he learns to listen for the sounds in words, and can tell when 2 sounds are the same or are different.  It is a game that can be started when the child is quite young, if it is kept a game.  This Phase is for learning the single consonant sounds, but of course it is OK if your child learns to recognize other, not as easy to distinguish sounds.  There are over 40 sounds in our English language.  This auditory recognition is taught before letter recognition.  After the child is able to distinguish the sounds he hears, you will begin teaching him the letters that represent those sounds, in Phase Two.

©  – from Freedom & Simplicity™ in Reading

Watch our L.E.D. Store for Freedom & Simplicity™ in Reading – Learning and Teaching Reading Through Biblical Principles – Book 1.

R Road to Spelling

R Road to Spelling is a simple but powerful way to Freedom & Simplicity™ in Spelling. Here’s a look at R Road. We are talking here only of the method of learning to spell new words, not broader writing in general, and not a “course of study” of spelling, i.e. the merits or not of spelling “programs”.

If you are not familiar with R Road, it is a methodology of learning, a ‘path to wisdom’.

Receive – Our foundation for Spelling is the instruction we have Received,  the letter symbols needed to represent sounds, and “rules” for knowing when to use those letters.

Record – The Records of what we Received are both in our minds and in our Journals. A “Letters Journal/Book of Remembrance” documents the various phonograms and rules we’ve learned, an ongoing Journal as we learn to spell. The letter-sound connection is Recorded in our minds, as we can’t hear what is recorded in our Journals.

Ruminate – Our spelling learning is not done by just rotely Recording the words we want to learn, but (as in all our studies) by Reflecting on them, thinking and Reasoning. This process will help us remember how to spell the word, be able to figure it out for ourselves if we forget, and enable us to spell other words based on the reasoning we’ve done for the ones we’ve learned. Ruminating consists of 3 processes, Reflecting, Reasoning, Responding/Relating.

– Reflecting – Think about it, put it in context. This can mean many things in spelling. In particular, we need to know the context of the usage of the word to make sure we are spelling the right word. How it is used in a sentence (the context of words) determines its meaning and many times its spelling. Are we talking about going to the sea, or the ability to see? Have you read the book, or is it the color red?

Generally, we talk about Reflecting on what we are learning “biblically, historically, academically, and governmentally.” Do these apply to spelling words? Individual words may or may not have biblical context, that may or may not have bearing on how we spell them, but it does have bearing on how or whether we use them!

Historically, is this a foreign derived word that is going to have special spelling needs that come with that? It’s highly doubtful that you will Research the historical background and roots of every word you learn to spell. But knowing that bouquet and beret are French words helps us to remember to not spell them a-y at the end.

Academically, we Reflect on the word, begin breaking it down. We say the word out loud. How many syllables do we hear? How many sounds in each syllable? Syllables are the context, Big Picture, for Spelling (in addition to the meaning context we’ve already pointed out.) Which spelling we use for a sound is usually governed by where it is in a syllable, as is how it is pronounced. Governmentally, what rules govern the spelling of those sounds? The context of the meaning and the place in the syllable will determine what rules are used.

– Reasoning – The answers to these, of course, all work together and lead right into Reasoning. This is all an integrated thought process. As we continue the process: What is the first sound I hear? How is that sound normally spelled? Can it have other spellings? In what context? Does this word fit in that context? Repeat these questions for each sound in the word.

– Responding/Relating – Responding/Relating usually relates to what we should believe, think and do in light of this new knowledge we’ve learned by Ruminating on new material. In the case of spelling, it can be more a process of Relating the spelling of new words to ones we already know, such as: Thought uses o-u-g-h for the/o/ sound, so does ‘bought’, so does ‘wrought’, etc. R Road has taught us many new words through the process of learning one. But 2 words in that last sentence, require their own learning. 🙂 A-u-g-h for /o/ in ‘taught’, and o-u-g-h for /oo/ in ‘through’. Sometimes there isn’t a hard a fast rule to know when to use which spelling, but we still come very close by knowing the rules that do govern.

Release – Releasing is, of course, the writing down or telling the spelling of the word, generally as we are Reasoning out each sound. We have planned our course, we have taken action, all that remains is judging whether it is correct.

In teaching Spelling, we will be guiding our children through these processes so they do get the right spelling. However, as they grow older and are spelling on their own, they will need to judge their own writing. That will involve looking the word up in the dictionary, whether that be a book, an online dictionary, or spell check in a computer app, or asking someone else if it is correct. It can also involve a further step of our judging their writing, making sure they have spelled words correctly. If our children’s work is never judged, they will learn to Reason wrongly, and will learn to misspell words.

Revisit –  Revisiting a word, of course, implies spelling it correctly the next time we encounter the need to write it. If we don’t remember the spelling or if we’ve learned to misspell a word, we will need to walk through the steps again, Ruminating once more.

As usual, the first 2 and last 2 R‘s are the external, typically thought of processes of learning. The 3 internal processes on R Road are the ones that are normally overlooked, but they are the ones that equip our children to think and learn for themselves. In practice, these processes occur much faster than it took you to read them. But it is a process worth taking the time to teach our children to go through in order to spell unfamiliar words. Naturally, they won’t continue to go through this process after they have learned the spelling. It will come automatically, for they already know it. But for unfamiliar words the Reflective way of learning is a way that engages the learning senses and the mind, for most effective learning. We say the word, we hear the word, we think about the word, we write the word, we see the word. Then we know how to spell the word.


Thanksgiving Continues

Although the set-aside HolyDay for giving thanks has ended, the giving of thanks should never end. We should live a constant life of ThanksLiving. An attitude of gratitude is something we should especially be discipling our children in – all the time, but especially as the next HolyDay approaches.

The Christmas season, like Thanksgiving Day has changed its focus in our secularized (focused on only the here and now – no history, no future means as much as NOW) and “me-first” society. Thanksgiving Day is many times called “Turkey Day” now, as there is no thanks given. (I won’t go there as I’ve already posted a bit on that.) Christmas is many times no longer about celebrating the incarnation of God with us, but about what I can get, and whether I’ll get what I want.

What better preparation can we give our children for this season than solid discipling in gratefulness, (besides teaching them the reason for the season, Jesus, of course.) I’ve given resource recommendations for Character Discipleship on our Growing in Christ’s Image page. Check them out today and, if you haven’t already, begin your study in Gratefulness and Journal your study with Growing in Christ’s Image.


Thanksgiving Lapbook

It’s time to make a Thanksgiving MyMini Book of Remembrance (lapbook). What would you put in it?

  • A Bound Book “Book of ThanksGiving” with Scriptures on Thanksgiving and your thoughts on them.
  • A “Circle of Blessings” Spinner Wheel of things you are Thankful for.
  • A “Thanksgiving Means…” glossary of word meanings on the subject of Thanksgiving in a Strip mini-book.
  • A Mini-Shutter or Mini-Accordion Book to record the chronology of the Pilgrims.
  • A Mayflower pocket to hold a copy of the Mayflower Compact, the list of passengers, and supplies.
  • A Tab Book of short biographical sketches of the Pilgrim/Plymouth Settlement leaders.
  • A Drinking Cup Pocket to hold “5 Kernels of Corn” and a copy of the poem.
  • Bradford’s and Winslow’s descriptions of the first harvest celebration of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, and our Thanksgiving Menu in a cornucopia Tri-fold (or other) Pocket.
  • A Layered Look book of some of the Presidential Proclamations of Thanksgiving.
  • Flap books (and others) of Psalms, Hymns, and poetry of Thanksgiving.
  • and a WHOLE LOT MORE!

Decorate your mini-books with pictures, clip art, and drawings symbolizing Thanksgiving.

See more ideas, actually a jam packed complete study guide, for your Thanksgiving study in:

A Freedom & Simplicity™ Thanksgiving Study

Order and get started on your study TODAY!

Don’t know what a “lapbook” is?

It is a collection of colorful “mini-books” folded in fun, interesting ways, containing information you’ve learned, and glued into a “shutter-folded” file folder, in a nicely laid-out fashion, for a quick and easy, small and convenient journal of your studies. Learn more about “lapbooks” in my 4 part series on MyMini Books of Remembrance on this blog.

Don’t miss our annual Thanksgiving MEGA-Sale for more Me and My House Exclusive resources!


Announcing: Growing in Christ’s Image

We are excited to announce our latest release, just in time for Thanksgiving and a study in Gratefulness –

Growing in Christ’s Image
A Character Book of Remembrance

Add to your faith virtue, … 2 Peter 1:5

gcicover.jpgCharacter is the second most important thing we disciple our children in. It is something we both teach and train in – day in and day out. It isn’t the easiest thing we can teach our children. Math, Reading, HisStory are all so much easier. But after the knowledge of God and Salvation by Jesus the Christ alone, Character is the most important thing we can train our children in. We must have the Character ourselves to be consistent and diligent in teaching them. We must realize that the trials we face, even in this, are for our own maturing and growth in the image of Christ.

These Journaling forms will assist you in recording the information, illustrations, and applications you learn, into a Book of Remembrance, as you study the Character Qualities necessary for self-government and growth in Christ.

Read more about it, download a sample, and order here.

Leave me a comment for a chance to WIN Growing in Christ’s Image!  I will draw a winner next weekend and announce them on this blog. (Comments must be left by Friday midnight, Central time. Be sure to leave your name and contact info.)

Don’t forget! Our Bounty of L.E.D. Thanksgiving SUPER Sale  starts Saturday!


New L.E.D. Resource

You’ve been asking and waiting for this one! Redeeming the Time Journal™ forms are back! Well, making a comeback anyhow.

I’ve reformatted your 3 favorites, that are requested most – Spiritual Journey, P.R.A.Y., and Day-by-Day Book of Remembrance Journal. Now with design choices and more formats to choose from. And ready for you to download, and print the ones you want, as many as you want for your own immediate family.

See the details and order Redeeming the Time Journal™ Favorite Forms here. SPECIAL SAVINGS when you buy Redeeming the Time Journal™ Favorite Forms and Refrigerator Charts Master Pack together.

FYI, the Redeeming the Time Journal™ Education forms are just about ready for re-release too!


Organizing Your Ebooks

Last year I wrote a post or two (1, 2, 3) about using ebooks. I am not against ebooks, I have found them very helpful in our learning. But my conclusion was, I am not out to piece together all our learning through free ebooks. That would limit us beyond what is acceptable to me for our home.

2 weeks ago I wrote about organizing your ebooks and free downloads, in conjunction with the UHSE which will give you plenty to organize. I recommended a basic file folder hierarchy. It works.

However, after reading Michelle Gefflin’s ebook about organizing your ebooks, (received through the UHSE, but you can get a free copy too, even if you aren’t a Member of the Expo) I am experimenting with pdf organizer apps. These may have some advantages over just the folder method.

Michelle recommended ‘My eBook Library’, which is only for Windows XP/Vista. (I don’t see a link to it in Michelle’s book, and am not taking the time to look it up since I’m a Mac user.) I am a Mac user, and Michelle didn’t have a recommendation, so I went on a search. Here’s what I’ve found so far, and I’ll write more after I experiment with them a bit. ‘Yep‘ and ‘Yojimbo‘ seem to be the best options. There is also a way to use iTunes, which would be Free, but I’m not finding it very viable if you have a lot of pdf’s/ebooks. ‘Papers‘ is another option, but is specifically for scientific articles so has features applicable to that, and may be too genre specific for your general home ed use.

Michelle also recommended the Kindle, eInk ebook reader. I have ignored it up until now, but am giving it another look. Even though I’m now intrigued, it is still way too pricey for me to think seriously of getting it. Perhaps the next gen will come with a reduced price.

More about Michelle’s ebook:

Do you find you enthusiastically download the latest ebook deal or free offer, then promptly forget you have them? Do you even wonder how ebooks can benefit your busy homeschool life, especially when you have a growing library of print resources already?

Learn how to manage all those elusive files and actually use them! You’ll be astonished at how easy it is with a free downloadable tool you’ll find all about in this helpful resource from Yes, You Can! Publications.