Summer Learning For Preschoolers & Early Elementary Students

For reference my older kids are 6 and 4 and my two littles are under 3. This post contains affiliate links.

Two years ago I shared a very detailed post on how we do preschool at home in the summer. When our family started fostering last year I began looking for inexpensive summer learning activity books. I knew I wasn’t going to have time to put together binders for each child like I had the year before. What I purchased worked out so great and I am planning to use the same products again this summer.

Here is a roundup of what we are going to be using this year plus purchases from last year that we loved!

Workbooks & Reading Programs

These Summer Brain Quest Between Grades books are fantastic! Fun enough that your kids will ask to keep working through the book but still educational. We had to limit the number of pages done each day so we didn’t finish the book in the middle of summer.

We love Curious George in our house. So this Curious George Sight Words Reading Program was a no brainer to buy last summer. This program is under $15. It comes with flash cards, 10 reading books, and a sight word tracker chart that includes stickers to mark off which words have been mastered.

Keeping with the Curious George theme. I bought Curious George Math and Science Readers STEM Program to add to our collection this year. This boxed set includes ten fun stories and activity cards featuring Curious George designed to introduce young readers to science, technology, engineering, and math.

I plan on visiting our local library often over the summer with the kids to keep our reading material new and exciting. My goal is to read to them often and to cut back on the amount of television they watch. Wish us luck! Our plan right now is to let each kid pick a show 1 day a week. This will equal out to 30 minutes of television Monday-Thursday with Friday being a family movie day.

Our son’s school uses Spalding and he has learned the first 70 phonograms this year. It was a little challenging for me to learn these so I could help him with his homework and I don’t want him or myself to get out of practice over the summer so we will be reviewing these often ;).

Bible & Theology Resources

We are still working our way through Old Story New. I plan on using these 10 Minute Devotionals along with The Gospel Story Bible and The New City Catechism during our summer school time. We have been reading The Jesus Storybook Bible again in the mornings at breakfast and plan to continue this also.

FREE Resources

There are so many great resources also available for FREE! Here are a few that we have used in the past.

  • Spot and Dot Alphabet Pages These are excellent for helping your preschooler work on their hand-eye coordination, their fine motor skills, and so much more! We use the Do-A-Dot Markers for this activity.
  • Number Playdough Mats 
  • Create Your Own Handwriting Sheets I use this to generate sheets for the kids names. I finally got smart and instead of printing one out for each kid everyday I put the paper in a clear sheet protector. The kids now use a dry erase marker and once a week get to practice with a pencil.

I am just so excited to have all my kids home together this summer. We don’t have any huge plans, just good quality family time!

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Does God Speak To People As Clearly Today As He Did In Biblical Times?

My husband and I are currently facilitating a discipleship class at our church. We have taken this class before almost two years ago. One of the questions in the homework material caused me to we write a super long response and I decided to turn it into a blog post. Does God speak to people as clearly today as he did in biblical times? My answer to this question was basically the same as the first time we took this class but this time I was able to expand on my answer more throughly.

When I look at the Old Testament I see that God only spoke to a select few. The majority of people in scripture weren’t hearing God’s voice or able to be in direct contact with him. He spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden, warned Noah about the flood, called Abraham to be the father of a nation, and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. These are just several of the examples of who God spoke with directly. God reached out first and desired a relationship with his chosen people.

I have personally never had a burning bush experience like Moses did but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t speak to me. The bible is God’s written word and it has convicted me deeply by revealing sin in my heart and calling me to repentance.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

In the Old Testament and up until the death of Jesus the bible explains about the temple and how this huge curtain was hung in order to divide God from the outside world. The curtain separated the Holy of Holies which is were God’s presence resided on earth. Very few people had access to God in the Holy of Holies. God is setting the plot of his story up for the ultimate redemption by showing with the curtain that man is separated from God by sin. Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this curtain once each year to enter into God’s presence for all of Israel and make atonement for their sins by offering an unblemished sacrificial lamb.

When Jesus died the need for the curtain was no longer necessary. The curtain being torn signified that now the way into the Holy of Holies was open for all people, for all time, both Jew and Gentile. Sin offerings were no longer needed because Jesus himself was the ultimate sacrifice.

Jesus, being both fully God and fully man, came to communicate with his creation because he desired a relationship with them. Jesus came to call us out of our sin and into his holiness and grace. Jesus is crucified and he becomes the sacrificial lamb and the ultimate high priest. After Jesus ascends into heaven the Holy Spirit comes.

“But the advocate the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

When I speak and act in ways that I know can only be described as the Holy Spirit working in and through me I hear God speaking clearly.

When I react with kindness instead of hate, I hear God.

When peace instead of worry blankets my spirit, I hear God.

When I love another mothers child like they were my own, I hear God.

Anytime I see the Lord at work in the life of myself or of another believer I hear God clearly speaking to me. Showing me his goodness and revealing how powerful the gospel is to transform lives.

The people in biblical times didn’t have copies of the bibles accumulated in their homes. They were living what would later be written about to encourage and edify others who were to come after them.

Living in the United States and reading about the persecution of my brother and sisters in Christ around the world is horrifying. As is knowing that there are still nations that do not have a printed copy of the gospel in their own language. I realize I am blessed to be able to study the bible freely, to go to church without fear of being persecuted, and to have a copy of the bible in a language I can read. I used to take these things for granted but I don’t anymore.

I have discovered that the best place to hear God speak is through the Bible and by seeking out mature believers to help me clarify my thoughts and opinions and align them with scripture. It is dangerous to base what you think God is saying on one verse instead of in the context of the passage of scripture you are reading and without learning what was happening in the culture and at that time in history.

I am thankful for the bible, my church, and community of believers that God has surrounded me with. God does speak clearly today we only have to seek him.

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3 Tips For Reading The Bible In 2019

I received a copy of this book from Crossway to review. All opinions are my own. 

The Bible is an epic story that tells us how God made the world and why we are here. He tells us that his son Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead and for this reason we can live with him in heaven forever. God is always good, all the time and his written Word is truthful and worthy of our complete confidence.

Here are 3 tips that I hope will encourage you to start a Bible reading plan on of your own. I am also sharing this to keep myself accountable in 2019! And remember, it is never too late to start reading :).

Don’t Stress, Just Read

Don’t stress so much about what plan you are reading just make sure you are reading. It can be easy to get hung up on finding the perfect reading plan but really at the end of the day what is most important isn’t what plan you used to read your Bible but that you actually read it. It might be easier to start in the Gospel’s or maybe you want to start in Genesis. Once you have determined where you are starting commit to finishing. This goal is worthy to pursue and the truth that will be spoken into your life and that you will be able to speak into the lives of others by reading the Bible is life giving and life changing.

For reference the following is how I have read the Bible different ways over the last 3 years.

Use The Same Bible All Year

This upcoming year I plan to do something I have never done before. I am going to start with a clean copy of the Bible that I can take with me while on the go, that has wide margins for note taking, and one that isn’t super expensive. I plan to take notes on what I am learning or circle passages I want to investigate more at a later time. In 2019 I am going to be using the ESV Story of Redemption Bible. I appreciate the reader friendly typesetting and wider margin space in this Bible and I am excited to see what the inside of this Bible looks like at the end of the year.

Give Yourself Some Grace

If you miss a day, it is ok. Pick up where you left off and jump back into your reading. Things are going to happen from week to week where you might not be able to read your Bible. It is ok to miss a few days here and there just don’t let it derail you. It might be helpful to have an accountability partner who can check in with you and listen to what you are learning as well as encourage you to continue reading.

Along with this, it is ok if you don’t understand everything you are reading. Try your best to hang with those passages. If something really doesn’t make sense schedule a visit with your pastor, I am sure they would love to help you dissect a passage of scripture that you need help understanding. Don’t skip the genealogies because over time the more read the Bible you might just start to recognize a few of the names in those long lists.

I have learned so much from reading the entire Bible. 2018 was my third consecutive year reading the Bible cover to cover. Here are my brief overviews of the major takeaways I have learned each year if you are interested: 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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