Category Archives: Homeschooling

Our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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In past years, we have released a couple of gift guides that were very random (one year, we even included a toy car-making machine!).

This year’s gift guide is meant to be more focused, as most of the ideas listed below are meant to instill the Word of God in the hearts of your family. A couple of things are for more specific groups of people, but we hope you find everything below to be helpful in learning God’s Word.

[Disclaimer: Any links below that take you to Amazon are affiliate links. All other links are not affiliate links.]

Polishing the Pulpit Flash Drives. In past years, Polishing the Pulpit has had some flash drives with all the audio lessons for attendees. However, after the convention, there are some drives left over, and they keep them available for sale, so long as supplies last. They are $100 each, but each contains over 400 lessons! To learn more, call PtP at 877-338-3397, or visit this page.

God, Give Us Christian Homes [Book by Jim Faughn]. Every family needs encouragement. Jim Faughn wrote this 13-chapter book to help families, or to be used in a Bible class. It would make a great gift for a family, or just a “gift to yourself,” for your family to study together. Currently, it is $11.95 on Amazon and can be found here.

Shaping Hearts for God “Class in a Box.” We use Shaping Hearts for God as our curriculum at 9th Avenue from 4s-5s through 4th grade. However, their “Class in a Box” is designed for 2s and 3s and can easily be used in a family devotional setting. There are two “classes,” and each is $39.99. Talk about a great gift for a young family that you see trying to teach their kids about God! Find out more and make your order here.

Shaping Hearts of God Bible Timeline. Okay, so this would take some space in a house, but if you know a family who homeschools, or who has a room where they hold family devotionals, this would be an awesome gift. It is a LONG timeline that shows the history of the Biblical narrative in a wonderful way. (Personally, this is my favorite thing that Shaping Hearts for God puts out.) The timeline is $29.99 and can be ordered here.

A gift for your elders: Rest in Green Pastures. Why not get your elders a small token of your affection? This book is written by elders, for elders. It is a quick read but provides so much encouragement. On Amazon, it is currently $12.00, and can be found here.

Advanced Reader: Amazing Skin Designed by God. Our kids love the “Advanced Reader” books from Apologetics Press, and this one is fresh off the presses. These books are for smaller kids, but even up through “tween-age” will probably find them interesting. This book is only $2.00 and can be ordered through Apologetics Press here.

Advanced Reader Series. If you want to dive into the whole Advanced Reader series from AP, you can order all 8 books in the series for the price of seven. For $14.00, that’s a great investment (and can be a wonderful stocking stuffer). Order them all here.

Pryor Convictions, The Book of Genesis. We are currently using this book in our family Bible time and we love it! Each of the 13 lessons is designed to be taught over the course of a few days, and includes a reading guide, review questions, crafts, games, activities, and more. The books produced by Pryor are intended for home use, so you will find them very useful. A great gift for a family. The Genesis book is $14.95, and you can find out more here.

CD: “One Voice: Praise & Worship.” Even though we are living in the age of Bluetooth, our family still listens to a lot of CDs when we travel. This is one of our favorites. It contains wonderful old hymns of praise sung by an amazing male quartet. This would make a great gift for a gift exchange or a quick, last-minute gift at a party. It is $15.00 here.

Hymns of the Heart. Okay, if you don’t mind, I’m going to include my own book here! This book walks readers through 35 of the Psalms and is meant to help the reader learn more about the wonderful God we serve. As of this writing, it is $11.41 on Amazon, but they regularly mark it down from that. You can find it here.

One Word Study Guide. These devotional books walk readers through one Biblical word (e.g., “grace,” “God,” “justification”) each week. Written by ministers of the churches of Christ, the goal is to share five short devotionals about each of the words, one for each week of the year in 2017. Many churches (including 9th Avenue) are going to give these out, but if your congregation is not, it would make a wonderful gift for someone. And, even more amazing, the book–which is tremendously designed and put together–is only $3.00. Order several copies here.

Well, there you go! We hope you find some of these resources to be great gifts…or you just decide to get some for your own family!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 67: Our 2016 “Thankful List” [Podcast]

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, our little family sat around and counted our blessings. There is no way we could share a full list of all the ways in which God blesses us, so instead, we made a list of 16 blessings from 2016.

Below is the list, or you can listen along as Leah, Mary Carol, and Turner all join me for this podcast.

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Our 16 Things

  1. Getting Spot
  2. Time with our cousins (including cousin’s camp)
  3. Vacation to Chattanooga
  4. Painting the living room
  5. Pumpkin patch trip (with covered bridge)
  6. A good school year
  7. Time with grandparents
  8. Doing better going on dates
  9. Getting a new Bible
  10. Getting to know friends better
  11. Our new car
  12. Working on Lads to Leaders (finishing 100 verses)
  13. Our garden
  14. Learning about canning
  15. Junior camper awards at Maywood
  16. Mary Carol becoming a Christian

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Episode 64: Some Thoughts about “The Me-Time Myth” (with Leah Faughn) [Podcast]

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Many people–and, it seems, especially mothers–talk about “me time.” A couple of years ago, a blogger wrote a powerful article about how having true “me time” as a mother is a myth. She took a lot of heat for the article, but it sparked some good discussion.

On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the article [which you can find here] and about how mothers need a little “me time,” but how the ideal of this concept is really a myth for mothers who truly want to impact their children.

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Resource

The ‘Me Time’ Myth” [Your Mom Has a Blog]

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Free Resource: Ruth Review Sheets for Family Devotionals [Printable]

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Several months ago, we shared with you some review sheets we used in our family to teach and review the book of Matthew in our family devotionals. [Find out more here.]

Today, we are sharing another book of the Bible and (are you ready?) next week we will release another!

The free pdf we are sharing today is from the book of Ruth and consists of a single pdf that is divided into six lessons. Each lesson contains questions straight from the text (usually about 8-10), review questions (3 or 4), and one memory verse.

As usual, I made these on my lunch breaks or between meetings, so you will probably find a few typos or some questions that could be worded in a more succinct fashion. Still, we hope you find these sheets to be a good aid, and that they help your children learn the wonderful and beautiful account of Ruth.

To preview or download the sheets in pdf format, click on this link or on the picture below.

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Finally, to access our store, which contains several other free printables, follow this link. We hope these free resources help your family dig into God’s Word together!

As we said, another freebie is coming next Wednesday! Be on the lookout for it.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Enough

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My friend, you have been looking a bit harried lately. Not to say you don’t look beautiful, but I can see it in your eyes. You feel like you are falling short. And not just falling short in one or two areas but all across the board. Your husband needs some attention and all of your children seem to have an activity or school project due this week. And those lesson plans don’t write themselves!

Or maybe you are the friend whose aging parents are competing with your job for who or what can cause the most stress. You know God teaches to respect and care for those in your family, but your boss doesn’t seem to understand that and is pressing for more travel, more revenue, more something!

Or maybe you are the single friend who is happy with her life until someone makes you feel like you aren’t enough because you haven’t followed the traditional path of marriage right after college. Nevermind that the only reason you haven’t is because you can’t find a man who loves God first.

Or maybe you are …

You get the picture. There are a variety of us who each have our own unique situation that is stretching us to the max. Lately, I have found myself praying to be everything that all of the people in my life need me to be. And then I realized that if I would change my prayer, I might help myself not feel so overwhelmed and change my focus.

What is this “magic” prayer? Simply this, “God, please help me be who You need me to be.” And that will be enough.

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” –Ecclesiastes 12:13


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Studying Matthew with Your Children [Free Printable]

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Need a resource to help with your family Bible study? Then today’s post is for you!

At the 2016 Lads to Leaders convention, the book to study for the Bible Bowl event was Matthew. Knowing that, we decided to study that book in our Family Bible Time at night. Matthew is a fairly lengthy book (28 chapters), so to help our kids study, we made little worksheets for each of the chapters.

Today, we are pleased to share them with you…for free!

For each of the chapters, there are four things on the worksheet:

1. A box with the two or three major events or stories found in that chapter,

2. Fill in the black or short-answer questions straight from the text (based on the New King James Version),

3. A handful of discussion questions (meanings of words, “how would you feel,” etc.), and

4. A memory verse or two from that chapter.

If you click on the picture below, you will be redirected to a page with the document in pdf format. It is 55 pages in length, and you are welcome to print it out and use it for Bible school, homeschool, family Bible time, or any other purpose you would like.

All we ask in return is this: if you take the time to download or print the pdf, would you please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest? That way, others can find out about this resource as well. Thank you!

We hope this resource helps you. I’m sure you’ll find a typo or two, but we pray this is something that will help your family learn this wonderful book that opens our New Testament.

To view or download, click on the following image.

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

My 5 Favorite Bible School Links

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Any Bible school teacher who is responsible for teaching a class of squirmy children needs all the resources she can find. Unfortunately, not all teachers have access to a “resource room” full of ideas. The good news is that the internet is full of ideas. That is really good news for moms like me who want to teach but don’t have loads of time to devote to coming up with everything from scratch. Today, I wanted to give you some of my go-to Bible school links and give a brief explanation of each one.

On to the links!

  1. Bible Fun for Kids is written by Debbie Jackson. This is one of my favorites. Debbie’s lessons are packed full of printables. The great thing about this blog is that Debbie’s lessons are “complete.” She tells the Bible story and includes pictures. Then, there is always a worksheet, chart, game, or activity to print. I have always thought that a Bible school teacher who is a member of a congregation who couldn’t afford an entire curriculum could use Debbie’s blog and have a good start at teaching her students chronologically through the Bible. She even has lessons about Paul’s letters, which, let me tell you, is almost unheard of – even with a bought curriculum.
  2. Free Bible Images is a website where you can print, well, free Bible images! These are beautiful pictures, and I love that the images include a brief script that corresponds to each picture. In fact, I have used these images to make flip charts for our teachers at our congregation. This site is very well organized, and it is very user-friendly. You can search by Bible book or by Bible character. There are illustrations for roughly 250 Bible lessons on this site. It is well worth your time.
  3. Apologetics Press has an enormous amount of material. Not only do you have full access to all of the articles of past Discovery Magazine for Kids, but they have also been hard at work preparing a 4-year Bible school program. The online curriculum comes with complete lesson plans and links to their own activity pages and also correlates with the beloved Discovery articles. This one is great. Just look for the “Bible School Curriculum” tab. There is an outline of all the lessons, and you should be able to go from there. [Note: The Bible School Curriculum area of their site requires sign-in, but it is free.]
  4. Mission Arlington. I wanted to include this site because I have always loved the hands-on ideas on the “Learning Activity” section of their lessons. Sometimes it is as simple as “bring animal cookies,” but if you’re like me, sometimes you need just a little creative reminder.
  5. Pinterest. Almost anyone who is reading this knows that Pinterest has countless ideas. I like Pinterest for the craft ideas. I also like that Pinterest allows you to share boards, so that all the teachers of your congregation can add items to the same board. I am in the process of rearranging my Pinterest boards, and you can follow me here.

* I do want to be clear that just because I recommend a website, I don’t necessarily endorse everything on that website. I am assuming that each teacher is consulting her Bible first.

These are my favorite websites for Bible school, and I hope they will help you feel more prepared to teach your children!

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AUTHOR: Leah Faughn

Episode 40: 100 Things We are Thankful For (Part 1) [Podcast]

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November is the time of year when many people slow down and count their blessings. Sometimes, though, we struggle to start that list, though we know the list is endless.

To help you, we are taking two programs to share 100 things our family is thankful for. On this week’s program, which is part one, Adam and his eight-year-old son, Turner, share 25 things each they are thankful for. We hope you are encouraged by their lists, and make sure you tune in next week to hear Leah and Mary Carol share their lists, too.

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Music Credit

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

The Necessary Thing (and a Basket That Will Help Teach It)

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As a mother, there are many things I want to teach my children. My head swirls with all the responsibility. They are my gift from God, and I desperately want to train, educate, equip, discipline, and lead them so that when they leave my house they are ready. I want to them to be ready to face this world.

Every day, there is another item added to the list of “crucial information my children need to know before they leave my home.” That list is long and varied. I want my children to know how to be polite. I want them to know how to clean and how to finally learn how to put something back in its place! (Can I get an “amen”?) I want them to know about their country, and I want them to see that this country is indeed exceptional. I want them to be able to write and read in cursive, and I want them to be able to read a clock that isn’t digital! I want them to be familiar with the parts of an orchestra and to know what the inside of a real theater looks like – and could someone please teach at least one of my children how to play the piano?

Then, because I am a homeschooler, the list seems to grow exponentially. Even now, we are learning to identify types of verbs, we are memorizing a long list of prepositions, and we are learning when to double a consonant. We are locating countries on a map and learning about latitude and longitude. We are learning about sea life, and this week we learned the difference between a sea lion and a seal. Our heads are full of line segments and rays and diameters and regrouping and the constant drilling of addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Then there are the books I want them to read. I want them to read good books and even the great books. There is just so much, and the task is daunting. I feel the weight of the responsibility. I wonder if I’ll be able to do it.

Just then, when I am about to crumble under the pressure, I will think of the words of Jesus to Martha.

In Luke chapter 10, Martha herself was crumbling under the pressure of preparing a meal for Jesus and His many followers. Martha, I’m sure, wanted to be certain she didn’t leave anything undone. This pressure made her come undone! She was so undone that she complained to her friend and Lord that Mary had left her to serve alone.

Then, Jesus said the words that chastise me and sooth me at the same time. He said the words that give me hope. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” The question that we should ask, then, is, “What is the one thing that is necessary?” The answer can be found in verse 39: “[Martha] had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching.”

You see, it is very easy for me to spend all my time teaching my kids the things I think they “need” to know. Sometimes I am anxious and troubled about it, just like Martha, and I need the reminder that the one necessary thing is that I teach them about God and His Word. If I neglect that, I have, quite literally, neglected it all.

Children who grow up with a top-notch education and children who star on baseball and softball teams will have nothing when they stand before God on the Day of Judgment if they don’t have the necessary thing. I don’t want to be among the parents who have given their children the whole world and nothing else. The world will pass away and be taken from us, but God’s Word cannot be taken from us.

With that in mind, I have made it a goal to teach my kids to stop every day and “sit at the feet of Jesus.” On our hearth, there is a basket. It is our Bible time basket. It is filled with Bible story books, charts, prayer reminders and prayers to memorize, books of the Bible cards, Bible games, and–who knows–I might even squeeze a writing assignment in there every so often. The point is, I want them to see that, above everything else we are learning, God’s word is far more important, because it is the only thing that will last. We have Family Bible time. Our kids memorize verses, they are reading through the book of Matthew this year, and they have a daily Bible reading schedule that goes along with their Bible class at church, but I want the Bible time basket to be more about their individual time with God.

Here are some pictures of this simple basket. I hope it encourages you to put something before your children daily to help them “sit at the feet of Jesus.”

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AUTHOR: Leah Faughn

Our Homsechool Room and Curriculum [Video]

For today’s post, Adam and Leah recorded a video. In it, they give you a quick tour of their simple homeschool room, as well as some thoughts on the books and materials being used this year. Enjoy!

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