Monday, July 30, 2012

Reading Spot and Homeschool Havens - Link Up! :)

Amid the sea of boxes and boxes and boxes and - well, you get the picture ;) - we DO have a little spot that can be used for a reading corner this coming school year!  (The fireplace can be turned on without the heater option during the hotter months.)

As we wait for our new home to be completed (very excited!), we are unfortunately going to be spending the first few months of school still in transition mode so no super cute, organized homeschool room here.  :(  Sad, I know.

So for now I will just have to live vicariously through the homeschool rooms of others.  Surely you won't mind.  ;)

Seriously though, don't we all love to peek in at other people's homeschool rooms or spaces via blogs and Pinterest?  It is so much fun to see all the creativity, organization, determination, hard work, and joy that have gone into making a special room or a space just for learning.  Be it an entire room, a snug little corner of your house, or an idea you use to help make your homeschool day run a little bit more smoothly - won't you please, PLEASE share it with us?  :)

Don't be shy and link up!  :)  This party will remain open until August 31st so you have plenty of time to share your ideas and pictures.   I do ask that you please keep the links limited to homeschool havens/school classrooms, organization tips, and first day fun posts.  :)  Thanks!

Not a lot of rules for this party, just be considerate of others and please link back here when you are done so others can join in the fun!  :)  And if you see a post by someone that you think would be a great fit with this collection, please send them this way!  :)

Linking up:

Tip Junkie handmade projectsHip Homeschool Hop Button For the Kids Friday

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Student ID Cards - Have You Made or Ordered Yours?

So in the process of getting ready for this coming school year, I designed a cute student identification card for Miss A and a cute teacher identification card for me.  :)  I know there are some places online where you can have one made, but I thought it might be neat to make our own.  And I must admit I really like how they turned out.  :)

I did not purchase the required license for the graphics in order to allow me to give these ID cards away for free (scroll down for FREE card without graphics).  So I decided to add them to a Back to Homeschool Activity Pack I made for my daughter's first couple of weeks of homeschool.   Here's a sneak preview and YES, I just put that in my TPT store this morning so it is now available here!

But for those who were hoping for something FREE, I also removed the graphic and made a simple version of the ID card that I could offer without a license!  Here's the link.

IMPORTANT:  Both the free version and the paid version have editable layers that can be changed if you have Photoshop (Elements 7 or higher, I believe) or another program that will allow you to edit PDF layers.  For those who don't have that option, I have also included blank copies of the free and paid versions so you can just print the cards and fill in the information by hand.  Then you would just cut and paste your student/child's picture to the card.  Finally, laminate your card to help it hold up throughout the year.  :)

P.S.  It would be a good idea to check first whether your state has specific requirements for ID's before you make your own.

I hope to have a LINKY PARTY this coming Monday called HOMESCHOOL HAVENS where you can link up photos or posts about your own special homeschooling spot (don't we all love to peek into those fun areas and see what other homeschooling moms are doing)!  I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have you link up so please check back Monday!  :)

Linking up to:
For the Kids Friday

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The winds of change are a-blowing my way...

Well, the first giveaway on this blog was a super success!  Thanks for all of your entries and comments!  I love hearing from my readers!  :)

I'd love to offer more giveaways in the future so if you or someone you know has an Etsy shop, hobby, or business and would like some extra advertising AND have something kid or infant related you would like to share with my readers, please let me know!  :)

I also plan on hosting a link party at the end of July/beginning of August to showcase homeschool rooms and spaces!  I would LOVE to see yours so please link up then!  :)

As I mentioned in my title above - the winds of change are blowing this way!  The Nature of Grace blog is about to have a makeover!  I am excited about the new look and to be able to offer readers the opportunity to follow along in different ways.  :)  I'll even have a grab button for those of you looking for a way to share this blog with others!  :)

Also, I will be taking a blog break over the next two or three weeks as I take time to work on stuff for the new homeschool year and get things settled with the new blog look.  I still may post one or two small things during that time, but I won't be doing any major posting.  Thanks for your patience and understanding!  :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review & Giveaway: The Child Training Bible

Today I'm excited to be sharing my review of a GREAT tool AND hosting a giveaway for the same!  It's called the Child Training Bible (CTB).  I recently received the kit in the mail, made one, and tried it out.  I am hooked!  Here's why:

A few years ago, I read a very convicting book by Lou Priolo called "Teach Them Diligently".  It detailed how to raise and discipline children in such a way that they would eventually begin to use scripture and questioning to examine their own hearts, leading to repentance and resolution of the situation.   A parent's important role in this is to provide guidance and direction - looking up verses with your children, discussing how the scriptures apply to what has just happened, asking the right questions, etc.

For many, trying to accomplish such things may sound daunting at first - BUT IT IS WORTH IT!  I was determined to try at the time, but found it very difficult to follow through.  It was really hard in the heat of the moment or when some other little one needed me at the same time,  to remember what scriptures to use for which circumstance, much less think of what questions to ask at the time to probe my daughter's heart and help her to understand her own sinful motives.  I grew a bit discouraged, and often found I would slip into my own reasoning as to why she should or should not do something instead of bringing her to the Word of God and letting HIM touch her heart.

Then one day, I found the Child Training Bible online.  It has been such a HUGE help to me as I have sought to use verses to help my daughter understand her relationship with Christ, how her sin affects others, and how to exhibit a more thoughtful and loving attitude!  Here's how it works...

The color coded tabs match items listed on an insert you glue into the front of a 6 x9 Bible (we used a large print ESV one which was slightly bigger I believe, but still seemed to work well).  The tabs show you where to search for verses (highlighted in the same color as the matching tab) that address the problem your child is struggling with at the time (complaining, anger, selfishness, quarreling, etc.).  AND it doesn't stop there.

Remember how I mentioned it is important to ask your children the right questions - more specifically, ones that will help guide their thinking and resolution regarding a sinful behavior?  Well, the Child Training Bible helps with that as well.  There are separate inserts you can clip to the back of the Bible and pull out as needed.  Each contains a list of the character struggles, heart probing questions to go along with each item, and prayer suggestions.

What a great resource!  If I am rattled or upset by the moment (probably nine times out of ten), I will sometimes send my daughter to a time-out spot to give us both a moment to calm down.  I will use that short time to grab the CTB and look up some of the scriptures alone to focus my own thoughts on what I am about to read with her.  I can then sit down to go over the verses with Miss A, asking her questions and working toward repentance and resolution.

Yes, it means a sacrifice of time - so does teaching your children how to tie their shoes.  But once they begin to learn it on their own, it will eventually become second nature to them.  The same holds true here.  Once you begin to go over related verses with them, using heart probing questions to get to the root of the sinful behavior and teaching them how God's word applies to their lives, they will eventually begin to think of the verses themselves and know how to examine their motives (holding them up to the penetrating Word of God), and will better understand how to resolve the problem.

Any sacrifice is difficult at the time - but this IS one worth making.  I have already noticed a change in both myself and Miss A through using the CTB.  Nothing convicts and directs like God's word - it is the best tool you can use for training your children in the way they should go!

(Note:  making a Child Training Bible does require a bit of time initially, but it is important to understand that this time is a precious heart and soul investment when it is poured into something which will help you guide and direct your children to a closer relationship with the Lord and with those around them as well).

For those of you wanting to learn more or wanting to purchase your own kit and all the items needed for making your own Child Training Bible, please go here.

AND one lucky reader will also have the chance to WIN a kit here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway