Bible History – Why It Matters

Bible History ~ by Crystal Niehoff

When it comes to Bible history, some people might ask, “Why does it matter?” After all, the Bible is a religious book, not a history book, right?

Bible history why it matters is important to understanding life skills.

 If you take a closer look at the Bible, you will see that it is actually one of the most accurate historical documents of all time! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why studying Bible history is so important. We will also explore how the study of biblical history can help us to better understand God and His Word. 

Why is studying Bible history important?

One of the most important reasons to study Bible history is that it helps us to better understand the character and heart of God. When we read about the events that took place in biblical times, we can begin to see how sovereign and powerful God really is! We also see how He has always been faithful to His people, even when they have turned away from Him. This knowledge can give us hope and comfort when we face difficult times in our own lives.

Another reason why studying Bible history is so important is because it helps us to better understand the Bible itself. The Bible is not just a collection of religious stories – it is actually a historical document that was written over a period of 1500 years by more than 40 different authors! As we study the history behind the Bible, we can begin to see how all of its different parts fit together to tell one unified story. Reading through the pages of the Bible, one thing becomes clear- the Lord’s ultimate plan of restoration and redemption for those who call upon Him. This understanding can help us to apply the Bible’s teachings to our own lives in a much deeper way.

As Timothy tells us to do in 2 Timothy 3:14-17, “. . . continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of . . . and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So don’t neglect the study of Bible history! It is essential for anyone who wants to understand the Bible more fully and grow closer to the Lord. If you have never studied biblical history before, now is the perfect time to start. There are many great resources available that can help you get started on your journey. 

History for Christian Teens Podcast

One great resource is the History for Christian Teens podcast and our series on the major figures and events of the Old Testament. This weekly podcast highlights a person, place, or event from Old Testament history. Then discusses what it all means in light of the Scripture, our measuring stick for all truth and knowledge, followed by how we, as Christians, can use our newfound wisdom and apply it to our own lives and grow in our relationship with the Lord. Learn more and subscribe by visiting HistoryforChristianTeens.com.

Don’t neglect the study of Bible history – it is essential for anyone who wants to grow closer to the Lord. And who knows, you might just find that you have a new passion for learning about the past!

About the author:

Crystal Niehoff is an Army chaplain’s wife, mom of five, and grandma to five. In the year 2000, Crystal and her family began their homeschooling journey, which continues with her oldest granddaughter. Previously a child welfare worker, and the former owner and CEO of Army Wife Network, Crystal also holds certifications as a birth and bereavement doula and chaplain. She hosts a weekly podcast for military homeschoolers, the Military Homeschool Podcast, and co-hosts History for Christian Teens, with her husband, Kevin.

 

May Planning and Ultimate Checklists Freebie

Other than the holidays, May is usually one of the busiest months in the year for homeschooling families. This is where planning and thinking ahead come in very handy, because there is so much to do. Our ultimate checklists and planning sheets for the month of May will be a huge help.

Ultimate Checklists May text with image of flowers in a bowl

May is full of lots of festivities and special events. The end of the school year is creeping up upon many. That means there is end of the year testing for your children or portfolio reviews. You will need to wrap up the end of the homeschool year and start planning for a new one. There are also end of the year parties and graduations for many families.

It can be difficult to wrap up the end of your school year and also plan a graduation at the same time. Thankfully, Felice has tons of experience in all of these. She has included some great ideas, budget helps and creative out of the box ways to make everything happen in a short period of time!

Planning for your homeschool graduate

If you have a homeschool graduate you will want to start making preparations for a graduation ceremony, or a special party to celebrate your graduate. Will your child be participating in a formal ceremony? Many families choose to have their own ceremony at home with close family and friends.

There are lots of things to plan for a graduation party such as: decorations, photo boards, food and a cake. This can get pretty expensive, but thankfully it can be done on a budget. There are many items that you probably have in your own home that you can repurpose for a nice party. Close family and friends may also be willing to pitch in and provide side dishes for a big party.

When my son graduated, my husband smoked a bunch of meat and we had BBQ sandwiches. All our friends helped out and brought large pans of mac and cheese, pasta salad and rolls for sandwiches.

Celebrating Mom

Mother’s Day is also another special event during the month of May. Sometimes Moms can feel like they aren’t appreciated because their family just may not know what they want or need. Thankfully, Felice has came up with some amazing planning sheets that you can hand to your children. It may give them some ideas for fun crafts and letters they can write for Mother’s Day.

What is included in the May Ultimate Checklist?

This month’s checklist has planning help for Graduation and gift ideas to give your kids for Mother’s Day. There are also end of homeschool year and summer planning and summer reading ideas.  We love the checklists that are all ready for you so you don’t have to think about what you need to do. Of course, there are still the blank ones for those that like to plan everything out themselves and customize the lists for their families.

  • Checklists Guide – this is a breakdown on how to use your lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable MayCalendar
  • Four square planner  – Faith, Kids, School and Household
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters and Mother’s Day Posters
  • Printable May Checklist
  • May Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Summer Reading List
  • Mother’s Day Gift Idea Forms
  • May Goal Sheets
  • Mason Jar Craft Ideas
  • Graduation Party Checklists
  • End of School Clean Up List
  • End of School Year Check Up
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist will be are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.

 

 

 

Ultimate Checklists for April Freebie

Happy April! Can you believe April is here already? April is full of fun activities and a special holiday for Christians. It is when we celebrate Easter. There are lots of thing to talk about with your family and Easter activities to plan. Our Ultimate Checklists for April can help you out greatly with planning your activities and traditions this month.

April ultimate lists text with phpto of easter basket with painted eggs.

How do you celebrate Easter with your family? Do you get up early on Sunday morning and do the Easter bunny and fun Easter egg hunts? Do you dress up for church in fancy Easter clothes? Is your focus solely on the Christian aspect of the life, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus?

Maybe you do both and celebrate with fun, kid friendly family traditions as well as religious traditions. Whatever you observe, there is a lot to plan and do this month.

Our family has never done the “easter bunny”, but we do have a tradition of doing Easter baskets. I will fill them with traditional candy treats. I also like to include some fun little special trinkets, a cute spring themed stuffed animal and usually a cross bookmark, and a new devotional.

We dress up for church though, now that my children are much older they don’t appreciate me dressing them in matching clothes anymore. As long as we can attend church together as a family that’s all I care about now.

After church, we have a nice Easter lunch together with ham and southern sides. We always like to invite friends that don’t have a place to go and celebrate Easter with them too. This is a great way to share the love of Jesus with others.

Easter Holiday Planning

If you have younger kids you know there are quite a few things that you may need to plan out. You won’t want to forget the Easter gifts, and planning outfits for church.

Then there are the Easter egg hunts. If you are in a homeschool group or play group you may have an egg hunt to attend. You won’t want to forget to get candies, stickers, treats and plastic eggs before they are sold out in the stores. I hate waiting last minute and scrambling the night before an egg hunt to stuff all the eggs. Especially if you have multiple children, this can take a while.

You may want to look for egg hunts in your neighborhood or attend one at a church. Make sure you get those on the calendar, because those dates creep up fast!

If you are hosting an Easter lunch you may want to do your grocery shopping early to make sure that items you need don’t run out with the shortages we have been seeing.

There is a lot to remember and plan out, and that’s why this month’s April Ultimate Checklist includes a lot of Easter planning so you don’t forget!

What is included in the April Ultimate Checklist?

This month’s checklist has 54 pages of planning help devoted to Easter and spring time activities. We love the checklists that are all ready for you so you don’t have to think about what you need to do. Of course, there are still the blank ones for those that like to plan everything out themselves and customize the lists for their families.

  • Checklists Guide – this is a breakdown on how to use your lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable April Calendar
  • Four square planner  – Faith, Kids, School and Household
  • Spring decorating ideas
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters with a Spring Theme
  • Printable April Checklist
  • April Holidays Printable Sheet
  • April Academic Checklist
  • Easter Prep Lists
  • April Goal Sheets
  • Easter Scavenger Hunt
  • Egg Hunt Planner
  • April Showers Sensory Activity and Craft
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Chore Schedule with Tasks
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Meal Planning Helps and Suggestions

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist will be are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.

 

Help! I Don’t Want to Homeschool Anymore! Dealing with Homeschool Burnout

It happens to the best of us; homeschool burnout. We grow weary of homeschooling and we’re ready to throw in the towel. Rather than giving up, let’s look at how we got to this state and what actions we can take to get out of homeschool overwhelm.

What Homeschool Burnout Looks Like

Think back to when you first began homeschooling. You were full of hope and excitement and couldn’t wait to pour over homeschool curriculum catalogs. You had a new identity to celebrate, you were now a homeschool mom!

New friends were made, conventions visited, and curricula purchased. Things went great in the beginning, or even for a while.

Then it happens, burnout!

Now you dread getting up to more schoolwork, more laundry, more meal prepping, more of anything. You’re just tired, and there seems to be no end in sight.

How Homeschool Burnout Happens

The truth is, you didn’t just wake up tired of it all one morning. Let’s look at the road to burnout and see if you can identify with any of these:

  • you don’t have a predictable schedule
  • you have an overly stressful schedule
  • your homeschooling a wide variety of ages and levels
  • your partner works long hours
  • you’re not plugged into co-op or homeschool group
  • you are overly committed to a co-op or homeschool group
  • lack of support from friends or family
  • expecting too much of yourself
  • putting everyone else before your own basic needs
  • over-commitment to church
  • neglecting your spiritual life

If any of that sounds familiar, you might be in homeschool burnout.

What We Do About Homeschool Burnout

There are some action steps you can take to help yourself walk out of burnout to relief. Try a few of these to see what works.

  1. Practice the art of saying “no.” You don’t need to do everything. If you feel like you need permission to bow out gracefully, granted.
  2. Understand the difference between roles and responsibilities. Your role is mom, wife, sister, daughter. You have different responsibilities within each of those roles. Make a quick list of what your true responsibilities are. This will also help you learn to say no.
  3. Re-think your identity. Yes, you homeschool. But, your identity isn’t a homeschooling mom. You’re a mom who homeschools, right? And most importantly, you’re a daughter to the One who made you, loves you, and doesn’t want you sit in homeschool burnout.
  4. Make prayer a priority.

PRAYING AND WORKING. I Like that saying of Martin Luther, when he says, “I have so much business to do to-day, that I shall not be able to get through it with less than three hours’ prayer.” Now, most people would say, “I have so much business to do to-day, that I have only three minutes for prayer; I cannot afford the time.”

But Luther thought that the more he had to do, the more he must pray, or else he could not get through it. That is a blessed kind of logic: may we understand it! “Praying and provender hinder no man’s journey.” If we have to stop and pray, it is no more hindrance than when the rider has to stop at the farrier’s to have his horse’s shoe fastened; for if he went on without attending to that it may be that ere long he would come to a stop of a far more serious kind.—C. H. Spurgeon.

Practical steps:

  1. Keep a simple schedule.
  2. Keep meals simple.
  3. Plan time with friends and don’t talk about homeschooling.
  4. Communicate your needs clearly to your partner, friends, and family.
  5. Partner with an online homeschool provider to handle some of the teaching load.

Working through these 8 quick steps can help you gain clarity for yourself, your relationships, and your homeschooling. Keep things simple!

 

Starting Your Homeschool Over

Listen, I hear you! You’ve already purchased all of this curriculum. You’re determined to use it.

You’ve already purchased the convention tickets and reserved the hotel.

Your church is counting on you.

Your partner isn’t supportive.

All of that can be true, and you can still simplify.

That curriculum? Set a timer and work through it for a set amount of time. No one says you have to do all.the.things!

Let your kids know that for a while school is during the hours of x and x and after that mom needs a recess or reboot.

Go the convention, but change your aim. Have fun! And if you want to, cancel it. No one is judging you. There’s always next year.

Your church probably does need you, that’s the nature of it. But they want the best version of you. Not the stressed-out, burnt-out version. Have a conversation about volunteering boundaries for this season. They will understand.

You’ve Got This!

Just do the next thing. Pick one area to simplify. You’ve got this. And maybe some of these podcasts will help: *scroll to the bottom of the page to play the podcast

Let me know how this article and the podcasts have helped. Have more advice? Leave a comment and bless another mom.

Ultimate Checklists – March Freebie

Can you believe that March is already here? I am blown away how quickly the seasons change. It seems like we were just planning for Christmas, and now here we are almost into the spring season.

Ultimate Checklists March

March is full of so many busy activities, as well as fun opportunities for your family. There are tax papers to gather up and last minute paperwork to file. The first day of spring is on March 20th. With springtime, comes new growth, so if you garden you will be working on your spring garden. Spring cleaning usually happens in March as well. There is always so much to do this month.

March Activities and Holidays

That is the focus that you are going to see in this month’s subscriber freebie Ultimate Checklists.  Felice has some of the most wonderful ideas for help, organization and planning for all these activities and holidays.

Lent begins on March 2nd. This is the 40 days to prepare our hearts before Easter with fasting and prayer. Many families use this time to fast or abstain from a specific activity to remember how Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before his ministry. This is a great time to add daily Bible readings as a family. You may want to plan for that, so you don’t forget your goals for the next 40 days. The blank Lent checklist gives you plenty of time to brain storm ideas and to help keep everyone on track.

St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th. As homeschool parents, we always like to turn holidays into educational learning opportunities. You are going to enjoy the Discover St. Patrick Mini Research Unit Study with questions to research and fill out. That is also included in this freebie.

Easter will be here before you know it, so March is the perfect time to start some Easter preparations. Yes, there is even a checklist for that!

Let’s take a look at what’s inside this month’s checklist:

Since March is such a busy month, this month’s checklist includes lots of lists and activities to help keep you organized. There are fun March ideas and activities for kids as well as Spring Cleaning lists broken down by categories. These lists will help to take things one step at a time. You can work on dejunking a room, cleaning a closet, and there is even a list for organizing your garage.

We also love the blank lists that you can use to create your very  own customized lists.

  • Checklists Guide – this is a breakdown on how to use your lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable March Calendar
  • Four square planner  – Faith, Kids, School and Household
  • March Short Term Goals, Mid Term Goals and Long Term Goals
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters with a Spring Theme
  • Printable March Checklist
  • March Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Printable March Spring Cleaning List
  • March Academic Checklist
  • 40 Days of Lent Fasting Idea Sheet
  • Easter Prep Lists
  • Fun Ideas for Kids that are outdoor and spring themed.
  • Discover St. Patrick Mini Unit Study
  • Chore Schedule Blank Sheet
  • Chore Schedule with Tasks
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Quick Start Chore Chart – with ideas and suggestions to help you get started
  • Meal Planning – suggestions to get started and a friendly kid recipe

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist will be are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.

February Checklist Freebie

I can’t believe that February is almost here. The new year is in full swing and this is the time where we continue to work on our goals and resolutions and see what is working for our families. There are also some fun things that are coming up in the month of February so some February checklists will help you keep all the things organized.

February Checklist Freebie

We hope you are enjoying our new Ultimate Checklists. They sure help you think through the things that you need to tackle and help you to stay on track. What are the important things on your list this month? Some things may include grocery shopping  days, mega-cooking days, or doctor appointments.

They will help you schedule weekly cleaning days or laundry days. How about school days, field trips, and all the extra curricular activities to keep track of. Keeping a monthly calendar for family events will help!

Valentine’s Day With Family

The most notable date of the calendar in Feburary is the 14th which centers around Valentine’s Day.  In the commercialism of the world this always revolves around flowers, candy, cards and balloons.

Some families ignore this day completely, while others enjoy making it a special day of love for their children an their spouse. Do you have plans to go out to dinner with your loved ones or do you prefer to have a special dinner and desserts at home with your whole family?

We have always enjoyed celebrating together as a family and having a fancy dinner and heart shaped desserts. One year we had a Beauty and the Beast themed dinner and we made some entrees from the Be Our Guest scene in the movie and the youngest dressed up as Belle.  This year my girls want to do a Lady and the Tramp themed dinner complete with giant meatballs, long skinny breadsticks.

These detailed dinners take quite a bit of planning to make sure that all the fine details are taken care of. From recipes, to ingredients, shopping lists and decorations there are a lot of things to keep track. Checklists are such a great help!

What is inside this month’s Ultimate List freebie?

This month’s Ultimate List includes many lists and activities to make all of your February family events extra special. There are even blank forms for you to fill out for your own customized lists. Your older students may want to take some of these and create their own planners and checklists for special events and cooking and meal planning.

  • Checklists Guide – this is a breakdown on how to use your lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable February Calendar
  • Four square planner  – Faith, Kids, School and Household with ideas and spaces to create and plan a Valentine’s Day party
  • February Short Term Goals, Mid Term Goals and Long Term Goals
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Motivational Posters
  • Printable February Checklist
  • February Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Printable February Cleaning List
  • February  Academic Checklist
  • Valentine Party Checklist
  • Birthday Party Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank
  • Chore Schedule with Tasks
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Quick Start Chore Chart – with ideas and suggestions to help you get started
  • Meal Planning – suggestions to get started and a friendly kid recipe

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist will be are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.

A New Year and A New Freebie for Subscribers

Happy New Year! With every new year comes a desire for change, to better ourselves and our family. One of the main goals that people have for their new year is to be better organized in one way or another. Our brand new ultimate lists subscriber freebies will help you organize and better plan your life!

checklist ultimate lists january freebie

One of the most common new year goals or resolutions is to be better organized and more productive. One way to remember all the things that you have to do throughout the day is by making a to do list of what you want to do. It is a great way to start accomplishing this goal and creating a good organizational habit.

This new year’s subscriber freebie is designed to help you get organized and keep a routine of a planning day each month to keep you organized.

Subscriber Freebies

Many of you have enjoyed our freebies that are available for free to our subscribers each month.

We have had 4 square planners, homeschool and family planning calendars, homemaking and holiday planners and more!

Felice has created some amazing Character Trait planners to help you instill good character in your children. If you were lucky enough to download each one, you should have two full years worth of open and go character training for your family.

If you missed them, you can purchase our 12 count Character Counts Planners on sale for only $30.

New Checklists

Each month you will receive a planner full of checklists that are themed for that month. You will find some goodies from the past such as our 4 square planners and printable motivational posters, plus brand new ideas to help you and your children to be better organized.

The idea behind this monthly checklist planner is to give you easy to use forms that will work for you and your family. Included are task lists with suggestions already printed on them. These are great for those that get overwhelmed just figuring out what to start on first. There are also ways that you can customize them and make them work for you with the blank checklists.

Setting realistic expectations is the key to having a list that works for you as well as those within your  family, so that they items on your to-do list are achievable.

Let’s take a look at what’s included in this month’s Ultimate Lists:

This month’s checklist for the month of January focuses on organizing our most used spaces in our home. Taking one item each day to accomplish (for example, cleaning out one drawer) and using the extra time to do something fun for yourself.

  • Checklists Guide – this is a breakdown on how to use your lists for the month, with suggestions to help you get started.
  • Objectives Worksheet
  • Weekly Planning Worksheet
  • Blank Printable January Calendar
  • Four square planner  – Faith, Kids, School and Household
  • January Short Term Goals, Mid Term Goals and Long Term Goals
  • Evaluation Weekly Worksheets
  • Printable January Checklist
  •  January Holidays Printable Sheet
  • Printable January Cleaning List
  • January Academic Checklist
  • Winter Party Checklist
  • Birthday Party Checklist
  • Chore Schedule Blank
  • Chore Schedule with Tasks
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Homeschool Weekly Planning Sheets
  • Quick Start Chore Chart – with ideas and suggestions to help you get started
  • Meal Planning – suggestions to get started and a friendly kid recipe

The directions on how to download the monthly checklist will be are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email.

If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE as a subscriber.

https://ultimateradioshow.com/sign-up/

 

Teaching Your Kids How to Have Faith – Free Character Planner

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1. This is one of my favorite Bible verses, but how do we explain and teach faith to our children and help them to grasp the concept?

free character planner

Just as Hebrews says, faith is the substance of something that is hoped for. Faith and hope go hand in hand. Faith gives us the ability to worry less and to hope and know with our hearts that God will come through for us. It may not be as we thought, but it will happen somehow.

How to encourage faith

Faith can be difficult for some children to grasp. Others are private with their beliefs and may not talk about their faith often. We can teach our children about faith by talking openly about our faith in our homes. What is it that you hope for? Is it something that you can not do on your own? Talk about this with your family.

Faith is believing that something will happen that we can’t even see or begin to understand. It could be one of those prayer requests that may sit on your prayer list for a while. Yet when it does happen, a good job for a family member, a gift of money when things are tight, a cure to an illness that seems hopeless, a good grade in a hard math class, those things help to strengthen our faith and the faith of our children.

Another way to teach our children about the character trait of faith is with this month’s character planner. These are free for subscribers each month and they teach you how to plan a month long study on the specific character trait.

Free Faith Character Study Planner Printable Pack

This Character Counts planner will show you how to plan out a month long study on the character trait of Faith. These planners are organized for you and are always open and go. It is also customizable, which means you can pick and choose what you would like to print out and use for your family. They are not dated so you can use them anytime in the year.

We store ours in a character training binder. These are great if you have a certain issue that needs to be focused on in your family. Then you can pull them out and work on that trait as needed. Many families enjoying using these in a daily morning time in their homeschool or as a family Bible Study.

Our planners have been designed to be simple and fun, with activities for your entire family to participate in together.

Check out what’s inside:

  • Character Quality Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study on  Faith vs. Unfaithfulness
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Faith Printable Posters
  • Faith and Your Gifts
  • Family Brainstorming Session Sheets
  • Faith Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Certificate of Completion

The directions on how to download your free Character Counts Planner are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.

 

Best Christmas…Ever!

Best Christmas Ever with KidsBest Christmas Ever … with Kids!

The best Christmas ever is possible and best of all, it can be celebrated with our kids! Did you know that the holidays are what we make of them, and often we are interested in the outer wrappings that we forget the heart of our child! I learned this the hard way one Christmas when I was in the midst of homeschooling and trying to prepare for the Gerwitz-Family-overload-Christmas bash! I way overbought presents and I ended up hiring my daughter’s college friend to wrap for me. She loved it (who wouldn’t enjoy making some extra cash at Christmas?) but I realized I was doing Christmas all wrong.

The emphasis was not the real reason for the season, no the emphasis was on the kids getting presents, most they didn’t even ask for. I realized five things that year.

Best Christmas Ever – Does Not Require:

  1. Kids do not need to allot of presents to enjoy Christmas.
  2. The emphasis on Christmas was not on Christ.
  3. I was exhausted and frustrated.
  4. No one was having fun – and everyone was stressed.
  5. We would never do *this again!

[Want a free character planner for the kids? Be sure to sign up for our eZine – monthly access to a new character planner here.]

So I asked the kids what they wanted to do to celebrate Christmas and the Christmas break we would take from homeschooling and this was their list!

Best Christmas Ever Kids List:

  1. Spend time with friends.
  2. Go to the park.
  3. Do crafts.
  4. Make Christmas presents.
  5. Bake cookies.

Wow, nothing on that list that is far-fetched or difficult to do! And, these were all of my favorites as well. We took things easy, we spent the mornings reading books that were focused on the real reason for the season, we added some things like works of service. We selected angel tree gifts to make or give. The kids did a combination of both and selected kids their ages using their own money to buy gifts and wrap them. It turned my stressed filled season into something that was so much better. We played games, we played Christmas songs 24-7 and we watched some beloved Christmas movies such as the Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and some other oldies. (This was before the 24/7 Hallmark Christmas specials!)

The children got so much more out of the season than I even expected. And, I learned something about myself as well. It was okay to say no to the things I didn’t want to do. While I loved baking I realized I did not have to bake for half of my city or mail cookies to families that baked as well! I could give some Christmas cookies as gifts to go for the family that visited, but that was it! I also learned I did not like sending out 100s of Christmas cards. So, I paired down my list to essential family members and that was all I sent out and that also was such a blessing for me!

Here is my advice:

  1. Ask your kids what they want to do to celebrate Christmas.
  2. Cut out anything that is stressful such as baking, cards, or crafts.
  3. Enjoy time with family and friends.
  4. Read and enjoy time with your children.
  5. Make your own Christmas memories as a family.

Let’s face it having matching jammies is fun for Christmas morning but if it doesn’t bring the entire family joy, let it go! What are ways that you celebrate Christmas that are joyful?

Felice Gerwitz is a serial entrepreneur and she and her husband own and run three businesses, one is Media Angels, Inc. a company she started in 1995, she also began this Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network eight years ago to bring home schoolers and parents free podcasts! Visit Felice’s podcast’s at Vintage Homeschool Moms and A Few Minutes with God Podcast.

 

Teaching Benevolence with a Free Character Planner

The holiday seasons are right around the corner. With the holidays comes lots of opportunities to teach our children to show love, kindness and generosity. Teaching our kids that it is better to give than to receive is a great way to teach them about being benevolent.

character counts benevlonce character planner

What is Benevolence?

Benevolence is the desire to do good for others, to be kind, charitable and generous. It is the ability to see that someone is in need and to fill that need for them. Benevolence is the opposite of selfish. You are giving of your time, money and resources to help someone else, wanting nothing in return.

Examples to teach benevolence to your kids:

  • Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Teaching the golden rule is a great way to get your kids thinking about their actions, especially being kind and giving.
  • Lead by example. Let your kids see you as parents giving freely and helping others in need.
  • Look for opportunities to serve and give in your community or through your church.
  • Operation Christmas Child is a great way to get your young children involved in picking out gifts, and much needed items to children in different parts of the country.
  • Serve in a soup kitchen or a community outreach event, food drive or gift drive during the holidays.
  • Adopt a family for the holidays. Do you know someone who could use some extra help during the holidays? Offer to feed them, or purchase gifts or groceries to surprise them with and droip them off on their doorstep with your kids.

Another great way to teach a character trait like benevolence is through our monthly Character Counts planners. These are free for subscribers each month and they teach you how to plan a month long study on the specific character trait.

Free Benevolence Character Study Planner Printable Pack:

There are many options of printable sheets to choose from to use with your family. They are not dated like our other planners, so they can be used anytime in the year. Many families  love that our planners are open and go. The planners are simple and fun, with activities that are good for all ages in your family, including parents

We like to print ours out and store them in a character training binder. I create tabs for each character trait so we can pull them out as we need to focus on something specific. Character training is a great addition to a family morning or Bible time in your homeschool. You can even use them for a fun family night with the activity ideas and brainstorming sheets to work on together.

This is what is included:

  • Benevolence Family Checklist Worksheet
  • 4 Week Study on Benevolence vs. Selfishness
  • Analyze and Evaluation Sheets
  • Character Trait Planning Worksheets
  • Benevolence Printable Posters and Scripture Posters
  • Family Character Brainstorming Session Sheets
  • Benevolence and Your Gifts
  • Study Worksheets for Kids
  • Certificate of Completion

The directions on how to download your free Character Counts Planner are sent in each weekly ezine. The planner access information is always located at the bottom of each email. If you are not signed up, you can sign up HERE.