Study the Hymns as a Family this Thanksgiving and Christmas

Hymns.  Does your church sing hymns or are they more contemporary in worship?  While I like both styles, I have to admit that there is something truly comforting about hymns and I want my children to appreciate the meaning behind them even if we don’t sing them all the time.  That’s where this fantastic holiday blessings ebook bundle comes in!

You’ll receive two complete hymn studies in this bundle package, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.  Both are geared for upper elementary to do on their own although working as a family through these studies will open up the age range greatly as well as making it more meaningful for your entire household!

The Count Your Blessings Thanksgiving Hymn study (reg $4.99) covers three hymns: Count Your Blessings, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and The Doxology.  Your family will learn the story behind each one, information about the hymn writer, and dig deep into God’s Word as you start a list of blessings to be thankful for this season.

The Gloria Christmas Hymn study (reg $9.99) contains 92 pages of history, scripture, copywork, coloring pages, word searches, and more to guide your family through some amazing Christmas hymns and their writers.

I have a coupon code for my readers to save 30% off the regular price for both amazing hymnal studies for your entire family this holiday season!  Use coupon code: HAPPY at checkout when purchasing the bundle to save an extra $2 off the sale price, making it only $10.50 for both studies!  Offer expires November 27, 2014.

Purchase your copy of the Holiday Blessings Hymn Study bundle today!

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Keeping Perspective

By contributing writer Tabitha

I want to talk about two days we had this week. One day, I was ready to run screaming in any direction, as long as it wasn’t with my kids. The other, I felt at peace with our accomplishments and happy to be with my family.

Keeping Perspective at The Happy Housewife

Trying a different point of view… through a mirror?

What was the difference?

Both days…

  • we had a few screaming tantrums (not all by me, give me some credit!) and not a few tears.
  • we accomplished some of our learning goals for the day but missed others.
  • we had enormous toddler and baby messes as well as a few big kid messes.
  • we had some teenage angst and back talking to parents.
  • we had missed naps and grumpiness among the younger set.
  • we resorted to some screen time to get some quiet.
  • we lost pens. And paper.
  • we started the day with scriptures and prayer, usually with some convincing to get everyone in the same room.
  • I was TIRED. The mind numbing, bone draining, falling asleep while nursing type of tired.
  • we had some mishaps with meals and had to do some last minute changes to get everyone fed.
  • we had family time and one-on-one time where we were able to do some learning… or at least thinking.
  • we had one person spoiling the fun for everyone else… at least once.
  • I lost my temper.
  • I gave (and received) big hugs and kisses.
  • we had some disagreements and time management issues.
  • we had some great learning happening.
  • we slammed some doors.
  • people were in both bathrooms when someone reallllly needed to go.
  • we talked and asked questions.  We answered some of them.
  • we heard some awesome music, whether it was the alphabet or Owl City.
  • someone didn’t have the right color crayon.
  • we made progress on goals, including the Boy Scout Eagle Project and tying shoes.
  • we totally destroyed someone’s something… domino towers, blanket fort, pile of books, or seemingly random assortment of dinosaurs. Beware the dinosaur arrangements.
  • no one went to bed hungry or angry.
  • Dad came home after a long day at work and the floor was completely covered in toys, dinner wasn’t started, and the table was full of books, drawings and projects.
Keeping Perspective at The Happy Housewife

3D glasses offer yet another perspective!

Both days, Dad was perfectly okay with this. (He’s awesome.) One of those days, I was not. I was not okay with any of it, and I completely lost perspective. I lost sight of how to look at my family, our learning adventure, and each individual piece of our crew, as a work in progress.

That was the difference. One day, for some reason, I was able to keep the whole picture in mind.

Keeping Perspective at The Happy Housewife

2 year old Juliana looks at the world differently all the time.

I’m not just surviving. I am raising a family. I am not checking off a checklist. I am helping small human beings become helpful, thinking, happy adults. And I hope I do that one (mostly happy) day at a time.

I hope someday I figure out how to keep that in mind, from one messy, forgetful, frustrating day to the next, so that at the end of the day, I can keep saying, “Today we did some good.”

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Discovering Dinosaurs for All Ages

By contributing writer Colleen

Dinosaurs are a popular elementary unit study, as just about every kid is interested in these extinct giants at one point in their lives. And why not? They’re cool. And big. And mysterious.

Discovering Dinosaurs for All Ages at The Happy Housewife

Sometimes, especially when you have older kids in your homeschool, incorporating favorites like dinos, can get old pretty fast. So what do you do? How do you make discovering dinosaurs fit for all ages of your children? Here are a few ideas.

Approach it Differently

Most of the time, when teaching a unit on dinosaurs, moms and teachers approach it from the “terrible lizard” perspective. They were big lizards. They’re now extinct. Some ate meat. Some ate plants, etc.

While you should still incorporate much of that information for your little ones, try approaching it from a discovery standpoint instead.

Start by asking your kids how we know dinosaurs existed. Talk about the fossils that were dug up and how those could be put together like giant puzzles to help paleontologists learn about these giant lizards of the past.

Have your big kids research paleontology and a famous person in the field. They could write a report, take on the persona of the subject and teach the family from the scientist’s perspective, or do some other kind of advanced project.

Discovering Dinosaurs for All Ages at The Happy HousewifeDinosaur-Fossils

Incorporate Multi-Level Activities

Have you ever set up a dinosaur dig for your little kids? Maybe you buried some toy dinos in a sandbox. Sensory play is great for younger children, as is the imaginary role play involved in acting like a paleontologist and “discovering” dinosaurs in the backyard.

Discovering Dinosaurs for All Ages at The Happy Housewife

But sensory play is good for older kids too. Even as middle schoolers, kids can benefit from an activity like a dino dig. Instead of hiding little dinosaurs in the sand, though, make fossils out of clay, dry them, and break them apart – just like real fossils. Have your older paleontologists dig them out and put them together to build their dinosaur. Or, find a skeleton puzzle and bury all of the bones, then ask them to dig those up to put the dinosaur skeleton together.

Strew Resources at Varying Levels

Strewing is the simple act of setting out materials in an enticing way, so as to capture the interests of your kids. Queue up documentaries and other videos on Netflix, put out playscapes, play dough, and toy dinosaurs, and purchase inexpensive excavation kits. Find books that teach kids to draw dinosaurs or those that have realistic artwork of the times when dinos roamed the Earth.

Take your kids on a field trip to the local natural history museum or a science center to experience the size of these animals firsthand.

Discovering Dinosaurs for All Ages at The Happy Housewife

Whatever you do, make sure that you include your big kids in the little kids’ fun sometimes. It’s easier to do the fun hands-on things with the little ones while pushing the bigger kids to their texts, workbooks, and independent work. But they need to love learning too.

And there’s no better lesson – for the littles or the bigs – than that family can grow and learn alongside one another happily.

More Dinosaur Study IdeasDiscovering Dinosaurs for All Ages (Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham) at The Happy Housewife

More Posts from Colleen

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Ravensburger Puzzles: Up to 40% Off!

Don’t miss these great deals on Ravensburger puzzles. These look really cool, I’m not sure why we don’t have any in our house!

All items ship free with Amazon Prime.

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Ravensburger The Earth – 540 Piece Puzzleball $24.74 | Reg price $45.99

Ravensburger Labyrinth $18.74 | Reg price $31.99

The Castles Of Burgundy $25.84 | Reg $41.99

Ravensburger Eiffel Tower 216 Piece 3D Building Set $14.99 | Reg price $27.99

Ravensburger Colorama – Children’s Game $15.19 | Reg Price $21.99

See all Ravensburger puzzles and toys on sale here. 

Remember to double check the price before purchasing, as items change prices on Amazon quickly!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.