Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Our entire educational endeavors surround two things in our home- nature and books. We spend our days either outside or with little ones in a lap, perusing our latest library haul. Fall is a fantastic time to make a sweet connection between those two loves. What better than a stack of books that speak to the changing of the seasons- from miserably hot to crisp and cool. Fall brings a much needed change here, after a long, humid summer and begins to usher in the excitement of the holiday seasons.

I have two things to share today. First, the book recommendations. Some are favorites in our home and others were highly recommended by Life, Abundantly readers on Facebook.

Down below the book recommendations though, you’ll find a DELIGHTFUL FREE download that includes 11 pages of super sweet, really adorably worksheets created for the K3-1st Grade crowd.

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Collecting Nature and Encountering Our Creator (GIANT FREEBIE)

Collecting Nature and Encountering Our Creator (GIANT FREEBIE)

My Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous nature tables, muddy rainboots, and wild and free children. This speaks to my heart in an unimaginable way. While I may often get too busy to truly spend the hours out of doors that I would like... and sometimes the complaints about the heat just wear me down (we live near Satan's armpit), I know deep in my soul that being surrounded and immersed in God's creation is as close as we can get to touching him on this earth. 

When I first began reading Charlotte Mason's own personal work (and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT, start here), I was slightly put off. I almost felt as if she worshipped nature. But I knew I had to be missing something important, so I pressed further in. Through prayer, I realized that Charlotte was passionate about nature because she was passionate about the Creator of nature. She knew that being immersed in Creation was a sneak peak into eternity and into the heart of our Father in Heaven. Our task as mothers is to simply help our children become thoroughly acquainted with Creation, capable of truly SEEING it with clear observation.

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My Favorite Things: "Keeping Toddlers Busy" Edition

My Favorite Things: "Keeping Toddlers Busy" Edition

My sweet little boys keep life very interesting, especially as I try to homeschool a high school freshman and 6th grader with dyslexia. It's basically my mission in life to keep my boys engaged in fruitful activity throughout the day in order that I might have small chunks of silence to engage with my girls in as much of their schoolwork as possible.

I want to share a few ideas and several "go-to" items that I keep handy at all times, as well as my process for both planning and engaging my boys each day. It's not perfect, but it works well enough that we march through our homeschool day with some learning accomplished and with (arguably) half my sanity left!

Here are my current FAVORITE things for keeping my boys (currently 3 and 20 months) busy while I work in our home and teach their older sisters:

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How to Use a Preschool Morning Binder (PLUS all you need to get started!)

How to Use a Preschool Morning Binder (PLUS all you need to get started!)

I have a tenacious 3 year old who wants to do a LOT of school. He loves to learn and do things just like the big kids. I love to encourage his desire to learn, so I created a "morning binder" for him after being inspired by Yoga Pants and Pearls when I ran across her on Pinterest. You can check out her take on morning binder here.  

I initially downloaded her cute little printable but my OCD jumped in and reminded me that it didn't match the rest of the materials that I had created to complement The Gentle + Classical Preschool (<--- Click that for a FREE Preschool Curriculum)... So I had to make my own, while also using a few resources I'd already created to assemble a full Morning Binder for my little one. So here's what's in our Preschool Morning Binder (also, it's not a binder but I'll chat about that too).  

5 Steps to an excellent, beautiful Preschool Morning Binder:  

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When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

If you're reading this, you are probably in the midst of teaching one of your little ones to read OR you have that endeavor looming ahead of you in the near future... amiright? The singular biggest fear of every single homeschool mom I've ever spoken to is failing to teach her child to read well... and especially failing to teach them "on time".

In most of our minds, we envision that our homeschooled child would be reading well in advance of their public school counterparts (or at least at the same time). Simultaneously, in our little hearts, one reason we homeschool is to give our children the time and space to grow and develop on their own timeline. Sometimes these desires and expectations clash and can create monster homeschool mom anxiety. I know many mamas who have quit homeschooling (or never even began) because they were overwhelmed at the idea of failing in this important task. 

I want to share some actual evidence with you today that helped put me at ease when my own homeschool student just wasn't progressing like I felt she "should." 

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107 Books to Read Before Age 7 (FREE Printable List!)

107 Books to Read Before Age 7 (FREE Printable List!)

Wow! Have you looked lately for books for your little ones and been completely overwhelmed? There are SO many- and how can we know they are good books that are of high literary quality and don't counter with our beliefs and family culture until we've bought them? My sweet friend Hayley and I wanted to combine forces and share a powerful list of 107 books that we feel like every child should have read to them (or read) before age 7.

Many lists like this include a majority of chapter books or books for children with longer attention span. We have many of those, but rest assured that this collection also includes shorter picture books with gorgeous, engaging illustrations and fewer words per page.

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28 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy {FREE Printable List!}

28 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy {FREE Printable List!}

Our littles ones can stay soooooo busy... right underfoot... all day long. Or even worse, when they disappear for a moment and get super quiet! Oh no! Rarely does that end up a good thing (sharpie vs the wall, anyone?) 

Through parenting four kiddos, I've found that the best way to keep a toddler busy without pulling your hair out is to integrate them INTO your day. Sometimes, we tend to default to building our day, our schedule, our home environment around the child. This bring everything down to their level. Sometimes, it has the unintended consequence of bringing US (and our behavior) down to their level too. EEEK! 

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Easter Preschool Unit Study, Flashcards, AND Banner Bundle!

Easter Preschool Unit Study, Flashcards, AND Banner Bundle!

Every day I fail. Every day I say the wrong thing, behave selfishly, act pridefully, think only of myself, drop a few four letter words, and get sinfully angry. Some days I do all of those things, and other days, I manage to squeak by with just a few, but regardless- I am a hefty sinner. As Paul says in Romans 7:15: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Man. He gets me. 

It is the overwhelming awareness of my own desperate need for a savior that digs the importance of the celebration of Easter deep into my soul. As Mamas, it's our job to begin at the earliest age possible digging the truth about Christ and our desperate need for him down deep into their souls. 

I wanted to provide some tools to do just that. 

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FREE Counting Bird Activity Set

FREE Counting Bird Activity Set

Oh, I love a freebie! Can you tell? I only created an ENTIRE library of them. And I also love graphic design and birds and anything old- so this set is kind speaking my love language! 

I was sitting down and browsing Pinterest, looking for some printable activities to use alongside Units 3 and 4 in The Gentle + Classical Preschool. I like to focus a lot of my energy on the science sentences and bring other aspects into that. For example- we frequently use the science statements as a jumping off point in choosing literature and hands-on activities. If I can also bring our math lesson into that same topic, I'm doubly excited! 

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Why I Created The Gentle + Classical Preschool Curriculum

Why I Created The Gentle + Classical Preschool Curriculum

I love Classical Education. From the first moment I lay my hands upon the book The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, I was hooked. I learned as much as I could and fully believe in the proven power of our natural learning in the sequential order of the Grammar, Dialectic (aka Logic), and Rhetoric stages. Even as adults, in our daily lives, as we are introduced to new things, we logically follow these steps. {Click here to read a great metaphor to understand this process a little better.}

This 3 step process applies to all aspects of life and branches of knowledge. Having a teen and tween whom we've used this process with throughout their education, I can see the profound fruits.

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